South Korean farm tunes played in Hanoi

The annual "Vietnam-Korea Cultural Friendship Road" festival, which garnered an impressive attendance of over 150,000 spectators in its previous edition, is set to take place on December 2-3.

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The traditional Nongak (“farm music”) dance of South Korea will be one of the highlights of this year’s “Vietnam-Korea Cultural Friendship Road” festival.
With the theme “The Friendship Road”, the festival will be held from December 2 to 3 at Tran Van Lai Street, My Dinh-Song Da Urban Area, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi.
Nongak is a dance combining traditional wind instruments with a percussion orchestra, a typical Korean performance art inscribed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2014.

People perform Nongak to pray for a bountiful harvest. Photo: KTO

In addition to Nongak, the audience will enjoy the unique Korean drum dance art (Samulnori), also known as “the play of four things”. Samulnori creates many folk-like rhythms that fully depict the agricultural life of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) of Korea.

Speaking on behalf of the organizing board, Chang Eun Sook, President of the Korean People’s Association in Hanoi, said that Samulnori and Nongak have a strong and energetic rhythm that carries the Korean cultural identity. That is why the organizer chose these two art forms to introduce to the Vietnamese public.

This year’s event is expected to have about 100 booths, offering many cultural and culinary experiences, displaying unique products, and promoting the image of Vietnamese-Korean agencies and businesses. Some large booths belong to the Korean Embassy, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) in Vietnam, the Korean Cultural Center, Woori Bank, and Samsung.

On December 2, the opening ceremony will be held with musical performances by popular young singers such as Hoang Ton and Liz Kim Cuong from Vietnam and classical music groups Pilgrim and Lieblings from South Korea.

The second day of the event will feature performances by a Korean traditional instrument group, a Korean b-boy dance group, and most notably, the legendary singer Wax.

Chang Eun Sook, President of the Korean People’s Association in Hanoi, speaks to the media on November 21. Photo: Ngo Minh/The Hanoi Times

Korean singer Chang Eun Sook will perform music that evokes nostalgia and beautiful memories. This is a gift from the organizing board to the Korean community living in Hanoi.

The organizing committee hopes the program will become a cultural event that symbolizes harmony between the two countries and promotes the development of the My Dinh-Song Da area, known as the “Korean Quarter in Vietnam”.

The organizer also hopes the event will become a magnet for Korean and Vietnamese tourists, especially young people, to engage in cultural exchange and friendship.