Hawaii, birthplace of early immigration
Hawaii is the first stopover for Korean immigrants to the United States, and it is a historic place for Korean Americans. It began on January 13, 1903, more than 20 years after the Korea-US Treaty of Friendship and Trade between Korea and the United States was signed, when 102 Koreans officially set foot on Hawaiian soil.
The ordeal of the early immigrants was exacerbated by the pain of losing their country in addition to the common labor pains their family suffered as early immigrants, either as workers on a Hawaiian sugar cane plantation or as photo bridesmaids.
Hawaiian Immigrant Ancestors and Their Descendants Contributed to the Independence Movement Despite the double physical and mental hardship, the early Korean immigrants on the sugar cane farm worked from dawn to evening.
Despite the fact that the monthly wage he received in return was $15, he willingly donated most of his hard-earned wages for the independence of his country after the annexation of Korea and Japan, laying the foundation for the independence movement of Korean Americans in Hawaii that started in Hawaii.
In addition, the national spirit and the spirit of overcoming the situation of the early Korean American immigrants who lost their country, who had to give up their dream of making money and returning to their homeland, are the driving force that led them to achieve success even as a minority in mainstream society based on the education of their descendants. has been With the blood, sweat, and patriotism of these early immigrants, more than 100 years later, 2.2 million Korean immigrants to the Americas have been created and are now becoming a large part of the mainstream society.
The Necessity of the Korean Cultural Center in Hawaii
It is unfortunate that the Korean American Cultural Center has not yet been established in Hawaii, despite many efforts to pass on the history of Korean immigrants to the Americas, patriotism, patriotic spirit, and national traditions that began in Hawaii, and to spread that culture to future generations as well as to other peoples. It is in reality. The Korean Cultural Center is like a home for Korean-Americans in Hawaii, and furthermore, it has the same meaning as a family home to all Korean Americans.
Compared to other ethnic groups living in Hawaii, the Chinese have not only 'China Town' but also a Chinese Cultural Center installed and operated there, the Philippines also has a Cultural Center, and in Japan, two cultural halls are already in operation. One of them, the Okinawa Cultural Center, has Okinawa Cultural Centers even in Hawaii, even though Okinawa became a vassal state of Japan at the end of the 19th century and is a nation without a country. This has been a challenge for Koreans who do not have a cultural center until today, after 100 years of immigration history, while all immigrants from other ethnic groups who came to the United States at the same time have a cultural center to inherit and promote their culture, tradition, and history. .
Purpose and utilization plan of Korean Cultural Center
While Korean groups centered on the Korean Association were discussing the necessity of establishing a cultural center several times, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Korean immigrants to the United States, the Hawaii Korean Cultural Center Construction Promotion Committee was formed in earnest. presented together.
1. A place of education for future generations
Used as a general Korean education center for Korean language, Korean history, tradition, and culture for future generations of Korean Americans born in the United States.
2. Educational venues for first-generation immigrant adults
It is used for English education, life information, liberal arts lectures, cultural events, and conference halls of various Korean groups to help them adapt to life as immigrants to the United States, and also as a place for education, welfare and harmony for the first generation of immigrants.
3. A place of one-stop total service for Korean-Koreans
Professionals such as hospitals, law offices, accountants, and various Korean-related companies necessary for daily life have moved in and used it as a living space to raise the operating funds required after the establishment of the Hawaii Korean Cultural Center and at the same time promote the convenience of Korean Americans.
4. Venue for cultural events and large gatherings
The Hawaii Korean Cultural Center is used as a museum and exhibition hall to inform the history of Korea, Korean immigration history and patriotism in Hawaii.
5. A place to promote Korea to mainstream American society
Considering that their interest and passion for Korea has increased to the extent that the word Hallyu is written as “Hallyu” in English daily newspapers that the majority of Hawaii’s mainstream society reads, the mainstream society can provide information on Korean culture, history, language, and excellent products. It is used as a place for education and publicity to inform the public about the country, and at the same time serves as a bridge connecting the Hawaiian mainstream society and present-day Korea.
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