„The more the science and technology develop, the more we must focus on human values“.
In his keynote speech of the 2018 Andong Human Values Forum which was held under the theme, dubbed as ‚Life, Embracing the Values of Living‘ during 3 days from Sep. 5-7, former National Assembly Speaker Chung Se-kyun defined the significance of Human Values like this.
Diplomatic community from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps. including Ghana Amb. Difie Agyarko Kusi also attended to hear such valuable lessons from many prominent scholars around the world following last year‘s successful their visit to Andong in 2017.
Over 30 senior diplomats attened the morning session & afternoon session such as ‚Dissolution of Local Areas and Crisis of Living World“, visited Andong Hahoe village as part of their famtours to Andong and last but not least attended welcome reception & its opening seremony all together.
The background that diplomatic community participated in it, is as follows:
„Today, we are living in an era where the harmony of humans and all other forms of life has become more important than ever in the face of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the convergence of advanced scientific civilizations. However, modern society is struggling with a range of social problems due to widespread materialsm and selfishness such as polarization, unemployment, and low birthrates. Many countries, including OECD member countries, are showing low levels of happiness compared with their materialistic abundances and economic growth. So the whole world is conflicted between the matters of living well physically and spiritually and, at the same time, yearning for true values and happiness.“
Upon arriving at Andong Arts Center, the main venue of the 2018 Andong Human Values Forum in the morning last Wendesday on Sep. 5th, diplomatic community looked around first of all exhibitions on human values such as special exhibition on Seokju Lee Sang –ryong‘s family collections and health of confucian scholars etc.
After the luncheon, they attended in the Session 3 regarding Dissolution of Local Areas and Crisis of Living World which dealt with social crisises from a humanistic perspective and seeked practical ways to overcome it. Director Cho Mi-hwa from Gyeongbuk Women‘s Policy Development Institute pointed out: „The recent trend of declining and aging population in Korea is a social condition that can accelerate the possibility of the extincition of rural communities, which, in turn, seriously threatens the existence of institutional space and living space for local residents.“
Wrapping up hearing lectures, diplomatic community visited Hahoe Village with living and breathing Korean Beauty & Tradition as part of their famtour programs to Andong.
Designated as an Important Folklore Material No.122, this is a village whose main habitants are of the Pungsan Ryu clan. It is called Hahoe because the river Nakdong flows around the village in an S-shape. The village is set in a scene of unsurpassed beauty.
Tour guide arranged by the Andong Festival Tourism Foundation explained that three mountains and a dense pine forest encircle it like folding screens. The river Nakdong flows smoothly by, bordered by sandy beaches. Overhead rears the strange rock shapes of Buyongdae cliff. The village itself contains various typical Korean houses preserved since the early Joseon Dynasty.
Folk performances such as Hahoe Maskdance and Seonyu-Julbul-Nori(traditional fireworks) are still played, thereby making this village an ideal place to understand the traditional culture of Andong. The Korean folk village HA HOE is designated as World Heritage by UNESCO since 31th. Jul. 2010.
Last year, diplomatic community including Romania Amb. couple Mihai Ciompec visited Confucian Culture having placed high value on Study and Courtesy, Dosan Confucian Academy.
For reference, Korea’s preeminent Confucian scholar, Lee Hwang(1501-70), established Dosan Seodang(confucian academy) to devote his life to study and the education of his disciples. Shortly after his death, his disciples and scholars established Dosan Confucian academy to commemorate his lofty virtue. In the eighth year of King Seonjo’s reign (1575), a carved tablet written by Han Seok-bong(1543-1605), a famed calligrapher of the time, was dedicated here. Dosan Confucian academy is comprised of Dosan Seodang(classroom), Nongunjeongsa dormitory, Gwangmyeongshil (library), Jeongyodang hall(lecture hall), Sangdeok Shrine and Jangpangak (storage for wooden block). Dosan Confucian academy, bordered by Lake Andong in front and dense pine forests at the back, creates a harmonious scenery, according to Andong City.
In the welcome reception & its opening ceremony in which honorable govenor Lee Chul-woo from North Kyungsang Province took part among others, chairman Lee Yong-tae from the Korea Foundation for Cultures and Ethics said through his welcome remarks: „The 21st Human Values Forum aims to become a valuable shelter for the people living in today‘s hectic world.“
What is differentiated with 4 previous Forums this year, is that not only local and international scholars and experts in various areas will hold in-depth academic presentations and debated to seek ways to realize decent human values, but participants and citizens will also be able to communicate and share their stories through various concerts and practice sessions“, Lee explained.
The increasing numbers of participating counctries and individuals every year indicate the desire of people from around the globe who dream of living worthy human values, he stressed.
In the followed keynote speech, former National Assembly Speaker Chung Se-kyun underscored: „For the real progress of mankind, human values must be the top priority“, adding we must think about how we can create a better society through human intuition, insight, and sensitivity that technology never can follow.