By Yerin Kim |Staff Writer|
The Korean Festival 2015 crashed a cultural wave, providing the campus community a unique and intimate opportunity to experience Korean culture on May 1.
The Korean Culture Club (KCCS), Korean Students Association (KSA), and Korean Language tutors organized the event with the help of professors Bomi Hwang and Donman Kim.
The collaborative event was free, sponsored by the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, the Center for International Studies and Programs, the Asian faculty, staff, and student association.
The Korean Festival included traditional Korean cuisine and a variety of performances, such as a live band, a string quartet, K-pop dancing, and traditional Korean vocal performance.
The festival started with a live band performance in the Lower Commons. The band, formed by both Korean and domestic students, performed K-Pop songs from soft ballad, to R&B, and rap.
The authentic Korean cuisine, Bibimbap, was served as a bowl of rice topped with diverse vegetables, such as broccoli, zucchini, red cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and some protein foods like egg or meat, pepper paste sauce ‘Gochujang’, and sesame oil.
Bibimbap, known as healthy food for well-balanced nutrition, was prepared by Bibimbap Backpackers, a group of Koreans who travel the world to promote healthy Korean cuisine.
The dinner reception was followed by performances of music and dance in the Santos Manuel Student Union (SMSU) Theater. CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales, and Provost Andrew Bodman, Dean Emerita Eri Yasuhara visited and made remarks to celebrate CSUSB’s first Korean festival.
The showcase started off with a string quartet by the Cajon Ensemble, consisting of two violins, a viola, and cello, performing classic Korean songs.
A K-Pop dance crew, composed of Korean and domestic students, continued the exciting atmosphere within the theater.
Korean traditional performances constituted the second part of the showcase, represented by the Dooreh Troupe for the Traditional Korean Folk Art and Lee Young Nam Korean Dance School. Traditional percussion, dance, instrument, and vocal performances captured the audiences’ eyes and ears.
Especially, Samul-nori, the Korean folk music of four percussive instruments, was performed by the Dooreh Troupe for the Traditional Korean Folk Art, composed of Korean percussionists, featuring an internationally acclaimed master performer, Daeseung Kang.
“My favorite part is the percussion performance because of the amount of emotion and power that each person put into their instrument,” said student Robert Cortez.
The director of the Dooreh Troupe was Kang—selected by the Korean government as an “Intangible Cultural Asset (No 34)”—specializes in Kangryung Mask Dance, which is preserved in a specific province of Korea.
“I feel honorable to come and have performance today. I am proud to spread our traditional Korean music, Gukak, over the world,” said Kang.
The Korean festival ended up with a joyful finale with all the staff members on stage amid a storm of applause.
As the first cultural event of the Korean community, this festival provided a taste of the Korean cultural spirit, exposing them to the interesting and unique aspects of the culture.
The Korean Festival 2015 marked the beginning of a cultural exchange between CSUSB and the Korean community.
Hopefully, the festival will return next spring and become an annual tradition.