A Latin American festival was held on June 18 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Seongbukcheon Fountain Square in Seoul. The festival, hosted by the Seongbuk district government and the Embassies of Mexico, Brazil and Peru, highlighted Latin American culture through food and performances.
Peruvian Ambassador Marcela Lopez Bravo said, "I'm very happy to see everyone enjoy the festival, regardless of their ages or nationalities.” He went on to say, ”This is a perfect chance to meet Latin cultures, including Peruvian culture, in Korea. There will be more chances to meet Latin culture in Korea, as we are planning some events like a photo exhibition of Machu Picchu."
Each country had representative performances to highlight their cultural assets. A group from Brazil gave a presentation on the traditional martial art called Capoeira, accompanied by music, and the Peruvian embassy brought in the folk music group Inca Empire.
A Mexican mariachi band also proved to be a big success, performing both popular hits and traditional melodies. During the breaks between performances, visitors danced to the strains of Mexican pop music.
There was also a wide variety of food available to visitors to introduce each country’s traditional cuisine. The Peruvian embassy arranged for a tasting of papa rellena, a dish of potato bread filled with ground beef, and beef barbeque. The Brazilian contingent prepared cheese bread called pao de queijo and tea. Mexican food turned out to be especially popular, with long queues forming for tacos and quesadillas. Visitors could also try Spanish omelets, fried meat balls, and several different kinds of Latin American beer.
Bangladesh’s ambassador to Korea, Shahidul Islam, said that thanks to the success of the Latin American festival, several Southeast Asian countries were planning a festival sometime later this year. "It will be a good opportunity to meet various Southeast Asian cultures during the festival and I hope people enjoy it as much as they do today," he said.
For more information on Brazilian Capoeira, please visit the performance team’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/cdoseoul. Those interested in Peruvian music can find out more form Inca Empire’s homepage at http://cafe.daum.net/incaempire.
By Jessica Seoyoung Choi
Korea.net Staff Writer