COUNTRY: The Koreas
“Arirang” is essentially the national anthem of the Koreas. There are literally thousands of different versions of the song and everyone–everyone!–sings it, both on festive and somber occasions. “Arirang, arirang, arariyo, Arirang, crossing over the hill, My dear who has abandoned and left me, Has not even traveled ten miles before having feet pains” The song is of mysterious origin, age and literal meaning — this site offers nine possible theories of the song’s origins. Is the song two hundred years old? Two thousand?

Whatever the song’s story, Koreans protesting the 1910-1945 Japanese occupations claimed it as a resistance anthem, and since then the song has become synonymous with the pride of Koreans in surviving despite struggles. This video actually offers a decent introduction, BTS and all.

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