Korea, Iran commemorate 1,300 years of cultural exchange

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Jul 4, 2017 - 16:51
  • Updated : Jul 4, 2017 - 16:51
South Korea kicked off a weeklong event in Tehran on Monday, promoting Korea’s traditional culture, in commemoration of the two countries’ millenniumlong relationship built along the Silk Road.

This year has been the designated the year of South Korea-Iran cultural exchange, to mark the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. However, cultural exchanges between Seoul and Tehran go back much farther, back to the time of the Silla Kingdom and the Persian Empire. 

National Orchestra of Korea performs in this undated file photo. (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)
A calligraphy work by Iranian artist Elahe Khatam. (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism)

“We hope that through cultural encounter of the two countries, our culture will take a step closer toward everyday lives of Iran people. ... We also hope for it to be a catalyst to more active cultural exchange between Korea and Iran” said a Korean Culture Ministry official.

As part of the weeklong event, an exhibition of calligraphy and traditional Korean craftworks titled “Korea-Iran 1,300 years of relations, the Silk Road” is running until Friday.

The event, being held at Millad Tower Exhibition Hall, features 51 pieces of calligraphy work -- including 28 in Farsi -- along with performances by artists from the two countries.

Some 90 pieces of Korean traditional crafts are also on exhibition and hands-on programs are available, allowing visitors to try making traditional crafts from both Korea and Iran.

On the last day of the culture week, National Orchestra of Korea will demonstrate Korea’s traditional music through the “Arirang Fantasy” concert to be held at Vahdat Hall. Among the repertoire are “Arirang Fantasy,” “Namdo Arirang,” pansori -- Korean musical storytelling -- and other Korean traditional songs. 

By Yoon Min-sik