silk road

silk road

Reviving Korea's Silk Road path

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Historically, the Korean Silk Road was a major cultural trade route that linked the country with the West... during the Silla dynasty. Ji Myung-kil reports on how some 150 local university students and academics have started their own journey along the famed road... to follow the path taken by their ancestors. The Korean Silk Road was at the center of cultural interaction linking traders, merchants, pilgrims and monks from Korea to the Mediterranean Sea during the Silla Kingdom, when the capital was located in Gyeongsangbuk-do province. "Last year, Gyeongsangbuk-do province initiated the Korean Silk Road Project as part of an effort to revive the historical route to boost trade and to expand cultural exchanges like the Korean Wave." A ceremony was held Tuesday in the southeastern port city of Pohang, signaling the start of the 45-day Korean Silk Road trip. "The students' journey using the sea route will take them to a total of 9 countries, including China, Malaysia and India before their final destination of Iran. Along the way, students will visit historical sites and hold cultural exchanges." At their first destination in Guangzhou, China... students will attend a symposium on promoting cultural ties between Korea and China. Students will donate the model of a Silla crown to a Chinese museum as a symbol of their friendly ties. "In India, we will explore the foot paths of Korean Buddhist monk Hyecho... the first Korean monk who traveled to India. We will install a monument to commemorate him in the Sarnath grasslands." The trip will help students better understand how the Silla Kingdom was able to flourish culturally and economically using the Korean Silk Road to blend foreign influences with Korean traditions and ideas. It's also intended to revive such a spirit in this generation... so they can better utilize the Silk Road routes to help boost Korea's competitiveness on the global stage. Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News. Pohang.