Page 1

Gwangju & South Jeolla International Magazine I May 2015 Issue No. 159



.indd 1

May 2015_


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

May 2015_

.indd 2



May 2015.indd 1



CONTENTS May 2015 Issue No. 159 Published on April 27, 2015 Cover Photo: May 18 National Cemetery

Photo and cover art: Joe Wabe

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 residents and local English-speaking communities. Registration No. 광주광역시 라. 00145 (ISSN 2093-5315) Registration Date February 22, 2010 Printed by Join Adcom 조인애드컴


Everybody’s Business Toronto Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell Speaks on Human Rights


Hello! My Name Is ...

Basu Mukul Reaches Out to Immigrants


Who’s to Blame?

No Easy Answers to Solving Human Rights Abuse

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 Jacqui Page, Adriano Salamone COPY EDITORS Jon Ozelton, Kate Blessing, Kelsey Rivers, Timm Berg, Elizabeth Butler, Brian Kelly, Laura Becker, Joey Nunez PROOFREADERS Gabrielle Nygaard, Joey Nunez, Lianne Bronzo, Jannies Le, Teri Venable, Carrie Levinson, Stephen Redeker, Christie Fargher, Gilda Wilson, Jessica Keralis, Pete Schandall, Don Gariepy CREATIVE CONSULTANT Warren Parsons RESEARCHERS Ki Suyeon, Kim Ji-heon, Lee Jeong-min, Lee So-eun Gwangju News is published by Gwangju International Center 5, Jungang-ro 196 beon-gil (Geumnam-no 3 Ga), Dong-gu, Gwangju 501-023, South Korea Tel: (+82)-62-226-2733~34 Fax: (+82)-62-226-2731

Inquiry and Feedback: gwangjunews@gic.or.kr Advertising and Subscription Inquiry: karina@gic.or.kr or 062-226-2733~34 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.

May 2015.indd 2




places to see

11 Everybody’s Business Toronto Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell Speaks on Human Rights 14 Hello! My Name Is ... Basu Mukul Reaches Out to Immigrants 16 Who’s to Blame? No Easy Answers to Solving Human Rights Abuse 18 KAMP for Success 20 Gwangju Universiade Countdown Begins! 22 2015 Global Start-up Program for Foreigners

local 24 Right to the City: How Gwangju Visitors Said “Yes” to Human Rights Last Year 25 Sewol Update May 2015 26 Gwangju Talks: “How have human rights developed in Gwangju? Are people aware of advances?” 28 Islam Grows Within Gwangju 30 Gwangju Plays: Petit à Petit A New French Club in Gwangju 32 Gwangju Cooks: Apple & Kimchi Ham Sandwich 33 Gwangju Eats: Sagyejeol Heukyeomso 35 About Some

photography 34 Fashion on the Street: Carry On 36 Photo Essay: The End of Spring 38 Photo of the Month: Purple Spring


39 Korea in the World: Memories of Kenya 40 My Korea: Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival 42 Departing Gwangju: Getting Lost in Kuala Lumpur

culture 44 Korean Poetry: Orchid by Pak Mok-Wŏl 45 Gwangju Writes: Lady of the Night 46 Behind the Myth: The Mysterious Dolmens 47 Jeolla History: Gangjin: The Mecca of Goryeo Celadons

general & info 06 Gwangju City News 08 Upcoming Events 48 Green Korea: Gwangju Freecycle – Reducing Waste Through Gifting 50 KOTESOL: Tech Tools for Digital Storytelling 52 Health: Electronic Cigarettes: Should Public Health Celebrate or Regulate? 58 Community Board

gic 54 GIC Tour Preview: Gokseong 56 GIC Talk Preview: Liberty in North Korea 57 GIC Talk May Schedule



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

May 2015.indd 3





GWANGJU CITY NEWS Compiled by Ki Su-yeon, Kim Ji-heon, and Lee So-eun Photos courtesy of Gwangju Metropolitan City

A zebra and a red-billed stork are among the newborn animals at the Uchi Zoo

NEWBORN ANIMALS AT UCHI ZOO Uchi Zoo is celebrating a series of successful births including three sheep, moon bears, a zebra and a red-billed stork. The endangered moon bear cubs are national treasures, the first of its species born at Uchi Zoo in the past 10 years. They can be found toddling about with their mother since early February. The baby zebra, born on March 20, is doing its part to bring in visitors in the zoo. The birth of a zebra is hardly seen in Korea. Red-billed stork mates are known to have a strong bond, living together until death. Although their live birth is difficult, Uchi Zoo last saw a natural birth of the stork in 2010. To get to Uchi Zoo, take bus no. 15, 26, 57, 86, 180, or 184 and get off at Uchi Park bus stop.

May 2015.indd 4



On April 2, the Seoul-Mokpo KTX line was opened at Songjeong Station, cutting travel time from Seoul to Gwangju City to an hour and a half. Additionally, three traditional markets near Songjeong Station are to be developed as part of cultural tourist attractions for foreigners visiting Gwangju City. Visitors are able to participate in monthly traditional concerts, modern performances, festivals and traditional experiences promoting the local flavor. These three markets host between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors on market days, and 1,000 visitors other days.

The city of Gwangju has begun talks with advocates for city welfare standards. The officials announced that Gwangju guarantees citizen participation to provide better city welfare. Gwangju welfare community, the organization developing ideas about welfare, runs online and offline modes. Income, habitation, care, health, and education will be put into effect in the five categories first. The city will examine various opinions and ideas selected by this community, to secure clarity and professionalism. Hong Nam-jin, the Gwangju head of social welfare, asked every citizen for their participation and support. Furthermore, he said that the city of Gwangju will create useful welfare standards that will reflect citizens’ needs. Lastly, Gwangju is planning to make a bond of sympathy and social consensus by opening public hearing and debate as well as an online bulletin board.

GWANGJU SUPPORTS GWANGJU FC Gwangju FC has been leading the Korean League since the beginning of this season. To support the club, the city of Gwangju announced that it will promote business donations for development and resurgence. As more and more local residents are taking interest in the Gwangju FC, the city will try to induce public’s purchase. Gwangju officials said that this support will become the driving force that will increase Gwangju citizens’ pride and unity. For more information on Gwangju FC’s match schedule, please check page 10.





GWANGJU RUNS CITY TOUR BUS SERVICE Gwangju began the Gwangju City Tour service on April 28. The tourist bus runs on weekends and it is accompanied by a tour guide. The tour’s major routes are designed to help visitors experience the history and culture of Gwangju within a full-day or half-day. The themes include City of Light: the history and culture of Gwangju; Yang-lim: modern historical sites; Healing Tour: the culture of Namdo, and Night Owl Tour: Daein Night Market. The pamphlet and announcements are offered in English, Chinese, and Japanese. Adult tickets are 2,000 won and youth tickets are 1,000 won. Reservation is necessary. For the further information, contact 062233-3399 or go to http://utour. gwangju.go.kr/

GWANGJU CITY GYMNASIUM NOW OPEN On March 17, the city of Gwangju announced that an opening ceremony for the Gwangju Gymnasium will be held. Gwangju Gymnasium has four stories above ground and one underground level. The building will be used as the training ground for volleyball and as a subsidiary facility during the Gwangju Summer Universiade. It includes training camps, a fitness club and a cafeteria. The city hopes that the Gwangju Gymnasium will improve players’ welfare. This gym is located in Yeomju Sports Center.

May 2015.indd 5


93 MINUTES FROM GWANGJU TO SEOUL Honam High Speed Rail opened on April 2. This high-speed railroad allows passengers to reach Seoul from Gwangju in 93 minutes. This train ride to Seoul is nonstop, and runs only once a day. For citizens needing to reach other stations, the other trains will fit their needs. Those trains will take between 107 to 120 minutes to reach Seoul and will stop at every station. The new express train runs on Honam High Speed rail line. It has comfortable leg-room and an electrical outlet at every seat. Moreover, KORAIL boosted the wireless Internet speed to 4G modem. Passengers can use vending machines, chargers for cell phones, and a nursery room for babies. The train is beige and wine, colors traditionally used in Korea to repel bad spirits. The tickets from Seoul, Yong-san to Gwangju, Songjeong are 46,800 won each for a standard seat, which is 8,200 won more than the previous fare. The trains operate 44 times a day on weekdays and 48 times a day during the weekends. The interval between trains is about 30 to 40 minutes. If you wish to check your reservation status or a time schedule, please take a look at the KORAIL home page (www.LetsKORAIL.com).

GWANGJU CITY NIGHT LIGHTS Gwangju City is planning to light up the night to promote tourism for domestic and foreign visitors. So far, night lighting has been restricted due to high oil prices and in order to reduce the energy use of government facilities. Since the enforcement of energy management policy, the administration set up energy efficient LED light bulbs and replaced less efficient bulbs to cut down on the energy use and promote night light view at the same time. However, the city is determined to live up to its image as a ‘City of Light’ by arranging night light scenery before major international events including Gwangju Summer Universiade. Stadiums, universities, Gwangju River Bridge and Geumnam Street near the Asian Culture Complex will be decorated in lights. Currently there are about 42 illumination sights. These facilities will be examined and repaired by the end of April and begin to operate after May. This year, Gwangju will also host the 2015 International Design Alliance Congress (IDA Congress), Gwangju Design Biennale and the opening festival of Asian Cultural Complex. An official said; “We will make an effort to develop the night light attractions to help citizens and visitors enjoy beautiful night scenery in Gwangju.

MORE ACCESS FOR ELECTRIC CARS On March 24, the “K Business agreement about supplying and sharing charge-infrastructure” was signed at the Songjeong Station Square between Gwangju City, South Jeolla, and Korea Electric Power Corporation. Gwangju City and the South Jeolla region will now provide charging sites located at the major hotspots nearby Songjeong Station Square, Gwanjgu Airport, U-Square and other places. In addition, Naju City, which is under construction, will be using electric cars for business purposes. They are planning on establishing 35 charging infrastructures, preferentially in the Gwangju/South Jeolla region, as well as 65 charging stations in the major cities using electric power areas, which will boost the industry.







Damyang Bamboo Festival 담양 대나무축제

MAY 1 - 5

MAY 10


MAY 17 Juknokwon (Bamboo Garden) area, Damyang-gun, South Jeolla Take the intercity bus (no. 311) at Gwangju bus terminal, get off at the Juknokwon bus stop (1 hour), and cross the street. 061-382-1330 www.bamboofestival.co.kr Hampyeong Butterfly Festival 함평 나비대축제

MAY 1 - 10


MAY 17

Gwangju International Center May Concert 광주국제교류센터 오월음악회 Bitgoeul Citizen Culture Center, 5 p.m. Free, Gwangju Park/ Jungang Bridge (south) bus stops, 062-226-2733, http://www.gic.or.kr * Tickets need to be picked up in advance Gwangju Business Inauguration Franchise Exhibition 2015 2015 광주창업∙ 프랜차이즈박람회 Kimdaejung Convention Center, 3000 won (free for advance registration), Kimdaejung Convention Center bus stop or Kimdaejung Convention Center subway station Exit 5, 062-611-2000, http://www.fitex.kr/ 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 stops, 062-613-7100, http:// artmuse.gwangju.go.kr

Namwon Chunhyang Festival 남원 춘향제

MAY 22 - 25

Hampyeong Expo Park area, Hampyeong-gun, South Jeolla) Take the intercity bus at Gwangju bus terminal and get off at Hampyeong terminal (30 minutes). From Hampyeong terminal, go 200 meters towards the Court Office (법원, 등기소). Turn right at the 3-way intersection and follow the sign for the Hampyeong Expo Park. 061-320-3364 http://www.hampyeong.go.kr/2008_hpm/hpm16/ sub/020304.php#

May 2015.indd 6

Gwanghalluwon and Yocheon Stream area, Namwon-si, North Jeolla Take the intercity bus at Gwangju bus terminal and get off at Namwon bus terminal (1 hour). From there, take the local bus no. 220 for Chueo samgeori (추어삼거리). Walk 325 meters to Gwanghalluwon (5 minutes). 063-632-5801 www.chunhyang.org



right to the city I local info

Boseong Green Tea Festival 보성 다향제 대축제

27 9

MAY 22 - 26


Korean Tea and Sori Cultural Park, Boseong Tea Fields, South Jeolla Take the intercity bus at Gwangju bus terminal and get off at Boseong terminal (1hour and a half). From Boseong Bus Terminal, take a Boseong-Gunhak 보성-군학 route bus to Daehan Dawon 대한다원 (15minutes). 061-850-5223~4 http://dahyang.boseong.go.kr/index.boseong

MAY 23-24

3 Days With My Mom (Play) 친정엄마와 2박3일 – 광주 Gwangju Culture & Art Center, 3, 7 p.m. Saturday / 2 p.m. Sunday, R seats 77,000 won, S seats 66,000 won, A seats 55,000 won, Gwangju Culture & Art Center bus stop, 1588-0766, http://ticket.interpark.com

International Rose Festival Gokseong 곡성 세계장미축제

HOURGLASS (1F) TRIPLE B PLAN (Unlimited Buffet, BBQ, and Beer) Enjoy a wide selection of freshly grilled meat and seafood prepared daily to order on the open charcoalfired grill with unlimited draft beer. You can feel a soft summer breeze on the outdoor terrace and savor the dining experience of selecting food from the full buffet spread with great BBQ items. Period: 22 May ~ 20 Sep Price: 45,000 won (VAT included) per person


MAY 22 - 31

Seomjingang Train Village and Rose Park, Gokseong-gun, South Jeolla Take the intercity bus at Gwangju bus terminal and get off at Gokseong bus terminal (1 hour). From there, take the local bus for Yeongun park (영운공 원). Walk 500 meters to Seomjingang Train Village. 061-360-8252 http://www.simcheong.com

La Place, grill & bar presents a new lobster promotion. Lobster salad is made with blue cheese dressing. Two Lobster tail is served with mashed garlic. Premium lobster tail with tenderloin is prepared at a reasonable price. Enjoy the fine dining with the amazing view at La Place. Opening hours: 18:00 – 24:00 (Sun-Thu) 18:00 – 02:00 (Fri-Sat) Reservation: 062- 610-7095 A Unique Lifetime Experience at Holiday Inn Gwangju For more information: 062-610-7063~4 www.holidayinngwangju.com

May 2015.indd 7






@ 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

May Home Match Schedule Date

Match Team



SK Wyverns

6:30 p.m.


SK Wyverns

5 p.m.


SK Wyverns

2 p.m.


KT Wiz

6:30 p.m.


Doosan Bears

6:30 p.m.


Doosan Bears

5 p.m.


Doosan Bears

2 p.m.


Samsung Lions

6:30 p.m.


Samsung Lions

5 p.m.


Samsung Lions

2 p.m.


NC Dinos

6:30 p.m.


NC Dinos

5 p.m.

KIA Champions Field, Weekdays: Adults 8,000 won/ Children 3,000 won, Weekends: Adults 9,000 won/ Children 4,000 won, Mudeung Baseball Stadium Bus Stop, www.tigers.co.kr May Home Match Schedule Date

Match Team



Jeonnam Dragons

2 p.m.


Suwon Bluewings

2 p.m.


Pohang Steelers

2 p.m.


Busan Ipark

2 p.m.


Jeju United

2 p.m.

Gwangju World Cup Stadium, Adults 5,000 won/ Children 3,000 won, World Cup Stadium Bus Stop, www. gwangjufc.com until


May 2015.indd 8

2015 Democracy, Human Rights, and Peace Exhibition: Dad’s Best Years 2015 민주인권평화전 ‘아빠의 청춘’ Gwangju Museum of Art, 10a.m.–6 p.m./ Closed on Mondays, 500 won, Gwangju Biennale/ Gwangju Biennale Entrance bus stops, 062-613-7100, http://www.artmuse.gwangju.go.kr/

Finding Vivian Maier 비비안 마이어를 찾아서 [Documentary] John Maloof, Charlie Siskel The movie tells the story of career nanny Vivian Maier as an accomplished photographer. Still Alice 스틸 엘리스 [PG-13, Drama] Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart The happily married wife of a renowned linguistics professor is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The Deep Blue Sea 더 딥 블루씨 [R, Drama, Romance] Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston The wife of a British judge is caught in a selfdestructive love affair with a Royal Air Force pilot. Whiplash 위플래쉬 [R, Drama] Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons A promising young drummer enrolls at a music conservatory, where he is mentored by a professor who abuses his students. * Remi Panossian Trio Jazz Concert will follow after the screening of this movie [May 2]

Secret 不能說的秘密 [Romance, Fantasy] Jay Chou, Gwei Lun-mei A piano prodigy encounters two mysterious students at a college of arts. Little Forest: Winter and Spring リトル・フォレスト 冬・春 [Drama] Ai Hashimoto, Mayu Matsuoka A young woman, who used to live in a big city, returns to her rural mountain village and while there, she lives self-sufficiently, taking advantage of local seasonal ingredients. Le Havre 르 아브르 [Drama] Andre Wilms, Blondin Miguel An African boy arrives by cargo ship in the port city of Le Havre and an old shoe shiner hides him from the authorities.





Everybody’s Business

Toronto Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell Speaks on Human Rights Written by Matthew Endacott Photos courtesy of Toronto City Government

May 2015.indd 9






wangju’s history carries the spirit of “freedom, equality, democracy, and peace,” making it an ideal place to host the World Human Rights Cities Forum for the third consecutive year in May 2015. Representatives from various cities around the world will congregate in Gwangju to address the human rights issues they are currently facing and exchange ideas and best practices. One of these representatives is Pam McConnell, Deputy Mayor of Toronto. Coming from a diverse community allows McConnell to share some important perspectives with Korean leaders. Collectively, Toronto’s residents speak over 140 languages. According to The Korea Times, the non-Korean population of South Korea is 3%, while Gwangju’s is 1.7%. Despite the very different demographics, McConnell holds the fundamental belief that when people work together, they can build strong and healthy communities. She draws inspiration from the community that she represents, admiring their engagement in ensuring the livability of their neighborhoods. McConnell began serving her community as a teacher in the youth shelter system and a manager of cooperative affordable housing, where she recognized the glaring need for more to be done to help people living in poverty. Since 1982, she has been working for the citizens of Toronto as an elected official: first as a school trustee, then in 1994 as a city councilor, and most recently as the deputy mayor. In addition to these offices, she belongs to many committees and coalitions committed to battling injustice. Her work has included creating programs that address discrimination based on race and sexual orientation and support of women seeking municipal office, making efforts to eliminate racial profiling by the Toronto police force, and leading Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. These and other accomplishments have given McConnell the opportunity to share her ideas and experience with the attendees of the Human Rights Forum in Gwangju. “It is so tremendously important that on issues such as human rights we share best practices around the world,” she says. “Having an opportunity to share the work we are doing in Toronto, and in particular the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy, in the international arena was very exciting. I look forward to listening to and learning from my colleagues at the Forum who are doing work in their own jurisdictions, and bringing those lessons back to Toronto and Canada.”

May 2015.indd 10




In McConnell’s view, education plays a critical role in establishing principles of human rights. “While legislation has an important function, I don’t believe that we will have a truly equitable, respectful, and harmonious society until human rights are seen as everybody’s business,” she says. “Instilling human rights language and principles at an early age through our education systems is the best place to start. Curriculum that addresses human rights, such as the anti-Apartheid curriculum in Toronto during Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment, allows us to pre-





4 1. 2. 3. 4.

Deputy Deputy Deputy Deputy

Mayor Mayor Mayor Mayor

McConnell McConnell McConnell McConnell

with neighbors at the Regent Park opening at the Protegee Launch at the Sojourn House opening speaking at Access Equity Human Rights

pare new generations to appreciate the importance of enshrining human rights values in all of their future decision-making.” She explains that the core of her efforts is ensuring equal access to opportunities for all people: equal access regardless of race, culture, gender, age, status, disability, sexual orientation; equal access to housing, services, and education; and equal ability to participate in the community, in decision-making, and in the workforce. “Barriers that prevent equal access to opportunities come at a steep cost — both a social cost and an economic cost,” she continues. “The cost of inequality is evident in our cities and in our neighborhoods, and it affects the health and balance of our communities. Poverty is the most obvious symptom of inequality.” One of Korea’s most pressing human rights issues is the poverty rate among its senior citizens. According to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, South Korea spends the second lowest amount on welfare for the elderly and its poverty rate. It ranks last among the 30 countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The

May 2015.indd 11

upcoming forum is an opportunity for Korea to address this issue and others that threaten human rights. To those who wonder how they can contribute to human rights, McConnell has some simple advice. “It is critical that human rights abuses, no matter how small or large, are called out when they occur. If you overhear someone making a racist or sexist remark, call them on it. If you read news reports about human rights abuses happening at home or abroad, learn about local groups that are organizing in response and join them,” she recommends. “When you are electing political representatives at any level of government, make sure you understand his or her track record on human rights. If you are inspired and driven, volunteer on the campaign!” As an inspired and driven person herself, McConnell believes that human rights and poverty are “everyone’s business.” Although she and the other delegates come from cities and countries with very different demographics and sociopolitical situations, it is the desire to create more equitable cities that brings people like Pam McConnell as leaders and learners to the World Human Rights Cities Forum.





Hello! My Name Is…

Basu Mukul Reaches Out to Immigrants Written by Karly Pierre Photos courtesy of Basu Mukul

이름 Basu Mukul points to the word on the dry erase board. “Ireum,”says Mukul, exaggerating his pronunciation so that the words linger in the air just as the small gathering of students begins to parrot him. The word goes through several transformations — from Korean, to English to Hindi — as Mukul translates for his Nepali and Pakistani students. There are only four students — three men, one woman — in the Universal Cultural Center. All are pensively glancing up at Mukul then down at their notebooks during class. Today’s lesson is basic: Where are you from? What do you do? What is your name? The students’ timidity is equally matched by their teacher’s confidence. He knows that Korean is essential to their success here and he is determined to see them succeed. A native of West Bengal, India, Mukul began studying to be a yoga monk with Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar — the founder of Ananda Marga — after completing high school. Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar developed a set of socioeconomic and political ideas called progressive utilization theory (PROUT) as an alternative to capitalism and communism. It is through Mukul’s discipline with his yogi that he found a firm philosophy that would be the driving force in his life. “Our basic concept was that you dedicate your life for the suffering humanity,” says Mukul. “And once you realize you are part and parcel of the universe, there is no nationality and no religion and there is no gender and no identity. You are just part of this universal being just like any other animate or inanimate being in existence. We are all interconnected,

May 2015.indd 12

correlated and interdependent, so it is our duty to take care of ecological and social issues. Every kind of problem is part of us.“ Mukul first arrived in Korea in 1989 after accepting an invitation from monks at Haeinsa Temple to teach a yoga meditation workshop. He returned a few years later, following the death of his teacher in the early 1990s, and became a student at Seoul National University. He studied religion as an undergraduate and graduate student. It was during his time at the university that he became aware of injustices in the foreign community in Korea. “When I was at Seoul National I saw many bad things happening to international students,” says Mukul. “The Ministry of Education didn’t bother and there was no voice for the foreign students. I realized there was no foreign student association… so I went to UNESCO and other human rights organizations and told them what was happening.” Through his efforts, an international student association was formed at Seoul National University to help guard the rights of the student body. Mukul also used the student association as a platform to launch cross-cultural awareness programs with the Korean community, which became model programs for UNESCO and other cultural organizations. “[The international students] provided a free interpretation service for factory immigrant workers who were getting sick,” says Mukul. “They used to die because of lack of language.” After completing his university studies, Mukul traveled around the world giving yoga lectures. It was a 2007 visit to Jiri Mountain for meditation






1 1. 2. 3.

Basu interviewed by a local television network about his active involvment with human rights Basu (center) and his students at the Universal Culture Center Basu on a recent trip to Egypt


that convinced him to settle in Gwangju. He began working with the Gwangju UNESCO and Gwangju International Center to build various intercultural exchange programs. Eventually, he opened the Universal Cultural Center. Mukul invested his own money into the center. Programs are run by volunteers and cost participants nothing. The center provides temporary housing and services including Korean language classes. These programs are mainly concerned with supporting international student and immigrant worker communities. “My main concern was human rights,” says Mukul. “If you talk about the factories, there are certain laws that they are supposed to follow. But they don’t follow them… Even Korean workers working in the factory [are not given adequate breaks]. And nobody speaks up because you are not supposed to speak up against your boss. This is a Confucian tradition that suppresses human rights in Korean society.” He felt that even if Korean workers had accepted this mindset, some foreign workers had not.

en and abused,” says Mukul. “… The Department of Labor only seemed to be concerned with siding with the factory owners. I wanted to address these issues.” A young man shuffles into class 30 minutes late. He takes a seat next to the other students in Mukul’s class and attempts to pronounce a few Korean words unsuccessfully. “His child is in the hospital,” Mukul later reveals to me. “He and his wife are staying in our guest house.” At the end of class, Mukul spends time on the phone trying to get the female student a job at a fried chicken restaurant. She nods and ladles sweet milkrice porridge into each student’s bowl as Mukul explains the job requirements. “I believe we have to pay all of our debts,” says Mukul. “After I was born I had debts to my parents, debts to my village, debts to my nation — wherever I am living. This cultural center is paying my debt to Korea…We are all important and the same in the universe. Service to humanity is service to God.”

“Sometimes in the past [foreign] workers were beat-

May 2015.indd 13





Who’s to Blame?

No Easy Answers to Solving Human Rights Abuse Written and photographed by Karly Pierre


he year-end Amnesty International Report branded 2014 as a “catastrophic” year for human rights. A “bleak” 2015 was anticipated. The 424-page document cited the ongoing conflict in Syria, extreme police force in the United States and the rise of Islamic groups like Boko Haram and ISIS, as a few of the myriad threats to human rights. But interestingly, Amnesty International placed partial blame for these human rights violations at the feet of world leaders.

U.S. Originally a commercial lawyer, Mensah began studying human rights law while attending Northwestern University. He was interested in the underlying causes of human rights violations, which he largely attributes to the weakness of a state. He offers his native country as an example. The state of Ghana, though abounding with human rights laws, is unable to enforce these laws.

“If you take it from a purely idealistic point of view, it is probably true that if governments made more of an effort, they would be able to protect civilians,” said Eugene Mensah, Chonnam University Human Rights Law professor. “But the truth is governments reflect our politics, and the primary motivation of our politicians is not to protect people — it is to line their pockets … The incentives of our political systems do not allow us to vote for the right kinds of people.”

“If you go to a police station in Ghana and you say you have a human rights problem, they will say we don’t have a car to arrest the guy,” said Mensah. “Maybe the boss is keeping the car for his private use. Why is he doing that? Because the state doesn’t have the capacity to enforce the rules … When I visit my mother outside the capital, I can drive for 60-70 miles and [the government has no presence there]. The people are just there. In the capital there are state institutions, but in the countryside there is nothing. How do you arrest someone?”

A native of Ghana, Mensah has studied and worked as a law professor in various countries, including the

Mensah notes that like Korea, Ghana was under the thumb of a strong military government. A key dif-

May 2015.indd 14




ference was that Korea’s military regime focused on development, whereas Ghana’s military regime did not. Now, working in a democracy, Ghana’s officials are still “not motivated to deal with the fundamental problems.” Ghanaian citizens often vote along ethnic lines, not for practical reasons.

Mensah believes that poor women like his former client are particularly vulnerable.

“Governments are not motivated to do anything because doing the right thing can be tough,” said Mensah. “Reducing government expenditures literally means that you take food from people’s mouths — people who [make money on] government contracts. Until there is a revolution in thinking about why we have government, we are going to continue to have these problems.”

In Ghana, Mensah observed, educated and wealthy women are able to protect their rights. While they do face some issues with gender expectations, discrimination against them is more subtle. But poor families routinely choose to invest their limited resources in their sons — not their daughters.

While he feels that NGOs in Africa do substantial work, they will not be the driving force of change on the continent because they only have solutions for pockets of the population. “NGOs solve a problem here, then it pops up there or five years after they leave,” said Mensah. “You need [a] strong government policy for NGOs to sustain what they are doing. The answer must come from the top and NGOs can support.” While working for nine years as a law professor in Ghana, Mensah said he often handled cases concerning human rights violations. He shied away from any claim of heroic motivation and admited it was something he sort of stumbled upon. “Contrary to what most people think, normal human rights cases that you deal with are basically poor people,” said Mensah. “I worked for a university and had a salary, so I didn’t have to charge anyone and got many referrals … Sometimes I would start a case thinking it would be a simple matter of telling the judge that something was unfair. But then you end up having to go to court again and again, and eventually you just get involved.” He recalls one of his cases in which a 70-year-old woman was held in jail for around a year on suspicion that she killed her husband. There was no evidence except for the fact that she reported that her husband was dead. Police largely ignored her declining health. “She was kept in a cell with men, criminals,” said Mensah. “She was poor and she didn’t understand the system.”

May 2015.indd 15


“All women have a raw deal everywhere, but if you come from an educated rich family, you are better off,” said Mensah.

“Traditionally women get water and they have to walk at least six miles to and from the water point,” said Mensah. “They are too tired to study when they return. Girls also marry at a young age, again cutting them off from the educational system.” Mensah adds that human rights violations are also first world problems. He notes that developed countries often look outside of their borders when discussing human rights violations and do not recognize their own failures. He points to police shooting African-American men in the U.S. and hostility toward foreigners in South Korea as examples. He argues that the most effective weapon against human rights violations is education. He recalled living in the U.S. and a visit to New Jersey to illustrate his point. “In Newark, walk around the city center and you feel depressed,” said Mensah. “But there is a town maybe 20-30 minutes away called Westfield. The place is such that you will probably do the right thing. If you live in Newark you are probably going to prison. If you can get a good job and go to Westfield, your life is made.” Even though getting an education and a good job may seem like overly simplified solutions to a problem that appears overwhelming, Mensah said it is crucial to breaking cyclical poverty and exploitation. “I always say in my class that human rights law is very limited, so when you educate someone, you solve maybe three-fourths of the human rights problems that a person will face,” said Mensah. “If you want to use the legal system to cure human rights problems, you are facing a losing battle. Education is the best way to fight.”





KAMP for Success Written by Katrin Marquez Photos courtesy of KAMP Daegu


’ve been very blessed to have her in my life,” said Tiffany Monreal. “Meeting with her is the highlight of my week.” Monreal is the current coordinator of the South Jeolla/Gwangju branch of the Korean Adolescent Mentoring Program, (KAMP), and in saying these words she is reflecting on the unique joy she receives from getting to develop a strong friendship with her high school-aged Korean mentee. KAMP is a young and expanding initiative which intends to improve the lives of Korea’s most vulnerable teenagers through one-on-one mentoring with foreigners. According to one of its founders — Elaine Townsend, who returned to her American home to pursue a career as a teacher — KAMP was started to address the issues faced by Korea’s multicultural, low-income, LGBT, disabled, orphaned and bullied teenagers — those students most likely to face challenges in Korean society. Though the program has retained its goals to “promote cultural awareness, provide professional and personal development opportunities, and upbuild the confidence of [their] mentees” from its inception, KAMP has since divided into two independently run branches, one in Daegu — where

May 2015.indd 16

the program was started — and its newer South Jeolla location. In 2013, four Fulbright English Teaching Assistants — grantees of the U.S. State Department’s Fulbright Program that work as native English teachers throughout Korea — worked together to organize KAMP. In this initial phase the Daegu-based organization Stompy Ruffers Cultural Fusion, a nonprofit that works to “fuse” Korean and Western cultures, was one of the sponsors of the initiative. When the original founders returned to the United States at the termination of their grants and the program suffered, Brian Van Hise contacted one of the founders to ask for permission to weave Daegu’s KAMP into Stompy Ruffers. Van Hise is now the director of the Daegu KAMP, working to strengthen the restructured program which he hopes will “make as strong an impact [on the Daegu community]” as the original program did. Though Fulbright ETAs are no longer in charge of Daegu’s KAMP, they, too, recognize the value of the program and, as such, brought it to South Jeolla — where other Fulbright initiatives have been successful — last year. Though still relatively small,





The mentors and mentees of KAMP

with 13 mentors each having one or two mentees, the program has been a success so far. Both Monreal and Brett Fitzgerald, last semester’s coordinator, are optimistic that the program can be expanded to other cities with ETAs, notably Busan and Sejong, in the coming years. Though KAMP has suffered some small administrative struggles in the past, both branches are looking to expand and improve. In South Jeolla province, Monreal credits Fitzgerald’s hard work in “streamlining most of the process” which has allowed for “KAMP [to] essentially [run] itself after the initial recruitment of participants [and allowed] relatively smooth transition between years and leaders.” Monreal is particularly enthusiastic about the impact the program has had thus far, emphasizing that it is “not every day that [the mentees] meet a foreigner so willing to be a part of their day. KAMP is doing something great for Gwangju and for South Jeolla.” Similarly, when speaking of the Daegu branch, Fitzgerald points out that KAMP’s value is not merely in English education, but instead in the mentees “having fun” and “find[ing] joy in a no-pressure, fun and exciting environment with local expats.” In order to ensure the success of the restructured program, Fitzgerald has slightly shifted the focus to group activities and outings which allow both the mentees and mentors more flexibility. In order to maintain the quality of the program, mentors are screened through an application process. Additionally, with

May 2015.indd 17

Daegu’s KAMP now a wing of Stompy Ruffers, Fitzgerald is enthusiastic about fundraising prospects to strengthen the program. In the end, however, for both of the branches the most rewarding parts of the program have not been administrative or organizational successes, but rather seeing the impact the program is having. As Monreal said, whether by “fostering an interest in the global community, exchanging culture and language, learning about each other's families and daily lives, or even just sharing a meal together, the coming-together of two people from opposite sides of the world is a momentous occasion and will have lasting effects.” According to Fitzgerald, KAMP provides a unique opportunity for the “mentees [who] seem to really enjoy making non-Korean friends at this important stage in their adolescent development,” especially since recent cutbacks in native English teachers have decreased students’ access to these types of interactions. Though beneficial for the mentees, KAMP is also inspiring for mentors like Monreal. “She's a kind soul and has taught me so much about Gwangju and Korean high school student life, and it's just so great to laugh with her and be someone that she can rely on,” she said.





Gwangju Universiade Countdown Begins! Written and photographed by 2015 Gwangju Universiade


n March 25, Gwangju began its 100-day countdown to the 28th Summer Universiade 2015. The Gwangju 2015 Universiade Organizing Committee (GUOC) kicked off the countdown with a series of promotional events in Seoul and Gwangju.

“One of the main goals of the 2015 Gwangju Universiade is to minimize the cost while maximizing efficiency for an economically and environmentally friendly event,” said Kim Yoon-suk, GUOC Secretary General.

As a part of raising awareness for the upcoming games, Gwangju launched a nationwide promotional tour. The promotional team is planning to tour eight more major cities around the country, which include Seoul, Busan, and Daegu in the run-up to the games.

The GUOC is also planning to host test events in a variety of functional areas, such as medical services, field of play, timing and scoring, etc. Sixteen sports, including swimming, athletics, tennis, archery, basketball and fencing will take place in the newly built and refurbished venues from April to June.

At Seoul Plaza, in front of Seoul City Hall, the GUOC unveiled a 10-meter-high tower promoting the Gwangju Universiade on Wednesday, March 25. The tower will remain in the heart of the capital until the end of the games.

In the lead-up to the Universiade, the draws for team sports will take place from April 11 to April 15 at the Heads of Delegation (HOD) Meeting. The draws for basketball, volleyball, water polo, football, baseball and handball will take place on Monday, April 13. Representatives from the participating nations, along with their counterparts from FISU and the organizing committee, will attend the HOD Meeting, hosted by the International University Sports Ferdation (FISU) and organized by the GUOC.

Later that day, the GUOC organized a fashion show at Shilla Hotel in Seoul, introducing uniforms for the volunteers, officials and torch-bearers, which showcased 84 items of sportswear and formal attire. Gwangju is also proudly known as “Ecoversiade” by minimizing new construction projects and its carbon footprint. Only three out of 70 facilities used during the games are newly built while the other 67 existing venues are under renovation.

May 2015.indd 18

Gwangju is the third city from the Republic of Korea to host a Universiade. Muju and Jeonju co-hosted the Winter Universiade in 1997, and Daegu held the Summer Universiade in 2003.




May 2015.indd 19






2015 Global Start-up Program for Foreigners Written by Lee Soo-young Photographed by Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology


reative Economy” is today’s agenda. People no longer have to be afraid of making their dreams become reality with a new support program called “2015 Technology Based Start-up Support Program for Foreigners”, which is designed for foreigners who want to make their ideas a reality in Korea. This program is organized by Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) and Korea Institute of Startup and Enterpreneurship Development (KISED), and operated by GIST (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology) and KIST (Korean Institute of Science and Technology) as Global Start-up Immigration Center.

Participants at the Mentoring camp

The aim of this program is to encourage foreigners with promising ideas to start their businesses here in Korea, with the hope of creating more jobs and boosting the Korean economy. The program provides up to 50 million Korean won that can be used for business expenses (depending on business area).There is also start-up education, so entrepreneurs can prepare themselves with the necessary knowledge about how to start or manage the many aspects of their business. If that is not enough, a mentoring program will help. Foreign entrepreneurs will have person-to-person consultation from various specialists who will connect them with possible investors. Additionally, other support programs, such as Intellectual Property Right, product certification, exhibition participation, and marketing are also available for the entrepreneurs. This program began in June 2014, when 28 foreign teams had been selected to start their businesses with the support of the program. Their business ideas ranged from creating game applications to thin-layer deposition equipment. Participants come from all around the world and vary in work experience. For example, there is a Korean participant who graduated

May 2015.indd 20

Participants come from various working experience

from foreign art school and worked for well-known companies as a designer and a Slovenian participant with a background in computer engineering. This year’s recruitment will be from April 20 to June 22. The main qualifications for the application is being a non-Korean citizen with at least a bachelor’s degree, a brilliant and feasible business idea, a Korean partner for fund support if possible and Korean back from studying abroad with at least bachelor’s degree. GIST will select approximately 30 teams in the first phase to give them the opportunity to develop their business plan in a more competitive way. The final selection of 15 entrepreneurs will happen in July, and supports such as funding and others will be given. If you are interested in further details, procedures and contents, please contact GIST Business Incubator, Lee Soo-young at 062-715-2595 or sooyoung5669@hotmail.com.





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

May 2015.indd 21

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 right to the city


How Gwangju Visitors Said “Yes” to Human Rights Last Year 2015

Written by Joey Nunez


lobal presenters and speakers enjoyed attending the World Human Rights Cities Forum 2014 from May 15 to 18, 2014. What they learned at Gwangju’s Kimdaejung Convention Center emphasized the theme “Towards a Global Alliance of Human Rights Cities for All.” Francielle Henrique Lucena, from Curitiba, Brazil, serves as the accessibility coordinator for the Special Secretariat of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. “What I really liked about the Forum was the exchange of cultures, knowing that in our field of work, everybody is talking about the same matters.” Lucena shared during the “City and Disability” thematic workshop. Brazilian policies have provided independent services, and during this Forum, Lucena also heard of other techniques, especially those originating in Korea. “I was impressed with how differently-abled people here in Korea go together [with others] to do activities together. So I liked how people here in Gwangju can have a life of independence, as other people should have.” Hedwig Schouten, the project manager for the City of Nuremberg, Germany, was a main speaker for the “City and Gender” thematic workshop. Schouten considers herself honored to share her work within a human rights and women’s office. “Women’s rights are human rights. It was also good to learn other examples from other countries with

May 2015.indd 22

how they are working for women.” Schouten stressed the reality that having a city become both human rights and women-friendly centered is both feasible and desirable. “One participant asked me, ‘What do you think: would Korean women/girls who are very timid go to a Girls’ Day?’ This is an idea that has been institutionalized in Germany and it is a very good concept. I said to her, ‘Yes, Korean women are strong, so they should show it more, and they should try it more.’” As the Public Relations Coordinator for Access Living, located in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., Gary Arnold, a main speaker for the “City and Disability” session, both received and shared new information concerning Accessibility and Universal Design Arnold was impressed with how Gwangju human rights advocates have succeeded in challenging the status quo, in the 1980s, and even still today. “People fought for democracy here, but that is not good enough. You have to go further, and the disability advocates here were saying, ‘This is a human rights city, and yet, why are only 12 to 15 percent of the buses accessible?’” Arnold stated that just because an urban city calls itself human rights orientated, the title is in vain if differently-abled citizens are not able to access public transportation. “You have to apply that concept to all citizens.” With the second installment of last year’s theme



right to the city I sewol update I local

starting on May 15, 2015, the echoing lessons learned from last year will help participants move forward towards a successful Forum and beyond for global human rights. Schouten deemed a global network of human rights cities to be interesting, desiring to take this concept not just to Nuremberg, but to other cities too. “To us from European cities, it is very important for us to state the meaning of human rights in the city, and to discuss housing, women’s rights, refugees and policies against discrimination.”


Arnold also challenged himself and others to “always dig deeper. Always look for other sides of the issues, always make sure to talk to people directly involved [with] the issues, and make sure to listen to the news.” Interested in participating in this year’s Forum? All sessions and workshops will be held in Korean and English at the Kimdaejung Convention Center. For more information on how you can participate as a visitor between May 15 to 18, 2015, please e-mail: whrcf2015@gmail.com.

SEWOL May 2015 Written by Kim Singsing


n March, the pre-announcement of legislation of the enforcement ordinance for the Special Sewol Bill, the “Special Law on Fact-finding of the April 16 Sewol Ferry Disaster and Building of a Safe Society,” was made by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. However, the bereaved families alleged that the law should be abrogated. The Special Sewol Bill is designed to seek the truth about the causes of the disaster in accordance with the sinking of the Sewol Ferry ongoing processes, including the search and rescue operations, salvage, followup steps, identifying those responsible for the disaster, providing support for the victims, establishing preventive measures and countermeasures against disasters and to build a safer society. The enforcement ordinance of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries stipulates that the government will conduct research, analysis and investigations to seek the truth about the April 16 Sewol Ferry disaster, which can presumably focus on analyzing the results of the governmental research rather than on discovering the facts about the disaster without interventions.

Translated by Kim Dong-hun

tems, policies and customs, instead of general plans for making a safer society whose articles might put a limit on these roles. The bereaved families protested against the government’s draft enforcement ordinance of the Sewol Special Bill, which was suppressed by governmental authority wielded by the Korean police. Even one year after the occurrence of the disaster, the bereaved families are still calling for a prompt, intact salvage of the sunken ship, abrogation of the enforcement ordinance of the presidential decree that hinders fact-finding efforts, agreement on the draft enforcement ordinance of the Special Investigation Committee, continued search operations for those still missing following salvage of the sunken ferry and condemning the government for impeding efforts to seek the truth concerning this disaster. Parts of the article were extracted from lawyer Kim Joonhyun’s contribution to the newspaper of the Journalists Association of Korea on April 8, 2015 titled, “Fruitless Enforcement Ordinance of the Special Sewol Bill.”

Although the Sewol Special Bill is to identify causes of this tragic disaster, clarify responsibilities and establish countermeasures for making a safer society to prevent further disasters, the enforcement ordinance provides plans to prevent marine accidents, such as laws, sys-

May 2015.indd 23




local I gwangju talks

“How have human rights developed in Gwangju? Are people aware of advances?” Written and interviewed by Ki Su-yeon, Kim Ji-heon, and Lee So-eun

LEE GI-HYUK (MALE/19/HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT) When I took a bus to go to school, the bus was filled to capacity. The bus stopped at a station, and a grandmother got on the bus. At that very instant, two passengers gave a place to her. Most students think they are well aware of human rights, but it is not true. I think that a human right is kind of an abstract concept, so Gwangju promotes human rights by holding fun events for students. I think all Korean schools should adopt human rights courses because students lack understanding. KIM JI-WON (FEMALE/17/HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT) I think human rights for social minorities in Gwangju are still insufficient. Nowadays, there are growing numbers of students who come from different national backgrounds — so-called the “multicultural family.” Even though the government is promoting their immigration and adaptation, there is still discrimination toward them. Also, the public facilities are inconvenient for disabled people. They find it hard to use mass transportation, which makes their social participation difficult. It is important to raise awareness about human rights among all people. To do that, an education program should be offered. Also, civic facilities should be upgraded for the convenience of the disabled. I’d like to participate in human rights activities to learn more about it. And I want to ask for financial support from the government. HAN SEA-BYEOL (MALE/25/UNIVERSITY STUDENT) Human rights in South Korea have developed because of the people who have dedicated their life to make a fair society. A lot of unknown people fought against injustice, and their sacrifice became the base of the democracy we are trying to achieve now. On May 18, 1980, Gwangju citizens stood up for what was right and fought against the military dictatorship. More than 500 people died at the hand of Korean soldiers that fired on them. However, the blood made people desire democracy, and they have changed the country into its current form little by little. I think Gwangju citizens have to solve the problem about their own history first. Even though May 18 was the great movement for democracy, people outside Gwangju didn’t know much about it and often misunderstood it as a riot because when the incident happened, government controlled the media and justified their violation by saying Gwangju citizens were traitors that tried to connect with North Korea. It is Gwangju’s duty to let other people know the truth and make them change their minds. Because not only were they victims, they are also the ones who know the real history. Martin Luther King Jr. once said that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Even if some problems are not directly related to me, if it is harming people, I have to be concerned about it. For instance, I’m not one of the Sewol Ferry victims, but I will support them to change the law so it won’t happen again. I’m just an individual so maybe my support is not good enough. However, there are lots of individuals like me who can choose to defend justice, and it will make a bigger change of our society one day.

May 2015.indd 24



gwangju talks I local



Gwangju has a long history with the human rights movement and a high standard of human rights education. However, it seems that the actual level of awareness about human rights among citizens is not that high. Even though Gwangju is called as a city of human rights, the average citizen does not think much about it. To preserve and improve the value of human rights, the education of future generations should be put first. While most students sit behind their desk for most of their time, they are delivered textoriented lectures without any opportunity to experience and sympathize with people. The shift from rote learning to field study is the key to encourage students to think more about human rights. I believe the most official and effective ways to claim one’s right is political participation. I will learn about the rights we have and the ways to participate in the politics in order to teach citizens how to protect their rights and contribute to society.

I think the rate of developing in human rights is not very high these days. The reason is that human rights are closely related to welfare, and Korea’s welfare system has many problems. Teach students about human rights in schools. Citizens can establish a human rights organization supported by Gwangju city and participate in a campaign to promote human rights.

LEE GA-YEONG (FEMALE/30/HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER) I think human rights in Gwangju have developed a lot over the years. People can have long hair, stay at a bar late at night, or read political books without worries to be taken to the police station, which they couldn’t do a few decades ago. Now we have basic human rights. The next step is to claim the right to be happy. Because of the long working hours, many workers find it difficult to balance their work and personal life. We sometimes feel there is not enough time to spend with our family. Although government is regulating the work-week, in some cases, it is easily violated. I don’t know how to make companies obey the regulations. Maybe I could learn more about the labor law. But I’m afraid of standing out. People would think of me as irresponsible or say I’m acting odd. Because of the rigid hierarchy in the workplace, I cannot express my opinion freely. Maybe the first step to promote human rights would be to make more equal working environments in order to encourage workers to state their opinion.

May 2015.indd 25


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!




local I international community

Islam Grows Within Gwangju Written by Joey Nunez Photographed by Kipp Jones and Rischan Mafrur


ith Gwangju’s development, the city’s Islamic community is likewise developing. According to the Pew Research Institute, Islam is the second-largest religion in the world, with 23 percent of the population comprising 1.6 billion followers. From the Korean Muslim Federation (KMF), 120,000130,000 Muslims living in Korea bow to Allah, with 45,000 Muslims having Korean descent. In Korea, Islam shares 1.7 percent of the religious population with Confucianism, Hinduism, Judaism, the Unification Church and other religious belief-systems. Gwangju News was privileged to interview and receive responses from both Rischan Mafrur, a Muslim Indonesian from Chonnam National University, and Mazhar Iqbal, a Muslim Pakistani from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology. Both leaders see that needs are being met. “Mosques have a great importance in the life of Muslims. Without mosques, Muslims are like fish out of water,” said Mafrur. Gwangju’s Islamic community that participates in mosque services is comprised of international residents from the Middle East, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Pakistan. Both representatives state that Indonesians have the most Muslims in Gwangju, with Pakistanis representing the second largest group. Mafrur and Iqbal consider the Mosque to be a safe environment where no restrictions exist concerning language, culture or even worship styles, as participants have no need to fear being different. “We share our situations with each other to get solutions to our problems. The Mosque is not only for worship, but it is an important community center for Muslims. So having a mosque in Gwangju is really a blessing,” Mafrur added.

May 2015.indd 26

Both leaders love their religion and explained its appeal; “Islam is a beautiful religion which glitters when Muslims try to practice in its spirit. So the people feel attraction when they look at those practices.” Unlike other world religions, Mafrur and Iqbal would rather invite interested non-Muslims to come into their community, instead of converting them to Islam. Rather than preaching, the pair holds themselves accountable for guiding both the committed followers and those who are interested. So when a new person comes in and desires to know more about Islam, an appointed leader serves by competently sharing the depths of the religion, how to follow Allah and what Muslims are expected to do. The 2015 Ramadan will commence at sunset on Wednesday June 17, and conclude on Friday at sunset, July 17. According to Belief.net, Ramadan is a month’s remembrance of when Muhammad witnessed revelations and recorded his findings for what would later become the Holy Quran. Thus, Muslims pray to Allah, and sawm (fast) while the sun shines, and then break the fast by enjoying their nightly meals with family and friends. With a few participating Gwangju residents, both Mafrur and Iqbal consider Ramadan to be a nice celebration, with the entire Muslim community here gathering to enjoy Iftaar (completion of fasting) in the Mosque. The community likewise prepares dishes for over 100 people, with chefs using their own money to prepare communal dishes. “The actual purpose of this event is to get pleasure from the Almighty Allah, as Muslims believe in one Allah controlling all the universes,” said Iqbal. Mafrur and Iqbal have learned three main lessons as Gwangju Muslims. As part of a religious minority, both leaders desire to accommodate other Muslim brethren by fully representing and respecting



international community I local



2 1. 2. 3. 4.



The mosque is a safe environment for Muslim and act as an important community center (Pictured: Abuja National Mosque) Korean language courses held at the mosque Religious gatherings held by an appointed leader Mafrur leading religious service at the mosque

different cultures and languages. They have seen firsthand this demonstration of positive behavior by being among Muslim friends and with good Koreans. “One of our friends had a surgery and all the Muslims helped him financially without considering his nationality, language, or culture,” said Mafrur. As Gwangju expands in more ways than just population statistics and size proportions, Mafrur and Iqbal hope to see more halal products and more mosques constructed in the future, for the growing Islamic community.

May 2015.indd 27

GWANGJU MOSQUE (MASJID UMAR BIN KHATTAB) Address: 284-13, Yangsan-Dong, Buk-Gu, Gwangju 광주 북구 양산동 284-13 Tel: 062-972-5136 Fax: 062-972-5135 Website: www.quran.or.kr/gwangju E-mails: gwangjumosque@gmail.com, gwangjumuslims@gmail.com Bus stop: Yangsan Hosu Park (양산호수공원) * Halal food shop is available at the Mosque




local I gwangju plays

Petit à Petit

A New French Club in Gwangju Written and photographed by Solène Heurtaux


t is when I went to the GIC Day last year that I realized that interesting things could be done.” Lauréline Claeys, French professor at Chonnam National University since September 2014, has created the first French Club in Gwangju. Originally from Bordeaux, France, Lauréline is now dedicating her time and efforts towards promoting the French culture and language in Gwangju. After graduating with a Master’s Degree in French Linguistic Sciences, Lauréline started her career by teaching French as a Foreign Language for four years in China. Due to the pollution in her school’s city, which triggered her asthma, she needed to return to her home country, where she taught French to foreigners, literacy to international residents, and French Literature and Culture to French students.

May 2015.indd 28

It was during those three years spent in France that she realized how much she missed Asia. “I could not return to China, so South Korea, and more particularly Gwangju, seemed to be the perfect destination for me.” Soon after arriving in South Korea, she discovered that the French culture and language were not well represented in the City of Light. “There was a gap regarding the French language and culture in Gwangju,” Lauréline said. The necessity of creating a French club became obvious to her. “I decided to create a way for people to know about what is happening in their city. I wanted to bring Gwangju closer to the French culture.” The project first started in October 2014 with the creation of a language exchange workshop at



gwangju plays I local

Club members on the bus to Jeonju, where they went to a French Day celebration (Fête de la Francophonie)

Chonnam National University. Advanced students in French gathered together with Lauréline and shared their thoughts and comments about the news and other related topics. After discussing with six volunteer Korean students about her project of creating a better way to gather the community together, Lauréline decided to turn this workshop into a larger club, that more people would join, and through which events could be organized. The Club Petit à Petit (쁘띠 따 쁘띠) was created. The name — with its English translation being “Step by Step” — refers to her wish to allow people the chance to learn about the French culture with an easy and enjoyable process. According to Lauréline, the cultural differences between France and Korea are wide, so time is needed to approach this European culture quite gradually. “Students should be culturally curious and unconcerned about mistakes to progress effectively,” Lauréline encouraged. Petit à Petit is a way for both Koreans and international residents to meet, along with serving as a way for the French-speaking community of Gwangju to gather; and for Koreans to practice the language and learn about the culture from native French speakers. Meetings are in a cafe near Chonnam Back Gate, and the Facebook Group page promotes every event related to the French culture or language happening in Gwangju. “Gwangju is growing culturally. I would like to be part of this growth and I think it is the good time to promote the French culture in Gwangju. The gap

May 2015.indd 29


Lauréline Claeys

Logo of Petit à Petit

needs to be filled […]. I am very optimistic about the growth of this project.” To contribute and support the actions of Petit à Petit in Gwangju, you can either participate in the meetings for 3,000 won, or become a member of the Club for 10,000 won. Membership will allow you to participate in any of the French meetings for free, as well as receiving promotions on drinks, as well as, other events. The Club will meet on — Friday, April 10; Saturday; May 2, Friday; May 15 and Saturday; May 30, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. — to discuss the news, French culture and history and many more topics. A music festival will be held on Friday, June 19th to celebrate the end of the semester with music. For more information, please contact: petitapetitchonnam@gmail.com 010 9804 1082 You can also find Petit à Petit (쁘띠 따 쁘띠) on Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/petitapetit/




local I gwangju cooks

Apple & Kimchi Ham Sandwich Recipe written and photographed by Joe Wabe


hat? You have never eaten an apple and kimchi sandwich? They are so easy, and good for you, like all things kimchi. For those of you who might have any lingering doubts as to how truly easy and delicious this sandwich is to make, go ahead and give it a try. The taste of apples, kimchi, and ham with the rest of the veggies and yogurt will not disappoint. It is a beautiful spring combination.



Toasted grain bread Plain yogurt 3 slices of ham 1 slice of cheese Thin slices of apple Thin slices of onion Thin slices of bell pepper Thin slices of fresh tomato Kimchi Lettuce

After toasting the bread slather as much (or as little) yogurt as you like, add a slice of cheese to the bottom layer. Then add a layer of lettuce, apples, onion, bell pepper and kimchi. Top with a second layer of bread, and then add the ham and tomato plus an extra layer of lettuce and apples. Cut the sandwich in half for easier eating. Enjoy!

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

May 2015.indd 30



gwangju eats I local

Sagyejeol Heukyeomso


Written and photographed by Cody Jarrett


t is all too easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to Korean food. For anyone looking to explore the lesser-known areas of Korean cuisine, Sagyejeol Heukyeomso is a good place to start. Featuring a menu built around goat meat, this is the perfect place to escape the ordinary and try something new. ATMOSPHERE AND SERVICE Sagyejeol Heukyeomso looks just like a million other Korean restaurants with its wooden interior and long, low tables. On a slow day, the owners may be relaxing on floor mats and watching kickboxing on TV, but do not let that turn you away. The service was fast and friendly, with special care taken to explain how to use some of the out-of-the-ordinary condiments to season the soup at the table.

FOOD If it is not obvious from the restaurant’s outer décor, with pictures of black goats roaming around freely on green hills, this is the place to go for all things goat. The menu offers goat meat prepared three ways. The first of these is heukyeomso yangtang, or goat stew. Also available are heukyeomso sooyook, which is long strips of goat meat steamed at the table on a bed of green onions, and heukyeomso jeongol, a large hotpot filled with meat, broth and an assortment of vegetables. The stew came with the usual assortment of sides of kimchi and radishes. After bringing out the bowls of stew, our server directed our attention to two unknown condiments on the table. The first was a red bottle that contained a red pepper sauce similar to gochujang, but a little thinner and not quite as spicy. The other was a small jar of brown powder that seemed to be ground perilla seeds. The idea is to squirt some of the pepper sauce into a small side dish and then flavor the sauce to taste using the perilla powder. This is then used as a dipping sauce for the meat from the soup.

May 2015.indd 31

The stew itself was delicious and perfect for a cool day. The thick, dark broth seemed to be seasoned heavily with more of the perilla powder and contained large amounts of green onions. Digging into the soup with chopsticks revealed large chunks of incredibly tender goat meat. Goat meat usually has a reputation for being very gamey, but the meat here just seemed to absorb the flavor of the broth. As a harder-to-find dish, goat meat is a little pricier than other options. The stew costs 13,000 won per serving. The steamed and hotpot preparations come priced at a level that makes them better to try as a group. Both cost 45,000 won for a small order and 65,000 won for a large. DIRECTIONS Address: 광주 광산구 장덕동 1437번지 (1437 Jangdeokdong, Gwangsan-gu, Gwangju) Tel: 062-962-9993 Opening hours: Daily 11 a.m.– 9:30 p.m.(closed on the fourth Sunday of every month) Bus: 11, 49, 72, 196 (Jangdeok Village Stop). You should see restaurants and small stores on your right, with some houses to your left across the street. Walk straight until you reach the major four-way intersection. Turn right here and walk for about three minutes into a strip of several restaurants. Sagyejeol Heukyeomso is at the end of a short street behind a Naju Gomtang restaurant, near the end of the strip.




photography I fashion on the street

Close Up!


Close U p


Interviewed and translated by Lee So-eun and Ki Su-yeon Photographed by Karly Pierre






Wie Lili

Lee Hyun-ho

Lee Sung-ji

Na Yu-jin

Kim Ji-eun

Chanel black leather Dallas handbag Celebrity style icon: Fan Bingbing

Red knotted men’s clutch Celebrity style icons: Gong Hyo-jin, Seo In-guk

Two-tone green and pink handbag and colorful print Mary Janes with ribbon Celebrity style icons: Go Jun-hee & Gong Hyo-jin

Red white and blue striped canvas clutch Celebrity style icon: Ryeo-won

Silver metallic clutch Celebrity style icons: Gong Hyo-jin, Gang Min-kyung

May 2015.indd 32



now trending I local


[Now Trending]

ABOUT SOME Interviewed and translated by Lee Jeong-min and Lee Seong-hyeon Photographed by Karly Pierre


bout Some opened its doors one year ago and provides its clientele with easy-going styles. The boutique’s owner gave Gwangju News insight to local fashion trends. What’s the best selling item in your shop? My best selling items are T-shirts. Styles change so much these days, but T-shirts are versatile. You can wear a T-shirt in many different ways for a casual or more sophisticated look. What brands do you sell? I usually buy wholesale from Dongdaemun Market in Seoul and choose the clothes myself. There is no certain brand. What is the most popular color these days? These days many people like white because it is a popular color with celebrities. People usually follow the fashion trends that celebrities set. Also, I think that white is a color that suits most people.

May 2015.indd 33

I admire the actress Choi Ji-woo because she has a very basic style. She doesn’t wear clothes that are too fancy. Everybody can identify with her style. What styles do your customers usually buy? Now my female customers are interested in buying girlish looks, especially light lacy clothes. Spring is a time when girls want to be feminine, so a lot of my customers are looking for delicate looks. What kind of accessories do you like? I’m into unique styles, especially accessories with big geometric shapes because these styles stand out. I like buying styles for the store that I would wear. ABOUT SOME 어바웃썸 Address: 107-3, Bullo-dong, Dong-gu, Gwangju Opening Hours: 1 p.m.-10 p.m. Kakao Story: https://story.kakao.com/ch/aboutsome1 Website: http://lola1220.blog.me/220329553097




photography I photo essay

The End of Spring Written and photographed by Joe Wabe


pring has always had a very special place in my memory when I think back on my first days in Korea. I arrived at the end of winter about 12 years ago. Although this wasn’t my first time in Korea, my only experience of the country’s four seasons was the summer of 2002, during the Soccer World Cup. However, since I grew up in a very tropical climate and had spent most of my life living near the ocean in hot weather, summer here was nothing new for me. Hot and humid: just like home. When I arrived, the weather was cold and the worst had already passed; it was only chilly and dry. I had also lived in Texas before for about four years and so these conditions felt very similar to the southern winters of the US.

moon as well as how to make them stand up beautifully tall forever. The letter was handwritten, something that is rare in these modern times of email and texting. She always told me how she thought about that letter all the time and how much it meant to her.

But one day magic happened. I walked out of my place, the middle of March if I remember correctly, and I was so impressed to see flowers of every color and pure beauty popping up out of nowhere. It seemed like everything just happened overnight. The colors were trying to escape from their concrete prisons to put on a chromatic show of beauty. The more I walked, the more I saw. I saw flowers that I had never seen before that were just coming out of everywhere.

It is almost the end of spring now and although my grandma has been gone for many years, the emotions that this season brings to me are not. They return every year. Every spring, I get excited about the blooming that is about to start. I try to take different photos, from different angles and use different techniques to make every year a unique, memorable photographic experience. Especially the cherry blossoms, something I have never experienced before, make me look forward to a new photo experience.

I decided to write a letter to my grandma, telling her how beautiful Korea was, and how I was amazed with all the flowers blooming everywhere. My grandma had a special relationship with flowers. She had the most amazing rose garden in the backyard, and was always very proud of it. She used to teach me how to trim the roses during certain phases of the

I sometimes wish my grandma could see the photos, or perhaps she has, as I believe that she has become a part of everything that is beautiful. And her garden of roses is now a permanent place in my heart.

May 2015.indd 34



photo essay I photography

May 2015.indd 35






[Photo of the Month] By Tháť‹nh PhĂĄt Cao

Purple Spring A little flower beside the road. Such a tiny cutie might be neglected due to our hasty step. But it was magically beautiful beneath the sunshine. I took this photo on a sunny spring afternoon at Chosun University School of Medicine.

May 2015.indd 36



korea in the world I places to see


Memories of Kenya Written and photographed by Kim Seunghan


IRST STEPS IN THE NEWLY EMERGING WORLD I viewed Kenya as one of many indistinguishable African countries until about a year ago, when I was selected by the Foreign Ministry to work in the Korean Embassy in Kenya as a program officer for public diplomacy. At first, the challenge of being dispatched to Kenya gave me a lot of stress. I was afraid of being attacked by terrorists, since terrorists had attacked one of the biggest shopping malls in Nairobi. I had a prejudice that Kenya would be far behind civilization, leaving me to survive in the wild. My real, invaluable experiences in Kenya brought me to a newly broadened perspective and corrected my prejudice, which stemmed mostly from the misleading sensationalism of the mass media. “HEART-TO-HEART” IN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY One of the major jobs of the Korean Embassy is supporting pro-Korean collaborators in the fields of culture, including music. The embassy’s efforts account for the fact that more and more Kenyan citizens have begun to recognize the presence of Korea on the world stage and to care for Korean culture. I experienced that care firsthand when I got the opportunity to join the wedding of a Kenyan celebrity who received credentials as a Korean goodwill ambassador. As a delegate of the Korean Embassy, I gave him a wedding gift and offered a congratulatory statement. In telling the story of how he came to care for Korea, he expressed his sincere appreciation to the Korean Embassy. All the wedding guests joined the bride and groom and danced joyfully together. Ultimately, public diplomacy is a heart-to-heart between cultures. SIGNS OF THE KOREAN WAVE IN KENYA My primary assignment required me to promote Korean culture in Kenya to stimulate solidarity between the two countries. Among many other projects, I was responsible for a Korean film festival in Nairobi. The festival enabled me to recognize

May 2015.indd 37

Top: Writer attended a Kenyan celebrities’ wedding as part of Korean goodwill ambassador Right: Writer in front of Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Nairobi, Kenya

the popularity of Korean films in Kenya, as nearly 1,200 Kenyan citizens gathered to watch the films. With the momentum from that popularity, the Korean Embassy embraced the challenge of launching Korean film festivals in Mombasa and Kisumu. A highlight for me was the audience reaction to the sad ending of “Miracle in Cell No. 7” (7번방 의 선물). I was thrilled when they cried out for an encore of the film. I believe that in the long run, the Korean Wave will prosper in central Kenya. THE NEW KOREAN WAVE As program officer for public diplomacy, my goal was to help people know more about Korea. After the success of major events like the film festival, I am sure that more Kenyans developed a deeper interest in and better understanding of Korea. I hope my work will contribute to the creation of a new Korean Wave in the future.




places to see I my korea

The sea parting walk is the highlight of the festival

Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival Written and photographed by Veronica Lee


ince coming to Korea, it has been my goal to complete my Korean bucket list and this spring, my goal of walking on water has finally been accomplished. The Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival has been on my list for two years now and it is one of those desired must-do experiences that every traveler to the South Jeolla province should experience. The Yellow Sea parting event known as the Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival has been the highlight of my Korean experience this year, and the experience was like walking into a Salvador Dali painting; it was all very surreal. Imagine looking out into the crowd of people, some gathering and digging for consumable treasures; others chatter away as they slosh through the ocean, and still others quickly pass you by as they move toward their goal: reaching the distant island of Modo. Surrounding you are the faces of other participants beaming with excitement and curiosity

May 2015.indd 38

as they journey alongside of you on this magical adventure. As you look out into the horizon at the setting sun that blankets the crowd, you cannot help but smile. At that moment, you realize that you are standing on the ocean floor where the sea creatures dwelled only a few hours ago, and it is absolutely amazing. Jindo is the third largest island in Korea and every year it hosts several wonderful festivals including the sea-parting festival, which delights many travelers. The Yellow Sea is at its lowest level twice a year because of the tidal activity known as Tidal Harmonics. For one magical hour-and-a-half, sometime during the spring each year, visitors can walk right between the two islands of Jindo and Modo. This natural phenomenon takes place two to three times a year, but the festival is celebrated only once a year. This festival is a welcoming celebration that announces to the Korean locals that spring has awakened from her slumber.



my korea I places to see

The statue of an old woman and a tiger depicting the most popular legend of Jindo

A visitor collecting mussels

Lively festival where the locals celebrate with drums and song

The city of Jindo celebrates this event with zest and song. There is a parade that marches right through the sea parting, leading the way for many visitors to experience walking on water, as they splash through the 2.9 km pathway revealed by the low tide. Guests can also contribute to the festival as participants rather than just spectators by acting as flag carriers in the parade. Traditional drums and songs are heard throughout the festival site and the spirit of the Korean people is brought to life through a lively celebration. In addition to the colorful parade, visitors can partake and delight their palates with a taste of some international cuisine as tents representing different countries provide a selection of foods from all around the world. In addition to the international food venues, guests can experience a taste of tradition starting with Korea’s traditional dish called sannakji. This dish is very tasty but only for those who are brave enough to swallow the slightly-flavored live octopus. In addition to the festival, Jindo has many other wonderful places to explore. For dog lovers, Jindo offers a chance to interact with one of Korea’s National Treasures, the Jindo dog. This loveable,

May 2015.indd 39


Writer with “Moses” (Photo by Daniel Eastwood)

A live octopus

smart and loyal dog is native to the island. It is fiercely loyal and protective of its human owners and their territory. Due to their nature, the adult dogs are slightly aggressive to any outsider, so visitors should be cautious when approaching them. However, at the Jindo Dog Park, visitors are given the opportunity to interact with these delightful canine puppies and be showered with lots of puppy love. There is also a local place to see more traditional arts, so if time allows you can stop by Ullimsanbang for some quiet rest and restoration.




places to see I departing gwangju

Getting Lost in Kuala Lumpur Written and photographed by Tim Snell



ould you like that in venti?” the Starbucks man said, doing what all good Starbucks baristas do: push the upsize. I stuck with my smaller coffee and sat down, pulling my notebook out.

Tourist attractions are similar.

Across the road was a Subway and next to it a Samsung store; crowding the view between me and them was a jam of buses, each with a McDonald’s advert on the side. On the street, people carried shopping bags — from H&M, from Gap. This could be any city in the world. In fact, it was Kuala Lumpur, KL, the capital of Malaysia.

‘Stupid question, nothing has changed. I still love the same people, hate the same food. I feel now is the same as before except I have seen different things’. It is anticlimactic. No new insight, no revolution of character. Where is the travelling in that?

In this brand-soaked world, the personality of a city can easily be lost to the traveler who sticks to the familiar. Where is the KL in Starbucks? Where is the Malaysia in Burger King? Picture this (for the moment): your 18th or 21st birthday, or just after. You are with your extended family and someone (probably an aunt) asks: ‘So what is it like now that you are 18?’ Your thoughts: ‘Stupid question, nothing has changed. I still love the same people, hate the same food. I feel now is the same as before except I can drink.’ It is anticlimactic. No new insight, no revolution of character. Things continue as they always did.

May 2015.indd 40

‘What is it like after seeing So-and-So Temple? That Botanical Park? The city from the City Tower?’

What is the traveler to do? How can they discover what they want from a city? Well, listen up, travelers, my advice is simple: get yourself lost! It starts simply: leave your place of stay. Then, go! Relish the moment: do not plan beyond the turning at the end of the road. I walked a lot, and got lost a lot, and (despite a few trips to Starbucks) this is how I got to know Kuala Lumpur. Parts of Kuala Lumpur are like Bangkok in that if you see an old man and a young woman it is more likely than elsewhere they are not father and daughter. At least, this is true of Bukit Bintang — a large, shady corner of the city, which plays as the main host to moneyed tourists. On one memorable occasion (after getting myself too lost) I got into a taxi and entered into conversation with the cabbie. We



departing gwangju I places to see






1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


Kuala Lumpur skyline dominated with high skyscrapers and Petronas Twin Towers; Kuala Lumpur Tower (or KL Tower) serves as communication purposes Chicken briyani (Indian-style fried rice) (Photo credit: Curry Leaf Restaurant) Nasi Lemak, Malaysia’s representative dish (Photo credit: Chensiyuan) Masjid Negara (National Mosque of Malaysia) (Photo credit: Graeme Maclean) Bukit Bintang area (Photo credit: Sham Hardy)

spoke about England, Manchester United, and the position-jostling in the Premier League. He spoke about his family. Then, after a pause: Me: This is a crazy city. Cabbie: I have young girls. You want young girls? I have young girls. (Me: He’s not talking about his family any more, is he?) Me: No, thank you. *Silence* Cabbie: But my brother is a big, big Man U fan. But one sleazy cabbie (and two more discrete, whispered propositions in Bukit Bintang) is an unfair representation. KL is, after all, the capital of a Muslim country and it bears the hallmarks of such a culturally-rich affiliation. I was in the northern end of the city in search of the National Gallery, but I got lost. One turn and then another and an Indian restaurant appeared on the corner: dinner time. The most delicious food I had in KL (topping even the frog-something in Chinatown). Chicken Vindaloo: delicate and spicy. Then the call to prayer from the nearby mosque sounded out: piercingly beautiful — unforgettable.

A quick guide for the senses: The smell: cheap aftershave, sewers slightly ajar (it seems), and the food: spices: peppercorn, chili. The sights: travelers with henna tattoos, tall buildings (and broken down old ones), and mopeds on the pavement. The sounds: those mopeds, many different languages, and whining machines throughout the city: building, fixing. The taste: flash-fried fish, sweet chili; nasi goreng (fried rice) and countless types of fresh juice: watermelon, mango, cucumber, carrot. The feel (tricky): the weighty humidity and painful seats on transport or on the platform. Should you visit Kuala Lumpur? Well, you decide. What I care about is getting lost; because that is a surer way of originality in any travel mission. Do not plan, try in the moment — fail if needs be — and discover. What did I discover, then, from my time in KL? I discovered the essence of travelling. Sooner or later one realizes it is not about travelling, per se. Travelling is about resonating experiences: stories, unforgettable sensations, experiences that, if they have not changed you, linger in your memory, waiting to be called upon.

What is it like to be there, though? What are the sensations for a guy lost in KL?

May 2015.indd 41



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


culture I korean poetry

Orchid by Pak Mok-Wŏl Written by Pak Mok-Wŏl Translated by Brother Anthony of Taize

I want to take a last farewell now.

이쯤에서 그만 하직하고 싶다.

At present, while I still have some leisure, with both

좀 여유가 있는 지금, 양손을 들고


나머지 허락 받은 것을 돌려보냈으면

I would like to give back the remains of what was

여유 있는 하직은


얼마나 아름다우랴.

How beautiful is

한 포기 난을 기르듯

a leisurely farewell.

애석하게 버린 것에서

Like cultivating an orchid,

조용히 살아나고

quietly coming alive

가지를 뻗고,

out of what was regretfully cast aside,

그리고 그 섭섭한 뜻이

extending branches

스스로 꽃망울을 이루어

and then that longing


producing its own bud,

먼 곳에서 그윽히 향기를


머금고 싶다.

I want to exhale a delicate fragrance in a distant place.

May 2015.indd 42



gwangju writes I culture


Lady of the Night A short poem written by Boipelo Seswane

She stands under the bright street-light, she with her ruby red lips, fishnet stalkings and, skimpy dress which barely covers her long white legs. she is a girl. Abused by choice or circumstance… she is but reduced to a woman good enough for one thing. She who has learnt to hide her emotions behind this façade of a pleasure toy. A car slacks down in front of her — if you had looked close enough you would have seen the pain in her eyes, instead of the eager grin she has learnt to paste onto her pretty face. As you drive away from the street-light where she stood, her life flashes before her. you told her she wasn’t worth a dime now look, she is worth three-hundred bucks by the hour. yet inside… she is nothing. You slip your hand inbetween her milky white thighs even though the look in her eyes begs you to stop. you tell her to crack it because you are paying her for this — and anyway she is nothing but a disgrace! A whore! if you had looked closer you would have seen the invisible tears in her eyes. In your room, she closes her eyes — you do as you please to her — after all she is worth three hundred bucks… yet inside she is nothing. She wills it all to end and after what seems to be a lifetime of heart pain and body pain you heave yourself off her — and look at her guiltily as you put your pants on in haste. Back under the street-light with her eyes beginning to tear up, you throw three crumpled pink notes at her.

May 2015.indd 43

You weren’t good enough — and anyway you’re Nothing but a disgrace! Those bitter words cut through her entire being, the last shred of will she has as she picks up the crumpled notes from the sidewalk and watches you drive away. As the casket is lowered into the wet ground, pictures of a beautiful girl fill the minds and thoughts of many. Her long chestnut hair, full pink lips, big brown eyes… Her frail body broken by your words, your illness. You killed her you murderer… Big drops of rain fall from the sky. They mourn the lady of the night.




culture I behind the myth

The Mysterious Dolmens Written by Karly Pierre


e often underestimate our ancestors. Sure, they would be in awe of our cell phones and computers. But when we look at the resilient monuments they created — the Great Pyramids, Stonehenge, the Moai of Easter Island — we are left speechless as well, and wonder, “How did they do that?” More often than not, this question remains unanswered, and these wonderful structures are still shrouded in mystery.

The dolmens of Korea are such an enigma. Dolmens, or in Korean, goindol, are generally single chambers with two or more vertical stones supporting a horizontal capstone forming a tabletop. It is rare to find dolmens in China or Japan, but Korea has the highest concentration of these prehistoric megaliths — around 35,000 structures — in the world. Yet compared to dolmens in other countries, in Korea these structures have only recently been analyzed.

to kill the goldfish and to stop the flow of “qi” radiating from the mountain. The soldiers asked an evil wizard for assistance. While he placed rocks on the mountain to stop the flow of “qi,” a few rocks rolled away forming the Ganghwa Dolmen.

There are many Korean myths that attempt to explain the origins of dolmens in the country.

In other Korean legends, dolmens are referred to as houses for witches or the work of ancient saints.

The Pingmae Rock in Hwasun weighs 280 tons and is the largest dolmen in the world. This structure is attributed to an earnest fairy. She lifted a stone and began carrying it toward Unjusa Temple after hearing that 1,000 Buddhas and 1,000 pagodas were being built near Unjusa Temple. During her journey, she was told that the buildings had been completed, so feeling disappointed, she dropped her stone and left.

Though these tales are entertaining, they do little to quell ongoing debates about the origin of these structures. Various artifacts, including skeletal remains, jade artifacts and bronze daggers, have been excavated from these sites, but these findings have not led to a consensus about the lives and purposes of their builders. Scholars are still unsure whether dolmens were used as tombs or for sacrificial rituals, and because of the large number of dolmens, no definitive chronology has been determined. It is also unclear how these enormous stones were transported.

The Ganghwa Dolmen is perhaps the most recognizable of these Korean structures. Anthropologists estimate that it took 200-300 people to erect the megalith, but according to folklore, it was the creation of a single careless wizard. According to legend, when the goldfish in Oryeonji Pond on Goryeosan Mountain flicked their tails toward China, the Chinese emperor got a headache. He sent soldiers

May 2015.indd 44

A typical dolmen in Korea

We may never truly understand these structures or the builders behind them, but then again, in our world of search engines, a little mystery might do us some good.



jeolla history I culture



The Mecca of Goryeo Celadons Written by Won Hea-ran


own the southern coastline from Gwangju is a region called Gangjin. Gangjin is famed for its production of Goryeo celadon and was once considered the mecca of Goryeo culture. Because of its beauty, Goryeo’s celadon was not only demanded by the royal family and by noblemen, but it was also exported to China. The famous Chinese poet Su Dong Po praised Goryeo celadon, considering it to be one of the 10 masterpieces of the time. Goryeo was not the first country that created celadon, but its special clear-green color and patterning technique made its pottery unique and priceless. The beauty of Goreyo celadon came from its color. The secret to this special green color is the glaze. A glaze is nothing more than a mixture of burned wood ashes and water, but when it is applied to the surface of pottery and heated as high as 1300 degrees Celsius, the glaze produces an exotic green color that resembles jade. Depending on its iron concentration, the applied glaze results in different colors. The best glazes have 3% iron. If there is less, the pottery will be colored a weak green. If there is more, the pottery would be a very dark green, which would devalue the celadon. Only the best craftsman knew which trees had the right concentration of iron. Another secret to celadon’s beauty was the Sanggam method. The method was used from as early as the 12th century to draw unique patterns of flowers, animals, and trees on the celadon’s surface. Basically, the Sang-gam method entails adding a different type of clay to the pottery made of kaolin base. The craftsman carved the surface of the celadon and added white clay and crockery clay in the shape of flower or crane before putting it to the kiln. The white clay would portray white color and the crock-

May 2015.indd 45

ery clay would produce black color in the finished porcelain. Because the clays used in porcelain had different components, it was easy to break in high temperature. Thus, a highly professional technique was required to keep this porcelain intact at high temperature. Eighty percent of this high quality celadon were made in Gangjin. Gangjin gave the perfect environment for these brilliant celadon pieces. The three important components in making celadon are the soil, the trees and the technique. Jangheung’s CheonGuan Mountain near Gangjin gave the region sufficient trees for fuel. Gangjin still has a trace of its old glory. Every August, residents host the “Ceramics Festival” in order to celebrate the creation of Goryeo celadon. The festival opens various field studies and exhibitions so people can remember and appreciate the beauty and meaning behind Goryeo celadon.




general I green korea

Gwangju Freecycle

Reducing Waste Through Gifting Written and photographed by Lianne Bronzo


ome expats settle in Gwangju for decades, but most leave after a year or two. It is easy to accumulate things, but as the departure date creeps nearer, what is one to do with a home full of belongings? One option is to sell using the flea market Facebook group, but many smaller items are not worth the effort of selling. What to do with an item like this — throw it out? No, Freecycle it! Gwangju Freecycle was created in January 2014 when many of my departing friends were overwhelmed with how much they had accumulated. They gave me some things that I graciously accepted, and I wanted others to benefit from such exchanges, too. I created the “Gwangju Freecycle” Facebook group and there was an immediate positive reception. How does Freecycling work? A member posts a photo of something he or she no longer needs, and if someone expresses interest, they arrange to meet up for the exchange. Some noteworthy items exchanged so far include beds, guitars, bikes and even a netbook. Smaller things like books, silverware and shampoos are also gifted. The aims of Gwangju Freecycle are: 1) to reduce waste through reuse and recycle, and 2) to promote a gifting community through generosity. While saving money is an obvious benefit, it is not the main purpose. The point is to avoid creating waste. Freecycle is actually an international organization with local chapters. It was first started in 2003 by Deral Beal in Arizona, USA. He was looking to donate a bed, but could not find an organization willing to accept it. He got a group of friends together

May 2015.indd 46

Writer (at the back) before the event began

to share things they no longer needed. Since then, Freecycle.org has reached over 9 million members in 110 countries. On average, 32,000 items are gifted and reused each day — items that are being kept out of landfills. On top of receiving things for free, Freecyclers can also benefit from new friendships. Transactions are more meaningful when something is gifted without an expectation of something in return. English teacher Jenny Mae generously gave away hiking boots to Tamara Liebenthal. The two met and ended up chatting for an hour, discovering that they both hail from neighboring hometowns in rural Canada. Instead of exchanging money, Tamara brought a homemade cake, which was even more special to Jenny. “I’d have to make her cake every weekend for the rest of my life to truly say thanks for these boots. They were made for me,” Tamara commented. “I feel like I have a sister in Gwangju and finally just found her.” Twice a year, Gwangju Freecycle and the Gwangju International Center (GIC) host an event called



green korea I general


The enthusiasm from the community was shown from the huge turnout

Swap, Don’t Shop! The most recent event took place in March 2015. Before the event, community members donated their gently used belongings while volunteers sorted and organized. On the event day, people took home anything they needed at no cost. Rice cookers, blenders, tents, and other great items were exchanged. In addition, Adam Greenberg maintained his usual CREATEandGIFT.org booth, encouraging those of us who might say, “I can’t paint” to create anyway and generously give their art away or take another’s art home. Mariya Haponenko designed an art gallery displaying works by local artists and the GIC sold souvenirs, books, and refreshments.

ies of “really?” These pre-loved things are now reloved, and not in landfills.

People were thankful and giddy over their new finds; some even wanted to thank the previous owners. After the event, Jessica Solomatenko posted on the event page to thank someone for donating toy cars, which her son “took for car rides, baths, and even nap and bed times.” Miaomaio Yang, a student from China, was ecstatic and bewildered that she could have a shoe rack at no cost. She smiled constantly when I kept replying “yes” to her repeated inquir-

Freecycle events can only continue if people are willing to take over and organize, as I am likely to leave Korea soon. I am seeking enthusiastic people to continue facilitating community gifting through this incredible event. Please contact me at LBronzo@gmail.com if you are interested in being involved. In the meantime, keep Freecycling wherever you end up in the world, because generosity and gratitude are contagious.

May 2015.indd 47

In the future, Freecycle hopes to host swap events twice a year, in September and March, when many new teachers and international students arrive for the new semester. Some changes are under consideration to ensure that everyone has a fair chance of benefiting. One long-term vision for Gwangju Freecycle is to maintain a “Give and Take” room, where people can continually drop off and pick up items. The community would be responsible for keeping the room organized and neat. For this vision to take shape, an available space must be found.




general I kotesol


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

Tech Tools for Digital Storytelling Written and images provided by Lindsay Herron


re you looking for an easy way to make your lessons more engaging, interactive, and multimodal? Digital storytelling is a great way to let a student’s voice be heard — quite literally! With digital storytelling, your students can share pictures, videos, and stories from their own experiences; and it is easier than ever to integrate visual and audio elements into an impressive, professional-looking product. Here are some free, easy-to-use digital storytelling tools that don’t require a huge time investment. You can add or share your creations in worksheets or clue games using a QR code or Aurasma, turning your class into a multimedia experience! TOOLS FOR MAKING VIDEO STORIES 1. YAKiT or YAKiT Kids (iOS & Windows; http://www.freakngenius.com/) YAKiT and YAKiT Kids can make any photo talk! It is a super-fun, supereasy way to motivate students to speak — or to provide an entertaining visual accompaniment to the teacher’s own words, preserved as a video the students can watch as many times as they need to in order to understand. Just upload a photo; add a mouth from the provided stickers or draw a mouth-line; add facial features, props, or an animated special effect such as floating hearts or sparkles; then record what you want your creation to say. The mouth will move in time with your speech! You can record as many times as you need to, and you can adjust the pitch of the voice so it is really high or really low for maximum entertainment value. If you want to, you can add a scene

May 2015.indd 48

by choosing another photo and repeating this procedure. When you are finished, you can send your video by email or save it to your phone. 2. ChatterPix or ChatterPix Kids (iOS). ChatterPix and ChatterPix Kids offer a simpler alternative to YAKiT, and they perform a similar function: making a photo speak. There are fewer face and mouth options here, and there are no animated special effects or voicealtering capabilities; but the app does include frame and text options that are not available on YAKiT, and it is simple to export your creation directly to YouTube. 3. Tellagami (iOS & Android; http://tellagami.com) Tellagami is a simple app that lets users create a short video featuring an animated avatar. Just choose and customize an avatar; select a background from the provided options or from your own camera; add a doodle, if you wish; and then record your voice. That is it! Now you can share your video via email, Twitter, or Facebook. Recordings can be up to 30 seconds long. 4. Shadow Puppet Edu (iOS) With Shadow Puppet, students or teachers can upload or find online photos, videos, or maps; write or draw on them; add music and a voiceover; and share their finished creation in just a few easy steps. Es-



kotesol I general

pecially noteworthy is that anything the user does while recording — zooming, writing, drawing, or moving the image — will be included in the video! The free Edu version allows teachers and students to create a video story that is up to 100 pages and 30 minutes long. 5. Animoto (iOS, Android, & web; http://animoto.com). This app makes it is incredibly easy for students to choose a video style, upload photos or videos, add text, and choose a soundtrack; then Animoto turns these elements into a professional-looking video that can be exported to YouTube, posted on social networks, or emailed as a link. In addition, teachers can apply for a free Animoto Plus account (http://animoto. com/education/classroom) that permits longer videos and that can be shared with students.



Date & Time: May 2 (Saturday), 10:30 a.m.– 5 p.m. Place: Chosun University, Main Building, Left Wing, Room 4211 Morning (11 a.m.) Reflective Practice Session Afternoon Presentations: 1.Tech Tools for Digital Storytelling by Lindsay Herron 2. Information Gap Activities by Bryan Hale For more details: Facebook: Gwangju-Jeonnam KOTESOL Website: http://koreatesol.org/gwangju Email: gwangju@koreatesol.org Twitter: @GwangjuKOTESOL

TOOLS FOR STILL-IMAGE STORIES 1. StoryboardThat (web; http://www.storyboardthat.com) Replete with an impressive variety of backgrounds, posable characters, props, text bubbles, and other customization options, StoryboardThat is a storyboard creation tool that allows an amazing amount of freedom yet is surprisingly easy to master! Students can create a story in three to six panels using the provided illustrations. When the story is finished, users can view the story panel-by-panel as a slideshow, download it as images or as a PowerPoint, or even turn it into a holiday-themed folding card.

lect an illustration; decide whether it is for a longform text, a picture book, or a poem; add some words; and then publish your creation! Final products can be collected in the Storybird class “library.” And of course, I still highly recommend Marvel’s Create Your Own Comic (http://marvel.com/games/ play/34/create_your_own_comic) tool as well as Chogger.com for building comics, and Tell-a-Story StoryBuilder at the Toronto Public Library (http:// kidsspace.torontopubliclibrary.ca/story.html), all of which were highlighted in my last tech tools roundup (“Tech Tools for Student Projects,” October 2014). Have fun, and happy creating!

2. Storybird (web; http://storybird.com) No ideas? No problem! With Storybird, you can start with the site’s library of professional illustrations, from the sublime to the ridiculous, and let inspiration come to you. Se-

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Lindsay Herron is Treasurer of the Gwangju-Jeonnam Chapter of Korea TESOL (KOTESOL). On behalf of the Chapter, she invites you to participate in the teacher development workshops at their monthly meetings and special events. Lindsay is a visiting professor at Gwangju National University of Education, where she has taught for the past six years. She is also presently the National First Vice-President of KOTESOL, Membership Committee Chair, and a chair on the International Conference Committee.

May 2015.indd 49




general I health

Electronic Cigarettes

Should Public Health Celebrate or Regulate? Written by Jessica Keralis


obacco is public health enemy number one. Efforts in Korea to reduce smoking and protect health include indoor smoking bans, cigarette taxes, and designated smoking areas. Public health and medical consensus is nearly universal that society is better off — and even most smokers agree that, despite feeling marginalized, it is logical to reduce public exposure to second-hand smoke. Now some smokers are switching to electronic cigarettes, and the health community is sharply divided on how to respond. E-cigarettes use a heating coil to vaporize liquid containing water, nicotine, flavoring, and solvents, which the user then inhales. Vendors tout them as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes and hope to “solve the social stigma issue” of smoking in public places. Public health officials oppose this prospect — they have openly worked to make smoking socially unacceptable and argue that undoing this for e-cigarettes could cause a resurgence of lung disease . Also, there is little research on the safety of e-cigarettes; some studies show that the heating coil releases high levels of heavy metals, and some of the solvents and flavoring compounds are harmful. Most officials are urging governments to ban indoor use until more is known.

come a bit of global trend over the past few years, so some just do it to try something new, but I think most people start because they want to become healthier by quitting cigarettes,” he explains. Other smokers openly prefer traditional cigarettes; one humorously referred to vaping as “smoking with a condom.” John Smith, a former Gwangju resident, provided a more nuanced perspective, “There is an aspect to it that isn’t quite as satisfying. It’s too smooth...You get all the nicotine but that kicks in later. The signal going to your brain since it’s all just this light vapor is that you’re not smoking.” For his part, Smith has since quit and shared anecdotes of several friends who have quit or cut back by using e-cigarettes. While some experts are optimistic about the potential of e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid, they are not officially recognized as such. Until the research is more definitive, the debate will undoubtedly continue to smolder.

Smokers vary in their opinion of e-cigarettes, and those who vape are as varied as their motives for doing so. Joe Pollari, an enthusiastic Canadian ecigarette vendor, describes his clientele as an even mix of foreigners and Koreans. “I think it has beABOUT 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.

May 2015.indd 50



green korea I general

May 2015.indd 51





gic I gic tour preview

Delicious sashimi for lunch

Seomjin River rafting

Seomjin River Rail-bike

GOKSEONG Written by Warren Parsons Photographed by Warren Parsons and Lee Jeongmin

Date: May 30, 2015 Price: GIC Members 70,000 won/ Non-Members 80,000 won Contact: 062-226-2733 (이보람 Boram Lee) or gic@gic.or.kr / gictour@gic.or.kr


May 2015.indd 52

Dorim Temple & Valley

Lunch @ Seomjin River Restaurant

Seomjin River Rail-Bike

Seomjin River Rafting




gic tour preview I gic



ay musters the first hints of summer’s arrival and brightens the landscape with green fluorescence. This month the GIC Tour travels to Gokseong into the heart of the mountains for a riverside adventure beginning in the rocky flats of a mountain valley, through swirling fishing holes, along rusty railways and ending atop the bumpy currents of a river raft. When the weather warms up, the valleys and rivers of Korea’s interior provide a cooling watery respite. Starting in the crags and crevices of Dongak Mountain, the water flows out and over rocks making music as it cascades through the valley and onto the farm lands below. Sitting majestically above this sonorousness is Dorim Temple, a monastery founded in 660 A.D. by one of Korea’s greatest temple builders, Wonhyo Daesa. Inside the temple compound and housed within the main altar building is the Sagwaebul, a beautiful Buddhist mural painting from the mid-Joseon dynasty. Outside the temple in the Dorim Valley, however, is where the true magic lies. Characterized by river beds of smooth rock, the water has the appearance of liquid silk, and the flat stones have provided blank canvases for poets to engrave their paeans to nature. Here participants can spend the morning soaking up the splendor of the surroundings while playing among the rocks where the water sings. The theme of this month’s tour and a central part of life in Gokseong is the Seomjin River. One of the best ways to enjoy the river is from the terrace of a restaurant perched above its banks. There are a variety of freshwater delicacies to try, but one in particular, rainbow trout, stands above the rest. Served sliced raw, the bright orange sashimi has a very similar flavor to salmon, but lighter and more delicate. Accompanying this delicacy is a rich catfish stew and a plethora of regional side dishes. While enjoying the river view from afar is wonderful, following its course riding a rail-bike is even better. Once an important train corridor, the Gokseong rail line has now been turned into a train-themed tourist amusement area. The rail-bikes seat four people and allow participants to pedal slowly along the tracks for five kilometers while taking in the mountain scenery. Disembarking at Gajeong Station, participants then cross a footbridge and descend to the river’s edge to prepare for the final leg of the journey, another five kilometer voyage downstream aboard a river raft. Floating and paddling on the water’s surface past Amrok Station and to the confluence of the

May 2015.indd 53

Dorim Valley

Dorim Temple

Seomjin River and Boseong Rivers is an ideal way to round out the afternoon. Please come out this month to get wet and have fun along the signature beauty of the Seomjin River with the GIC Tour! **The Seomjin River has the distinction of being neither the longest nor the swiftest of Korea’s rafting experiences; nevertheless it is one of the safest. Before boarding the rafts, participants will have a brief orientation and the opportunity to change into the appropriate attire for being in the water. Please prepare swimwear for rafting as well as a change of clothing and a towel for after the ride. Additionally, for use throughout the day, a hat, sunglasses, sunblock, and any other necessities are recommended.




gic I gic talk preview

Liberty in North Korea Written by Amy Badenhorst


sn’t liberty great? You can do what you want, say what you want, think what you want and go where you want. You have options BUT imagine yourself living in a place where there is no freedom. Yes, it’s hard to imagine if you were raised accustomed to freedom, but give it a try… Imagine that now you have no options. You are ruled by a dictator. You are constantly watched by his government. You have no knowledge of the outside world. No cellphones, no computers, no Internet. Isolated. No freedom of speech, no freedom of the press, no freedom to choose your leaders and no freedom to practice your faith. If you upset the government, you’ll be sent to a concentration camp. No justice! Two hundred and fifty thousand of your fellow citizens live in these concentration camps. You will be tortured, starved, and raped. You will work as a slave. Your entire family will have to join you there: spouse, sons, daughters, parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents, and grandchildren. There is no compassion. Outside the camps, life isn’t much better. Famine destroyed the food supplies and has made you constantly hungry. It has brought disease into your home. You can’t buy or grow food. Capitalism is illegal. The government won’t help. Hunger. You tear bark off of trees, boil it, and eat it just to put something in your stomach. Over a million people have already died of starvation. More food shortages are beginning. Your government ignores your suffering. So you cross the border into China to find food. You must travel at night, in freezing water. But it’s illegal to leave your country, so snipers on the river banks will shoot you on sight. Three hundred thousand of your neighbors are refugees hiding in this foreign hiding place. If you’re a woman, there’s an 80 percent chance you’ll be sold into the sex trade. If you’re caught, you’ll be sent home to face prison camps or execution. This is your life. You are a North Korean.

May 2015.indd 54

How do you like your life here? Okay, be yourself again. We can change this picture. From hopeless — to hopeful! You live in a very different place. You have freedom, we have freedom and we can use it to help the North Koreans. The solution is simple: we can listen, we can tell, and we can respond. Respond with us as we take action. Liberty in North Korea helps refugees escape to freedom. They provide them with safe havens. They petition to governments to do more. They spread the truth about North Korea — to the world! We have options. So let’s use our liberties to help the North Koreans have options. This is a Korean issue. This is an historical issue. This is a human issue. This is our issue. Our generation. Our responsibility. Come learn more on Saturday, May 23, at the GIC Talk. Together, we will someday see: Liberty in North Korea.



gic talk schedule I gic


GIC Talk May Schedule

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

MAY 2 Speaker: J.J. Billett Topic: P2PRPG: Faith + Hobbies + Leverage = Good. J.J. Billet, the founder of P2PRPG charity, has leveraged his Dungeons and Dragons hobby to organize two charity events that have raised over 2,000,000 won for the Adopt-A-Child for Christmas program in Gwangju. During this GIC Talk, he will discuss his motivations, as well as his planning and execution, and finish with a forecast for P2PRPG. Some themes throughout the talk will include: the generosity of the expat community in Gwangju; how this idea was born in and out of this community, and how the speaker’s faith and hobbies intersected for the good of all people, especially orphans.

MAY 9 Speaker: Stephen Redeker Topic: Helping Yourself: Words of Wisdom, Motivation and Inspiration What exactly is self-help and why is it important? How can people break free from a destructive routine that impedes their progress? Why is success so difficult to achieve? Not only will this GIC Talk provide some answers to these questions, it will also motivate the audience to improve their quality of life, with insights and tips on how to enjoy and get the most out of the daily routine. Over the past century, numerous speakers and authors have delivered messages of motivation and self-help mantras that have positively affected thousands of people all over the world. Stephen’s GIC Talk will focus on some of these prominent self-help gurus and what lessons can be learned from their ideas.

MAY 16 There will be no GIC Talk, due to the World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) 2015. The whole Gwangju community is welcome to attend any of the five Saturday sessions, on Saturday, May 17, with sessions starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. Admission is free. Korean and English will be spoken and written. All sessions will be held at the Kimdaejung (KDJ) Convention Center.

May 2015.indd 55

MAY 23 Speaker: Amy Badenhorst Topic: Liberty in North Korea Please see the GIC Talk Preview on the previous page for more information.

MAY 30 Speaker: Lars Danielsson Topic: Sweden and Korea: Human Rights and Welfare Society The GIC is privileged to host Ambassador Lars Danielsson. The ambassador has a degree in public administration from the University of Gothenburg, in Gothenburg, Sweden. The ambassador has previously served sequentially in China, Switzerland, U.S.A., Hong Kong, Macao and now Korea since September 2011. During his posting in Stockholm, the ambassador served for 12 years as state secretary and senior foreign policy advisor to two Swedish prime ministers. The ambassador has been invited to share his thoughts on his GIC Talk entitled: “Sweden and Korea: Human Rights and Welfare Society.” During his GIC Talk, the ambassador will share how Sweden has developed human rights and welfare, alongside Korea doing so, at different periods of history. After this GIC Talk, the World Human Rights Cities Forum discussion groups will be rewarding the winners of money prizes, so please come to attend these two special events celebrating the advancement of human rights.





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).

(evenings) 5-7 p.m. Location: UNESCO KONA Volunteers Center (Ssangchong-dong, Seo-gu, 062434-9887)

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.

4th Friday afternoons 3-5 p.m. Location: Grandmother’s Community Children’s Center (Punghyang-dong, Buk-gu, 062-524-2076)

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

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)

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

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

May 2015.indd 56



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

May 2015_

.indd 3

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



May 2015_

.indd 4



Profile for Gwangju International Center

(EN) Gwangju News May 2015 #159  

World Human Rights Cities Forum: Reclaiming Our Rights - Toronto Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell speaks on Human Rights - Basu Mukul Reaches Out...

(EN) Gwangju News May 2015 #159  

World Human Rights Cities Forum: Reclaiming Our Rights - Toronto Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell speaks on Human Rights - Basu Mukul Reaches Out...