October 21, 2018

S. Korea eyes expanding ‘Culture Day’

The South Korean government plans to expand the programs of the so-called “Culture Day” as part of its efforts to make it easier for hardworking Koreans to let off some steam, the Culture Ministry said .

The program, which began in January 2014, aims at helping South Koreans more easily enjoy cultural events by offering various benefits including discounts for entrance fees at museums, sports games, movies, theaters and exhibitions on the last Wednesday of the month, which is dubbed Culture Day.

For example, moviegoers can enjoy a movie at a local cinema at 5,000 won, a 45-percent discounted price from the original 9,000 won.

Now the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, which oversees the program, is pushing ahead with the passage of a set of bills, which have been sleeping in the National Assembly since November last year, by the first half of this year.

“If we pass the relevant laws, the program can be run more smoothly,” said an official from the ministry.

The campaign is in line with the government’s efforts to create a virtuous cycle of increasing people’s consumption of cultural products which, in turn, can boost the growth of the industry and eventually help improve the overall quality of life.

On the last Culture Day in 2015, President Park Geun-hye invited 200 children from less-privileged families to watch sports performances of traditional martial arts and Taekwondo, an event partly designed to raise the awareness of the campaign.

There will be various cultural events happening on Feb. 24, the last Wednesday this month. According to the ministry, around 1,500 events are scheduled to take place around the country.

In the KT Olleh Square in downtown Seoul, a cooking show combined with a concert will be held by popular indie band Dicpunks and chef Lee Eun-jung.

The ministry hopes to increase the number of Culture Day programs to 2,300 this year from 2,081 as of November last year. It will also work to widely publicize the program by launching cultural events nationwide and boost incentives to private companies and government agencies that participate in the program.

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr

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