Korea.net has welcome this year's incoming class of Honorary Reporters and K-influencers to promote Korea worldwide at an induction ceremony in Seoul.
The Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS), an affiliate of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, on May 20 held the ceremony at MBC Golden Mouth Hall in the Sangam-dong neighborhood of Seoul's Mapo-gu District. The event saw the formal appointment of this year’s class of Honorary Reporters and K-influencers and to encourage their activities.
The 2022 Honorary Reporter class comprises 4,834 members from 122 countries and that of K-influencers 1,856 from 103 countries, record highs in the number of people and nationalities in KOCIS history. Under the slogan "Harmony with K-culture," the ceremony conveyed a message of global communication and harmony through Korean culture.
KOCIS Director Park Myeongsun attended the ceremony, along with KOCIS Director General Yi Chongyul, two Honorary Reporters and two K-influencers. Forty other ambassadors of Korean culture abroad also joined through a webinar.
Second Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Cho Yong-man sent a congratulatory video message, saying, "What brought Korea and the world together when countries were cut off due to COVID-19 was the articles and videos made by all of you."
"This is the world's largest Hallyu network, and the aspects of Korean culture, history, tourism and policy that each and every one of you introduces will shape the Korea seen by the world."
The attendees expressed their aspiration to play the role of cultural ambassador for Korea and showed their talents by playing musical instruments and singing.
K-influencer Eman Sultan from Bahrain said, "I'm the only Global Korean Culture Ambassador from Bahrain and I came here as a representative of my country." She demonstrated her typographical design work using Arabic and Hangeul letters.
Honorary Reporter Alybaev Bektursun from Kyrgyzstan staged a short performance of samulnori (traditional Korean farmer's music). "I've been interested in Korea and its language since my childhood and that's why I learned samulnori," he said.
On Bektursun's performance, Director General Yi said, "I can feel how gugak (traditional Korean music) is loved worldwide as much as K-pop."
K-influencer Nancy Castro from Mexico, who put on a gugak performance at last year's induction ceremony, performed Gyeonggi minyo (folk song from Gyeonggi-do Province), which she called "one of her favorite gugak genres."
Director Park hailed her performance, saying, "Her talent is remarkable.”
Illusionist Choi Hyo-won, who directed the Netflix hit series "The Sound of Magic," showed off his craft by transforming blank frames into certificates and giving them to Honorary Reporters and K-influencers worldwide.
Closing the ceremony was a harp and guitar medley performed by harpist Michelle Paris, who mainly performs in Malta and the U.K., and guitarist Beck Seunghoon.
The event was broadcast live from 2 p.m. on Korea.net's YouTube channel. Lasting 51 minutes, the ceremony was watched by as many as 26,149 viewers, with the cumulative number of views reaching 163,151.
Following the ceremony was the K-Harmony Festival at 3 p.m. The festival featured messages of encouragement from veteran Honorary Reporters and K-influencers to newcomers; "Webinar Golden Bell," a quiz show about Korean culture; exemplary videos from the Tiktok Challenge; and a webinar drawing session of KOCIS mascot Kocnuni.
Through May 26, KOCIS will hold an online festival week featuring a wide range of Korean culture through non-contact programs.