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Annual multicultural fest ends with fanfare

All News 11:31 October 04, 2016

CHANGWON, South Korea, Oct. 4 (Yonhap) -- An annual multicultural festival has ended successfully in the southern city of Changwon, with a record number of people visiting the event featuring diverse shows and programs, organizers said Tuesday.

The 11th Migrants' Arirang Multicultural Festival (MAMF) kicked off in the industrial city on Friday for a three-day run with the aim of boosting understanding between South Koreans and migrants and sharing cultural values.

Despite bad weather that resulted in changed venues, some 220,000 people enjoyed the festival, the organizing committee said, adding the fest ended without major setbacks on the back of its thorough preparations.

"It is a bit regrettable that rain disrupted some events, but we are very proud of having been able to display better performances this year than in the past," said chief organizer Lee Chul-seung. "We will try to provide an opportunity for South Korean society to better understand people from different cultures."

The festival began with performances of art troupes from four nations, including this year's guest of honor Cambodia, to mark its opening at the Seongsan Art Hall.

This picture, taken on Oct. 2, 2016, shows a multicultural parade under way on the main street of Changwon, an industrial city some 400 kilometers south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

In particular, the Cambodian troupe performed the "Apsara Dance," a traditional dance designated as a UNESCO intangible cultural asset. The Cambodian culture minister delivered a congratulatory speech.

Major events included a migrants' song festival, a multicultural street parade and the Asia Pop Music Concert.

Fourteen finalists competed in the song festival on the second day, with a 32-year-old Mongolian, who came to South Korea in 2007, winning the grand prize.

An international seminar titled "Migrants' Work, Life and Cultural Diversity" was held at Changwon University also on the event's second day.

Clad in their respective traditional costumes, migrants from 12 nations -- including Nepal, Mongolia, China, Vietnam, Uzbekistan and Thailand -- participated Monday in a parade on the city's central street, the centerpiece of the festival.

Singers from eight nations joined the Asia Pop Music Concert on that day, with South Korean rock star Yoon Do-hyun, the MAMF goodwill ambassador, and his band giving a celebration concert.

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