|The judges for the 11th Korea Multicultural Youth Awards participate in the evaluation of award applicants online, Nov.21. They are, clockwise from top left: advisor to Woongjin Foundation Sohn Wie-soo; Migrant Youth Foundation Board Chairman and Hanyang University Professor Emeritus Cha Yun-kyung; Park Dae-jin, an official at the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family's department for multicultural family policies; Cho Jae-hyon, managing director of The Korea Times; Korea Cultural Diversity Organization Chair Jasmine Lee, Seoul YMCA's civil society movement department representative Ju Gun-ihl; Asian Friends Honorary Chairman Kim Joon-sik; and Asian Friends Chairwoman Lee Nam-sook. Captured from Zoom|
By Kim Joon-sik
It has been 11 years since The Korea Times established the Korea Multicultural Youth Awards in 2012. I would like to congratulate the winners of this year's awards. Reading your applications, I was very pleased to see you studying hard and engaging in various volunteer activities in and outside of school. The winners of the inaugural awards in 2012 would have probably begun their careers after school or would be serving the country in the military.
In fact, some countries that were culturally and ethnically diverse by their nature ― such as the United States, Australia and Canada ― have become advanced countries where people live happily in democratic and welfare states. The term multiculturalism is rarely used in these countries because basically everyone is treated as equal citizens. Although multiculturalism itself is a beautiful word, it has not been used as commonly in Korea but is now becoming more frequently heard in Korea, as the country is culturally diversifying.
Watching various talented athletes from the U.S., Germany, the U.K. and Australia in the Olympics Games and the World Cup, I realized that people from multicultural backgrounds show exceptional talent in sports. It is true that countries that are culturally and ethnically diverse are advanced with strong democracy and welfare.
I am sure that you, children from multicultural backgrounds, are excellent people who will help Korea become a more advanced country.
The government and our society are providing support in various ways so that your diverse, multicultural backgrounds can be used as your strengths. And for its part, The Korea Times has been organizing the annual Korea Multicultural Youth Awards.
Once again, I would like to congratulate the award winners and their parents. I would also like to express my gratitude to the staff at The Korea Times and other judges. Thank you.
Kim Joon sik is the Honorary Chairman of Asian Friends and a member of the jury for the 11th Korea Multicultural Youth Awards.