Monday, May 7, 2018

2018 Colorful Daegu Festival: All about diversity!

Embracing Diversity: Daegu Modira ~ Colorful, Makada ~ Parade

Participants dancing during the parade

Having lived in Korea for ten years, I would say that one of the things I love about this country is its numerous festivals, traditional and what not.

Colorful Daegu Festival

On May 5th, I headed to Daegu to witness one of its biggest festivals, the Colorful Daegu Festival. The slogan for this festival is Modira~Colorful Makada~Parade. Modira Makada was derived from Daegu dialect (대구 사투리), modira (모디라) which means moyeora (모여라) or come together and makada (마카다) which means moduda (모두다) or everyone.

The highlight of the festival was the Colorful Parade which was participated by a diverse group of people. Yes, the Colorful Parade was open to everyone regardless of their age, sexual orientation, faith and nationalities.

Meeting the Participants

Korean traditional performers before the parade

Before the colorful parade, I walked around the festival venue and saw interesting things such as students who painted their bodies and posed like statues along the street.

Students posing like statues

There were also booths where people sold their homemade products. There were food trucks too. I could smell the delicious food they were cooking from afar!
The best part, I got to talk to a couple of the people participating in the parade.

Seng Kessor from Cambodia

One of them was Seng Kessor from Cambodia. She was proudly wearing her traditional Cambodian attire, a green silk sarong paired with a white ivory blouse, which she matched with some gold jewelry. When I asked her how she felt being there, she said, “I am very happy to be able to join this parade.” Seng Kessor arrived in Korea in January 2018. When I asked her about the other Cambodian participants, she said that some of them have been living in Korea a year, some two years and there are some who have been in Korean for five years.

Kasanga from Africa

The other person I was able to talk to was Kasanga from Africa. Kasanga is a teacher in Korea. He has been in Korea for 3 years. When asked if he is excited about the event, he said, “I’m very excited. This is the third time that I attended this event. It has always been amazing. From the first time I cam here, I attended and this is the third time and it has always been amazing. We meet new people from different countries and different cultures. And it has been amazing.” Kasanga and his teammates call their team “Kafrica”. They aim to promote African culture in Korea.

African participants before the parade

The Colorful Parade

When the parade started, I spent my time enjoying the colorful costumes and various performances. It was amazing! There were 70 teams that joined the parade. Some of them were promoting Daegu tourism. There were teams representing other neighboring cities such as Gumi and Gyeongsan. The non-Korean teams were from Thailand, Cambodia, Russia, Vietnam, China, Mongolia and the Philippines.

A team representing Thailand
Participants representing the Philippines
Dance Troupe from Gumi

Indeed, Colorful Daegu Festival is a festival of colors, a festival of diverse cultures.  And that is why I love it. I saw a message on a streamer carried by one of the participating teams during the parade. It read like this, “다문화는 다른 문화 아니라, 다양한 문화입니다.” which means “Damunhwa is not different cultures but multi-cultures.” I think this is what Colorful Daegu Festival is about, DIVERSITY.

The team with the most colorful attire

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