As unique and conservative as Saudi culture is, there’s no doubt that the international media is a force to be reckoned with, because cultural influences from other parts of the world such as South Korea have now reached the Kingdom and is becoming a popular topic among nationals.
This is certainly a welcome trend because as countries become more known internationally, the reason to learn more about their culture now makes sense, and this includes the country’s language. And gaining a new skill such as a communicating a new language is such a great idea not only for Saudis, but even for other nationalities as this will open more opportunities for them personally and professionally.
Korean Language ‘Hangeul’ Draws Interest from Saudi Nationals
In line with this, as the massive popularity of Korean culture has now reached a variety of audience all over the world and even in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, spawning interest in the Korean language as an appealing language to learn, many Saudis are joining the growing crowd of enthusiasts, as shared in a report by the Arab News.
There is a number of reasons why Saudis want to learn Korean: to enjoy watching their favourite shows in the original language; to visit and experience the culture of Korea personally; or even to move to South Korea in the future.
According to Korean language instructor Myung Hee Park from the Korean International School in Jeddah, most of her students loved K-pop and Korean dramas, and they wanted to expand their knowledge by learning the language.
People from all over the Kingdom are traveling to Korea to attend concerts and to see their favourite artists perform live.
Myung shared, “Lots of the people who come to learn from me have an experience of visiting Korea and enjoying concerts by artists such as BTS, Monsta X or SM Town.”
Of note, Saudi’s appreciation of Korea does not stop at entertainment, as some of Myung’s students have expressed interest in studying in South Korea, as well.
In November of last year, 51 people participated in the first Ambassador’s Cup Korean Speech competition, held at the official residence of the South Korean ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Jo Byung-wook. The competition was organized to promote the country’s culture, language and heritage.
According to the Korean ambassador, “The growing interest in learning the Korean language in Saudi Arabia shows the strength of our bilateral relations.”
He also pointed out that Korean is the 20th most spoken language in the world, and is gaining popularity as the second foreign language across Asia, the US and even the Middle East.