Asia Society Korea 15th Anniversary
Asia Society Korea hosted a special dinner to kick off its 15th anniversary festivities. The cozy gathering took place in the heart of the city at Lotte Hotel Seoul, with members of the diplomatic community and the Asia Society family in attendance to join the celebrations.
Chairman and founder of Asia Society Korea, Mr. Dong-Bin Shin, addressed those in attendance with a comforting welcoming message. He was followed by Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, H.E. Jin Park, who addressed the center’s role in furthering U.S.-ROK relations and promoting the values of diversity, equality, and understanding in the Asia-Pacific region. The evening, however, began with an important moment of silence held in tribute to those who lost their lives in the devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. Both the Chairman and the Foreign Minister offered their condolences to those who have suffered as a result of the tragedy, and H.E. Jin Park detailed the operations Korea was conducting in sending help and assistance to the region.
The anniversary event also featured the ceremony for this year’s Ambassador of the Year awards. These were presented to H.E. Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega, Ambassador of the Philippines to the Republic of Korea, and H.E. Vu Tung Nguyen, Ambassador of Vietnam to the Republic of Korea, who were both in attendance. The awards were given in acknowledgement of the continued dedication and valuable commitment to the Korea Center both Ambassadors have made.
The awards were presented by H.E. Joon Oh and Dr. Hong-Koo Lee, board members of Asia Society Korea. The two Ambassadors shared the joyous moment by hosting a raffle event in which some stunning cultural pieces were introduced and then gifted to three lucky recipients.
Spirits were lifted even higher by North Korean-born pianist Sang-Hyeok Hwang and violinist Hyung-Joon Won’s marvelous renditions of classical pieces, culminating in the stirring sounds of “Unification Arirang.” A further delight was the celebratory video covering the history of Asia Society, with a focus on key moments from the 15 years since the founding of Asia Society Korea. Familiar faces from several Asia Society centers around their world sent in their congratulatory remarks and took part in the event, albeit remotely.
The final toast was given by board member Mark Tetto. He took the time to reiterate Asia Society Korea’s ongoing mission to be at the forefront of Asian dialogue and thought, while also paying tribute to the years of dedication put in by the honorable Board of Directors and the center’s Executive Director Yvonne Kim.
Despite the heavy hearts many of us feel because of the ongoing global tragedies, we were warmed by each other’s presence and the strong sense of fellowship created by Asia Society Korea and all those who attended.