One Love, Korean style

Observer writer

Sunday, November 05, 2017

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Korean and Jamaican culture came together at the Mona Vistor's Lodge in St Andrew recently for the celebration of Korean National Day.

“I am very honoured to host my first National Day reception here in Jamaica, the beautiful nation of land of wood and water. Above all, I congratulate Jamaica for its 55th anniversary of independence this year. And I thank Jamaica for its 55 years of cooperative partnership with Korea since our diplomatic ties in 1962, the same year of Jamaica's independence. We look forward to an increasingly stronger partnership with Jamaica,” Young Gyu Lee, head of mission of the Republic of Korea to Jamaica told the Jamaica Observer.

Korean National Day is used to commemorate the rich history and culture of the Asian country.

Specially invited guests were treated to music, videos and photographs that highlighted the country's history and traditions. However, the main event was the performances by several groups including Korean Language School in Jamaica, St Andrew High School, the International Youth Fellowship, and local K-Pop dancers Pop Dynamics.

The St Andrew High School provided a cultural mix of a dance number to Arirang — traditional Korean music — and a rendition of Bob Marley's One Love. Pop Dynamics also danced up a storm with routines to several K-Pop hits.

The standout of the night was IYF, who brought their energy and award-winning talents to their three appearances on stage. Their taekwondo dance fused pop music with the aerobatics of the sport. Their second performance, Sorrow, mixed Korean traditional dance with modern dance music. But it was their closer a near perfect interpretation of Psy's Gangnam Style, received a standing ovation and had guests dancing along.

Gyu Lee invoked the spirit of the event by referencing several Jamaican cultural icons.

“We followed, in our own way, an educational adage from one of Jamaica's most revered heroes, the Most Honourable Marcus Garvey. He points out that it is by education that we become prepared for our duties and responsibilities in life. We strongly agree with his idea then and now. So what we did was to rigorously embark upon educating our citizens to make them prepared for their duties and responsibilities in life as Garvey insightfully advised us to do. And so, today, 50 years later, we have attained remarkable economic and democratic success which, I believe, we owe to our cultivated human capabilities. And we continue to strive and step up in life and go for what is ours like the Jamaican singer Shinehead urges us to strive in his song,” he said.




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