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  -  Education   -  North Asia Education   -  K-Hub brings Korean language and culture classes to Ōtara community

21 July 2022

Strengthening NZ-Korean Connections Through Language Learning and Cultural Exchange

“Thank you to North Asia CAPE for partnering with us to bring these new Korean language classes to Ōtara.The classes were awesome and the fact that we can all read Hangul within 10 weeks is pretty amazing. Bring on round 2!” (Ōtara Youth Hub, 15 July 2022)

We are grateful to the Ōtara Youth Hub (OYH) for welcoming us to their community and opening their doors to our first community-focused Korean language and cultural immersion programme.

Running for a total of 10 weeks, the Korean programme included a beginner course in Hangeul (Korean alphabet) as well as interactive Korean cultural activities such as Korean calligraphy and Korean traditional games. Also integrated in the class was a hands-on Korean food-making experience, where students had their first try at making their own Dalgona (Korean candy) and Kimchi!

The programme ended on 15 July 2022 with a special event celebrating students’ learning success and Māori-Korean connections. During the ceremony, 10 students and professionals were recognised for completing the 20-hour programme, who, in turn, showcased their new skills by delivering a Korean presentation, including a heart-warming Korean rendition of Pōkarekare Ana.

The ceremony was hosted by Swanie Nelson, OYH Director and Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board Member, who shared that the programme has creatively opened up a space for Ōtara youth to nurture their potential while learning more about Korean culture. She acknowledged North Asia CAPE for its support and also Korean teacher, Jung-a (Mary) Kim, for her warm and open teaching approach.

North Asia CAPE Director Charlie Gao was delighted to join the celebration event and noted that the organisation is keen to continue partnering with Ōtara Youth Hub in service of the Ōtara community.

Also present to support the event were Community Builders NZ Trust Co-Directors Tielee Nanisen and Terangi Parima, as well as Korean teachers and representatives from the Korean Language and Cultural Centre (KLCC) and the Korean Education Centre (KEC) ~ North Asia CAPE’s main partners for its Korean hub activities.

The Ōtara Korean programme is part of North Asia CAPE’s Korean Learning, Networking and Resource Hub (K-Hub) launched earlier this year in partnership with different communities to support the increasing interest in South Korea among New Zealanders. Currently, North Asia CAPE’s K-Hub operates in three locations across South, Central and North Auckland in collaboration with Ōtara Youth Hub, Ellen Melville Centre and Albany Village Library.

For enquiries on North Asia CAPEs K-Hub activities and related learning opportunities, contact [email protected].

Photo credits: Joonseob Yi and Ōtara Youth Hub (OYH)