Largest gymnastic and artistic performance-Arirang
Festival sets world record
PYONGYANG, North Korea --
Arirang Festival, a mass propaganda gymnastics show involving
close to 100,000 children and adults, sets the world record
for the Largest gymnastic and artistic performance.
Photo: Dancers perform during the Arirang festival at the
May Day stadium in Pyongyang/ AP photos
"Arirang" is the biggest grand gymnastic and artistic
performance in the world with more than one hundred thousand
performers. The first "Arirang" Festival was held in 2002.
The shows are held in the May 1 Stadium,
which with 150,000 seats is the world's largest sports facility
outside of Rio de Janeiro.
The show, a major hard currency earner for the
impoverished state, involves close to 100,000 children and
adults in a performance of acrobatics, gymnastics, dances
and huge flip-card mosaic animations.
typically praise the hardline communist state and its leaders.
Seven million Koreans from the North and South, as well as
foreigners, have watched more than 180 performances.
Guardian", UK: "Repressive military regimes
have long been a favourite subject matter for the producers
of high-camp musicals. The Nazis appeared in Cabaret, The
Sound of Music and The Producers, while Kiss of the Spider
Woman was set in a brutal South American state."
Mass games are one of only a few areas in
which the North Korea can claim to be the best in the world,
outclassing even Olympic opening ceremonies and Super Bowl
But the show has been criticized outside North
Korea as being nothing more than a propaganda tool achieved
through the rigid and mechanical training of performers, mostly
The festival comes one week after the UN's
World Food Programme said that hunger in North Korea is at
its worst since the 1990s, with five to six million people
in need of immediate assistance.
Since the first performance in 2002, Arirang
has been staged in 2005 and 2007 to lure South Korean and
Arirang is due to be staged from Monday
evening until September 30.
The North has released to its souvenir shops
handmade dolls that embody the main characters, Choson Sinbo
"We prepared these unique folk crafts to help
foreign tourists not forget the emotion of the Arirang performance
even after returning home," Jang Kum-song, a chief souvenir
seller, told the daily's website. Tuesday, August 5, 2008
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