Story and Photos by Pam Fernald
Special to The SeaTac Blog
On January 13, 2013, I was honored to attend the 6th annual Washington State Korean-American Day celebration.
It was so awesome, I wanted to share a little information and some pictures from the portion of the event I attended at the Highline Performing Arts Center. The celebration was to commemorate the arrival of the first Korean immigrant laborers to Hawaii over a century ago.
The day was divided into two parts with a service at the Korean War Veteran Memorial in Olympia in the morning, which I was unable to attend, and the cultural performance and dinner in the afternoon, which I did attend.
The keynote speaker was governor-elect Jay Inslee. Other legislators in attendance were Senator Paull H. Shin, Ph.D. (who told us his own amazing history of coming to the U.S.) and Cindy Ryu, who is the first Korean American female State Representative in Washington State as well as the first Korean American female Mayor in the United States.
The mayor of Federal Way, Skip Priest, was also in attendance. Federal Way is home to the largest community of Korean Americans in the area. A few other local officials, including myself and another SeaTac council member, Terry Anderson, also attended.
The Korean American work ethic and successful spirit of entrepreneurship is woven through the heart and soul of our communities. The Korean American culture is warm, colorful, fun loving, spiritual, productive and hardworking, proud and welcoming and I experienced all of those qualities at this Korean American Celebration Event.
Though Psy was not in attendance to perform Gangnam Style, his video did play as we exited the auditorium. The live Korean traditional performances from Dasrum, Morning Glory and the Korean Music Association to the B-Boys ran the gamut of absolutely beautiful to just plain fun.
Here are some photos I took at the event…enjoy! (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):