By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
As part of an ongoing program to bridge the geographic distance between South Korea and Mexico, the Korean Cultural Center and Korean Embassy here, in cooperation with the Mexico City government, released the first cumbia rendition of that Asian nation’s best-known folksong, “Arirang,” on Wednesday, Jan. 22.
The catchy music video, “Arirang en Cumbia,” was arranged and performed by the budding Mexican cumbia band Colectivo Nacional MX and filmed by the Mexico City-based Kuter production house, sponsored by the Korean government.
Filmed in various venues across Mexico City with the support of the capital’s government, the video was produced after Colectivo Nacional MX won a competition organized by the Korean Cultural Center.
This is the third year that the center has sponsored the Proyecto Arirang competition, with a romantic “Arirang Memoire” winning in 2017 and a Korean-Mexican mix-up of “Cielito Lindo Coreano” winning in 2018.
Often described as the unofficial anthem of Korea, “Arirang” is a traditional Korean love song that dates back more than 600 years.
Twice including on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage roster, “Arirang” has more than 3,600 variations and has been interpreted by artists of all musical genres.