Migrants Arirang Multicultural Festival (MAMF) celebrated its 17th year through festivities held in Yongji Cultural Park from October 21 to October 23. It is the largest festival that celebrates cultural diversity in Korea.
This year, in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Korea and China, the featured country was China.
The festival was participated by 14 Asian countries. Ambassadors and dignitaries from participating countries attended to support their communities. Thousands of migrants and locals from all over the country came to join the celebrations.
Major programs included the opening and closing ceremonies featuring the performances of invited celebrities from the participating countries. There was also the Global Migrants Dance Audition and EDM Festival, held for the first time this year.
The highlight of the festival was the Cultural Diversity Parade. Participating countries showcased their traditional costumes, dances, and music.
These giant pandas were at the forefront of the parade.
The parade was participated in by long lines of people donned in their country’s traditional clothes.
Others were dancing to their traditional music played either by a loudspeaker or traditional musical instruments.
During the festival, Yongji Cultural Park was transformed into a cultural melting pot. Participating countries had booths to display their respective cultures. Visitors had a chance to have a hands-on experience through cultural activities such as wearing colorful costumes and doing some art projects.
Young visitors were handed a multicultural passport to encourage them to have a multicultural experience. After visiting a booth, they could get a stamp on their multicultural passport.
There were also other things that definitely caught people’s attention. This robots display was quite popular among children.
Food trucks were available outside the park. Aside from the usual beverages and snacks sold during festivals, visitors could have a taste of authentic Asian food prepared by foreign-owned restaurants.
There were also fringe events to add more to the fun. Visitors could enjoy busking performances by domestic and foreign indie artists. The Global Bazaar and Flea Market displayed and sold unique traditional items and crafts from each country.
This festival, which started in 2005, is not just a multicultural festival. It aims to inspire migrants living in Korea and protect their rights by creating awareness. More importantly, by celebrating cultural diversity, it contributes to the social integration of migrants, thus promoting a multicultural Korean society that does not discriminate or hate.
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