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    Beach clean-ups, taekwondo exhibitions and food promotions are in store, as two Republic of Korea Navy ships make port at Chennai for the first time

    It’s not often that a city breaks into cheer when two warships are approaching its shores. But it so happens that destroyer Choi Young and combat support vessel Cheonji, are dropping anchor at the Chennai port for the first time in history, as part of a training programme for final year midshipmen of the Korea Naval Academy. While here, the Korean Navy Cruise Training Task Group (CTTG), led by Commodore Chun Jungsoo, will take part in several events facilitated by the Korean Consulate — from a beach clean up to cultural programmes. “The cultural programme is prepared and performed solely by the Korean Navy, with the Indian Navy and Chennai citizens invited as guests,” shares consul general Kyungsoo Kim, adding that the visit by the two ships with a total of around 650 crew members, will promote a close bilateral relationship.
    KOREAN3Cheers to the brass
    After a welcome ceremony and other formalities scheduled to take place on their day of arrival (November 15), the crew will start their second day in Chennai by doing our Prime Minister Narendra Modi proud. They will join forces with volunteers from the Indian Navy, Maritime Foundation, Chennai Trekking Club and the city’s local and Korean population, for a massive clean up of the Marina Beach. Expected to draw a crowd of at least 600, this event, open to anyone interested, is not a bad way to start your Sunday morning. Later, at Madras University, there will be performances by the Navy Brass Band in addition to a taekwondo exhibition and samulnori (a traditional Korean percussion music performance), and again, everyone’s invited. The CTTG is also scheduled to take a tour of the city with places like War Memorial, St Thomas Mount and the Hyundai factory on their itinerary. After all, what’s a trip without some sightseeing.
    Join the beach clean up on November 16 at 8.30 am, followed by the cultural programme at Madras University at 3 pm (entry limited to auditorium capacity). Details: 40615500

    Matters of food

    No cultural exchange could be complete without food and this one is no exception. Hoping to introduce the city to popular Korean dishes, the Korean Consulate is organising a food festival, set to take place simultaneously with the performances at Madras University. There will be six food stalls outside the auditorium, serving bibimbap, kimchi and more, we’re informed by the consul, promising that the kimchi will be nothing but the best. Sharing space with the fermented side dish, will also be an Indian favourite, biryani, at one of the stalls.

    — Ryan Peppin

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