City celebrates first Korean-American Day

THE COURIER/Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

Tuesday will go down in the books as the first Korean-American Day in New York City.

The City Council passed a resolution, sponsored by Councilman Peter Koo, in December that marked Jan. 13 as Korean-American Day, dedicated to celebrating Korean culture.

Busloads of Koreans from Queens came to City Hall on Tuesday to celebrate the day with Koo and other elected officials.

“We are very excited that Koreans are being recognized,” said Paul Yoo, president of the Korean American Association of Queens. “Our next step is to get this day recognized on the state level and eventually federally.”

Jan. 13 was chosen because of its importance in Koreans coming to America. In 1903 a ship landed in Hawaii with about 100 Koreans.  And since then, Yoo said, Koreans have contributed to building America. He also noted that the Korean population in New York City has risen over the past few years.

Between 2008 and 2011, the city’s Korean population jumped 11 percent to more than 103,000, according to the Asian American Federation. And Queens has its own vibrant Korean community, which often holds events, like last year’s Senior Olympics, to celebrate its culture.


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