Koreans showcase culture at Bayanihan Park

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Friday, February 11, 2011


ANGELES CITY -- A joint effort between the City Government and the city's Korean community showcases Korean culture via the Kor-Phil Cultural Exchange Hanmadang Festival, which started Friday at the Bayanihan Park.

Han Madang is the celebration of the traditional Korean-Philippines' outdoor cultural exchange, which celebrates community spirit and cooperation.

Culinary arts will be exhibited to excite the taste buds of Angeleños, who are renowned to be great cooks.

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A taekwondo demonstration, a traditional Korean percussion quartet, Korean and Filipino Folk songs and dances, plus a fan dance, will also be shown during the event.

The highlight of the cultural exchange is a wrestling competition called Ssireum, which will feature top Korean wrestlers. It will be a showcase of brawn and wit as the competitors vie to win.

Ssireum is like sumo wrestling in Japan. Each contestant wears a belt that wraps around the waist and thigh. The contestant will try to push off or take down his opponent in a seven-meter ring.

There are some marked differences between Ssireum and the Japanese sport sumo. Physical hits such as slaps and blows are not allowed in Ssireum, though they are in sumo.

While both sports have quite large competitors, Korean wrestlers tend to be leaner. Size, however, is no guarantee of a win in either Ssireum or sumo. Ssireum is described as a "peaceful competition focusing on harmony and unison," reflecting the "philosophical outlook of the Korean Race."

The event will be covered by Korean broadcasting giant MBC and local and national media. (Rey Navales)

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 12, 2011.

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