South Korea is known around the world for many things: Samsung electronic devices, a world-class school system, Hyundai and Kia cars, phenomenal Olympic skaters, K-pop, and compelling soap operas.
But at the Korean Cultural Heritage Festival in Burnaby yesterday, it was the country's young tae kwon do athletes who created the biggest buzz with the crowd at Swangard Stadium.
For about a half hour, martial artists from the Kukkiwon academy had the audience enthralled as they repeatedly smashed wood with their feet and performed acrobatic stunts.
At times, they jumped nearly 10 metres in the air off the top of human pyramids to split pieces of plywood in half.
The festival also showcased other aspects of Korean heritage, including pottery making.
Later in the day there was a K-pop competition, with the winner taking home a $2,000 cash prize.
That was in addition to kids' zones, food vendors, and, yes, a little bit of politicking from those seeking to be elected to Burnaby council in the fall.