When K-ulture gripped Delhi
Young artistes from India and Korea showcased Indo-Korean culture and camaraderie in the city at Kamani Auditorium, Mandi House. The evening comprised traditional as well as contemporary pieces from both nations including Odissi choreography, dance on K-Pop numbers, and a taekwondo demonstration.
Dressed in colourful attires, Korean and Indian artistes took the stage to give a glimpse of camaraderie between India and Korea, at the recent event Gyeongsangbuk-do’s Korea Art Road. This led to K-frenzy taking over Kamani Auditorium as the audience cheered on and even joined the artistes later, to click selfies with them on the stage.
The thrill of taekwondo experts smashing tiles midair left many in the crowd speechless. “The way they were flying, broking tiles while being blindfolded... my God, I was absolutely awestruck,” says Numan Iqbal, a student of Ramjas College, Delhi University. His friend, Geri Riba, a final-year student of English (Hons) at Satyawati College, adds, “I was whistling all the time wishing I could also perform some of the taekwondo demonstrations and poomsae... I usually don’t follow K-Pop or K-Dramas but after today I would say sign me up for everything Korean because I’ve become a huge fan of Korean culture now.”
Indian K-Pop group, Girl Crush’s sensational dance act on popular K-Pop tracks like Butter, PTT (Paint The Town), and Kill This Love. “The enthusiasm of the girls was spellbounding,” says Akshay Singh Chauhan, a 20-year-old makeup artist from Gurugram, who came all the way to Mandi House to stay true to his love for Korean dance and music. He adds, “It’s finally become mainstream to love BTS, and I couldn’t be more excited to get a glimpse of K-Pop here. The best part was to witness Korean and Indian students perform together on BTS’ Dynamite! It’s like the best of both the worlds coming together.”
There was also Samulnori — traditional Korean folk music performance — and a traditional Korean folk dance performance filled with the rhythmic percussions of drums and barrel jumps. The youngsters from South Korea danced to K-Pop numbers like Dumdi Dumdi, Antifragile, Boombaya, Black Mamba, and of course the Gangnam Style! Indian and Korean students then came together for a collaborative performance on BTS’ superhit song Butter.
Amid the high-octane drama, the suave moves of Odissi artists from Anirush Das and group also kept the audience enraptured. Displaying the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu, the group presented a fusion of Indian classical and folk dance. Adishree Jain, 22, a student of Korean language, shares, “The amalgamation of folk and contemporary styles depicting different moods made me feel so proud of my own culture which is so rich in its legacy.”
Among those present were Santishree Pandit, vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Niraj Kumar, Director, Ministry of Culture and Lee Cheol-Woo, governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, South Korea. Cheol-Woo Lee, says, “Through a series of joint performances by Gyeongsangbuk-do and India, we expect to have an amazing experience of laughing and enjoying together through culture and arts, and eventually become one. We are looking forward to create more opportunities for Korea and India to harmonise more and energetically usher in a new era of Korea-India relations through culture.”
The lights, colours and drama concluded with the curtain call where all performers came onstage and the Indian and Korean flags fluttered. Tibetan national, Tenzin Kelsang, who is a first-year Botany (Hons) at Miranda House, felt overjoyed at the sight and says, “This cultural friendship was overwhelming. There are so many problems in the world, but to see two countries engage in this manner filled me with hope, happiness, and love.”
Author tweets @KritiKambiri