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Posted : 2013-05-20 16:25
Updated : 2013-05-20 16:25

“Korea Festivals” to span six countries


By Park Jin-hai


"Korea Festivals" are taking place in six ASEAN countries until Aug. 23.

The Korea Foundation (KF) officially launched the event Thursday with programs to promote Korean culture in Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The programs will comprise of classical Korean music, fusion music, contemporary dance, speech contests, lectures on Korean studies, and joint performances between Korean and local artists.

The festivals, in their second year following success in Brazil last year, will help boost the hallyu (Korean wave) boom in the Asian region, said an official of the foundation.

"After the first festival, Korea's "soft-power" index, that measures cultural influence, soared to 74.3 in 2012 from 60.7 in 2008," he said.

The non-profit group has been at the forefront of "public diplomacy," to heighten Korea's image in other countries, by holding various events to enhance mutual understanding.

"From last year, we have been carrying out academic and cultural events to introduce Korea in a comprehensive manner, focusing on mid-powers as our major target audience," said Yu Hyun-seok, president of the KF.

Yu, formerly a professor in international politics at Kyung Hee University, recently assumed the presidency, replacing Kim Woo-sang.

"ASEAN countries are our biggest trading partners in the region next to China. We expect the festivals to bolster our network with those countries," Yu added.

Artists participating in the pan-ASEAN program include the Seoul Chamber Society, Ensemble SINAWI, and Eunju SHIN and EDX2 dance companies.

Seoul Chamber Society will play classical music, while Ensemble SINAWI will add a modern touch to traditional Korean music. Eunju SHIN will mix and match traditional drum dances with hip-hop movements.

This year's festivals are paying special heed to exchange and communication with local people. While the first year's festival in Brazil was to introduce Korean culture, this year aims to be an expanded form that includes local artists in performances.

For the modern dance performance slated for May 28 in Yangon, Myanmar, Korean dancers will perform with Myanmar artists. Assemble SINAWI, known for improvisational performances, will also be joined by local artists in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.










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