Buddhists turn to youth at Seoul International Buddhism Exhibition

- through Henry Oudin

Published on

At mk.co.kr

The International Buddhist Expo 2024, held April 4-7 in South Korea, attracted considerable interest due to its innovative approach to presenting Buddhism, particularly targeting a younger audience. This year's exhibition, held at the Seoul Convention and Exhibition Center in Seoul's Gangnam District, attracted attention with its emphasis on new approaches to ancient religion. The event aimed to present Buddhism in a more accessible and engaging way, appealing to the tastes of younger generations.

“I would say the event lives up to the slogan they released,” said Kim Hyung-sik, an undergraduate student from Seoul on the first day of the exhibition, referring to the slogan displayed on the stage : “Joyful Buddhism. » (The Korean Herald)

Kim, who describes himself as an atheist and has no intention of adhering to any religion, nonetheless said he enjoys "exploring what each religion has to offer," noting that the event's music could help attract the youngest. (The Korean Herald)

The event's main attractions included unique events such as Buddhist electronic dance music (EDM) remixes and lectures on "hip Buddhism" by Buddhist monk Kkot. One of the highlights of the exhibition was the “Buddha's Handsome” event hosted by New Jinnim (comedian Yoon Seong-ho), which included a networking evening with Buddhist DJs EDM Remix that generated significant buzz, which temporarily overwhelmed the event's official website with traffic.

Yoon Seong-ho appeared on stage wearing monastic robes and playing EDM remixes of Buddhist scriptures while dancing energetically. The audience joined in enthusiastically, shouting in response to the music as Yoon shouted, "It's also Gina-ri, it's Gina-ri, I overcome pain and live in heaven" and "Extremely Rock ". (Maeil Business News Korea)

At koreanherald.com

Feedback from attendees was largely positive, with many expressing surprise at the contemporary and engaging presentation of Buddhism. Comments such as "It's really amazing" and "It's become an open religion" were noted among participants. (Maeil Business News Korea)

Visitors to the exhibition engaged in various activities, including trying out VR headsets streaming Buddhist scriptures and participating in mass prostrations. Jeremias Stefan, a Chilean national, shared his experience of attending the exhibition and participating in Buddhist practices despite not identifying as Buddhist: “But I do meditation and I bow . They help me,” he noted. “I didn’t feel the same connection,” the 23-year-old said of why he “left Christianity” while living in Chile. (The Korean Herald)

At koreanherald.com

Artist Kim Min-Ji, known as Sheryn, created a large chocolate statue of a bodhisattva for the exhibition. “I wanted to explore beyond what’s traditional,” she said. (The Korean Herald)

Organized by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, the exhibition aimed to "think differently to attract new believers," according to a senior official, who added that the inclusion of unconventional elements, such as monk DJ , reflected the order's desire to adapt and evolve in response to changing societal attitudes. (The Korean Herald)

South Korea, once predominantly Buddhist, is now a predominantly non-religious country, survey data shows. In 2021, 60 percent of respondents reported having no religious affiliation. Buddhists now make up 16 percent of the population, while Christians make up the largest religious segment at 23 percent.

See more

The 2024 Seoul International Buddhist Fair, held on the 4th, is a hot topic (Maeil Business News Korea)
Buddhism shows its youth (The Korean Herald)

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The article Buddhists turn to youth at Seoul International Buddhism Exhibition appeared first on Buddhadoor Global.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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