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Daejanggeum fever in China spawns events covering tourism, Korean cuisine

2005/09/30 | Permalink | Source

Events trying to capitalize on the fever in China surrounding a Korean TV drama series are being organized by two Korean public corporations in a bid to promote Korean cuisine and tourism among Chinese tourists.

The Korea National Tourism Organization (KNTO) said on Friday (Sept. 30) that it will hold a string of sessions first in Shanghai to promote Daejanggeum among the Chinese press and travel agencies next month after China's national holiday ends. After Shanghai, the session will move to Beijing and other major Chinese cities.

Daejanggeum is a historical TV drama set in the 16th century royal court of the Joseon dynasty. It has a storyline similar to other famous historical TV soap operas: the main character, Janggeum (starring actress Lee Young-ae) overcomes all difficulties facing her and works her way to success.

In the explanatory sessions, Kyun Mi-ri, who plays the arrogant and ambitious Lady Choi, and other performers will show up to promote Dae Jang Geum, which has been aired on Chinese TV channels beginning in September.

A spokesman for the KNTO said it had been organizing a Daejanggeum travel package in partnership with the Shanghai Airlines and a Chinese travel agency since June in hopes that the Daejanggeum fever will be translated into a fever of Korea visit in light of a growing increase in the number of Chinese touring Korea after the drama began to be shown.

The Korea Agro-Trade Corporation, for its part, is planning to hold an autograph-signing meeting by Yang Mi-kyung, one of main performers of the drama series, soon on the occasion of the World Food Fair to be held in Shanghai. The event was intended to provoke a fever of Korean food in China, where, unlike elsewhere in Asia, Yang is more popular than the title-holder Lee Young-ae.

The Shanghai media gave a prominent coverage to Yang with a headline "A meeting with Lady Han", when she stopped in Shanghai early this week following her visit to Changsha, Hunan Province, to mark the beaming of her work there.

Saying that a cuisine market is where the fever of Daejanggeum can matter most, an official with the agro-trade corporation in Shanghai expressed the hope that the drama's success could explore the possibility of Korean food making inroads into the Chinese market.

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