Ethnic and cultural Association of Koreans in Astana

15.10.2018 458

Ethnic and cultural Association of Koreans in Astana is an active participant of events dedicated to the friendship of people and national holidays. We met with Roza Pak, Vice-Chairperson of the Association and asked her about cultural events and activities held by the community.

—Could you tell please about the history of the Association?

—In December 2014 the Ethnic and Cultural Association of Koreans of Astana celebrated its 25th anniversary. The celebration was held in the concert hall of the National Art Gallery of Astana. The prologue of the celebration was sublimely solemn and optimistic. The faces of the compatriots of the older generation were changed after each other, wise and noble people, grateful to fate for the fact that in sinister 1937 it brought the deported Korean people to the blessed Kazakh land, which became a sacred homeland for their children. Respectful, inspired on a high note prologue set a special spirit to the celebration, all participants of the holiday in honour of the 25th anniversary of the association. Speakers referred to the undoubted achievements of the Koreans of Astana, on contributions of the chairmen Alexander Vongay, Vassily Kim, Vyacheslav Lee. They were gratefully named by the current chairman of the branch Alexander Kim. The branch is placed high among national-cultural associations, experience, practice, style and methods of work are replicated from it.

It has much experience indeed, because Korean Cultural Centre was one of the first in Tselinograd, when in 1989 there was a unique opportunity to start the revival of the national spirit, the true consolidation of ethnoses in the Kazakh society. There were Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea and President of the Association of Koreans of Kazakhstan, who congratulated compatriots on the 25th anniversary presented diplomas of the Assembly of people of Kazakhstan and the Republican Korean Association on the event. The collective congratulations of the leaders of the national centres of the Head of the Secretariat of the Assembly of Astana were especially sincere. The concert was held after the solemn part.

A meeting of Tselinograd Koreans was held in October 1989, which was attended by more than 100 people of different ages and professions – teachers, doctors, lecturers and students, employees and other. The participants supported unanimously the establishment of the Korean National Cultural Centre. Vongay was elected Chairman of the Board in 1995 and the centre and entered the Association of Koreans of Kazakhstan as a branch. All these years, the branch of Association of Koreans of Kazakhstan among the largest and most active in the city has repeatedly been awarded with diplomas, prizes and other awards for active participation in all events held in the city and republic.

—At present, young people are very interested in learning Korean language, culture and traditions. Do you have any courses or Sunday school?

—The first Korean language courses were organized in 1992 and the official opening of the Korean Sunday school was held on the basis of school No. 2 in October 1993.  Director of the school was A. Kan. Veteran of Sunday school the current director is a wonderful, purposeful person Zhanna Yugay. Students who have received certificates in the Education Centre of South Korea Yulia Kim, Oksana Dulemba, Svetlana Kim work as teachers. Thanks to the teachers, much experience and an interesting methodology that like children and adults of Korean nationality, children of different nationalities are gained at school. At the end of each academic year, open classes are held with the invitation of guests, where children are happy to demonstrate knowledge of the language they learned during the school year.  There is staff of Department of Education and akimat of Astana. Children are repeatedly encouraged trips to their historical homeland.  The school is among the best ones in the city.

The ensemble of Korean dance "Misson" was created in 1994. From the beginning of creation honoured culture worker Lyudmila Gatsenko was the Head of ensemble, she gave all her knowledge, experience and soul, instilling love for national dance and culture. People's artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan R. Kim was invited several times for development and choreographing of new dances, who staged new dances with the fan, "Joy", "Bidulgi". Older and younger groups of the ensemble "Misson" is always decoration of the events. The dance group is the constant participant and winner of the Republican festivals of Korean art, Festivals of Friendship of the people, Unity Day, Language Festival. Since 2012 a ballerina of the Republican Korean theatre Svetlana Pak has been engaged with children, since 2013 the Head of the ensemble is Svetlana Ten. There are 60 people in the dance group.

The vocal ensemble "Chen-Ryu" was created in November 2000. The ensemble turned 16 in November 2017, there are more than 30 songs in repertoire, 12 – in Korean, 10 – in Kazakh, 10 –in Russian. The vocal group "Chen-Ryu" is a welcome guest in all organizations during the celebrations. They speak in front of the audience in the military units and nursing home. Performances of the ensemble soloists L. Tyan and L. Moon have great success. "Chen-Ryu" ensemble went to concerts to Alekseevka, rest zones "Muyaldy", "Sosnovy bor", "Botagoz" several times. 20 wonderful women sing in the vocal group. Director of the ensemble is L. Khamzina, who has a special musical education as a band director. In October 2013 the chorus "Chen-Ryu" was awarded the honourary title "People's".

In April 2010 the capital branch of the Association of Koreans of Kazakhstan took the first place at the Festival of Friendship of People held among the national cultural centres.

The Association has the Council of Elders, which constantly organizes meetings of three generations, where the elders share their knowledge, give advice, initiatives that are very useful in the work of the Board and the youth movement. A book "Bereg nadezhdy i schastya", which reflects the fate of many Koreans of the capital was published at N. Mun and V. Son’s initiatives. The book tells how to stay human overcoming all the hardships, sufferings and irreparable losses.

Every year the branch office hosts friendly chess tournaments between Kazakhs and Koreans. Tournaments always end with a cup of tea and long conversations and memories, exchange of gifts and souvenirs, which leaves kind and good impression.

The society of elderly "Noin Dan", which has about 170 people was created under the branch. The Chairman is A. Kogay. Every year we celebrate the Day of Elderly, provide financial assistance and congratulate them on significant dates. We provide patronage assistance to the elderly from the nursing home.

—What is the mission of the Association?

—One of the main tasks of the Ethnic and Сultural Association of Koreans in Astana is the legacy of generations. Therefore, a youth wing was created on 8 April 2002. During this time, the activists of the youth movement organized and held many different forums, martial arts festivals, health festivals, actively attract their peers to public life. The drum ensemble "Samulnori" and dance ensemble "Dance-fight" were created at the centre. Their performances are always met well by young people. Our children annually participate in the competition of school students "Young leader", organized by the Republican Association and competition of scholarships of the Ambassador of South Korea and Association of Koreans of Kazakhstan. students of Agricultural University for good study and active participation in public life of the branch. Elena Mun, Larisa Kim, Roman Kim, Andrey Kim, Darya Ligay, Vladimir Sin became the scholarship winners.

5 events were held in 2014 in the framework of state order realization of the Department for Youth Policy Affairs of Astana: demonstration of national cuisines, round table "National traditions in the education of children and youth", exhibition of applied arts and crafts, concert of creative teams within the festival of youth wings of ethnic and cultural associations, sports competitions among students on national sports, photo exhibition for the Capital Day.

On 14 May 2015, the youth forum "I am Kazakhstan citizen" was held as part of the state order implementation of the Youth Policy Development Department, which was attended by more than 200 students of the city. The youth team is headed by Vasilina Yugay. Children's vocal ensemble "Rodnichok" was created in order to cover all age groups in the association. Children are happy to sing songs in Korean and Kazakh.

Members of the Board carried out much work on a voluntary basis for 25 years of existence of the branch. Good results have been achieved in the development of amateur art. In 2003, the branch took 3rd place at the National festival of Korean art and in 2005 it became the best branch of the festival.

In 2012, by the decision of the Congress of Assocation of Koreans of Kazakhsran branch was re-registered as "Ethnic and Cultural Association of Koreans of Astana”.

—What kind of activities and events are held in the cultural centre?

—In 2013 Ethnic and Cultural Association of Koreans of Astana successfully implemented the state order of the Department of Internal Policy of Astana on the implementation of the Strategy of the Assembly of people of Kazakhstan. As part of the order, 10 events were held, including: round table "Strategy -2050. Vectors of development of the country in the XX1 century", dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the capital, chess tournament between the members of the ECA, dedicated to the 15th anniversary of the capital, concert "Friendship of peoples" in the nursing home, intellectual show "Our Kazakhstan" among students of the Eurasian National University and Nazarbayev University, concert "Kazakhstan is our common home" for students of medical Academy and military hospital staff, health festival "Recharge your energy of life" for students of No. 22 school-lyceum, traveling seminar to the Day of Constitution, round table "Spiritual harmony – a key factor in the consolidation of Kazakhstan's society”, meeting of three generations, photo contest "My family is my wealth”.   

5 events were held in 2014 in the framework of implementation of state order of Youth Policy Department of Astana: demonstration of national cuisines "Dastarkhan will unite people" at Kazakh-Russian University, round table "National traditions in the education of children and youth", exhibition of applied arts and crafts, concert of creative teams within the festival of youth wings, sports competitions among students at the national sports, photo exhibition for the Day of Capital.

The calendars were issued for the 25th anniversary of the Association, the 20th anniversary of the Assembly of people of Kazakhstan.

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Dana TUGAMBEKOVA