On Saturday, February 2nd, I attended the Ohio State Korean Student Association’s “Korean Culture Show” in the Performance Hall at the Ohio Union. KSA also partnered with KISO (Korean International Student Organization), which partners with them annually to host “the largest festival of Korean culture!”
The event consisted of ten scheduled performances that, in some shape or form, portrayed an aspect of Korean culture. I was absolutely blown away by the huge number of people who had shown up and were supporting their friends and just having a great time in general!
The first act I watched upon arrival was called “Taekwondo.” The performers on stage were a part of OSU’s oldest martial arts club, founded in 1973. I thought it was very interesting how the group of members seemed to be very diverse. This aspect of Korean culture was already familiar to me beforehand because I had taken classes for about two years. However, it was so cool to bring back memories of the time I spent with Taekwondo and see the performers really enjoy what they were doing.
The second act I watched was titled “Jam.” The duo consisting of Jina Jeong and Myung-Ho Chung accompanied/sang to Narsha’s “I’m in Love,” which combined English phrases with Korean lyrics. The singer had a lovely voice and the song really emphasized the various sounds of the Korean language, which was very interesting to me.
Before the intermission, I saw a breakdance act titled “Hay” perform. “Hay” stands for Hungry Asian Youngtaz, a group of young people who “overcome background differences with a common love for breakdance.” Every single dancer had unbelievable skills, making them one of my favorite performances of the night.
During intermission, I got to talk to my friend Angela, who was actually managing large portions of the event. She was the person who convinced me to come out to the event and it was so great to see all of her hard work and a portion of her life that I did not know too much about.
After intermission, I had the pleasure the hear my friend Alex play the violin to the rhythm of some of K-pop’s biggest hits along with an amazing pianist, Tess Kim. The performance was so well executed and the staging/lighting was incredibly dramatic and professional.
I absolutely love any type of event where I can have the opportunity to learn about new cultures that excite me. The animated crowd and diverse audience made the experience even more enjoyable and wholesome. In addition, filmed video segments would play between almost every performance. Although they were all comedic and not always understandable from my side of things, it was so interesting to see Korean pop culture references and self-acknowledged stereotypes parodied in hilarious ways. For example, one segment portrayed a guy making a face mask out of milk, tofu, icing, and yogurt in order to achieve more pale skin. In another segment, noodle and rice bowls from Bibibop were prepared and judged by a panel.
I am so happy I attended this event and I definitely wish to attend similar events in the future!