Night at the Traditional Arts

28 Oct
National Center for Korean Traditional Arts in Busan

Damn the Mayor!

My wife and I attended the opening performance of the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts in Busan. Actually, it was free and open to the public. But, the mayor of Busan, Hur Nam-shik, along with notables, like ROK Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Yoo In-chon, crashed the gig for a banner-cutting ceremony. One of the performances was cut, too, to allow a cycle of speeches more tedious than a washing machine on spin cycle. And, they all sat right in front of us – hopefully I’m not in any of the dozen or more photos and video footage taken of them.

But, the performances were superb. I enjoyed the kayagum performance, and my wife the pankut (pictured first in the slideshow, but performed last).

Busan Folk Arts 10 08 004The Busan branch of the National Center is located right across the intersection from Camp Hialeah, slowly vanishing into irrelevance after decades as the US Army’s home in Busan. In the process, a few unsightly GI bars and restaurants were bulldozed. I have to say the surrounding neighborhood has improved, too.

Now, if only South Korean politicians stop bloviating and just work better!

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