I am all about networking. Some people say it’s not what you know but who you know. And in Korea, that’s especially true if you’re a foreigner. It’s helpful to have a local by your side. They help you bridge the gap between having a few incredible experiences in Korea and immersing yourself in the culture and its people. The ladies of the Daegu International Women’s Association (or DIWA) are those peeps for me.
Daegu International Women’s Association
What is DIWA?
The Daegu International Women’s Association is a joint club of American and Korean ladies interested in each other’s culture, language, and friendships. Both clubs have their boards but collaborate on programming, luncheons, and cultural exchanges, like language, food, and traditions.
The History of the Daegu International Women’s Association
DIWA falls under the umbrella of the ICT, International Women’s Club, started in 1973 by one military spouse who wanted to foster a deeper relationship with her counterparts in the Korean community.
Who Can Join DIWA
Calling all Ladies
There are no rules as to who can join DIWA (BIWA or SIWA). If you have the 35,000₩ membership fee and the willingness and desire to meet new people, you should join in on the fun NOW!
Why You Should Join DIWA
One of the main reasons I chose Korea over Germany is DIWA. As a military spouse, I don’t often get the luxury of having established friendships everywhere my husband gets stationed. Korea is the one exception.
There is a chapter of my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., in Seoul, but I had several friends in DIWA from 5 years ago when I lived in Korea the last time. I can’t tell you how good it felt to know that there were a handful of ladies I could call. I hit the ground running from day 15- you know, after mandatory quarantine.
Every year DIWA awards scholarships to students graduating from Daegu Middle High School. This is an excellent opportunity to give back to your community and do something for yourself. The monthly luncheons, raffles, and donations make this possible and are greatly appreciated. This year’s deadline to enter is April 30th! Follow the link below to enter. Good luck, everyone. Follow this link to apply.
Clubs & Mini Groups
There are several mini clubs in DIWA. Note there may be additional fees associated, and the groups change from year to year. Some of the recent mini clubs have been centered around the following:
- Oil Painting
- English/ Korean Language
One of the most popular events are the monthly luncheons. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced us to cancel the January, February, and March luncheons. But we were able to meet at the Grand Hotel in Daegu for our April Luncheon.
The theme for April’s luncheon was a Korean spring tea ceremony. All the ladies looked beautiful in their brightly colored traditional dresses called hanboks.
We enjoyed making two teas together: green tea and the lovely lotus leaf tea. And while only a few ladies were lucky enough to win a new spring wreath in the raffle. We were gifted a lotus leaf teacup and handmade satchel for our own tea experiences at home.
So much of our lives are in constant flux these days. Organizations like the Daegu International Women’s Association are more crucial than ever. It is a chance to build real-life relationships that last, are meaningful, and change our lives forever.
It’s important to mention that not every interaction has resulted in a genuine relationship. And there is a real obstacle to the subtlety of both languages and cultures that is always present. You have to push through the discomfort for an actual cultural exchange.
And just like any other organization, real breakthroughs occur in small groups or one on one. I love dinner dates, cafe hopping, road trips, and hiking with my Korean friends— thanks to membership in DIWA.
Want more tips on how to make friends in Korea? Click Here to read more!