Dress up in traditional Korean clothing, catch live performances by South Korean artists, try your hand at archery and more
From sizzling Korean barbeque and shaved ice dessert bingsu, to infectious K-pop tunes and popular beauty products, we can’t deny the K-Wave has hit us – hard! But if you want to learn all about Korean culture beyond the nation’s food and pop music scene, then mark your calendars for an epic Korean-themed festival that’s happening this weekend at the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM).
While you’re there, make your way to the Joseon Korea exhibition, which takes us through five centuries worth of history from the Joseon dynasty, that dates from 1392 to 1897. With artifacts flown in from South Korea, the exhibition is a real treat for both fans of Korean culture and history buffs.
The ACM is also pulling out all the stops at the Seoul Awesome Weekend Festival. Expect non-stop family-friendly activities, live performances and even outdoor film screenings, all inspired by the Kingdom of Joseon. Here are some highlights to look forward to.
Marvel at a traditional Korean performing troupe
You don’t have to hop on the next flight out just to catch these amazing live performances –the Gwangdae, a traditional performing arts troupe comprising yeonhuo (Korean traditional performing arts) professionals and apprentices of the Goseong Five Clowns, will be working their magic at the festival. Ooh and aah at the Beona Nori, a performance where players spin and toss a beona (flat dish) in the air using a stick, and the Tassled Hat Play, where performers showcase tricks using a sangmo, a hat with a long, spinning tassel.
Catch modernised renditions of traditional dance
Be enchanted by performances by the SYJ Cultural Alliance, which covers dance, music and theatre and integrates traditional and modern performing arts. The Janggo dance, traditionally performed by kisaengs (Korean “geishas”) is a sight to behold; with dancers moving gracefully while playing an hour glass-shaped drum. Another dance not to be missed is the Miryang sword dance, said to be created by a kisaeng in the 18th century.
Rock traditional Korean garb
If you’ve always wanted to try on a vibrant hanbok, now’s your chance. Dress up in the traditional Korean clothing and take a shot for the ‘gram at the Korean Tourism Organisation booth.
Give these Korean sporting games a shot
Prefer a little more action? Try your hand at archery, an important part of Korea’s military history, or challenge yourself at tuho, a traditional Korean game where players attempt to throw arrows into a narrow-necked jar.
Work your creative juices with hands-on activities
For those who want to get in touch with their creative side, make your own fan with patterns inspired by minhwa, Korean folk painting, or pick up some Korean basics by learning how to write your name in Hangeul, the Korean alphabet.
Immerse yourselves in period films featuring the Joseon era
Film buffs, you won’t want to miss movie screenings of films inspired by the Joseon era, courtesy of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Singaporem such as The Huntress and The Face Reader, at the Ngee Ann Auditorium. For something more family-friendly, grab a picnic mat and head to the outdoor film screening of The Royal Tailor, while snacking on free popcorn or bingsu.
For more details and the full line-up of activities, head to their website here.
Seoul Awesome Weekend Festival, 17 June, 1-9pm, 18 June, 1-5pm, Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555. Free admission.
This article is sponsored by Asian Civilisations Museum