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Harmony between Korean and International Culture
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[149호] 승인 2018.12.10  
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Have you ever heard of Itaewon in Seoul? Have you ever visited Itaewon? Many people know Itaewon as a place where many foreigners live. The Itaewon Global Village Festival 2018 was held from Oct. 13 to Oct. 14 of this year. The UOS Times went to the festival.

Introduction to the Itaewon Global Village Festival 2018

Many visitors to the Itaewon Global Village Festival

The Itaewon Global Village Festival is a representative festival of Seoul that has been held every autumn since 2002. The Itaewon Global Village Festival?has stimulated the Itaewon area and attracted tourists, combining traditional Korean culture with Itaewon’s international culture. This festival consists of various cultural exchange programs that change every year, including a world food zone and traditional Korean art performances. This festival also includes K-pop concerts and national promotion booths, as well as the Itaewon Global Parade, which was participated in by almost 800 people. The slogan of the Itaewon Global Village Festival 2018 was “Let’s Beat, Itaewon!” which includes three programs: “Elegance of World Culture,” “Excitement of Korean Culture” and “Beat of Youth in Itaewon.” This year, the festival is composed of exciting programs that promote the identity of Itaewon, which embraces various cultures and festivals from around the world.

Featured Programs

“Elegance of World Culture”

World food zone chef

The “Elegance of World Culture” program was composed of more than 30 participating embassies, including those from Congo, Ecuador, Brazil and Cambodia. It also included World Culture performances, the Itaewon Global Parade, National Promotion Booths, the World Food Zone and the Craft Beer Zone.

“Excitement of Korean Culture”

Turkish kabob and German sausage

The “Excitement of Korean Culture” program showed everyone about the excitement of Korean culture. From Poomsae, Defeat, and a martial arts performance by Kukkiwon to a traditional Korean art Beokku dance performance and a Korean food zone, this program helped people experience the excitement of Korean culture.

“Beat of Youth in Itaewon”
This was a program emphasizing the beat of youth through music in Itaewon. There were concerts for the opening and closing ceremonies at which various singers participated, including Dynamic Duo. Lots of programs attracted young people to Itaewon. The Itaewon DJ party, B-Boy battles sponsored by G-shock with Jinjo crew, an Itaewon Fashion show and Itaewon busking made the streets of Itaewon crowded with youth. In addition to these events, this program was composed of various spectacles including a Cultural Experience Zone and an Orchestral Performance by Maron Wind.

Festival course

Writing down family motto

When we arrived at Itaewon on the first day of the festival, many foreigners and Koreans were waiting from the entrance to Itaewon Station to see the festival. When I got out at Itaewon Station, the smell of food filled the street.?Following these aromas, the World Food Booths appeared in fr ont of us. Various cuisines of the world such as Turkish, Indian, Sri Lankan and German food were lined up to stimulate the eyes and mouth. The World Food Booth was run by actual business establishments within the Itaewon Tourism Special District and members of the Itaewon Tourism Alliance. ?As the stores in the Itaewon Tourism Special District operated the booths, those booths offered very hygienic and delicious food. Countless people lined up at the World Food Booths to taste various foods and beer from all over the world. So, we tried Turkish kabob and German sausage at the World Food Booths. Then we visited the Cultural Experience Zone, which consisted of activities operated by the Yongsan-gu Office. It took a long time to experience Korean traditional culture such as the Yongsan Village Center, the Yongsan Craft Center, writing down your family motto, and wearing Hanbok. Koreans as well as foreigners were standing in line to write down their family mottos. They were visiting booths to buy various Korean cultural products such as beautifully designed rubber shoes. After seeing the Cultural Experience Zone, we moved to nearby Itaewon Station to enjoy a DJ party. Countless people gathered near Itaewon Station to enjoy the DJ party at the Itaewon Global Village Festival 2018. A DJ created an increasingly exciting atmosphere thanks to the response of many people, who danced with the music. So, the first day of the Itaewon Global Festival 2018 came to an end.

Dancing the folk dances in the World Culture Performance

On the second day of the festival, we moved to Itaewon early to look around the National Promotion Booths, which we had not visited the previous day. At the National Promotion Booths, various countries including Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Peru were selling souvenirs and traditional musical instruments. Many Koreans and foreigners were looking around the National Promotion Booths to buy various items from all over the world. Then we went to see B-boy battles on stage in front of the Itaewon 119 Safety Center. A lot of B-boy teams participated in the event, and there were a lot of people in the audience watching the battles. After that, we moved to the Korean Food Zone. Unlike the World Food Zone, the Korean Food Zone was run by a team of volunteers from the residents of Yongsan-gu. The Korean Food Zone was crowded with foreigners who wanted to experience Korean food.?Walking down through the Korean Food Zone, we found a main stage, where people were dancing for the final round of the World Culture Performance. It was a unique experience because we saw foreign folk dances that we ordinarily cannot see unless we go abroad. At this festival we were able to experience foods and culture from all over the world. It is difficult to experience foreign culture and meet various foreigners in Korea. However, this festival helped us understand foreign culture because it allowed us to experience various cultures from all around the world all at once.

Itaewon is a unique area where many foreigners live, and where Korean culture and international culture coexist. The Itaewon Global Village Festival, which reflects the local characteristics of Itaewon, has become a representative festival in Seoul where many people can experience both Korean traditional culture and international culture. If our readers have a chance to go The Itaewon Global Village Festival next year, The UOS Times highly recommends a visit to this festival!

Park Jun-young

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