The drummers at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games have already become iconic on Twitter, with people posting about how much they enjoyed the performance, and many wondering if the drummers in the opening ceremony of the Olympics were all women. The answer is a resounding hell yes. The Herald Sun reported that hundreds of females dancers took the stage while other women drummed in the center. If you watched the graceful drum circle unfold, then you know how beautiful it was to witness an army of women tapping their traditional janggu drums — the traditional type of drum the women were using, according to NPR.
According to the website Sounds of Asia, the janggu is a slim waist drum with an hourglass-shaped body with two heads. Made from animal skin, it is the most widely used drum used in the traditional music of Korea. And people on Twitter were blown away by the drummers' majestic performance. "Wow, the Korean group’s dancers and drummers... the announcer said a lot of things, but he didn’t mention it looked like ALL WOMEN?!" @Raggs tweeted.
Seeing the all-women drum circle bridged a divide for many women who took to Twitter to express their excitement at seeing the drummers take center stage during the opening ceremony.
Because, hell yes! According to Yoonjah Choi, of the Graduate Center at City University of New York, drumming is a traditionally male-dominated practice in Korea that is increasingly being taken up by women.
In his study, "Gendered Practices and Conceptions in Korean Drumming: On the Negotiation of 'Femininity' and 'Masculinity' by Korean Female Drummers," Choi explores "the ways in which contemporary Korean traditional drum performers, predominantly professional female drummers, conceptualize, experience, perform, reinforce, and/or resist issues of gender in the field."
And everyone watching the opening ceremony of the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang was able to witness a little bit of that resistance.
It was impossible NOT to be excited when these drummers took the stage.
An "OMG" Moment
Honestly, anyone who didn't tune into the coverage was missing out.
Badass Women Indeed
While I have to believe that we'll eventually get past patriarchal notions that women can't [insert sport, instrument, etc.], at times like the Olympic Games, we get to celebrate women who can, and women who do, like the bosses they are.
They deserve our solidarity.
The Coordination Game Is Strong
The amount of rehearsal that goes into this must be wild.
A True Inspiration
And they're inspiring others to pursue their own artistic passions. Because, wow doesn't even begin to cover it.
The fact that it was not highlighted by announcers was, while not unexpected, disappointing.
A True Bonding Event
Because, who rule the world? GIRLS, that's who [mic drop].
A Sound You Can't Ignore
Those drums are the sound of the hearts of every woman in the world beating together.
For The Win
Music can create a bridge across generations, cultures, political views, and almost everything else in life because it unites humanity in one singular experience of awe. A 2015 study from Tokyo University of the Arts explored music as a common language. According to Mental Floss, Ph.D. student Pat Savage "identified 18 features that are predominant throughout the world’s songs. These include discrete pitches (where each note is expressed individually, rather than sliding from one note to another) and equally timed beats."
So, if the women's drum circle during the opening ceremony made you feel a little more connected to the goings on in the Olympics even though they're thousands of miles away, it's because the beat of those drums is a thread that bonds everyone together. And I can't think of a more perfect way to kick off the Winter Olympics than a rumbling crescendo of music from a group of badass women who belong center stage.
Seriously, when are they releasing the drum solo on iTunes? We could all use a little more musical connection in our lives, and this one happened with the whole world watching, making it a defining moment not just for the Olympics, but women everywhere.