SoRi-MoRi, "the gathering of sound," performs p'ungmul, a Korean folk art incorporating drumming, dance, drama, and ritual. Founded in 1999, SoRi-MoRi is a group of first, 1.5 and second generation Koreans in Philadelphia, who value p'ungmul as a means of "learning about and experiencing Korea's minjung (or peoples'), heritage, re-discovering their identities and roots as Koreans in America, and discussing and acting on social, cultural, political, and economic issues impacting their communities."
SoRi-MoRi annually organizes a traditional folk ritual known as Jishinbalpgi, or "stepping on the spirit of the earth," celebrating the beginning of the New Year in the Korean lunar calendar. At this time, SoRi-MoRi plays its way through Korean neighborhoods, drumming, singing, and dancing. The festival brings people together, drawing on a tradition for symbolically cleansing the community, chasing away bad spirits, and ushering in peace and blessings for the New Year. SoRi-MoRi's playing during Jishinbalpgi also works to renew personal ties and to build a greater sense of community.
As well as community-building and cultural education programs, SoRi-MoRi engages in various social justice issues locally, nationally, and internationally. They have led teach-ins and participated in campaigns, including justice for former Korean "comfort women," North Korean famine relief, immigrants' rights and human rights, anti-war, and the demilitarization of the Korean peninsula. The group has played at rallies, demonstrations, and events, and participates in Korean Lunar New Year's celebrations in New York and Philadelphia. For information, visit www.sorimori.org