With all the colors and adorable costumes, the Chongjin City kindergarten performance is my favorite student’s show in North Korea. Below are photos from my April 2013 Chongjin kindergarten visit:
Chongjin City kindergarten performance – photo by Joseph A Ferris III
Top North Korean scientists split the atom – photo by Joseph A Ferris III
My look behind the scenes of the DPRK tourist experience wouldn’t be complete without introducing the famous singing and dancing waitresses of the Pyongyang lamb BBQ restaurant. The girls are also available for catering; long time readers might have seen them cooking and dancing at the Mt Taesong Amusement park in my Ultimate Frisbee tournament post.
Cute, flirty, and always ready for a little dancing, relaxing with these girls is always a highlight of any trip to Pyongyang (at least for the guys) – they serve up one of Pyongyang’s tastiest lunches too!
Gymnasts, dancers, and little stars perform at the Mangyongdae Children’s Palace:
The Mangyongdae Children’s Palace; a place for children of the privileged elite to spend time after school practicing sports, art, folk dance and music – and of course, show it all off with military like precision and forced smiles to groups of visiting foreign friends and tourists. More from this series linked below – all photos by Joseph A Ferris III
The Mangyongdae Children’s Palace; a place for children of the privileged elite to spend time after school practicing sports, art, folk dance and music – and of course, show it all off with military like precision and forced smiles to groups of visiting foreign friends and tourists.
Young Pioneers sing a martial song during a special Kim Il-sung’s 100th birthday celebratory performance at the Mangyongdae Children’s Palace. More pictures from this set linked below.
I am here to apologize for my lack attention to this blog as of late. I have been super busy with my duties as Chief Mate during short oceanographic research expeditions, hectic in port ship maintenance periods, and now working a crazy cruise on a full ship with over 50 scientists and crew – with that many people aboard available satellite internet bandwidth is in low supply making even the most general web surfing an agonizing chore.
I have also been busy planning a fall trip to Iran, Armenia, and Lebanon, along with two and a half weeks in Tuscany, Sicily, and Malta with my family.
Since I have been too busy to get any serious writing done (relatively recent picture posts don’t count), please let me at least pass along a DPRK post by my friend Joshua Spodek: North Korean Children’s Nearly Unbelievable Performances – insights on children’s performances at the Mangyongdae Children’s Palace.
A young lady dances at the Mangyongdae Children’s Palace – this photo got me an honorable mention by the moderator of the Lonely Planet Flickr Photo Challenge.
Young girls dressed in panda bear costumes relax between performances for foreigners at a folk fair held on the Day of the Sun, the April 15th, 2012 celebrations to honor the 100th year birthday of ‘Eternal President‘ Kim Il Sung.
On this day there were many military parades and Kim Jong-un appearances throughout Pyongyang. Unfortunately visiting foreign friends were not invited to these events, and to keep us out of the way, western tourists, dignitaries, and cultural delegations were bused to the city outskirts and conveniently sequestered at a park in the Mangyongdae district. To keep everyone entertained, folk games and competitions (tug of war, three legged race, ect) had been arranged for the visiting cultural delegations. Having traveled so far, and with expectations of seeing military parades, many of the tourists did not appreciate the situation – watching Eastern European and Russian delegations bob for apples was a big disappointment for most, but I really enjoyed the experience – not the international folk competitions, but all the interactions I had with the North Korean children who were at the event and enjoying themselves in such a relaxed atmosphere. On arrival, little girls in traditional chosŏn-ot dresses grabbed us by the hand and led us into the park (they were fascinated with our bellies – notice the pokes!). Hanging out, dancing, playing, and taking photographs with the North Korean children who were participating in the cultural dance performances made this event a cherished experience from the trip.
One of the best things about returning to North Korea was meeting up with the friends I made on my first visit. Below I get a hug from one of the singing waitresses that I danced with during the 2011 Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. I suppose I made a great impression during my first visit – that is one hell of a close hug, and I even got a kiss on the cheek when we made our goodbyes!
But of course I’m in trouble now, whenever my girlfriend is upset with me she points out these pictures and reminds me that “I know who your secret North Korean girlfriend is” and that “I know the real reason why you like going to North Korea” !
Well, I actually don’t know this girl’s name, but she is a real sweetheart, and if you ever pass through Pyongyang with a stop at the lamb BBQ restaurant on your itinerary, make sure to say hi to her for me – and be ready to dance!
Photo with my girl from 2011 Pyongyang Ultimate Frisbee Tournament.
Young North Korean maidens dancing in an orchard……
and then the nightmare begins!
Two young girls walk home from the Pyongyang Children’s Palace.
- Children’s Palace Pyongyang, North Korea (americaninnorthkorea.com)
- Citizen Actors North Korea – Part 1 (americaninnorthkorea.com)
- Pyongyang Cleaning Stations (americaninnorthkorea.com)
- North Korean Mass Dance in Sepia and in Black and White (americaninnorthkorea.com)
North Korean girls perform mass gymnastics at the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang, North Korea.
- Young Gymnasts of the Arirang Mass Games (josephferrispics.wordpress.com)
- Arirang Mass Games (josephferrispics.wordpress.com)
- The Arirang Festival Mass Games (americaninnorthkorea.com)
- The First Podcast From Inside North Korea (americaninnorthkorea.com)
- Eric Lafforgue’s North Korea (americaninnorthkorea.com)
Photo series of performances from the Pyongyang Children’s Palace, DPRK, North Korea.
The Pyongyang Children’s Palace, a place for the children of the privileged elite to spend time after school practicing sports, art, folk dance and music – and of course, show it all off with military like precision and forced smiles to groups of visiting foreign friends and tourists.
A young girl performs a North Korean folk dance at the Pyongyang Children’s Palace.
Dancing chickens, cows, sheep, and even a giant pig – a nightmarishly weird boasting of agriculture and animal husbandry power and success during the North Korean Arirang Mass Games.