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Fashion, K-pop and riot of colours: Two-day event ‘Rang De Korea’ comes to a close

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New Delhi, Oct 17: It felt like a Korean drama playing out in real life instead of one on a streaming platform, when over 30 models strutted on the ramp wearing Hanbok, the traditional Korean attire.
The fashion show was part of Rang De Korea, ‘India’s biggest Korean cultural festival’. The two-day event, which came to a close on Sunday night, was organised by the Korean Cultural Centre India (KCCI) to commemorate the 10th anniversary of its establishment.
South Korean Ambassador to India Chang Jae-bok said the journey of the Korean Culture Centre over the past one decade in popularising Korean culture in India has been “truly momentous”.
“Thanks to its dedication and efforts, Indian people, particularly youth, are better aware of Korea and its multi-hued culture. Today, from music to movies, fashion to food, Indian youths have begun loving everything Korean,” Chang said in his address.
Kumar Tuhin, Director General of the ICCR was the chief guest for the festival.
“We wanted to create an experience platform which can show how the seeds of Korean culture that we have sown over the past decade in India are blooming and what fruits it will bear in the future. The festival is a proof to show the soft power of Korea in India,” said Hwang Il-yong, director of Korean Cultural Centre India.
The first round of the fashion show had two models, wearing Hanboks inspired by the Indian flag Tricolour and the South Korean flag Taegukgi, as a tribute to the India-Korea ties.
From the erstwhile royal ensembles, wedding trousseau, and outfits worn by commoners in the Joseon dynasty era to modernised versions with floral prints, frills, as well as metallic tones, the various avatars of Hanbok were breathtaking.
The aim behind the Hanbok fashion show was to introduce and promote the Korean identity which is rooted in the cultural dress, said Samuel Chung, vice president of the Korean Culture Promotion Association.
“Hanbok defines Korean identity deeply and it is the first thing that comes to mind firstly when we talk about Korean culture,” he told PTI.
Like there is sari to India, it is Hanbok to South Korea, said Chung, who designed and directed the fashion show in India along with his team from Korea.
“In terms of colours too, India and Korea are very similar. In Korea, there are five preferred colours which are called ‘obangsaek’ (white, black, blue, yellow and red).
“If I get another chance to visit India, I plan to incorporate these similarities between the two countries in a fashion show in the future,” Chung added.
Sumiran Chhetri, one of the models who was part of the fashion show, said she had an amazing experience walking the ramp in a Hanbok.
“This was my first time wearing a Hanbok. Initially, we all were not sure about how the clothes were going to be. But when we saw them yesterday, they were so beautiful.
“We were told that each ensemble was USD 60,000 and above which was really expensive. These are those garments that designers usually create for politicians and Netflix series,” the Delhi-based model told PTI.
As part of the event, Taekwondo group K-Tigers put up an energetic performance. The group also showed off their dance moves along with their martial arts skills on popular Korean pop songs including BTS hits like “Butter”, “I Need U”, “Fake Love” and “Blood Sweat Tears” as well as Blackpink number “Lovesick Girls”.
Rookie Korean pop groups BugAboo and Kingdom received a hearty round of applause amid screams of audience members.
“This is our first visit to India. We thank you for this honour. We want to visit again,” said a member of the six-part girl group BugAboo.
One of the seven members of the boy band Kingdom also said it was their first visit to India. “We came to India for the first time today from South Korea. It was a 10-hour flight, but we don’t feel tired at all!” he added.
The musical acts were met with loud chants of ‘saranghae’ (the Korean expression for ‘I Love You’). A viewer also shouted ‘naumu jhhaalsaengyeotta’ (‘You’re so handsome!’) as Kingdom performed on their song “Long Live The King”.
Rang De Korea started with traditional Korean Music Samulnori and Haegeum performance, which was followed by the first-ever traditional Korean wedding ceremony held in India.
Also part of the two-day festival were attractions like Korean naming and calligraphy experience centre; stalls serving staple Korean-food including japchae (glass noodles), ramyeon (instant noodles), and gimbap (seaweed rice roll); a Hallyu (Korean wave) flea market voluntarily run by local fans and a gallery where the exhibits owned by the KCCI was displayed along with a one-stop outlet operated by Korea Tourism Organization to introduce the diverse landscape of South Korea to tourists. (PTI)

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