Sunday, September 18, 2011

Folk museum enlightens children through Philippine culture




To encourage children to understand diverse cultures, the Children’s Museum of the National Folk Museum of Korea has prepared the “Philippine Culture Discovery Box” to open on Sept. 20.

Following the“Vietnamese Culture Discovery Box (Xin zhao (Hello) Vietnam)” and the “Mongolian Culture Discovery Box (Sen beno (Hello) Mongolia)” in 2010, the museum’s series aims to provide a window into the variety and range of lifestyles in the world especially for children.

Some 1.2 million foreigners live in Korea but they often face conflict stemming from cultural misunderstandings. In this growing multicultural society, it is important for children to be exposed to other cultures.

The “Philippine Culture Discovery Box (Kumusta (Hello) Philippines)” is a kind of a “moving museum,” containing various cultural and educational materials designed to be lent to multi-cultural institutions, schools, museums, and libraries all over the country to highlight the cultural content of the country concerned.

Through the box, children can experience Philippine history, nature, food, costume, housing, lifestyle, holidays, religion, games and musical instruments with audiovisual and study materials.




It also includes a picture book and flashy animation of the famous Philippine fairy tale “Turtle and Monkey.” As the book and animation are produced in both Tagalog and Korean, mothers and children of multicultural families can enjoy them together.

The understanding of culture begins with various exciting experiences such as seeing, listening, feeling, observing, imagining, touching and wearing. They can also learn how to live together comparing similarities and differences between Korean and Philippine culture.

Since last September, about 100 multi-cultural institutions have used the Mongolian and Vietnamese boxes for educational and exhibition purposes allowing 22,000 students to learn about cultural diversity through them.

This year’s box features “Kumusta Philippines” as some 46,000 Filipinos live in Korea and it is the fifth largest number of foreign residents after Chinese, Americans, Vietnamese, and Japanese. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s statistics from last year show there are 4,612 children of Philippine descent here, the second highest number after those of Japanese descent.
While viewing real materials, children can imagine ways to use them and enjoy activities such as learning greetings in Filipino. They can also wear Philippine costumes such as Barot Saya and Barot Tagalog.

To prepare the box, the museum regularly held forums consisting of consultants who are Filipinos living in Korea and other experts. The consultants include Mylo C. Fausto, the information officer of the Embassy of the Philippines, Lee Jasmine, a married migrant woman, Maria Regina P. Arquiza, the only Filipino DJ at multi-cultural radio station, Cathy Rose A. Garcia, a former Korea Times reporter and Kim Dong-yup, professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. The committees discussed effective ways to introduce Philippine culture.

The museum purchased materials for the box in the Philippines and also filmed the life of elementary school children in Manila with the help of the Embassy of the Philippines in Korea. Ralph Batoon, a dispatched senior researcher from the National Museum of the Philippines, also took part in the project as an expert on Philippine culture. In keeping up with the digital age, the museum has even opened a Philippine Culture Discovery Box account on Facebook.

The launch ceremony will take place at the museum on Sept. 20 with a variety of celebration performances and presentations.

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