Mistaken Identity

  • 2010-12-16
  • By Jinseok Seo, Kaunas

Dear TBT,

It was not a good decision for Tallinn city to support the church festival on Oct. 30 and 31.
I am a citizen from South Korea living in Lithuania. Very recently, I was really shocked to hear the news that a Korean church, believed to be a heretic, organized a festival by the name of the Korean Culture festival in Tallinn, and, more surprisingly, it was supported by many districts of Tallinn, such as Kristiine, Pirita, Mustamae and Maardu which were listed as main sponsors in the advertisement. I know that Korea is still an exotic and unknown country to the Baltic States, since there is not an official diplomatic and consular office and the cultural exchange happens very rarely between the two regions. Anyhow, it is extremely difficult to understand the decision of Tallinn to support such an outrageous and radical church’s event as a festival representing the overall Korean culture. This behavior can be interpreted in the same way that Tallinn city supported publicly events held by Jehovah’s witnesses or the Unification Church.

The organizer of the event in Korea is attributing this mischief to the local agent which was in charge of promotion in Tallinn, and insisting that it was not their real intention to promote it as a Korean cultural festival. However, according to my personal survey, it turned out that they attempted to organize the same event in Vilnius after Tallinn, and the event was already organized in Saint Petersburg a few years ago with the exact same way of promotion and program. Thus, I am still doubtful that all these troubles were caused only from the incompetent planning of the local agent, and that the offices of Tallinn’s regions really didn’t know the identity and the intention of the organizer. I even think that a proceeding should be commenced to investigate and reveal the truth of the case, if there was no bribery during the promotion activity.
I am a lecturer working at the center for Asian Studies. Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania and a correspondent to the Baltic States of the Korean Internet newspaper OhMyNewes.com.


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