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When Korea celebrated day with arts, culture feast

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja 06 January 2019   |   2:57 am

The visiting Korean musical group on stage

The 2018 Korean National Day came with a difference. Beyond the usual diplomatic talks, the country celebrated what it called Korean National Foundation with cultural festival. The myth, music and the food culture of the people took centrestage. 
For over two hours, a seven-man musical band invited from the People’s Republic of Korea for the special occasion, took the audience through Korean traditional folk music.Like every other culture, the musical content drew from daily issues while the style was a combination of Gyeoonggi minyo (Korean traditional folk music) and jazz.      
The leader of the band, Lee Hee-moon, who sustained the tempo throughout the performance, was described by Korean audience as the extraordinary folk singer whose performance never fails to surprise his people.Other members of the group include, the jazz band prelude Choi Jin-bae, the music director and bass singer, Ko Hee-an, who plays piano; Richard Rho, the tenor singer and saxophone player; as well as Han Woong-won, the drummer.Titles of some of the songs include, Widow’s Prayer, Cloudy Days in June and July, Difficult Love, Like This, Like That, Songs for the Youths and Sail the Boat.


In the course of the performance, each member of the band was assigned a visual idea and a unique storytelling method through music and dance.The musical group, which was visiting Nigeria for the first time, was acclaimed the best in the art of blending traditional folk music and jazz.According to the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Lee In-tae, the evening was not just to commemorate the anniversary of the Korean Foundation, but was also an opportunity to share the experience of Korean culture and heritage with Nigerians and other guests
“It was also to promote a more cordial and stronger ties between Korea and Nigeria”, he added.The ambassador also took out time to explain the myth surrounding Korea’s national foundation.According to him, “the heavenly prince came down to the earth because he loved the mankind so much. He built the first nation of the Korean people with an idea to benefit all humankind.
“The ideal he brought was the mission we all share, not just as diplomats but as humans. We are all devoted to defeat hunger and poverty, check humanitarian crises and build more prosperous community.“I am proud to be a member of this devoted group and I hope that our motto, ‘to benefit all humankind’ can resonate in our hearts for our days to come in this country and beyond”, he said.
The envoy disclosed that the day also marked the 38th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Korea and Nigeria. He was elated that both countries have maintained cordial relationship in the past years.“Korea will continue to make its utmost effort to strengthen the mutually beneficial relationship with Nigeria, including the cooperative partnership with the state governments.
“As we witness a new prospect of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula with recent development envisaged in the inter-Korean talks, we hope our friends here today will show support to the renewed efforts towards achieving peace and prosperity on the Peninsula and beyond.”

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2018 Korean National Day
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