Sydney Koreatown Festival

Gimme some yummy kimchi!!  We wonder through Pitt Street to grab a taste of bulgogi, traditional Korean music, cultural dances and kimchi at the Sydney Koreatown Festival on Saturday February 1, 2014.

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“Celebrate the Lunar New Year Korean style, with delicious food, performance and activities for the whole family.”

“Arirang” is a Korean folk song, often considered the unofficial national anthem of Korea.

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Coming out onto the George Street Event cinemas from Townhall station,  turn left down a small lane way and you will would’ve seen a long queue waiting to kick a ball into wheeling spots.

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Pitt street was blocked off with white tents on both sides of the road, with hundreds of people checking out the small variety of stalls.

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The cultural exchange office had a selection of brochures on display.

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Check out the Korean food! I must admit, I saw my first kimchi fridge the other week at my friend’s house. I was very impressed.

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There were even some fancy savings if you bought either home ware or packaged noodles.

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Who didn’t have these spicy Korean noodles at school? You missed out big time. I absolutely love hot and spicy noodles!

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Walking down, the main stage kept the seated and standing guests very entertained. Too bad there was a long intermission between acts that unfortunately lost lots of viewers.

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But there was a massive crowd for each performance. I’m sure this attracted tons of people who were passing by.

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Drummers banged to their hearts content, sharing traditional music to those who haven’t been exposed to Korean culture before.

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Ladies in traditional costumes sang while the band played. How beautiful are the dresses?

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A person in the white was doing calligraphy from a traditional Korean tune on a long sheet of fabric that was rolled out from the stage to the stalls.

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Girls danced from CrossOver Dance Studio, who were also the ‘open special’ performance for the K Factor competition (Kpop cover contest).

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Later on a band were tearing up the street with their exceedingly loud music.

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These were the MCs.

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Overall the normal stroll from Townhall and Central turned into a journey through exotic kimchi land. I like it.

Review Rating: =D  =)  =|  =(

Product (Sydney Koreatown Festival): =)

Ambience: =D

Service: =)

Value: =)

Would I go to the Sydney Koreatown festival every year? If I was in the city for the day, obviously, why not! It doesn’t take long to peep through all the stalls unless you want to line up and kick a ball in the circles to win lollies. But I would not intentionally come all the way to the city for it? Maybe because I don’t have a Korean background, but I asked a few friends from Korea and they weren’t too interested.

Would I pay to go to the Sydney Koreatown Festival? Probably not so. Sharing a different culture is so wonderful and experiencing that was absolutely lovely. I feel like if I paid to go to, for example, to a Korean dance? then I would have very high expectations and wanting to feel extremely immersed into their culture and maybe even challenged.

Highlight: I don’t know if many people know this, but a lot of Koreans get plastic surgery for their 18th or 21st birthday. I think this is still quite relevant these days so it was fun to see a plastic surgery stall there. Just some fun back thoughts! From last year, the stage was better, organisation with program was done better, and there were more stalls and sponsors.

Suggestion of Improvement: the space was actually quite small so it made everything seem a bit congested, particularly the sidewalks.  Activities would’ve been ideal to get the wider community involved. Even competitions whereby someone needs to read some interesting facts about Korea would’ve made the experience more enriching. Also, the program might’ve needed perhaps mixing traditional and modern dance/music? My time there was great, but a few people have said they only saw Kpop and would’ve liked more traditional dances. The festival was meant to finish at 8pm but stalls were closing at 6pm which was a bit disappointing…. Oh, and more bins please!

Ends: February 1, 2014

Angela Bee and Pockybox


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