A scene from the "Night of Korea" opening ceremony, which took place in Astana, Kazakhstan, on May 5 (Yonhap News)
To celebrate the "Year of Korea 2011" in Kazakhstan, various cultural programs, including an opening ceremony event, concerts, Korean film festival and photo exhibition, have been taking place across the country from May 4.
As part of "2010-2011 Kazakhstan-Korea Year" exchange project, a variety of cultural programs to promote Korean culture have been held in the Kazakhstani capital city of Astana and Almati, the country's largest city.
The "2010-2011 Kazakhstan-Korea Year" project was initially agreed to by President Lee Myung-bak and his Kazakhstani counterpart, Nursultan Nazarbayev, during the Korea-Kazakhstan summit talks, which took place in May of 2009. The project was designed to substantially expand bilateral exchanges in all sectors, including politics, the economy, culture and human exchanges.
During the ongoing event, Korea and Kazakhstan also signed a memorandum of understanding in the tourism sector, which will enhance the friendship between the two countries in the future.
To mark the "Year of Korea 2011", an opening ceremony event titled "Night of Korea" was held by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism at a concert hall in Astana on May 5. This celebratory event was attended by some 3,000 people, including officials like Korean Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Mo Chul-min and his Kazakhstani counterpart, Chairwoman of the Presidential Council on National Branding Lee Bae-yong, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) CEO Cho Hwan-Eik and Korean ambassador to Kazakhstan Lee Byung-hwa.
Chongdong Theater's well-known musical "Miso" staged a wonderful performance, and the performers were joined by popular Hallyu stars and the bands Tmax and JQT for an opening concert.
(From left to right) High-profile officials attending the "Night of Korea", including Korean Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Mo Chul-min (left) // Kazakhstan audiences respond enthusiastically during the opening concert (Yonhap News)
Kazakhstani audiences were especially enthusiastic about actor Song Il-gook, the lead in the historical Korean TV drama "Jumong", which is currently very popular in Kazakhstan.
Both Korea's Arirang TV and Kazakhstan's state broadcaster, Kazakhstan TV, aired the opening concert on May 8.
* Culture Ministry to host various Korean cultural events in Kazakhstan throughout 2011
To mark "Year of Korea 2011", Korea's Culture Ministry will hold a variety of programs to promote Korean culture in both Astana and Almati throughout the year.
The ministry held a Korean film festival and photo exhibition in Astana from May 6 to 9. The film festival showed four popular Korean films, including "Speedy Scandal", "Take Off" and "Beyond the Years". The photo exhibition showed the charms of Korean tourism through beautiful pictures of Korea's UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Jeju Island and Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju.
The Culture Ministry plans to send a Korean delegation of culture and arts volunteer service workers, a taekwondo promotion delegation and Korean intangible assets to Kazakhstan for performances, starting in June.
* Korea, Kazakhstan sign tourism MOU
During his visit to Kazakhstan, Vice Minister Mo signed an MOU with Kazakhstan's Vice Minister of Tourism and Sports, Talgat Ermegiyaev. Through the agreement, the two countries will expand the volume of exchanges in tourism and sports.
Meanwhile, in Almati, the Presidential Council on National Branding and five Korean government ministries, including the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, worked together to jointly hold the "Korea Week" festival, including the hosted "A Night of Korea" event and celebratory concert on May 4.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy and KOTRA jointly held the AT&D KOREA Road Show, composed of forums, exhibitions and consulting services focusing on smart technology.
The Korea Communications Commission held a showcase event for broadcasting contents to promote Korean exports by screening Korean TV programs at the showcase event, a TV broadcasting showcase and business consulting meeting.
By Yoon Sojung
Korea.net Staff Writer
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