Korean culture filled the square Sunday during Atlanta’s Second Annual Korean Film Festival held in LaGrange this year.
Those who attended enjoyed performances from the Korean Culture Center and from Seoul Taekwondo, both groups from Atlanta, along with traditional Korean food and games.
The festival kicked off with a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. by the LaGrange-Troup Chamber of Commerce, the South Korean Consul General, sponsors and those involved in planning the festival, city officials and the actors and the director of the Korean film “The Thieves,” which was shown at the end of the ceremony.
The actors from the action comedy movie had flown 14 hours from South Korea into Atlanta to attend the festival, according to the festival director, and are some of the most famous actors and actresses in Korea.
Mayor Jeff Lukken prided the Korean culture that has been planted in LaGrange.
“In 2005 the City of LaGrange and our county of Troup were blessed to have Kia and all the Kia suppliers all move to the city of LaGrange,” he said. “It was a wonderful event for the people LaGrange that we would learn so much from the Korean visitors about their ancient history, culture and wonderful traditions that they’ve been able to bring to all of us.”
The actors and LaGrange officials joined together to stir a large bowl of rice and other ingredients used to make Bibimbap, a signature Korean dish. The food was then dispersed to the crowd.
“It’s very spicy, but tasty,” said Don Neuberg, who tasted the dish.
Neuberg said the festival was a great way to learn about an Asian culture.
“I don’t know the Korean culture that well and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to come over to check it out,” said Neuberg, who said he had visited Japan previously. “It’s kinda good to learn about another Asian culture and see how they differ a bit. The Japanese food is not nearly as spicy as this though.”
The crowd also lined tables to make the “longest food in the world,” according to Kevin Kim, Vice President of Atlanta Korean Radio, who orchestrated Sunday’s activities.
“We’re making the longest and most delicious food in the world, Gimbap!” yelled Kim. “Let’s make it together as a family. Koreans step between others to help. This is about teamwork.”
The dish contained rice, seafood, carrots and other vegetables rolled into dried seaweed. Attendees also made Bulgogi together, and feasted on all the dishes once completed.
“It’s an important tradition in Korea that when families gather together they share their happiness and stories and a meal with other families,” Lukken said. “It’s the greatest welcoming that anyone could do, and that’s what we’re here to do today what we’re all about, a moral to follow. Please assume that the city of LaGrange is your second home away from home.”
The event is hosted by the City of LaGrange and the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Atlanta. Support was provided by Korean Air, Kia Motors, Comcast and Sewon America and many others.