Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Haechi" as New Symbol of Seoul?

It is not only the city of Seoul, but South Korea and the Korean peninsula more generally that has an "image problem." I will address this problem in much more detail through posts on this blog, but wanted to share with you the latest effort to address the image problem. In today's Korea times, an article reported that "As corporate identify (CI) is used to upgrade corporate image, the city wants the new symbol to become the city's new icon and contribute to boosting the capital's international image. The Mayor of Seoul is quoted as saying that "Despite the scale and reputation of Seoul, we don't have any representative symbol. We've selected Haechi as the symbol and we hope it will promote the city internationally.'' The Mayor wants Haechi to become like the Big Apple of New York, Merloin in Singarpore and Buddy Bear of Berlin. The city made the selection after six months of preparation, including various surveys and public hearings. Most respondents picked Gyeongbok Palace as a representative icon of the city but the city chose the palace's guardian Haechi for its practical variations along with its historical characteristics." I commend the Mayor and the City of Seoul for recognizing the problem. However, is this how Seoul wants to be represented in the media around the world, let alone cyberspace?

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