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Korean Festival to include royal wedding re-enactment

Perfomance by Korean drummers will be part of the cultural entertainment at the 13th annual Korean Festival to be held at Swangard Stadium to be held at Swangard Stadium on Aug. 16. - MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER
Perfomance by Korean drummers will be part of the cultural entertainment at the 13th annual Korean Festival to be held at Swangard Stadium to be held at Swangard Stadium on Aug. 16.
— image credit: MARIO BARTEL/NEWSLEADER

Imagine throwing a festival and a royal wedding breaks out.

That’s exactly what’s going to happen during the opening ceremonies at the 13th annual Korean Cultural Heritage Festival at Swangard Stadium on Aug. 16.

The festival, which is returning to Burnaby after being held at Blue Mountain Park in Coquitlam for the past 11 years, promises to be bigger and better than ever, said Mike Suk of the Korean Cultural Heritage Society.

How can it not be? It’s got a royal wedding.

Or at least a reenactment of a royal wedding during the Joseon Dynasty, which ruled Korea from 1393 until 1897.

The lavish wedding of King Gojong and Queen Min will be staged complete with period costumes and traditional rituals.

“Our culture is steeped in a lot of traditional customs,” said Suk. “For people to see where all these came from will be an experience.”

They’re also the foundation for the lively, modern Korea which will be front and centre at the festival, said Suk.

That includes stage performances by break dancers, Korean pop music (known as K-Pop), singalongs as well as a lively marketplace and food, beer and wine vendors.

For some of the 80,000 Korean Canadians living in British Columbia it will be like a trip home, said Suk.

But more importantly, it’s a chance for other Canadians to learn about Korean culture and heritage.

“This is for Canadians,” said Suk. “We’re celebrating multiculturalism through Korean arts and culture.”

Other touchstones of Korean culture that will be featured include a demonstration by Korea’s national Tae Kwon Do team, performances by traditional drum dancers, as well as a vertigo-inducing display of Jultagi, an acrobatic performance of tightrope walking that was registered as one of Korea’s Important Intangible Cultural Properties in 1962.

Suk said the festival is all about building bridges between Korean cultural and the adopted home for many Koreans

“As Canadian Koreans we have a lot to share,” said Suk.

“We want to share some of our customs and traditions so Canadians can learn from that. It boils down to valuing multiculturalism.”

• For more about the festival go to www.koreanfestival.ca.

 

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