bestnom1000x50

Photos: North Korea's surreal Mass Games

While everyone else watches the Olympics, Asia's weirdest sporting event transpires in the world's most secretive country
By MICHAEL GAO  |  September 8, 2008

080808_NK2
Photo by Michael Gao

In 2002, the theme of the Mass Games, which traditionally changed every year, was Arirang, a Korean folk tale that tells of two separated young lovers and their quest to be reunited. It is something of an Asian Romeo & Juliet story that could be interpreted as a metaphor for the plight of the two Koreas. Four million North Koreans relished 90 shows presented over four months in 2002. The Dear Leader was impressed, and declared that Arirang should be a regular theme. But repetition of the program in recent years has resulted in falling attendances. DPRK citizens pay 100 Won (official exchange rate: 165 Won to US$1. According to purchasing power, one dollar is roughly the same as 3,000 Won) for each 90-minute show. Visitors from other countries pay 50-300 Euros or the equivalent in Chinese currency.

<< first  ...< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |   next >...  last >>

3 of 32 (results 32)
Related:
  • Review: Kimjongilia
    There is very little new in N.C. Heikin's documentary attack on North Korea's endless dictatorship that hasn't been seen or heard before.
  • The death of the American city, revisited
    Urban renewal is seldom discussed as anything but the great scourge of the American city — a disastrous post-World War II push to steamroll working-class neighborhoods and replace them with towering concrete buildings and cavernous plazas that sterilized once-vibrant places.
  • Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops
    Like other Call of Duty games, Black Ops is rated M for Mature, but that rating doesn't cut it anymore.
  • More more >
  Topics: News Features , Politics , Sports , Communism ,  More more >
| More
Featured Articles in News Features: