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The LA Korean Festival, a Global Hallyu Festival! Updated: 2011-10-05 00:00:00 KST

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[Interview : ] "Korean festival, Korean festival, Come to the LA Korean festival!"

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[Interview : Elli Yi, Reporter] "Right now, we are in the heart of Koreatown on Olympic and Normandie Boulevard. It's amazing because there are so many people from all different backgrounds that have come out to enjoy the 38th Annual Korean Festival in Los Angeles. Let's go check it out! Come on."

The Los Angeles Korean Festival is the largest of its kind in the world, drawing over 100,000 visitors each year. This year's festival was filled with a variety of exciting events.

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[Interview : Bae Moo-han, President
2011 The 38th Los Angeles Korean Festival] "Now, we will begin the 38th Annual Los Angeles Korean Festival!"

This year's festival, themed "Hallyu, the Strength of Korean Culture in the World," kicked off with a performance by Korea's Military Symphony Orchestra.

Korean National Military Symphony

The majestic performance by the 140-member orchestra fired up the crowd.

The festival was filled with twenty diverse performances from not only Korea, but also around the world, including bellydance and Latin dance.

And of course, the highlight is the food! Visitors enjoy Korean delicacies that are usually hard to find in LA.

The best of the best has been selected and shipped over to the festival from Korea.

People from other cultures were able to thoroughly enjoy traditional Korean food.

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[Interview : Delia Polomo, Visitor] "We in Mexico, we also know the food that we were experiencing, and seeing it done in a different way, I think it's really good."

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[Interview : Ryan Villaverde, Visitor] "I love watching the Korean people enjoy their culture. It's really exciting to see them get excited about it. I love all the food, all the cool things to buy. It's just really fun."

Throughout the four-day festival, the Korean culture experience booth was never without visitors.

The earthenware booth was especially popular among young children. And each family had the chance to make their own traditional Korean bowls to take home.

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[Interview : Cindy Ortiz, Visitor] "It was really fun and really cool, making a cupcake."

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[Interview : Emily Hernandez, Visitor] "Use it, paint it or something. I'm so excited."

Meanwhile, the adults were attracted to the hanbok experience booth! They all seemed to be mesmerized by the beautiful colors and elegant designs of hanbok.

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[Interview : Lee Tae-mok, Director
Representative Office of Gyeonggi Province R.O.K. in USA] "There were a lot of people who said that it was their first time wearing hanbok. Some of them even had tears in their eyes, and I was so glad that we put this event together. It's very rewarding."

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[Interview : Elli Yi, Reporter] "And now, it's time for the best part of the festival, the Koreatown parade! As you can see, all the streets have been closed off, and so many spectators have shown up to check out all the excitement that's going on. Let's go check out to see which teams have participated in this year's parade."

The parade is a representation of the history and pride of the Korean community in LA.

The parade, designed to introduce Korean culture to foreigners and vice versa, was a touching experience that brought all of LA together as one.

The open car parade featured many personalities that wanted to express their gratitude to the Korean community.

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[Interview : Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor
City of Los Angeles] "This is a city where we welcome people, where we judge them on the content of their character, on their honesty and integrity, on their work ethic, and this is a community that's delivered for LA in a way that we're very very proud of."

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[Interview : Elli Yi, Reporter] "Behind me is a stage here at the Korean festival, and that's where a lot of the exciting performances take place. Speaking of performances, K-pop is a huge in the Korean Wave. Here at the festival, they've prepared a bunch of K-pop performances. Let's check it out."

K-pop, which took over the world with its rhythms and catchy choreographies, was a big hit at the festival!

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[Interview : ] "Park Hyo-shin, I love you!"

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[Interview : ] "Super Junior, MBLAQ, TVXQ,"

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[Interview : ] "2NE1!"

The performers do the songs justice, and what's surprising is that most of them aren't ethnically Korean! Their amazing talents made the Festival a truly multicultural party.

[Interview : Young Kim, Visitor] "I expected a lot of young Korean people to participate in the K-pop contest, but I was surprised to see so many people from different countries enjoying K-pop together."

At the festival, actor Lee Jun-gi received the warmest reception of all! Appearing with the Korean Military Symphony Orchestra, he held a concert with singer Park Hyo-shin. People came from across state borders to see them perform.

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[Interview : Carolyn Myss, Visitor] "Park Hyo-shin was amazing. His rendition of "My Way" was absolutely amazing."

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[Interview : Melanie Lynskey, Visitor] "I loved seeing Lee Jun-gi. I came all the way from Seattle mainly to see this performance and to see Lee Jun-gi."

A festival is a place for having fun and meeting others, and this year's LA Korean Festival had as much fun and friendship as everyone had hoped.

It was the pride of Koreans living abroad that made it possible for the people of Los Angeles to come together in harmony through the enjoyment of Korean food and culture.

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I can't believe it's already in its 38th year it must've been quite fun to see all of that at once and then to be able to go to the beach right afterwards.
That's sunny California. Though you know me I like the dark and gloomy weather.
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