‘Sarang’ festival kicks off to bring Indian culture to Korea











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‘Sarang’ festival kicks off to bring Indian culture to Korea

India's new Ambassador to Korea, Amit Kumar, speaks during a press briefing introducing this year's Sarang Festival hosted by the embassy at the Indian Cultural Center in Seoul on Thursday.  Courtesy of Embassy of India in Korea
India’s new Ambassador to Korea, Amit Kumar, speaks during a press briefing introducing this year’s Sarang Festival hosted by the embassy at the Indian Cultural Center in Seoul on Thursday. Courtesy of Embassy of India in Korea


By Kwon Mee-yoo

A festival full of Indian dance, music and art will be held across Korea from September 30 to October 14.

The Indian Embassy in Korea has announced that “Sarang―The Festival of India in the Republic of Korea” is returning with a variety of festivities after a two-year hiatus amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new Indian Ambassador to Korea, Amit Kumar, explained how India and Korea share historical and cultural heritage such as the marriage of Princess Suriratna of Ayodhya and King Suro and the humanitarian support exchanged by India during the Korean War.

“In contemporary times, our two countries continue to work to expand relations in the areas of economy, culture, security, supply chains, energy and knowledge on the basis of a shared vision of people, peace and prosperity on the bedrock of our relationship,” the Ambassador said. said during a press briefing before the festival on Thursday.

The Ambassador also noted that this year’s celebrations are being held as part of a series of events commemorating India’s 75 years of independence.

“The word ‘sarang’ is a very meaningful interpretation for Koreans and Indians. ‘Sarang’ in Korean means ‘love’ and for us it refers to ‘diversity representing the different colors of India’,” said said Ambassador Kumar.

“Starting in 2015, Sarang became a premier Indian cultural festival, showcasing India’s rich and diverse cultural heritage in Korea, and has since grown in size, scope and popularity, showcasing the rich civilizational heritage and cultural dynamism of India… Through this festival, we strive to showcase the rich cultural diversity of India represented in various forms,” he said.

The poster of 'Sarang ― India's Festival in the Republic of Korea' / Courtesy of the Embassy of India in Korea
The poster of ‘Sarang ― India’s Festival in the Republic of Korea’ / Courtesy of the Embassy of India in Korea


The festival features 11 events in nine different venues, bringing India’s rich and diverse culture to Korea.

This year, the centerpiece of the festival is an Odissi dance troupe led by Kunjalata Mishra, an accomplished Odissi dancer and recipient of Braj Ratna and Braj Gaurav Samman. Odissi is a type of classical Indian dance which is known for “touching the human and divine aspects of life in a subtle way”.

Indian musicians Sunanda Sharma from Benaras Gharana will sing Indian songs, accompanied by traditional Indian musical instruments such as tabla, harmonium, sarangi and tanpura.

On Friday, the troupe will begin their performance at Hwaeom Temple, known to have been established by Indian monk Yeongi, in Gurye, South Jeolla Province.

The troupe’s other destinations include: Queen Heo Festival, Busan Global Gathering Festival, Lotte Tower in Seoul, Cheongju National Museum, Yeongdong Nangye Gukak Festival, Nami Island and East Asian Citizenship Education Grand Festival .

On October 4, a concert will be held at Yonsei University’s Centennial Hall.

Mishra’s troupe will perform “Kirvani Pallavi”, an Odissi dance form that depicts a blossoming flower, and Oddis dance drama “Radha Rani Sange Nache”, while Korean dancer Keun Beena and Indian dancer Sonali Roy will dance to K-pop, combining the traditional Indian dances of Odissi and Kathak.

Traditional Korean musicians Lee A-ram on daegeum (a large bamboo flute) and Hwang Min-wang on janggu (an hourglass-shaped drum) will perform a medley of Indo-Korean fusion music with Indian musicians.

The embassy also plans to hold a film festival in November and a food festival early next year.


























































































































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