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Gangwon gears up to offer best cultural events during Olympics
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CHUNCHEON, South Korea, Nov. 19 (Yonhap) -- The regional government of Gangwon Province said it is determined to offer the best cultural experiences to Korean and foreign visitors during the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The province, where the host city of PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, and two sub-host cities Gangneung and Jeongseon are located, has already been running 41 cultural programs -- 11 in the runup to the event, and 30 during the Olympics and Paralympics -- with a budget of 58.2 billion won (US$52.9 million).

The Olympics will be held from Feb. 9 to 25 and the Paralympics from March 9-18 next year under the slogan "Passion. Connected." A dozen venues in those cities will stage seven sports across 15 disciplines.

On Dec. 21 and Jan. 10, there will be congratulatory events, including art, musical performances and fireworks, at the Olympic Stadium in PyeongChang to mark the 50-day and 30-day countdowns, respectively.

From Feb. 3-24, a nonverbal show that combines Gangwon Province's unique culture and stories with technology will be performed twice a day at the Haeram Culture Center of Gangneung-Wonju National University. During the Olympics, a K-pop concert will be held at the university every Saturday.

From Jan. 30-Feb. 16, the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Music Festival will take place both at the Gangneung Art Center and the Seoul Arts Center.

The Gangwon International Biennale 2018 will run from Feb. 3 to March 18 under the theme of "The Dictionary of Evil." Around 100 pieces of media art, paintings, sculpture and performance art will be presented by 60 teams of artists from 20 countries on topics ranging across such topics as political crises, refugees, violence, immigration, identity, war and power.

Meanwhile, the streets of the host cities will be adorned with "welcoming" lights that run as long as 54 kilometers. A slew of outdoor festivals showcasing, among other things, traditional Korean culture will take place until the Paralympics end in March.
During the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Festival, which will run from Dec. 22 to Feb. 25, visitors can experience traditional winter activities, such as riding a wooden sleigh and catching fish through ice holes. Cooking sessions will give foreign visitors a chance to learn how to make local delicacies. Also people will be able to make snow sculptures and run in a half-naked marathon.

"Taking this opportunity, we would like to promote local culture to the world," said Byeon Jeong-kwon, a Gangwon provincial manager in charge of running the Olympics.

The province is determined to make the events not only truly fun activities for people who come to enjoy the Olympics but also a regional cultural fixture even after the competition finishes, he added.

 

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