Korean Sailors Clean up Marina Shores

Published: 17th November 2014 06:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th November 2014 06:07 AM   |  A+A-


CHENNAI: On a sunny Sunday morning, amid teens practising baseball catches and football kicks on the stretch of the Marina Beach, 500 Koreans marched towards the sea armed with large green plastic bags and gloves.  The gathering, which comprised children and adults, walked up to the pathway beside the lighthouse, crouching intermittently to pick up litter and drop it into their bags.

The sight of such a huge number of foreigners cleaning the Marina surprised the few who were basking under the morning sun. Animated enquiries flew around — Who are these people? Is this a campaign? Inspired by the event, a few even got up and lent a hand.  “This is a goodwill gesture by the Korean Navy personnel who came to Chennai. Employees of Korean companies who live in Chennai have also joined them,” explained Jung Taek Lim, the deputy consul general at the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chennai.

There are around 4,000 Koreans in Chennai, the maximum for any city in India, Lim said. After the clean-up, the volunteers had a photo opportunity in front of the Gandhi statue, after which they departed as silently as they had come to the beach.

The beach clean-up was followed by a cultural event at the University of Madras, where the Korean Naval Band performed at the Centenary Auditorium. In addition, there was a demonstration of the Korean martial art, Taekwondo, loosely translated as ‘the way with the foot and hand’. For the expats and curious Chennaiites, a troupe staged a music performance titled Samul-Nori — Samul means ‘four objects’ and Nori means ‘play’.  The act primarily uses four traditional instruments — Jang-Gu, Buk, Jing and Kkwaenggwari —  which represent the elements such as rain, clouds, wind and thunderstorm.

For food lovers, there was a Korean food festival where popular dishes from the eastern country like kimchi, bibimbap, teokbokki, honey pastry rich with flavours of ginger and cinnamon, and maximowiczia typica were served.


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