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All Things Korean

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KOREATOWN, CA– The 43rd annual LA Korean Festival (LAKF) was held at the Seoul International Park from Thursday, September 22 to Sunday, September 25. This event showcased all the culture and history of South Korean immigrants in America since the beginning of the 1900’s.

“I hope the festival becomes a way for members of the Korean-American community to cooperate,” said Kim Hyun-Myung, Los Angeles Consul General.img_8248

Despite the weather being over 100 degrees, Sunday had the most attendees. Families and friends showed up covered in sunscreen, hats, sunglasses. Many BPHS students volunteered different shifts at booths to help out the visitors.

The LAKF Foundation was founded in 1973, because Korean leaders wanted to showcase the immigrant community in the LA area and recognize the significance of preserving their ethnic identity. It’s a non-profit organization and the festival gets about 400,000 visitors per year.

One of the main aspects of the outdoor event was food. Korean food varies from super spicy to super sweet. The LAKF hired local restaurants and well-known vendors from South Korean to present a wide variety of food. A mini night market was open, selling boba drinks from Boba Bear, potato swirls, bulgogi (meat) tacos, and lit-up lemonade drinks.

No one can forget about the mini supermarket located in the middle of the venue. A small shopping center was open to mimic a typical market in South Korea. Women and young girls flooded the makeup and skincare booths that sold famous Korean products. The booths had amazing bargains and good deals on cosmetics, appliances, apparel, and accessories, which were almost sold out.img_8250

All around the event, an exhibition of wall-sized posters and images showcased South Korea’s historical timeline. Cultural and traditional costumes and language courses educated visitors about Korean history. They could play certain games to win free prizes as well. Despite the sweltering weather, the event was crowded.

Singers and dancers performed throughout the whole day, but the main acts did not come up until the sun had set. The Hallyu Wave, the phenomenon of Korean entertainment, was a significant part of the event. The Hallyu Wave consists of the popular culture of Korean pop music, TV dramas, and movies. The main stage was quickly filled up by spectators of all ages. Also, the Miss Hi-Teen Korean Pageant was held, where young Korean-American girls showed off their beauty, talent, and knowledge to judges and the audience.

BPHS freshman, Bryan Perez, recommends the LAKF for everyone. “What I liked about the event was the cultural spirit. They had great Korean food and great booths,” he explained. “My favorite part was mostly the food. I genuinely enjoyed their drinks, twisted potatoes, and beloved ribs.”img_8254

Many attendees came for the hands-on experience. People of all race and ages took part in the different festivities; making paper flowers, learning Korean phrases, and enjoying the unique foods. The older crowd enjoyed hearing Korean Trot singers from the 1980’s while the younger crowd bonded over Korean Pop. Since the event was held in the heart of Koreatown, visitors also had a chance to explore LA. Anyone can take part to have the best experience. This festival is a must if you like free things, enjoy Korean music, and love a place with great people and energy. If you missed the LAKF, wait for more fun next year!

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