I attended the Korean Culture Show, which was a non-IA event, on Friday, February 2. This event consisted of various performances from traditional Korean fan dances to modern kpop dances. I really enjoyed this event since it reminded me of home and a lot of my friends were the ones that either planned KCS or were performing. In Korea, there are always talent shows like this from elementary school to high school when we go on annual 3-day field trips. It felt like watching an upgraded version of those trip talent shows. It also made me proud of my origin and culture seeing not only Koreans, but students of diverse races and ethnicity enjoying and performing our traditional and modern dances.
Before the start of the show, the Korean flag was projected on the screen and we sang our national anthem, “Aagukga”, which I hadn’t sang since I was in middle school. I’m so glad they decided to include this as a part of the program. The first act of the show focused more on singing and the traditional arts while the second act focused on kpop. There was an all-girls’ fan dance group that danced to a beautiful traditional music. The OSU Taekwondo team also performed the traditional martial arts. They organized various scenarios and matched it with music, which made the act more exciting. A local Samul-nori team also came. Samul-nori is like a band dressed up in traditional Samul-nori clothes and playing traditional instruments. The instruments don’t have multiple pitches like the piano or guitar does, so you basically play with the different beats to create music. It’s a way our ancestors used to have fun playing book, janggu, sogo, quanggari, etc hundreds of years ago. I learned how to play janggu when I was little, and it brought me back so many memories. It might be a little too loud and confusing at first, but it’s energetic and fun once you start understanding how it works. There were also other teams that performed in singing, piano and violin, kpop dance, and even break dancing. But the highlight of this event was probably QoA and TPOK’s performances in the second act. The quality of their performances and the fans’ chants reminded me of an actual kpop idol’s concert. QoA, a girls’ kpop dance group under KSA(Korean Student Association), performed various songs from the so-called original kpop song, “Into the New World” by Girl’s Generation, to boy’s kpop dances. They had different outfits prepared for each song and it seemed like they put in a lot of effort in preparing for each one of them. Following QoA’s performance, TPOK put up a breathtaking act as well. TPOK is a boy’s dance group under KISO(Korean International Student Organization). I know both of these groups put in a lot of effort because I have a couple of friends in these groups. They practiced every day until the union closes, and I felt so proud of my friends that worked so hard to put on those amazing performances.
KCS was an event that not only was fun but also made me proud of my home country’s music and culture.