According to Korean legend, a princess of Ayodhya went to Korea in 48 AD and married King Kim-Suro. A large number of Koreans trace their ancestry to this legendary princess, who is known as Queen Heo Hwang-ok in South Korea.
"A team from Busan National Gugak Center arrived in Ayodhya on Monday. They will be performing 'Dance of the Queens' on Tuesday as part of the celebrations here. It will also be attended by our (South Korean) First lady Kim Jung-sook," a senior official of South Korea's Ministry of Culture told PTI.
The Busan National Gugak Center was established in 2008 in Busan, South Korea's second most populous city, after Seoul, to spread the traditional culture of the southeastern area of the country.
The troupe, which comprises nearly 20 members, mostly females, also performed a short rehearsal at the venue late Monday evening.
Incidentally, all members were moving around in the city wearing masks to mitigate the effects of air pollution, and wore them while rehearsing too.
Joo Jae Keun of the Busan National Gugak Center said, "The troupe is performing as part of the celebrations. The venue is just next to Queen Heo Memorial, whch the First Lady will visit Tuesday before attending the performance".
"The duration of the show is five minutes and visuals of Korean landscape, trees, mountains, pagodas will play in the background. We are happy to perform in Ayodhya," he told PTI.
South Korean First Lady Kim is making a stand-alone visit to India from November 4 to 7, and on Tuesday she is scheduled to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the Queen Suriratna (Heo Hwang-ok) memorial in Ayodhya.
"It is the first time in 16 years that a South Korean first lady is making a foreign visit without the president. The legend of Queen Heo Hwang-ok binds the two countries together culturally, and her visit will further promote our people-to-people ties," a senior official at the cultural wing of the South Korean Embassy in New Delhi said.
"The First Lady's participation in the festivities in Ayodhya will showcase our close civilisational links as well as the ongoing deepening engagement between our two countries, MEA had said in a statement.
In July, the two countries had signed an agreement for expansion of the Suriratna memorial project.
The site currently has two memorial stones, with the legend of Queen Heo Hwang-ok engraved on them. While the main stone in the center has the inscriptions in Korean and Hindi at the back side, the other stone carries the legend in English.
"Had a great meeting with Mrs. Kim Jung-sook, First Lady of the Republic of Korea. We had fruitful discussions on ways to deepen bilateral cooperation between our nations," Modi tweeted.
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