"Culture is not just an ornament; it is the expression of a nation's character, and at the same time it is a powerful instrument to mould character. The end of culture is right living." These words by the famous playwright William Somerset Maugham well define the significance of culture in reshaping the destiny of a country. Like wise the art and culture of North Korea too represents the rich heritage of the country which has been an intrinsic part of its growing national identity. The last few years saw an influx of foreign population into the country which has tremendously influenced its ethnic diversity. One of the major aspects of North Korean art and culture is the adherence to the traditional folklore of the country well represented through various dance forms and songs.
Since the country was under the Japanese rule for a considerable period of time, Japanese influence is pretty evident in almost every corners of North Korean lifestyle. Historical evidences state when both the Korea nation were unified, the country was placed under the kingdom of Silla during the 7th century. The kingdom of Koryo and the Yi dynasty adopted the Neo-Confucianism as a part of its religious ideology and since then Buddhism continues to be a part of its wide cultural recognition.
The supreme reign of Soviet Union during the early years of formation of the country of North Korea, which inevitably left behind some Communist influences in the different literary forms of the country. Majority of the North Korean literature highlighted the catastrophic effects of the Korean War and its aftermath. Operas and dramas with themes woven around the revolutionary zeal of the common North Korean masses have received good applause from every quarter of North Korean population.
The land of North Korea has gained significant popularity in the last few years with the upscale of modern architectural landmarks. The architectural landscapes of Pyongyang, the popular D.M.Z at Panmunjeom and an array of stylish Kim central scenic sights attracts visitors from different countries every year. The capital city of North Korea boasts of a wide array of world class food joints and multiplexes. Through out the year, the various art galleries and theatres are choc-a-bloc with multi-cultural festivities held during the festive occasion especially during 'Arirang' and on traditional Korean New Year.
The great leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung through his wide socialist ideas has been successful in creating a classless society. Through well structured education system, North Korea has been able to achieve high literacy rate which has in fact brought a radical change aided by infusion of good moral values in the earlier stages of education in majority of the educational institutes of North Korea.
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