KOLKATA, India (February 6, 2020) - The 2020 Indo Korean Taekwondo Cultural Festival & International Award Ceremony wrapped up in a great success in Kolkata, India on February 5, 2020, with the attendance of WT President Chungwon Choue and the WT Demonstration Team.
It marked the first time that the WT President and the WT Demonstration Team have attended an official taekwondo event in India, attracting high interest among the public and the media.
The 2020 Indo Korean Taekwondo Cultural Festival, a biennial event since 2008, was organized by the GCS International West Bengal, India Chapter, in collaboration with the Roy's Taekwondo Academy and the Ramakrishna Mission Saradapitha. The event is supported by GCS International and World Taekwondo.
During the three-day event, there were two taekwondo performances by the WT Demonstration Team: one at the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur near Kolkata on February 4 and the other at the Biswa Bangla Convention Center in downtown Kolkata on February 5.
The 30-minute WT taekwondo performance at the convention center drew some 500 people, including two governors of India: Honorable Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, the governor of West Bengal; and Honorable Shri Tathagata Roy, the governor of Meghalaya. It is quite unusual for two governors to attend a single function in India, showing the importance of the event.
The event also drew Honorable Shri Abdur Razzak Molla, minister of food processing industries & horticulture of the West Bengal government; Rev. Swami Divyananda Maharaj, secretary of Ramakrishna Mission Saradapitha, Belur Math; Dr. Narinder Dhruv Batra, president of the Indian Olympic Association and a member of the International Olympic Committee; Mr. Namdev Shirgaonker, president of India Taekwondo and joint secretary of the Indian Olympic Association; and Mr. Milan Kwee, Vice President of the Singapore National Olympic Council.
During the event, WT President Choue honored the West Bengal governor by giving him an honorary WT Dan black belt. Dr. Choue also handed over Mr. Namdev the WT MNA recognition plaque.
"I am honored to be here today for the 2020 Indo Korean Taekwondo Cultural Festival & International Award Ceremony," WT President Choue said during the event. "I am here as president of GCS International and World Taekwondo."
"The U.N.-affiliated GCS International was established in Seoul, Korea in 1979 by my late father Dr. Young Seek Choue. My father came to New Delhi in 1980 to inaugurate the GCS India Chapter, the first overseas GCS national chapter outside Korea," he said. "In December 2018, the GCS West Bengal, India Chapter was inaugurated here at the Biswa Bangla Convention Center in West Bengal."
The GCS International founder also attended the 22nd GCS International Annual Convention in New Delhi in 2001, which also marked the first overseas GCS annual convention outside Korea. At that time, he visited Odisha to inaugurate the GCS Odisha Chapter. In 2001 and 2002, there were various GCS activities in India jointly with GCS International.
"On the occasion of my visit this time and under the leadership of Master Pradipta Kumar Roy, I believe that the GCS Movement will be further promoted in India," Dr. Choue said. "I wish this Indo Korean Taekwondo Cultural Festival will also help promote taekwondo in India."
"My special thanks go to Dr. Batra, president of the Indian Olympic Association and Mr. Namdev, president of India Taekwondo, for attending this event. With your full support, I believe that taekwondo will be further promoted in India," WT President Choue said.
Dr. Choue continued to say, "In doing good things for the mankind, there is no finish line, only the starting line. I believe that 'Peace is More Precious than Triumph'"
"For its social contribution to the mankind, World Taekwondo is striving hard to help empower the powerless, such as refugees and orphans," he said. "WT has several channels to do good things. WT has its own Taekwondo Cares Program, which is to help the disadvantaged children, while the Lausanne-based Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation (THF) is for refugees around the world."
"We are also encouraging NGOs, including the Seoul-based GCS International, to serve the mankind through taekwondo," Dr. Choue said. "In this regard, WT had MOUs with the THF and GCS International."
On February 4, a 30-minute WT taekwondo demonstration took place at the Ramakrishna Mission, Belur near Kolkata, drawing over 600 people, including monks, teachers and students of the Ramakrishna Mission. Among dignitaries of the event were Srimat Swami Suvirananda Maharaj general secretary of Ramakrishna Mission and Math; Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, Chairperson of LOKPAL
Ramakrishna Mission is the largest Hindu religious and spiritual organization, which forms the core of a worldwide spiritual movement known as the Ramakrishna Movement or the Vedanta Movement. Belur Math is a monastery serving as the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Swami Vivekananda, the chief disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa.
In cooperation with the Roy's Taekwondo Academy, the Ramakrishna Mission is introducing taekwondo education for its students across India.
On February 3, there was a welcome dinner for the WT President Choue and the WT Demonstration Team at the Hotel Hindustan International.