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Excitement fills K-pop concert in Mexico, fans greet their stars in Korean

All Headlines 16:32 April 04, 2016

MEXICO CITY, April 4 (Yonhap) -- The wave of hallyu, or Korean pop culture, swept through Mexico City over the weekend as South Korean performers showed off their ability to wow audiences around the world.

Mexican K-pop fans had formed a long line from 11 a.m., four hours before the kickoff of Sunday's concert, in front of the concert hall Teatro Metropolitan in the capital city. They enthusiastically held pickets and recited their favorite bands and performers in Korean.

The event was timed to take place as South Korea's president visits the country.

One Mexican, who said she was a fan of South Korean boy band Big Bang, said, "I have been watching Korean drama and listening to Korean music online for years. I hope the South Korean president's visit serves an opportunity for the two countries to expand cultural and economic exchanges."

Sunday's event, "K Soul in Mexico," consisted of performances of the Korean traditional martial art taekwondo, a concert by K-pop boy band Infinite, Mexican traditional performances, a collaboration between traditional music bands from both countries, and South Korean B-boys.

Approximately 3,200 Mexican fans filling the concert hall screamed with many singing songs during the entire event in Korean.

Five minutes into the concert's opening President Park Geun-hye arrived at the venue and was greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd.

The president smiled and waved to the clapping audience and was escorted to a seat on the first floor.

The first performance was seven B-boys in traditional face masks, who showed off dynamic, flashy dance moves. Later, taekwondo performers attracted the attention of the concert-goers as they smashed layers of bricks with their bare hands. Waving Korean and Mexican flags together, they danced to the tune of the Mexican folk song "La Bamba" and South Korean singer Psy's global sensation "Gangnam Style." They finished the show by hoisting high both flags amid cheers and clapping by the concert-goers, including the president.

Mexico has an estimated 140,000 Korean pop fans and 2 million taekwondo enthusiasts. In 2011, 'TK-5' or the taekwondo professional league was established in the country for the first time in the world.

The highlight of the concert came when boy band Infinite took the stage.

Greeting fans in Spanish, the seven-member group jumped to the stage amid ear-splitting screams by fans, and sang three popular songs "Bad," "Love Letter" and "Back."

When one of the members shaped his arms into a heart, female fans began chanting "Infinite" and shouted the names of performers.

At the end of the event, President Park came up to the stage and greeted the crowd in Spanish, which was received with warm applause from Mexican fans.

"As you have witnessed today, artists and singers from both nations performed in great harmony with each other," Park said, adding that she thought it would be really nice if the two countries went on to create good cultural content together that can be shown to the world.

"I hope you continue supporting Korean culture and I will try to make more opportunities where the two nations can closely connect through cultural exchanges," the chief executive said.
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