(EN) Gwangju News April 2015 #158

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Gwangju & South Jeolla International Magazine

April 2015

Issue No. 158



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Class Hospital

for lung cancer surgeries in 2014

Do you want to experience Korea? Then this program is for you! Experience Korean culture at Hyanggyo, a traditional Confucian school. Experience Programs (2 hours, at least 10 people)

Basic Programs (2 Hours) - Experience wearing Hanbok (Traditional Costumes) - Learn the etiquette of hand gestures, greetings, and bowing - Drink green tea - Explore Hyanggyo and watch movies Optional Programs (additional cost) - Experience a Korean traditional wedding ceremony - Experience a coming of age celebration - Watch a performance of Korean classical music and Fan Dance - Make kimchi, traditional confections, and rice cake. - Play traditional Korean games such as Tuho, Yut, etc 7-8, 95 Angil, Jungan-ro, Nam-gu, Gwangju 503-818, South Korea E-mail: swk2013@daum.net Website: www.swk2013.com Tel: 062-431-6501

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CONTENTS Cover Photo: Cho Hwan-eik, President and CEO of KEPCO Photograph courtesy of Korea Electric Power Corporation Cover Art: Joe Wabe

April 2015 Issue No. 158 Published on March 26, 2015

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10 A City and A Company for the Future 14 Passport to Education: A Talk With Principal Mark Stock 16 Remembering Sewol: This Time Last Year and My Personal Response and a Letter That Cannot Be Sent (Essays by Kwangju Foreign School Students) 20 Transportation Safety 22 4.16.2014 - One Year On 26 The World Human Rights Cities Forum 2015 Slated for May in Gwangju, Korea CORRECTION In last month’s issue, the article Are the Good Times Gone for Native English Teachers? stated that EPIK would not hire new teachers. EPIK hired 20-30 new teachers this year. We apologize for this error.

PUBLISHER Shin Gyonggu MANAGING EDITOR Karly Pierre ONLINE EDITOR Ana Traynin COORDINATOR AND LAYOUT EDITOR Karina Prananto PHOTO EDITOR Joe Wabe CHIEF PROOFREADER Bradley Weiss ONLINE EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Amanda Miller, Jacqui Page, Adriano Salamone COPY EDITORS Kate Blessing, Kate Jarocki, Kelsey Rivers, Benjamin Grady Young, Timm Berg, Elizabeth Butler, Brian Kelly, Laura Becker, Joey Nunez PROOFREADERS Lianne Bronzo, Christie Fargher, Don Gariepy, Angie Hartley, Jessica Keralis, Jannies Le, Joey Nunez, Gabrielle Nygaard, Katie Rayner, Stephen Redeker, Pete Schandall, Teri Venable, Gilda Wilson CREATIVE CONSULTANT Warren Parsons RESEARCHERS Lee Jeong-min, Lee Jeong-hwa, Kim Hyunyoung, Han Jeong-bong, Han Ju-yeon, Yong Yu-rim Copyright by Gwangju International Center. All rights reserved. No part of this publication covered by this copyright may be reproduced in any form or by any means - graphic, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise - without the written consent of the publisher.





19 Gwangju Talks: “What transportation issues you have seen or experienced?“ 25 Sewol Update April 2015 26 Right to the City: How to Say “Yes” for Human Rights: 2015 WHRCF 30 Small But Strong: Gwangju’s Kenyan Community 32 Gwangju Cooks: Kimchi and Tofu Wraps 33 Gwangju Eats: Diagon Alley 34 Gwangju Plays: Geocaching 35 Gwangju Chic

46 Korean Poetry: Road by Hwang Ji-U 47 Gwangju Writes: The Trials 48 Behind the Myth: Korea’s Drug History 49 Jeolla History: Jeolla Dialect

photography 36 Fashion on the Street: Basic Black 37 Photo of the Month: Hamyang Sunrise 38 Photo Essay: The Importance of Photographs

places to see 40 Departing Gwangju Savoring Sri Lanka 42 Korea in the World Seo Jin-seok, a bridge between Korea and the Baltic States 44 My Korea: Jjimjilbang

general & info 06 Gwangju City News 08 Upcoming Events 50 KOTESOL: A Journey with the GwangjuJeonnam Reflective Practice Special Interest Group 52 Health: Worked to Death: The Dangers to Health from Overwork 54 Green Korea: Green GIC: Conserving Energy at Work 58 Community Board

gic 54 GIC Tour Preview: Muan 56 GIC Talk Preview: France in Korea: Similarities and Differences 57 GIC Talk April Schedule

Gwangju News is published by Gwangju International Center Gwangju News is the first local English magazine in Korea, first published in 2001. It covers local and regional issues, with a focus on roles and activities of the international expats and local English-speaking communities.

Registration No. 광주광역시 라. 00145 (ISSN 2093-5315) Registration Date February 22, 2010 Printed by Join Adcom 조인애드컴 gwangjunewsgic.com



Special thanks to the City of Gwangju and all of our sponsors.

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Inquiry and Feedback: gwangjunews@gic.or.kr Advertising Inquiry: karina@gic.or.kr 062-226-2733~34 5, Jungang-ro 196 beon-gil (Geumnam-no 3 Ga), Dong-gu, Gwangju 501-023, South Korea





GWANGJU CITY NEWS Written by Benjamin Grady Young Compiled and translated by Lee Jeong-min, Lee Jeong-hwa, Kim Hyun-young, Han Jeong-bong, Han Ju-yeon, and Yong Yu-rim Photos courtesy of Gwangju Metropolitan City


Cheongchun Theater at Gwangju Visual Content Center

CHEONGCHUN YOUTH THEATER AT GWANGJU VISUAL CONTENT CENTER The City of Gwangju and The Gwangju Information & Culture Industry Promotion Agency announced the opening of Cheongchun Theater, a youth theater screening vintage and modern films. Films run every Wednesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Gwangju Visual Content Center. This year, it will screen old movies like “Cinema Paradiso” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and more recent movies like “Gwang-hae” and “Suspicious Woman.” General admission is 4,000 won and 2,000 won for seniors. Contact Gwangju Visual Content Center at (http://gvcc.or.kr) or 062-350-9340.

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According to an announcement from the Gwangju Universiade organizing committee, North Korea applied to the 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade through International University Sports Federation FISU. The Gwangju Universiade organizing committee said that they hope the Gwangju Universiade will help exchange friendship between South and North Korea and lay the groundwork for future relations through sports. The 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade will be held from July 3-14.

DAEIN ART NIGHT MARKET EXPANDING Gwangju will strengthen the Daein Night Market with the mutual cooperation of tradespeople and artists. This year Gwangju will have several important events so it is expected that the number of visitors will increase considerably. Gwangju will increase the frequency of the market and expand the number and quality of the vendors and performers.

GWANGJU FC SEASON TICKETS ON SALE Gwangju F o o t ball Club 2 0 1 5 season tickets are now on sale. Season ticket holders can watch all home games including formal league and FA Cup games played in the Gwangju World Cup Stadium. Each ticket is valid for 25 games during the normal season. A 15,000 won blanket to commemorate Gwangju FC’s rise to prominence will be presented free to all customers who buy season tickets. Season ticket holders will also receive a coupon for marinated grilled beef ribs from Hwangsol Chon and naengmyeon suyuk jaengban (Jumbo-sized cold buckwheat noodles and boiled beef slices). Adult tickets are 60,000 won and youth tickets are 40,000 won. Tickets are available in the executive office of Gwangju FC and at Ticket Link (www.ticketlink.co.kr).






Participants of the inauguration ceremony of Cheongchun Theater with Gwangju mayor

FIRST COMMITTEE OF YOUNG MEN ESTABLISHED Committee of Young Men in Gwangju is a consultative group to reflect various ideas of young men in Gwangju. Their term in office is one year and they will take part in the process of making youth policy for jobs, culture, welfare, communications, etc. Mayor Yoon Jang-hyun explained that Gwangju set up the Committee of Young Men for the first time among local governments and said that the energy of young men will change Gwangju, which lags behind other regions.

FOUR INTERNATIONAL EVENTS SET TO DRAW ONE MILLION VISITORS Gwangju City, South Jeolla and Korea’s Tourism Organization have joined forces to attract over one million foreign tourists for four big international events held this year: Gwangju Summer Universiade, the opening of the Asia Culture Complex, Damyang World Bamboo Fair and International Agriculture Fair. Participating organizations are calling for this “the year of visiting South Jeolla.” They are actively attracting foreigners while promoting the tourism development.

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This year Gwangju Art Street will host various programs that show the past and the future of Gwangju and South Jeolla’s cultural art. Gwangju City announced that the city will carry forward the Art Street revitalization program as a tool to rejuvenate the area surrounding the newly opened Asian Culture Complex. Events are planned for every Friday at 3 p.m. on Art Street downtown. There will be performances mimicking and showcasing the work of famous Gwangju artists, street art performances, such as music and paintings, and Korean traditional art performances. There will also be art classes, during which patrons can learn from Art Street’s craftsmen and participate in various workshops. Dates: March 27 to June 12, Every Friday July 3, Aug. 7, Sept. 4, Sept 18, Oct. 2, Nov. 6


Countermeasure committee for Chun Do-hwan’s bell held a meeting at Gwangju City Hall

GWANGJU CALLS FOR “MARCH FOR THE BELOVED” BE A COMMEMORATIVE SONG Gwangju will gather a delegation to retrieve the bell of Mugak Temple, so-called “Chun Doohwan’s bell.” City Hall held its sixth meeting concerning the distortion of May 18 history. Attendees strongly demanded “March for the Beloved” be designated as an official commemorative song as soon as possible. In connection with “Chun Doohwan’s bell,” the countermeasure committee said that they will create a delegation which includes the people from a May 18 group and an NGO to cooperate with the delegation and Kwon Eunhee, a member of the National Assembly, to take it back.

The City Hall ice rink closes for the end of winter after another successful season. The rink saw 74,000 visitors from December 24 to February 15 — 54 days, averaging 1,400 visitors per day. This year, City Hall made many improvements to the ice rink, including providing skating classes for students on vacation. Gwangju City says that safety was a focus this year and will continue to be for the years to come.





Upcoming until




Ryu Yeon-bok Exhibition <Cross of May 18> 류연복의 5.18 십자가전 May Hall 3-4 Floor (Mayhall Building, Munhwajeondang-ro 23beongil 1, Dong-gu), 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Closed on public holidays, Free, Culture Complex bus stop/ subway station, 010-6432-9037, www.mayhall.co.kr

Gimje Moak Mountain Festival 김제 모악산 축제

APR 10 - 12

2015 Lee Eun-mi Concert in Gwangju 2015 이은미 콘서트 – 광주 Gwangju Culture & Art Center Grand Theater, 9:00 p.m. VIP Seats 110,000 won/ R Seats 99,000 won/ S Seats 77,000 won, Gwangju Culture & Art Center bus stop, 1566-7459, http://ticket.interpark.com

Mokpo Yudal Mountain Flower Festival 목포꽃피는유달산축제

APR 4 - 12

The area of Moak Mountain Provincial Park, Moaksan-gil, Gui-myeon, Wanju-gun, North Jeolla Take the train at Gwangju Train Station and get off at Gimje Train Station (1 hour), then, take the local bus No. 5 for Geumsan Temple, Wonpyeong at Gimje Station and get off at Geumsan Temple. Walk 400 m to Moak Mountain Provincial Park 063-540-3031~6 http://tour.gimje.go.kr/index.sko?menuCd=BQ040030 01000


APR 26 Yudal Mountain area, Rodeo Plaza, Goha-daero, Mokpo-si, South Jeolla Take the intercity bus at Gwangju Bus Terminal and get off at Mokpo Bus Terminal (1 hour), then, take the local bus No. 1 or 200 from Mokpo Bus Terminal and get off at Honam-dong 119 safety center. Transfer to bus No.13 and get off at Bukgyo-dong Church (30 minutes) 061-270-8442 http://tour.mokpo.go.kr/festival_event/festival/ udal_flower

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APR 26

Eui Gi, Yang Yang <A Triumphant Air> Exhibition 의기,양양 전 Gwangju Museum of Art - Sangnok annex, 10 a.m. ~ 6 p.m.(Closed Mondays), Free, Sangnok Building/ Seo-gu Health Center bus stop, 062-613-5392, http://artmuse. gwangju.go.kr THE BRAIN: Choi Hyun-woo Magic Concert in Gwangju 더브레인, 최현우 매직 콘서트 – 광주 Gwangju Culture & Art Center Grand Theater, 3, 7 p.m. (April 25) 2, 6 p.m. (April 26), R Seats 77,000 won/ S Seats 66,000 won, Gwangju Culture & Art Center, 15443901, http://ticket.interpark.com






@ GWANGJU THEATER Chungjang-no 5-ga 62, Dong-gu, Gwangju (two blocks behind NC WAVE), 8,000 won per person per film, 062-224-5858, http://cafe.naver.com/ cinemagwangju

Shinan Tulip Festival 신안 튤립 축제

APR 17 - 26

Leviathan 리바이어던 [Drama/ R] Alexsey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Roman Madyanov In a coastal town in Russia, a man named Kolya has to face the dark side of human nature.

Shinan Tulip Park, Imja-myeon, Shinan-gun, South Jeolla Take the intercity bus at Gwangju Bus Terminal and get off at Jido Jeomam Dock (2 hours), then, take a passenger ferry from Jeomam Dock to Imja Dock. Transfer to a shuttle bus to arrive at the festival venue (Ferry schedule: 7 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. (20min intervals) / 8 - 10 p.m. (1hr intervals) 061-240-4041~3 http://www.shinantulip.co.kr/


MAY 17


MAY 22

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Beautiful World Meeting With Lights <Exhibition> 빛으로 만나는 예쁜 세상 Children gallery at Gwangju Museum of Art, 10 a.m. ~ 6 p.m./ Closed on Mondays, Free, Gwangju Biennale/ Gwangju Biennale Entrance bus stop, 062-613-7100, http:// artmuse.gwangju.go.kr In Blue and White: Porcelains of the Joseon Dynasty Special Exhibition 푸른빛에 물들다: 조선 청화 Gwangju National Museum Special Exhibition Gallery, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m./ Closed Mondays, Free, Gwangju National Museum bus stop, 062-570-7000, http://gwangju. museum.go.kr

A Most Violent Year 모스트 바이어런트 [Crime Drama/ R] Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo A story about 1981 New York City, which is considered as one of the most violent years in the city’s history. Socialphobia 소셜포비아/ Drama, 15 Byeon Yohan, Lee Joo-seung, Ryu Jun-yeol Two young men who are preparing for the police academy exam become involved in a case of a woman’s death. Revivre 화장 [Drama] Ahn Seong-gi, Kim Gyoo-ri, Kim Ho-jeong A story about a middle-aged man who is torn between loyalty to his dying wife and the younger woman he loves. Saint Laurent 생로랑 [Biography Drama] Gaspard Ulliel, Jeremie Renier A story about career of Saint Laurent’s life from 1967 to 1976, which was when he was at his peak. Jealousy 질투 [Drama] Louis Garrel, Anna Mouglalis A story about relationships that flounder and thrive after a man decides to leave his wife and daughter.




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A City and A Company for the Future Written by Warren Parsons Photos courtesy of Korea Electric Power Corporation

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o say South Jeolla (Jeonnam) has changed a lot in the last five years is an understatement. Once primarily an agricultural region, the province has historically lagged behind other parts of the country in terms of investment and development. To look at South Jeolla’s countryside now and its cities with towering new apartment blocks, a new modern international airport, and a recently finished high-speed KTX train line to Seoul, one would be hard pressed to call the region anything but contemporary with other metropolitan areas in Korea. Among the various development projects spurred over the past few years, one of the most visible and talked about has been the Gwangju-Jeonnam Innovation City in Naju. Started as a policy during the presidency of Roh Moohyun to decentralize the Seoul capital area and to increase investment in other regions of the country, the Innovation City has seen its fair share of controversy over the past decade of planning, construction, and finally opening. There has been a good amount of expectation in the follow through of this huge government project which promises to boost the local economy and to integrate South Jeolla, which has long felt itself to be neglected, more fully into the larger Korean economy. President Roh’s project, which has been seen by many in South Jeolla as a sign of Roh’s support of the province, has also been the target of criticism for its hefty price tag and aggressive development of what was once an undulating landscape of farms, villages, and pear orchards. Bitgaram, as the Innovation City is also called, is a pure Korean word that conjures up light flowing outwards from this model of urban planning and environmentally friendly architecture. The centerpiece of this city of the future is the glittering tower complex that now houses the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). Since the middle of last year, this government-run company, which provides 93% of Korea’s electricity, has called Naju its home. Last month, representatives from the Gwangju International Center and Gwangju News met with Cho Hwan-eik, President and CEO of KEPCO, in a luminous 30th floor conference room for an informative discussion about his company and its move to South Jeolla. Dr. Cho, as he appropriately can be called given he has earned a Ph.D. in business administration, has had an illustrious career as a civil servant and was the head of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) before taking over the helm of KEPCO in 2012. He is optimistic about his company’s move and the effect it will have on the province.

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Dr. Cho boasts: “Korea Electric coming to the Innovation City has plenty of meaning. Don’t look at it as the relocation of just a single public enterprise, but you can see it as if an entire Korean economic mountain has moved.” Rather than just thinking about consumer and tax infusions that a large company brings, Cho encourages a larger vision that includes fostering new enterprises and talented workers, as well as supporting universities to increase electrical engineering departments and other energy related divisions. “KEPCO, 100 days after moving here, has really plunged into making the Bitgaram Energy Valley and little by little visible results are being made. We have presented a plan to attract 500 energy enterprises to this location and to increase the number of talented people. Also, on a tangible note, on the 9th of last month at Naju City Hall there was an event to celebrate the cooperative agreement with the first enterprise, Boseong Power Tech.” The union of KEPCO and the Gwangju/Jeonnam energy program and the creation of the “Bitgaram Energy Valley” hopes to provide a model for other public enterprises as they consider integration into the provincial environment. “The Bitgaram Energy Valley anticipates the promotion of three main areas: R&D and cultivating talent, the construction of an energy enterprise zone, and supporting special energy businesses,” continues Dr. Cho. Through such efforts and creative networks with the local government, along with collaboration with other relocated electric “group” companies, the venture hopes to invest 10 billion won annually into projects such as renewable energy, Energy Storage Systems (ESS), electric cars, and university research centers. All and all the Energy Valley holds much hope and promise for development into the future. Cho adds: “Korea Electric with the cooperation of other relocated institutions in constructing an electric IT cluster, collaboration with the provincial government in attracting small and medium-sized businesses, and the cultivation of regional talent pools alongside R&D, strength combined, will work to make the Energy Valley a global success.” A LOVE AFFAIR WITH SOUTH JEOLLA Concerning job creation in the region Dr. Cho antici-




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pates the Korea Electric Power Corporation to function as an incubator and a supporter of human resources development through programs targeted at cultivating the best in local talent. Specific plans include reinforcing relationships with local universities and expanding research opportunities for Master’s and Ph.D. students from South Jeolla and Gwangju. “Korea Electric will be a cradle for the cultivation of talent in a creative provincial society and the expansion of new enterprises through research at the academic and small to medium-sized business levels. Furthermore, by introducing energy focused human resource education programs to cultivate local talent and by supporting exceptional students in the region, we plan to activate a recruiting process that favors hiring the best in local personnel,” states Cho. With steps in place to benefit South Jeolla and its citizens, many have found good things to say about Korea Electric relocating its corporate headquarters to Naju. From welcome banners, to kind words from restaurant workers at the company restaurant, employees at KEPCO have had a warm reception. As such, local businesses stand to gain from this boost to the economy by extending closing times and opening new shops and restaurants to cater to the corporate employees in the Innovation City. Cho admits: “When I moved to Naju, more than anything else I thought the most important things would be a natural union with the local society and the stable settlement of our relocated employees.” Transferring an entire company and its employees from Seoul was a cause for both expectation and concern. Especially for employees used to the life in Seoul and around the capital, the decision to move to Naju was big. But with efforts to smooth the transition to South Jeolla life, such as Namdo art and culture activities, people have gradually adapted and become happier with their new surroundings. Cho asserts: “Now we are seeing stability as housing and working conditions were prepared without hindrance and we have consistently formed a sentiment in our company about being a model of a successfully relocated public corporation and have laid the foundation stone for the new one hundred years of the electric industry in Naju at Bitgaram.” The vision of the Innovation City and the development of Korea Electric in Naju is ambitious and serves as a test for the relocation of other public in-

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dustries. With cooperative agreements with partner companies, industrial research and development, cutting-edge technology, and human resources expansion, the city is poised to be a truly innovative leader in the energy industry. With the Bitgaram Energy Valley, Cho says this could be understood as making Naju into the “electricity capital of Korea,” and compares it to Silicon Valley in America, but with a creative economy specializing in the energy and electrical industries. If successful, the company and its employees are here to stay, and will grow roots in South Jeolla province adding to the local economy. “It is not too much to say that as Korea’s largest representative public corporation, the success of Korea Electric’s settlement into the provincial environment determines the success or failure of the relocation of other public institutions. In order to ensure a safe and successful relocation the first button has to be well fastened,” claims Cho. A CHANGE OF VISION When asked about how KEPCO will supply an ever increasing demand of electricity from Korean consumers, Cho answered diplomatically admitting that while in the past couple of years there have been fears of power shortages, at the present the situation has improved and he stressed his efforts to maintain a stable energy supply while working to maintain and monitor power plants. “In the long term we are designing efficient ways to use energy by extracting new usable resources nationwide such as expanding energy storing devices and undertaking a micro-grid system on Korea’s islands that supplies electricity through clean energy generation. We urgently need to use electricity smartly and to strive to conserve energy in our daily lives considering environmental costs and the cost of imported fuel resources.” Looking towards the future, the company is focusing its capacity as an industry leader in new energy development at home and abroad. With 39 projects underway in 22 countries, KEPCO strives to be a model in unified energy development through advances in technologies such as smart-grid, microgrid, energy storage, high-voltage direct current (HVDC), and new renewable energy. In addition to this impressive number of projects around the world and a variety of new technologies underdevelopment, Korea Electric is working here in South Jeolla on renewable energy projects, particularly on Jindo.



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KEPCO Building (far right) among other buildings in Naju Innovation City

“Gwangju-Jeonnam is a region with good wind and good sunlight. There are also many islands. We have made Jindo Gasa Island a carbon zero renewable energy zone. Using sunlight and wind power to generate renewable energy with an affordable initial investment, the island has become independent and environmentally friendly with a stable source of electricity,” informs Cho. Discussing matters closer to home, the CEO talks about his lifestyle changes and what it has been like living in South Jeolla. While living in Seoul, he and his wife often saw movies and went out to dinner, but now living in a new province he has had the opportunity to enjoy the local sights and flavors. He has visited Gangjin to see the home of Dasan Jeong Yak Yong and has eaten Hampyeong beef. Also, the company headquarters has opened its Hanbit Hall as the Bitgaram Movie Theater for local citizens and company employees to enjoy and seen three straight sellout crowds. Talking about the distinctive South Jeolla taste, Cho says: “Honam food is really delicious. Using fresh ingredients and various side dishes, the food appeals to me. Especially, Naju gomtang is really delicious. When my daughter-in-law came to Naju and ate gomtang, the saying that ‘It is the best ever’ is true. It is like the region’s warm and sincere heart is

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infused into the food.” Cho contrasts his love of the local food with prescriptions on how to bring Gwangju and South Jeolla up to speed with other international venues. Speaking from his perspective as an executive of a Fortune 500 corporation, he stresses the need for better hotels, restaurants, and facilities that cater to the global business community. He suggests that work, dining, and travel conditions do not meet the global standard and hopes to see a higher level of conveniences in the future, which will be conducive to fostering international business relationships. As these comforts increase, the province could attract more investment and more global-minded people. Cho shares that “every Thursday and Friday [the company] sends thirty buses to Seoul and elsewhere to help our employees commute and see their families. But I tell them to invest in land here because the prices will go up and encourage them to stay. Hopefully, we will gradually decrease the number of buses as people choose to move here.” With five-star hotels and celebrity chefs, corporate training events and conventions as aspirations, the globalization of South Jeolla seems inevitable. Let us hope that all the things that make South Jeolla charmingly what it is, are not lost in the shuffle.





Passport to Education A Talk With Principal Mark Stock Written by Karly Pierre Photographed by Joe Wabe


t is a little before lunchtime at Kwangju Foreign School. Light floods in through the large bright windows. The school halls are empty — squeaky clean. And I am in the principal’s office. Mark Stock, the principal, is a gregarious man, with a welcoming Midwestern American drawl and a round laugh. But being an educator, he has a manner that makes you want to sit up straight and put your gum away — even if you have not been in high school for almost 20 years. Stock came to Kwangju Foreign School, the only international school in Gwangju, last year after working in Egypt as an assistant principal and middle school coordinator for five years.

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“I’ve pretty much been in education in one form or another for most of my life,” said Stock. “I started working with developmentally disabled people when I was 11 years old and I did that through college. I helped them learn daily skills, work skills, helped them find jobs in the community. A lot of people don’t look at that as education, but trust me, that’s education.” After college, Stock began working in alternative education on the outskirts of Detroit. There, he was principal of a school for students who “had basically been kicked out of their high schools.” “We were the only school that would even consider taking them,” said Stock. “But we did very well. We





had a high graduation rate and the behavior problems that supposedly got them kicked out of school never materialized with us. I think part of it was that even though they weren’t adults, we treated them like adults, and they began acting like adults. Funny how that works.” Now as the principal of a small school, Stock wears many hats and takes an involved approach with students. With a student body of almost 100, Kwangju Foreign School serves students from pre-K to grade 12. He often advises older students about college or career choices. “I meet with eighth graders before they start ninth grade and tell them basic things like once you mess up ninth grade, you’ve messed up,” said Stock. “Your grades are on your permanent transcript… They don’t think about things like that.” Kwangju Foreign School teaches from an Americanbased curriculum. Many of the school’s students have parents who are North American nationals, carry North American passports or have studied abroad for a number of years. The Korean government strictly limits the number of Korean natives allowed to attend international schools. Many of these students have family abroad and want to attend North American schools upon graduation. Students from Kwangju Foreign School generally score higher on their PSAT scores than North American students. Also, the school’s Measures of Academic Progress, MAP, scores are higher or comparable to other schools in the area. “We don’t use the British or [International Baccalaureate] IB curriculum because we want our teachers to have more freedom to create lessons that are more geared toward our students,” said Stock. “Our curriculum allows teachers to teach the same subject, but at different levels that meet the needs of our students…Our curriculum is culturally sensitive. One of Mr. Holley’s [the Kwangju Foreign School’s owner] overriding goals for the school is to embrace different cultures and embrace the similarities.” Robert Holley founded Kwangju Foreign School in 1999 with just 13 elementary students. Gwangju City officials encouraged Holley to start the school as a way of drawing business to the area. Holley is a native of California and first arrived in Korea in 1978. Since that time, he has become a notable entertainer in Korea, appearing in Korean dramas and game shows. He has gone on to found and direct

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two other schools in Busan and North Jeolla. Kwangju Foreign School keeps its tuition costs low with the goal of remaining accessible to as many students as possible. Students travel from as far away as Mokpo to attend school. Basic tuition at Kwangju Foreign School is about $12,000 to $16,000 USD per year. Stock notes that the cost of the same education in Seoul would cost parents around $30,000 to $40,000 USD per year. Most of the school’s teachers are foreign with the exception of the art teacher. All teachers have teaching credentials from accredited universities and have current teaching certificates. Professors from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, GIST, often teach a few science classes and invite students to their labs on the Institute’s campus. There is currently an open position at Kwangju Foreign School and Stock emphasizes he “hires teachers for their expertise.” “I give them a great amount of latitude,” said Stock. “As I tell new teachers every year, if everything we are doing is a success then we are doing something wrong because there should be some failures along the way. We need to try new and different things.”





Remembering Sewol To honor the first anniversary of the Sewol Ferry tragedy, Kwangju Foreign School students reflected on the nation’s loss in two essays.

This Time Last Year Written by Jo Hae-jin Photographed by Joe Wabe Image created by Shin Ju-wook


t has almost been a year since Sewol sank.

Again, winter is slowly making way for spring; glancing up at the clock, I realize that during this time last year, they would have either been sleeping in their beds or staying up late to study. Now they lie buried and still. Since I first heard about the incident and felt its ripples throughout the country in the form of yellow ribbons and muted conversations, details have become fuzzy. I have never had a very good memory, and the act of forgetting has never pained me more than it does now. I was strangely relieved to find that, after reviewing year-old news footage of an ominous ship’s keel protruding from the sea and human faces twisted in disbelief, I could still cry. I remember staring at the footage playing out on television as the sun peeked in and I haltingly dressed for school. I remember sobbing at home after the rescue effort became a search for bodies. I just wanted to grieve forever and never move forward for these kids. I did not want to eat or sleep or go to the bathroom or move while there were those kids trapped in the cold, impenetrable slate waters. It was the first time I had seen such raw emotion on a television in Korea. The same TV that usually streamed blank-faced pop stars and talk show hosts bombarded by cartoon mallets and bubble letters was now showing real families in distress. Parents

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Jo Hae-jin





to hear him say, “I love you mom and dad” for the last time. Or the indescribable grief of those families whose children’s bodies have yet to be found. I can only wonder how they must have felt to hear the news, how they will feel years from now, moaning over so many minute details and decisions made in the past. For some reason, thinking about their suffering makes me cry the most. I have never experienced anything like Sewol. I thought I understood, but I realize now that you can never understand until you see it yourself on your way to school, on the faces of real people around you, and even then your understanding is only a fraction of the emotions of those who helplessly watched as a ship drowned their children. Scientists can tell you how many days a person has been dead or what phenomenon caused the blood to halt its flow to the brain. They cannot tell you how it felt, how their last moments were spent, what they said or thought, or whether they had time to do anything at all. They cannot tell you whether they will be remembered years from now—and they cannot tell you what their lives meant. What our lives mean. familiar in their colorful windbreakers and Korean perms became unearthly in their grief as they struck at security guards and shrieked and sobbed or just lay there like corpses themselves while the nation watched. Such publicly displayed emotion I had never witnessed in my time here. It has been a year and I am now able to write without wanting to slap myself, but the guilt is still here. I cannot fathom how painful it must have been for the parents of the boy who recorded a last video

I remember the victims of the Sewol tragedy and the screams coming from the white tents set up to identify the bodies, bodies of kids whom I could have gone to school with. While their deaths brought unspeakable pain, they have also served as a reminder of our connection to other people, a reminder to hold our loved ones closer and to live life a little better. I will be graduating high school this year and I am so grateful for the chance. I sincerely hope to honor their lives in some way with mine.

Jeolla Safety Alliance is a group of Koreans and international residents alike to create awareness of crimes. This safety card is for you to cut out and keep handy! FB group: Jeolla Safety Alliance

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My Personal Response and a Letter That Cannot Be Sent Written by Lilly Ahn Photographed by Joe Wabe


or the first time, I wished there was a superman. A man wearing underwear over tights who unbelievably flies over to the ship and drags the ship out of the water. After the accident, everyone wore a yellow ribbon. We all wished them to walk out of the ship miraculously. We wished them to hold on so somebody could go in and save them. I resented myself because I could not do anything. Even the government did not do anything. They were irresponsible and tried to avoid being in charge. So instead of government officials, civilian divers jumped into the cold ocean to save them. During this process, a civilian diver died. I was angry, resentful, and sorry. There was no superman who flew over and lifted the ship up. However, there were real heroes: Crew members who tried their best to extricate more people out of the ship abandoned by its captain and its mariners, students who conceded their lives to their friends, and fishermen and civilian divers who came right away to save people.

Dear Jeong Cha-woong (who conceded his life vest to another friend), Hi. I did not know you personally and the only connection I could make was that we were born in the same year, 1997. When you were excited to go to Jeju Island for a school trip, I was doing my homework. When you were exhilarated going aboard the Sewol ship with your friends, I was on my way to school dragging my tired body. When you were shivering with fear in the tilted ship, I was in class studying. When I first received news about you, they told me that you and all of the passengers were rescued, so I was relieved. However, when I got home, I saw my mom watching the news nervously. Four hundred seventy-six people were trapped in the frigid sinking Sewol ship. The ship was not tilted that much on the first day. I thought the government would do something and save you and all the other people. I thought all the people would walk out of the ship. Living nineteen years, it was my first time so eagerly wishing for a miracle to happen. Regardless of all the wishes, a miracle did not happen. Days, weeks, and months floated by and people started to say the possibility that the people on board were alive was low. So the government decided to start recovering the dead bodies. I was angry at the government because it was so incompetent. Were you waiting for rescue the whole time? I am so sorry that I could not do anything for you and for your friends. So I thought about what I can do for you. I concluded: first, I will never forget this accident, you, and all the other victims. Second, I will live my life wholeheartedly so you will not be ashamed of me. I heard your story. You conceded your life vest to your friend and tried to save another friend, but then got trapped in the ship. I was surprised at your courage. You were between life and death and you showed solicitude for others and even took care of others more than yourself. You were a superman. Sincerely, Your friend

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gwangju talks I local


What transportation issues you have seen or experienced? Written by Lee Jeong-hwa, Kim Hyun-young, Han Ju-yeon, and Yong Yu-rim


LEE JIN (26)



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I saw a number of issues about transportation, such as the Sewol ferry disaster and the 100-car pileup near Incheon. I always think something has to change. And still now, there are no differences at all. A lot of people, including me, are thinking that there has to be change but are doing nothing. Right after the big disaster, I thought people would change. I expected more orderly Koreans than before. However, it was just my expectation. People were just talking about how we have to change. I think first, we need to change ourselves. I need to change myself. And then, Korea will be changed.

I live in Gwangju, but sometimes I go to Seoul to meet my friends. Almost all my visiting is on weekends, when people usually do not go to work or school, but I always feel bad. About three months ago, I went to Seoul on Monday and took subway line two. Many people were already waiting for the subway, and I thought they could not all get on. Worrying about not getting in, I stood up and saw people wearing big gloves. When the subway arrived, people rushed into the train compartment. Like I said, we could not get into the compartment, and some just stood beside the subway in a dither. At that time, the people wearing gloves pushed people to help them get in; later my friend told me that they are “push men.” That is not only an issue in Seoul. I easily see it in Gwangju when I go to work by bus. I think the Gwangju government should double the number of buses in service. The bus corporation always wants to make more profits, so they are trying to run the buses less and make bus fare higher. Gwangju government should keep its eye on that situation for citizens’ sake. The public transportation in Gwangju is quite comfortable to use, but in my case, there are few buses near my house. So, I always have to walk to farther bus stops, which takes 10 minutes or more. There is only one bus that goes directly to my university. Then, in the morning, that bus is full of students who go school for their first class before I take it. Bus drivers usually skip my bus stop because there is no seat available. I have no choice but to take a taxi or be late for my class. If possible, the bus company should operate more buses during rush hour. Furthermore, the subway line would be better if it were extended from the place where the bus cannot go to universities or downtown.

I saw that a company conducted a campaign for pregnant women on public transportation. The campaign is about offering seats to pregnant women. According to Planned Population Federation of Korea, four out of 10 pregnant women in Korea report that they are not given consideration by people around them. In fact, many women said in an online community that they underwent difficulty as they could not sit in the seats for pregnant women. The seats for pregnant women are combined with the seats for the old and the weak. We need to completely divide the seats for pregnant women and for the elderly in all kinds of public transportation.





The Safest Route A Look at Public Transportation Safety Written by Katrin Marquez


s initial theories concerning the causes behind the sinking of the Sewol have been discredited, Koreans’ anger has been increasing as one problem becomes clear: this was not the result of an isolated incident, but a failed system of oversight and regulation. The Korean public has grown critical of the government for insufficiently guaranteeing the safety of public transportation services. Attempts at improvements have been made, but their effectiveness remains unknown, especially within a political culture in which people seem to expect the government to take responsibility for their safety. The Sewol tragedy exposed a corrupt system of regulation. Like all domestic ferries, Korean Shipping Association, which is also an important trade group within the shipping industry, regulates the Sewol. This poses a conflict of interest as economic incentives could impact evaluations. Additionally, criticism of the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries, which oversees all maritime policies, has been widespread because of apparent connections between its officials and shipping companies, including the operator of the Sewol, Chonghaejin Marine Company. Combined with the slow responses of emergency services immediately after the sinking, these revelations show that Korea’s public transportation may not be as safe as it seems.

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Abigail Bard, who is doing a homestay in Cheongju, says that the “subsequent investigations into how poorly regulations were being followed and the oversight/compliance have definitely freaked [her] out a bit.” While taking a ferry trip with her homestay family, she was concerned even though she “probably wouldn't have given a second thought to safety [had] Sewol not happened.” She is not alone in her concern. Increased public pressure has forced the National Assembly to reconsider the Kim Young-ran Bill, originally proposed in 2012, to combat corruption while other government regulatory agencies like the Korea Transportation Safety Authority, the road, rail and airway transportation regulatory agency, face increased scrutiny. Though the Kim Youngran Bill had not passed by the time this article was written, the government has taken steps to address concerns. Currently, the government is either discussing or has already enacted a number of policies meant to improve safety on public transportation. One is the controversial move to ban standing buses on highways. In a roundtable discussion about the causes and lessons of the Sewol disaster hosted by The Korea Times in June of last year, Representative Chun Soon-ok of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy described the new policy as a “typical



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stop-gap measure” that failed to address the larger causes behind the prevalence of standing buses. Professor of politics at the University of Incheon, Lee Jun-han, seemed to agree with Chun when he commented that “Koreans are used to wanting things done fast, and they trust that nothing will happen to them.” Both Lee and Chun implied that the problems with public transportation safety may stem not only from failed regulation, but also from a cultural emphasis on expediency rather than safety. Most foreigners in Korea appreciate the efficiency of its public transportation systems, but they remain concerned about their safety. According to a Seoul City government survey released last year, foreign residents’ favorite aspect of the capital city is its public transportation system, but their least favorite is the lack of available guidelines in case of emergencies. When asked about public transportation safety, Emily Lembo and Deanna Kolberg, Americans residing in Gwangju and Cheongju respectively, claimed to feel unsafe in city buses due to overcrowding, “dangerously” high speeds and risky driving. Lembo added that she often felt uncomfortable due to the aggressiveness of bus drivers who shout at passengers or other drivers. Similarly, Brittany Horton, an English teacher in Busan, lamented driving culture in Korea stating: “I wish more drivers would obey traffic signals. I'm so sick and tired of seeing drivers just speed through red lights, of almost witnessing people get hit by cars. As a pedestrian, no, I don't feel safe.” Ironically, in that many drivers in Korea are less than cautious, while claiming that the government needs to be more concerned about public safety, suggests that citizens may not recognize their own responsibility in the matter. In a 2014 Thomas Reuters Foundation study of Safety for Women in Subways, Seoul ranked relatively high, except for the public response category. Women in Seoul said they felt that they could not receive help from others if they asked while being harassed. The Sewol disaster resulted primarily from failed oversight, but the same cannot be said of all transportation safety issues. Some problems result from the behavior of individuals who may not fully consider the potentially dangerous consequences of their actions. Because of increased public pressure, the government has moved toward improving the safety of its transportation systems. Yet, an assurance of safety will not happen anytime soon.

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4.16.2014 - One Year On Written by Ana Traynin Photographed by Gwangju Citizens’ Mourners Group and Na Yu-jeong Translated by Jeong Jisu


n April 16, 2014, the MV Sewol passenger ferry, on route to Jeju Island from Incheon, sank off the Jindo coast. Of the 476 passengers, 325 were second-year students from Ansan’s Danwon High School on a four-day, three-night school trip. While 172 people survived, 295 bodies were found in the ship and 9 bodies have yet to be recovered. In the following months, the surviving families and civic groups launched a campaign to pass the Sewol Ferry Disaster Special Law. The law was implemented in the first two months of 2015, but the ruling, conservative Saenuri Party delayed a Special Investigation Committee. Nearly a year after, Gwangju News met with Lee Mincheol and Ji Jung-nam, cofounders of the Gwangju Citizens’ Sangju (Mourners) Group. Lee, leader of the Gwangju Youth Center and Ji, traditional Korean theater madang actress of 23 years, reflected on the role of the Mourners Group. “When the Danwon High School students were killed, I felt as though my students were killed,” Lee said. With many school events, field trips and national festivals cancelled or postponed as a reaction to the disaster, Lee added, “The country said to Korean citizens ‘don’t travel.’ It is nonsense.” Lee expanded that the Sewol Ferry sinking had an effect on the nation’s psyche. “Korea is sick, not a strong, healthy country. There is desperation, anger, wanting to leave.” They started to realize

we have no device, no country to make us safe. For many years, Korea developed economically but people started to feel that economic development is no longer useful and to think that we have nothing.” Ji’s madang performances have portrayed violent state incidents including the Jeju April 3 Massacre, the April 19 Student Revolution and Gwangju’s May 18 Democratization Movement, so she was particularly moved to take action for Sewol. “In the case of people in their 40s and 50s, they felt shock and some difficulties in hope for living in Korea because they have worked in Korea for a long time,” Ji said. “In the case of people in their 20s and 30s, at first they also felt the same emotions as the older people, but in their case, they are busy looking for jobs and they have trouble focusing on this disaster. Although there is a generation gap, it is very complex.” Ji explained that peers of the teenage Sewol Ferry victims could not believe adults anymore, sharing how a Danwon High School student lied to his teacher and attended the ferry captain’s trial at Gwangju Court to see his face. Ji empathized the anxiety of feeling unsafe and added that “if Koreans cannot solve this problem, we cannot live, we have to solve it ourselves.” Gwangju’s proximity to Jindo gives the city special meaning. According to Lee, the two elements in

“We should remember and feel sadness. The students are the flowers that can’t blossom.” Ji Jung-nam April 2015_V1.indd 20





Left: “Please Come Home Friday” book concert tour, Gwangju on February 28; Right: Ji Jung-nam (left) and Lee Min-cheol (right) during the interview with Gwangju News

common between Gwangju 5.18 and the Sewol Ferry sinking are the government hiding the truth and blaming the victims. “Gwangju citizens and Sewol Ferry victims’ families can share the same mind, the same anger,” Lee said. Lee and Ji began discussing the idea of doing something meaningful to keep the memory of the Sewol disaster alive and they decided to create the Citizens’ Mourners Group. “Even though we are not Sewol family members, we thought it would still be good to make a citizen mourners group as a kind of a family,” Lee said. Lee spoke of the two main lessons to learn from this disaster — finding the truth and making a better society. The Citizens’ Mourners Group uses the three-year period of mourning, a Chosun Dynastyera tradition of sons keeping vigil at their parents’ gravesites, as a symbol of long-term change. “We need to see this disaster using a longer term perspective. We hope to make it for three years even though we know it is not easy. When something happens, Koreans focus on it at first but we forget easily. Three years can be a symbol for making a better society.” Regular candlelight vigils to commemorate the victims began in three residential neighborhoods — Ilgok, Cheomdan and Suwan — and they have grown to ten weekly vigils around the city. The

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Citizens’ Mourners Group has sustained the citywide vigils, including those outside the Gwangju Court during the trial of the ferry captain and crew. On November 15, 2014, the group launched a 1,000day walk around the city that will continue until August 11, 2017. On February 8, the group and its supporters joined a nationwide city walk that called on the government to salvage the sunken ferry. On February 28, Ji Jung-nam was the MC at the 5.18 Memorial Foundation for Gwangju’s stop of the “Please Come Home on Friday” book tour, which gathered stories of Sewol surviving families 240 days after the disaster. Lee and Ji believe that the Citizen Mourners Group functions to help the Ansan families heal from trauma. “It’s not easy for the families to solve the problems by themselves so they need the true power of many citizens to help,” Lee said. “The Citizen Mourners Group is taking care of the families.” Starting from the idea that “Everyone, even mothers, needs a mother” Ji explained that the healing project can serve as an extension of family and friendship for the survivors. “Our actions can be a reason for the families to live again,” Ji said. “The parents mentioned that some religious leaders tell them to do things in a certain way so the families feel a burden from that. In the case of the Citizen Mourners group, we don’t tell them that so we can feel like family or friends,



Gwangju Plays publicizes sports and recreation opportunities in Gwangju.



people who can cry together.” Ji further explained the influence from the various church and other religious organizations that have participated in Sewol remembrance events at Paemok Harbor in Jindo, attending demonstrations and meeting with the families. “The Catholic Church goes down to the lower classes to help the poor people who need help. Methodists are making arts and crafts for the families so they are helping them with trauma. In the case of Won Buddhists, they promised to pay the price of the book tour. The problem is some, not all, religious groups make the families feel a burden because they tell them ‘you need to go back to your life again and pray to God.’” The Sewol disaster has also exposed deep divisions among Korean people, as shown by supporters of the right-wing blog Ilbe staging a “food binge” alongside last summer’s Ansan families’ hunger strike at Gwanghamun Square. A conservative mothers’ civic group also demonstrated against the passage of the Sewol Special Law. Citing the government and the press as the biggest problems, Lee explained that although the ferry captain and crew received long jail sentences, only a proper investigation could reveal the full truth. “We need to find the truth and reasons why this disaster happened. After that, we can find who should be responsible.” Lee maintains that the Saenuri Party will inevitably continue to disturb the investigation of the disaster. “The important thing is that the citizens of Korea don’t forget about this disaster and they should keep their eye to the investigation.” Ji explained that the division among Koreans is an

additional obstacle to realizing the lessons of the Sewol disaster. “There are two kinds of people in Korea: the first is the person who believes the captain’s lies and the second is the person who wants to believe his lies because they don’t feel any hope in Korea.” Keeping hope alive of finding the truth about Sewol proves to be a big challenge. Lee points to a survey where 60 percent of people positively reacted to the Sewol Ferry investigation. “They also realize that the current government has no use for us,” Lee said. “They have no ability to make our lives better. On the other hand, we cannot say many are involved in the campaign for the Sewol ferry disaster because they still hesitate to participate in it. We cannot be sure about the question of hope.” While Lee and Ji hesitated to express full hope, they still believe there are choices to be made in moving forward from last April. “We are still on the way to overcome this trauma,” Lee said. “Many people in Korea are mentally injured because of this disaster so now we have two ways to go. If we choose trauma, anyway we can feel some sadness every April. If we choose overcoming, we can solve the problem.” Lee believes non-Korean residents are no less affected by the disaster and has been encouraged seeing international residents participating in the Sewol Ferry campaign. “Regardless of the reasons foreigners came here, they live in Korea now so that means also nonKoreans can experience this disaster and suffer from the sadness. I consider this to be an international issue. As a result, regardless of nationality, we should find some solutions together.”

“We have two ways to go : trauma or overcoming it.” Lee Min-cheol

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sewol update I local



April 2015 Written by Kim Singsing Photographed by Shin Ju-wook Translated by Kim Dong-hun


bereaved father baptized by Pope Francis plans to complete a three-step-one-bow ceremony for the Sewol Ferry disaster and its victims. Mr. Lee Ho-jin, father of the late Lee Seung-hyun, one of the Danwon High School student victims, and Ms. Lee Ah-reum, Seung-hyun’s older sister, have been bowing once every three steps from Paengmok Harbor in Jindo Island to Gwanghwamun Gate in Seoul. The march started on February 23, 2015 with a plan to finish this June. Participants bow 3,000 times a day in honor of the Sewol Ferry disaster’s victims. Mr. Lee and his daughter walked about 562 miles carrying a five-foot long cross that weighs approximately 13 pounds, starting from Danwon High School in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, via the Paengmok Harbor in Jindo Island to Daejeon in South Chungcheong Province, where Pope Francis held mass. The Special Investigation Committee for the Sewol Ferry Disaster has officially launched its activities. The Special Investigation Committee for the Sewol Ferry Disaster has officially begun it investigation. Its first official act was to visit the Sewol memorial altar in Ansan on March 6. The Committee will research for one year to seek the truth about the Sewol Ferry disaster, and the operating period can be renewed for up to six months. Although the Committee’s official activities have begun, it is predicted that personnel and budget issues will impede the actual research for the time being. Police indicted the incumbent Seoul mayor for setting up the tents for the Sewol Ferry protest. Calling for protection of the protesters at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul, the government has

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Support also coming from the USA for the victims of Sewol Ferry

embarked on a belated investigation using a conservative organization’s accusation as an excuse. In August 2014, the organization “Righteous Citizens’ Actions” accused three people, including Mayor Park Won-soon, of neglecting their duties to the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office. Seoul police are investigating the case involving Seoul officials who allowed 13 tents to be set up near Gwanghwamun Square for the protest staged by the bereaved families, while indicting the incumbent Seoul mayor as a defendant. The bereaved families have held approximately 500 discussions around Korea with attendance of an estimated 30,000 people. A nationwide signatureseeking campaign to salvage the sunken ferry intact has racked up 76,369 signatures from Korea and abroad. The book concert “Please Come Back Home On Friday” continues to be held in different cities around Korea. In March 2015, the bereaved mothers traveled to America for meetings in ten cities.




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How to Say “Yes” for Human Rights 2015

World Human Rights Cities Forum 2015 Written and photographed by Joey Nunez


he 2015 World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) invites the Gwangju community to help transform cities around the world into more human rights-centered locations. Gwangju residents have also received an opportunity to be more involved and committed to advancing human rights through the 2015 WHRCF Discussion Groups. Created in 2010, the WHRCF provides a centralized location in Gwangju, where global representatives can gather, learn, discuss and create documents, signifying their commitment and dedication toward making human rights a global reality. This year’s theme, “Towards a Global Alliance of Human Rights Cities for All, II” will build on the foundation that was laid at last year’s meeting. The conference held at the Kimdaejung Convention Center, will be organized by the Gwangju International Center and will be supported by multiple Gwangju organizations. With festivities from Friday, May 15 to Monday, May 18, Korean and International residents will be welcome to attend one, some or all days, with Korean and English as the Forum’s two main languages. The 2015 WHRCF Discussion Groups exist so all Gwangju residents have the ability to voice their opinions, learn about global human rights issues and advocate for groups that don’t have an opportunity to advocate for themselves.

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Participants from last year’s discussion group learn from each other about human rights

To participate, residents can assemble their own discussion groups of five to seven members among friends or request placements among the alreadycreated discussion groups. All one has to do is to fill out an application, attend select Forum sessions and be willing to help and support the writing of her/his discussion group’s findings. The discussion groups will have the privilege of creating documents, showing the group’s expectations and findings before and after the Forum. Each discussion group will create their own Expectations Proposal and a Reflections Proposal. Templates will be given to the discussion groups, and a writing guide will show how anyone can easily



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compose thoughts on paper. Working with other residents, the mental labor and writing become easier. The dialogue within each group will help members process what they learned individually at forum meetings. The WHRCF sessions include a wide variety of intriguing subjects. Each of the available plenary sessions will give discussion group members an introduction and well-rounded glimpse of what cities are accomplishing to benefit human rights. All visiting human rights experts, government officials, analysts, non-profit organizers and other representatives will be attending these three sessions before presenting and participating in specialized thematic workshops. The thematic workshops will provide group members with specific approaches for how universal human rights can be achieved. This year’s thematic workshops will cover a wide variety of topics including the differently-abled, women, children, the elderly, migrants’ rights, the environment, the social economy and state violence. Discussion group members can attend any of the eight workshops, meet with their discussion groups later to present their findings and discuss what they have learned all together. The program aims to educate participants and observers and by its conclusion everyone involved will have a better philosophical and practical understanding of human rights issues in the world. In addition, each discussion group member will receive a gift for his/her time and dedication to this forum. The most insightful and provocative discussion groups will also have the opportunity to win a cash prize.


Join Our Team! Gwangju News always needs volunteers who want to share their expertise or gain some. Feel free to contact us with your interest and your idea to get involved! The Gwangju News Print Team needs copy editors, proofreaders, and writers. Please contact the print editor at gwangjunews@gic.or.kr. The Gwangju News Online Team needs webmaster and online editorial assistants. Please contact the online editor at gnonline@gic.or.kr. Email us today and start getting involved!

The Gwangju International Center is pleased to offer and organize this opportunity for anyone interested in participating. The deadline for applying is Monday, April 20 at 11 p.m. For more information, to ask questions and for a discussion group application, please e-mail: whrcf2015dg@gmail.com. For more information on the World Human Rights Forum 2015, please see the next page.

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The World Human Rights Cities Forum 2015 Slated for May Written by Gwangju Metropolitan City Photographed by World Human Right Cities Forum Secretariat


he 2015 World Human Rights Cities Forum will be held next month at the Kim Daejung Convention Center in Gwangju from May 15-18. The annual event will be hosted by the Gwangju Metropolitan City Government and is organized by the Gwangju International Center. As an annual international event with human rights activists and stakeholders in attendance, the forum will carry out the city’s vision as stated in the Gwangju Declaration on Human Rights City, which was adopted at the World Human Rights Cities Forum 2011. The forum will be held under the theme “Towards a Global Alliance of Human Rights Cities for All, Part 2.” Over 500 are expected to attend from Korea and abroad, including representatives of world human rights cities, United Nations human rights experts, members of the UCLG-CISDP and UCLG-ASPAC, human rights NGOs, grassroots community-based organizations, local parliamentarians and academics. The forum will consist of several types of sessions and activities. Following the opening ceremony will be keynote speeches and roundtable discussions among the speakers. There will be three special sessions, including human rights cities policy sessions, expert workshops on local government and human rights, and an international conference on state violence and trauma. Eight thematic sessions include discussing how human rights can be advocated in various areas: state violence and human rights, the elderly and human rights, city and child/youth, city and gender, city and disability, social economy and human rights, migrants’ human rights protection policy and environment and human rights.

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A general discussion session will follow the thematic workshops providing participants an opportunity to summarize their thoughts. The experts’ workshop will be help to make a final report on the “Local Government and Human Rights,” which was adopted at the UN Human Rights Council in 2013. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in English and Korean at the forum. A poster session exhibiting activities of collaborative organizations and a discussion group will be held during the forum to help attendees understand the goal of a human rights city, as well as how it is implemented now and in the future. All are welcome to participate in the forum.

WORLD HUMAN RIGHTS CITIES FORUM 2015 (WHRCF 2015) Date: May 15-18, 2015 (Friday – Monday) Venue: Kim Daejung Convention Center Main programs: Opening Ceremony, two Plenary Sessions, Thematic Workshops, Closing Ceremony Please see previous page for more information about the Discussion Group.



international community I local


Coming to Korea A Kenyan’s Survival Guide Written by Eddie Musisi


tep out of the 28-degree heat of Nairobi, Kenya and into the two-degree chill of Incheon, Korea and behold: everything familiar that you took for granted has been taken away so suddenly that you might as well be entering outer space. The “hakuna matata” philosophy you left back in East Africa quickly fizzles to nothing in the hustle and bustle of Korean life. Your hands seek out the comfort of your pockets, only to be met by stinging cold. It is a tough life being a sunshine man in the winter. Grab an Eskimo coat; in fact, wear three of those and it is not so cold anymore. You might feel like a penguin walking around in all those layers, but a man has got to do what a man has got to do to keep warm. Now that you are no longer in danger of freezing to death, find a little face mask. If you are accustomed to the crisp, fresh, and clean air of the savanna, you might be somewhat taken aback by the Korean winter. I find that the air I breathe is much warmer after passing through those masks. Africans say that one who has not moved away from his mother’s cooking considers her the best cook. For the love of you, learn how to enjoy kimchi and rice, because those two will find their way into any meal you come across. Korea is a very generous country; people can be a little shy at first, but if you are the friendly type, you will get many offers for an outing to sample the wide variety of cuisines available here. Any first-time traveler should carry a bit of his or her food from home. It helps, I tell you. On those really homesick days I just pick out a little kettle and brew some African chai tea. We Kenyans take the English adage “anytime is tea time” to an extreme. We drink, gulp, sip, or even just inhale the aroma of our tea all the time. I hold onto this part of my culture even thousands of miles from home. The Korean language presents a shock. Where you might be accustomed to the English alphabet, you

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are suddenly molested by symbols. Unless you have prior knowledge of the Korean language, your literacy in English, Spanish or French can do little for you. Fortunately, there are many signs written in English. No other country has embraced the English culture as Korea has, and that is evident in the number of Koreans who can converse in English. Now the part that will excite you the most: other Africans up in the place! When I first came to Korea, Gwangju had just a handful of Africans, about six people from all over Africa. Now, however, the African population is diverse and numerous. There is even a church dedicated to the African population in Gwangju. Life is good. Step into a sports facility at any university and you are bound to see some black legs running after a ball, or some black hands shooting hoops. The foreigner population in Korea has shot up almost tenfold, and it is evident that Korea has opened up to the world. In January 2015, the Kenyan comrades had a gettogether that attracted more than a dozen folks, even though many travel back home for the holiday season. The Kenyans here have formed a group called Kenyans in Korea-Gwangju, which has its own Facebook page. I foresee many African restaurants coming to our city in the near future. Soon we may have a Uganda house in Gwangju, a Harambee eating joint, a Mbezi nightclub, or an African-themed night in one of the many fine clubs in the area. You are sure to see a number of us in Gwangju, whether being a Drogba on a pitch, a Kenyan marathoner on the track, a Mugabi “The Beast” in the boxing ring, or a Hakeem Olajuwon on the basketball court. In the spirit of jambo, we are always brothers. Just walk up to us and say habari (hello), sema (what’s up?), or mambo (word up), or even just “hi,” and you will feel at home.




local I international community

Small But Strong: Gwangju’s Kenyan Community Written by Blake Bouchard Photos courtesy of Julius Wachira


nternational migration statistics show that very few Kenyans come to Korea, but as new ties form between the two countries, the Kenyan community in Gwangju is becoming an active, mutually-supportive group. The distance between Kenya and Korea is a major limiting factor. Three years ago, there were only about 200 Kenyans in Korea, and more than 150 of them were students. In 2012, Korean Air established a direct service route to Nairobi, doubling the number of Korean visitors to Kenya and providing a basis for increased migration and economic and cultural exchange. Recent years have also seen an upswing in highlevel political interactions, including mutual visits by Prime Ministers in 2012. In a 2013 interview, Kenyan Ambassador Ngovi Kitau indicated his hope that the way forward would involve an increase in trade as well as an exchange of information. Kenya’s attention appears to be on Korea’s recovery and development following the devastation of the Korean War. Korea and Kenya were economically similar in 1976, but Korea has since far surpassed Kenya, generating interest in the factors that contributed to this drastic turnaround. In recent years, several Kenyan universities have established Korean studies programs to examine Korean economic policies and culture. The Kenyan expat community is connected through Kenyan Community in Korea, or KCK. This organization keeps Kenyans informed of the news and development in Kenya as well as relevant Korean

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news. KCK serves primarily as an information source and common point of contact, while most initiatives are based in local communities. Julius Wachira, the “elder statesman” of the Gwangju Korean community, was kind enough to provide Gwangju News with some insights into the community. Wachira originally came to Korea for a short conference, returned several years later on trade business, and finally settled in Gwangju as a church missionary. In many ways, he has served as a central point around which the Kenyan community has united. Currently, there are about ten Kenyans in Gwangju, with most enrolled in universities and a few working with churches or pursuing business interests. Visa restrictions, trade regulation, and sheer distance can make business aspirations difficult, but several members of the community, including Wachira, import and sell Kenyan handicrafts at Korean festivals. One significant problem confronting Kenyans coming to Korea is the relatively limited visa options. Most Kenyan residents of Gwangju are on D-4 and D-2 visas, which restrict the holders to studying rather than working. Despite the fact that English is one of Kenya’s official languages, Kenyan citizens are ineligible for E-2 teaching visas. Of course, visas are not the only difficulty confronting Kenyans in Korea. Adapting to a new culture is especially difficult when coming from a country as multicultural as Kenya, which has over forty ethnic groups and a variety of languages, to a country



international community I local






1. Julius Wachira leads the active Kenyan community in various international events in Gwangju including the GIC Day; 2. The Kenyan team won second prize at GIC Day in 2011; 3. The Kenyan booth at GIC Day; 4. Wachira in his hometown in Kenya

as ethnically and culturally homogenous as Korea. Wachira noted that Kenyans tend to get stared at, and the food can prove a difficult adjustment. However, for Wachira, the low crime rate in Korea makes it an attractive place to live despite the cultural difficulties. In spite of, or perhaps because of, these obstacles, community members are well-connected and involved in a variety of programs for mutual support and engagement. Church serves as the central meeting point, with the pastor assisting Kenyans and other Africans with translation and finding their feet in a new country. There are monthly meet-ups, and discussions are underway to implement a communal savings plan to provide financial assistance to members. Kenyans coming to Korea help assuage

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cravings for traditional foods by bringing Kenyan tea and maize flour to make ugali, a staple component of Kenyan meals. In addition to running a booth at the last four annual GIC Days, the Kenyan community has participated in the 7080 Festival. Several local orphanages have benefited from the generosity of Gwangju’s Kenyan community in the form of entertainment and gift donations. As a volunteer with the UNESCO CrossCultural Awareness Program, Wachira also visits schools in South Jeolla Province, where he shares aspects of his culture and brews up some traditional Kenyan tea, much to the delight of his students. Despite the small number of Kenyans in Gwangju, the community has made its presence felt in meaningful ways.




local I gwangju cooks

Kimchi Soup Recipe and photographed by Joe Wabe


or the past couple months I’ve been designing recipes that are of western origins with the magic touch of kimchi. This month we are going to pause, and go back to the basics. I’ve probably cooked this dish more times than any other Korean dish. Depending on who you ask, you may see it transliterated as Kimchi Jjigae, Kimchi Soup or Kimchi Stew, but it all refers to the same bubbling, red hot cauldron of soul satisfying soup made with kimchi, pork and tofu.



150 grams of pork belly 225 grams of tofu (cut into large cubes) 1 scallion or green onion (thinly sliced) ½ cup kimchi juice 2 cups of kimchi 1 teaspoon of beef stock 1 teaspoon of sesame oil 4-5 dried small anchovies (remove the heads) ½ onion (sliced thickly) 4 cups of water

Heat the pot with the sesame oil until hot and then add the pork belly. Allow some of the fat to render before adding the onions and kimchi. Saute until the mixture is fragrant and the kimchi looks dry. Add the kimchi juice, water, and beef stock, stirring everything until combined. Bring to a boil and then add the anchovies and tofu. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Before serving, turn off the heat, add the scallion and let it sit for five minutes. (For extra spiciness, you can add hot peppers or red pepper powder.)

Do you have an original kimchi recipe you would like to share? Share it with us and let Gwangju know how good it is! Email: recipies@kimchitales.com

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gwangju eats I local


Diagon Alley Written and photographed by Matthew Endacott


he name Diagon Alley conjures up images of witches and wizards looking to buy what they will need for their next year at Hogwarts and maybe even catching a glimpse of Harry Potter himself. But this shop is just as magical in a different way. Diagon Alley has some of the most delicious desserts and drinks Gwangju has to offer. Everything is made from scratch, the service is wonderful and the décor suits a cupcake shop perfectly. If your sweet tooth is calling, this is the place to fulfill its desire.

your eyes see. The most popular are the tiramisu, cherry cheese and sweet potato cupcakes. There are 13 cupcake flavors. One of the most popular items is the chocolate bingsu, an ice-shaving dessert. There is also strawberry banana or vanilla oreo bingsu. Other snacks include a variety of cookies, honey bread, and depending on the holiday, special treats. Peppero sticks for Peppero Day, an assortment of chocolates for Valentine’s Day, and White Day, etc. Special orders for personalized treats are also available.

ATMOSPHERE AND SERVICE Upon entering the shop you are warmly greeted by the clerk and bright colors. Everything has a happy and homey feel to it, decorated as if the shop were a cupcake itself. The menu is in Hangul, but the employees are happy to help if you cannot read it. With a smile, the clerk takes your order and delivers your snacks shortly after. There are games to play and puzzles to work on if you please. To commemorate the trip to Diagon Alley there is a tree on which you can place personalized drawings or notes to add your own touch to the shop.

There are numerous coffees, leaf and homemade teas, lemonade, yogurt smoothies, shakes and hot chocolate, all of which are cheaper than commercial shops. A combination of a snack and drink is available: honey bread or a cupcake with a drink for 5,900 won. A single cupcake is 3,500 won and an Americano is 2,500 won.

FOOD The menu offers a wide variety of desserts and drinks. The cupcakes are beyond compare. Looking at them, you can immediately see the time and care put into each one, and then biting into and tasting the homemade icing and moist cake confirms what

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DIRECTIONS Take a bus to Ilgok 4-way (saguri), walk towards Kwangju Bank and turn right. You can see Lotteria on your left, walk towards it and take the next left. Diagon Alley will be on your right side. It is light blue with a cupcake sign hanging from the front. Address: 829-1 Ilgok -dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju 광주시 북구 일곡동 829-1 다이애건앨리 Phone: 062-574-0005 Opening Time: 11 a. m.-10 p.m.




local I gwangju plays

Clue Me In

Geocaching in Gwangju Written by Benjamin Grady Young Photographed by Michalowic


eople keep telling me that running is a great way to get to know a new area. Go for a run, they say optimistically, just pick a random direction, you will get a good workout and maybe discover something cool. The trouble is, I hate running. I do not understand the appeal of running and I generally do not understand those who enjoy it either. So what about me, or the millions like me, who want to discover something cool, but cannot stomach running? Enter Geocaching. Geocaching is a sport that challenges volunteer “Geocachers” to channel their inner pirate to go searching for hidden treasure — treasure that other Geocachers have hidden specifically for them to find. After downloading the app, Geocaching, for iPhone, Android or Windows, green dots will appear superimposed on a map of your local area. Each of these dots is a treasure trove, accurate to approximately 10 meters, and they are everywhere. Once located, the cache, often a box or bottle but occasionally something as nefarious as a hollowed out stump or fake rock, will contain a piece of paper for the successful treasure hunter to sign and a treasure to take, with the assumption that another treasure will be left for the next intrepid adventurer. In the spirit of investigative journalism and with the desire to promote and encourage other Geocachers, I downloaded the app and scoured Gwangju for the perfect beginner cache to cut my teeth on. It turns out there is one, yes one, Geocache in Gwangju and it is way out at the Honam University Satellite campus. Inconvenient, certainly, but as the ancient proverb goes — no pain no gain. One brilliant Saturday morning I hauled myself, and my semi-reluctant girlfriend, out of bed, popped a couple of Advil and caught the bus to the South Gwangju subway station. Staying true to the nature of the sport, I had banned the use of taxis as the subway is the most convenient way to get out to the airport. The train was followed by a threeand-a-half kilometer walk in the sunshine, including a stop at a 7-Eleven for kimbap triangles, before we

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Geocache with GPS navigator

arrived at the campus. After consulting the map for a final time, we searched for almost 30 minutes before we found — nothing. Yes, ma’am, not a thing. I checked the app one more time to make sure we were in the right place and noticed that other Geocachers had found it, but not since February 2011 and the last person to go looking for it had been unsuccessful in November 2012. We probably should have done our homework. Nonetheless, and in the cheesiest possible way, it did not matter that the treasure was gone. While I received some well-deserved ribbing from my companion for a goose chase well led, we both had a great time and did more walking around, particularly in a new area, than we probably would have otherwise. My first, and certainly not my last, time Geocaching was also inspiring. How can a city so well endowed with beautiful natural scenery and cool urban spots be so lacking in hidden treasures of the literal rather than metaphorical variety? My initial disappointment was burned away by a fiery resolve to remedy this blatant oversight. There are now five active Geocaching sites scattered around Gwangju for you and your friends to go out and find, potentially on a Saturday or Sunday when otherwise you would stay inside and order pizza. Why not go have an adventure?





Gwangju Chic Written and photographed by Karly Pierre Translation by Karina Prananto


or three years, Grandetoile boutique has been keeping its Gwangju clientele chic. Owner Kang Subin gave us brief insight into the trends that are influencing local style. Gwangju News (GN): Please describe the style of the clothes in your shop. Kang Subin (SB): We are currently selling clothing of popular brands of designers from abroad as well as famous designers locally. We are investing broadly not only in scale, but also in distribution. So we are selling various clothing and accessories much more extensively than other similar stores. GN: What are the names of the brands that you sell? SB: I have introduced several brands, which are especially popular in our shop, because we are selling so many brands. Famous brands from Europe such as Alexander McQueen or Alexander Wang, and even Rick Owens, Montclair, Hermés are sold in our store. We also sell brands, which are popular in the

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U.S. such as Theory, Isabel Marant, and Equipment, among others. GN: What are some popular fashion trends now in Gwangju? SB: Currently, people like unique patterns and mix and match style. Compared to before when people liked wearing skinny jeans, now they like more loose slacks and wide pants. GN: What is your best selling brand? SB: Here we sell our own brand Etoile as well as other brands like Equipment and Burberry. Equipment has no official store in Gwangju, and many of our customers visit our store or contact us through SNS. Grandetoile has two locations: 1009-6 Pungam-dong, Seo-gu, Gwangju 광주광역시 서구 풍암동 1009-6번지 (Main store) 48-1 Dongmyeong-dong, Dong-gu, Gwangju 광주광 역시 동구 동명동 48-1번지




photography I fashion






BASIC BLACK Photographed by Karly Pierre Translated by Kim Jong-mi

1 Sweet

Leather bomber jacket paired with baby doll dress and striped leather clutch

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2 Glam

Figure-hugging leather pants and patent leather heels paired with an ultra modern top

3 Edgy

Leather bomber jackets paired with slim jeans and platform shoes

4 Simple

An eye-catching black leather purse

5 Bold

Over-sized leather lapels on a chucky jacket paired with a leather clutch and black ankle boots





[Photo of the Month] By Shuvra Mondal


very time I leave Seoul I try to bring back a memory. This photo is one of them. However, this particular memory came as a surprise.

When I was invited by a city official from Hamyang for a visit, I had no clue I was about to spend the night in one of the most beautiful hanok villages I have ever been too. Gapyeong Maeul is a small little hanok village in Gyeongnam, Hamyang where the people still rely on natural supplies and are very happy with their simple lives, without shopping malls and high-speed Internet. Perhaps they live this way easily because they have amazing Mother Nature to entertain them, to give them light and to be their energy. I was looking for this particular energy and chased the sunrise to one of the highest village peaks. I was indeed amazed with the purity that has been conveyed in this photograph.”

SHARE YOUR PHOTO WITH GWANGJU! Interested in having one of your pictures as Gwangju News’ Photo Of The Month? Send your picture of Korea to our photo editor at info@photographersinkorea.com. We look forward to sharing your work.

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photography I photo essay

The Importance of Photographs Written and photographed by Lorryn Smit


lot of the time I take photos selfishly. I take photographs for my own pleasure: I see something that catches my eye, take a great photo, share said photo on social media, get a lot of love and feel awesome. There are times when I even make a little money out of it. So, many times I go out into the world aiming my lens thoughtlessly at people, mountains, sunsets and buildings. Sometimes I wonder: are we always aware of the real worth of what we are doing?

Photographs record events and lives. When a parent passes away, for example, a yellowed portrait suddenly becomes one of the most valuable possessions their loved ones will own. Photographs also record moments from history, ways of looking at things and ways of thinking about them. In years to come, they will be of value in various ways to an array of people. With modernization changing cultures and customs, photographs play an important role in preserving them and, in some way, keeping them alive. Fifty years from now, young children will be admiring grandma and grandpa’s

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wedding album, able to see how they lived, loved, and wanted their wedding day to be remembered. Photographs are powerful, and as photographers we have the honor of using this wonderful power not only to record slices of history but also to move people. While you might never change the world with your images, you can make a difference in the life of someone else, be it by giving an old man a photograph of himself to be proud of or by lifting the spirits of a depressed city dweller with a beautiful landscape. By remembering this, we might actually bring out the best in each photograph that we take. We might be pushed to take greater care in what we do and give the best possible version of each photograph to the world. These thoughts linger in my mind with every click of the shutter. To take meaningful photographs, we should all aim to give back to the world, and only in this process should we be getting something out of our photography.



photo essay I photography

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places to see I departing gwangju

Savoring Sri Lanka Written and photographed by Joey Nunez


earning lessons happens so easily, when we are open to listening. This past Seollal (Lunar New Year), I journeyed to Sri Lanka with an open heart. Covering an entire island’s sites, heritages, cultures, religions and other delights is impossible to do in only a week. Still, I saw and learned three simple lessons. First, go, and, at times, rest. In Kandy, I witnessed the hidden beauties within the Royal Botanical Gardens, providing more insights into the horticultural environment of the island and even around the world. I examined the chambers where the Tooth Relic lies, seeing how India’s Prince Dantha and Princess Hemamala brought over with what Buddhists believe to be a part of the Buddha’s enamel. In addition, I climbed up to stand at the feet of the largest-standing Buddha statue in the world, less than two miles away from my accommodations, with sculpted stages of the Buddha’s life. I also received explanations for how Sri Lankans worship as Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians. Experiencing Sri Lanka’s four main religions and their practices broadened my knowledge, without compromising what I personally believe as the Truth. On the other hand, seeing the sites with heat registering above 26 degrees Celsius (above 80 degrees Fahrenheit) every day in the middle of February

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drained my energy. I kept myself hydrated with water while learning. But I found that I also learned while resting on my bed or in a chair, reading. And I had a safe environment to learn when not exploring Kandy, on top of a hill at the Theological College of Lanka, where Christian pastors are being trained for future ministry. I always love seeing the sights aboard and l love to read books about the places that I am currently seeing, so I saw Kandy by doing both. In Kandy, I knew that after some time, I needed to stop, process what I saw and appreciate where I went and where I was going. I rested, and I never regretted that fulfilling choice. Second, walk around. In Colombo, I stayed at the Clock Inn Colombo, an excellent hostel along the Galle Road. The downtown hostel is five minutes away from the Laccadive Sea, with waters from the Indian Ocean. After a brief evening stroll on my first evening there, I realized that I could walk to all the locations I desired to go. And as a result, I saw so much of Colombo’s city life, with a fantastic map, a bottle of water and freedom from the legendary tuk tuks. Now, do not get the wrong idea. Sri Lankan tuk tuks are fairly inexpensive vehicles for making oneway trips or even full-day adventures enjoyable, with drivers who normally speak moderate levels of



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Previous page: Ranawana Royal Temple hosts the World’s Highest Statue of the Walking Buddha, as the site opened on February 14, 2014; 1. Hinduism, left temple, and Buddhism, right temple, co-exist together in downtown Kandy; 2. Theological College of Lanka; 3. Kandy Lake during an already summer-filled, February afternoon; 4. A common street sight in Colombo; 5 and 6. All Sri Lanka fits into this lake, at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Peradeniya.

English. But for me, I enjoyed my Colombo experience so much more by using my two feet rather than three wheels. If you go like me through any Sri Lankan terrain on foot, wear sunscreen and a hat, especially from 12 to 6 p.m. any day in any season. Your skin will thank you by not transforming to rose crimson shades, like mine did for one week.

doses of the 101 courses and more advanced insights I desired to know about Sri Lanka.

Third, be flexible to learn and joyfully appreciative what you experience. With such openness, I saw more of Sri Lanka on its terms, not mine. In life, I can set strict and serious objectives to achieve. While visiting Sri Lanka, I left such objectives on vacation.

I better understood and responded correctly when Sri Lankans used a head nodding which appeared to be a “no,” but actually was a respectful and cheerful “yes.” Eating with one’s hands actually saves on utensil usage and provides a better overall digestion of curries over rice, because no one can or should shovel such tasty cuisine into the mouth. One must take his/her time. The Sinhala language is printed first, with Tamil as second and English as third, while everyone in Sri Lanka is typically proficient in two languages, and possibly in all three.

Therefore, I was available to say “yes” when my Kandy host and my Colombo hostel offered me lastminute and excellent opportunities for me to learn about Sri Lanka. What they offered aligned perfectly with my intentions for studying, giving me healthy

Learning is what we should be doing, every day, at work or on vacation. So after reading this recent adventure, may you likewise make this day as much of an adventure as possible, by going, resting, walking and always being open.

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places to see I korea in the world

Seo Jin-seok: A Bridge Between Korea and the Baltic States Written and photographed by Jeong So-hee


ave you ever heard about the Baltic states? The Baltic states are three northern European countries east of the Baltic Sea — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Lots of Koreans have little knowledge about them. When I decided to study in Lithuania, my friends asked me where in the world it was! When I arrived in Lithuania for the first time, I felt the severe cold of the weather. But I had expected this beforehand. I have been here for about two months now, and my opinion has changed. The Baltic states are a very calm, relaxed, and beautiful part of the world. I am studying at the Vytautas Magnus University located in Kaunas, the second most prominent city in Lithuania. At my university, there is a major that deals with Asian culture. Seo Jin-seok formerly taught and researched Asian culture at the university. Now, he runs an Internet cafe which provides information about the Baltic states. In addition, he was a foreign correspondent for Ohmynews, a Korean freelance news website, who introduced eastern European issues. Luckily, I was able to get in contact with him and had a chance to interview him. Jeong So-hee (Jeong): What made you develop an

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interest in the Baltic states? Seo Jin-seok (Seo): Since childhood, I have wanted to study special and exotic things, so I decided to major in Polish at my university. When I entered university in 1991, lots of countries (including the Baltic states) had just become independent, and Lithuania especially was mentioned many times in class because it has many close ties with Poland. This is when I started to develop an interest in Lithuania. Jeong: Lots of Koreans do not know much about the Baltic states. Please, introduce the Baltic states as an expert. Seo: Oh, it’s too broad. It’s so complex that it cannot be judged by just one standard. Even though these countries are small, a lot of cultures and language groups are mixed. To understand them, you have to know about overall Europe. Studying the Baltic nations is like peeling an onion; new layers are discovered every day. Jeong: I have heard that you are doing lots of things like writing books examining the Baltic states, teaching Korean, and running the Internet cafe in which to share information about these countries. What is the motive that makes you do these things?



korea in the world I places to see


Soboras Church, Lithuania

Seo Jin-seok participated in Latvia Social Intergration Campaign organized by Latvia government organization

Seo: In Korea, there are few people who have traveled to this part of the world. It was really hard not only to get information but also to share the story of these countries. So, I started to upload some information in the Internet cafe that I own. When I began to develop an interest in the Baltic states, there were few experts about it. I thought Korea needed more information about them in the future, so I decided to become one of those experts. Jeong: What do people of the Baltic states think about Korea? Seo: When I came here the first time, they had little knowledge about Korea. When I said that Korea has snow, they didn’t believe me. Some people believed that Korea is in southeast Asia. Nowadays, lots of people here have a good impression of Korea because of dramas and K-pop. Additionally, Korea is regarded as a developed country because of Samsung, LG, and KIA. Jeong: Have there been any amusing incidences during your stay here? Seo: When western people see Asians, they usually ask, “Are you Chinese, Japanese or Korean?” However, when I came here in 1991, they asked me, “Are you Uzbekistani or Kazakhstani?” because they had just become independent from the former Soviet Union. Maybe they asked me that because I look Uzbek or Kazakhstani. Another time, I tried to call to

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An old town scene in Kaunas, Lithuania

South Korea, but the Lithuanian telephone company connected me with North Korea. Jeong: What are the attractions of the Baltic states and which places do you want to recommend to people who want to travel to Lithuania? Seo: The Baltic states are really great to visit because the prices are cheap and transportation between countries is very convenient. Lots of people think there are lots of beautiful women here. That’s true! It’s really hard to choose just one place because there are lots of beautiful places. It’s really good to travel to big cities like Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania; Riga, the capital of Latvia; and Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The wetlands in Estonia and Latvia and the islands of Estonia are very beautiful as well. Jeong: What are your goals in the future? Seo: I have a lot of goals, especially writing novels or essays. I’d like to study the shamanism of Korea and Europe. Also, I’d like to write books examining the Baltic states.



To submit your own recollection, email: gwangjunews@gic.or.kr


places to see I my korea

Jjimjilbangs! Written by Erica Ravi Photos courtesy of Zzimzilbang.com


any Koreans seek relaxation in public bathhouses, more commonly known as jjimjilbangs. When in Korea, do as the Koreans do! After working out, I love hitting up my local jjimjilbang, VIP, in Bongseon-dong, which is close to home, and only sets me back 6,000 won. I was turned on to this aspect of Korean culture through Warren Parson’s GIC Tour to Andante Spa in Jangheung last December. Now I am addicted and want to spread the word! Jjimjilbangs are usually open 24 hours a day, offering plenty of options for patrons. Unlike typical spas one finds in the West, Korean bath houses are inexpensive (ranging from 6,000 - 10,000 won) — and yet, just as gratifying. Jjimjilbangs are separated by gender and house a variety of hot spring baths and saunas. Depending on what kind of jimjilbang it is, there may also be sleeping quarters with ondol-heated floors and a restaurant. Keep in mind that you do have to bare it all in the wet areas of jjimijilbangs. The sentiment of the nude rule stems from the fact that high temperatures may cause toxic chemicals from clothes and/ or bathing suits to seep out. In the saunas, you are given clothes by the facility to wear. At the

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front desk, you will be given the clothes and a key to your locker. Before entering the saunas, you are expected to shower, which is in the same area as the baths. Most baths contain some sort of Korean medicinal herb, local green tea leaves, or clay that help maintain skin health. There are usually a few baths to choose from, all with varying temperatures. The multiple saunas are kiln-heated at different temperatures as well, giving bathers even more variety to sweat in. These saunas are usually walled in by wood from local trees, roots, salt or other types of minerals that have medicinal purposes. Personally, I love that I can taste the salt or whatever is burning while sitting in these unique saunas. They are all beautifully decorated, too. VIP, the local jimjilbang I frequent, has a sauna adorned with multi-colored salt crystals that form a mosaic of bonsai trees against a baby blue sky. Burke Williams Spa has nothing on jjimjilbangs. Jjimjilbangs are a great option for those traveling around Korean on a budget. An inexpensive alternative to love motels and hostels, jjimjilbangs offer more than pension. If you are the type of traveller who needs privacy, then a jjimjilbang is probably not your best option. However, if you are looking for a way to unwind from a long bike trip or hike and you do not mind nudity and some noise, what better way to end your day than with a warm bath, sauna, food and a massage? Some jjimjilbangs actually have restaurants that serve local dishes. Most jjimjilbangs serve baked eggs that are eaten like hard boiled eggs and



my korea I places to see



1. A typical common room in a jjimjilbang to relax 2. A dining room in a jjimjilbang


cooked in the saunas. To help cool you down, jjimjilbangs serve sikhye, a Korean traditional rice beverage that is brewed like tea, super-sweet and known to help aid hangovers. Some bathhouses serve patbingsu, one of Korea’s most popular desserts made from fresh fruit, shaved ice and red beans. For an extra fee, you can receive a massage. I have not had the pleasure of the experience myself, but if you like it rough, they are intense. A cupping therapy also is available at VIP and I am sure at other jjimjilbangs. Cupping is a form of ancient medicine that helps with digestion and metabolism, as well as aids in the relief of muscle tension and soreness. The massage also leaves circle marks on your body for a few weeks if kept on for a long time (more than 15 minutes). Jimjilbangs are open all year round. If you are a newer international resident to Gwangju like myself, warm up to the culture and venture to your local jjimjilbang!

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샴프랑 린스 주세요. (Shampoo rang rinse juseyo.) A shampoo and a conditioner, please. 면도기 얼마에요? (Myeondogi eolma-eyo?) How much is a razor? 면도기도 하나 주세요. (Myeondogi hana ju-seyo.) I’d like to purchase a razor, too. 때 미는데 얼마에요? (Ddae mi-neunde eolma-eyo?) How much do you charge for body-scrubbing? 등만 밀어주세요. (Deung-man mireo ju-seyo.) I’d like to get only my back scrubbed. VOCABULARY 면도기 (myeondogi): a razor 샴푸 (syampu): shampoo 린스 (rinseu): conditioner 때 (ttae): soil, dead skin, dirt 등 (deung): back 수면공간 (sumyeon gonggan): sleeping area 안마 (anma): massage




culture I korean poetry

Road by Hwang Ji-u Written by Hwang Ji-u Translated by Brother Anthony of Taize

The thought that life


is a road that can only be traveled

얼마간 굴욕을 지불해야

at the price of some humiliation.

지나갈 수 있는 길이라는 생각

As you go traveling around


all the roads throughout our land,


every propitious grave site is a guard post.

모든 명당은 초소다

The wake left behind by the belly of a ship

한려수도, 내항선이 배때기로 긴 자국

passing through the Hallyeo Channel was a road,

지나가고 나니 길이었구나

a foam-like road.

거품 같은 길이여

Let all the people in the world who are suffering

세상에, 할 고민 없어 괴로워하는 자들아

from having nothing to worry about join me here.

다 이리로 오라

Here, where the road turned into foam as I went along,

가다보면 길이 거품이 되는 여기

the anchor I dropped, was my snare.

내가 내린 닻, 내 덫이었구나

Hwang Ji-u was born in Haenam, South Jeolla Province in 1952.

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gwangju writes I culture

The Trials (Trial by fire and tears) Stolen! That morning cracked in rooster’s beak like shards by his foe-sacked kilns *1) where he had been… Stolen: no doubt! The fire limp and hooves stamped in the clay spoke of war’s price: with their master potter, that night, the village paid. For he, prized prisoner, was taken to foreign lands, far shores. Now villagers — chins hanging low — his fate bemoaned. Wind shaken stood his cottage, door framed, his pale-eyed wife held their son back. “He is too little,” cried. But, at 12 years old, the lad had gleaned enough to dare and try. He tugged her apchima for days. “Allow me, eomeoni to light the kiln, allow. To abeoji in my dream last night I promised.” She then smiled and wiped her eyes. “Just one time, son.”

(Trial by water and earth) So digging days long by the river he found the soggy best, scooped and lumped it back uphill with hands like abeoji’s — clay gloved by the yeast of earth — forming, throwing it until just right. One half he wheeled and then its open twin in sameness joined, made vessel whole while at the seam, the edge embattled, like his village struggled to survive

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A short poem written by Anca Hariton

the war, close in: before and after. Heal. In sleep then the boy slipped with tired arms on grasses spent and bent. When dusk awakened , with hungry eyes his pot he met: Like pregnant eomeoni’s belly now the top had slightly sagged, yet mattered not. Next eve the wood sparked, candled ready, in the domed uphill, then crackled hot.

(Trial by wind and fire) Oven ablaze the wind approved. Its dragon tongue torpedoed through the chambered kiln, around the pot war waging upon war itself. All night the rumble raged like furies at some shore, fused, sealing powers’ trial onto the mortal clay by cinders bellowed and translucent orbed. As a new day the rooster open laid, the villagers circled the son, helped hoist his ware out from hot smoke, in wonder wiped its barrel size and sagging — seen as proof — To gasps gave way, to tears of hope. From ashes’ cover, the youngest now stood up: a master potter of their own.

Note: At the end of Korea’s Imjin War (1592~98) apchima: apron, eomeoni: mother, abeoji: father 1)




culture I behind the myth

Korea’s Drug History Written by Karly Pierre


ecent history has seen the two Koreas drastically diverge in their approach toward drugs. Following devastating famine in the 1990s, the North Korean regime began manufacturing narcotics — first opium, then methamphetamines — in government-run factories for revenue. A 2014 Los Angeles Times article noted, “In North Korea, meth is offered as casually as a cup of tea.” According to the same Times report, North Koreans “take [meth] to treat colds or boost their energy; students take it to work late.” In 2004, North Korea “officially” began withdrawing from the drug business due to pressure from China. However, independent North Korean dealers have stepped into the vacuum left by the government and they are just as prolific.

In contrast, South Korea has taken a hard stance against drugs. Though Korean marijuana, or daema, grew wild and hemp was used to make hanboks, according to a 2012 Yonhap News article, the 1960s and 1970s saw a rise in recreational smoking. This movement was largely led by the artistic community and influenced by the presence of U.S. soldiers. However, President Park Chung-hee showed little tolerance for drug use and enacted the Cannabis Control Act in 1976, criminalizing marijuana use. Many saw this as a savvy scheme to target the artistic community, many of whom were vocal dissenters of his policies. Today, South Korea enjoys a reputation as a relatively drug free country. In comparison to 1.6 million drug arrests in the U.S. during 2011, there were just 7,011 arrests in South Korea during the same year, according to a 2012 Korea Herald article. Despite what many think, the Koreas’ recent struggles with drugs are nothing new. The beginning of the 20th century marked a dark and often overlooked period in Korea’s history. In “The Forgotten Plague,” author John M. Jennings examines how, under Japanese colonial rule, Korea became a major opium producer. After the start of World War I, the world’s supply of opium dwindled and the price increased tremendously. Japanese pharmaceutical

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companies used opium to manufacture medicine and heavily relied on imports. Attempts made by both pharmaceuticals and the government to grow opium crops within Japan failed because of unsuitable soil and low incentives for farmers. This left Japan in crisis and led them to Korea’s cheap labor pool and more hospitable environment for opium cultivation. After a slow start, opium production dramatically increased. By 1941, the total opium output from Korea was 50,000 kilograms, compared to an output of 1,400 kilograms in 1930. Korea also began trading morphine with Taiwan and Japanesecontrolled Manchuria. Korea’s involvement in the drug trade took a toll on society on the peninsula. Though the government enacted the Opium Law in 1919 restricting poppy cultivation to government regulated farms, opium slipped into the hands of citizens. Koreans smoked opium before Japanese occupation, and after occupation the number of opium addicts began to fall. By the time Japanese officials banned opium smoking in Korea in 1914, morphine addiction was on the rise. Some Koreans became morphine (administered intravenously or in pills), heroine or cocaine addicts in a number of ways, including obliviously buying products touted as cure-alls. By 1924, the Japaneselanguage Korean newspaper, Toa Nippo reported, “There are 4,000 morphine addicts in Seoul alone, creating ‘enormous havoc.’” Japan instituted a number of drug policies, including a narcotics addict registry and drug treatment rehabilitation programs, to combat the rise in crime and shrinking labor pool due to addiction. In 1939, government officials announced that drug addiction was nearly eliminated in Korea. As the number of Korean addicts decreased, the government was left with a heroin and morphine surplus and paused production in 1935. By the end of World War II, Korea was a solid narcotics exporter, with “over 90 percent of the total production from 1935 to 1945” being sent abroad.



jeolla history I culture



Jeolla Dialects Written by Won Hea-ran Calligraphy image by Gu Heejin


ometimes, regional dialects can be more attractive than the country’s standard language. Dialects display unique accents and terminology exclusive to the region. These differences can make the dialect more difficult to understand and might end up confusing the listener; even Koreans have a hard time understanding all of the regional dialects. Nevertheless, dialects are meaningful because they provide a glimpse into the region’s history along with residents’ characteristics. The Jeolla dialect is widely used in the southwestern region of Korea. It is used not only in Jeolla province, but also in Gwangju and the southern part of Chungcheong Province. The dialect is believed to have originated during the ancient Baekje kingdom established in this region. Although the dialect assimilated to standard Korean due to long reigns by Goryeo and Joseon Dynasties that came after Baekje, it still maintains the distinct accent and grammar of Baekje’s language. Jeolla dialect has a strong, smooth accent that comes from transforming the vowels. In many cases, the vowels in the front of the word change according to the vowels in the back. For example, the word “caught,” or “japhida ” (잡히다) in Jeolla dialect, is “jaephida” (잽히다). The front vowel “a” (ㅏ) is changed into “ae” (ㅐ) due to the vowel afterwards “i” (ㅣ). Another example is meat, “gogi” (고기). In Jeolla dialect, “meat” is called “goegi” (괴기). The front vowel “o” (ㅗ) changes into “oe” (ㅚ) because of the vowel “i” (ㅣ) afterwards. The first Korean vowel basically merges with the second vowel, creating a different sound. Jeolla dialect is also famous for putting more emphasis on vowels than standard Korean. The “i”

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sound (ㅣ) is pronounced as “eu” (ㅡ), and “e” ( ㅔ) is pronounced as “i” (ㅣ). Some examples are: “lie,” or “geojitmal” (거짓말), which is pronounced as “geu~jitmal” (그짓말), and “pillow,” or “baege” ( 배게), is pronounced as “bi~ge” (비개). When the words are pronounced, it gives a dragging sound to vowels. This is because Jeolla dialect substitutes short vowel sounds with long vowel sounds, giving more emphasis in words. Another way to distinguish Jeolla dialect from standard Korean is to look at the end of the sentence. Standard Korean has clear-cut endings with definite sounds like “da” and “gi.” On the other hand, Jeolla dialect drags the end of the sentence. Finally, people in Jeolla are very expressive. They often use exaggerated exclamations like “Wamma!” (왐마) and “Omae!” (오매) to convey their surprise, joy, and disappointment. This use of exclamation makes people of Jeolla sound more affectionate and caring. Another term used exclusively in Jeolla is the word “geo-si-gi” (거시기). “Geo-si-gi” is used to substitute words that the speaker cannot think of quickly or words that are embarrassing to say. “Geo-si-gi”, for example, is used to substitute for male genitals in general speech. Jeolla dialect might also be interesting to K-drama fans because it can be found in popular Korean movies and dramas. The movie “Admiral: Roaring Currents,” which depicted battles of Admiral Yi Sun-shin, uses Jeolla dialect because it took place in Jeolla Province. One of last year’s most famous dramas, “Come! Jang Bo-ri,” also used Jeolla dialect because one of the main characters came from Daejeon, Jeolla Province.




general I kotesol


KOTESOL promotes scholarship, disseminates information, and facilitates cross-cultural understanding among persons concerned with teaching and learning English in Korea.

Discovering Reflective Practice Written and photographed by Jocelyn Wright


ow would you rate your teaching performance — both within the classroom and out? What things are you performing well at? In which areas might you be lacking and in need of improvement? How could improvements be made in areas where improvement would be welcome? Chances are that, as an English instructor in Korea, you have not given serious consideration to these questions or discussed them with your colleagues. For many of us, it is too easy to think, “I am doing okay — no worries,” and disregard a need for professional improvement. For the English language teaching practitioner, Reflective Practice (RP) is a great way to take stock of your teaching practices. And the Reflective Practice Special Interest Group of Gwangju-Jeonnam KOTESOL is a great place to help you do this. To mark our two-year anniversary, we thought it would be nice to celebrate our success publicly. WHO ARE WE? The Gwangju-Jeonnam Reflective Practice Special Interest Group (RP-SIG) is one of three groups across the country whose aim is to help other English language teachers to get into reflective practice, and support them in their activities. There are other groups like us in Seoul and Daegu. WHAT IS REFLECTIVE PRACTICE? As recently redefined by Thomas S. C. Farrell, reflective practice is “…a cognitive process accompanied by a set of attitudes in which teachers systematically collect data about their practice, and while engaging in dialogue with others, use the data to make informed decisions about their practice both inside and outside the classroom.” Put simply, RP involves

April 2015_V1.indd 48

reflecting in, on, and for a teaching activity with the primary goal of improving teaching practices. HOW CAN WE DESCRIBE OUR FIRST TWO YEARS? With David Shaffer’s encouragement, I cofounded this branch with Maria Lisak in 2013. Our first year was mainly about community-building and sharing ideas. Maria emphasizes this in her comment: “While professional development seems to focus on keeping current about methods and activities, [and] KOTESOL is stellar about providing so many great ways to connect a personal EFL need or interest, there is yet another side of teaching — that of the teacher/research practitioner. The RP-SIG gives a trusted, comfortable space to think about our teaching in a community of practitioners who share similarities yet still offer insightfully different perspectives to look at our teaching. Spending time personally reflecting on our teaching should be a regular teaching habit. Reflecting with others offers us a chance to look at problems and successes from



kotesol I general



Date & Time: April 11 (Saturday), 10:30 a.m.– 5 p.m. Place: Chosun University, Main Building, Left Wing Rm 4211

A typical Reflective Practice SIG meeting

multiple lenses to help us grow into being the best educators we can be.” After Tyson Vieira joined me in the second year, taking over for Maria, we decided to address more specific themes (e.g., teaching beliefs, values, and practices; goal-setting; critical incidents; projectbased learning) in small workshops. At the same time, we began a strand introducing methods for reflecting on our practice (e.g., journaling, portfolios, peer and video observation, and action research). WHAT DO WE DO? Every month, we get together in an informal café setting. Tyson describes our meetings: “In our meetings, our primary aim is to explore various topics and elements in teaching. Through this exploration, we gain awareness and the willingness to try alternatives in our teaching, which is quite energizing. The more areas of the teaching-learning dynamic we discover in our meetings, the more we want to tread further. As a result, a cycle is created to increase awareness and stimulate further exploration, leading us to fresh, new insights and questions in the teaching field.” WHAT IS IN STORE? More exchange and exploration, of course! In the

Morning (11 a.m.) Reflective Practice Session Afternoon Presentations: 1.Music, Chants, and Video-making by Chad LaRoche 2.Reflecting on Classroom Elements: Learner Level by Tyson Vieira For more details: Facebook: Gwangju-Jeonnam KOTESOL Website: http://koreatesol.org/gwangju Email: gwangju@koreatesol.org Twitter: @GwangjuKOTESOL

coming year, we are thinking of doing a strand of meetings focusing on elements of the classroom. That being said, we believe in the co-construction of experiences and welcome all ideas from our active members. HOW TO FIND US? We meet most months before the regular GwangjuJeonnam KOTESOL Chapter meeting. Our next meeting will be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 April 2015. For venue or other information, please join our Facebook group (Reflective Practice SIG Gwangju-Jeonnam). If you do not use Facebook, you can find information on the KOTESOL website or contact me (jocelynmnu@yahoo.com) or Tyson Vieira (tyson.vieira.esl@gmail.com). Please feel free to join us along your journey toward professional development! Reference Farrell, T. S. C. (2015). Promoting Teacher Reflection in Second Language Education: A Framework for TESOL Professionals. New York, NY: Routledge.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jocelyn Wright is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Mokpo National University. She coordinates the local Reflective Practice Special Interest Group (RP SIG) and is actively involved in the Gwangju-Jeonnam Chapter of Korea TESOL (KOTESOL). As a representative of the Chapter, she invites you to join in the various professional development activities on offer in our area.

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general I health

Worked to Death

The Dangers to Health from Overwork Written by Jessica Keralis


any native English speakers are surprised at the work ethic of their Korean counterparts. While the 40-hour work week is the standard for many industries in the West, long working hours are much more common in South Korea, whose citizens work the longest hours in the OECD. Unfortunately, this culture of overwork has serious detrimental effects on health. In Japan, excessive overtime in highpressure workplaces is so common that karō shi — “death from overwork” — is a recognized medical phenomenon that is gaining increasing recognition as a public health crisis. Overwork has been demonstrated to have measurable impacts on physical health. Fatigue, exhaustion and sleepiness increase the risk of injury by making people clumsier and less attentive to their surroundings. It has also been linked to heart disease. Two studies published in 2010 — one on nurses in Denmark, and one using data from an ongoing study of British civil servants — found that people who worked longer hours had a higher risk for having a heart attack, developing heart disease, or having chest pains. (Both controlled for blood pressure, cholesterol levels, diet, exercise, and smoking.)

Mental effects are equally serious. Higher levels of stress, which are well-documented in those who work long hours, have been shown to raise blood cholesterol levels and, according to ongoing research at UC San Francisco, accelerate aging by damaging the body’s ability to repair DNA. Overwork has also been linked to stroke as demonstrated by a study published last year in the Journal of Occupational Health, which found an association between stroke and longer working hours among Korean adults. Stress from overwork often leads to unhealthy eating and drinking habits, which can affect health as well. While most English teachers do not work the excessively long hours that Korean corporate culture is notorious for, many are pressured into working hours not accounted for in their contracts. Think carefully about signing a contract that mandates unusual amounts of overtime, and stand up for yourself (and seek legal help if necessary) if your institution tries to pressure you into doing extra work not specified in your contract. It is also common for hagwon teachers to agree to work overtime for “intensives,” or month-long stretches of 12- to 15hour days teaching extra classes offered by hagwons during public school holidays. While you might be eager to sink that extra cash into student loans or your next excursion to Bali, think hard about the long-term costs to your health. Perhaps that beach bungalow can wait a few months more.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jessica Keralis has a Master of Public Health and four years of experience in the field of public health. She is currently working as an epidemiologist. All views expressed here are her own and not those of any employer.

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green korea I general


Green GIC

Conserving Energy at Work Written by Karina Prananto


e the change you want to see in the world.” This famous quote from Mahatma Gandhi is truly applicable when speaking about our environment. The clean environment in our surroundings seems to be taken for granted, as people have a mindset that “someone will clean it up anyway,” and many pieces of garbage can be found on the streets of Gwangju, especially around the busy areas on weekends. The Gwangju International Center (GIC) is one of the organizations in Gwangju that is helping to conserve the environment. Especially important during the winter time when energy is greatly consumed to heat up buildings, here are some ways for how we all can save the environment and conserve energy. 1. Use recycle bins Separating garbage is really important, as so much energy and manpower are used later on and by that time, so much can be spoiled, ruined and cannot be reused. GIC has containers to help educate residents for how to divide their garbage, and not just recycle bins, as there are bins for paper, plastic, vinyl, cans and glass as well. 2. Add window insulation We can help keep the heat inside a room by using air caps a.k.a. bubblewrap, which is plastic film material with air bubbles, the same as is used to wrap fragile items at the post office. This material is cheap and it helps a lot with saving heat. Wet the window then apply the air cap sheet onto the window. GIC applies this wrapping to all of the office’s windows, and 90 percent of the windows are either two or three lay-

April 2015_V1.indd 51

ers, keeping the building warmer by preventing the cold outside air from coming inside. 3. Save electricity We know the basic rule of turning off lights whenever we go outside, but following this rule in itself is not enough. The GIC requires all plugs to be disconnected whenever the office is closed, and also uses LED bulbs. These methods of saving electricity help to cut 50 percent of our electricity bill. 4. Keep the room temperature the same The GIC has a standard of 20 degrees Celsius room temperature. By placing a thermometer next to the thermostat, it helps the staff to see if the room temperature is stable. By not heating the room more than 26 degrees, energy is saved and the staff can keep working in a comfortable temperature. 5. Limit the use of paper cups In order to reduce trash, the GIC does not provide paper drinking cups. That is why when you come to the GIC, you will find few paper cups. Paper cups, though convenient to use, produce more trash than expected. Even fast food restaurants and coffee shops a r e giving discounts to those who bring their own cups. As this is a good idea, why not try to spread the word to your friends? All changes start with ourselves first. Any contribution, no matter its size, makes a big difference in the long run. So, are you ready to practice these methods and share these methods with others to use? May we all start the changes of truly improving our environment.




gic I gic tour preview


Written by Warren Parsons Photographed by Warren Parsons and Lee Jeongmin Date: April 25, 2015 Price: GIC Members 55,000 won/ Non-Members 65,000 won Contact: 062-226-2733 (이보람 Boram Lee) or gic@gic.or.kr / gictour@gic.or.kr


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The Birthplace of Zen Master Choeui

Lunch @ Fire-roasted Pork Restaurant

Muanyo Traditional Ceramics Experience

Sikyeong Pavilion

Muanyo Art Street Gallery





gic tour preview I gic


pril flowers across the land, and brings with it the warm rays of rebirth and regeneration. This month, the GIC Tour visits the coastal county of Muan to experience the time-honored tradition of pottery making, to refresh among the green shoots of the year’s first plucked tea, and to relax along the gentle bend of the Yeongsan River. Tea is an important part of the spring season and symbolizes the renewal of nature’s energy latent in the confines of the winter landscape. As such, the first destination of this month’s tour is the birthplace of Zen Master Choeui, an elegant compound of traditional buildings with a shrine dedicated to a distinguished teacher, philosopher and tea master from the early to mid 19th century. Besides holding company with some of Joseon’s foremost scholars and artists, Choeui was a prolific writer whose work in reviving Korea’s tea culture, culminating with the publication of his tea masterpiece “Dongdasong,” has earned him the respect and admiration that he holds today. There will be a guided tour around the premises of Choeui’s birthplace followed by a short trek to a former military observation deck that offers splendid views of the port of Mokpo and the islands of Sinan county. Following the immersion into the world of Korea’s most important tea master, the tour moves into the interior of Muan and up the Yeongsan River to the port town of Mongtan for lunch. The menu will be fire-roasted pork, which is flash-cooked in the flames of burning rice stalks and then accompanied with an assortment of side dishes. Two outstanding items on the table are a sauce made of fermented crab ground into a paste and a plate of tangy pickled onions. The latter is so good that it has even graced the larders of the Blue House. From the restaurant, the next stop of the day, and the highlight of this month’s program, is the ceramics making experience at Muanyo. Muanyo is the kiln and workshop of Poun Kim Ok-Soo, a nationally recognized pottery maker, who has earned the title of “Korean Master Hand,” an unprecedented level of award in the province. The master has made his name by producing buncheong ware, a type of ceramic prevalent during the late Goryeo and early Joseon dynasties. It is characterized by rustic glazes and designs with down to earth decorations. Many of the artist’s masterpieces are on view in his studio in preparation for the construction of a forthcoming museum, which will house his work. This is a rare opportunity to learn the art of porcelain-making from

April 2015_V1.indd 53

a preeminent teacher and to shape individual pieces and to have them fired in a wood heated kiln the traditional way using locally sourced clay. Working the potter’s wheel and feeding the fire of a burning kiln can be taxing, so to end the trip, participants can relax while watching the slow flowing waters of the Yeongsan River at Sikyeong Pavilion. Here the river gracefully bends 180 degrees, providing the right scenery for generations of scholars and poets. Built by Hanho Im Yeon at the beginning of the 17th century, this delightful pavilion is so beautiful that it has been mentioned in 92 poems written by 28 different poets. Once all are refreshed, the tour returns to Gwangju, where upon arrival, participants will have the option to visit the Muanyo Gallery on Art Street to see works for sale made by Kim Ok-Soo. Please join the tour this month to write your own poetry, make your own pottery, and discover a personal tea philosophy with the GIC Tour. ** The pieces made at Muanyo, after being dried, glazed, and fired will be delivered to the GIC.




gic I gic talk preview

France in Korea Similarities and Differences Written by Solene Heurtaux


y name is Solene, and I am French. I will talk about my country and its traditions, as well as some similarities and differences that I have found between France and Korea, during the GIC Talk on Saturday, April 18. As a current university student majoring in International Business and Foreign Languages, I have spent most of my life in France. I chose to move to Korea to complete a four-month internship at the GIC. Although I only arrived in Gwangju in early February, this move has already given me the time to notice the cultural differences between these two countries which are both so close to my heart. Food is an essential part of the cultures of both countries and there are many similarities and differences between the meals consumed in France and Korea. As in Korea, meals are supposed to be shared in France. We enjoy the time spent around the table with our family or friends, and our meals progress in a step-wise fashion: appetizers, the main dish, and finally dessert. During this GIC Talk, I will also give an overview of my daily routine and will express what I have found to be important to the French people.

France and Korea have a long historical background in common. A friendship agreement between the two countries was signed more than a decade ago, and many partnerships are in place between representative universities in both countries. The number of French-exchange students who are studying in Korea, and vice-versa, is growing as the mutual interest that each country has for the other is increasing. I am thankful to all of the GIC staff members for accepting me as a part of the team, and as a part of this country/ culture exchange. You may have already heard about France, and might have even traveled to this country, but have you experienced life as a French person? Even to me, it is important to travel outside of Paris and learn about the daily lives of French people too. So, I invite you to “travel� with me during this GIC Talk on Saturday, April 26, at 3 p.m., in order to see the Earth’s beauty through different eyes!

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gic talk schedule I gic


GIC Talk April Schedule

Theme of the Month: The Earth’s Beauty Time & Location: Saturdays from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m., GIC Auditorium (Samho Center, 1st Floor) For more information, contact gictalk@gic.or.kr



Speaker: Paul Starr Topic: Painting Fantasy and Sci-Fi Models

Speaker: Lorryn Smit Topic: Bohemian Korea

Painting fantasy and sci-fi miniatures is a rewarding and low-cost hobby that is growing in popularity in North America and Europe. At this GIC Talk, one can learn the basics of painting 25-30 mm scale models. While this GIC Talk will cover everything from the sculpting and casting process all the way up to the end product, the primary focus will be on painting miniatures cast in metal or plastic. Join us and begin your exploration into this fun and fulfilling hobby!

Cards with messages have been sporadically created and posted by individuals since the creation of postal services. The earliest known picture postcard was a hand-painted design on a card, and postcards have since developed into beautiful photographs of famous landmarks, people, and their cultures. Postcards are often easy to find in any city, but in Korea there seems to be a deficit in this area. In response to this need, Bohemian Korea was created. Come to this GIC Talk to discover how photography and postcards have been put together in beautiful ways.



Speaker: Michael Fiechtner Topic: Challenges Preparing to be Tomorrow’s Leaders: A Youth Leadership and Ambassador Program The world today is filled with many challenges, and tomorrow is going to be full of even more. The students who attend our schools today are preparing for a future filled with obstacles to overcome. They must develop the necessary skills to be leaders of this future.What are the challenges and their responses going to be? What can we do to help them? This Talk will show what Korean students discovered on a recent trip to Australia. It will also show Australian students’ impressions of these Korean students. We will examine the establishment of a World Youth Ambassador program which breaks down barriers and prepares the young people of today for tomorrow.

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Speaker: Solene Heurtaux Topic: France in Korea: Similarities and Differences Please see the GIC Talk Preview on the previous page for more information.





Community Board

Have something you want to share with the community? Gwangju News community board provides a space for the community to announce clubs’ activities and special events. Please contact gwangjunews@gic.or.kr for more information.

UNESCO KONA VOLUNTEERS UNESCO KONA Volunteers is a registered organization that helps underprivileged kids to learn English independently through storybooks and story-maps. We are looking for long-term volunteers who desire to enrich their lives. We are asking volunteers to commit to helping at least once a month (please check the days and locations below). Foreign volunteers who are interested in practicing their Korean and learning more about Korean culture with Korean children are welcome to stay at the center on any Saturday morning or Saturday evening for a short cultural exchange. If you have any picture books, storybooks, puppets and any educational items, we accept all donations in order to distribute them to the local children’s homes or community children’s centers in Gwangju and South Jeolla province. The days and locations of the facilities are as follows: Every Saturday mornings / 10 a.m.-12 p.m. or every Saturday afternoons (evenings) 5-7 p.m. Location: UNESCO KONA Volunteers Center (Ssangchong-dong, Seo-gu, 062-4349887)

Buk-gu, 062-524-2076) 3rd Sunday mornings and afternoons/ 9 a.m.–2 p.m. (Lunch is provided) Location: Haein Temple (Jangseong, South Jeolla, 061-393-5135) For more infomation, please visit: 1. http://cafe.daum.net/konavolunteers 2. www.facebook.com (UNESCO KONA Volunteers) 3. contact KONA (Kim Young-im) at 062-434-9887 or at konacenter@gmail.com GWANGJU ICE HOCKEY TEAM Looking for men and women of all ages to join us every Saturday night from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Yeomju Ice Rink near World Cup Stadium. If you are interested, contact Andrew Dunne at atdunne@gmail.com GWANGJU INTER FC The Gwangju International Soccer Team (Gwangju Inter FC) plays regularly every weekend. If you are interested in playing, email: gwangju_soccer@yahoo.com or search ‘Gwangju Inter FC’ on Facebook.

3rd Sunday afternoons / 3-5 p.m. Location: Youngjin Children’s Home (Imgok-dong, Gwangsangu, 062-9528040) or Gwangju Children’s Home (Dongrim-dong, Buk-gu, 062-5130859)

JOIN THE GWANGJU PERFORMANCE PROJECT CHOIR No experience is necessary and all are welcome. The choir will be learning and singing a wide variety of material, including pop, jazz, choral, and musical theater! The GPP Choir meets every Saturday from 12:30 2:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Gwangju International Center.

4th Friday afternoons 3-5 p.m. Location: Grandmother’s Community Children’s Center (Punghyang-dong,

For more information, visit our Facebook page or e-mail at gwangjuplayers@gmail.com

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THE MIKE SIMNING COMMUNITY BUILDER AWARD A new volunteerism award has been created to remember Mike Simning and all that he did for the City of Gwangju as a business owner, volunteer, and community organizer. The “Mike Simning Community Builder Award” committee is now accepting nominations of Koreans and expats that have created an organization or worked for an event or club that involves expats in the larger Gwangju community. The deadline for submissions is April 24 at midnight. Finalists will be announced on May 15, and the winner of the award will be announced on June 4, in honor of Mike Simning’s birthday. Winners and finalists will be honored at an award ceremony during the June 13 GIC Talk at 3 p.m. Nomination forms and more information can be found in the newly formed Facebook group, “Gwangju Community Builders,” and also through the GIC.



Attorney Attorney Park’s Park’s Law Law Firm Firm We're ready to serve your best interests in legal disputes. We provide affordable consultation & representation.

▶ Areas of Specialty contracts, torts, family law, immigration, labor ▶ Civil & Criminal Attorney Park, Duckhee former judge, GIC board member Services available in Korean, English & Chinese

#402 Simsan Bldg, 342-13 Jisan-dong, Dong-gu, Gwangju Location: next to Gwangju District Court

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Tel: 062) 222-0011 Fax: 062)222-0013 duckheepark@hanmail.net



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