Google Big Tent Korea depicts cultural diversity to globalize the Korean culture to the world through the Internet.
Last Wednesday, October 30, Google partnered with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of Korea to open up the Big Tent conference at Platoon Kunsthalle in Seoul. On this day, Hyun-Jae Cho, First Vice Minister of MCST, Amit Sood, Director of Google Cultural Institute, Yonggi Won, Deputy Minister of MCST, Taesung Jeong, CEO of CJ E&M Film Division, Hyungjoon Kim, Senior Producer at Korea Broadcasting System, Emanual Pastreich, Professor at Kyung Hee University, Jongil Choi, Founder and CEO of Iconix Entertainment, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, and Ted Cho, Engineering Director of Google Korea took the stage as speakers. Young-Eun Yang, anchor and journalist of Korean Broadcasting System hosted the conference. As any of the other Big Tent events, the one held in Seoul also carried its own theme that the discussions were held upon. The main question of this conference was brought together under the topic of “Culture and the Internet.” As the South Korean culture started a new boom, the music, movies, and culture have increased interests leading to extraordinary popularity throughout the Asian continent. Discussions of how the role of the Internet can play in expanding Korean culture to Europe and the United States were discussed.
The Big Tent has been held all over the world since 2011, the MCST collaborated with Google to get an insight of how the culture can cross borders and oceans to reach the majority of the population. As Professor Emanual states, “Other countries have high expectations on Korea…China is large but reality is there are limits…Japan’s dynamism has restrictions. Therefore, Korea has a better chance to grow in culture,” Korea’s Hallyu sensation cannot go unnoticed. The entertainment sector has brought spotlight to the Korean culture and society. Hyungjoon Kim spoke about how the use of mobile phones makes communication over borders possible. Therefore, more people are able to meet and greet people from different countries. In the end, the two people who talk need to have their conversation based on a topic. This, naturally, leads to talking about each other’s cultures and, more so, the entertainment sector.
Discussions like this took place at the conference and it was followed by a reception at the rooftop. Eric Schmidt ended the conference as the last person to speak. He was actually interviewed by Young-Eun Yang. He used many examples of Psy to make his point clear. Schmidt highly complimented that the Koreans are good showcasing their style along with refined coloring and staging. He believes this is what attracts people to K-pop. In addition, Schmidt adds that the North Koreans also seem to have the same sense in detail as South Koreans do. But, on the other hand, Schmidt remarks that the society also needs to change their way of thinking. He sees that Koreans are too patriotic. If the society gave more opportunities to women and learned how to fully accept and respect other cultures, the Korean society would modernize even more.