Nepal’s scenic beauty, culture fascinate Korea university students
By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, July 24: Visiting university students from South Korea have found Nepal’s natural beauty and cultural diversity to be very impressive.
Under the Seoul Metropolitan City’s youth volunteer programme, a 38-member team of students belonging to 22 different universities from across South Korea has been in Kathmandu to make voluntary contributions and get familiarised with the Nepali culture.
During their 10-day voluntary services, they worked in two schools (Fairyland Secondary School and St. John’s Lower Secondary School) at Kapan of Kathmandu district. They also taught art, music and culture to Nepali students. They also paved blocks on the playground of St. John’s Lower Secondary School.
“As Nepal is a land of many high mountains, the Nepali people are also open-minded, hospitable and helpful,” said Ka Hee Ji, an undergraduate student studying at Hanyang University.
This is the first time that such a large number of Korean university students Under the Seoul Metropolitan City’s youth volunteer programme have come to Nepal. They were selected from among many candidates through interviews. After their selection, they were briefed about Nepal and Nepali culture. Before coming to Nepal, they remained busy making preparations for three weeks.
Lee Seo-Yeong, another member of the team, found the Nepali children to be more honest than Korean ones.
“When I started teaching music in the classroom, the students were very much enthusiastic to learn. I found them to be dedicated and welcoming,” said Lee.
Jeong Jaehwan and Lee Eunji, however, had had different experiences to share.
“Before coming to Nepal, I had thought that the Himalayan nation is free from pollution. I have found the Kathmandu Valley to be overcrowded and polluted,” said Jeong.
Absence of traffic lights and zebra crossings on roads has also left Jeong astonished. “Even in such a situation, life in Kathmandu was going on easily. This has also surprised me,” he added.
Lee was also amazed to see dogs sleeping on all the roads in Kathmandu. “However, it is a matter of happiness that Nepal has accorded top priority to the preservation of traditional art and architecture while rebuilding temples and palaces.”
For other volunteers, Minjoo Wi and Lee Ji Hee, Kumari or the Living Goddess and the scenic beauty were a major attraction.
“Besides their voluntary contributions, the Korean students have learnt much about Nepal and the people’s lifestyle and culture,” said Kim BongGun, the manager of Donghaeng Youth Volunteer Management under the Seoul Volunteer Centre.
Kim, also the team leader, said that the Korean university students would also come to Nepal as volunteers in 2019 and 2020.
The Korean university students had volunteered in Mongolia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos in the previous years.
“The Korean volunteers have found a homely environment in Nepal,” said Patricea, team manager of Good Travel. The travel company handled the group.
According to her, the team is also scheduled to visit Pokhara.