Cel­e­brat­ing our Diver­sity!

Up­per Gwynedd hosts Multi Cul­tural Day event

North Penn Life - - FRONT PAGE - By Amanda Pic­cir­illi apic­cir­illi@jour­nal­reg­is­ter. com

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.

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