Abu Dhabi: Residents of the UAE who wish to familiarise themselves with Korean culture can attend an upcoming festival in the capital.
Korean expatriates longing for a taste of home can look forward to “Korea Festival in UAE 2015” from October 22-24 at the National Theatre in Abu Dhabi.
Designed to be a meeting point for two significant civilisations, Emirati and Korean, the three-day festival will display many of Korea’s cultural facets such as its cuisine, traditional games and cultural performances. Concurrently, the festival will also offer a glimpse into Emirati heritage and traditions including the art of henna, traditional cuisine and calligraphy.
“The Embassy has been organising Korean Festivals since 2011 [in the UAE]. This upcoming festival is the third in this series and is [being organised] for Emiratis and expatriates to learn more about our culture,” Kwon Hae-ryong, Ambassador of South Korea to the UAE, told Gulf News. “It is also an opportunity for Koreans residing in the UAE, who number approximately 14,000, to cherish their country’s culture.”
The number of Korean expatriates in the UAE has been on the rise. As reported previously by Gulf News, five years ago, there were 5,000 Koreans in the UAE. The number has now almost tripled, totalling 14,000 Koreans.
The festival will begin with the “Korean Speech Contest”, the third time this feature has been a part of the festival. Twenty finalists from different nationalities in the UAE, who were pre-selected, will give their speeches in Korean at the contest. Three finalists will be awarded prizes, the country’s envoy explained.
“The festival’s other highlights include the famous South Korean “Nanta”, which means hitting something. It is a non-verbal comedy show that features cooks creating rhythms using cooking tools. The festival will also feature Kim Soon Ja, a Kimchi master from South Korea, who will be demonstrating how to prepare “Kimchi”, a famous traditional Korean side dish made from vegetables with a variety of seasonings, for those who crave it,” he added.
The past two Korean festivals saw a big turnout and the residents’ growing interest in the Korean culture inspired the embassy to set up a Korean Cultural Centre.
“[The Korean Cultural Centre] is set to open by the end of this year and will offer a number of classes pertaining to the Korean language, culture and cuisine, among others,” the envoy added.
Entry to Korea Festival in the UAE is free and requires no pre-registrations; visitors can go directly to the National Theatre in Abu Dhabi.
Maisoon Mubarak is a trainee at Gulf News.