Yanggak Island Discs: Side B (2) of Korean Gramophone Record ㄱ – 56224 / ㄷ – 275025 Track 2: <<사회주의문화농촌 꽃피워가네>>
This weekend our search for old Korean records led us to one of the authors of Explore Korea (探索朝鮮), a Chinese Weibo sites devoted to all things Korea. For readers of the Chinese language, it offers an in-depth look into DPRK music, movies, and culture.
Our track today is The Flower of the Socialist Cultural Village Blooms (Kr. <<사회주의문화농촌 꽃피워가네>>). You can listen to the vinyl recording here.
Since we couldn't find any recent references to the song, we’ve been a bit tricky above and put the music video to the popular hit City Girl Comes to the Countryside To Get Married (Kr. <<<도시처녀 시집와요>>) from the brilliant movie of the same name.
Both songs refer to the President Kim Il Sung's 1964 Theses on the Socialist Rural Question in Our Country (농촌테제), which outlined the socialist development of rural Korea with technological, cultural, and ideological spheres. Hence both songs also mention to ‘cultured villages’ (문화농촌), the DPRK’s name for organized rural communities.
The term ‘cultured’ makes it way into quite a few North Korean terms as a synonym of modernity and al around sophistication. Examples of such are ‘cultured language’ (문화어) or the standard speech used in the DPRK (i.e. Korean); the ‘cultured life’ (문화정서생활) or a ‘life full of cultured emotions and feelings’; and ‘cultural houses’ (문화회관), multipurpose buildings used for events and gatherings in almost every Korean community.
You can visit cultural houses at a number of locations in Korea: Jangchong Co-operative Farm in Pyongyang’s eastern suburbs, Samchon-ri Co-operative Farm near Wonsan, and the Pyongyang Catfish Factory (farm), one of our favorite sites in the country!
Yanggak Island Discs is a regular posting on songs from old North Korean vinyls. Follow the Yanggak Island Discs Sound Cloud for more recordings of featured songs.