Jung Ju-hwan Junior, Dept. of Science in Taxation firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you see the perfor-mance by South Korean singers in North Korea, “Oh, unified Korea,” on TV? As some people already know, there was a special concert on September 27th in Pyoung-yang, the capital of North Korea. A famous South Korean singer, Yoon Do-hyun, performed there together with several other prominent singers.
In the middle of the concert, Yoon Do-hyun suddenly started shedding tears, which became an issue for North and South Korea’s young generations. Watching the concert on TV, I felt warm tears in my eyes at that moment. In this article, I’d like to consider the true meaning of the tears the singers and I shared then.
On August 15th, about a month before this concert, this makes a link between your first paragraph and your paragraph about the August 15 celebrations.
There was a special co-celebration by the North and South Korean people to commemorate the Liberation day of Korea. At that time, many North Korean actors came to South Korea and they surprised most South Korean people with the appearance of their female actors, which was a little different from what we had expected.
Of course, they were gorgeous and had lots of traditional beauty; however, they also had the same image as South Korea’s beautiful women.
In other words, they were as stylish as South Korean or Western women. We realized that the old Korean saying “A woman from the North and a man from the South” was not a lie. I was lucky that I could see for the first time that they were the same people like us.
The 7th day of September, we held a football game between North and South Korea at Sang-am World Cup stadium, called “the Football Match for the Unification of Korea”.
At the beginning of the game, the players of the two teams marched together into the sports field. Right before the match, a traditional singer from South Korea sang “Arirang” instead of the national anthems of both countries. Then, all the players of both teams sang the song together with the whole audience, which was very impressive for us.
Among non-Koreans, who can understand the sorrow we feel that we can sing “Arirang” together with each other only once or twice a year? In that match, we could hardly see the national flags of the two countries. We could only see the flag of the Korean peninsula. While they were playing, nobody concentrated on the result of the game. Many reporters told us it was not important which team was going to win the match.
Watching the game, we didn’t need to focus on the South Korean team’s victory. When a South Korean player fell down on the ground, other North Korean players helped him up. The result of the game was 0-0 draw; thus, we can say that there was neither a winner nor a loser then.
We hosted the 14th Asian Games in Busan from September 29th through October 13th. To our surprise, the North Korean government informed us that its athletes would take part in the Asian games just days before the opening ceremony. Most volunteer workers at the Asian Games and many citizens in Busan got busy with the preparations for our special guests, the North Korean supporters.
South Korean people including many citizens of Busan sincerely and whole-heartedly welcomed them.
Everywhere the North Korean team went, the supporters cheered their team with their synchronized motions. Several days later, we couldn’t discriminate between the South Korean team and the North Korean team, when it comes to who the crowd cheered for.
When a renowned judo star from North Korea, Kye Soon-hee, showed up in the judo stadium, many South Korean people as well as North Korean supporters started to encourage her to win the match with their songs and hearts. Around this time, this made a link with the previous paragraph. We were able to have the show, “Oh, Unified Korea.”, in Pyoung-yang on the 27th day of September.
Although we could have seen the concert as a delayed broadcast, it came as a big surprise that the North Korean broadcasters decided to broadcast the concert live. This was a historical moment, since it was the first time for us to perform a live show in North Korea. At first, the music style of Yoon Do-hyuns band seemed somewhat weird to the North Korean audience, since the principal style of his music was rock and roll.
However, when he sang the song “Arirang” in a rock version, almost the whole audience sang along with him because the melody of the song was familiar to them.
And they also clapped their hands to the music. All of a sudden, Yoon shed tears and stopped singing for a while. It was so inspiring to us that the whole audience tried to encourage Yoon to sing again by applauding him. At the end of the concert, all the singers of North and South sang North Korea’s farewell song, “See you again” on the stage.
Most of them sang the song weeping and we could clearly see their tears. After the concert ended, Yoon confessed that he had come to open his mind completely to the North Korean people. That’s why he shed tears at the time when he sang “Arirang”.
Watching the scene where Yoon was weeping, we could also open our minds to them.
The melody and lyrics of the farewell song at the end was touching enough to make us feel our peoples sorrows.
Even though not all of us are members of dispersed families, we can have the same feelings as the singers. Nobody can deny that North Korean people are somewhat different from us. However, we can honestly say that we were originally the one people.
Therefore it’s so natural that we have a lot in common, such as feelings, culture and so on. We usually forget the fact that we are one and will have to accomplish the unification of Korea in the near future. Hopefully, however, I would like to suggest that we should think about this issue every once in a while.