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News article

Celebrating Korean connections

Published: 10 May 2022

  •   Featured
  •   Events
A table with a selection of Korean food in bowls

Cabbage as a recipe for happiness and a chance to play the traditional street games that inspired the Netflix blockbuster Squid Game – Yor-K 2022 is here.

Korean culture will take centre stage at a festival held at York St John University on Saturday 28 May. Yor-K 2022 is a sustainability themed day-festival celebrating contemporary and traditional Korean culture. Organised in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Centre UK, the festival is packed with family-friendly activities and opportunities to experience the food, music and art of Korea.

A Korean cultural fair will take place from 12pm on the University’s Lord Mayor’s Walk campus, where the public can sample Korean food, play traditional Korean street games and see a Korean calligrapher at work. An art exhibition will feature a vibrant display of traditional ‘Hanbok’ clothes for visitors to try on, alongside Korean paintings and crafts.

Join gastronomist and linguist, Dr Tim Wharton, for a special talk as he explores how cabbage, a humble and everyday ingredient, has risen the ranks to become a staple in kitchens in South Korea. Entitled ‘Gastro-diplomacy: the language of kimchi’ Dr Wharton will explain how kimchi – cabbage salted and fermented with chilli and garlic – is more than just a mere vegetable dish for Koreans but also how the preparation is a recipe for happiness.

A special film screening of ‘An Omnivorous Family's Dilemma’ will be shown during the afternoon in the University’s new Creative Centre. This Korean documentary film, presented at the Berlin International Film Festival 2015, follows filmmaker Yun Hwang as she tries to find out what kind of life pigs lead before they are sold for meat.

Rounding the day off, a Korean music night held in the York St John Creative Centre will feature an eclectic showcase of traditional and contemporary Korean music and dance. The evening will include dynamic performances from the Shilla Ensemble, a traditional Korean music group based in the UK, and the York St John K-pop dance society, performing a variety of K-pop dance hits.

York St John University has been selected as host of the festival for the second year running, thanks to increasing popularity of the University’s Korean courses and the runaway success of last year’s events. Korean is one of two East Asian languages on offer. Students can study abroad and take part in exchange programmes, developing their cultural capital with a global, multilingual experience. Accessible to students from all backgrounds, Korean language courses at the University are increasingly popular and provide opportunities to develop life skills and career prospects.

Dr Kyoungmi Kim, Lecturer in Korean and Applied Linguistics at York St John University said:

“We are delighted to be bringing the Yor-K festival back to York St John University again this year. The profile of Korean culture – including its music, fashion and food – has grown exponentially in the West in recent years. We are proud to be partnering with the Korean Cultural Centre UK to give visitors the opportunity to experience first-hand both new and old elements of Korean culture.”

All events take place on Saturday 28 May at York St John University’s Lord Mayor’s Walk campus. They are free and open to the public, but some booking is required. Please see the following information for event and booking details.

Korean Cultural Fair, 12pm to 2.30pm, Holgate Dining Room Extension. No booking required.

Korean Art Exhibition, 12pm to 5pm, Holgate Dining Room Extension. No booking required.

Talk: Gastro-diplomacy: the language of kimchi, 3pm to 4pm, CC/011, York St John Creative Centre. Booking link: 

Film Screening: An Omnivorous Family's Dilemma, 3pm to 5pm, CC/102 - Critical Listening/Screening Room, York St John Creative Centre. Booking link: 

Korean Music Night, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, Auditorium, York St John Creative Centre. Booking link: 


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