The German Embassy and partner organizations celebrated PASCH Fest 2013 with hundreds of high schoolers at Kyunggi Girls’ High School in southern Seoul on Sept. 14.
The Partner School Program, or PASCH, brings together students enrolled at the half dozen or so German language programs in South Korea every year. This year they celebrated with a play about the Korean nurses and miners who traveled to Germany starting in the 1960s. The performance brought together local high-school youths enrolled in German language programs along with their families.
|German Ambassador to South Korea Rolf Mahael (left) and other participants|
pose for a group photo during PASCH Fest at Kyunggi Girls’ High School in southern Seoul on Sept. 14. (Christine Barteczko)
This year’s play and festival marked the 50th anniversary of a guest worker agreement signed between the two nations that led to thousands of Korean miners and nurses traveling to Germany. Many of them eventually settled there.
The play, entitled “Mr. Kim and Sister Lotus Flower,” was put on by young people enrolled in German language programs to dramatize this history.
“Although the diplomatic relations between Germany and South Korea date back more than 100 years, this year also marks the 50th anniversary of the agreement that brought thousands of Korean miners and nurses to Germany,” said Rolf Mahael, Germany’s ambassador to South Korea.
“This immigration has become an important aspect of the bilateral relationship,” he said.
Studying German itself was once popular among high schoolers here, but over the past decade, Japanese and Chinese have surpassed it as a foreign language of choice.
By Philip Iglauer (firstname.lastname@example.org