ARIRANG is arguably Korea’s most beloved and best-known folk song that beautifully expresses Korean sentiment. They have an ancient and honorable memory with ARIRANG. Regardless of their ideology, culture, and the places they live, ARIRANG unites North and South Korea, which have confronted each other over half a century. This is the ingenious way that they all combine when they are in groups, to show that they belong, to provide security and self-esteem and to support their own identities. In meantime, it eventually gives us experience as an intangible legacy of a group or society that is inherited from past generation, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations. Under the circumstances of the time, the song has made a sublime beauty that exceeds the sound. It is history that has shaped an irreplaceable identity in the global community.
With this iconic experience, we acquire a culture code that help us understand “why people do and what they do.” but the “fundamental archetypes.”, as Clotaire Rapaille defines in his book, The Culture Code. The code explains why people are different, and reveals the hidden clues to understanding us all. It lets us work and interact with people in dramatically new ways.
The creativity of ARIRANG that fulfills the traditionality and universality does not stay in the past, but the present progressive that is on going. The melody has always been a vessel to carry new stories and emotions. It will evolve with the times and continue the long history and tradition as it always has. It is the soul that has been the name of Korean, and now an open melody that can gain sympathy from everyone in the world.
ARIRANG is an ancient native Korean word with no direct modern meaning. ‘Ari” means 아리다운 (aridawn, beautiful), ‘Rang’ can mean님 (nim, dear). Because of those words, ARIRANG could be interpreted to mean “beautiful dear”. It can be another Korean national anthem showing Korean’s nationality and personality considered as 한 (han, 恨 like lamentation) and 정 (jeong, 情 like human nature). Many variations of the song exist. The original form is Jeongseon Arirang, which has been sung in Jeongseon County for more than 600 years.
This is a post by David Report contributor Jaeuk Jung.