Art of Asian Embassies
Embassies play an important role not only in diplomatic political matters, but also in spreading ideas of culture and art across nations as well. The Asian Embassies present throughout DC host events and promote culture through various different arenas. The Embassies bring both Asian cultures to the United States and also facilitate an exchange of ideas between countries. Taking time to see what the Embassies from Asian countries offer reveals various opportunities to learn about international culture and the arts.
The Japanese Embassy makes a huge effort in helping promote a better understanding of Japanese culture through the Public Affairs Section of the Embassy through the Japan Information and Culture Center or JICC. JICC hold events and provides information in DC to further expand the knowledge of the Japanese culture. Some of the events they hold include exhibits that focus on aspects of Japan. One recent photography exhibit analyzed aspects of Northeastern Japan, revealing this section of Japan to DC through images. Beyond art exhibits, a variety of other events are held as well. Some pertain to artistic traditions of Japanese culture, such as workshops in calligraphy. Other events are aimed towards other Japanese cultural traditions like culinary lessons on how to pair sake. The Embassy also focuses on bringing knowledge of Japanese culture to children as well. There is a school program hosted by the JICC that helps children learn about and appreciate Japanese culture. Some of the lessons they offer during the school program include learning origami, taiko drum playing, and simple Japanese phrases. To further spread out information about Japan, they allow free access to various Japanese publications and also loan out books as well. Through the variety of programming and events that the Japanese Embassy provides to the public, they have been able to spread out information and share aspects of Japanese culture and art to many different people and areas of DC.
The Thai Embassy makes an effort to not only showcase their own culture but to participate in events promoting art in various nations as well. One of these events includes the EuroAsia Shorts Film Festival. The festival itself brings together nine different nations and shows 29 films between these nations. It spans across several days and is usually focused on a theme, the theme this year being the idea of relationships between people, the challenges these relationships bring, and how they are depicted differently across various cultures. In addition to these type of events, the Embassy of Thailand also participates in the Embassy Adoption Program which helps involve children within cultural and art activities such as coloring competitions, cooking lessons, and watching films. Beyond working with other Embassies and nations, the Thai Embassy also promotes their own culture to DC. Much of this is done through introducing traditional Thai rites and customs to the public. In 2011 the Embassy held a celebration in honor of the Majesty Queen Sirikit, an important Thai figure, to show the important figures that the Thai people respect and honor. In this celebration an exhibition was held in her honor as well. They also hold religious Thai ceremonies to further introduce aspects of Thai culture that are very important to the nation. Through events and cultural celebrations that the Thai Embassy holds, an understanding of culture throughout Thailand and throughout different nations is revealed to the DC public.
The Korean Embassy devotes an entire Korean Cultural Center, or KCC, to the promotion of arts and culture within DC. Their main incentive is to share Korean culture through holding various events as well as providing informational materials and sources for those seeking to learn more about Korean culture. The KCC also holds events itself. Within their gallery, the center has held various contemporary arts exhibits. These exhibits are intended to facilitate cultural exchange between the DC area and the United States with Korea. Other events promote different types of art such as literature and various other festivals are held as well. The KCC also promotes pop culture. Recently the Embassy held a pop music contest that had hundred of entries. The winners came from areas all over the world, showing the extent of Korean culture and why it is important to learn about. Besides simply showing Korean culture, the Embassy hopes to get people involved as well. This is done through activities and events such as language and cultural classes that allow people to become even more immersed in Korean culture. With the Korean Cultural Center, the Korean Embassy has made a huge effort to make an exchange of culture something important they wish to share with DC and the United States.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US (or TECRO for short) holds its own Cultural Division to promote Taiwan. Through this Cultural Division, the Embassy provides many options for education of Chinese culture and opportunities to study abroad. They find the best way to learn about Taiwan is to not only learn about it, but also to visit the place itself. They offer grant programs to aid scholars of Chinese studies to make traveling easier. There are other opportunities in Taiwan as well, such as call for entries to art shows within Taiwan. One of their main priorities is getting people from the United States to Taiwan to experience the culture firsthand. This is done to create an exchange between the two nations. The Taiwan Embassy offers different options for both travel and education throughout Taiwan and the US to learn about the culture. They also sponsor and aid in undergraduate and graduate programming and studies pertaining to learning about China and Taiwan. Through the Cultural Division of TECRO there are many opportunities to experience Taiwan and its culture in a variety of ways.
Short URL: http://bit.ly/OmGAQn