Last week, the Senior School campus was infused with contemporary and traditional Korean culture, thanks to the International Council and our Korean students. Both day and boarding students with Korean backgrounds collaborated to raise the profile of their culture, hosting one of the most original international weeks to date.
The two main events of the week were musical in nature. On Tuesday, the Korean students brought in a group to perform Samul Nori, traditional percussion music that uses four instruments. The kkwaenggwari (a small gong), jing (a larger gong), janggu (an hourglass-shaped drum) and buk (a barrel drum) each represent a different aspect of weather: thunder, wind, rain and clouds.
On Thursday, a huge number of students packed into the Copeland lecture theatre to see our own students perform many different forms of Korean music. Five Grade 10 students played nanta, using kitchen utensils and plastic trays from Brown Hall as drums while singing in Korean. More traditional fare in the afternoon concert included a piano/danso collaboration as well as Buchaechum, a dance incorporating colourful fans.
Most exciting were the performances set to contemporary songs from Korea. Five Grade 10 boys sang “Sarangari” (lovesick) by F.T. Island. Another group, which included the event’s emcee David Park, earned more than a few laughs for their slick dancing to Korean girl group The Wondergirls’ “Tell Me.” With major boy band Big Bang’s “Lie,” the boys passed out roses and had girls swooning. Fittingly, the afternoon ended with a performance of Big Bang’s “Last Farewell,” with both girls and boys delivering synchronized choreography.
“The Korean students put an unbelievable amount of effort into putting on a terrific week of food, music, and information” says the International Council’s head Mrs. Evelyn Zapantis. “All of the Korean community had a role to play, I am really impressed.”