First lady Kim Keon-hee on April 4 hosted a luncheon for 20 people designated as national intangible cultural heritage or completing related courses and their apprentices to deliver words of encouragement at Sangchunjae, the guesthouse of Cheong Wa Dae.
Presidential spokesperson Lee Do-woon in a news release said First Lady Kim emphasized the importance of the nation's traditional culture. "With Korean culture positioned at the center of the world, gugak (traditional Korean music) is again receiving attention," she said.
"As a person of culture, I propose forming one team with everyone to further raise the dignity of our culture," she added. "I will lead the way."
Before the luncheon, the masters and their apprentices performed solo recitals of the gayageum (12-string zither, Korean traditional instrument) and "Chunhyangga," one of the five surviving pansori (traditional Korean solo lyrical opera) works.
The first lady Kim praised the performances, saying, "Each verse of gugak deeply resonates in our hearts with soul and life," adding, "This is the power of our gugak."
"I will pay more attention to expanding and supporting opportunities for traditional performing arts so that our traditions, which are receiving global attention, can endure."
This was the first lady's second meeting with masters of intangible cultural heritage after the first last month in a luncheon with those of traditional craft arts.