Tuesday, June 16, 2009

아시아 하나되다

A group of Japanese children, in bright red outfit, performing Japanese traditional dance by the side of the pond in Pyounghwa Plaza.

The sky has been quite gloomy recently with occasional showers that would set me scrambling for my umbrella in my bag. It seems like the monsoon season is arriving early this year though the usual period is in July. The hot and humid weather of summer is not really something that I like. But rain or shine, I shall enjoy myself this summer.

Last Sunday, while I was at the Pyounghwa (Peace) Plaza (opposite World Cup Stadium) for the 1st Asia Culture Festival, the sky broke a few times. To stay out of the rain, I ended up shopping at Homeplus inside the World Cup Stadium.

The festival wasn't any where near large-scale. Besides Korea (the organiser), it only attracted 10 other countries to set up cultural stalls at the Peace Park. The countries include Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed myself. Firstly, there were towel and drinks given away free. Then there were free performances with the highlight being the Asia Pop Concert.

I was extremely thrilled when the Korean singer, BMK, sang. Relatively unknown outside Korea, her powerful vocal was simply awesome (x3). Not many Korean singers can match her singing prowess and she sings like a Black singer.

A puddle of water after the afternoon shower.

Free sports towel with the word "One Asia" printed for all visitors.

Free 'unlimited' supply of "zero-calorie" drink.

Asia Pop Concert

The Korean hip-hop group "Dynamic Duo" (see below) opened the evening concert. I generally think that all Korean hip-hop groups are good regardless of what they are called. "Dynamic Duo" is no exception.

Next, came a Japanese band called "Moody Rudy" (see below). This band is not one of those mainstream bands that people are familiar with. They have a character of their own which is not easily copied. I shan't explain further because it doesn't really matter unless you have the chance to hear them out which can be quite enjoyable.

The next artiste is Raju Lama (see below) from Nepal. Apparently, he is a very famous singer back in his country. His name alone attracted hundred of Nepaleses to crowd the Pyounghwa Plaza. When he came on stage, his supporters jumped out of their seats and surged forward to the stage while others stood on their chairs and sang along with him loudly. When he left, his supporters also left leaving behind a lot of empty seats.

Next artiste was Gita Gutawa (see below) a 15-year old teenage singer from Indonesia. She doesn't look like a girl of her age and her voice can reach an incredible high pitch. It looks like she is all set for stardom in Indonesia.

Second from last was Kyla (see below) from Philippines. She is branded as the Philippines's R&B Princess and she does not disappoint with her sweet and melodious voice.

Last but not least, BMK (see below) from Korea came on stage for the finale. To hear her sing is a total pleasure. "실력파" (實力派) is an expression that best describes this Korean singer.

BMK singing "꽃피는 봄이 오면"

BMK brought on the concert's climax with her song "1234"

All artistes who performed for the day joined BMK for the finale.

Members of "Moody Rudy" having their share of fun during the finale.

"One Asia" is a lofty goal when even "One Nation" still remains a distant dream for some countries. Nevertheless, it is still good to dream big as it will give you a sense of mission. But when it comes to implementation, it is better to start small. Perhaps we can all start with "One Family".

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