JEONGSEON, Gangwon Province -- "Arirang Arirang Arario ..." The melancholic yet oddly comforting melody resonates deeply in the hearts of Koreans.
While the song's exact origins remain unclear, historical records suggest that Arirang became popular in the late Joseon era, cementing its position as one of the most beloved Korean folksongs, evoking a sense of home to many.
In December 2012, Arirang, the lyrical folk song of the Republic of Korea, was named UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Two years later, in 2014, the Arirang folk song of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea also made the UNESCO list.
Around 100 variations of Arirang and at least 10,000 different lyrics exist on the Korean Peninsula, including well-known versions like the Miryang Arirang, Jindo Arirang and Jeongseon Arirang, according to the Jeongseon Arirang Culture Foundation.