Folk song Arirang is one of the national relics of the Korean people who have created and developed the brilliant history and culture for 5,000 years.
The typical and precious musical relic Arirang of the Korean nation has varieties characteristic in each local area including Pyongyang.
Typical examples are Sodo Arirang, Hamgyong Provincial Arirang and Kangwon Provincial Arirang. It has been sung for ages among the people in different times and social systems.
In early stage it was a simple and common ballad. The song attracted sympathy of many people since it depicted realistically the unanimous desire and aspiration of the Korean people for a happy life in good society at the time. All the legends and songs related with the Arirang of any time and locality contain the sorrow of leave-taking and misfortune and the desire of the people for a happy life. From this the world called Korea “Arirang Korea” or “Arirang nation”.
With the liberation of the country by President Kim Il Sung, through anti-Japanese revolutionary war the folk song Arirang too got bright rays for revival. Today Arirang further developed in the DPRK to many varieties such as the Arirang of Prosperity, Chollyong Arirang and so on.
Every variety depicts the vigorous efforts of the Korean people striving for the better life and future in good ideological and artistic way with modern and national melody and powerful rhythms.
The mass gymnastic display and artistic performance Arirang given by 100,000 in 2002 was a great hit. The performance with the folk song Arirang as its seed was known as the first masterpiece in 21stcentury and the best of all the masterpieces and symbol of Korea for its magnitude of epic unfolding yesterday, today and tomorrow of the Korean nation which would only sing sorrowful fate as a colonial lesser nation once eclipsed from the world map.
The mass gymnastic display and artistic performance Arirang was registered in the Guinness Book of Records in August 2007. The Korean folksong Arirang was also entered in the “list of the intangible cultural relics of mankind” in the 9th session of the UNESCO intergovernmental committee for the protection of the intangible cultural relics held in Paris from November 24 to 28, 2014.