by Indonesian Ambassador H.E. Nicholas T. Dammen
on the occasion of the Awarding Ceremony
of the 1st KEB Global Family Award
on June 24, 2009
Mr. Richard F. Wacker
Chairman, KEB Foundation,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank you for having me here today on this very auspicious occasion and for giving me an opportunity to deliver some encouragement remarks for the awardees of the KEB Global Family Award.
It is my great pleasure to see the distinguished awardees who successfully settle down in a foreign country with different culture, language and environment. They must have had a hard time in adapting to Korean society and trying their best to be accepted as a true member of family. It’s really great that they have managed an exemplary life as to be given the KEB Global Family Award, overcoming all the hardships.
Through their sincere efforts and devotion, I believe that mutual understanding has been deepened and made native Koreans engage them as true neighbors and members of Korean society.
I understand that the winners of the KEB Global Family Award were selected among a lot of candidates. So, I am very proud and happy that there are 2 Indonesian awardees in model family category and social service category.
I hear that nationwide, one out of eight marriages is mix married. This is an obvious sign that Korea is no longer a racially homogeneous nation and is well going forward to the multi-ethnic / multi-cultural nation like Indonesia.
Indonesia has approximately 240 million populations, consisting of about 300 ethnic groups that have their own languages and culture. Without the Indonesian national language “Bahasa Indonesia”, we can hardly communicate with one another. Due to this kind of cultural background, Indonesian people are used to live in cultural diversity and know well how to live together in harmony in the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society. Therefore we can share our accumulated experiences and knowledge with Korean people.
There is a very large Indonesian community in Korea at present comprised of students, workers and mix-married, and I notice that the multi-cultural families are on the rapid increase. As Indonesian government pays great attention to the change of Korean society, Indonesian Embassy is now making as much efforts as possible to support the stable settlement of Indonesian residents in Korea and promote equal opportunities and protection of their rights.
I hope today’s awardees will continue to give their warm heartedness and vitalities not only to their families but also to the communities they belong to so that Korean nationals could really appreciate the cultural diversity.
Last but not least, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the KEB Foundation’s kind attention on the welfare of the multicultural families in Korea. I wish the KEB Foundation the continued development and success in the years to come.
Seoul, 24 June 2009