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Central Asian Spring Festival welcomes a new day

Apr 30,2019
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Models wearing garments made by designers from five central Asian countries including Turkmenistan, left, show off their outfits at a fashion show during “Central Asian Spring Festival - Nowruz in Seoul,” which was held over the weekend in Cheonggye Plaza, central Seoul. At the festival, visitors were able to check out cultural objects, middle, as well as dance performances. [KOREA FOUNDATION, LEE SUN-MIN]
Seoul’s Cheonggye Plaza welcomed the first “Central Asian Spring Festival - Nowruz in Seoul” festival over the weekend, allowing visitors to experience food, clothing, and cultural performances from five countries in central Asia. The first festival of its kind was named after nowruz, a Persian word that means a new day and is widely used throughout Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.
The Korea Foundation (KF) and KF Global Center worked in collaboration with the Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum Secretariat to plan the festival and various events, including a fashion show and a number of performances, to put an end to the celebration of spring that began on March 20. The organizing committee held an exhibition at the KF Gallery in central Seoul for about a month, and also screened movies from the region at the KF Seminar Room throughout April.

“Holding a Nowruz Festival in Seoul can also contribute to increasing interest in Kazakhstan and its culture, which, in turn, will positively increase the flow of Korean tourists to our country,” said a representative from the Embassy of the Kazakhstan.

The fashion show, held on Sunday, was one of the highlights of the festival. Models walked the runway wearing traditional formal garments, as well as simple dresses with patterns that people can wear on a daily basis. Alongside the runway, booths from five different countries offered savory and sweet treats, as well as clothing, bags and other small objects to buy.

“Fashion shows and cultural events have a huge effect in helping people understand one another, as well as making them feel closer to each other,” said a representative from the Embassy of Turkmenistan.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]