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Aug 08 2013 17:07   by ICCN / hit 2,564

[Gangneung, Rosh Haayin, Algemasi, FACM] Young Culture and ICCN

Young Culture and ICCN
The International Junior Art Festival is a youth festival which is organized annually at Gyeongpo Beach in Gangneung, South Korea, for three days at the end of July. With fourteen teams from ten countries and more than four hundred youth every night, it is considered the biggest international youth festival in South Korea. The International Junior Art Festival aims at promoting cultural exchange between young people from South Korea and other countries and at introducing Korean culture to the participants. The festival concept includes both performances of the participating groups in front of a large international audience and a diversified cultural program including mask dances, paper artwork, taekwondo, museum visits and other workshops to deliver an insight into Korean culture. The youth groups have a great time in Korea and make unforgettable memories to take back home.
Every year the festival is based on a certain theme concept to make it interesting. This year’s theme was “Burning Bright” and the festival lasted for four days. Each group performed twice: one performance on the main stage at Gyeongpo Beach and the other on the sub stage next to the Gangneung Arts Hall in the city. The first evening of the festival started with a big parade of all participants through the city towards the beach. The opening and closing ceremony included a big firework performance at the beach. During festival days, the participating groups attended several cultural workshops. The festival was free of charge for the participating groups and entrance was also free for the audience.

Among the eight countries performing in the youth festival, three are the ICCN city members which include Batterista from Israel (Rosh Ha’ayin), FACM from Algeria and Algemesi from Spain. The ICCN worked closely with the Federation of Art & Culture Organization of Korea, Gangneung branch in preparation and programming for this event and its related activities.
Batterista, a percussion-based ensemble from Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel was the first group to perform at Gangneung Arts Hall. The band, aged from 17 to 19, has eleven players of electric guitar, bass guitar, saxophone, drum, viola and clarinet. Batterista played various music styles mixed from jazz, African music, blues, to modern and more. 
After the performance ended, audiences were offered refreshment with olive, humus, peta bread and other Israeli snacks which were brought from Israel to Korea by the music band. Bourekas – Israeli pastry, were also specially made for the night by a local bakery as requested by the ICCN. Everybody met, mingled and enjoyed Israeli food in the candlelight while exploring more about Israeli culture via the slideshow projected on the wall. Music lovers also had the opportunity to purchase the album and took photos with members of the band. The show was amazing and highly appreciated by Gangneung audiences. It was an extraordinary Israeli cultural night in its true sense, which is probably not common in South Korea.
Two days later came the next performance by the FACM, an Algerian group consisting of five members in the ages from 15 to 17. The FACM performed a traditional wedding ceremony in Algeria, including dongs, music, dance, traditional cloths and the wedding ceremony. Through art and dance, the band showed the Algerian culture and traditional wedding ceremony as well as the youth’s commitment in keeping the tradition and bringing it to the fore. Following the performance, the ICCN organized an “Algerian–Korean” cultural night with a lot of Algerian traditional sweets and Korean dessert. The night did bring Korean people in Gangneung some experience of Algerian culture.
Summer days at the Gyeongpo Beach became much lively with the arrival of the Spanish band. In twenty minutes, eleven girls presented a mesmerizing performance called “Mediterranean”– a mix of traditional and contemporary music from the Mediterranean culture. Audience enjoyed five different repertories which wasa fusion of three dance styles: the Spanish, the classic and the contemporary. The show was absolutely perfect for a summer festival among the sea waves.

The International Junior Art Festival is important not only for the Korean people who are enjoying and exploring new cultures, but also for the young groups. The festival is a venue where young people express their talents and show their cultural identity. It is young people who promote their own cultures to the world and make cultural peace through music.