Korean culture festival plays in Washington after two missed years

A K-pop dance team performs at the opening ceremony of the Korean Cultural Festival DC 2022 at the George Washington University in Washington on Monday. [YONHAP]

One of the largest overseas Korean cultural festivals in years kicked off on Monday in Washington, as Seoul’s culture minister vowed to take bilateral ties to the next level.

The Korean Cultural Festival DC 2022 runs through Nov. 1 in various locations across Washington, with many types of Korean performances and events including Taekwondo demonstrations, movie screenings and an arts and craft exhibit.

The Korean Embassy in Washington and Seoul’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism are the hosts.

In congratulatory remarks during an opening ceremony at the George Washington University on Monday, Culture Minister Park Bo-gyoon said 2022 celebrates the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and the United States, stressing that the 1882 Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation was the first international treaty Korea signed with a Western country.

Culture Minister Park Bo-gyoon delivers congratulatory remarks during the opening ceremony. [NEWS1]

“The two countries have maintained close and cooperative relations in various fields such as politics, economy, military and culture for 140 years,” Park said, “and based on that, Korea successfully achieved economic development.”

Park thanked U.S. forces for their sacrifices during the 1950-53 Korean War, saying that helped Korea grow into the cultural powerhouse it has become.

It’s the first time since 2019 that the festival is being held, with the past two years skipped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

All events are free and open to the public.

According to the Korean Cultural Center in Washington, the festival includes an arts and crafts exhibition featuring the work of artists who create textiles, clothing and other elements of a modern or traditional home using hanji, traditional Korean paper.

A special exhibition on the life and times of Korea’s first ministerial diplomatic representative to the United States is also being held, along with a literature night with Korean novelist Jeong You-jeong speaking on her books “Seven Years of Darkness” and “The Good Son.”

A three-day program will look back on Korean cinema’s rise to global prominence, with screenings of influential films that came from Korea or feature Korean talent over the past decade.

A joint performance between the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company and the Washington Ballet will also be held, with each company presenting original dance works showcasing their different styles.