With the summer season fast approaching,…South Korea is welcoming a variety of music festivals for weekenders. On Saturday, Korea’s Federation of Small and Medium Businesses teamed up with Arirang TV to showcase the 2017 Multicultural Music Festival at the country’s busiest amusement park. Our Kim Jung-soo was there to check it out. The Everland Theme Park in Yongin has long-helped visitors re-live their childhoods, but on Saturday, the venue served as the backdrop for a unique cultural event teeming with nostalgia. “This is the fourth annual festival we’ve organized. There are over 270-thousand foreigners working for Korea’s small and medium sized businesses. We are aware of their struggles and this event is a small token of our appreciation for their efforts and sacrifice.” The main attraction of the festival is eight performing groups comprised of foreign workers and their immediate families. They have come up with colorful names hinting at their cultural identity or musical inclination, such as ‘Asia Mom,’ or ‘Rush’. Prior to taking to the stage, the performers seemed anxious to see their months of hard work pay off. We are a group of women from five countries. We are showcasing Myanmar’s traditional dance. To all the workers who have left their homelands to work in Korea, I just want to tell them to be strong-minded and healthy. We are factory workers here in Korea…Tonight we’re gonna play a Korean-rock song from No-Brain. We are the Rainbow Samulnoli team. Our members came from the multicultural community center in Namyangju-city. We prepared every weekend for 2 months. They were also eager to share their experiences of adjusting to life in Korea. When we first came, it wasn’t easy learning the language, but we persevered and now we are living here happily. Over 1,000 people from the foreign workers’ community joined Saturday’s event. Also on the line-up were some of Korea’s leading K-pop groups, such as Dal Shabet or Pristin,… with many of them also featuring artists born in foreign countries such as Thailand. With the event winding down, the foreign workers are returning to their everyday lives in their second home. Hopefully they will cherish today’s experience for many days to come. Kim Jung-soo, Arirang News.
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