At last, the post on that Festival of Korean Culture that I attended in the end of May. Actually this will be a three part “series”, because there are a lot of interesting pictures (even if there weren’t, the post would be too long, anyway). So, on this first part, I’ll focus on outlining the event and talking about what I did on Saturday. The second part, will deal with a few of the exhibitions held during the festival and other things that I was able to check out on Sunday. The last part will be the K-pop one, as the Festival was packed with K-pop fans and K-pop music and K-pop dance groups and all things K-pop!
Before leading you to my account of what happened, I have to say that all photos here were taken by me. They’re not good ’cause I suck at photography, but if you still feel like reposting any of them for any reason, just link them back to this post, please. =)
Now, click below for the full text and loads of pictures and enjoy!
The 6th Festival of Korean Culture took place in Bom Retiro, a neighbourhood in São Paulo known for accommodating not only Korean immigrants, but Bolivian and, back in the day, Jewish ones, too. The event was held over a weekend in the end of May (21st and 22nd) and, despite being autumn, the weather was amazing and not cold at all.
I went there with some people from my class after our Korean lessons had finished, and the presentations on the main stage had already begun at that point. Fortunately, we got there just in time to see a couple girls from our class perform (they are part of some K-pop dance group). The nicest thing was seeing a lot of ladies donning hanboks, the traditional Korean dress, all around us, like the female MC that presented the acts in Portuguese (the guy would only speak in Korean, as far as I remember), and a bunch of lovely ladies that were by the stage waiting to perform.
This big stage was set up in the beginning of Lubavitch St. and it was where all the main acts performed. The group below presented a traditional genre of Korean music known as Samulnori (it means something like ‘played with four objects/instruments’; songs are played with two different sizes of gongs, a janggu – the hourglass-shaped drum in the pitcures – and another type of drum). I didn’t get to watch the whole thing, but what I watched was pretty amazing. I made no video, but found this and this from the same Festival. It’s a different group, I think, and they did a performance with b-boys, but you’ll get the idea.
Besides the main stage, there was also a small one on the outer part of a cultural centre nearby, but I guess it was only used for K-pop presentations. Inside this building, there were also the exhibitions I mentioned earlier and which will be dealt with on the second part of this “series”.
So let’s go back outside, to the street, where the food and drink stalls were. Most of them, obviously, served Korean food, but there were also a few with Brazilian, Chinese and Japanese dishes.
By the way, is it just me or that lady in the picture just above this is wearing her apron on the wrong side?
Anyway, as one can gather from these pictures, there were quite a few delicious choices in the food department. A lot of my friends ate ddeokbokki, a dish made with rice cake and seasoned with gochujang, that red chilli paste, but I was nursing a sick stomach, so I stuck with the kimbap. As far as I could see, on this outer part of the Festival, there was no regular bulgogi (I mean the beef one) or even kimchi to be found. We could only find some duck bulgogi, which, according to my teacher, is not all that usual. Eventually, we did find a place with kimchi, but I’ll talk about this one on the second part.
Before wrapping this part up, I wanted to show something really cool that was going on in the cultural centre: a couple men were writing people’s names with the Korean alphabet! That was, by far, the most crowded place inside and there was a queue for getting something written. In the pictures below, you can see him writing my name and my classmate’s name. Pretty fun and it definitely got people interested. I hope they visited the room with the history of the language and alphabet after that, because it’d be a great way to tie it all together, wouldn’t it?
Check parts 2 and 3 (coming soon)!