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Mayor's Hope Journal

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  • It’s already May.
    [Mayor Park Won Soon’s Hope Journal 161]

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    It’s already May. In Korea, May is celebrated as a family month. It is also a month of festivals. May I introduce the leading festivals held in May in Seoul?

    The Seoul Friendship Fair is by far the best. The 2013 event, which marks the 18th anniversary, is held on May 4 and 5 in Seoul Plaza and Mugyo-dong. The annual event is aimed at broadening the mutual understanding between locals and foreigners and build friendships among all people in the global village. The event will start at 4:00 PM on May 4, with a street parade from Gwanghwamun and Seoul Plaza. The parade will be participated in by bearers of the national flags of the participating countries, performers from 14 countries, Chief Gate Guard at Deoksugung Palace, and military band.

    At the opening ceremony to be held at Seoul Square, performances conveying the message of sharing and reconciliation will be held. I will join a 20-member embassy choir in singing the song “Hand in Hand”.

    Between 5: 30 PM and 9:00 PM, those from sister cities of Seoul will hold performances, including: ▲ Sufi dance of Reda Troup of Egypt, ▲ traditional pop opera of Vietnam, and ▲ traditional art performance of Beijing Youth Art Troupe. The same event will be held at Seoul Plaza between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM on May 5, Children’s Day.

    An array of merrymaking events will be held for two days in Seoul Square, Mugyo-ro, and Cheonggye Plaza. They include: ■ World Culture Exhibition, where handicrafts made in 40 countries are displayed, ■ World Food Exhibition, which introduces the traditional food of 50 countries, ■ World Clothes Exhibition, where you can try traditional clothes of many countries, and ■ Global Village Food Recipes.

    At the Miniature Music Café in Mugyo-ro, performances will be held one after the other beginning noon of May 4 for two days. The following events will be held at Cheonggye Plaza: folk plays of many countries, hands-on experience of traditional music and musical instruments of Korea, and exhibition and sale of miniature handicrafts.

    On May 5, special events will be held to help children from less privileged countries, including: ▲ My Kids in the World, ▲ campaign to provide footwear, and ▲ Green Nose campaign (donation of 1,000 won to provide a meal to ten starving children).

    This year’s event will provide another opportunity to give hope and delight to all as an event intended to build friendship among all people in the global village.

    Children can also view it as an opportunity to learn more about world culture, in addition to having fun.