The Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in Astana on Nov. 16 hosted the concert “Beautiful Korea, Dynamic Busan” to mark the 10th anniversary of a strategic partnership formed between Korea and Kazkhstan. The 600 spectators who packed Astana Ballet Theater in Nur-Sultan cheered the traditional performing arts presented by the Busan National Gugak Center.
The concert went in the order of the performances “Chunhyangjun,” “Taepyeongso and Samulnori,” “Salpurichum,” the pipe solo “Sangryeongsan,” the traditional Korean folk song “Arirang,” the traditional Kazakh folk song “Dudarai,” and “Beokkuchum and Pungmulnori.” The visiting Korean troupe received thunderous applause from the audience when playing “Arirang” and “Dudarai” with traditional Korean instruments.
A member of the audience said, “It was very good to see traditional Korean music and dance together. I was especially impressed by ‘Dudarai’ played with traditional Korean instruments, and it was unlike other songs I’ve heard. I hope that the KCC will again hold an event like this that combines diverse performances.”
As a performing arts program of Korea Festival 2019 in Abu Dhabi, the show “Korean Music Night Part 2” on Nov. 7 had B.I.G becoming the first K-pop group to hold a solo concert in the Middle East. The boy band has seen enormous interest and support from the region through its covers in Arabic of the hits “LM3ALLEM,” “La Bezzaf,” “Boshret Kheir” and “3 Daqat” spread via social media.
Thanks to its high popularity in the Mideast, B.I.G on June 26 was invited to hold a congratulatory performance at Cheong Wa Dae during the official luncheon for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. The group’s efforts to learn the languages and cultures of other countries and link them to their activities are in line with the festival’s commemoration of the “Year of Tolerance.”
The next day, B.I.G held a fansign event at the KCC that included a quiz show and live performances. All 100 participants got autographs from the band members. B.I.G said, “We were able to hold our first concert in the Middle East thanks to big support from our Arab fans. We had hoped to visit the Arab region to meet Arab fans, and are very glad that we saw our dream come true.”
Global Korea II
Written by Korea.net Honorary Reporter Nourhan M. Eldemrdash from Egypt Photo courtesy of Korea.net
I am an Egyptian fan of traditional Korean arts and music. My interest began more than eight years ago, and I started learning about it online about three years ago. Though I started with “Arirang,” the most famous Korean folk song, I found more examples of such music on YouTube.
What attracted me the most, however, was a video of the folk story “The Tale of Shim Chung” that included a most beautiful song. I still remember how I felt when I first heard the song and learned about the story. Though I’d been interested in Korean culture for eight years, I’d never been as moved as I was when seeing that video. So I asked myself how could I find more related videos?
Through YouTube, I discovered the Korean band Vidan, which introduces traditional Korean culture through traditional Korean instruments. The band’s many videos and traditional stories are all accompanied by amazing songs. Moreover, all of the videos and stories are available in Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. I saw all of the group’s videos in one day and became a huge fan of Vidan.
Over the three years since I discovered the band, its songs are on my favorite playlist. I even won a Korean speech contest in 2018 through a presentation on the stories I learned from their videos. My dream was to see Vidan perform in Egypt, but never did I expect to see the group in Korea and sit in the first row of the theater. Funday Korea Networks held a year-end event by inviting 100 foreign nationals in Korea to attend a Vidan performance at Gwanghwamun Art Hall in Seoul.
No words could describe my feelings when I saw the group, and I couldn’t hold back tears when I saw the members step on stage. I had to remind myself that I wasn’t watching a YouTube video. I was also one of the lucky few to get a signed CD from Vidan. The extreme happiness I felt that day made it the best day of my life. I urge everyone to check out the group’s channel, enjoy its music, learn a lot from its videos and see a live performance as I did.
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