ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The South Korean Consulate General along with the University of Kurdistan – Hewler (UKH) held the Friends of Korea festival in Erbil on Saturday, with the purpose of introducing the culture to people in the region and strengthen ties between the Kurds and Koreans.
The cultural festival was held at UKH, with people of all ages and walks of life, as well as local officials, attending the event.
Various activities and competitions were held at the festival, including the exhibition of traditional food and performances with singing and dancing. Also showcased were Korean drawings and martial arts.
“My government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have had long relations… Since 2004, the two governments [KRG and South Korea] tried to increase relations in various areas, including economy and culture,” the Consul-General of South Korea in Erbil, Park Young Kyu, told Kurdistan 24 during the event.
This is the second festival held in honor of the South Korean nation. The Asian country hosted the same event last month in the Kurdish city of Sulaimani.
Since 2004, South Korea has provided humanitarian assistance to the Kurdish semi-autonomous region in the sectors of education, health, infrastructure, and economy.
“My consulate is trying to expand the scope of our relations. I think the cultural exchange, people-to-people, is very important for widening and deepening our relations between the two peoples,” Kyu said, referring to the festival as a prime example.
South Korea upgraded its representative office in Erbil to a Consulate-General in 2016.
Editing by Nadia Riva
(Additional reporting by Eva Omar)