Sarang: The Festival of India in Korea
The cultural space between the modern Indian and Korean nations has a history as rich as its foundation.
Legend tells us of Queen Suriratna, an Indian princess revered for nearly 1900 years as the ancestor of generations of Koreans. Since then, the quest for sacred learning in the Buddhist era, the journeys of the great monk Hyecho, and the itinerant Indian monk Bodhidharma, and in the modern age, the empathy of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore for the Korean people, are all well-documented. Clearly, ours is a story of people united despite distance over the centuries.
Yet in today’s frenetic modern age, we find a greater need to connect ourselves with the traditions that bind us together civilizationally.
And so the Embassy of India in Korea is delighted to present the first Festival of India in Korea in public-private partnership mode. The festival will include performances in Seoul, Busan and Nami Island, and will cover a range of performing arts, from music to dance, from puppetry and masks to modern Indian cuisine. It is organized and presented by Teamwork Arts, a premier production company from India, with a strong international footprint. And the events are sponsored by a range of companies that are truly friends of the India-Korea relationship.
We hope our audiences will recognize what this festival is: an appetizer for the larger repast that is India’s diverse and unique culture. And it is also a calling card for larger and more wide-ranging editions of the festival in future. Through this festival, and with your support, we hope to create a foothold in Korea’s rich cultural calendar for an annual festival of India. This Festival is the first step in that direction.
Through this Festival also, we want to energize the two-way flow of ideas, commerce, and people. We want to recapture the spirit of enterprise and creativity that led our ancestors to find mind-space for each other, and to learn from each other’s traditions.
And the Festival connects India with the five million or so Korean people who trace their ancestry to Queen Suriratna. To them we say greetings from your faraway family!