By Chung Ah-young
"Arirang" is arguably the most popular and best-known Korean folk song both at home and abroad.
To globalize the national cultural symbol, the 2009 International Symposium for Arirang to the World, which was held at the National Folk Museum of Korea on Tuesday, explored the unique variety of historical, cultural, artistic and moral aspects of the song.
World-renowned professionals such as Clotaire Rapaille and Keith Howard, who work in the fields of business, marketing, culture and art, discussed the ways to reinvent Arirang globally.
Rapaille, the renowned author of "Culture Code," gave the keynote speech titled "Why Culture Matters to a Business; Taking Arirang into Global."
As a highly-sought-after lecturer on creativity, communication and cultural literacy, Rapaille emphasized the importance of origin and traditional culture in the global environment. He also highlighted successful attempts at promoting a variety of traditional cultures, focusing specifically on corporate and government strategies.
Lee Chung-Myun, professor emeritus at the University of Utah and author of "Arirang, the Song of Korea," gave a speech under the theme "Arirang's Message of Harmony to the World." Lee took a look at the value of harmony in Arirang, illuminating its relationship with the ideals of harmony and peace central to Korea's cultural identity.
Howard, associate dean at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney, attended the forum to discuss the subject titled "An Icon for Korea, a Korean Icon for the World." As a prolific author writing in English on Korean music and culture, he has released publications such as "Korean Pop Music: Riding the Wave" (2006) and "Preserving Korean Music" (2006).
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism initiated the "Arirang to the World Project" in 2008 by creating the Arirang Globalization Committee, consisting of experts in the areas of Korean studies and Korean folk songs on Arirang, the cultural industry and marketing.