Students of Cheongju Foreign Language High School (South Korea) have visited St Petersburg University. At a meeting with University teachers and students, they talked about their city and Korean culture.

Lee Ho Rim is the head of the Korean delegation and a teacher of the Russian language and culture. He noted that he was very pleased to be at St Petersburg University, because it is his home ground as he himself graduated from the University with a degree in philology. ‘From a historical perspective, Russia was a close neighbour of Korea. I am convinced that thanks to the close friendship, our countries have become reliable partners and chief players in the Asia–Pacific region in the 21st century. Russia plays a pivotal role in maintaining peace, economic prosperity, and cultural exchange in Northeast Asia. I hope that our partnerships will continue to develop, and we will strive for the happiness of the peoples of the two countries,’ said Mr Ho Rim. He also thanked the teachers and students of the University for their warm welcome.

Cheongju is the capital of North Chungcheong Province in the Republic of Korea. It has a population of more than 800,000 people. The city is famous for its ancient Heungdeok Buddhist temple. This is the home of the Early Printing Museum, where one of the first printed books in the world, Jikji, was created. There is a military fortress Sangdangsanseong, which is included in the list of the country’s historical sites, and the memorial to Song Sang-hyeon, the hero of the Imjin war.

Anastasiia Gureva, Associate Professor of St Petersburg University and a Korean studies scholar, told the guests about the oldest Russian university. She mentioned interesting facts: from the history of the origin of Russian science and higher education; and about the establishment and work of the Department of Korean Studies, and its research activities and translations of literary works. The meeting was held by Inna Tsoy, Associate Professor of St Petersburg University and Director of the ‘Russia–Republic of Korea Dialogue’ Forum.

The Korean schoolchildren spoke in Russian about their native city and their school. Various languages are taught at their school including English, Russian, German, French, Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese. The students made presentations about the traditional culture of Korea and the contemporary ‘Korean wave’. Their teacher Lee Ho Rim, who is fond of opera and performing arts, sang a Korean folk song and the romance ‘I Met You’ with lyrics by Fedor Tyutchev.

Students of the first, second and third courses who study ‘History of Korea’ and ‘Korean Philology’ prepared a lot of creative numbers. Among them were: K-pop dance; Korean music; and even the song ‘Blood Type’ by Viktor Tsoi and his band ‘Kino’. The students performed it in Russian and Korean. In response, the Korean schoolchildren who are fond of playing the guitar presented a famous Korean song. Also, there was an intellectual quiz on knowledge of Russia for the guests.