[Guardian] Korean festival hits London – everything from K-pop to kimchi

August 7, 2015


K-pop group f(x) will be performing in London for the the city's first-ever Korean Festival. (NEWSis/Korean Cultural Centre)

K-pop group f(x) will be performing in London for the the city’s first-ever Korean festival. (NEWSis/Korean Cultural Centre)


London is to host its first ever South Korean festival on Sunday 9 August with live performances and food, fashion and games stalls, to help foster better understanding of the nation as it approaches its 70th year of independence.

The festival at Trafalgar Square will feature a K-pop concert, traditional handcraft workshops, trade zones and Korean animation screenings.

Kevin Kim, 19, moved to London from South Korea seven years ago. He works at a Korean supermarket in New Malden in Surrey and while stacking boxes of bean paste and anchovy sauce at the store he explained how perceptions of South Korea have changed.

“My friends at school didn’t know much about South Korea, but it changed after Psy’s Gangnam Style, and then they became more interested in our culture, music and food,” Kim said, in reference to the music video viewed more than 2.38bn times.

Kim said there are still misconceptions about his country, with the most common being that some people he speaks to do not distinguish between people from differing east Asian countries. He said the South Korean festival could be a good thing for raising awareness of his home country, which on 15 August will celebrate Gwangbokjeol or Restoration of Light Day, marking its liberation from Japan in 1945.