By Janet Curiel |Staff Writer|
Enriched with food, dance, traditional Korean performances and stunning attire, the Second Annual Korean Festival took us on a journey to experience the roots and future of Korean culture.
Presented by the Cross Cultural Center, the festival was held in SMSU on May 6, for a $5 entry.
Guests were greeted with a bowl of Bibimbap, a traditional food eaten since the 16th century, according to the presentation by the Bibimbap Backpackers.
Traveling to over 20 different countries and 40 cities, the backpackers are a group of young energetic advocates who aim to spread healthy eating habits by introducing healthy foods, especially Bibimbap through campaigns, catering and food trucks.
The bowls consisted of brown rice, ground beef, vegetables, and were served with sweet & spicy gochujang sauce and sesame oil.
Paired with Sueonggua, a cinnamon drink, which is a traditional Korean beverage, that gave a hint of sweetness to cool down the spiciness of the bowl.
“I love the fresh ingredients,” said student Christine Palma who attended the event, a former Korean language student, with her friend and fellow student Bernadette Barshga who both frequently eat at Korean restaurants and plan to travel to Korea in 2018.
After an appetizing dinner, the festival moved to the theater for some spectacular performances.
It kicked off with a lively and fun K-pop dance by students which got the crowd clapping to the music.
“We’re all K-Pop fans, and we all collectively chose the songs. We’ve been practicing for over a month, everyone has been working really hard,” said Tara Baskerville, the secretary for the Korean Culture Club and choreographer for the K-Pop dance team.
Then came a traditional percussion performance led by Dae Seung Kang, an internationally acclaimed master performer and director of the Doreh Korean Traditional Folk Troupe.
According to korea.net, Nongak is a form of traditional farm music that has now been Inscribed on the UNESCO Representatives list of the intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
A mixture of percussion, parades, dance
, and theater style performances had the audience in a trance to the beating drums throughout the night.
The Lee Young Nam Korean Dance School kept the audience in awe with the Yip Choon performance in beautiful red and black traditional dress, swaying ever so slowly in unison to the drum.
The wardrobe by Kim Me Hee Korean Dress Boutique were beautiful, both from afar and upclose, to appreciate the intricate details put into each piece.
One of the standout acts was singer Hyun Jung Sim, who performed a Korean traditional vocal performance of Pansori, followed by a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” in a blend of English and Korean language that truly embodied the fusion of American and Korean culture.
“I thought the composition of the entire program offered an upclose appreciation of the overall theme of the festival—colors, sounds, and texture of Korean culture—in an intimate setting,” said Professor Bomi Hwang, co-director of the event and teacher of Korean language at CSUSB.
For more information regarding Korean courses offered at CSUSB or the Korean Club, please contact Professor Bomi Hwang at [email protected].