By Chung Ah-young
Various cultural events related to Arirang, the traditional Korean folk song, will take place at the 3rd Sydney Koreatown Festival in Australia on Feb. 1.
The event will mark the first anniversary of the folk song's inscription on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list in December in 2012. The folk song has thousands of variations which have been handed down from generation to generation in various regions. It has also inspired numerous cultural genres such as films, novels and stage art as it expresses Koreans' unique sentiment of han," representing the pent-up distress and sorrow in the nation's tragic history.
The festival committee said that it will organize diverse cultural shows with the theme of Arirang in the Lunar New Year's celebration. A cross-cultural concert for Korea's Arirang songs and Australian aboriginal folk songs, along with an ensemble performance by members of Sydney Live Jazz, will open the festival.
The collaboration performance of the Australian folk instrument didgeridooand a Korean calligraphy demonstration by artist Lee Sang-hyun will be staged during the festival.
The festival participants, including artists, will take part in a flash mob and sing the folk song together.
The event will come to a finale with a concert by Australian brass band Hot Potato targeting those in the audience in their 20s and 30s.
Teddy Kim, a renowned entertainer in Korean Australian society there, will host the festival. He became famous among Koreans living in Australia after impersonating Psy last year.
"We want to promote hallyu in Australia, and Australian culture to Koreans. The festival will raise awareness about Korea's image and unite all of us here," said Lee Kang-hoon, president of the festival committee.