Festival promotes Korea-Thai cultural exchange

Korea and Thailand recently held a joint culture festival in Bangkok, the "Thailand-Korea Friendship Festival 2013." The two-day festival was held at Central World in downtown Bangkok on November 23 and 24. 

The festival began on November 23 with a traditional dance performance titled "TAMU." It featured Korea’s famous folk song "Arirang" and a traditional Korean drum performance. 

Various hanbok outfits, traditional Korean attire, captured festival goers' eyes during the event’s fashion show. Spectators appreciated the beauty of the traditional garments worn by some 30 Thai models, including former beauty pageant winner and celebrity Pongchanok Kunklab and famous actor Akkaranat Ariyaritvikul. 

K-pop performances received the most praise at the festival. Popular Korean ballad singer Jo Sungmo delighted people by giving a small concert on the first day. The next day, Korea’s newest five-member boy band The Boss gave a wonderful stage debut for their Thai fans. 

A martial art show also took place, grabbing the audience’s attention. There were demonstrations of the ancient Thai martial art Muay Thai by students from the Sornsin School and of Korea’s well-known martial art taekwondo by "Black Leopard," a group of Donga University students. 

A Korean food show entertained people’s taste buds by demonstrating cooking methods of popular Korean dishes such as bulgogi, grilled marinated beef, haemul pajeon, a seafood scallion pancake, and japchae, a type of stir-fried noodles with vegetables. 

This festival featured popular Thai celebrities including famous male singer and actor Mike Pirat Nitipaisalkul, actress Aom Sushar Mayaying and female singer Rose Sarinthip. A famous Thai cover dance boy band, the Millennium Boy Group, and Korea's Rainbow Choir also performed at the two-day cultural event. Mike Pirat Nitipaisalkul and Aom Sushar Mayaying are the main actor and actress from the Thai version of the TV drama "Full House." It will be aired from this December and is based on the original Korean drama of the same name that aired in 2004. The Millennium Boy Group is an award-winning cover dance boy band which recently won a K-pop cover dance competition held in October 2013 in the Korean city of Gyeongju. The 12-boy band is popular in both Thailand and overseas and has a 90,000-strong international fan club. The Rainbow Choir is composed of about 30 children from multicultural Korean families. Their national backgrounds include China, Japan, Thailand, Nigeria, the Philippines, the United States, Canada, France, Russia and Uzbekistan. 

This friendship festival was held with the theme of "Youth, The Key to The Future" to mark the 55-year-old Korea-Thailand diplomatic relationship. It was jointly hosted by the Korean embassy in Thailand and the Ministry of Culture of Thailand. It was jointly managed by the Korea-Thailand Communication Center and the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). 

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