By Park Si-soo
For human beings, summer is a thrilling season. Millions of Koreans escape from the hustle-and-bustle of daily life to enjoy their freedom under the blazing sunshine.
For dogs, however, it must be an appalling period as tens of thousands of chubby dogs are slaughtered for use in an energy-boosting meal.
Any sense of guilty?
An inaugural concert for puppies and dogs was held in Cheongdo, North Gyeongsang Province, Tuesday.
It marks ``Chobok'' ― the first of the so-called dog days in July-August when dog meat soup called ``boshintang'' is consumed nationwide as a traditional health food for summer.
The concert symbolizes the changing lifestyle of Koreans, with more and more men refraining from eating dog meat these days out of concerns at the content of boshintang.
Due to a lack of supply, boshintang sometimes contains other animal meat, including rabbit and cat. Sometimes ill and stray dogs are used for boshintang.
On the other hand, many young Koreans love to live with puppies and dogs as pets, and this new generation has grown up without eating dog soup.
A Seoul-based 64-member symphony orchestra and popular K-pop singers went to Cheongdo, 320 kilometers south of Seoul, to play in the unprecedented event, hosted by famous comedian Jeon Yoo-sung. Cheongdo ward office was the sponsor.
The 60-year-old comedian, now retired, is well known for his eccentric and norm-breaking repetoire.
``Dogs have sacrificed themselves a lot for humans. But we have done nothing for them. That's the reason for the event,'' Jeon said. ``I hope this event will help refresh their minds during the stressful season.''
Raising the curtain at 8 p.m. with the ``Light Cavalry Overture'' composed by Suppe, the orchestra played a variety of classical and contemporary music pieces, whose themes either originated from dogs or were helpful in consoling their ``sacrifice.''
The concert went on for about two hours under torrential rain.
To enter the venue, small dogs were required to wear a name tag, while wearing a muzzle was necessary for larger dogs, the office said.
``Among the music played were marching songs such as `Pomp and Circumstance' composed by Elgar, and others by Beethoven. This is to keep participating dogs from being disheartened so much during the season,'' Jeon said. ``I am considering making it an annual event.''