90-Year-Old Scholar Relays the Spirit of Arirang - Professor Lee Chung-myun
The representative Korean folk song 'Arirang' was inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2012.
With 3,000 different versions of the song nationwide, 'Arirang' expresses the sentiments and lives of Koreans while encompassing the Korean soul.
The first English publication to promote the cultural symbol of Korea 'Arirang' to the world was "Arirang of Korea (Han, Sorrows and Hope)." Its author Lee Chung-myun, Professor Emeritus of The University of Utah completed the book after exploring locations in South Korea, North Korea and Central Asia where traces of 'Arirang' could be found.
After graduating from the Department of Geography Education at Seoul National University, he went abroad in 1960 to study land use planning and population theory at the University of Michigan where he earned his Ph.D. He has lectured at Kyung Hee University, The University of Malaya, UCLA and starting from 1972 he has worked at The University of Utah. What triggered him to begin research on the Arirang song?
Professor Lee Chung-myun states that his passion for 'Arirang' is his motivation for life. Next year as he turns 90 he plans to join the '6,000km Arirang Road Journey' that will trace the distribution route of 'Arirang.'
This week on Heart to Heart we will embark on the 'Arirang' journey with Professor Lee Chung-myun who has spent years to promote the Korean folk song to the world.