Page 1

Gwangju News International Magazine for Gwangju and Jeollanam-do

March 2010 Volume 10, Issue 3

2010 GIC 2nd Korean Language Class Saturday Classes

Weekday Classes Level





Beginner 1-1

Monday & Wednesday

서강한국어 1A

Beginner 1

서강한국어 1A

Beginner 1-2

Tuesday & Friday

서강한국어 1A

Beginner 2

서강한국어 1A

Beginner 2-1

Monday & Wednesday

서강한국어 1B


서강한국어 1B


Monday & Wednesday

서강한국어 3A

- Period: March 15th - April 29th (Twice a week for 7 weeks) - Class hours: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (2 hours) - Tuition fee: 80,000 won (GIC membership fee: 10,000 won/ 6 months and textbooks excluded)


- Period: March 13th - April 27th (Every Saturday for 7 weeks)

- Class hours: 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (2 hours) - Tuition fee: 50,000 won (GIC membership fee: 10,000 won/ 6 months and textbooks excluded)

* The tuition fee is non-refundable after the first week. * A class may be canceled if less than 5 people sign up. * 2010 GIC 3rd Korean Language Class will be on May 8th - June 25th

GIC is located on the 5th floor of the Jeon-il building, the same building as the Korean Exchange Bank, downtown. The entrance is located immediately to the north of the bank. Contact GIC office for more information. Phone: 062-226-2733/4 E-mail: Website:


Gwangju News March 2010


Contents Gwangju News 4

March 2010, Volume 10, Issue 3 Publisher: Prof. Shin Gyong-gu


The Korean Way No. 85: 3.1 (March 1st) Declaration of Korean Independence

By 2Ys

A Place of Their Own By Elton LaClare

Editor in Chief: Doug Stuber Editor: Jon Ozelton


Korean Change for Haiti By Jon Ozelton

Copy Editors: Solim Sirgey, Kathleen Villadiego Coordinator: Kim Minsu


Come and Join the First Light-Themed Expo in Gwangju! By Han Jaerim


Marme Sunim, a Buddhist Nun

Layout and Design: Kim Minsu, Karina Prananto Proofreaders: Pete Schandall, Rob Smith, Hughie Samson, Katie Rayner, Kathleen Villadiego

By Alva French

Printed by: Saenal


Mt.Taebaek – Big White Mountain By Jacob Lotinga

Photographer: Jon Ozelton


Cover Photo: Suncheon Bay (related story on page 20)

Paintball By Jon Reesor


Suncheon Bay By Adam Damiano

Gwangju News uses 100% E-PLUS recycled paper provided by Daehan Paper in Seoul.

Special thanks to the City of Gwangju and all of our sponsors. Copyright by the 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 publishers. Gwangju News welcomes letters to the editor ( regarding articles and issues. All correspondence may be edited for reasons of clarity or space.


Monthly Special Days for Lovers in Korea By Park Suji


Useful Korean Phrases By Noh In-woo


Photo Contest


Feel@Home Homestay


Korea, an Endangered Country in Near Future? By Park Minji and Ko Namil


The Western Country Makkoli Ajossi By Adam Bourque


The Tea Making Process By Warren Parsons


KoreaMaria: Cafe Jinos By Maria Lisak


Korea Easy-cook Recipe: 잡채 Japchae By Park Minji

Kim’ s Dental Clinic


Film Review: Take Off By Adam Bourque


Cartoon: Digby By Leroy Kucia


March 2010 Flower Festivals


Upcoming Events

Gwangju News March 2010


The Korean Way

The Korean Way No. 85

3.1 (March 1st) Declaration of Korean Independence


fter Japan achieved their Meiji Restoration in 1868, their national motto was “wealthy country and strong army” (富國强兵). Their national policy of Japan paid off a quarter-century later when Japan defeated China in the China-Japan war, 1894-95 and again beat Russia 10 years afterward in 1904-5. Both wars were concerned with Korea: both China and Russia wanted supremacy over Korea against Japan, whose ultimate goal was to advance into the Asia mainland through Korea as its beachhead. Russo-Japan war/peace treaty was arranged by then U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt at Portsmouth, U.S. and it was here that KatsuraTaft Secret Agreement was signed which gave Japan’s supremacy over Korea. After this secret agreement, Japan’s design on Korea became naked and they set out to make Korea their protectorate. The 1905 Protectorate Treaty with Japan completely deprived Korea of the sovereign power to maintain relations with foreign governments, leading to Korea’s annexation to Japan five years later in 1910.

There are stories around the Annexation Treaty on August 22, 1910. It is the official start of the colonization of Korea. When the Treaty was known to the public, the reaction of the public was violent. Several patriots committed suicide lamenting the loss of the country. Some raised a righteous army (義兵) only to be put down by the mighty Japanese force. Uneasy times drifted on for several years. Early in 1918, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson announced a 14point peace proposal in dealing with the aftermath of World War I. One of the points was a ‘national self-determination’ policy, which undoubtedly caught the attention of weaker or colonized nations all over the world.


Gwangju News March 2010

90 Year Anniversary of Korea’s Declaration of Independence Yonhap News

The Korean Way

In December 1918, there was a news report that Syngman Rhee and two other Korean residents in America would attend the Paris Peace Conference as the representatives of the Korean people. This news encouraged the Korean students in Tokyo and they formed Korean Independence Youth organization in secrecy. In early 1919, their leaders managed to draw up a Declaration of Independence and they proceeded to proclaim independence on February 8th, 1919 at the Korean YMCA in Tokyo. But this plan leaked out somehow and leaders were arrested by the Japanese police. The students’ movement in Tokyo gave an impetus to the independence leaders in the country. Thirty-three leaders (16 Christians, 15 Buddhists, 2 Chondogyoists (Heavenly Way followers)) secretly prepared their proclamation of Korean independence on March 1st, 1919 at Pagoda Park in Seoul. With the sounding of noon, one of the leaders read the Declaration of Independence. The thousands of people gathered there exclaimed “Manse! Manse!” (Long live the country!). Then they marched toward Deoksu Palace waving the national flag. This national frenzy spread all over or even beyond the country like wildfire. The declaration was a peaceful one, barehanded only with a piece of printed paper. But the Japanese colonial authorities’ retaliation was immediate, ruthless and decisive, such as the Jeam-ni massacre, for example. Jeam-ni is a small village near Suwon. The Japanese troops rounded up the whole of the village’s people into a church building, closed the doors and shot them all indiscriminately and burned down the building. Another example: Yu Gwan-sun, a 16-year-old Ehwa Girls’ High School student was arrested leading ‘Manse’ movement in Chungcheong Province and was put into prison and tortured to death. Over nine thousand people were arrested and imprisoned nationwide, of whom more than 2,000 were Christians.

Yu Gwan-sun

Naver News

Even though the barehanded uprising failed to achieve independence, the 3.1 movement became the symbol of the Korean independence movement and its spirit is inscribed in a clause in the Korean constitution. After the independence movement, a new governor-general (Admiral Saito) was appointed, who said he would take a cultural approach in colonial administration.

By 2Ys (An audacious pen name standing for Too Wise, whose real name acronym is S. S. S.) 3.1 Independence Hall

Naver Blog

Gwangju News March 2010



A Place of Their Own


or the better part of eight years, members of the foreign teaching community in Gwangju have been giving their time and goodwill to help brighten the lives of the young girls who live in Sung Bin Orphanage. For those who don’t already know of it, Sung Bin is the primary care facility for approximately 60 girls, ranging from toddlers to teenagers. Many of the girls have lived most of their lives at Sung Bin, so you can perhaps appreciate the fear and uncertainty they feel when, at the age of eighteen, they are obliged to leave it behind. Sadly, many of those who leave Sung Bin set forth into a very uncertain future. A near absence of social welfare support coupled with the Volunteers with the girls at Sungbin Orphanage stigma of being an orphan, set them without stable living arrangements. Because of our on a path that almost invariably leads to hardship and long relationship with Sung Bin, the administration felt poverty. In a nation where children routinely remain in comfortable in asking for our help to provide the girl, the parental home until well into their thirties, you can who is to attend Dongkang University later this year, imagine the difficulties faced by a teenager trying to with a place to live. cope with the responsibilities that come with independence. Desperation leaves the girls vulnerable A Call to Action to a variety of risks, and it’s no wonder that some fall The kind of help we require to bring this endeavor to a into dangerous situations. successful conclusion is more varied than you might at As someone who’s been visiting Sung Bin for the past first imagine. For the last couple of years, as we six years, there have been moments when I’ve debated how best to utilize the money we’d raised for wondered if the efforts of our volunteers and the Sung Bin, our fund-raising efforts (with the notable generosity of the wider foreign community would ever exceptions of the scavenger hunt and Christmas bake bear fruit. Progress has not always been easy to gauge, sale) took a back seat to other priorities. With this new and at times it seemed as if we were spinning our challenge ahead of us, however, we are once again wheels. Although fund-raising efforts had resulted in a looking for the support of the community that has modest nest egg, we were still at a loss as to how to responded so well in the past. To that end, anyone who direct these resources in a way that would have a has a fund-raising idea they’d like to help bring to lasting impact. fruition, we’d love to hear about it. We especially welcome ideas that provide donors with some kind of However, things took a turn recently when the enjoyment beyond the feel-good factor of knowing that administration of Sung Bin approached us with a need their contribution is going to a ‘good cause’. that seemed worthy of the hard work that so many have put in over so long. Although the orphanage does what it can to assist those who are required to leave the facility, this year it’s transpired that one girl is still


Gwangju News March 2010

Secondly, thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Gwangju community, an apartment is being provided free of charge for one year. However, we are hoping to


Left, Right: Lessons at the Sungbin Orphanage; Centre: A gatepost at the entrance to the orphanage

find people to help us get things ready in the new accommodations. This assistance could take various forms. For example, we need people to help with tasks such as cleaning the space, moving furnishings, hanging drapes, as well as any general maintenance that might be needed. The apartment is also unfurnished, and Sung Bin has also provided us with a list of required items, which you’ll find printed below. Should you wish to donate one of these items, I would ask that you first contact us (details below) to ensure that it’s not already been arranged by someone else. If the item you wish to donate is used, please see that it is clean and in good working condition. The Underground Grocers have generously agreed to store items for us until we are ready to move them into the space. For heavier items please contact Tim Whitman directly to arrange collection. The last type of help does not relate to this appeal directly, but is much needed nonetheless. As I mentioned previously, I’ve been making weekly visits to Sung Bin for the better part of six years. In that time I’ve seen many volunteers come and go. We are always looking for new recruits to help us out on our regular Saturday visits. Of particular need are people to help us in planning activities to do with the girls. It’s not necessary that activities relate to English in any way. In

fact, we most often spend our time playing games or doing crafts. If you’re creative and good with kids, please lend us your time and your talents. It will make a world of difference. In our view, this opportunity to provide safe, clean shelter for a young girl in need constitutes a watershed moment for Gwangju’s international residents – a chance for us to demonstrate our commitment to enacting positive change in Korean society. Be a part of it! Story and photos by Elton LaClare

Make a Difference We’re looking for creative/ active/ energetic/ outgoing/enthusiastic volunteers to join us to take part in our regular Saturday program. Do something useful with your Saturday afternoons, give back to the community, and make a difference in the lives of these girls. Meet every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in front of downtown Starbucks. All welcome. Contact Information: Cash Donations / Fund Raising: Elton LaClare ( Donation of Items:Tim Whitman ( Volunteering: Al Barnum (

List of items for donation small refridgerator

desk lamp

plates/ bowls

rubber gloves


washing machine

alarm clock

pots/ pans






broom/ dustpan

food items (rice)

radio/ CD Player


sponge/ dish soaps

small trashcan

cups/ mugs




laundry detergent

iron/ board

rice cooker


clothes hangers

bath towels

extension cords

Gwangju News March 2010


Current Issue

Korean Change for Haiti n the late afternoon of Tuesday, January 12th, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the Republic of Haiti, with an epicenter around 25 kilometres south-west of the heavily populated capital city Portau-Prince.


and recovery efforts even more difficult and dangerous. The country’s already poor infrastructure has been destroyed, so moving around and distributing aid is very difficult. Civic unrest has further complicated the situation.

The damage and devastation was horrendous. At the time of writing, an estimated 212,000 have died, 300,000 injured and more than 1.2 million people made homeless due to the quake.

In the short term, stabilizing the situation there and supplying food and water is of desperate importance. In the longer term, clearing the rubble and rebuilding this shattered nation is a project that will take years and years. International charities are all in need of aid and monetary donations to help fund this work.

International relief efforts immediately went into action, but are struggling to deal with the enormity of the situation. Basic human necessities such as food, water and shelter are badly needed. Furthermore medical supplies and proper medical facilities to care for the sick and injured are practically non-existent. There have been many television reports demonstrating the makeshift hospitals that are constructed from old tarps and bed sheets. Aftershocks are still hitting the country, making relief

Living here in South Korea, on the other side of the world, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the plight and forget about it once we’ve turned off the TV news. However, one English teacher in Jeollanam-do was moved into action and has initiated a local aid campaign. Riann Arkinstall, a Canadian living in Gangjin, started the Korean Change For Haiti appeal. Like so many good ideas, it is its simplicity that makes

Left: Medical aid and supplies are desperately need in Haiti; Right: The quake caused widespread destruction and left over a million people homeless UN Photos/Logan Abass, The United Nations 8

Gwangju News March 2010

Current Issue

it great. Like so many fund-raising efforts, it relies on the concept of a lot of small things adding up to something great. A single 100- or 500-won coin might not amount to much, but many people put them into change jars, where, over time, they can accumulate to quite a large total. As the name suggests, the campaign encourages people to donate the contents of their change-jars to assist Haitian people. If many people can come together and all donate the contents of these change jars, a significant contribution would be very quickly made. In an e-mail interview, Arkinstall revealed the moment he was inspired to start his campaign. “As I was watching the news about the tragedy that had occurred in Haiti, I felt a bit removed and numb. I stood up and walked past my change jar holding open my living room door and the idea struck me: I could do something and maybe others might join,” he explained. “The name for this campaign also hit me and I enjoyed how it had a kind of double meaning, Korean Change for Haiti. I had heard from a few other native-English speaking friends who had change jars like me and I also felt the name could inspire some hope for improvement for Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the world.” Arkinstall contacted the Korean Red Cross for details on how to donate. “I had some challenges to get the necessary details from the Red Cross as to how people could donate and also how people could qualify for charitable donation receipts for Korean income tax purposes,” he said. “But Park 'Jay' Ju-seong (박주성) at the Red Cross provided me with the information and I was pleased to hear that she was very busy with phone calls from other Koreans hoping to make a difference.” The next step was to get the word out to others to spread the campaign. To do this, Arkinstall has set up a Facebook group page to attract friends and friends-offriends (If you do an Internet search for “Korean Change for Haiti”, you can find all the details). Popular Jeollanam-do blogger Brian Deutsch also promoted the campaign on his page. “I was so pleased to see the Facebook group I created grow quite quickly and I was soon calculating the total donation for the Haitian people if all members were to donate their change jars as well,” said Arkinstall. “I also appreciate that my campaign was given more exposure through the JLP provincial office (the coordinator there forwarded my info to all the native speaking English teachers in the program), as well as [by] Brian Deutsch.”

A bank clerk happily receives Riann's jar full of change, the first donation in the Korean Change For Haiti campaign Riann Arkinstall

Full details of how to donate can be found on the Facebook page, as well as at the end of this article. Of course, any donation is welcome: change jar or otherwise. As Arkinstall says, "if we pool these small sums, we can make a difference." Those donating can also receive an ‘Acknowledgment of Donation’ from the Korean Red Cross if they wish, which could qualify them for a tax-deduction from the government. Additionally, independent of the Korean Change appeal, you can make a small donation to the Korean Red Cross using your cell phone. Simply dial 060 707 1070, and listen to a short recorded message (in Korean). You don’t need to understand or respond to the message: just stay on the line until the beep sounds, and then hang-up. Two thousand won is donated for each call, and you can call as many times as you like. The final word goes to Arkinstall: “Please don't let your good intentions pass without action. As the story gets 'old', people will naturally begin to forget about the plight of the Haitians. I urge you to do your best no matter how small.” By Jon Ozelton

Donations should be made to the Korean Red Cross (대한적십자사) to Nong-hyup Bank (농협) Account No. 301-0042-3408-21.

Gwangju News March 2010


Local Event

Come and Join the First Light-Themed Expo in Gwangju!


hat Is the Gwangju World Photonics Expo?

Gwangju World Photonics Expo will be open from April 2nd in Gwangju, an appropriate location as Gwangju has long been known as the 'City of Light'. The date of opening was postponed from fall 2009 because of H1N1 influenza fears. The main theme of the Expo is 'Light, Ushering in the Future'. Gwangju is expecting that 50 countries and about 2 million people will participate in the Expo. Visitors to the Expo can have direct experiences of light by seeing, touching and creating it.

The Advantage of Gwangju World Photonics Expo Nowadays, light is regarded as a potentially unlimited energy for the next generation. Humankind is facing a serious energy crisis and many kinds of environmental problems. Experts are emphasizing the importance of light and many people are trying to find various ways to use light in our daily life, not only in industry, technology or science. When we think about this situation, we can say that Gwangju World Photonics


Gwangju News March 2010

Expo has an important meaning. Of course there have been Expos covering all kinds of diverse themes, but the Gwangju World Photonics Expo is the first lightthemed Expo, which gives it special meaning. By opening the Expo, Gwangju has a chance to open the future with light. Leaders of Gwangju recognized the importance of light earlier than others and developed many kinds of light-related industries. The Expo is not only good for Gwangju, but also for all parts of South Korea because it is the opportunity for Korea in the photonics industry. Korean people are expecting that their country can be a leader of the global photonics industry through the Expo. Not only this, but also Gwangju can see many visitors during the Expo. The Expo will be the global festival, not just a local or Asian festival, and it means that many foreigners would come to Gwangju during the Expo. It can promote the sightseeing industry in Gwangju.

Things That You Can Experience in Gwangju World Photonics Expo When people visit Gwangju World Photonics Expo, they can be a highlight of the Expo by direct experience. They can get opportunities to become familiar with light not only by seeing it but also by touching and even creating it. In many Expos or

Local Event

Left (2) & previous page: The centrepiece of the Gwangju Photonics Expo, the award-winning "Lumi-bowl"; Above: A plan of the Expo site in Sang-mu Citizen's Park

exhibitions, visitors usually just observe things and go back home because touching things are almost impossible or prohibited. But in the Gwangju World Photonics Expo, visitors can touch and create light by themselves. Light created by visitors will light up the Expo venue and it means that the Expo will be created by the visitors, not just the hosts.

Visitors can make unforgettable memories in the Expo. There are nine pavilions in the Sangmu District Citizens' Park, where the Expo is being held. As mentioned above, visitors can experience light in a variety of ways in the pavilions. For example, they can see the potential of light with 3D images in 'Themed Multimedia Pavilion' and can create light materials in 'Citizens’ Pavilion'. In addition, visitors can get an opportunity to meet a wide variety of people and share the enjoyment of the Expo with them. Gwangju World Photonics Expo is a global festival and people from many countries will visit. Regardless of gender, age or ethnicity, all visitors of the Expo who are interested in light can join and share experience and feeling of light together. By Han Jaerim Jaerim is a senior student at English language and literature department, Chonnam University. Information Source: Gwangju Photonics Expo 2010

Overview Period Venue

April 2(Fri) –May 10(Sun), 2010 (For 38 days) Gwangju Sangmu Citizens' Park in Gwangju, South Korea 1159-2, Chipyeong-Dong, Seo-Gu, Gwangu, South Korea Theme Light, Ushering the Future Contents Themed exhibition in pavilions, light festival Host The City of Gwangju, The Ministry of Knowledge and Economy Organizer Gwangju World Photonics Expo Foundation Tickets Single tickets = Adults 12,000 Won; Teenagers 9,000 Won; Children 6,000 won For more information, visit the homepage:

Gwangju News March 2010



Marme Sunim, a Buddhist Nun A

Buddhist-inclined friend suggested I reach out to a nun of the faith, Marme Sunim. He mentioned her friendliness toward foreigners and her openness to discuss her religion. I called her a few weeks ago and was delighted to find out she was willing to meet me and discuss her path towards enlightenment in both the Korean and Tibetan traditions. Although not a Buddhist myself, I found Gwangju-based Marme to be charming, generous and personable during my visit to her temple near Wolgook Market. She picked me up in her older model SUV at a neighboring bus stop and immediately, I was struck by her adapted modern style. Wearing the traditional gray attire of the Korean ordained and a small woolen cap covering her shaved head, her smile beamed as she greeted me. I was equally surprised that her touch screen mobile phone was more sophisticated than my used push button one. A friend from Sri Lanka was seated in the front seat, as she drove me a few short blocks to her temple, the Sangay Choeling Tibetan Buddhism Studies Center. At the altar were photos of His Holiness the Dali Lama and other Buddhist dignitaries carefully placed around the room. Colorful lotus flower decorations adorned the ceiling with blessings written in Korean. I found out later I had just missed the Lunar New Year celebration the previous day, so I only saw what was left. Finally, Marme received me in her private chamber, a cozy room just off the main altar room. An avid table tennis player, she has certificates on the wall showing off her number one ranking. Originally from Seoul, Marme has been ordained for nearly 20 years in the Jogye Order, the largest in Korea. She knew she always wanted to be a nun and recounted to me the story of her mother’s wish to have a boy. After 100 days of prayer for a boy, she was born. When hearing this story as a child she made the decision at an early age to be a nun. “It was my Karma,” she says. “It was my dream to be a student of Buddha.” After more than two years at her center in Wolgook,


Gwangju News March 2010

Marme Sunim, relaxing over tea

however, she is at a crossroads between teaching and practicing. As part of the Jogye Order, Marme must remain celibate as she practices a life of asceticism. Before becoming ordained, she practiced her vows for three years, even though after six months it is possible to become an apprentice nun or a monk, then pass a 4-year course to gain more knowledge. Although nuns and monks perform the same tasks, monks take 250 vows while nuns take 348 vows. Despite reports that nuns are under appreciated and even discriminated against elsewhere, nuns in Korea, she says are ‘very well respected’ because of the structure in place to become a nun. “Nuns in Taiwan are very similar because of the structure there,” she adds. Even her name ‘Marme’ Sunim was given to her by a highranking holy official from India, ‘Marme’ meaning ‘bottle lamp’ and ‘Sunim’ being the respectful title for a senior nun or monk in Korea. She already had some guests visiting and was serving


Marme Sunim's temple, the Sangay Choeling Tibetan Buddhism Studies Center

them gangra tea from India. Soon after I arrived her doctor friend arrived and she stated her reticence in talking to me. “Wait until I talk to my friend, and we’ll see,” she said. I sat quietly sipping tea and taking it all in as she spoke Korean to her guests. Her doctor friend seemed to put her at ease, when he said to me “I feel like we’ve met in previous life,” he said. Soon afterwards, Marme felt comfortable enough to invite me for lunch. We moved to the kitchen area, where her cook served us a filling meal of traditional vegetarian side dishes. “This is made without garlic, onions and other [pungent] spices. It is forbidden to eat them,” she says. “Really? I never knew that,” I said. I learned later that in the Buddhist faith, this is to avoid lustful arousal and sparking a temper as well as risking rejection of one’s flesh and blood by the gods and saints. The meal was delicious and ended with a tasty dish of persimmons marinated in honey, ginger and pine nuts called sujung gua. Finally, she agreed to a short interview and continued serving me some tea. “What is the difference between Tibetan and Korean Buddhism?” I ask. “Well they are very similar in that they are about getting enlightenment and using the Mahayana sutras (holy scriptures thought to have come directly from the Buddha). Tibetan Buddhism however proposes a different way of thinking about compassion for others, wisdom and bodhistava (aspiration in attaining Buddahood or a state of liberation and knowledge).” She proudly tells me she recently traveled to New Zealand to study abroad and met many westerners who were eager to learn about Buddhism and her beliefs. Marme tells me she is now attending Donggang College in Gwangju to

pursue a degree in social work, and tells me through her study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism, how she has embraced community service more than ever. “The first social welfare worker was Buddha,” she declares. “Ten years ago, a monk asked me to study social work, and I refused. Today I am studying social work.” “I have no teacher in Korea though,” she says. Today, while constantly in pursuit of wisdom, she is unsure if she will stay at her present temple or move on, but is leaning towards inviting other nuns which would make the temple even better. As such, Marme tells me she is considering moving to another temple in the Himalayas or inviting other nuns to stay with her at the temple. She says she is torn between practicing Buddhism and teaching it. Soon, she will be preparing an upcoming pilgrimage to India where she will participate in Tibetan New Year on March 3, 2010 and meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other ordained friends and teachers. Upon her return she may decide what her next steps will be. In the meantime, she enjoys receiving visitors most mornings at her temple in Wolgook, including the occasional foreigner. Some of her friends are in a local rock band called Euphoria, she tells me and insists I meet them. “They are like my family,” she says of her friends and followers. “Family.” To visit Marme at the Sangay Choeling Tibetan Buddhism Studies Center, take Bus 29 or 40 to Wolgook Market. Call: 062-956-2351(2) for additional directions. Story and photos by Alva French

Gwangju News March 2010


Discover Korea

Mt. Taebaek Big White Mountain


t seemed frivolous, no doubt, to travel diagonally far across South Korea and spend a couple of nights in a motel simply to climb a mountain, especially when there were other peaks closer at hand, but I had good reasons for feeling drawn by Mount Taebaek. Although it’s set in a ‘provincial park’ rather than a more prestigious national one, Taebaeksan is one of the three peaks most revered by shamanists, and would therefore grant my first glimpse into Korean shamanism. Rising 1,567 metres above sea level, Mount Taebaek is the sixth highest peak in South Korea and so one could expect a challenging hike with sublime panoramas – though in practice the summit can be reached in two hours.


Gwangju News March 2010

Discover Korea

Like many exotic-sounding and opaque Korean place names, Mount Taebaek assumes a child-like simplicity if you understand its hanja characters. You realize that Taebaeksan means ‘Big White Mountain.’ There were no budget (ilban) tickets for the five-plushour diagonal slog from Gwangju to the town of Taebaek. Instead, I found myself occupying a plush, spacious maroon seat, as the first-class luxury bus left Gwangju Bus Terminal with only a few passengers on board. Looking out the window at the passing scenery, you have little to do but draw conclusions about the sort of country South Korea is from a diagonal perspective. It was mountainous, I decided. It was a rare moment when I looked out the window and couldn’t spot a mountain ridge or peak – either we saw mountains close-up, passing among them, or they formed a majestic backdrop more distantly. Later, just before eight in the evening, I was surprised to feel my ears pop, signaling a shift in altitude, and realized on consulting my watch that the coach journey had lasted six hours…and counting! It had long since grown dark when the bus pulled into the little terminal at Taebaek. After a satisfying dinner in a cheap diner, I trod back to the less expensive wing of the Dong-Ah Motel where I was staying. The next morning, I caught the local bus – the only bus I recall having seen in Korea that had graffiti on the backs of seats – at around eight thirty, having stocked up on the usual provisions: a foil-wrapped roll of kimbap, pastries (unexciting ones), bottled water and plum squash. All was glazed with splendid morning sunlight, and the moon’s pale white ghost hung in a blue sky. At the start of the trail, there was a weathered, ancientlooking ‘Seokjangseung’ totem pole made of stone. Although its true meaning has been lost in the mists of time, the poles, unusual in this part of Korea, are thought to be connected with the shamanist altars known as ‘Cheonjedan’ that you see when you reach the summit area of Mount Taebaek: it’s believed that the stone totem poles acted as guardians of the mountain. Long-bearded Dangun, mythical founder of Korea, sits immortalised in what looks like bronze at the top of a stony staircase nearby. Beyond his statue, there’s a shrine to him that exhibits the wood-andwhite-paint simplicity of many Japanese temples but is flanked by a Korean flag and a Taebaek town flag, indicating that we are firmly in Korea. The area around Taebaeksan had turned out to be considerably colder than Gwangju. An electronic sign near the ticket gate had hovered at minus eleven to minus twelve degrees. The young man at the ticket gate had warned me that I would need snow grips – or ‘eisen’, as they’re called in Korean with a nod towards

Above: A scenic icy path leads through the trees; Previous page: Munsubong

the German language – on the way to the peak. There was a mountain stream flowing downhill as hikers made their way up, now and then crossing it by way of a bridge. Except that it wasn’t flowing. It had been exquisitely and gracefully frozen in mid-cascade, as though some snow witch or ice queen had cast an evil spell on this subtle, watery ballet. A Gangwon province winter must be cruel to creatures that flourish in spring and summer. But here and there, the flow of life – or at least water – continued: you could hear a gurgling somewhere beneath that enchanting exhibition of ice, and sometimes there would be a patch where the ice was unveiled and pure mountain spring water rushed. For a good distance, it was possible to walk easily on the flattened snow and on the rocks that jutted out without donning the snow grips that were waiting in my rucksack. Soon, however, those ‘eisen’ became essential. I came to a long flight of stony steps uphill that looked as icy as a frozen waterfall. Then I was glad to have those snow grips, my pointed high-tech hiking stick, plus a rope lining the way that I could clutch so as to be on the safe side. And although it had warmed considerably by late morning, the weather still seemed suited to the hosting of a snow festival: you could taste the cool air in your mouth and let it run across your taste buds like ice-cold milk. In contrast with your average Chinese holy peak, a typical Korean mountain is not equipped with stalls, Gwangju News March 2010


Discover Korea

nor does it have restaurants, temples or guesthouses on top. But shortly after eleven, I found a well wrapped-up woman nobly selling hot drinks and some snacks to hungry hikers – I counted seven others as I rested – in a clearing with benches, picnic tables and a signpost. I was glad of the stream of fellow climbers to whom one could turn for help or company. By this point, there had already been indications of genuine shamanist activity and spirituality (or at least ritual) on the mountain: I had seen people bowing to the ancient totem pole and to the Dangun statue. Now, as I looked ahead on the path, I saw a man with a big cardboard box on his back who had stopped before a pile of small rocks and was bowing before it. I stopped too, tried to look on unobtrusively – and panted (for I was out of breath). After this worshipper had gone on I noticed other traces of religious activity: a can with incense sticks.

lunch (for it was now noon or so). There was quite a gathering here – soon I looked about and managed to count twenty-six fellow hikers on the steps of Manggyeongsa: not bad for a Tuesday! One reaches the shamanist altars of Cheonjedan after trekking up ice-coated stone steps. Here, the spectacular views over increasingly vague and hazy layers of mountain are heightened by the opportunity to visit a noteworthy archaeological site (and sight). ‘Cheonjedan’ refers to three ceremonial altars differing in shape and some way apart, which experts tend to date back to Silla times, when Mount Taebaek went by the name of Mount Bukak. From a hiker’s point of view, it’s a fantastic conclusion to an exhilarating ascent through an enchanted winter wonderland – in addition to reaching the usual summit, it’s as though one has stumbled on Stonehenge.

High in the Taebaek mountains, shortly before the panoramas became truly sublime, two roads seemed to diverge – one leading to the Buddhist temple of Manggyeongsa, and the main path to the peak. Curiosity drove me onwards to ‘Cheonjedan’ and the summit. Despite selecting the path to the peak, I was glad that a Korean Buddhist temple had made it so high on a mountain slope: whilst Chinese mountains customarily have a temple on the summit, Korea’s fine temples tend to be tucked in the foothills of great mountains, but Manggyeongsa, breaking the trend, had made it far up. Additionally, this was a shamanist peak, and so the existence of a Buddhist temple on these slopes reminded me of the peaceful intertwining of spiritual traditions that had impressed me at the cliffclutching Hanging Temple on China’s northern Taoist peak, Mount Heng.

The first shamanist altar you see, and the largest, is an oval structure known as ‘Cheonwangdan’, the temple of the King of Heaven. This was a veritable magnet for tourists, several of whom emerged from the oval enclosure and handed me their camera, recognizing a photo opportunity. Inside, you can see a platform where people still pray – and I saw several hikers doing so. Technically, Janggunbong, with its horseshoeshaped altar, is Mount Taebaek’s loftiest peak, reaching 1,567 metres above sea level – but it’s only a short walk away, through mud and ice and over rocks, and the path dips and then rises in such a way that it’s difficult to tell whether you’re higher up than before. On one side, you can look across to a wind farm on a distant peak, hinting at a cleaner and less perilous future than the one described in the sometimes harrowing exhibits of the park’s Taebaek Coal Museum; on the other side, fighter planes roar over the mountainous terrain,

Though I had prioritized shamanist heights over Buddhist exploration, destiny had it that I ended up at Manggyeongsa Temple anyway, where I saw a kind and contented-looking monk in grey robes standing high above the path, thoughtfully surveying the sprawling Taebaeksan mountain range. I managed to ask the monk in polite Korean whether there might be an entrance, and he invited me up. What a view – the mountains had a delicate, ceiling-like layer of clouds that hung above them, and then a piercingly blue sky whose colour deepened from pale to a rich, royal blue as you looked upwards. We stood sharing this impressive panorama and chatting for a couple minutes: he had lived up here for two years. Then the grey-robed monk led me past the (ahem…) coffee machine to the temple steps, where I found other hikers talking about eating

Hikers arriving at the shamanist shrine on Mount Taebaek's peak


Gwangju News March 2010

Discover Korea



Photos note:


indicating that human beings may do their best to create new problems for themselves. Since the early afternoon was steeped in sunlight, and with other hikers assuring me “it isn’t difficult,” I decided to opt for a slightly longer path back, taking me over Munsubong. As I made for Munsu Peak, the path itself was carpeted brightly with snow yet fringed on either side by rustcoloured dead leaves. This gleaming Yellow Brick Road appealed aesthetically. As with the shamanist altars of ‘Cheonjedan’, variety clearly mattered on Munsu Peak, where you could see hikers clambering over a vast bed of boulders to admire rocks and smaller stones that had been piled up to create huge, even structures. In the centre was a near-perfect cone that towered above me; looking around at the other stone structures, I observed that each was subtly distinguishable by its shape. I puzzled over the possible meaning of these myriad structures, trying to comprehend this apparent continuation of the ancient shamanist theme. It was only later that I linked the ‘Munsu’ of Munsubong with that Buddhist figure that I had encountered in China as ‘Wenshu’, the bodhisattva of wisdom, and realized that these must have been stupas or pagodas. The evenness and natural grandeur of these piled stones inspired awe in a way that modern architecture rarely manages. I found myself imagining the difficulties of piling the stones and keeping the lines straight: these were impressive in the manner of an ambitious sandcastle on the beach. The snowy trail onwards amidst birch trees was magical. Hiking through this fairy-tale setting, I was


1) Spirit posts by the hiking path 2) Icy landscape 3) The peak/ shamanist shrine 4) A Buddhist mansubong (Munsu peak).

relieved when the path widened into an equally sublime forest of sky-reaching, slender yet towering pines. Beneath the same impeccably blue sky that we praised earlier, this landscape – which would return me to my starting-point, which I would now know for the first time – was characterized by the rusty hues of disintegrating leaves and pine needles. Thankfully, the day had warmed to a mere minus three degrees, when I emerged from the rusty forest and out through the gates of Taebaeksan provincial park. This is just about the end of my Taebaek Tale. A Sobaeksan Saga might have been tempting – tramping up peaks in the snow can be addictive, assuming that you are properly equipped and start at a respectably early hour – but I had old friends to meet for dinner, so hopped aboard a bus for Seoul, and instead had to settle for an overdose of reading on the history of Korean religions in a bookshop on the capital’s quaint Insadong Road. Story and photos by Jacob Lotinga A South Korean Mountain Sketchbook by Jacob Lotinga Enjoy the full-length original version of this story, and five others, in Jacob Lotinga's South Korean Mountain Sketchbook, containing detailed accounts of the author's experiences of hiking and climbing mountains throughout the Korean peninsula. Download the full book for free at

Gwangju News March 2010


Local Scene

Paintball P

aintball. The very name conjures up different images for different people. For some, the pupils dilate, the adrenaline starts flowing and the automatic response is “When and where?” For others, they picture missing fingers, broken limbs and irreparable eye damage. Of these two types of people, the former has played before. Paintball is often misunderstood as a dangerous sport. Paintball has a lower rate of injury requiring a hospital visit than inline skating, soccer, volleyball, and even using exercise equipment. In fact, paintball has a lower injury rate each year than trampolines, televisions, amusement park rides and attractions, or even clothing. For those unfamiliar with the game, paintball is a very safe sport and a joy to play. Great efforts have been made to separate the sport of paintball from gun culture. Instead of guns, players use markers that shoot balls, not bullets and if you are hit, you are “tagged,” not dead or shot. Paintball is then viewed as a sport, not a hobby for

gun-crazed enthusiasts (though there are those as well). There are a few simple safety regulations that, when obeyed, make for a safe and enjoyable game. First, proper safety equipment (namely, a mask) is essential, and you should never remove it while the game is in session. Second, no blind shooting. If you can’t see where you’re shooting, don’t shoot. There are other rules that change depending on the field, but these two are basically universal. Combined with common sense (stretch properly before the game, exercise caution when playing, don’t clean your trigger while looking down the marker), these two rules will result in a fun and safe game for all involved. For me, I love paintball and was very excited to find out that there was a field in Gwangju. It was better than expected, though certainly smaller than the forty-acre fields you often find in Canada. Roughly the size of three soccer fields, the game takes place in a wooded area about five minutes away from the Duam Dong Home Plus. In

All kitted out and locked and loaded: the group get ready for some serious paintball action 18

Gwangju News March 2010

Local Scene

Left: No love is lost when the game's in progress.... Right: ... but everyone's still friends at the end

the past, we met at the Buk Gu fire station and had the field marshal meet us there, ferrying everyone into cabs.

out. You simply keep marking someone until they call themselves “out” or you run out of shots.

I have been twice: once in the summer and once in the fall, and had a lot of fun. The first time, we went with about twenty or so people, and the second time we went with about thirty. The rivalry and trash talk is always a highlight with our last team names being “Kill Jon” and “Kill James” (the captains of the two teams). Post-game, the comparing of welts, bumps, scrapes and stories is almost as good as the game itself.

The base package includes three rounds and once you are tagged, you have to head to the designated safe area for the rest of the round. Everyone is back in at the beginning of each round, so don’t worry too much if you’re eliminated in a hurry. The price depends on the amount of people participating, but you get the equipment, use of the field, the field marshal and 40 shots per game included with the fee. The more people you get out, the cheaper it is. As the field is not very big, it won’t easily accommodate groups much larger than 30. You can play additional rounds for about 3,000 won per person.

The field is next to a large grass soccer field (how many of those do you see here?) plus a large covered area with tables and chairs. The second time we went, we finished the game with barbequed hot dogs and pizza. There is also a barbequed meat restaurant (slow cooked smoked meat, not meat fried at the table) that definitely looks like it’s worth trying out. Once at the field, the equipment, which includes a face mask, marker, 40 balls per round, gloves, plastic chest and back protector, and coveralls, is handed out. The teams are made and safety rules are explained. As the field marshal is Korean, he explains in Korean, so it is a good idea if you have someone willing and able to translate at least the basic meaning of what is being said. He does speak some English but prefers to do the explaining in Korean. Once this is finished, you head into the field to start playing. The most basic game is simply team elimination: tag the other team before they tag you. The last team standing is the winner. ‘Capture the flag’ is also popular with each team having a flag at their end. The team that is able to make it to the other team’s flag and wave it is the winner. Third is ‘Rambo’ where nobody is actually ever

The name of the company is 빛고을레포츠 (Bitgoeul Reports) and the (Korean language) website is The phone numbers are 010-7733-2144 (cell) and 062-269-3114 (office). You’ll need to talk to Han Seok Bong. Although his English is not great, he’s willing to try to communicate and is very foreigner friendly. For larger groups, you’ll have to put down a deposit in order to make a reservation. Also, confirm the price ahead of time (price is based on numbers but usually is around 25,000 won per person) and remember what was agreed upon as you’ll need to pay cash once you’re done playing. The field is located at 장구 의땅 (“jang-gu-i ddang”, General’s Land) and most taxi drivers seem to know where it is. If in doubt, meet somewhere near (Home Plus or the Buk Gu fire station) and the field marshal will meet you and explain to cabs how to get there. Good luck and happy playing! Story and photos by Jon Reesor Gwangju News March 2010


Out and About

Suncheon Bay O

ne aspect of life in Korea which I have personally grown to love is the seemingly never-ending supply of weekend day-trip destinations. One such place that we ventured to this fall was Suncheon Bay in Suncheon. By bus, it takes about an hour and twenty minutes from Gwangju’s USquare Bus Terminal to downtown Suncheon, which is just north of the Suncheon Bay area. Taking the local 67 bus from there will get you to the bay in about 20 minutes. We really had no idea about what we would see once we arrived at Suncheon Bay, other than the famed “reeds” we had heard about from some Korean friends. To be honest, I wasn’t really sure how much they would thrill me either. We also did not realize that this area happened to be a natural swampy preserve fitted


Gwangju News March 2010

with its own modern-looking eco-museum for those looking for more of an educational experience. Unfortunately, we arrived a week late, but visitors can attend the “Suncheon Bay Reed Festival” which runs annually during the final week in October. The day we arrived was quite breezy, which was a nice touch against the endless field of reeds that lay before us, even though it was quite cold. Guests can enter the park free of charge and walk along a wooden boardwalk that guides you through some rather picturesque views, at eye level with the reeds as they carry on for what seems to be miles. The dense reeds themselves are home to the Black Crane which we happened to spot on a few occasions. There is also a boat that tours the swampy river for 4,000 won for those wanting a closer look.

Out and About

What is Suncheon Bay? Suncheon Bay is a tidal and wetlands area, wellknown for its wide winding river, expanses of reed fields and migratory birds. It is an area of natural beauty, as well as an important natural habitat. It is a key resting place for many migratory birds, in particular the endangered Hooded Crane. In January 2006, Suncheon Bay reached a landmark, as it became the first Korean coastal wetland to be registered on the list of The Ramsar Wetlands, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. Hooded crane in Suncheon Bay

After about a 20-minute walk across the fields you reach a fairly steep set of stairs that lead you to the highlands that serve as the backdrop to the area. This area makes for some stellar photography once you reach the top and trek across a walking bridge to a clearing with a wooden lookout built for your viewing pleasure. This walk shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes or so to make it there from the ground level. Once you have had your fill of Facebook photographing and venture down, you might find a boiled chestnut vendor at the base level, selling bags of the boiled

goodness for 1,500 won a pop but very worth it. I imagine his selection varies based on the season. All in all, the location was beautiful, and somewhat unique with its open areas of grass near the museum, which makes for a nice, yet inexpensive day trip with your picnic basket and camera. Story and photos by Adam Damiano

Gwangju News March 2010



Monthly Special Days for Lovers in Korea


ebruary 14th was Valentine’s Day. In Korea, in contrast to Western countries, it’s a day where girls gave chocolate, cards or presents to their boyfriend to show their love. In return, boys usually buy a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant. However, this is not the only special couple’s day in Korea. Actually there is now a special “14th” day every month for lovers in Korea. While it might be a little bit troublesome for some of the lovers who are not good at keeping up with trends I’ll introduce the monthly special days in Korea. 1. January 14th – Diary Day At the beginning of the year, people usually make resolutions and buy a new diary for the New Year. In Korea, on January 14th, couples give their sweetheart a new diary for the year, wishing that he/she will have a nice and happy new year. 2. February 14th – Valentine’s Day February 14th is the famous Valentine’s Day. It was first introduced to Korea from the West, but a few changes have been made. In the Korean version of Valentine’s Day, the people who prepare chocolate and cards are not the men, but the women. As Valentine’s Day approaches, girls get busy preparing special presents for their lovers. All the bakeries and stores sell chocolate as well and they sell like hot cakes during this period. Nowadays, girls even make special DIY chocolate to show their boyfriends how much they love them and how much effort they put into making a special present for them. In return, men prepare a romantic dinner for their sweetheart. 3. March 14th – White Day Not familiar with White Day? This day is as famous as Valentine’s Day in Korea. On White Day, it is the men’s turn to prepare special presents for their sweethearts. Boys buy fancily decorated candies, cards and other presents for their girlfriends. Unlike Valentine’s Day, however, girls don’t necessarily have to prepare a fancy dinner. This is usually taken care of by the boys once again. 4. April 14th – Black Day Those days mentioned so far are special days only for couples. Then what about the people who are not couples? Black Day is for people who are lonely. People who spent Valentine’s Day and White Day gloomily, eat jajangmyeon (자장면 – noodles in black sauce) on this day alone. They eat jajangmyeon, hoping that they will find their love soon. 5. May 14th – Rose Day On May 14th, lovers buy beautiful roses and give them to their sweetheart. There is no rule about who should present but most of the time it is men who buy the flowers. 22

Gwangju News March 2010

6. June 14th – Kiss Day On Kiss Day, people give their sweethearts a kiss. 7. July 14th – Silver Day Boyfriends and girlfriends present something silver to their sweethearts on this day. Some people call this day “Ring Day”, on which they give a ring to their lover. Some couples buy couple rings and put them on their fourth finger to symbolize their love. 8. August 14th – Green Day & Music Day Couples go to the mountains or forests to enjoy green scenery and fresh air and that is why it has been named “Green Day”. Some people say that it is Music Day when couples listen to their favorite songs together. It would be best to go to mountains and listen to music there, enjoying the beautiful landscape and relaxing together. 9. September 14th – Photo Day Couples take pictures together. Boyfriends will take pictures of their girlfriends; Girlfriends will take pictures of their boyfriends. 10. October 14th – Wine Day Young people enjoy nice wine with their sweethearts on Wine Day. 11. November 14th – Movie Day On this day, couples go to the movies. 12. December 14th – Hug Day Young people give their sweethearts a big hug on Hug Day. 13. November 11th – Pepero Day On November 11th, boys and girls buy or make Pepero, a stick-shaped cookie covered with chocolate, and give to their boyfriends and girlfriends. Pepero Day was chosen forNov. 11th (11-11) because the number eleven looks like two standing sticks. Although Pepero Day is not on the “14th” day of the month in Korea, it is an equally famous special day for couples in Korea. With so many special days, it doesn’t seem to be easy to be a couple here in Korea. In fact, except for Valentine’s Day, White Day and Pepero Day, the other remaining days for lovers are not so popular and some people don’t even know about them. Also, some people criticize those days as being over-commercialized. Methods don’t seem to be so important in expressing love to whom you love. If you are in love, make everyday your special day and don’t hesitate to express your love. By Park Minji

Useful Korean Phrases

V~ 해본 적이 없어요 (I’ve never p.p ~.) Grammar Dialog A: 시내에 맛있는 음식점이 생겼대요. [Sinaee manninneun eumsikjeomi saenggyeotdaeyo.] A: A good new restaurant opened in the downtown area. B: 오, 그래요? 무슨 음식점인데요? [O, geuraeyo? Museun eumsikjeomindeyo?] B: Oh, really? What kind of food do they serve? A: 불고기를 파는 엄식점이래요 [Bulgogireul paneun eumsikjeomiraeyo.] A: It’s a Bulgogi restaurant. B: 저는 아직 한번도 한국에서 불고기를 먹어본 적이없어요. [Jeoneun ajik hanbeondo hangugeseo bulgogireul meogeobon jeogi eopseoyo.] B: I’ve still never eaten Bulgogi in Korea. A: 정말요? 한번 먹어봐요. 정말 맛있어요. [Jeongmaryo? Hanbeon meogeobwayo. Jeongmal manniseoyo.] A: Really? Have a try. It is really delicious. B: 그래야겠어요. 괸장히 기대되네요. [Geuraeyageseoyo. Goengjanghi gidaedoeneyo.] B: Ok. I will try. I really want to eat it.

Vocabulary 음식점: restaurant 맛있는: delicious 팔다 (제공하다): serve 먹다: eat (가게, 상점 따위가) 열다: open

V~ 해본 적이 없어요 (I’ve never p.p ~.) This expression is used when people have no experience about something like eating, reading, using. In this sentence, p.p can be verb eaten, read, used etc. Ex) 이 음식을 먹어본 적이 없어요. (I’ve never eaten this food.) Ex) 이것을 시도해본 적이 없어요. (I’ve never tried this.) Ex) 이 영화를 본 적이 없어요. (I’ve never seen this movie.)

Vocabulary Exercise In this letter grid, try to find the following Korean words, joining letters horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

인정 (recognition), 천지 (sky and earth), 지게 (a back rack), 육체 (body), 인성 (human nature), 남용 (abuse), 학우 (friend especially in school), 세상 (earth), 눈물 (tear)

By Noh In-woo A freshman at Chonnam National University.

Gwangju News March 2010



Hanbok performances at the Mokpo Culture Center

Photo by Meghan Reynolds

Gaping gulbi hanging in rows waiting to be sold

Photo by Debra M. Josephson


Gwangju News March 2010

Movement at a full stop

Photo by David Little

Majestic grass bows to nature's breath on Mudeungsan

Photo by Lafe Meicenheimer

To enter Photo Contest, simply send your name, photo and picture description to Gwangju News March 2010



As part of broader “cultural learning” we highly recommend that you experience life in Gwangju with a host family. You will learn about daily life in Gwangju and become part of a new family! Homestay Fees Content


1 Adult

30.000 won per day including breakfast

Children under 3 years old


Children 3 - 10 years old

50% discount

Extra meals

5,000 won each

Pick up in Gwangju area


Tour Guide and other admission fees, etc

Prices vary

One month stay

500,000 won

Who are our host families? Gwangju City and Gwangju International Center (GIC) have carefully selected our host families after a thorough examination of their homes. So far 54 host families have been approved. Approved host families then participated in a 7week training program with international visitors from all over the world. The host families are excited to help you feel comfortable while you are away from your home and hope to create good memories with you through the homestay experience. Please note that in the unlikely event that you are unhappy with your homestay family, we will try to arrange a new homestay if possible without any extra cost.

Check-in and Check-out ① ② ③ ④ ⑤ ⑥

The guest must arrive at host`s home prior to 9 p.m. on the first day, unless otherwise agreed. After you arrive at the host family’s home, you should pay the fee to the host. You can pay only in Korean Won. (See homestay fee table) The guest needs to make an alternate plan during business hours as the home will not be available for use, unless otherwise agreed. If you have to leave earlier than you’ve planned, a refund of the balance may be issued on a case-by-case basis. If you stay for a long term, such as more than fifteen days, the cost may be adjusted by negotiation with the host family. GIC will send a feedback form to you after your homestay by email. Please fill it out honestly and then return it back to us. Your feedback will help us to make the homestay program better.

Contact Gwangju International Center Homestay Coordinators for quotes and availability at: or +82-62-226-2734


Gwangju News March 2010

A Monthly International Magazine

Gwangju News

The most informative and up-to-date English life and entertainment magazine focusing exclusively on events and updates in Gwangju and Jeollanam-do! Would you like to give your family and friends a glimpse of your exciting experiences in Gwangju and Jeollanam-do? Have you ever thought of sending Gwangju News to your home country? Gwangju News remains the best English magazine in the greater Jeollanam-do area and there are monthly articles focusing on festivals, live entertainment, restaurant reviews and much more! Gwangju International Center now offers the option of shipping Gwangju News to various destinations around the world, delivering your adventures to the doorstep of your loved ones back home!

How to Subscribe Send an e-mail to including the following information: 1. Sender name: 2. Receiver name: 3. Shipping address (including zip code): 4. E-mail address: 5. Telephone/mobile phone number: 6. The starting month:

For further information on magazine subscriptions and advertising, please contact Kim Min-su at: or call (062) 226-2734.

Subscription Rates (monthly issues for 1 year) Domestic: 10,000 won Asia : 25,000 won Australia and Europe: 40,000 won The Americas and Africa: 50,000 won Payment can be sent to our bank account using the information below. Please include the name that corresponds to the subscription name. You are responsible for any bank charges incurred. Kwangju Bank 134-107-000999 User name: Gwangju International Center (광주국제교류센터)

Gwangju News March 2010



Korea, an Endangered Country In the Near Future? S

ome people might feel uneasy about this title. I am Korean, and was born and raised in the Gwangju area. Some people who use bus No. 180 may have wondered what a recent sign meant – it read, “Would you endure it if your wages were still the same as they were 20 years ago?” No one could say ‘yes’ to this question. I would not either. Who might have posted such banners and signs, and why? It is local farmers that have done so. They are in desperate situations; their livelihoods have been threatened. And maybe in the years to come, the livelihoods of the general public in Korea will too be threatened. Suppose you are out of bread or rice. What would you do? You could simply order more from the grocery store. Easy, isn’t it? It is quite simple – for now. How many people are aware of Korea as an endangered country, in even more serious jeopardy than North Korea? Barely any. Korea is the fourth largest grain importing country in the whole world. So, what is the big deal if Korea imports more and more crops? Some say that it does not matter, because Korea is the 10th largest exporter of all countries. Moreover, the trade surplus, which is the largest it has ever been, widened to $3.01 billion last year, which is 5th in the world.


Gwangju News March 2010

But there is a term called the ‘food self-sufficiency’ rate. This is the act of or capacity for supporting oneself. Korea ranked 26th, out of 30 OECD countries. Our food self-sufficiency rate is only 28%. This means if we cannot import grains other than rice, only a quarter of Koreans can get enough food: the others would then starve to death, presumably. Imports of agricultural products are still increasing in Korea. This increase has substantially weakened the local market of farm commodities such as corn, broiler chickens, fresh fruit, soybeans, and pork, while striking serious brows to many related producers in the country. At the same time, Korea's food self-sufficiency ratio continued to sharply decline from 93.9% in 1965 to 80.5% in 1985, and from 43.1% in 1990 to 27.7% in 2007. The self-sufficiency rate of even such staple grains as rice and barley was below 100%. This has been a serious problem since 1994, when the ratio dropped under 30%. It hasn’t been a visible problem yet because anyone can import food resources from other countries. However, this is not easy as it once was. Major grain export countries are not exporting as much food as that they used to. Russia, the world’s 5th


largest exporter of wheat, raised export duties of wheat by 30%, from 10%. Ukraine restricted the export of wheat, corn and soybeans. (However, expecting a bumper harvest, Ukraine relaxed restrictions on exports) China charged a maximum of a 25% export duty on rice, corn and wheat. These countries say they do so just to protect themselves from the growing danger of inflation. On the other hand, some experts say this is a front for securing their absolutely needed quantity of food. Korea is the 5th largest importer of grain, so the price of grains profoundly affects the economy of Korea. The rice and barley self-sufficiency rates are comparably high, over 90%, with wheat, soybeans, corns at 0.2%, 11.3%, and 0.8%. This is because Korean farmers have given up on exporting most agricultural products, because they are too expensive to compete on the international market. As a result Korea mainly depends on import crops. In reality, while the amount of imported grains has decreased slowly, the amount of money spent on purchasing crops has increased sharply. We are paying more and getting less. It seems Korea cannot continue standing without being swayed by change in its surroundings, unless we change our future course of action.

fundamentals are the most important things, in whatever you do, and all the more so if it regard food. The primary industry in this area was traditionally agriculture, though today the IT industry employs more people and generates more income. Authorities want to jump into a leading position among the world’s companies by selling cell phones, cars, ships, and so on. It is true that North America, China, and Japan are attractive markets, primarily due to the explosive population growth that fuels their purchasing power. However, once the base is lost, it is a self-evident fact that some in Korea will face starvation. By Park Minji and Ko Namil

There is an old saying in Korea: “農者天下之大本也”. This means “farmers are the base of all other workers.” The

Gwangju News March 2010



The Western Country Makkoli Ajossi


feel I must begin by admitting that I did not intend to become an ‘ajossi’ makkoli drinker but during my stay here in the countryside of Korea I have been exposed to the most peculiar of all drinking cultures in Korea. There is no real name for it as far as I can tell, except to say that it is the atmosphere surrounding countryside living and the way all things including consuming makkoli are done. I lived in the big city of Incheon for two years and did my fair share of social engagements with fellow Korean coworkers. There was the usual after work release of stress by way of excessive consumption of alchohol. Soju, beer and on the odd occaision, makkoli . Most people didn’t drink makkoli very regularly. Soju and beer seemed to be more the drink of choice. During the gathering of coworkers there was the usual talk about what is on everyone’s mind. Changes in the work environment that are affecting everyone, be it good or bad. Most of the times bad. Sometimes they would talk about things occurring in the news. Finally there was the heckling of the single people and when they would find someone and settle down. The married men enjoyed bugging the younger men about this in my group I found. Also there were always three rounds of drinking in my group that I was a part of and it was most ritualistic, every Wednesday of the second week of every month. And on that day only did this particular event happen. Everyone was so busy with work and life that they had no extra time in their schedule to socially drink or even relax. This was my introduction to the Korean way of drinking and I naturally thought that when it came to drinking socially with co workers everyone around drank like this. When I came to the small town of Gokseong and brought my big city drinking ritual expectations with me I was quickly introduced to a most different style. Enter makkoli. Because in the big city I only had the chance to taste makkoli the one time and my body was already used to


Gwangju News March 2010

soju, I didn’t much care for it. So when I was offered it at my first co-worker social engagement I was polite and accepted, though all the while not really enjoying it. I finished my bowl politely and expected to have it no more and just go back to soju. Lucky for me that the co-worker next to me was a makkoli connoisseur and encouraged me to have another drink. I mentioned I didn’t find it delicious but he didn’t waiver and just motioned for me to drink up. Not wanting to offend I complied and drank again. I actually started to realize that it didn’t taste as horrible as I had originally experienced my first time in Incheon. Over the next few months, at every place I went with my co-workers to socially drink, they consumed makkoli. This continuing fondness for this rice-based drink was quite peculiar to me and I became seduced by it in a sense. I wondered “Why is it so good that all the people in this place enjoy it so much?” I wouldn’t find the real answer for a long time. I casually asked once, over a bowl of the milky substance, “Where was this made?” I was caught completely off guard when I was told the answer. It was explained to me that the brand of makkoli that I had been drinking since I got here, was Gokseong makkoli, made right here in the town. Everything then made sense. On top of being just as inexpensive as soju, why not support the local makkoli factory and economy by buying local. Looking back on the two years


The three golden rules of makkoli: - check the date - (far left) shake three times against palm - (left) stir with pinky

I’ve spent in the countryside with almost nothing but drinking makkoli on social occaisions, I’ve grown to be able to taste the good from the bad. The connoisseur colleague has shown me certain tips for showing a fellow makkoli drinker that you know how to handle yourself makkoli-etiquette wise. The first thing about makkoli I’ve learned is that checking the date is very important. Makkoli is best compared to milk as it has a best-before date. I’ve had the unfourtunate incident of buying a single bottle, bringing it to an occaision, only to be looked down on because, I was told, it didn’t smell fresh. The second thing about makkoli that I was shown is that after opening, but before serving, one must mix the drink. Open bottle, put bottle opening into left palm to close, and gently shake three times. Then pour. The third thing that I was shown is more of gimmick I guess that makes people laugh although I’m not sure why. You have to continually stir the drink if it sits too long. I reached for my chopstick on an occasion and a man said no. He instead instructed me on the following. Using your pinky finger, stir the makkoli slowly. Because you might not have a chopstick always on hand I guess! The final thing about makkoli that I’ve learned is that out in the country it’s treated more like coffee, by which I mean the social engagement of going for a coffee, rather than the beverage. I’m not sure if the same thing could be said about soju or beer. I’m just saying that in my experience, makkoli doesn’t feel like a time of drinking and unloading all the pentup stress of work that was ritualistic back in the city. With drinking makkoli there is an aura of slowing down. Taking time to relax truly and not rush things. There aren’t three rounds with makkoli, there’s one long one. And yes the end results are the wonderful feelings of lost inhibitions as with drinking any alchohlic beverage but how you get there by drinking makkoli in the country is quite a different path.

Getting back to the fact that the town has their own brand of makkoli, I wanted to know how many shops carried the stuff. Was it only the local marts or could a person truly walk into any Gokseong convenience store and get Gokseong makkoli? I scoured the area and found that about 90% of the shops carry makkoli, and 85% of the shops carry only Gokseong makkoli. It was quite interesting to note however that the big-name chain convenience stores did not carry the local Gokseong makkoli brand. The price of Gokseong makkoli was in the range from 1,000 - 1,200 won. Of course in almost every town in Korea there is some form of makkoli house. But as with most of the makkoli houses I’ve come across they are small and very cosy quarters with maybe four tables at the most. If you are at a makkoli house with tables numbering more than five you’re in a big one. I find that the cosiness is part of the makkoli culture though. The old lady making the soup or side dishes for you and the kettle of makkoli being brought out to the table and poured or ladled out is all part of a makkoli house experience. Most people, if the weather is good enough, don’t bother even going to a makkoli house and just have a picnic. On numerous occaisions have I found myself with multiple bottles of makkoli being hauled along with the kimchi and side foods out in the middle of a park or being driven out to a natural setting and sitting under a tree, So, it seems that out in the country things slow down. And that includes how people drink. Just make sure that the next time you have your bottle of makkoli: Check the date, shake 3 times and stir with your pinky. Story and photos by Adam Bourque

Gwangju News March 2010



The Tea Making Process Part four is a series of six, taking an in-depth look into the world of tea.

Canto XIV

Tea tree fields in Hawgaedong, Mount Jiri and picking tea leaves. Green sprouts and purplish shoots Grow among the clouds. Like a barbarian’s shoes, Like a bison’s breast; it is wavelike. Having night dew Thoroughly wet, In a masterly hand, Mysterious aroma permeates. The Venerable Cho Eui (tran. Chang Bae Kim)

The Tea Making Process 1. Plucking 2. Sorting 3. Cleaning 4. Primary drying/withering 5. Tea Specific Manufacture 6. Final Firing/drying 7. Sorting 8. Packing


hina is not only the largest tea producer in the world but also the largest consumer. Tea grows readily in almost all provinces of the country except those that are too cold and dry. With so many varying areas and climates the variety of tea in China can be overwhelming. Green tea is the most consumed type of tea and likewise it is the one with the most choices. It would be possible to spend months in China drinking only green tea from different gardens throughout the country. Fortunately many tea merchants in the major cities stock a good selection, but even then, selections will vary according to region. Very generally, the eastern provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Anhui are well-known for excellent green teas. To the south Fujian province is well known for oolong as well as neighboring Taiwan. In the west, Sichuan and Yunnan are famous for pu-erh tea and some black teas. This is only a cursory glance as within each region there are excellent teas of each variety. 32

Gwangju News March 2010

Japan, like China, mostly produces and consumes green tea. Besides leaf teas like those in other countries, the Japanese have a special fondness for powdered green tea, called matcha, which is whipped in a large bowl with a bamboo whisk. The best tea plants in Japan are reserved for matcha, and the first picked leaves of a prime tea plant are legendary. Most tea is produced in the southern provinces. Of important esteem are the teas from the island of Kyushu and those from the prefectures of Shizuoka and Uji. The latter is especially renowned given its proximity to the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara. In Korea, tea is found throughout the south. Both Jeollado and Gyeonsang-do have tea gardens producing mainly green tea. In addition, Jeju Island with its temperate climate and high altitudes produces a large quantity of tea. Of special concern, however, is the area around Jiri mountain which has historically produced Korea's best teas. Moving out of East Asia, India produces much of the world's black tea. Darjeeling in the north is famous for its delicate, fresh, golden black teas. Assam and the southern region of Nilgiri produce fine robust teas. Neighboring Sri Lanka is also an important producer of similarly strong black teas. In terms of domestic consumption, India is well known for its spiced milk teas, referred to as chai, which simply means tea. Personally, I appreciate the pronounced flavor of cardamom in my spiced teas. Most other South and Southeast Asian countries produce tea as well. Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nepal all produce and consume tea to varying degrees. Northern Thailand has a noticeable Chinese population that has transplanted tea making and producing traditions from China. For example, in the areas around Chiang Mai it is easy to find oolong teas similar to those found in Fujian or Taiwan. Vietnam also has a developed tea culture, obviously influenced by its proximity to China. Interestingly this tea culture coincides with an intense coffee drinking culture. It is common practice to drink strong green tea together


with strong Vietnamese coffee in cafes throughout the country. While coffee drinking is more widespread in Laos, it is easy to find a cup of domestic tea to drink with your coffee like in Vietnam. The scenic Cameron Highlands of Malaysia, once the summer getaway for British colonizers, is now a well known tourist destination with its ideal climate and undulating tea gardens. Nepal produces high mountain teas like those found in Darjeeling and Indonesia. With its tropical climate and vast land, it tends well growing gardens of black tea used mostly for export. Beyond Asia, Kenya and Tanzania are both important tea producers exporting large volumes of black tea. Some of these teas are specialty teas while others are mass-produced teas used for blending. It all depends on the method and the destination of the final product. In each country and in each region there are proprietary methods of production. Often subtle differences in technique are applied to produce substantial differences in the final tea. Not only are production methods different between styles of tea, but each region or individual garden exemplifies differences for the same style of tea. It is a matter of the hands of the producer and the terroir of the place. Generally, however, all producers follow a similar procedure. The first step is plucking or harvesting the leaves. In a country like Korea or China with distinct seasonality, leaves are picked three or four times beginning in April and lasting until the first heavy monsoon arrives. Depending on the region, leaves can be harvested in the summer and into the fall. In tropical areas, leaves are harvested almost year round with relatively consistent quality. Throughout the year each progressive plucking is referred to as first flush, second flush, third flush, etc., or by names traditionally used by the region or even still by confusing new names made up by different producers. Not all harvesting is done the same way either. In Japan, for example where labor costs are high and the rapidity of processing is essential, machines are used to cut the leaves from well tended plants. In other countries, for economic, aesthetic, or logistical reasons (sometimes the land is too steep), plucking is done by hand. Generally, the first teas picked in early spring from tender buds have the most concentrated flavors and produce the finest and most expensive teas. As tea leaves grow the amount of flavor disperses throughout the larger leaves, in essence large leaves and small buds from the same plant have the same fundamental flavors, except the smaller buds have more flavor per unit of weight. This makes it possible to infuse young leaves several times in water, but also makes the leaves more temperamental, and it’s easy to make the liquor

too bitter. Several people have told me that when they tried fresh expensive tea they did not like it because it was too bitter; this is not a fault in production, but a miscalculation in brewing. In any case, all producers have to pick their leaves, and ultimately the flavor and intensity of the tea varies according to the flush. Next, after plucking, all the gathered leaves are sorted by quality and then cleaned. Once cleaned, the leaves are dried of excess moisture and in the case of black tea, left to wither. Primary drying is traditionally done in the sun, but it also can be done indoors on drying racks or in modern stainless steel dryers. From here on, each type of tea has its own special process. Most green teas undergo some form of shaping or other manipulation to release the leaves' juices. Black teas will also be shaped but they must be left to oxidize as well. The shaping, cutting, rolling, and resting of leaves in this step are done by hand or by machine, or both. There is no rule – particular techniques belong to each producer. Once the leaves have undergone their tea specific manufacture, the tea must be dried to stop oxidation and to rid the leaves of moisture. Again this is done in many ways. Large manufacturers use computer monitored industrial ovens. Smaller manufacturers often use wood or gas fired ovens. But one effective and traditional method is to pan roast the tea. Roasters hand-toss the leaves several times in a large metal pan to evenly dry the leaves without burning. Another ancient method found in China is to dry the leaves in a bamboo basket over a fire. Whatever the method, this step is imperative to ensure the lasting quality of the finished tea. An improperly finished tea will soon lose its flavor and spoil. Often leaves are fired several times to ensure complete dryness. Once fired, the leaves at all manufacturers are again sorted for quality and finally they are packed and sent off to market. Whatever your preference: green, oolong, or black, loose leaf or tea bag, hot or cold, it is important to remember how far your leaves have traveled to flavor your delicious cup of tea. By Warren Parsons

Gwangju News February 2010 33

KoreaMaria: Food Critic

CafĂŠ Jinos Good

Sandwiches Salads Pastas Pizzas (Also wide array of drinks) Buses: 9, 36, 45, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 74, 80, 87, 98, 150, 151, 152, 518, 1000, 1187 Cultural Complex Station (Nam) bus stop Subway: Cultural Complex station exit 3 Downtown above Mr Pizza (near Angel in Us) Address: 55-3, Hwanggum-dong, Dong-gu Contact number: 062-233-3456

Funky eclectic art gallery with bright balcony seating, an urban warehouse feel of concrete and wood in the traffic area, and a warm, hip booth section in back next to the wine corner. Jinos does it all. Coffee, wine, music, food, parties, exhibitions. I recommend the ricotta sandwich or the octopus salad. The salmon cream cheese sandwich was a little light on the salmon as well as the cream cheese. The butter pecan shake is to die for. The espresso will jolt you to your next stop on your afternoon or evening out. This is a great place to grab a gourmet salad or sandwich for a meal. Pricey for the size of the sammies but delicious. The exhibitions add a great backdrop to a date or a meal out with your friends or students. Call them to host a party (and call me if it’s a wine tasting!). Check out the exhibits; they change regularly.

By Maria Lisak at Gwangju University


Gwangju News March 2010


Korean Easy-Cook Recipe

잡 채 (Japchae)


here is one good word to describe Korean’s national emotion Jeong (情). This word is one of the hardest words to explain to people from other cultures. It could be translated as ‘intimacy’ or having a ‘warm heart’ but the meaning is not exactly the same. In Korea, there are a lot of old proverbs related to Jeong like, Jeong of hatred is also Jeong, or ‘Give one more ddeok (ricecake) to the one you hate’. These proverbs are precisely describing the feeling of Jeong. One can say Koreans are the people of Jeong. Traditionally, Koreans who have lots of Jeong, love to share foods with their neighbors especially when a good event is coming up. If there is a new baby boy born healthy or a child who passed a difficult examination, Koreans throw a big party with a lot of delicious food and invite whoever passes their front door. Japchae is a food which is never missing from these events. In the happiest moments, Koreans have shared japchae. So japchae became the food that recalls a warm, good feeling to Koreans. ‘Jap’ in japchae means ‘miscellaneous’. It means it is a dish that is a combination of various ingredients. There is no right way or ratio in mixing ingredients when you make japchae. You can put more or less of certain ingredients according to your taste. This is the reason why there are many kinds of japchae in Korea. Japchae is relatively greasy compared to other Korean foods, so people often enjoy it with some kind of beverage like sikhye or sujeonggwa. Even though there are many kinds of japchae, once you taste any of them, you will probably find out why Koreans have celebrated their good events with this food. Story and photos by Park Suji Suji is a junior student at Chonnam National University.

How to make Japchae (serves 2~3 people) Things to Prepare: a boiling pan, a frying pan, cellophane noodles 150g, minced beef 150g, spinach 200g, a half of carrot, one onion, three red and green peppers, a scallion, a shiitake mushroom, a table spoon of sesame oil and soy sauce and sugar Method: 1. Branch spinach in boiling water and then squeeze the water out of it. 2. Boil cellophane noodles until they get flexible. Then, wash with cool water. While the noodles are boiling, slice onion, carrot, scallion, mushroom, and the peppers 3. Oil the frying pan and stir-fry the beef and onion and carrot first. 4. Put boiled cellophane noodles, branched spinach, and sliced vegetables in the pan. And then, put soy sauce and sugar on it, and stir-fry them together (Keep pouring oil when the noodles absorbed it so the noodles don’t burn). 5. When the vegetables are done, add sesame oil. 6. Put it in a decent dish, and enjoy!

Gwangju News March 2010


Film Review

For most foreigners in Korea, the language barrier means that Korean movies at the cinema are out of the question. However, thanks to the advent of DVDs with subtitles, and the commonness of DVD rooms and rental places, Korean cinema has become a lot more accessible. This month, we look at the surprise hit from last summer, Take Off, now released on DVD.

Take Off Directed By: Kim Yeong Wha Starring: Ha Jeong Woo, Seong Dong Il, Kim Ji Seok I, kim Dong Wuk, Choi Jae Hwan, Lee Jae Eung Time: 137mins Review- 8 out of 10 really enjoy watching Korean films that are based on actual events. It gives me a chance to get a glimpse of a real-life event in a way that is usually entertaining. I recently watched the film 국가대표 (“Guk-ga Dae-pyo”, Take Off). The film chronicles the development of the South Korean Ski Jump team. Now, to say that the movie is only about Korean ski jumpers is like saying ‘Cool Runnings’ is only about Jamaican bobsledders. The movie is chock full of drama as well as comedy.


The film is set in 1997. Korea is bidding to host the 2002 Winter Olympics and is demonstrating to the Olympic Committee and the world that it has more winter sports than only short track speed skating. The coach is assigned the task of finding athletes to compete in the Ski Jump. This was a time in South Korean sports history when a lot of people weren’t really educated about the full nature of the sport. Most people had never even really heard about it because no South Korean had ever done it before. In the story, the coach gathers together a “team”. I use the word loosely as he chooses individuals that will directly benefit from doing something remarkable for the nation. One of the members, for example, is under the impression he’ll never have to do any military service if he wins a gold medal. Another is doing it so he can find his birthmother, as he has returned to Korea from overseas looking for her. The team undergoes a large amount of training to prepare, and this is central to the film. The coach doesn’t know much about professional ski jump training, so they have to rely on what little they know and improvise. In one instance, to simulate the feeling of the rush of wind going down the hill before they jump, they bolt boots to the top of a van and the jumper stands on the van while they drive around at speeds of 90 km/hr on a highway. The entire film was shot in Korea. There are two major competition scenes, one in Germany and one in Nagano, Japan. The film’s producers built a large set with no audiences and then took footage from the actual sporting events and mixed the two. They did a good job as I couldn’t really notice the combination. 36

Gwangju News February 2010

The film culminates at the Nagano Olympics. Here, you get a really good impression of what happens to a nation that’s never seen its athletes compete in a particular winter sport. This is especially evident by the dramatic behavior of the sportscasters. There are numerous subplots occurring throughout the film which make it more than just a typical sports movie. Each athlete participates not only for their country, but also because of certain circumstances in each of their lives. In my opinion, the most interesting subplot was the captain’s story. In the 1970s a lot of Korean children were put up for adoption, and many of those children were adopted by people in other countries. The captain’s adopted parents were from the United States. He came back to Korea and went on a television show to try and find his mother. I think it’s great that he was looking for his lost birth parents, but when he went on television and appeared on a talk show, I think it kind of cheapened the moment. Overall, the film was great. It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions as you watch the development of the Korean National Ski Jumping team. When Korea lost the Olympic bid to the United States, they shut down all construction and wanted the team to give up. However, after the Nagano Games, Korea decided to bid for the Olympics again. The area that was to host the Olympics was Pyeong-chang, and they were almost awarded the Winter Olympics for 2010, but lost to Vancouver in the final round by only 3 votes. Keep your eyes out for Korea’s ski jumpers – there are only 5 of them. By Adam Bourque


Gwangju News February 2010 Gwangju News March 2010

37 37

Upcoming Events

March 2010 Flower Festivals 2010 Gurye Sansuyu (Cornus Fruit) Flower Festival Date: March 18 - 21, 2010 Venue: Jeonnam Guryegun Jirisan hot spring area Sansuyu, or cornus fruit, is the reason for you to come to Gurye every March. The festival only lasts for four days, so make sure that you can go there to enjoy the full bloom of the bright yellow cornus fruit flower that fills the whole area of Gurye.

The 14th Gwangyang Maehwa Blossom Culture Festival Date: March 13 - 21, 2010 Venue: Maehwa Village, Gwangyang city, Jeollanam-do This festival, which has been held since 1997, takes place at Maehwa Village in the Dap-myeon region nearby Gwangyang City, and was originally created to help boost the local economy. However, these days during the event, the area is packed with tourists coming from all over the country. The village gets its name for the abundant maehwa (apricot) trees that grow in the area. The main attractions in the festival are the maehwa trees’ white-flower blossom, and the chance to taste a variety of apricot-based foods. In addition there are cultural and musical performances. It will be a very memorable event for everyone, as the flowers will be a very beautiful sight and very picturesque. Directions: To get there, from Gwangju take a bus to Gwangyang city (20 buses a day) then get off at the Gwangyang Terminal. There will be shuttle buses from the terminal to the festival venue which depart every 2 hours and cost 2,500 won per person. For more information, visit: For transportation time and schedule, visit: ndex.jsp


Gwangju News March 2010

The venue itself, which is in Mount Jiri hot spring area will be perfect not only for sightseeing but also for relaxing. There will also be fireworks and many cultural performances. While enjoying the sights, you can also taste various kinds of snacks and products made from sansuyu. Many kinds of programs will be scheduled that involve sansuyu, which include making fans, kites, tasting sansuyu rice cakes, tea, and so on. The festival has been voted as one of the best in the country. Directions: Take a bus from Gwangju Terminal to Gurye, which will take around 1 hour and 20 minutes. From Gurye Terminal, take a county bus (around 40 minutes) and get off at Sansuyu Village. You can also take a taxi from the terminal to the venue (Mt. Jiri) taking about 30 minutes.

Upcoming Events

died by drowning to escape bandits. The camellias actually start to bloom in early October, but it will reach its peak in early March. From the main ticket office in Odong-do you can either take the Camellia Train, or go by motorboat. Both ways will give you wonderful sceneries of flowers and wild trees which cover almost the whole island.

2010 Yeosu Odong-do Camellia Festival Date: Early March Odong-do is one of the many beautiful islands around Yeosu, located south-east of Gwangju. Odong island is famous for camellia flowers, and during spring bloom beautifully.

Directions: To reach Odong-do, you can take a bus from Gwangcheon Terminal in Gwangju to Yeosu, which runs 30 times a day and costs 9,400 won. The island is connected with the mainland by a 768-meter-long bridge. You may walk along the way for about 15 minutes or by a 10-minute drive from Yeosu city downtown.

Camellia flowers can be found in East Asia. In Korea the trees are mostly found in the southwestern region. The dark red color of the flowers symbolizes a woman’s chastity, as according to local legends, the trees grew over a grave of a beautiful maiden, who

The exhibition is divided into 3 themes: - ‘Flower & Music’ which includes Entrance Garden, Music Garden and Orchid garden - ‘Flower & Women’ which includes Women`s room, Big-sized Accessory Garden, Flower Art Works and Multi Shop for Fashion - ‘Flower & Leisure’ which includes Yacht Garden, Table Decoration, Golf Garden, Camping Garden and Sculpture Garden There will also be various other pavilions such as ‘Potted Flowers’, ‘Kids Garden’, collections of wild flowers, bonsai and cactus, exhibitions of flower-related products, gardening interior and flower species. March 26 - April 4 Opening time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Venue: Kim Dae Jung Convention Center, Gwangju Ticket price: 4,500 Won for adult; 2,700Won for children If your travelling time is limited, you can still fully enjoy the beauty of spring and the blossoming of flowers right here in Gwangju. Gwangju Spring Flower Expo, held annually since 2007 at the Kim Dae Jung Convention Center will showcase various kinds of flowers, exhibitions and events for ten days. Around 100 exhibitors are participating, which guarantees a full enjoyment of the flowers showcased.

The exhibition is completed with lectures on gardening, a flower decoration competition, stage performances and a photo contest, so even though you have participated in the other flower festivals, these exhibitions will surely add another wonderful experience of spring flowers. Directions: Kim Dae Jung Convention Center is located in the West District (Seo-gu) in Gwangju. Buses no 64 and 38 will take you to the venue. The bus stop is Kim Dae Jung Convention Center (김대중컨벤션센터)

Gwangju News March 2010


Upcoming Events


The 33rd Jindo Sea Parting Festival March 30 - April 1, 2010 Jeonnam Jindogun Gogun-myeon Sea parting site More information: pid=MC02020000&wr_id=104&s_field =&s_val=&page=&sfl=&stx=


Children under the age of 13 are not permitted to attend. Starring: Insuni, Choi Jeong Won, Ok Ju Hyun, Nam Kyeong Ju, etc. Contact: 062-417-6022, 1588-0766 Do Dream Love (Musical) Feb 19th - Mar 21st, 2010 from 7:30 p.m. Gwangju U-square Dongsan Art Hall Admission: 40,000 won Children under the age of 7 are not permitted to attend. Contact: 1588-7890

World Photonics Expo Gwangju 2010 April 2nd - May 9th, 2010 (38 days) Gwangju Sangmu Citizen’s Park, Kim Daejung Convention Center Admission: 12,000 won (Adult) Contact: 062-611-3731~4 Homepage:

Gwangju News March 2010

Andy Warhol, the Greatest

April 4th, 2010 Seoul Museum of Art Painting in the literary artist’s style by Kim, Nam-ki Gallery of Balgeun ophthalmic clinic March 4th, 2010 Contact: 062-570-1701 Ha JeongWoong Collection “Poem of Silence”

May 30th, 2010 The 5th Exhibit Hall, Gwangju Museum of Art Contact: 062-613-7141 Mar 26th, 2010 from 8:00 p.m. LG Arts Center, Seoul Subway: Yeoksam Station Line 2, Exit 7 Admission: 40,000~80,000 Won Children under the age of 8 are not permitted to attend. Contact: 02-2005-0114


21st Century War and Peace March 23rd - April 25th, 2010 Gwangju Museum of Art

Dianne Reeves Concert

Chicago (Musical)

Mar 19th - 21st, 2010 from 3:00 p.m. Gwangju Culture & Art Center (Grand Theatre) Admission: 60,000 - 120,000 won

Art Exhibitions

White Day Gag Concert Mar 13th, 2010 from 3:00 p.m. Gwangju 5.18 Memorial Center Minju Hall Admission: 44,000 - 55,000 won Contact: 1566-5423

Buenos Aires Cafe de los Maestros Mar 12th, 2010 from 8:00 p.m. LG Arts Center, Seoul Subway: Yeoksam Station Line 2, Exit 7 Admission: 60,000 - 120,000 won Contact: 02-2005-0114 Choi Hyun Woo Magic Concert 2010 Mar 13th - 14th, 2010 from 2:00 p.m. Gwangju Culture & Art Center (Grand Theatre) Admission: 33,000 - 66,000 won Contact: 1600-8005

4, 5 Admission: 80,000~170,000 Won Contact: 02-398-8761~5, 02-34610976

Jo Su Mi Ich Liebe dich Concert Mar 28th, 2010 from 8:00 p.m. Seoul Arts Center (Concert Hall) Subway: Seocho Station Line 2 Exit 3; Nambu Terminal Station Line 3 Exits

Sobin Hanji(Korean paper) Doll Collection March 24th, 2010 Gwangju Lotte Gallery Contact: 062-221-1808 Tea-table Collection March 3rd, 2010 Ilgok Gallery Contact: 062-575-3457

Upcoming Events

What if it was all just a dream?

It could be said that all our lives we live inside a bubble, indeed how many of us really see the bigger picture? Having lived in South Korea for the last three and a half years sometimes I pause to think about how far I am from home, and that perhaps any moment I will wake up from my dream. Living in another country allows one to see a little more of the picture, and also to live a dream (I always wanted to live a part of my life in Asia). The idea of this project, which is still ongoing, is to capture the daily scenes everyone sees around Korea and Asia inside a glass ball. I have found by focusing a scene inside the ball and blurring out the background I’m able to contrast reality with what is beyond reality. I feel it is then for the viewer to interpret for themselves what lies beyond the reality of a scene. In varying the composition and how prominent the glass ball is within the scene I wanted to vary how much the person thinks about the reality of life, and the messy less-defined interpretations of what, if anything, is beyond this. In some photos the ball is held by myself or another person, in this I want to show that other people and organisations have a direct influence on our everyday lives. In addition to using a glass ball some of these photos were taken using drinking glasses. The photos I have taken here are all refraction, an effect that inverses the image you see with a glass object. When I take these photos they are “upside down”, so I correct this by flipping the image during post processing. By Simon Bond E-mail: Website: Simon Bond has been interested in photography since his youth, and studied it for 2 years while at school. He arrived in Korea from the UK more than 3 years ago, and it has been since then that he has developed a real passion for photography. In the last year his work has been published numerous times in both the UK and in South Korea. The American company Getty images, for whom he now submits images, has also noticed his work.

A study of reality and what lies beyond this. The exhibition is a series of refraction photographs taken through glass objects and will be held at the GIC in Gwangju from 6th March until the 27th March. The gallery will open 2:30 p.m. on the 6th March.

Exhibition Period: March 6th – March 27th Opening with artist talk: March 6th, Saturday at 2:30pm at the GAIA Gallery, GIC

Gwangju News March 2010



Speakeasy Events

Movies Alice in Wonderland Release Date: 04 Mar 2010 Genre: Children Language: English

Saturday 6th March: Dr. Bob and disco beaver's farewell gig Harold Lear (lead singer/guitar) is going back to Canada so this will be there last ever Korean gig. Harold has played with the likes of Ringo Star and Jerry Lee Lewis so the standard is VERY high. They are also bringing The GJay band 2.0, who've played Speakeasy many times but only once before in their current form. They play everything from Michael Jackson to Green Day and everything in between. These are probably the best two bands in the country right now playing on the same night!

Saturday 13th March: St. Practice day Start off the St. Patrick's day celebrations with a warm-up night

Synopsis Director and subject matter make for a perfect marriage in Tim Burton version of the Lewis Carroll classic. “Alice in Wonderland” stars frequent Burton collaborator Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, “Defiance” Mia Wasikowska as Alice, and Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. Cast & Crew Director: Tim Burton Screenwriter: Linda Wolverton Producer: Richard D. Zanuck, Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd, Jennifer Todd Composer: Danny Elfman Studio: Walt Disney Pictures Starring: Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham-Carter, Crispin Glover, Alan Rickman, Mia Wasilkowska, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall

Wednesday 17th March: St. Patrick's day We will be open for the diehards who have to have a Guinness, Kilkenny, Bailey's, Irish car bomb, hot whiskey, Jameson or any of the other Irish drinks we can make.

Saturday 20th March: St. Patrick's day party With Paddy's Day on Wednesday we will be having the big bash on Saturday after, so get your green on and come down to the only bar in Gwangju owned by an actual Irish man! There will be a band, drink specials, giveaways, face painting and Irish costumes will be rewarded. Join our Facebook group and get up to the minute updates on all our upcoming events and be a part of the Speakeasy community helping foreigners with the little things of everyday life in Korea. Ask one question-get many ideas. Look out for "U Are Seoul" and many other exciting events coming in April.


Gwangju News March 2010

Up in the Air Release Date: 11 Mar 2010 Genre: Comedy Language: English Synopsis After getting Oscar attention for “Juno”, director Jason Reitman turns to this adaptation of Walter Kirn's comic novel. Academy Award-winner George Clooney stars as Ryan Bingham, a businessman on the verge of reaching five million frequent flyer miles when his company decides to

GIC Talk

cut back on travel. But his goal isn't the only thing just out of reach: he now won't be able to see a fellow frequent traveler (“The Departed” Vera Farmiga) who has caught his eye. Cast & Crew Director: Jason Reitman Screenwriter: Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner Producer: Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman, Jeffrey Clifford, Daniel Dubiecki, Tom Pollock, Joe Medjuck, Ted Griffin, Studio: Paramount Pictures Starring: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Danny McBride, J.K. Simmons

GIC Talk Time: Every Saturday, 14:30-16:00 Place: GIC office (5th floor of Jeon-il Bldg) March 6 Topic: “What if it was all just a dream” Speaker: Simon Bond A study of reality and what lies beyond this. The exhibition is a series of refraction photographs taken through glass objects and will be held at the GIC in Gwangju from 7th March until the 31st March. The gallery will open at 2:30 p.m. on the 7th March.

March 13 Topic: "Culture of India; traditions and festivals" Speaker: Nikhil Pandit (Exchange student of MBA, CNU)

Shutter Island Release Date: 18 Mar 2010 Genre: Drama Language: English Synopsis From Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese, "Shutter Island" is the story of two U.S. marshals, Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo), who are summoned to a remote and barren island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from the island’s fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane. Cast & Crew Director: Martin Scorsese Screenwriter: Laeta Kalogridis Producer: Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Bradley J. Fischer, Martin Scorsese Composer: Robbie Robertson Studio: Paramount Pictures Starring: Leonardo Di Caprio, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, Max Von Sydow, Patricia Clarkson Movie info from

March 20 Topic: “Paris Noir and the Search for French National Identity" Speaker: Alva French (ESL instructor & freelance journalist) The speaker, Alva French, will present an overview of the time period known as Paris Noir (Black Paris), (1945-1970) when Black Americans and Africans first arrived in large numbers to the French capital. This influx had a lasting effect on the cultural make-up of modern day France and its current self-interrogation on national identity. A documentary short, Tria and Dan directed by the speaker on her family’s experiences in Paris during this time will also be screened.

March 27 Topic: “Indian Food, An introduction to East Indian cuisines, eating habits and etiquettes” Speaker: Shilpa Rani (Life Science Phd candidate, GIST) India is a land that has experienced extensive immigration and intermingling of cultures through many millennia, hence Indian cuisines have benefited from numerous food influences. The talk will focus on the differences in the eating, cooking, and serving cultures influenced by the diverse traditions, geographical regions and religions in the country. Common spices used in cooking and their medicinal value. All in all it will be a small journey to explore India through its cuisines. All talks take place at the GIC office. For more information, visit or contact Kim Singsing at: Check out pictures from previous GIC Talks

Gwangju News March 2010


Community Board

Gwangju News Needs You Due to the rapid expansion of our community, we need more volunteers to help with the running of the magazine. Help the community and gain new skills. You can help in a variety of roles: - proofreading - photography - writing - layout - administration - website or any other way YOU can think of. Contact: Help Gwangju News Magazine! Volunteer one day a month GIC needs volunteers to mail out Gwangju News. Gwangju News, published monthly, is sent to nearly 700 addresses. Join our Gwangju News mailout volunteers at GIC. Volunteers are called 48 hours before the mail-out day (during the first week of each month). GIC needs 6-8 people who can help. GIC and Gwangju News are only as good as the volunteers who bring it to life! Contact GIC at 062-226-2733/4, or e-mail us at: Are you looking for a translation service? Translation Service is available at GIC. Korean to English, English to Korean - Certificates; Criminal History, Family relation certificate, Marital Statement, Medical Record, etc - Webpages & catalogues - abstracts, literature, etc Contact GIC for more information 062-226-2733/4 Ideas into Action Grant Workshop: Turning an idea into a project proposal for GIC or Gwangju. 3rd Saturday of the month 5-7pm @ GIC This is an opportunity for you to put your idea into action at GIC or for the Gwangju community. Attendees will have an opportunity to design, develop and implement ideas for our community with the assistance of Maria Lisak, a longtime GIC volunteer.


Gwangju News March 2010

Each month provides mentoring and coaching to attendees. No regular instruction is planned. This workshop is for people who are tired of “just talking” about their idea and want to see it happen. Drop ins are welcome. GIC membership required. My Life in Gwangju “My Life in Gwangju” is a five week art project which uses photography, drawing, and collage alongside dialogue to bring together a variety of people living, working and studying in Gwangju. The purpose of the project is to creatively explore our personal relationship to Gwangju and meet other people who also call Gwangju home. Each week the group will meet in class to share and make art work; in addition to in class projects participants will receive a short individual assignment to complete each week. Participants will have an opportunity to exhibit their art works at the GAIA Gallery in May. The program is open to everyone with basic English skills and a strong desire to make art; digital camera and sketch books are required. (Application needed) Dates: March 13, 27 April 10 and 24, Final art show May 1st. For detailed information, please visit the GIC website at

Time: Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Offers: Internal medicine, Oriental medicine and Dental service. You could take some medicine after treatment. How to get to there: Buses - 19, 26, 39, 59, 61, 74 (around Hwajeong crossroads) Subway - Exit 2 Hwajeong Station. Apostolate to Migrants Center 969-10 Wolgok-dong, Gwangsan-gu Phone: 062-954-8004 Buses: 18, 20, 29, 37, 40, 98, 196, 700, 720 get off at Wolgok market bus stop. Mass: Sundays 3 p.m. at Wolgok-dong Catholic Church GIC Counseling Team Do you need some help or have a question about living in Gwangju? Contact GIC Counseling Volunteers at We will try to provide you with the best information and services possible. The Gwangju Book Club Meets every Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m. in front of the downtown YMCA before moving nearby for a discussion over coffee. We welcome new members! Look up 'Gwangju Book Club' on Facebook for more details, or email for more information.

Sung Bin Orphanage Sung Bin Orphanage is looking for long-term volunteers. We would like you to give at least two Saturdays per month. As well as being a friend, you will be asked to teach basic English to girls aged 7 to 14. For more information please contact Mike at:

The Gwangju Women's FC Meets every Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Pungam-dong We welcome new members! Check out 'Gwangu Women's FC' on Facebook for more details, or email for more information.

Gwangju Men’s Soccer The Gwangju international soccer team plays regularly most weekends. If you are interested in playing, e-mail:

Penpals wanted Native Spanish speakers looking for Korean speaking penpals to practice and learn Korean via e-mail and Skype. If you are interested, please contact

Free Health Clinic for Foreigners Venue: Gwangju Joongang Presbyterian Church.

Please remember '21'

Gwangju News March 2010



Gwangju News March 2010

Advertise in Gwangju News Target Your Customers! Does your business cater to the foreign community? Advertising in Gwangju News is the best way to reach your target market. 3,000 copies are printed and distributed every month. News about your services will spread like wildfire! For advertising information contact Kim Minsu at (062) 226-2734 or e-mail:

Worship at Dongmyung English Service Sunday 11:30 am, Education Bld.

Pastor : Dan Hornbostel (010-5188-8940)

Bus: 15, 27, 28, 55, 74, 80, 1000, 1187 get off at Nongjang Dari or at Court Office Entrance

Gwangju News March 2010



(EN) Gwangju News March 2010 #97  

Featured articles: - Gwangju Photonics Expo 2010 - Sungbin Orphanage: A Place of Their Own - Suncheon Bay

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you