The Art Policy of the Assembly of Kyzylorda Korean Community
“To preserve and enhance national unity is the greatest virtue.”
Nowadays, expatriate communities inhabiting our Republic are the focus of many branches of science, such as history, political science, ethnology, social, economic, and cultural studies, and many others. It was the project program for the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan introduced by the Republic’s First President N. A. Nazarbayev what enabled researchers to study the authentic expatriate musical cultures developing in various geographic areas to reflect the special relationships and the ethnic-specific routine, the continuity of traditions, and spiritual focuses, as well as to identify the mutual influence and interrelation of music and local culture.
The important function of the Association of Kazakhstani Koreans (AKK) in coordinating the work of Korean culture centers should be mentioned. Its top priorities are such essential aspects as providing a resurgence of the Korean language as well as ethnic-specific customs and traditions, exploring the ethnical roots, fostering the development of the authentic Korean culture, art, and literature, providing protection of rights and interest representation for Kazakhstani Koreans, enhancing interethnic friendship, and developing international cultural and economic relations. At the same time, numerous amateur artistic groups have been created; republic-wide cultural and artistic festivals as well as Korean science and art exhibitions take place. The Association initiated the publishing of the encyclopedia titled “The Soviet Koreans of Kazakhstan” and “Kazakhstani Koreans in Science, Engineering, and Culture” along with a historical essay titled “The Koreans of Kazakhstan”. A book titled “The Koreans of Kazakhstan: An Illustrated History” in three languages, namely Russian, Korean, and English, was published to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Korean community of Kazakhstan, and a brightly illustrated popular book titled “Korean Customs and Traditions” compiled by Choi Aen Keun, Yan Won was published to mark the 70th anniversary.
The Korean community of Kazakhstan is very active in many spheres. Numerous public activists, scientists, artists, and people of other trades and occupations belong to it.
The present article is one of the first attempts at one of the first attempts at studying the formation and functioning of the music culture of the Kyzylorda Korean community. The Chairperson of the Regional Ethnic Culture Center Yelena Kim has contributed greatly to the information search for evidence of the local Korean community’s activity.
During a scientific trip around the region, the scientists watched the active work of the Kyzylorda Region Office of the Association of Kazakhstani Koreans founded in 1989. Being one of the first ethnic cultural unions of the region, the organization often shows outstanding results in such top priority spheres as Korean community consolidation, enhancement of interethnic friendship and mutual understanding, and preservation and development of the ethnic culture, language, and traditions.
The office is headed by a famous public activist, Yelena Kim, who is an individual entrepreneur running a private dance school named Alex.
The regional office initiated Korean classes at a number of regional schools and founded the Kymdori Kindergarten headed by Marina Nam. An amateur artistic group actively promotes Korean art as part of the office.
The Samulnory Ensemble, Alex Dance School directed by Yuliya Kim, a Choreography Faculty of Taraz Pedagogic University, the Holmoni Vocal Band run by Lyana Hegay, Sofya Kim, Olga Choe, Polina Yun, and many others amuse the audience with their wonderful voices and songs.
The Regional Office of the Association of Kazakhstani Koreans often arranges events of high social significance, various competitions and contests – the Lunar New Year celebration, annual Arymdaun Hangugo Contests in Korean and the official language of the state on Language Day, Young Leader, Ariran Dance and Singing Festivals, children’s performances, sports competitions, and Meetings of Generations.
The office arranges Kindly Heart Charity Actions to raise funds for group of disabled persons – Aleksandr Chagay and Aleksandr Ogay, visits to deviant children and concerts for them. The Association participates in Anti Drug Trafficking Events, celebrates the Korean Patriot Day, the International Women’s Day, the Elderly Day, Nowruz, the Day of Unity of the People of Kazakhstan, May 1, and takes part in Cultural Center Day fests involving national cuisine cooking and Korean-themed drawing contests. It has implemented the Kyzylorda Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan Day Project in five districts within the region. Besides, Roza Sametova (Hegay) was awarded the gran prix at the Ariran Republic-Wide Festival of Korean Songs and the grand prix at the Golden Shoe Festival in Italy (The Korean Association facilitated the trips). The organization never fails to arrange a celebration of the Victory Day on May 9, inviting Word War II veterans of every nationality as well as home front workers to a festive dinner and a military song concert as well as to a present giving action. The Association participated in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Hero of Socialist Labor, former kolkhoz chairman, Chai Den Hak.
In January, 2014 a seminar on Korean music instruments was held in cooperation with the Korean Culture Center of the Embassy of the Korean Republic (Astana), headed by Vi Myon Chzhe, which was attended by the Salmunsori Band (Korean drums), and a teacher invited from South Korea, Nam Yon Hi. All participants of the event felt grateful to the sponsors, and the memory of the seminar make them smile.
The Tanulim Korean Art Studio (Almaty) and its first and only director Aleksandr Pak have facilitated the founding of the Samulnori Ensemble, which functions at the premises of the Kyzylorda Culture Centre. The selfless contribution of the organization played a major role in the career of the beginner band, for which the musicians are especially grateful.
The people of Kyzylordy cherish the memory of their heroes. The Heroes of Korea Hon Bom Do and Ge Bon U are buried here. The Ge Bon U Fund is headed by the Hero’s younger son Ge Hak Rim, who has eternalized the memory of his father as a scientist, a journalist, and a Hero of Korea. Many guests come from the ancestral land to pay tribute to our heroes.
The Regional Office of the Association of Kazakhstani Koreans and its activists handle important issues concerning the development of their culture, language, and traditions as well as socially important projects.
Viloriy Shin, Yuriy Kim, Matvey Choe, Oleg Pak, Afanasiy Kim, Vyacheslav Hen, Kseniya Ni, Mikail Shegay, Ignatiy Kogay, Mariya Choe, and Emma Son are the enthusiastic veterans who support the younger generation and share their work experience. All events arranged by the Office are facilitated by the Youth Center, headed by Valeriy Park, who is full of initiative.
The most important event for every citizen of Kyzylorda is the My Lucid Memory Commemoration Event arranged to pay tribute to those people who were the founding fathers and mothers of the Association and made a significant contribution into its progress, those who supported our cultural union. They are Yeleu Kusherbayev, Yevgeniy Khan, Eduard Ogay, Nagima Akhmadiyeva, Chai Den Hak, Kim Don Cher, and many others. It should be mentioned that the work done by the Regional Korean Association is based on the RK President N. Nazarbayev’s Message to the People. The Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, headed by the first President of the Republic, and the reasonable national policy are directly related to it. The core of its structure is that of such essential principles as political correctness, tolerance, unity, friendship, mutual consent, and respect for every nationality that lives in our country. “Nowadays, our state performs the truly unique function of providing equality and full-blooded development for every ethnic group, while the latter determine the new quality of Kazakhstani culture. The unity of national cultures is the basis of a nascent cultural phenomenon. Kazakhstan has become a country whose positive interethnic experience has been globally recognized, serving as a 21st century gold standard for national policy.” [1, p.3].
Music scholars have wide prospects in terms of exploring the cultural aspect of the Kazakhstani Korean community, namely that of Kyzylorda, and we do believe new discoveries are to come in the nearest future.
. The present article contains a brief summary of the policy of the regional Korean community. Future plans include a more detailed study on the music heritage of the Kyzylorda Korean community and that of the Holmoni Vocal Band headed by L. S. Hegay, in which S. Kim, O. Choe, P. Yun, and many others perform.
- Sheriyazdanova К. The Idea of Peace and Concord./Kazakhstanskaya Pravda 07.03.2010.
Musagulova G. Zh.
Candidate of Arts,
Associate Professor, Head of Music Studies Department,
M. O. Auezov Institute
For Literature and Arts