Two Hanyang Arirang Yurangdan Members
One way to spend vacation: oversees activities
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Many college students dream of going on a world tour during the summer vacation. Two of those students, Lee Joo-yeon (Department of Composition, 2nd year) and Hong Seong-hee (Department of Composition, 2nd year) have fulfilled their wish by joining Arirang Yurangdan, a cultural diplomacy delegation in their tour of Europe by performing Korean traditional dance and instruments. They visited four European countries this summer.
Arirang Yurangdan is Korea’s cultural diplomacy delegation that tours 30 cities in 16 countries worldwide to fulfill cultural diplomacy and culture education activities using Arirang (the lyrical folk song of Korea), gukak (the Korean classical music), calligraphy, and Korean dance. Initially, only dance specialists were allowed to participate, but non-majors were able to join after four to five months of practice that includes three inspections, completed with a public performance at Hyehwa-dong.
Hong had the dream of majoring in Korean dance, but ended up studying music instead. She has always wanted to practice Korean dance ever since and saw an opportunity in the ad of Arirang Yurangdan in the hopes that she could dance in front of the Eiffel Tower, wearing a hanbok. She had already been through the same route last year and loved it, thus recommending it to Lee. Participants did have to pay their own fees for everything. The months of professional Korean dance and samulnori (traditional percussion quartet) training was funded, enabling them to get expert coaching.
“I was happy to say that I’m Korean,” said Lee. They rearranged a BTS song to perform and were surprised to find out that most people knew the song and reacted to it. Lee recalled the public performance in the Belgium Brussels Town Hall, which had the greatest number of reactions and audience members. A Korean tourist who was traveling alone told her team that it was a new sensation listening to Korean music in a different country. She was touched by the warm comments from Korean tourists. Hong, on the other hand, chose the performance in front of the Eiffel Tower as the best part of the whole experience. She also performed an individual dance aside from the team activity. After her Korean fan dance performance, the audience lined up in a long line to take pictures with them.
The flute and gayageum (Korean zither with 12 strings) are sensitive to temperature, so they had difficulty during their first performance piece in Belgium due to incomplete tunings. However, they recalled that they received more applause after tuning again, as if to comfort the team. The two Arirang Yurangdan members pointed out the major factors that drove Arirang Yurangdan into the final stages of completion--which were consideration for others and the music. “I realized the power of music in how music moves the global people into one. Caring for one another outside of the stage was another reason we could show off our best performance.”
Lee and Hong recommend the oversees activities during vacation and encouraged Hanyang students to grab ahold of the opportunity when there is one. “Spreading our country’s music to the world with everyone enjoying it was the cultural experience that we enjoyed the most as a part of Arirang Yurangdan,” they both exclaimed.
Kim Hyun-soo firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon
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