Russian nights festival to encourage exchange

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Russian nights festival to encourage exchange

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“In order to solve the problems that Korea and Russia face together, the two nations should get to know each other better,” said Gleb Ivashentsov, Russian ambassador to Korea, at a press conference Tuesday to announce a Russian Nights Festival in Korea. The festival is scheduled to be held from Sept. 15 to 24.
“Geography made Korea and Russia neighbors and history made the people work together for common purposes,” the Russian ambassador said. He added that it would be great if more ordinary Koreans, rather than just the elite, learned more about Russian contemporary culture through the festival, as many Russians already know Korean films.
The festival is designed to celebrate the 16th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Korea, which falls on Sept. 30. During the event, the Korea Energy Economics Institute and the Korea Railroad will hold symposiums to discuss energy issues and a proposed Trans-Siberian-Trans-Korea Railway with Korean and Russian experts.
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The Russian Nights Festival first began in Germany in 2003 in order to boost cultural exchanges between the two countries, and has toured around the United States and China.
“It’s about time we held such an event,” said Shon Suk, a theater actress and one of the committee members preparing for the festival.
“Russian culture, particularly literature, has greatly influenced Korea, but we don’t really know about it, especially their contemporary culture,” she said, adding that that’s why the committee decided to focus on introducing Russian contemporary culture to Korea. An opening “Pops Concert” by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, a rock concert by Russian group The Flowers, the Moscow Theater Ten’ (Shadow), a concert by t.A.T.u. and a ballet performed by Olga Pona and the Chelyabinsk Theatre of Contemporary Dance are scheduled for the festival.
“I expect the festival to settle down as an annual event in Korea,” said Stas Namin, head of The Stas Namin Centre, a Russian organizer of the event. The center, established in 1987, supports new artists and gives performances. Mr. Namin said it is also planning to hold a Korean festival in Russia next year.
During the festival, 18 Russian journalists from 12 media outlets are expected to visit Korea to promote the nation to Russia as well.


by Park Sung-ha

With reporting by Yoon Han-seul
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