On June 20, 2018, “Sonbon” and several other Korean Russian associations hosted a screening of our short documentary, “Letter to My Children” in Moscow.
Director Joseph traveled to Moscow and presented our short “Letter to My Children” by paralleling the humble and painful origins of Korean migrations to the former Soviet Union (CIS) and Cuba.
Koreans arrived in the Russian Empire as early as the late 19th century. In 1937, 180,000 of these Koreans, also known as “Koryo-saram” (Корё сарам / 고려사람) were forcibly removed from Far East Russia by Joseph Stalin and sent thousands of miles away to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan basically to perish in the wilderness. Yet, the Koreans survived and formed resilient and unique communities that continue to exist to this day.
Many of the Koryo-saram who attended our screening noted that the narrative of Korean Cubans is almost identical to their grandparents’ story and appreciated discovering a new aspect of the larger Korean diaspora.
The heroic tales of Korean Russians also deserve to be told with the wider communities and we applaud the efforts of the young Korean Russians to preserve and celebrate their individual and collective Korean identity.