Sunday, December 23, 2012

1980s Silk Scarf Souvenir from Songdowon




































Very warm wishes of health and happiness from your friends at RetroDPRK!

Aside from a few charming Charlie Brown-esque Christmas trees pulling year-round decorative duty in Pyongyang restaurants, Retro DPRK images of the festive season can be difficult to come by.

It was decided therefore to take the opportunity to share a really nice souvenir from Wonson, indeed one with a sentiment perhaps apropo of the season -- world peace and friendship.  Beautiful.

The piece is an 100% Silk Scarf, hand-produced in a folk-art style in Pyongyang.  The Korean characters read Ok-Ryu Folk Art (옥류민예).  Based upon the symbol in the earring, it seems this was produced as a souvenir for guests at Wonson hotels and the nearby Songdowon Resort Area, a location of many festivals and conferences of international friendship / peace / art / music, etc. during the Communist era.  Festivals of this sort were not unique to Communist countries; many Western nations and religious organizations also had similar international exchanges at the time.  Excellent postcards from these festivals will be featured in future posts.

It is possibly interesting to note that these festivals still go on to this day, and arguably remain one of the largest formal ways in which the DPRK engages in cultural exchanges with friendly nations.  The Koryo Hotel will be full during this time, and it is possible to mingle with participants from Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the former Communist countries which have maintained strong links with Pyongyang.

It turns out that silk is quite difficult to photograph properly, but the image shouldn't suffer too much from the added photoshop festoonery.  The original is lovely as well, you can see it here...




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