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Korean Culture Festival Draws Big Crowds in San Ramon

They came for Kimchi, KimBab, Korean games and calligraphy, and traditional music and dance.

Hundreds gathered at over the weekend to feast on tasty Korean delicacies, colorful costumes, and lively and lyrical traditional music and dance. 

The 2012 Korean Culture Festival on Sunday afternoon and evening featured Samul Nori performances by U.C. Berkeley's EGO traditional drumming group, Tae Kwon Do demonstrations by Tae Kwon Do Academy, dance by Urisawe, Hanna Kim and the Silk Strings GayYaGeum Ensemble playing the zither-like string instrument, and the Pacific Youth Choir and the Pacific Junior Choir singing delightful Korean folk songs.

"It's been a fun event," said Michelle Kang, a freshman at DVHS who performed in the Pacific Youth Choir and is a member of the high school's Korean Club.

"It took us about two months to plan," said Sang Lee, a San Ramon resident who led the volunteers who organized the 2012 Hansamo Korean Culture Festival.  

Last year the Korean community in San Ramon was given what Lee called "a small miracle" by the San Ramon Unified School District (SRVUSD).  The , with support from the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco, one of two Korean language classes that were approved in 2011 in the U.S.

"The San Ramon Korean community felt that it was very important to sustain this Korean language class at the DVHS since this was such precious gift the Korean community," Lee said.  

To sustain support for the class at DVHS, the Korean community formed a non-profit organization to raise funds for that cause called San Ramon Hansamo, which is a Korean acronym for organizations that appreciate Korean language. The Hansamo’s mission is to support the expansion of the Korean language classes within the SRVUSD and to share Korean culture through education and cultural events like Sunday's.  This year's festival was also supported by the Korean Consulate General in San Francisco.  

"The event was a huge success for our organization and we were quite surprised about the huge crowd that showed up, " Lee said, adding that they raised more than $4,000, more than doubled what they expected. 

Check out San Ramon Hansamo's YouTube channel. And share your festival photos with us here! 

Min-Young Cha May 22, 2012 at 09:07 PM
More information about San Ramon Hansamo, the event organizer, can be found at www.facebook.com/srhansamo.

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