On 12th and 13th of November, MOKKOJI KOREA held their second festival at Malaysia International and Trade Exhibition Centre (MITEC). This global Hallyu event is hosted by The Ministry of Cultural, Sports and Tourism Korea and supervised by The Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange. “MOKKOJI” is a Korean word to describe a gathering of people through games, parties, and other several activities.
The purpose of the event is to give an opportunity for Malaysians to experience the Korean lifestyle which includes Korean traditional games and culture, Korean foods and a chance to meet Korean Hallyu stars. Malaysia was chosen to be the second country for the MOKKOJI Korea festival proving that the good relationship between the two countries has already established for quite some time.
Let’s take a look at the activities that I was able to participate in!
The first thing I did when I arrived at the hall was to check out the Korean traditional game at the centre Play Zone. There were various games prepared for the visitors such as Ttakji, Jegi Chagi, Tuho and the famous, Squid Game.
If you are a fan of the Netflix Squid Game series, you must have seen the game Ttakji. Ttakji is a game in which you can play with two or more players. The aim of the game is to flip your opponent’s square card. It might look easy but to really make it flip need strength and skills. Tips that I received on that day were, to try to aim the wider part of the square to flip it.
Next, my friends and I participated in the Squid Game. The MOKKOJI’s staff wore the Squid Game series costume to make us feel like we were in the drama. The game’s features and rules were very similar to the one in the drama except no one died. It was a great experience as I got to meet new people and had fun together!
The orange Play Zone (refer to map) offered everyone the experience of traditional Korean activities such as Hanbok folding paper, making the Korean traditional mask “TAL”, writing Hangeul calligraphy and making the Korean traditional folding screen. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to reserve a spot for these activities as it only limited to 10 people per slot. That just showed how many people came to enjoy MOKKOJI Korea on that day!
Webtoon, School and Drama Zone
Webtoon Zone put up exhibitions that showed the number of webtoons that were popular among international readers. Through these webtoons, Koreans were able to promote a lot of Korean cultures, especially foods because it was easy to express their delicacies. For example, “Buy A Meal Before It’s Too Late” which features various brands of cup instant noodles.
School Zone is an area where you could play around with the Korean alphabet and learned how to write your name in Hangeul. The staff there would help you along so you would have fun while learning the Korean alphabet. The most interesting part of this exhibition was they provided a few school uniforms for visitors to try on. Well, because none of them was in my size, I just let other people tried it.
At the Drama Zone, people tried out the vibrant colours Hanbok. Because there were so many people lined up to try, we also passed up this opportunity. But, it was great to see a lot of people tried the clothes, posed and took pictures with their friends or family. This zone also highlighted the drama “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” which promoted the most famous Korean meal, Kimbap.
This was my personal favourite zone in the whole MOKKOJI festival. If you were a lover of Korean delicacies, this was a heaven for you. They sold authentic Korean foods made by Koreans. My number one choice for the day was their Tteokbeoki. I could still remember clearly how good the taste was while I’m writing this article. So good!
They also offered a Korean traditional drink, Sikhye, a drink made from rice and honey. It tasted like a mix of bitter and sweet which was very unique! Yujacha, which was my personal favourite with its strong taste and scent of citron mixed with honey, gave us a sweet and sour taste at the same time. Yakgwa, a Korean traditional snack also sold in the same booth.
K-Pop Dance Cover Performances
Before the first day came to an end, several Malaysian dance cover groups performed 10 different acts . They performed various K-pop songs from different groups such as Enhypen, Blackpink, EXO, Twice and many more. This definitely attracted a lot of fans to gather in front of the mini-stage and hyped all the performances up. All I could say, these performances were definitely so good and close to the original version. Lastly, the fans were able to join random play dance sessions where random K-pop songs were played and they can dance to the song if they know it. Everyone was so jolly sporting with this and we had a great time!
High-Five and Mini Talk Event
On the second day of the event, MOKKOJI Korea brought three Hallyu K-Pop stars, BLANK2Y, SOMI and MOONBIN & SANHA to interact with 200 lucky fans! Lucky fans were selected randomly prior to the event through social media. Fans needed to fill up the Google Form provided at MOKKOJI’s official Twitter account and did some missions to win the lucky spot.
Each artist had one hour slot to interact with their fans. While asking about their feelings about Malaysia, all of them were really excited as this was their first time in our country and were looking forward to meet everyone. The event went smoothly for all and there were also some lucky fans that won the High Five tickets on the spot! I guess luck is not on my side, I was just able to look at them from the side.
This was my most anticipated event out of everything that the MOKKOJI Festival has prepared for the fans. I won the ticket for the concert in the first round of ticketing out of three. Luckily, I was able to meet the love of my life, Moonbin from ASTRO!
The concert started with an opening performance by The Arena, a group of Taekwondo students in Malaysia. I was in awe for the whole 10-minutes performance. Various moves of Taekwondo were performed and by the end of it, they also performed two dance covers which was a mix of Taekwondo and pop dance moves in their routines.
Between the performances of each artist, the K-pop stars also had an interview session, which they talked about Korean traditional elements. From the interview, I learned that BLANK2Y were not only good in its powerful dancing, but they also managed to pull off a traditional Korean mask dance! Somi shared with the fans that she liked to have her Misugaru (Korean multi-grain powder) with milk and her Yakgwa with vanilla ice cream. Did I mention that Somi was so beautiful and cute for the entire time? I was star-struck. Moonbin mentioned that he wanted to take pictures in front of Malaysia’s pride and joy, the Petronas Twin Tower while Sanha wanted to try on the Baju Melayu.
With limited time, the K-pop stars performed three songs each which were enjoyed by all 1,800 people in the hall. BLANK2Y feasted my eyes with their powerful and knife-like dance performance. Personally, it was my first time hearing about them but I am definitely a fan now. Next, Somi prepared the iconic XOXO performance for her fans and as expected, the entire hall sang along to the song. Moonbin & Sanha made our jaw dropped with their sexy performance and their most anticipated new song, Who? and I must say, they killed it!
Overall, the two days that I spent at MITEC was full of new experience and a lot of fun. I didn’t just able to relive my time in South Korea but I was able to learn a lot of new things too. In my point of view, the festival was indeed a huge success. I definitely anticipate for them to come again next year.
Check out our Instagram to watch my reels for the event!