On a steamy Saturday afternoon Aug. 10 attendees at the Beloved Community International Expo held at the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, including four consuls general based in Atlanta, witnessed a huge bowl of “bibimbap” being cooked symbolizing the harmonious coming together of the city’s different communities.
“Bibimbap is a popular Korean cuisine — a rice bowl mixed with various ingredients including vegetables, meat and spicy pepper paste,” Young-jun Kim, South Korea’s consul general for the Southeast, said in his formal comments at the event during which he bestowed upon the Rev. Dr. Bernice King, honorary citizenship to Seoul, South Korea’s capital. Dr. King is the youngest child of civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King and is the King Center’s chief executive officer.
Dr. King traveled to Seoul earlier this year where she witnessed South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s speech memorializing Korea’s 1919 Decaration of Independence and where she preached at the Yoido Full Gospel Church, Korea’s largest Christian church
Mr. Kim added “Just as bibimbap synbolizes different ingredients coming together to make a delicious meal, I hope that today’s International Expo will be an opportunity for citizens from different countries to come together among participants, to understand other cultures and to enhance future cooperation. Global cooperation starts with us learning and experiencing other cultures here today.”
In addition to Mr. Kim of South Korea, the the consuls general who witnessed the preparation of bibimbap included Shane Stephens of Ireland, Dr. Swati Kulkarin, of India and Takashi Shinozuka of Japan.
The expo featured Korean dances including a K-POP performance; an India dance troupe; Irish music, dances and theatre pieces; Japanese karate and Korean teakwondo demonstrations; a parade featuring Caribbean islands; a session with Apollo the Child Khaleefa, Canadian Spoken Word Artist, whose Hip-Hop routines address social issues such as gun violence, a performance by Mexican singer Esmeralda Gonzales and dances by the Grupo Folkloric EUZKAL.
To learn more about Dr. King’s trip to Korea, click here.