(From left) First row: Penang State Exco for Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage (PETACE) representative Bernard Loke, HCUC Deputy Vice Chancellor Jenny Khoo, HCUC Vice Chancellor Dr. Beh Kok Hooi, H.E. Don Diego Velasco von Pilgrimm, Dr. Raden Ayu Ambara Baratawidjaja and Ambassador’s associate Chief Governance Officer Azita Azizan are taking group photos with students after the engaging sharing session.
By Winnie Oon
Han Chiang University College of Communication (HCUC) had the privilege of hosting the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Chile to Malaysia, H.E. Don Diego Velasco von Pilgrimm and his wife Dr. Raden Ayu Ambara Baratawidjaja in a cultural engagement session held for the HCUC students and staff.
The Ambassador walked through the 150 HCUC participants about Chilean culture, its history and the collaborative mosaic art community project engaging the participants in a productive conversation pertinent to intercultural exchange.
Diego hopes that the signature Chilean craftisan mosaic art can serve as a diplomatic promotional tool to enhance Chile-Malaysia bilateral relations by showcasing the historical connections between both countries.
“If you know at least some parts about the culture of a country, you will notice immediately that you are feeling closer and empathetic towards others. It doesn’t matter if you don’t speak their language,” Don Diego stressed the importance of cultural exchange in building diplomatic relationships.
The jovial ambassador and his wife glistened the day with their graceful demonstration of Chile’s national dance La Cueca and traditional anthem Si Vas Para Chile, marking the undisputed highlight of the entire sharing session.
His Excellency and his wife were also impressed with the exhibition displayed in the Chinese Heritage Centre during a guided campus tour led personally by HCUC Vice Chancellor Dr. Beh Kok Hooi and HCUC Deputy Vice Chancellor Jenny Khoo Gim Hoon. The dignitaries adore Penang as a time capsule that survived from the cultural revolution which has well-preserved its unique historical inheritance as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Cultural engagement like this will not only widen our knowledge, but will also foster great relationships and mutual respect for each other’s culture. Therefore we hope that the relationship between HCUC and the ambassador of Chile will continue to flourish and grow strength to strength for many years to come,” said Dr. Beh Kok Hooi.
Joel Lim Wei Jie， Year 1 Semester 1 student from Diploma in Mass Communication was quite surprised when the ambassador opened the souvenir given to him on the spot, a different cultural experience for him.
“If I ever had the chance, I would visit to experience the country’s amazing culture, song and nature of this place,” he added.
Meanwhile, Jason Bea, Year 1 Semester 2 student from Degree of Multimedia Design had a strong impression of a culturally rich country with the traditional Chilean dance.
Those who are interested to join in the collaborative mosaic art community project can visit the second floor of Penang Science Cluster in Georgetown, Penang. The project is open to the public every day from 9am to 6pm.
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