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Pansori, Korean food celebrate South Korea-France diplomatic anniversary in Paris

All News 16:50 June 03, 2016

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- South Koreans performed a "pansori," a traditional Korean narrative singing performance, and opened a Korean restaurant this week in Paris in time for a state visit by President Park Geun-hye, the government said Friday.

The two events were part of the "K-culture Week," a special week designated by the two countries to commemorate their 130th diplomatic anniversary. The special week, which started on Wednesday, coincides with Park's visit to the European country from Wednesday to Saturday.

Popular pansori singer Lee Ja-ram performed "Simcheongga," one of the five surviving stories of the Korean pansori storytelling tradition, before the French audience that packed the 500-seat Bouffes Du Nord theater in Paris on Thursday (local time).

Simcheongga is about a filial daughter named Sim Cheong who sacrifices herself to cure her blind father.

The performance was followed by a contest of European amateur pansori singers.

"I began to learn pansori, fascinated by the music during my visit to the Yeosu Expo in 2012, and I also came to learn samulnori and the Korean language with this as an occasion," a 22-year-old French contestant who is a jazz musician was quoted as saying in a release from the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Samulnori is Korea's traditional percussion music.

On the same day, some 20 Korean restaurants in downtown Paris had a Korean food tasting event, presenting many different and popular Korean dishes.

They gave a quiz on Korean culture on the official website for the "K-restaurant week" and offered chances to taste Korean food to the first 400 people who selected the right answer among five options.

"The French people perceive Korean food as healthy food and rate that it has new flavors," Han Sunghak, CEO of "Soon Grill," one of the restaurants participating in the event, was quoted as saying.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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