Jeddah waterfront renovated by PIF-owned ROSHN

JEDDAH: Newly appointed Consul General of South Korea Woo Hong-Koo and the Korean International School in Jeddah recently held their annual cultural festival at the school, which was attended by over 500 visitors.

The festival introduced locals to Korean heritage and culture through crafts, food, music, talent shows, games and traditional clothing.

Volunteers greeted visitors with samples of Korean pears, ginseng tea and dried persimmons.

“This is my first time trying dried persimmons,” said 32-year-old Heba Al-Zubairy. “I love dried fruits and this is one of the fruits I like. They are really sweet and melt in your mouth. I really like them.”

Visitors also had the opportunity to try on traditional clothing, such as the layered hanbok for women, and take photos in the photo shoot area.

In the arts and crafts area, festival-goers made fans and wind chimes out of paper, while in the culinary area, locals were introduced to Korean specialties such as bibimbap – a dish of steamed rice with vegetables, mushrooms, meat and fried egg – and kimbap, steamed rice wrapped in a layer of dried seaweed with vegetables or meat and garnished with sesame seeds.

“I prepared both dishes because I wanted to try the flavors of Korean cuisine,” said Fatema Elbathy, 28. “I didn’t know it was so easy to prepare healthy and delicious food.”

Taghreed Al-Sulaimani, 23, said: “I only made kimbap because it is easy to prepare and it is my comfort food, so to speak.”

Participants also had the opportunity to play Korean instruments such as janggu (a double-sided drum), jing (a gong suspended from a frame), kkwaenggwari (a hand-held gong) and buk (a single-sided drum) – the four main instruments used in traditional cultural celebrations in Korea.

In his speech, the new Consul General thanked the people and said: “On behalf of the Korean people of Jeddah, I welcome all of you here at the Korean Cultural Festival. I am happy to meet you all here at the Korean International School, where we had the opportunity to serve Korean food and Korean products. I hope you enjoy it.”

“They say, ‘You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can’t count the number of apples in a seed,'” he continued. “Maybe I can count the number of people who attend this festival, but I can’t count how much love each of you carries in your hearts for Saudi Arabia and Korea.

“I hope the festival can help deepen your love and interest in Korean culture so that you can become the bridge that connects the two countries.”

The talent show featured numerous contestants performing Korean pop songs, and the evening culminated with three winners receiving prizes and a raffle for 30 people who received gifts representing Korean culture.

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