[EDITORIALS]Cultural festival brings hope

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[EDITORIALS]Cultural festival brings hope

In the middle of Seoul at the moment, we are experiencing a diversity of dance and sound from around the globe. The World Culture Open 2004 festival has arrived here from New York.
Sponsored by the JoongAng Ilbo, more than 130 teams from 40 countries are participating in the performances.
However, more important than the numbers is the goal of the festival.
The event aims to bring world peace by ameliorating ignorance and prejudice about the various cultures of the world, a most appropriate goal in this age.
The festival will take place every two years and it combines not only dance and musical performances, but also various other events such as martial arts and physical training demonstrations, as well as photography exhibitions to show the overall picture of each culture.
It is an attempt to understand the culture of other countries more deeply through the three axes of the body, the mind and the spirit.
The tragedies and the disasters that our world today experiences commonly are not natural, but man-made. Ignorance and prejudice about other cultures becomes a barrier that divides person from person, people from people, and country from country.
Even in the 21st century, the so-called “century of culture,” the world is experiencing the pain and horror of terrorism.
Stronger weapons and better plans of attack will not stop frequent terrorist attacks and endless warring. It is important that we understand a person and a society as given, and let every society establish its own identity. Through this festival, we can get to understand one another and broaden the horizons of our minds.
In doing so, we are taking a step towards ending strife and conflict in the world.
It is of great significance that the World Culture Open festival was born with Koreans playing a central role. The seeds are sown.
If the festival goes on to being a spiritual, cultural and ethnic festival of the world, it could become the cultural equivalent of the Olympic Games that was re-established in 1896 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
We hope the spirit of the World Culture Open, that will build a foundation for world peace based on the understanding and love for diverse cultures, will continue for years to come.

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