Celebrating our Diversity!
Upper Gwynedd hosts Multi Cultural Day event
aturday marked a decade milestone for the 21st Century America-Korea-China Leaders Society as its annual Multi Cultural Day event was held at the Upper Gwynedd Township Complex. Co-sponsored by Upper Gwynedd Township Parks & Recreation, the 10th annual event has become a standard within the community, according to 21st Century America-Korea-China Leaders Society Secretary General Master Bong Pil Yang.
“Montgomery County is becoming very diverse and over the last 10 years all townships have a 10 percent Korean increase,” said Yang. “If we didn’t hold an event like this, people wouldn’t have the opportunity to know their neighbors and the culture they celebrate.”
The 21st Century AmericaKorea-China Leaders Society is headquartered in Montgomery County and was established by the Republic of Korea government in 2000.
Its mission is to promote and engage in social, cultural, educational and business exchanges among the people of the United States, Korea and China with a commitment to peace, innovation and prosperity. The society comprises members of the American, Korean and Chinese communities, including government RIfiFLDlV DnG buVLnHVV lHDGHUV.
According to Yang, reaching out to the community is a large part of the society’s overall goal and the cultural event does that for both adults and youths.
FURP VWDUW WR finLVK, WKH three-hour event was packed, starting off with the playing of the American and Korean national anthems. Korean War vets sat in the audience, many wearing hats representing their service.
Several members of the 21st Century America-KoreaChina Leaders Society — including American Delegation President Ron Lejman, Korean Delegation President David Kim, Chinese Delegation President Bihong Guan and Republic of Korea New York Consulate Doo Young LHH — VSRNH bULHfly WR WKRVH in attendance.
Also in attendance was state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-12, state Reps. Kate Harper, R-61, and Todd Stephens, R-151, and Montgomery County Commissioners Josh Shapiro and Bruce Castor.
After remarks from elected representatives, there was plenty of live entertainment for the crowd to enjoy. SaeBit Korean Dance Troupe of New Jersey wowed the crowd by GHPRnVWUDWLnJ fiYH GLIIHUHnW types of traditional Korean folk dance.
The group performed a fan dance, a sword dance, Gyagum, folk-song dance and Puk Chum, which features the puk percussion instrument.
Yang, master instructor at Yang’s Martial Arts School in North Wales, had his students demonstrate skills and techniques that are learned at the school.
Yang’s Martial Arts School has a curriculum that includes various techniques include Tae Kwon Do, Hap Ki Do, Kung Jung Mu Sul and Meditation Ki Training. All of these exercises were performed as well as others including children’s self-defense and bullying defense.
“We always have a different theme and different performers each year. We really believe it is important to celebrate the diversity and culture of our area,” said GlennAnne Chabala, Upper Gwynedd parks and recreation director.
Also providing entertainment on the day was Kurt Brasch of Kurt’s Magic World in Lansdale and a Philadelphia Philippine Traditional Folk Dance group.
Children spent hours playing soccer volleyball, a popular sport in Southeast Asia, said Kim.
“We always try to keep the games and activities based on the culture,” he said. “It’s been 10 years and we’ve had Korean, Vietnamese and Cambodian specialties. We always try to make it fun and we’re always interested in educating the community. This event is getting bigger and better every year.”
At top and above, dancers with the Mutya Phillipine Dance Company perform during the 10th annual Multi Cultural Day held at Parkside Place in Upper Gwynedd Saturday. Left, magician Kurt Brasch performs his act as Aidan Cassidy, 5, lends a helping hand.