Festival celebrates Korea-Japan friendship

October 4, 2008 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Events, Other | Leave a comment
Yoo Jin-hwan, director of Korean Culture and Information Service

Yoo Jin-hwan, director of Korean Culture and Information Service

A festival to celebrate the friendship between Korea and Japan took place last weekend from Sept. 27 to 28. The joint celebration by the two countries at Seoul Plaza and Cheonggye Plaza – the heart of Seoul – has for the past three years served as a venue for cultural exchanges between two countries among their citizens, youths and regions.

Director Yoo Jin-hwan of the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOIS) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Japanese ambassador to Korea Toshinori Shigeie, Kim Young-un, chief of the Korea-Japan Cultural Exchange Council, and other dignitaries attended the event.

“This is the fourth festival to celebrate the 2005 year of friendship between Korea and Japan,” said Director Yoo in his congratulatory speech on Saturday. “I remember how joyful it was during the first friendship festival between Korea and Japan in Daehag-no, Seoul. It was encouraging to see the people of our two nations enjoy the event together, with arms around each other.”

“Back then we believed the festival to be a one-time event. But under the initiative to extend mutual understanding and create a bright and positive future, many in Korea and Japan have come together to keep the festival going every year. My heartfelt gratitude goes to those who have put so much passion and effort into making this possible,” he said.

The festival, which first began in 2005 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Korea and Japan, is now an annual event. For two days, Seoulites were able to enjoy only the best performances of both countries including samulnori (quartet percussion), pungmul (percussion) and other percussion plays of Korea, baton-twirling, drum performances and other ritual dances from Japan.

The performances began with a marching parade, and then alternated between Korean and Japanese troupes, boasting various types of drum dances, traditional dances, singing and concerts. The youth performance of gilnori (road play), Namsadang tightrope walking, Bukchon lion play from Korea and Akita Kanto and other traditional Japanese performances were featured on the first day.

To help people better understand the events, the organizing committees of the two countries also issued a booklet in Korean and Japanese with descriptions of the different troupes and their performances.

Japanese children performing festival dance

Japanese children performing festival dance

The closing ceremony was all about fireworks and other sparkling performances to light up the night sky. All the participants sang and danced a ganggang-suwollae (Korean traditional ring-a-ring dance) to wrap up the finale.

“I believe this festival helps to strengthen ties between the two nations and develop mature perspectives toward each other. I believe that such a friendship will help both sides overcome difficulties and become determined to continue maintaining close ties,” Director Yoo added.

A total of 450 performers in 25 art groups from Korea and 600 other performers in 26 art groups from Japan delighted the audience throughout the weekend.

Source: Korea.net
Credit: https://seoulfull.wordpress.com
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