Thursday, 1 June 2017

DPRK Para Ensemble is a Smash hit in London !

On the 30th of May I , together with  other UK KFA members and  family members ,attended the excellent concert given by the DPRK Youth Para Ensemble at St Johns Smith Square London. This was the second that the DPRK Para Ensemble had visited the UK, as it had previously visited the UK in 2015. At that time I attended concerts of the Para Ensemble in Oxford and London.
  The concert was being given under difficult conditions as the UK had suffered a terrorist attack and armed troops had been put on the streets. Moreover the hostility of the US and other Western countries to the DPRK had grown  with vitriolic media propaganda as well as sanctions Despite all these challenges the young performers of the DPRK Para Ensemble  did an excellent job in representing Juche Korea and showcasing the Juche-orientated art and culture.
 The performers put on a splendid performance . Much of the music was Korean folk music included the famous song "Aririang "and traditional Korean instruments such as the Kayagum were used as in addition to a grand piano.
 The performance was simply incredible , enthralling at times. We were surprised to learn that one of the performers , a wonderful soprano , was only 14 years old . Her singing was equal to that of a very experienced professional singer The artistic level was at such a high level. Indeed in the DPRK every child is taught to play at least one musical instrument. Visiting the DPRK I found that Korean people know everything about like time and beats and it seems that every Korean we meet in the DPRK on my visits to the DPRK  is a good singer.
    Also very impressive was the performance of the traditional Korean song and dance "Onegha' . The dancers were just amazing and attired in colourful traditional Korean clothes. Very eye catchingThey were directed by a lady instructor giving detailed hand signals. The level of skill shown by both the dancers and their director was simply fantastic there is no other word for it. The audience gave them strong applause.
   The concert concluded with a moving rendition of the time-honoured and renown Korean folk song"Aririang '.Afterwards the chairman of the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled who were the co-hosts of the concert ,made a short speech  saying how the performance can break down barriers of politics and communication.

The concert blew two myths about the DPRK out of the water . Firstly, the false idea that the disabled are in some way ill treated or discriminated against in the DPRK . There has even been wild propaganda about experiments being carried out on disabled people in the DPRK or that they have been eliminated. The concert showed that nothing could be further from the truth  because here were disabled people from the DPRK actually representing their country as honoured performers. Moreover they were able to develop their talents and become great singers, actors and dancers  In fact it is the UK where disabled people face discrimination and ill-treatment, for example in 2015-2016 there were 941 hate crimes against disabled people , a shocking figure ! Also in the UK some disabled people have committed suicide/ In south Korea disabled people were sent to be slaves on farms on remote islands. It is People's Korea that is valuing disabled people and bringing their creativity into full bloom.
 Secondly, that Korean people have no knowledge of the outside world and that foreign music and literature are banned . In fact we were treated to a charming rendition of the northern Ireland folk song "Danny Boy'and also "You Raise Me Up " which was beautifully sang and the dancers peformed part of the classic story "Beauty and the Beast " . This goes to prove that it is simply not true that the DPRK excludes and bans music from outside of the country . Of course Juche means being independent , not been dominated or controlled by others , not taking nonsense from other countries such as the US but it does not mean the total and absolute rejection of other cultures . People in the DPRK do learn what is good in other cultures and but reject what is bad or what is unsuitable for their needs.
 In conclusion the concert was a great credit to People's Korea and showed that disabled people in the DPRK are treated as equal members of society. It showed that the DPRK is an inclusive, people-orienated society where everyone can develop their talents and ablities to the full.Only under Juche socialism can the disabled enjoy independent and creative lives without discrimination or the constant fear of poverty.
Dr Dermot Hudson
President Association for the Study of Songun Poltics UK
Chairman Juche Idea Study Group of England
Chairman UK Korean Friendship Association

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