Wrapping Up My Mission of ROK to ASEAN Online Supporter Journey
On the last day of June 2020, I started my journey as a Mission of the Republic of Korea to ASEAN Online Supporter. The initiative was born out of a desire to engage ASEAN youths to promote friendly relations and increase mutual understanding between ASEAN and South Korea. In the first week, I blogged about my excitement and expectations of the program. As November ends, here is a summary of my four-month journey along with the lessons that I’ve learned.
My favorite part of the Online Supporter program was the themes that we’d receive by email at the start of each month. I remember the excitement of logging into my Gmail to see our program coordinator’s email. Some themes were fairly straightforward while sometimes the themes really pressed us to work creatively.
I got the chance to explore South Korea’s many influences across ASEAN, particularly when it comes to gastrodiplomacy and the Hallyu wave. In the second month, it was refreshing to flip the table and introduce how ASEAN has had an influence on South Korea. Through my research, I learned about the rising popularity of ASEAN food among Korean youths, who credit this acceptance to increased diplomatic relations between Korea and ASEAN.
We also had an art theme to introduce ASEAN and Korean artists’ works. Not only did I come to realize the artistic talent of our communities, but the project was also a beacon of hope during the COVID-19 crisis. Art has a special way of connecting people and the community becomes even more important as we are kept apart.
But most of all, I had a brilliant time researching and producing visuals to introduce November’s monthly theme — Celebrating the Anniversary between Korea-ASEAN. Established in 1989, this year marks the 32nd anniversary of Korean-ASEAN relations. This relationship has undergone multiple evolutions over the years and marks a strong sign of friendship that will carry well into the next decades.
With increased cooperation between ASEAN and Korea under the New Southern Policy Plus, the region can look forward to a prosperous, safe and generous future. However, our actions today continue to determine this relationship between our communities and this is where cultural diplomacy plays such an important role in promoting mutual understanding.
Social media is a great platform to spread ideas and raise awareness, but only if used right and responsibly. Being a member of the first batch of Mission of ROK to ASEAN Online Supporters to create positive content across various SNS channels is certainly an experience that I will remember.
Thank you my fellow Online Supporters for joining me on this transformation journey and to the Mission of the Republic of Korea to ASEAN: 감사합니다!