Within the midst of the Olympic Video games, diplomatic conferences, and safety considerations, music appears to have softened the current tense dynamics on the Peninsula. The North Korean Samjiyon Orchestra, which arrived in South Korea on February 6, gave two performances ; one in Gangneung and one in Seoul. The performances left many South Koreans impressed, emotional, and extra open to the thought of a attainable future unification of the 2 international locations.
The North Korean musicians carried out North Korean, South Korean, and globally acknowledged classics and shunned singing any propaganda songs (which might have most likely led to a fairly totally different response from the general public). Almost 150,000 folks entered a lottery to win the 530 obtainable free tickets to the North Korean performances. Along with these fortunate winners, about 1,100 South Koreans who have been displaced and separated by the Korean Battle have been invited to attend the concert events.
Many aged Koreans grew to become emotional after they heard sure songs and felt a nostalgic feeling for the previous, when their nation was one. Others have been impressed on the sophistication of the execution of the efficiency and left the live performance corridor with a distinct picture of the folks they’d beforehand seen as backward. A number of songs have been devoted to peace and the want for unification of the 2 Koreas. Throughout a number of of those songs, photographs have been put up on the display behind the orchestra displaying the unified Korean flag and pictures of reunited relations who had been separated by the Korean Battle.
The efficiency in Gangneung marked the primary time the North Korean band performed within the South since 2002. A tense safety state of affairs and growing strain on inter-Korean relations previously years have made it not possible to contemplate internet hosting such cultural exchanges, particularly because the North-South household reunions have been halted in 2015. Many South Koreans from the war-generation hope the current enchancment of inter-Korean relations will imply the resumption of household reunions, as lots of them don’t really feel they’ve a lot time left.
Nonetheless, for now, issues appear to be taking a flip for the higher (emphasis on the for now half). South Koreans haven’t had this sort of optimistic interplay with their northern neighbors for years and it’s undoubtedly preferable to continually being in a confrontation. The Samjiyon’s closing efficiency made this all of the extra clear. Held in Seoul, the band carried out basic Korean songs and cheerful melodies. Hyon Music-wol, the North’s most well-known pop star and the chief of the North Korean Olympic delegation, sang the finale at Sunday’s live performance.
Nonetheless, probably the most memorable (and historic) second of the evening was when Ok-pop star and member of the favored Woman’s Era band Seohyun shocked the gang as she walked on stage. Seohyun joined the North Korean orchestra and sang two songs titled “Let’s Meet Once more” and “Our Want;” songs expressing the need for the unification of the Peninsula. She sang the songs along with different North Korean singers and ended the efficiency by hugging one of many North Korean musicians.
This uncommon second of unity via music has sparked new hope for attainable enhancements in inter-Korean relations. Exchanges resembling these might help clear misunderstandings, promote cooperation, and develop unity. The youthful era doesn’t have the identical sort of perspective on the North as these from the war-generation. Many really feel disconnected, separate, and don’t even see North Koreans as being actually “Korean,” as per the South’s definition. Figures like Seohyun might help change this and promote a extra open-minded angle in the direction of, a minimum of, enhancing relations with the North.
Selling messages of peace and unity via such occasions will assist remind either side of their frequent heritage, the potential of peaceable coexistence with each other, and the last word shared purpose for the peaceable reunification of their two international locations.