December 06, 2023

Breakdancing in North Korea: Celebrating Kim Il Sung’s Birthday

Respect shown in the DPRK for the Great Leader, father of the nation, is often genuine

When you see the pictures and videos coming out of Pyongyang today, you might be surprised by what you see. But I don't want these pictures to make you think that North Korea is just a land of robots who are all forced to celebrate Kim Il Sung's birthday each year. You see, celebrating the Great Leader's birthday has long been a huge event in North Korea, and the only way I can help you understand it is by suggesting that you think about how Christmas is celebrated in the West.

In many countries, remembering the story of Jesus Christ is an important part of celebrating Christmas. Well, in North Korea it's the same – except we instead remember and celebrate the birthday of Kim Il Sung. While Westerners remember the story of Bethlehem and the mysterious birth of Jesus Christ, in North Korea we remember the birth of Kim Il Sung and his heroic feats against the Japanese colonial powers. And just like in the West with Christmas Day, the majority of North Koreans are not expected to work on Kim Il Sung's birthday – it's a national holiday, after all!