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Bonding over Nanta
Seoul’s traditional non-verbal theatre is boosting tourism
South Korea is now more than a techie destination as a growing number of Indian tourists is bonding over food and culture. It was to encourage soft diplomacy that Seoul’s mayor Park Won-soon was at Gurugram’s Cyber hub over the weekend as part of a two-day fiesta organised by the Seoul Metropolitan Government that presented cultural performances by Korean and Indian counterparts.
Seoul, an intersection between pop culture and Buddhism, offers an unadulterated tinge of adventure to international travellers while drawing in the aesthete with its authentic and diverse culture. This mix of tradition and modernity was reflected in performances like Nanta and taekwondo, boisterous Bollywood performances and B-Boying battle between Indian and Korean groups. The capitals of both the nations are now getting closer courtesy direct flights by Korean Air.
Said Park Won-soon, “India is a great country with potential growth in the economic field that currently rates more than seven per cent. Compared to this number, the tourism exchange between Korea and India is quite low which can be encouraged through this collaboration. This event can be a great momentum for Seoul and Korea to establish potential relations with India. This partnership can initiate a great boost in tourism from India to Seoul.”
There are three Nanta theatres in Seoul which witness strong footfalls from Indians. Junseok Na, Nanta performer at the festival, said, “Nanta is a non-verbal musical theatre based on the kitchen metaphor where the players make music and sound with regular utensils. Since it’s a non-verbal musical theatre about universal themes, it can be understood by people of all age groups and will encourage Indians to learn more about Korean art and culture.”
Seoul, a metropolis teeming with modern skyscrapers and high-tech subways, offers a fascinating fragment of the past at its World Heritage-listed sites. The city was ranked as a favourite world city by Asian tourists and has zoomed up to become the world’s 10th most economically powerful city and the second-largest metropolitan in the last 50 years.
The mayor is currently in talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet of ministers to explore opportunities for developing a startup ecosystem that benefits the IT sector in both countries. Seoul is emerging to be an attractive destination among Indians at present. Indian outbound travel to South Korea is also on the rise. The influx of Indian tourists to Seoul recorded in 2016 stood at 152,811 (source: Seoul open data plaza) and is expected to increase in the near future.
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