Course launches on Korean-Brazilian relations

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Course launches on Korean-Brazilian relations

The Seoul city government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are launching today a five-week course on Brazil-Korea relations at Seoul Open City University in central Seoul to celebrate the 60 years of ties between the two countries.

“Students will learn from experts in the field, such as Director-General for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jo Yung-joon, as well as the Brazilian Ambassador to Korea Luis Henrique Sobreira Lopes,” Seoul Metropolitan Government said in a statement on Monday.

Brazil became the first country in Central or South America to establish diplomatic ties with Korea in 1959.

The classes will be held every Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the university in Jongno District, central Seoul, from today to Sept. 24 - except on Sept. 17 when the class will be held at the Brazilian Embassy in Seoul.

Park Won-bok, professor of Portuguese language at Dankook University in South Chungcheong, will hold the first class of the five-week program on the history of football, carnival in Brazil and Brazilian-Koreans.

There were 51,531 Koreans in Brazil as of 2017, of which 47,232 were living in Sao Paulo, Brazil, according to Korea’s Foreign Ministry. Park Hak-gi, a Korean sailor on a Japanese ship which landed in Brazil in 1918, is recorded as the first Korean to live in Brazil, followed by 50 prisoners of the Korean War who reached Brazil in 1956.

They were followed by 103 Koreans who immigrated to Brazil in 1963 to work on farms. Among the population of Korean immigrants in Latin America, those in Brazil account for the largest.

Lee Seung-yong, professor of Portuguese language at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in eastern Seoul, will hold the second class on Sept. 3 about understanding Brazil through its television commercials and public advertisements.

Students will hear from Jo about Korea-Brazil relations on Sept. 10 and from Ambassador Sobreira Lopes at the embassy on Sept. 17.

The last class will be about Brazilian music, taught by Lee Seung-ho, president of Escola Alegria, a Brazilian music group based in Seoul.

The course is part of an ongoing project at the city government, which together with the Foreign Ministry has been offering classes on Korea’s foreign relations with other countries since May.

It hosted a five-week course on Korea-Vietnam relations and Vietnamese culture and history in May and another five-week course on Korea-Denmark relations in June.

“We intend to host another program with the U.S. Embassy in Seoul in October,” the city government said in its statement. “Following that, we will hold another program with the Foreign Ministry to offer classes about Korea’s foreign policymaking process.”

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