Adventures of an American Seoul-Sister

Adventures and Observations of an American Seoul-Sister

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Korea's Got Talent!

Saturday afternoon, just home from a long bike ride, I am intrigued by loud-speaker voices coming from somewhere in the neighborhood.  This is not the typical loud-speaker meant to announce the offerings of a passing fruit truck or a van spouting political jargon.  So, deciding to investigate, I follow the sound to a nearby park that I pass daily on my way to the academy.  Usually populated with bicycling children, strolling moms, and little old ladies selling veggies, I find the park totally transformed.

In the central dirt soccer field, a stage has been set up with rows of white lawn chairs in front.  On the stage, a couple of teens are singing their hearts out.  Behind the seating, vendors are busy stocking their stands with Hello Kitty and Pokemon balloons and heating up faire food (toasted grubs, hotdogs filled with corn kernels, tiny suck-em snails, and pseudo-meat kababs).

It turns out that I've lucked onto a community talent show.  I join the audience.  This is too fantastic to pass up! Throughout the afternoon and into the late evening, I see many people sing, a few taekwondo routines, and several acts that call for dedicated blog space  Most of the video is taken from the distance, but you'll still get the point.

One of the first acts of the day is a group of teen girls.  They are not particularly good, but they do stand out for me because they're rapping in Korean.  Surprise!

A group of housewives wearing homemade, brightly-colored, very weird, Anne-of-Green-Gables dresses and wide-brimmed straw sun hats has a bit of trouble proving their talent: the Mexican hat dance!  (I will try to get video of this for a future post.)

In one of the acts, I find my mom's Korean counterparts:  older (sorry mom) women, wearing silver sequence tops, and banging away on drums.  Sadly, however, these mums with drums could have used a bit more practice.  I've spared you the devastatingly off-beat finish.

This little guy's talent: Super Cuteness

Later, as the sun goes down and the air cools, the park fills with people of all ages.  The latter part of the show consists of acts that can actually claim talent, and thank goodness for that!  The show kicks into overdrive with a light show, fog machine, bubble machine, pyrotechnics, and fireworks.

This duet is pretty good at singing the kind of music considered popular in Korea.

One of the best and youngest acts of the night is this boy. He's super; I like to refer to him as Pyrotechnic Boy.

This couple pays homage to American songwriters, covering Dylan's Blowin' in the Wind and Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Pardon--song entirely in Korean, of course.

And the winner is...

...Pyrotechnic Boy!  His prize comes in a box so big, he has to drag it off stage inch by inch.  Oops!  I mean centimeter by centimeter.  Lucky kid!

In my next installment:  Korea's Got Talent!: The After Party


  1. Proof I need to leave my house more often. This looks awesome! Thanks for sharing.