On Jul 20, 2016, the World Mission Society Church of God Singapore (SGWMSCOG) hosted a group of youths who came from Korea through the Korea-Singapore Cultural Exchange Experience. The members of the SGWMSCOG warmly welcomed the Korean members by introducing the local culture to them. All members from the two countries who took part in this event were university students. By trying out various food and participating in traditional childhood games such as “Old Maid”, “Donkey” and “Pick-up sticks”, the Korean exchange students came to understand Singapore’s history and culture.
“I have never been abroad before. Being born in a mono-cultural society in Korea, I am excited to learn and experience the life of a regular Singaporean. There is often a lack of opportunity for Koreans to learn about the lifestyle and traditions of other ethnic groups. It is fascinating to see people of different races and religions living together in harmony. Through this visit to Singapore, I am able to learn many valuable lessons of being tolerant and patient towards people who have varying faith and beliefs,” said Lily Kim, 21, Korea cultural exchange member of the World Mission Society Church of God.
The SGWMSCOG and World Mission Society Church of God Korea members also prepared an event to introduce the Korean culture to Singaporeans, through Korean traditional food and games. Singaporean members had the opportunity to participate and learn about the Korean culture with their friends and families.
Although some of the local participants have travelled to Korea before, most of them have not had hands-on experience in making and eating popular Korean street snacks. To them, this was the first. As the activity went on, a variety of food was prepared, such as hot pot, rice cake, kimchi pancake as well as kimbap, a Korean dish made from steamed white rice and various other ingredients, rolled in seaweed and served in bite-size slices. Even though some of this food could be found in restaurants or supermarkets, hand-made food tasted extra authentic. It was the true taste of Korea! As members of the two countries helped each other in preparing food, they laughed, shared and enjoyed the piping hot food they had freshly made. Despite differences in nationality, all the participants interacted warmly with one another, talking among themselves and even tried the Korean games and costumes together.
Being an international organisation, the World Mission Society Church of God creates numerous opportunities for people from diverse cultures and backgrounds to come together to have fun. Despite different culture and upbringings, members always learn to cultivate respect for each and every individual, fostering a harmonious and loving relationship.