Edited by Anna Popper

The Korean Cultural Festival in Budapest, taking place between 8 – 30 September 2023, will showcase the boundless and diverse heritage of Korean culture. This is an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in the culture of the Asian country to immerse themselves in 12 programs offering a wide range of events related to Korean culture in 4 locations with various settings to explore and enjoy Korean culture and live broadcast, allowing people to participate and engage with Korean cultural experiences remotely. The centrepiece of the Korean Cultural Festival appears to be K-gugak (Korean folk music).

Korean Concert Series

At the Korean Cultural Festival concert series events, Korean traditional music gugak presents many different faces from the beginnings of K-gugak to the present day.

On the stage of the Hungarian House of Music, the audience can enjoy performances of the Black String led by Heo Yoon-jeong, the uncrowned queen of geomungo; the NAL Project” led by Lee Hee-moon, the Master of folk songs from Gyeonggi Province; and Park Jiha, an acclaimed composer and multi-instrumentalist who voices the sound of traditional Korean instruments in the language of contemporary music.

JONGMYO JERYEAK, Royal Ancestral Shrine Ritual Music and Dance of Korea

As one of the European stops of the National Gugak Centre’s world tour, they arrive to Hungary to perform Jongmyo Jeryeak, the ritual music of the royal ancestors at Jongmyo Shrine in Seoul.

Jongmyo Jeryeak was registered as the very first Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Korean nation in 1964 and was also added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2001. One of the highlights of the Festival is the spectacular grand show by 54 musicians and 18 dancers performing on the stage of the Erkel Theatre, the second venue of the Hungarian Opera House and the largest-capacity musical theatre in Hungary.

Workshops & Symposium on Korean Music

For those who want to learn more about the history of Korean music and try out Korean musical instruments, workshops and symposiums on various topics will be held at the Korean Cultural Centre and the House of Traditions. Professionals from the Jindo National Gugak Centre, founded in 2004, will guide the participants into the amazing world of K-gugak, which includes traditional Korean music and dance.

Korean Film Week

The popularity of Korean Film Week, which has been held in Hungary since 2007, also shows the fame and success of Korean cinema, which has conquered the whole world.

As part of the Cultural Festival, two films (The Singer and The Sound of the Flower) will be screened at the Korean Cultural Centre, focusing on Korean music and dance.

Special Guest of the Festival:

Jeong Kwan, Seon Buddhist Nun and Master Chef of Korean Temple Cuisine

On the invitation of the Korean Cultural Centre, the Master Chef of the Korean temple food, Nun Jeong Kwan, living in Suwon, who has been named Asia’s foremost culinary icon, arrives in Hungary to talk about health preservation, the respect for life and the essence of Korean temple cuisine based on the concepts of sustainability.

This unique gastronomic event will be streamed live online.

Overall, the Korean Cultural Festival in Budapest in September 2023 promises to be an extraordinary occasion to learn, appreciate and celebrate Korea’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, which is deeply rooted in its historic past. It is an event not to be missed for anyone interested in Korean culture and looking to broaden their cultural horizons.

Registration and information: https://hungary.korean-culture.org/hu

Source and Photos: Korean Cultural Centre Budapest