Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Delegates and Students from Our Sister City Make Themselves at Home

Are you familiar with Sister Cities International, a program that originated with the Eisenhower administration? “It is a non-profit citizen diplomacy network which seeks stronger economic and cultural ties at the municipal level between the US and international communities.” The citizens of Snoqualmie, together with the people of Gangjin, South Korea, have formed a lasting bond, which is being strengthened by visits between the two cities.

Recently, the Northwest Railway Museum had the honor of showing 33 students and delegates from Gangjin, plus Mayor Matt Larson, Sister Cities Board Member, Tina McCollum and Gangjin city representative, Gil Jae Oh, the view from a coach window, aboard the Museum’s antique railway. Stops were made at Bridge 35 in North Bend, at the Conservation and Restoration Center on Stone Quarry Road, at Snoqualmie Falls and at the Snoqualmie Depot. At the CRC, the group had a tour by Richard A. and especially admired a Northern Pacific boxcar with the monad (or yin yang) symbol freshly painted on it. The monad can be found in several places throughout history, but the Korean students recognized it from their national flag. Northern Pacific regarded it not merely as a good luck symbol but also as a symbol of good transportation.

The Sister Cities Association is working to forge strong relationships between countries and individuals. By sharing our cultures and information about educational and economic practices, we can foster understanding, peace and prosperity between our two cities and in the world as part of a larger global effort. Here is a chance to see life through another’s eyes, to gain a sense of their perspective. The program offers diverse groups the opportunity to learn from each other, and gives all who participate a wider window on the world we share.

(In attached photo by Tina McCollum, left to right in front: Hye Jin Yun, Jeong Min Lee, Min Seon Jung, and Hwa Yeon Kim. At the back, Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson, and Gangjin Education Director Seon Gil Kang)

No comments: