Fifty years from now, someone in Korea might complain that Syrians who practice Taekwondo have committed an act of Cultural Appropriation.
We sometimes forget that not every exchange is a robbery. Very often, it is a deliberate gift from one individual acting with enormous agency.
The thing about cultural heritage is that everyone who belongs to the culture owns it equally, and is equally entitled to sell or gift it to others. They paid the price of admission by being raised in the culture. And it is impossible to limit the number of times that valuable knowledge or ideas can be shared and imitated, especially if the gift of culture willfully includes the permission to spread these ideas.
This Korean school could have powerful, long-term impacts on Syrian society and culture, and that would be an intentional outcome of the time and money spent to make this cultural gift possible.
Click the image to watch the movie. It’s worth the two minutes.