If anyone in the world knows how to host guests, I’d say it’s the Koreans.
From the moment we stepped off the plane to the moment we left, we truly were treated like honored guests. Banners, flags, traditional dress, and gleaming smiles greeted us at the airport. And when we arrived at the hotel, there again was another welcoming crew. This continued in each city in which we performed.
It was an outpouring of warmth that is a reflection not only of their culture, but also of the sincerity of the hearts of the local organizers who invite us to their cities.
Shen Yun performs by invitation. We are hosted by local sponsoring organizations that bring us to perform not as an economic investment (the entire operation is non-profit) but because they want to do something positive for their communities.
If you haven’t seen Shen Yun, you may not know that Shen Yun isn’t only beautiful to watch, but is full of solid traditional values and wholesome yet lively moral tales that bring out the best of humankind through the medium of classical Chinese dance. (Phew, that was a mouthful, but I think that about says it.)
And the appreciation for what Shen Yun brings to local communities is reflected in the arrangements our hosts make for us.
In Korea, this also meant lots of delicious and fun cuisine. They do a lot of barbecuing at the table—you have your own little grill and roast your own meat together with your friends. And you have lots of interesting side dishes to go along with it, the best known is of course kimchee.
Usually, you wrap each small piece of meat in a lettuce leaf, add a bit of sauce and, voila, a yummy, healthy (and super low-carb) meal. Let’s just say we had our share of meat over the last couple weeks, but our dancers do need it, as they’re super athletes (The flips they do take a lot of good nutrition to pull off, I’d say.).
I have to admit that sometimes being treated so well felt like a little more than we deserved. But they say that’s just their way. Now that we finished performing in their country and are en route to Taiwan, we hope we left the Korean people with something they will keep in their hearts always—or at least until we meet again next year.
Oboist with Shen Yun's New York Company Orchestra
March 7, 2012