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Silla’s millennium story unfolds at Gyeongju World Culture Expo

During the summer and autumn, North Gyeongsang Province and Gyeongju city will host an international cultural event to tell the story of Silla Kingdom (B.C. 57-A.D. 935), one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

Under the theme “The Story of Millennium ― Love, Light and Nature,” the 6th Gyeongju World Culture Expo will be held for 60 days from Aug. 12 to Oct. 10 at the Gyeongju World Culture Expo Park and around the city.

The upcoming event has been scheduled along with the 2011 Daegu World Championships in Athletics, which takes place from Aug. 27 to Sept. 4, so that international tourists and athletes can enjoy both events together, the Organizing Committee for the Gyeongju World Culture Expo said.
The Gyeongju Tower, a replica of the Nine-story Pagoda at the Hwangnyong Temple, at the Gyeongju World Culture Expo Park in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province. (The Organizing Committee for the Gyeongju World Culture Expo)
The Gyeongju Tower, a replica of the Nine-story Pagoda at the Hwangnyong Temple, at the Gyeongju World Culture Expo Park in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province. (The Organizing Committee for the Gyeongju World Culture Expo)

The Gyeongju expo’s four main sections are official events, performances, visual image shows and exhibitions which will showcase 20 kinds of cultural content in more than 100 individual events, the organizer said.

The official events include the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony and an introduction of Gyeongju culture. Performances will include a theme performance, a world dance festival, a b-boy festival, street shows, a children festival, a dance festival for Korean university students and a parade featuring Queen Seondeok, the first reigning queen of Silla.

Visual image shows will include 3-D animation film “Byeongnucheon” (the bracelet of blue tears), Gyeongju Tower multimedia show and a world music festival. The animation, the fifth 3-D theme film of the Gyeongju World Culture Expo, tells a story of imaginary Queen Seondeok’s fight to protect Silla against the evil King Baengnyong (white dragon) who tries to wipe out humans and rebuild the world for the Dragons.

The 82-meter-high Gyeongju Tower, a copied version of the Nine-story Pagoda at the Hwangnyong Temple, will highlight the “moon-lit night of Silla” with a multimedia show.

Exhibitions will feature “Silla, the Millennium Kingdom,” animation characters for kids, traditional puppets and fossils from around the world.

Other sideline events will include the Silla costume experience and making a 15-meter “dokkabi bridge” using bricks with visitors’ names engraved.

First established in 1998, the Gyeongju World Culture Expo has attracted 8.5 million visitors so far. With the upcoming event, the number is expected to hit the 10 million mark, the organizer said.

By Kim Yoon-mi (yoonmi@heraldcorp.com)
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