BANGKOK – South Korea opened its first Korean Cultural Center in Thailand Wednesday, hoping it will serve as a bridge between the two different cultures.
The three-story building located in the center of Bangkok features a small-size cultural performance hall, an exhibition hall and rooms for learning the Korean language and cooking Korean food, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The opening ceremony was held at the center with about 300 dignitaries from both countries, including Thai culture minister Sontaya Kunplome and South Korea’s first vice cultural minister Cho Hyun-jae, in attendance, the ministry said.
It is South Korea’s 25th cultural center worldwide and the fourth in Southeast Asia.
“We hope the Korean Cultural Center in Bangkok will serve to strengthen ties between the two countries in pop culture and various other fields of culture and arts, while playing a significant role in establishing more amicable and future-oriented ties between South Korea and countries in the region,” the ministry said in a statement.
The opening comes as Bangkok has emerged as the center of “hallyu” — the popularity of Korean pop music and TV dramas — in the Southeast Asian region.
South Korean forged diplomatic ties with Thailand in 1958. More than 1.5 million Koreans and Thais visit each other’s respective countries each year, according to a government tally.