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Vietnamese participants learn how to play traditional Korean musical instruments at the Korean Culture Center in Vietnam. (Korean Culture Center in Vietnam)

By Xu Aiying and Hahm Hee-eun

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Korean Traditional Performing Arts Foundation announced on Aug. 6 that the Global Traditional Culture and Arts Troupe 2018 will be sent to three countries — Brazil, Spain and mainland China — to introduce traditional Korean arts to the world.

The Global Traditional Culture and Arts Troupe 2018, made up of three teams with nine people each, will start its journey on Aug. 9. One team each will arrive at the Korean Cultural Center in São Paulo, Brazil, in Madrid and in Shanghai, China. Each team will perform a range of traditional arts programs, including classes about traditional Korean musical instruments, such as the gayageum 12-stringed zither, about samulnori, a modern form of traditional drumming and about the danso traditional bamboo flute. There will also be traditional Korean dance performances and workshops. Everyone will be able to participate in the programs between August to December.

The Global Traditional Culture and Arts Troupe, which started as the Global Traditional Culture and Arts Volunteer Corps in 2005, has since then dispatched 157 people specializing in traditional Korean arts, music and handicrafts to 16 countries, all part of Korea’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) program.

Until last year, such culture and arts troupes were normally sent to ODA recipient countries, but starting this year teams were also sent to countries where the growing popularity of Korean pop music, TV shows and movies, the so-called Hallyu, or Korean Wave,” has grown popular in some segments of the population. Hence, this is the first time for the Global Traditional Culture and Arts Troupe to be sent to Brazil, Spain and mainland China.

A representative from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said, “Up to now, there weren’t many opportunities to introduce traditional Korean arts, compared to pop culture. Through the activities of our Global Traditional Culture and Arts Troupe, we hope to show the charms and joys of traditional Korea. The world will be able to discover a new side of the Korean charm.”

xuaiy@korea.kr