Grabbing the Attention to the Music and Culture of India and the United Arab Emirates
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange jointly held ‘2023 Asia Song Festival’ and ‘2023 Culture Bridge Festa’ at Floating Stage and Mulbit Square at Yeouido Hangang Park, Seoul from Sep. 9 (Fri.) to 10 (Sun.)
Wide range of audiences including Koreans, international students, world music lovers and people from India and the UAE living in Korea enjoyed the festival with cultural highlights from various countries covering from Asia to the Middle East.
2023 Asia Song Festival, a Leading Music Festival in Asia marking its 20th anniversary
Inviting musicians to delight music lovers
On Sep. 8, the ‘2023 Asia Song Festival’ was held at the Floating Stage at Yeouido Hangang Park, Seoul and nine artists from seven Asian countries appeared, creating a cultural exchange of Asian pop music.
Nine global pop artists representing seven Asian countries, including Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), participated in the performance. In particular, people were excited to meet the artists, including Vietnam’s PHAO, the original songwriter of “Zero to Dance,” which was a hot topic on SNS at home and abroad, Japanese band CHAI, which has collaborated with Korean rapper Beenzino, and Thailand’s Fyeqoodgurl, who appeared on the domestic music program Queendom Puzzle.
In addition, female singer-songwriters such as Japan’s Salasa and India’s R&B singer Kayan, who opened the show, were outstanding. Rashed AlNuaimi from the United Arab Emirates, who sang for his country at Dubai World Expo 2020, gave a fresh performance of pop and Arabic music.
In particular, Indonesian group StarBe tried a new genre called “K-Indonesian Pop” by covering Korean girl group Blackpink’s “Shut Down” in both languages, attracting the attention of the world.
Korean artists included idol groups AB6IX and Kep1er. In particular, AB6IX member Daehwi and Kep1er members Kim Chaehyun and Mashiro hosted the global event in three languages, including English, Korean, and Japanese, respectively.
Kim Dong-hyun, 32, who attended the Asia Song Festival said “Everyone was singing in different languages, but I was able to see the Korean lyrics at the same time, so I was able to enjoy the performances of artists from different countries.” “Some of the artists were new to me, but there are many songs that I want to listen to again later,” he added.
The free event was attended by about 2,600 people, including standing seats and was livestreamed to reach about 47,000 fans around the world. A recap of the performance will be available later on the Asia Song Festival’s official YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@AsiaSongFestival). The festival will be broadcast on KBS World TV to 142 countries around the world, with the first broadcast date set for Sep. 27 (Wed.)
2023 Culture Bridge Festa, Coloring the area around Hangang River, Seoul with India and the UAE
Enjoying Abu Dhabi, Dubai, New Delhi, Agra and Culture Bridge Festa!
Culture Bridge Festa was held at Mulbit Square for three days from Sep. 8 to 10, starting with the Asian Song Festival. As its name suggests, Culture Bridge Festa is a global cultural experience festival that connects Korea and the target countries culturally through performances, experiences, food, movies and more.
India, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and India, and the United Arab Emirates, which was the first country in the Middle East to be promoted to a ‘strategic partnership’ in 2023, were the target countries and various programs, mainly immersive experience programs, attracted attention as the programs gave the feeling as if visitors were traveling to the UAE and India.
In the UAE zone, visitors were greeted by the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and the Dubai Frame in Dubai, while programs such as landmark coloring, perfumery, Arabic calligraphy, and ‘Gahwa’, the traditional coffee of the UAE brought the mystique of the Arab world to life. In the India zone, visitors passed through the India Gate in New Delhi and Taj Mahal in Agra photo zones, where they could immerse themselves in India’s rich history through marigold flower wreath-making, authentic yoga and henna-bindi experiences.
In front of each country’s photo zone, a cooking show was held with local chefs from each country. Celebrity chef Aysha from the United Arab Emirates cooked ‘Balaleet’ and ‘Machboos’, and Indian chef and broadcaster Sujan cooked and introduced ‘Roti’ and ‘Dal’, giving visitors a chance to interact and taste exotic food.
The main stage featured performances from local and international artists. On United Arab Emirates Day, the Sharja National Band was invited to perform with traditional instruments and dance, while Rashed AlNuaimi, the UAE’s leading singer, sweetened the evening with his Arabic arrangements of familiar pop melodies. On India Day on Sep. 10, a colorful and sophisticated traditional performance by the KISAF-Silk Road Folk Arts Team, a group of talented artists including the finalists of India’s Got Talent and winners of international dance competitions, was presented.
Amid the performances and movie screenings, the audience was able to take “life shots” at the iconic sculptures of each country, making them feel like they were traveling to that country.
“We believe Culture Bridge Festa further enhance the relationship between Korea and the United Arab Emirates,” said Abdulla Saif Al Nuaimi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Korea, who attended the event. “It was great to be able to showcase the culture of the UAE on the Han River and give Korea a chance to know more about our country.”
Naruka(31), a participating influencer from India, said “As one of the target countries for this year’s event, it was nice and interesting to see a variety of cultural contents such as food, clothing, henna, and yoga from India being introduced and made available for the event participants of various nationalities to experience.”
Highlights of the event will be available on KBS World TV and the official Culture Bridge Festa YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@culturebridgefesta5784).