Sep 8, 2020 - FEFU News
The 120-th anniversary of Korean Studies in the Russia's Far East was solemnly celebrated at FEFU


A solemn event dedicated to the 120th anniversary of the creation of the world's first Department of Korean Literature in the Far East was held at Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU). A commemorative plaque was unveiled in the historical building of the Institute of Oriental Studies on Pushkinskaya Street.

The ceremony was attended by FEFU Vice-President for International Relations Victoria Panova, the Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Vladivostok, Mr. Oh Seonghwan, representatives of the FEFU Institute of Oriental Studies - School of Regional and International Studies, the Government of the Primorsky Territory and the Representative Office of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vladivostok.

“Far Eastern Federal University was a pioneer in the study of Korean culture and language. This year we also celebrate 30 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. All these years, the Republic of Korea has remained an important partner, a friend for us, and an interest in studying the country and Korean Literature at FEFU is growing every year. Today we have 190 people studying Korean as the main language. In addition, the number of Korean students enrolled in basic educational programs and exchange visitors is growing every year. I hope that the development of cooperation between our countries will continue further, and FEFU, as the leading educational institution in this part of Russia, will contribute to the process of strengthening relations”, said Victoria Panova, FEFU Vice-President for International Relations.

“Today is our special day. When the department was opened in 1900, it seems to me that no one could have imagined that Korean studies would become as popular as it is now. Last year, the exchange between our countries amounted to more than 8,000 people, and most of it occurs in the Russian Far East. I want to express my gratitude for the many generations of Koreans trained within these walls. Without this, it would be impossible to make such a leap. The first lecture on the Korean language took place at St. Petersburg State University in 1897, but the world's first Department of Korean Literature was opened at the Institute of Oriental Studies in 1900, a year after the opening of the Institute itself, so I am very glad to open this commemorative plaque today, in the year of the 120th anniversary of Department establishment said the Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Vladivostok, Mr. Oh Seonghwan.

“It is very pleasant and exciting to understand that a part of the Institute of Oriental Studies, a part of FEFU, is celebrating such a significant date today. 120 years ago, the foundation of the Department in Vladivostok laid an excellent foundation for the study of the Korean language and culture. Now our Department has become a leading center for the training of Korean studies, it employs the best professors who are recognized around the world. I am sure that the staff of the department and students, graduates of this direction will strengthen ties between countries and develop Russian-Korean relations", added Director of the FEFU Institute of Oriental Studies – School of Regional and International Studies Evgeny Pustovoit.

The Department of Korean Literature was opened under the leadership of Grigory Podstavin in 1900 in Vladivostok on the basis of the Institute of Oriental Studies, exactly one year after its foundation. At that time, it became the only institution in the world where the Korean language was taught professionally by qualified professors. According to experts at that time, this event became a breakthrough in Russian diplomacy and education and laid a solid foundation for the development of fruitful relations between the two countries.

Korean Studies and now remains a popular major at FEFU, the successor of the Institute of Oriental Studies. Despite the consistently high passing score, many applicants want to become the students of the Institute of Oriental Studies – School of Regional and International Studies. The majors of the School are gaining popularity every year: Russia's policy is more and more aimed at the East, International Relations in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region are expanding, and scientific, economic, and cultural ties are strengthening. Orientalists participate in the development of programs of cooperation and interaction with Asian states; represent the country's position in the design and implementation of global strategies for solving the "big challenges" of the APR. FEFU graduates work in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consulates General in the Russian Federation, and large companies in Asia.