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October 2010 www.korea.net
People & Culture
P¯ 2010.10.1 !20 !` ¯~¯ 1 moc! 1180!·!out
The Beauty of Korea Gangjin-gun in Jeollanam-
do Province, in the southwest of Korea, was one of two kiln
sites in the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). To date, some 188
kilns, the highest collection in Korea, have been discovered
in the region of Yongun-ri, Gyeyul-ri, Sadang-ri and
Sudong-ri in Gangjin-gun. Most of the kilns date from the
to the 14
century, and many fragments of Korean
traditional celadon ware have been found in the area.
Recently, a celadon carrier, the Onnubiho (pictured on this
page), was restored and anchored in Maryang Harbor.
The Gangjin-gun Kiln Sites were included on UNESCO’s
Tentative List of World Heritage sites in January 1994.
01 rrcluocP2¹¹ 2010.10.1 !8 !` ¯~¯ 1 moc! 1180!·!out
OCTOBER 2010 VOL. 6 NO. 10
PUBLISHER Seo Kang-soo,
Korean Culture and Information Service
EDITING HEM KOREA Co., Ltd
PRINTING Samsung Moonwha Printing Co.
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A downloadable PDF file of KOREA and a map and
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KOREA on the homepage of www.korea.net.
÷?-E-¯ . 11-111((7´-((((1E-(E
COVER STORY 04
It’s been 567 years since the invention of
Hangeul. Scientifically-advanced and easy-
to-learn, the Korean alphabet looks to
become the next cultural icon of the nation.
Every October, Busan celebrates Asia’s
largest international film festival, PIFF, but
the coastal town has plenty more treas-
ures in store for the traveler.
SPECIAL FEATURE: 36
In the second of a series, KOREA intro-
duces the preparations for the forthcom-
ing G20 Summit in Seoul.
SUMMIT DIPLOMACY 40
President Lee Myung-bak recently received
an award from the Convention on
Biological Diversity (CBD), one of many
recognitions of his eco-friendly policies
that seek to protect the world today.
NOW IN KOREA 44
The tiny island of Jarasum returns to the
spotlight this month with its annual jazz
festival. This year’s international affair
looks to greet more than 60 artists.
PEN & BRUSH 16
With his ever-young heart Ahn Do-hyun is
one of Korea’s best-selling poets. The
writer, no stranger to the ups and downs of
life, says his words target the human spirit.
Dr Raimund Royer is Korea’s first foreign
Oriental medicine doctor. The road here
was difficult, but today he celebrates wak-
ing life with determination and curiosity.
MY KOREA 32
Koreans know how to work a full day, but
it’s all worth it for the camaraderie of one’s
colleagues found in the unique, endearing
culture of hoesik eating together.
0208 10-·÷· 2010.10.1 !10 !` ¯~¯ 1 moc! 1180!·!out
AND FUTURE OF
A bronze statue of Sejong the Great, who invented the Korean alphabet, Hangeul, graces downtown Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Plaza.
Gwanghwamun, located in Sejongno, Seoul, was the main gate for
Gyeongbokgung Palace in the Joseon Dynasty, and is an important land-
mark of the Republic of Korea. Bronze statues of two of the country’s most
influential leaders grace Gwanghwamun Plaza and represent some of the
greatest achievements in Korean history. Sejong the Great, who invented
the Korean alphabet, and Yi Sun-sin, a famous Korean naval commander in
the Joseon Dynasty, both left indelible marks on Korea’s history.
by Song Jeong-ran | photographs by KimNam-heon
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A sculpture of Hunminjeongeum is on display in King Sejong
Memorial Hall in Seoul (above). An international student paints
Hangeul characters at the 1
Foreigners’ Writing Brush
Competition in Seoul in September (below).
The 6.2-meter bronze statue of Sejong the Great was erected
last year, on the 563
anniversary of the proclamation of
Hangeul, or the Korean alphabet, an achievement incompara-
ble to any other. An underground exhibition hall containing
artifacts related to Hangeul was built under the plaza nearby
his figure. The king’s invention of the alphabet system for his
people is an important accomplishment in Korean history.
SEJONG THE GREAT: LINGUIST FOR THE PEOPLE Sejong the
Great’s love for his people was the driving force behind his
desire to create an alphabet. For many years, Korea used
Chinese characters to record documents, but due to
differences in pronunciation and grammar, learning to
read became a time consuming and exclusive privilege for
the upper classes.
After the promulgation of Hangeul, most of the Korean
people, including women, were able to learn the alphabet,
making it the official lettering system of Korea. Today, the
concise and easy-to-learn system contributes to low the
illiteracy rate in Korea. According to a Human Development
Index (HDI) report released by the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) in 2008 and 2009,
Korea’s adult literacy rate was at an astonishing 99 percent.
Sejong the Great’s invention of the Hangeul alphabet
helped Koreans develop an excellent command of their own
language, and in memory of this great achievement the
Korean government designated October 9 as “Hangeul
Proclamation Day.” Furthermore, the Korean government
established the “UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize” in
1989, which is awarded to organizations and individuals who
contributed in lowering the illiteracy rate.
The superiority of Hangeul is not an arbitrary evaluation
within Korea. Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Pearl
S Buck states in the introduction of her novel The Living Reed
(1963): “Hangeul is the world’s best and easiest alphabet.
A combination of 24 components can accurately express any
sound that can be made by the human voice. Sejong the
Great is the Leonardo da Vinci of Korea with the depth and
variety of natural talents.” Jared Diamond, who has
researched the evolution of alphabets and a professor for the
University of California’s medical division, says, “Letters are
made by combining Hangeul’s 10 vowels and 14 consonants,
and is therefore easy to learn. With 24 vowels and consonants,
more than 11,000 different sounds can be expressed, more
sounds than any other alphabet in the world.”
The convenient and easily learned characteristics of
Hangeul have made the system popular among ethnic
minorities lacking their own native alphabet. There are a total
of 6,809 spoken languages in the world, of which 6,600 do
not have their own alphabet. In 2001, UNESCO established
the Initiative Babel to supply a recordable system ethnic
minorities without one of their own. Many linguists have
chosen Hangeul as the most suitable alphabet for this cause.
It has also been selected as the official alphabet by the Cia Cia
tribe of Buton Island, Indonesia. Other tribes, including the
Lahu tribe of Thailand, Lhoba, Ewenki and Lowchen tribes
Hangeul education is one
of the several services pro-
vided to foreign workers at
Incheon’s Migrant Workers’
Center (above). Foreign
participants of the World
Conference in August, held
at the Kongju National
University in Gongju, proud-
ly display their Korean text-
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of China, Chepang tribe of Nepal, and Badjao tribe of the
Philippines, are considering to adopt Hangeul as their official
alphabet as well.
Hangeul, which is a phonetic alphabet that has a systematic
connectivity between sound and letter, can be used to write
many of the world’s languages. These characteristics of
Hangeul show that King Sejong, a great linguist and ruler,
founded the idea that his people should know how to read
HANGEUL’S FUTURE It is estimated that a total of 70 million
people on the Korean peninsula and 77 million people world-
wide use the Korean language. Korean is ranked 13
world in respect to the total number of people using the
language, but is estimated to be between 9
to the language’s influence around the world. In 2007, the
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) designated
Hangeul as the 9
language of publication.
Hangeul’s current status can be seen through numerous
statistics. From 1920 to 2010, a total of 125 different diction-
aries have been published in Korean, and a total of 510,000
words are currently listed in the “Standard Korean Language
Dictionary” published by the National Institute of the Korean
Language. There are 2,177 institutions around the world
teaching Korean to some 250,000 students. A total of 3,400
textbooks for foreign learners have been published world-
wide. There are 628 elementary, junior high, and high schools
in 15 countries that have chosen Korean as a second foreign
language, and 642 universities in 54 countries have majors in
Korean or offer Korean language courses.
Today, languages are used as an instrument of communica-
tion and create economic value. The Korean language holds
relative importance among the languages of the world.
The market competitiveness of Korean is quickly
strengthening as the number of people interested in
learning Korean increases. The second- and third-
generation children of the 7 million Korean
residents living in 169 countries worldwide
are important customers. Additionally,
with the increase of Korean companies
abroad, many international
employees are also interested
in learning Korean. The hallyu
or the Korean wave that started in the 1990s has also
increased interest in learning the language.
Foreign workers have been an integral part of the Korean
economy’s rapid growth by fulfilling the needs of the work-
force. These foreign workers are required to pass an “Employ-
ment Permit Korean Exam” before they may begin working
in Korea. Currently, this exam is being held in China,
Mongolia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
40,000 people took the exam in Indonesia last year and
another 40,000 took the exam in Nepal.
There are 25,000 students leaving Korea for foreign
education every year, and a large number of students are
coming to Korea for educational purposes. Universities in
Seoul and other large cities have more than 2,000 interna-
tional students from various countries, including China,
Japan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Cambodia and Bangladesh.
Some study in Korea as exchange students, some attend
Korean universities, and others learn Korean culture
and language from the influence of the Korean wave.
Students wishing to attend a Korean university must
pass the class IV TOPIK (Test of
Proficiency in Korean) exam which
requires a year to a year-and-a-half of
studying the Korean language.
Universities in 54
countries have Korean
alone has around 70
The Republic of Korea’s Pavilion
at the Shanghai World Expo in
China was inspired by the
aesthetic forms of Hangeul.
0!1¯ co·cr stor· 2010.10.1 !12 !` ¯~¯ ¯ moc! 1180!·!out
universities with Korean majors, and Peking University has
established a Korean department. In Vietnam, Hanoi
University, Ho Chi Minh City University and University of
Foreign Languages all have Korean departments as well. The
graduates are employed by local Korean companies who pay
high wages, heightening the competition for these majors.
Last year, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism held
a “World Korean Educator Conference,” arranging a chance
for Korean educators worldwide to assemble. What surprised
people in the first meeting was discovering Korean schools
located in countries unfamiliar to Korean people. Many were
surprised to hear of the interest in Korean in countries like
Belarus, the United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan.
Widespread interest of the Korean language worldwide has
brought about a change in the interest and recognition for
Hangeul. The Korean government has various policies and
visions to elevate the status of the Korean language on a
global scale. One of these policies is the “King Sejong
Institute Joint Brand Business.” The program will evaluate
2,000 Korean education institutions and certify 350 of them
with the national title of “King Sejong Institute” by 2015.
Additionally, 150 King Sejong Institutes will open for those
regions with high demand for Korean language education
that lack resources. A standardized curriculum and textbooks
will be developed and supplied to systematically operate these
Korean educational institutes, ultimately increasing Korea’s
THE GLOBALIZATION OF HANGEUL The two paradigms lead-
ing the 21
century are universal communications and cultur-
al content. An environment of constant communication is
taking shape in this highly advanced digital era, and Hangeul
is viewed as one of the most appropriate alphabets for these
Hangeul is composed of 24 letters, compared to the 26
letters in the English alphabet and 55 in Japanese. For cell
phones, the average input speed of Korean letters is 35 percent
faster than English and six to seven times faster than
Japanese. Unlike Japanese and Chinese, where each letter
must be found by typing the corresponding sounds in the
Roman alphabet, Korean does not need any conversion and
is therefore seven times more efficient than Japanese in situa-
tions involving business relations. This factor has helped
increase the high rate of cell phone propagation in Korea.
With the rising interest in text messaging, Hangeul
typography is also becoming popular around the world.
Fonts are no longer mere tools for communication, but are
simultaneously forming the grounds for creating new and
unique imagery for aesthetic purposes. Book designer Jung
Byung-gyu says that Hangeul inherently carries fundamentals
for the creation of Korean culture and the principles of
typography design. The consonants contain the basic
elements of shapes, including triangles, squares and circles.
The vowels act as coordinates for formative change with
vertical and horizontal lines. Hangeul also encompasses
architectural characteristics with its layering of initial
consonant, medial vowel and final consonant.
Hangeul’s originality and beauty has been the muse for
conceptual design in typography since the 1970s, and numer-
ous fonts continue to be developed today. Individual fonts
using calligraphy are used in product designs. Fashion
designer Lee Sang-bong used Hangeul characters as a motif
for his designs in a Paris fashion show, which received praise
from local media and buyers alike.
Hangeul is a valuable cultural asset that encompasses the
Korean people’s culture, history, and tradition in a concise
form. The lettering system boasts of linguistic, aesthetic,
philosophical and scientific qualifications for a highly devel-
century, information-based society. These charac-
teristics provide a strong indication that Hangeul has the
potential to grow into the country’s representative cultural
icon for the 21
A model wears a Hangeul-patterned outfit designed by Lee Sang-
bong at the fashion runway, which recognized the 20
of Korea-Russia diplomatic relations in Moscow (above). UN
Peacekeeping Korean soldiers in Lebanon play jegichagi, a Korean
folk game, with local students that specializes in Hangeul (below).
Foreign lecturers are receiving a Korean lesson in Ulsan in
September (top). Mexican students hold a Korean folk perform-
ance, samullori, to celebrate the opening of a Hangeul school in
Mexico City, in September (above). June was a significant month, as
the first Hangeul school for local students opened in Chile (below).
0!1¯ co·cr stor· 2010.10.1 !12 !` ¯~¯ 7 moc! 1180!·!out
On October 9, 2009, Sejongno in Gwanghwamun welcomed
an addition to its already eye-catching cityscape. On Hangeul
Proclamation Day, a bronze statue of Sejong the Great was
erected in the heart of the capital, 563 years after he pro-
The fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, Sejong the Great
ascended to the throne at the age of 22. He was able to further
his academic education due to a stable political foundation
that was achieved by his father, King Taejong. Though Sejong
the Great is considered one of the most exceptional kings of
the Joseon Dynasty for his achievements, what separated the
leader from others was his love for the common people. The
creation of Hangeul began with his benevolence and
compassion for his countrymen.
Although the Korean language existed prior to the creation
of Hangeul, the written form was based in complicated hanja
(Chinese characters). Hanja was insufficient when describing
and recording the onomatopoeic and mimetic words of the
Korean vocabulary, and because of its complexity was
accessible only to the highest classes. Creating a language for
the common man was a revolutionary idea. Expecting
resistance from the elevated classes, Sejong the Great began
his work on Hangeul in secret.
When the king finished his work in 1442, Sejong the Great
named the new alphabet Hunminjeongeum, or “the proper
sounds for the instructin of the people.” The language was
enacted into law a mere four years later in 1446. The name
“Hangeul” was first used in 1910 by the scholar Ju Si-gyeong
and come into general use in 1948. The “han” in Hangeul
means “one, great and proper,” or that Hangeul is a “unique
and proper alphabet.”
Hangeul’s greatest characteristic is that it is easily learned.
It is the world’s most advanced phonetic alphabet and is
unparalleled in its science and creativity. Consonants and
vowels were created separately, and are combined to form
The basic consonants , |, |, ·, are based on the
simplified shapes made by the mouth, while the remaining
consonants are formed by adding extra strokes to imply
stronger sounds. Vowel shapes represent the sky, earth and
man, as they are the roots of Eastern philosophy. The basic
vowel ‘’ represents the sky’s round shape, the vowel ‘’
represents the flat earth, and the vowel ‘’ represents a
standing man. All of the other vowels are made by
combining these three basic shapes.
Hangeul is an alphabet of fixed sounds. For example, the
vowels ·,, each have unchanging sounds. This is in con-
trast to the English system, where the vowel “a” has a different
sound depending on its placement within a word.
Originally, there were 28 characters when first invented.
The Standardized System of Hangeul in 1933 reformed the
alphabet, however, leaving 14 consonants and 10 vowels for a
total of 24 characters (Consonants: , |, |, ÷, |, +, ·,
, ×, , , +, ·, / Vowels: ·, ´, ¬, , , , -, -,
After the invention of Hangeul, Sejong the Great continued
his efforts to propagate the language by making wooden
block printing letters. He wrote the first song and the first
work of prose written in Hangeul.
Unlike the grateful citizens who finally had an alphabet
that corresponded with their speech, the higher social classes
of Korea underrated Hangeul and compared it to the hanja
Women who did not receive a proper Chinese education
started writing letters in Hangeul. At the time, Buddhism still
played an important role within the Joseon Dynasty’s
Confucianism-based politics. The Buddhist temples in Korea
started translating Buddhist scriptures into Hangeul, which
soon spread to the people.
Sejong the Great also had a great interest in the sciences
and the arts. He established the astronomy research institu-
tion Seoungwan, and together with scientist Jang Yeong-sil
invented the water clock Jagyeokru, the sundial Angbuilgu,
and a device to observe the movements and position of
celestial bodies called Honcheonui, which helped the citizens
The king was also responsible for the greatest musical
achievement in Korean history, by compiling and organizing
music used in ceremonies and Korean traditional music. But
such passion came with a price, and his health deteriorated
with his achievement. Yet, even as he fought illness, Sejong
the Great personally checked all newly compiled works until
his passing at the age of 54 in 1450.
Today, Hangeul is recognized by such international organi-
zation as UNESCO, which began awarding the “King Sejong
Prize” in 1990 for individuals or organizations worldwide
that contributed to the eradication of illiteracy. Hangeul’s
eminence is a product of Sejong the Great’s character, as great
history and culture begins with one person.
SEJONG THE GREAT: A LEADER OF
LANGUAGE AND MAN OF THE PEOPLE
Sejong the Great is perhaps the
most respected leader in all Korean
history. During King Sejong’s 32-
year reign (1418-1450), during
which Korea enjoyed a political,
economic and cultural golden age.
The leader most acclaimed feat was
his creation of Hangeul, the Korean
alphabet. And for a country that
boasts one of the world’s highest
literacy rates, Hangeul
Proclamation Day, October 9, is
worth celebrating. by Lee Se-mi ng Jeong-r
Inscriptions of several Hangeul consonants are featured at the Republic of Korea
Pavillion at Expo Zaragoza in Aragon, Spain (opposite). A statue of Sejong the Great,
who is remembered for his many achievements, in Gwanghwamun Plaza (below).
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The adoption of the Korean lettering system by the
Indonesian Cia-Cia tribe set a precedent for Hangeul. It was
the first time the Korean alphabet was adopted outside the
peninsula for official use, and expected to be adopted by
The Cia-Cia, with a population of 80,000, is the largest
tribe on Buton Island in Sulawesi, Indonesia. The island has a
total population of 500,000, consisting of 10 different ethnic
minority tribes, including the Java and Sunda.
After learningof the tribe’s situation, the Hunminjeongeum
Society of Korea traveled to Bau-Bau City on the island and
proposed the adoption of Hangeul as the tribe’s official
alphabet. The two signed an MOU on the promulgation of
Hangeul on July 21, 2009. Almost immediately, the
Hunminjeongeum Society began teaching Hangeul and
printed textbooks, handing them out to 40 elementary
students in the Sorawolio district that neighbors the Cia-Cia.
The textbook, Bahasa Cia-Cia 1, comprises basic writing,
speaking and reading sections. Students write the Cia-Cia
language phonetically in Hangeul. The alphabet taught to the
Cia-Cia tribe consists of the same consonants as in Korea,
but only five vowels are used. Additionally, due to the
characteristics of Cia-Cia pronunciation, the letter “`” was
reformed from the original system, though it has not been
used in Korea since the 15
Bahasa Cia-Cia 1 was co-written by professors Lee Ho-
yeong and Hwang Hyo-seong, and Abidin, an English teacher
in Bau-Bau City and the son of a former tribal leader. The
textbook contains the history, culture, society, traditions, and
fables of the Cia-Cia tribe.
Abidin, the only native teacher in Bau-Bau City, traveled to
Korea to study the Korean language at Seoul National
University for six months. During the time, he researched and
adapted the alphabet system for the Cia-Cia language.
After two months of classes, the students in Bau-Bau City
could write their names in Hangeul. The curriculum expand-
ed to nearby schools, and local road signs are now written in
both Hangeul and the Roman alphabet. There are plans to
publish history books and folktales in Hangeul.
Since the 1980s, the Indonesian government has felt the
need to preserve cultural assets that were in danger of
extinction, including the ethnic minority languages that
have been dying out with the widespread use of a standard
language. Ethnic minority languages in the region have been
reduced from around 30 languages to 10.
Many ethnic tribes in the Buton Island region are preserv-
ing their native languages through foreign alphabets. The
Olio tribe has adopted the Arabic system, while others are
showing interest in Hangeul.
An educational Korean Center is currently being construct-
ed in Bau-Bau City, and consists of a library, computer room
and cultural space. The center is planning to hold training
programs to supplement the shortage of instructors in the
area. There are 10 elementary schools, nine junior high
schools, and six high schools in the city, and only two certi-
fied teachers of Hangeul: Korean professor Jang Duk-young
dispatched by the Hunminjeongeum Society and Abidin.
“Next year we are planning to upgrade the Hangeul
alphabet teaching program,”said Won Sung-muk of the
Hunminjeongeum Society. “We are also attempting to hold
Hangeul teacher training programs in the region.”
The Korean government plans to establish a string of
Korean propagation institutions called “King Sejong
Institutes,” hoping to expand to 500 establishments world-
wide. Hangeul has taken its first step in becoming one of the
world’s foremost alphabets.
For centuries, Indonesia’s Cia-Cia tribe has
preserved its native spoken language without
an alphabet. But now in danger of losing its
history through a lack of written records,
a search for preservation caught the attention
of a Korean organization, which proposed
the adoption of Hangeul, the Korean alpha-
bet. With the Indonesian government’s
official approval for the adoption of
Hangeul and a new curriculum for local
schools on the rise, the Cia-Cia tribe is now
on the road to preserving its native tongue,
one letter at a time. by Lee Se-mi
Since the adoption of Hangeul, road signs are now written in Hangeul in Bau-Bau
City, Indonesia (opposite above). Abidin, left, is the Cia-Cia tribe’s first local teacher
for both Hangeul and Korean, and has given lectures in elementary and high schools
since July 2009 (opposite below). Cia-Cia tribes people attend a Korean lesson in
Seoul on an invitation from the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family in July (top).
Cia-Cia natives receive taekwondo lessons from Korean volunteers in July (above).
INDONESIA’S CIA-CIA LANGUAGE
PRESERVED BY ADOPTION
OF KOREAN ALPHABET, HANGEUL
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“Used coal briquette, do not kick it carelessly. Have you ever
been a warm person to anyone even once?”
This verse is a part of the poem, I Ask You, a short but
connotative piece that rebukes humanity for its lack of
passion, inherent snobbishness and false sense of conscience,
depicted through imagery of used coal briquettes. The pic-
ture of ash, which represents the commonality of daily life,
strikes a chord in the hearts of readers and forces us to reflect
on our behavior.
The poet suggests the method by which we should live our
lives, reminding us of how those now fragile, coal briquette
ashes once burned with the heat of passion. But far from a
scolding, the words are not meant to cynically probe into oth-
ers, but target the writer’s own inner feelings.
Many people have endured dark and stormy times in their
lives, and Ahn Do-hyun knows all too well what suffering is.
His intense passion for life has thrust him headfirst into the
ups and downs of growth, but although he has experienced
those hardships which accompany paths off the beaten track,
the poet never once lost his ability to contemplate life
through optimism and humor.
POEMS TO CONSOLE THE ALIENATED As a teenager, Ahn
enjoyed reading and writing poems; he had no other hobbies
or special skills. He says his biggest pleasure during his school
days were essay contests. When he was a high school student,
he decorated his entire house with trophies from writing
competitions, and he went on to major in Korean literature
while at university. Ahn, who was born in Yecheon,
PEN & BRUSH
In his 20s, Ahn Do-hyun was a
young man who indulged in drink-
ing and writing. In his 30s, he was a
warm-hearted soul who yearned to
reach out to the weak and the alien-
ated. Now, in his late 40s, Ahn is a
talented poet who keeps his passion
for writing alive and still remains
young at heart.
by LimJi-young | photographs by Park Jeong-roh
1610 rcnlrusn 2010.10.1 !1! !` ¯~¯ 16 moc! 1180!·!out
Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, entered Wonkwang University
in Jeollabuk-do Province – a university that has produced
numerous literary figures. In his 20s, he spent most of his
time being productive. He enthusiastically wrote poems and
read books, sometimes skipping school for several days to
write in his rented room. Other times, he would drink and
talk with friends until morning, going for days at a time
without sleep. However, Ahn soon settled down to marry his
first love, thus ending his bachelor life.
Nakdonggang, Ahn’s poem dedicated to the Nakdonggang
River that flows around his hometown, Yecheon, won a prize
in the Daegu Maeil Shinmun newspaper’s annual spring
literary contest in 1981, jumpstarting his literary career.
When he won another prize in the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper’s
annual spring literary contest with Jeon Bong-jun on the Way
to Seoul, he made his name as poet. The work lyrically depict-
ed life and history from the viewpoint of a young man,
arousing fervor and passion within the hearts of the people
who were being oppressed by society.
From his first collection of poems on, Ahn has grown in
range, creating a wide spectrum of insights as a poet and
human being. His second collection of poems, Modakbul, or
“bonfire”, contains poems written after he was fired from
his job at Iri Middle School in Iksan for joining the Korean
Teachers & Education Workers’ Union. In Modakbul, Ahn
describes the gloomy future of an educational system that
trains children to value only obedience. The poet soon
entered the ranks of the most well-known writers, known
for his ability to delicately portray the private lives,
the social and the racial realities of the times based on his
His other collections such as Yearning Fox, which also
confronts societal dilemmas, and Post Office on the Beach,
which depicts the trivial yet vital institutions of small post
offices and rural barbershops, transformed Ahn into one of
the most outstanding poets of his time.
In March 1994, Ahn was reinstated as a teacher in Jangsu.
Two years later, he published the first installment of his
Salmon Series, The Salmon, after learning of the moving
way the fish returns to its home river when it is about to die.
The Salmon tells the experience of a fish that returns to where
it was born, relating the tale to the growing pains and loves of
life. This bestseller was printed in 100 editions, and continues
to draw new readers today.
(LITTLE, LOW AND SLOW)
> Language Japanese
> Publisher Shoshikankanbou
> Published 2005
A little comfort the poet provides to alienated
people. The poems express the poet’sphilosophy
of life. Ahn Do-hyun recommends that people
trapped in the hectic, mechanic and inhumane social system live
more humble, lower, and slower lives. Through the poems, the
poet sings the praises of slowness.
(A FROZEN CICADA)
> Language Japanese
> Publisher Shoshiseijusha
> Published 2003
The poet was saddened to see the empty,
cast-off skin of a cicada covered with snow.
He wrote, “The owner of the rags flew away to
the vast space, but it snows and snows into the
narrow hole of the rags.” The warm heart of the poet who wants
to console the empty skin that was left in the coldness can be
felt through the poem.
SILBERLACHS (THE SALMON)
> Language German
> Publisher Pendragon
> Published 2007
Silberlachs is a fairy tale-like novel, or novel-
like fairy tale, that sees the pure and clear
world through the transparent and delicate
eyes of the poet. Silberlachs is one of Ahn’s
most representative works. It is a poetic
novel with which his sensibility reached the climax. The salmon
journeys to its mother river with his friends. During the journey,
he loses his older sister, falls in love with a transparent-eyed
female salmon and goes up of a waterfall. The poet uses the
salmon’s return as a metaphor to express the inevitable pains
and earnest love that everyone experiences growing up.
The novel was reprinted 100 times.
I AM STILL THE WAY I AMWith an ever-growing aspiration
to write, Ahn quit teaching in February 1997 and became a
full-time writer. With a passion for literary creation, Ahn
began to focus on his career as a full-time poet. Shortly after
leaving the school, Ahn published a collection of poems enti-
tled Yearning Fox. He seemed to take a profound interest in
the small, weak and alienated, and embraced those concepts
in his writing to bring fresh material to his oeuvre. Renowned
poet Shin Gyeong-rim once said that it was with Yearning Fox
that he began to enjoy reading Ahn’s poem work.
In 2004, Ahn went back to teaching, but this time as a pro-
fessor of Creative Writing at Woosuk University in Jeollabuk-
do Province. Despite his skepticism about the educational
system, the job seemed to fit his liberal and creative character.
“I don’t teach students what to memorize, but how to write
a poem. That’s the difference. I even found that I can be bet-
ter at showing someone how to write a poem than writing
one myself,” Ahn says. “I have to be responsible for what I
write in my poems, but I do not have any responsibility for
what my students write. I think that’s why I feel more free,
and less burdened as a professor.”
Recently, Ahn returned as the writer of two books, Yummy
Yummy for children and A Salmon Story for adults. The tasty
title Yummy Yummy is a collection of poems for children that
contains short tales of healthy and delicious food, promoting
nutrition in a modern society where so often diets are lacking
in the staples. “I wrote those poems as a wish of our children,
who are used to making-do with fast foods, to discover and
appreciate the real taste of healthy cuisine,” he said. “I believe
that healthy food nourishes them to think and live in a
A Salmon Story is a follow-up to The Salmon, which
attracted Ahn’s largest audience and is today one of his most
The poet confessed that writing for children brings him
excitement, whereas writing for adults can sometimes lead to
frustration. Critics of his latest work argue that his “sweet”
books focus on relatively lighter and easier subjects, as
opposed to the more socially-conscious earlier work. But Ahn
pays them no heed. He says that his interests and taste in
poetry has not changed, but that he is interested in many
things apart from social topics.
“I write a poem when I feel like writing it,” he says. “If an
issue that looked negative to me was solved or improved, I
don’t have to be skeptical about it any longer. I’m not some-
one who has to have a critical opinion on every subject. I can
write a poem with criticism, but also with a warm heart.”
Although he is not one to analyze the success of his work,
Ahn understands why his words are so well loved by the read-
ers, who connect with his accepting and universal language.
He himself aspires to be more like the poet Baek Sok, who
broadened the world of poetics and stretched the imagina-
tions of his readers. Whenever he runs into writer’s block,
Ahn reads a work by Baek for new direction. Ahn will soon
turn 50, but he still finds himself in a vast world awaiting
exploration and achievements yet to reach. As long as his
horizon remains endless, the world of his poems will be
limitless, always on the lookout for infinite insight.
1610 rcnlrusn 2010.10.1 !1¯ !` ¯~¯ 18 moc! 1180!·!out
Raimund Royer, an Austrian with no prior connection to Korea, visited the
country for a short trip and was fascinated by its people and culture.
Afterward, unable to shake the country from his mind, he packed his bags and
made an intercontinental move. 20 years on, Dr Royer is the first foreign
Oriental medicine doctor in Korea. by LimJi-young | photographs by Park Jeong-roh
202¯ rcorlc 2010.10.1 !16 !` ¯~¯ 20 moc! 1180!·!out
Knowledge of medicinal herbs is vital in Oriental medicine, and Dr Royer explains the
uses of several medicinal herbs used in his practice (right above).
Dr Raimund Royer explains about gi, the fundamental of the Oriental medicine (top).
Medicinal herbs are an essential part of Oriental medicine treatment (middle). With
his skillful hand, the Austrian doctor performs acupuncture on a patient (above).
really surprised. It was an incredible experience.”
The effectiveness of the treatment was a shock to Dr Royer,
who felt introduced to whole new unknown world. He soon
became fascinated by Oriental medicine and decided to study
it in Korea.
ORIENTAL MEDICINE Dr Royer set out to realize his dream of
learning Oriental medicine. He studied the Korean language
for a year at Yonsei University and learned Chinese literature
at the Eastern philosophy department of Gangneung
National University. It was here that he learned about
Oriental cultures and Chinese letters. After familiarizing
himself with the jargon and Chinese characters, he applied
to an Oriental medicine school.
His first attempt was unsuccessful, and the scholars at the
program he applied for said it would be difficult for a
foreigner to learn their medicinal practices. Though one
rejection did not deter him, and he looked for a way to enter
a school through a variety of academic routes. He met with
the dean of Daegu Haany University through an Austrian
priest, and finally received permission to attend.
Meanwhile, Dr Royer’s parents in Austria were absolutely
opposed to his plan. He couldn’t blame them. What parents
would be thrilled to learn that their precious child wanted to
study a little-known practice in a country they knew hardly
anything about? But Dr Royer’s ceaseless endeavors to
persuade them finally won them over.
The study of Oriental medicine was not easy. With poor
Korean language skills, it seemed almost impossible, and
subjects like Korean history exhausted him even more. But
the confrontation of challenge only determined him, and
he was soon making top marks in his classes, astonishing
even his professors. Dr Royer graduated after eight years of
hard work, and became the first and only foreign Oriental
medicine doctor in Korea.
CUSTOMIZED TREATMENT After university, Dr Royer worked
at the Oriental medical clinic at Bundang Cha Medical
Center, and another private clinic. He currently gives care
mainly to foreigners as the director of the International
Clinic at Jaseng Hospital of Oriental Medicine. Since his
patients are often uneducated in the methods of the
traditional practice, the doctor faces difficulties in having to
provide lengthy explanations, although it is relatively easy for
him to treat those who have had experience with Oriental
The key concept of Oriental medicine is gi, or vital life
sporting event, which infected the young Austrian backpacker
with a sense of potential, too. Walking on Jongno Street and
seeing the faces of the Koreans, Dr Royer couldn’t tell if he
was awake or dreaming. The scene was quite different from
that of his native Austria, home to the beautiful Alps that
tower in the background of the landscape like a folding
screen, with only a few people walking along the quiet streets.
Dr Royer, ready for the change of pace, traveled the whole of
South Korea, starting with Seoul and making his way
throughout the country. The more he learned about Korea,
the more he felt an affinity.
He decided to learn taekwondo, Korean martial art, but it
wasn’t easy for the blue-eyed foreigner. After getting injured
in a practice session, a friend recommended an Oriental
medical doctor for the pain.
“My ankle was injured and the doctor applied acupuncture
to my wrist, and it didn’t make sense to me,” he recalls. “After
the treatment, he asked me to walk, with the needles still in
place. I did and realized my pain was dramatically gone. I was
force in the body, which is a familiar word in East Asia and an
unfamiliar concept for many foreigners. Some patients who
have visited Dr Royer after hearing about his reputation
eventually avoided treatment because they believe gi is a
non-scientific matter. In such cases, Dr Royer tries to explain
the science of Oriental medicine as simply as possible, able to
relate to their difficulties from his own experiences.
“Treatment is conducted in an Oriental medical way, but
diagnosis is done in a Western medical method. Is there any-
thing that produces better data than an MRI? No. I diagnose
patients and give them medical care based on the results.
Human bodies are all different and therefore treatments are
different. Even when the same treatment is applied, not
everyone shows the same results. So Oriental medicine
provides individual prescriptions that are scientific.”
Dr Royer’s family in Austria, who once voiced such strong
doubt, changed their minds after receiving his medical care.
His cousin’s husband, who couldn’t sleep because of knee
pain from harsh exercise, underwent chim, tteumand medical
“Korean autumn is great. It is the best season of the year. If
I have time, I’d love to visit Jirisan Mountain. If only I could
find the time,” says Dr Raimund Royer easily, in his fluent
Korean. If I was not speaking with the blue-eyed European
face-to-face, I would have thought he was Korean, born and
Dr Royer has been featured on several TV programs and
in newspapers, and is widely recognized as the first foreign
Oriental medicine doctor. Even on the street or in a taxi,
he’s often approached, as passersby recognize him immedi-
ately. And as his regular patients increase, Dr Royer becomes
busier and busier.
When he reflects on his life-changing decision to move to
Korea, the doctor says that a career in the trade industry left
him tired and weary. It was by chance, he says, that he was
introduced to the practice of acupuncture.
“If you ask me why I chose Korea for my trip, I can’t think
of any clear reason,” he says. “Originally, I was interested in
Asian countries and dreamed of trips to Asia. Coincidently,
my job offered holidays. My destination was, of course, an
Asian country. China and Japan were already popular, so I
chose Korea, located between them.”
The only thing Dr Royer knew about Korea was that the
Olympics were to be held the following year in 1988. At the
time, Seoul was abuzz with excitement over the international
202¯ rcorlc 2010.10.1 !16 !` ¯~¯ 22 moc! 1180!·!out
treatment and expressed gratitude that his pain had com-
pletely vanished. He had previously visited other clinics
numerous times, but only Dr Royer had managed to cure his
knee. His family and relatives now respect his decision to
study Oriental medicine and show faith in its effects.
“Often, Western people ask me if they can obtain the same
effects as Asian people do. The effect is the same. Westerners
have the five viscera and the six entrails and all of the same
body parts as Koreans.”
A HUMANIST DOCTOR On his desk of Dr Royer, who takes
care never to neglect his continual study of the profession, is
a copy of Donguibogam, a venerable textbook for herbal
doctors. He jokes that the old book makes it appear as though
he is studying hard, but he even knows which page contains
the specifications he’s looking for.
As he pulls medicine from the cabinet, he reads the familiar
Dr Royer’s Oriental medicine books remain a part of his medical practice, and he
says that he continues to study today (above).
Dr Royer is South Korea’s first and only foreign Oriental medicine doctor, and he is
well-known throughout the country for his practice (right above).
Chinese characters on the labels. Many people give up learn-
ing Chinese characters because of the unfamiliar form and
pronunciation. Dr Royer, however, is not one of them. He
mastered the Chinese characters, which are regarded as even
more difficult, early on in his career. His ambition and
determination is incredible.
In general, people tend to be attracted by to those things
which are familiar to comfortable to them, yet Dr Royer is
quite the opposite. He seems to be intrigued by concepts and
ideas that are difficult, unfamiliar and challenging. For
instance, he recalls that his studies of Chinese characters only
became more interesting the harder he toiled.
To help himself understand the background of traditional
Korean medicine, he took advantage of all the available
resources, even watching the sensational TV series Heo Jun,
based on the life Huh Joon, the founder of Korea’s traditional
medicine and the writer of the monumental tome
Donguibogam. Although as an herbal doctor, he could not
help but find some inconsistencies in the drama, starting with
the character Heo Jun himself, Dr Royer soon became a fan
of traditional Korean dramas.
“I feel the dramatic growth of this country through those
dramas. Compared with those in the 1980s, the cultural
content has become much more colorful and rich. I can truly
understand how the Korean wave sweep the Asian market.”
His open mind and knack for understanding the different
perspectives of the world has been valuable in his profession.
Dr Royer, dressed in a comfortable gown instead of the cold
and strict typical doctor’s attire, has many clients who are
some of his biggest fans. He does not believe that his
relationship with a patient is over just because a treatment is
“Maybe they won’t visit me regularly any more, but they
return for check-ups, so I have to be concerned about the
development of my patient’s symptoms. Because medical
service, in the end, is an interrelations business, based on
mutual trust. I had a German patient who received treatment
from me and has kept writing me for many months. I still
provided her online medical counsel. She said that she will
definitely visit me again for her pain treatment when she
comes back to Korea.”
As an old proverb says, “Do not belittle a leaf fallen and a
stone rolling on the road.” Dr Royer follows the philosophy
of the saying and tries to put it into practice. These days,
people equate top-notch medical service with money-eating
treatment, but Dr Royer remains a humanist who puts his
priority on relationships with people rather than business for
profit. For him, nothing is more valuable than the relation-
ships he has built with his patients.
PATHFINDER WHO OPENED A NEW WORLD Dr Royer’s tales
of satisfied and appreciative patients are endless: A doubtful
female patient who became preganant after fertility treat-
ments, a German whose chronic backache was cured, a man
who brought his parents from South America just to receive
care. As Dr Royer learned the basic principles of Oriental
medicine that helps people improve their physical condition
through diagnoses and treatment, the more he became
fascinated by it. Jaseng Hospital of Oriental Medicine, which
specializes in non-operational spine problems, fit Dr Royer’s
own philosophy perfectly.
“Even in the case of Germans, who are considered very
rational, Oriental medicine is getting more and more popular
each day, and the number of clinics that offer services in
Germany is increasing. It proves that even those strict
Germans recognize the effects. I think if we try to spread
the effectiveness of Oriental medicine, the whole world will
Dr Royer believes that as Westerners show increasing inter-
est in Oriental medical treatment, it will be necessary to
establish a system combining the merits of both Western and
As for himself, Dr Royer has assimilated into the Korean
culture, as an avid fan of the local cuisine and proponent of
traditional exercises including barefoot hiking. He has
become so accustomed to the rough, natural ground that he
now often goes on walks barefoot, claiming that it is the best
exercise. In addition, he is careful about the food he eats.
Cheonggukjang, Korean traditional dish similar to a Western
stew and a strongly odorous fermented soy bean paste,
popular especially in wintertime, is always on his dinner
table due to its many health benefits. In fact, the good doctor
sticks to a traditional lifestyle that even some Koreans are
unable to keep up the discipline for.
But just as in Robert Frost’s poem, Dr Royer, who traveled
the road not taken, has opened up a new stage for Oriental
medicine, as the inaugural foreign traditional doctor, blazing
his own path into the country.
Live a well-regulated life. Exercise every day, even if it’s
just a little bit. Walking barefoot is recommended. Free
the feet, free the body. Look for healthy food. Savory
cheonggukjang is tasty and beneficial to the health.
Keep away from fast-food. Carbonated drinks and soda
are enemies to the human body.
DR ROYER’S DO & DON’T!
202¯ rcorlc 2010.10.1 !16 !` ¯~¯ 2! moc! 1180!·!out
Nurimaru APEC House, located in Dongbaekseom Island, is famous for its gorgeous ocean views.
October is here and the autumn crops ripen with each day. The port city of Busan
bustles with excitement, not only with the harvests of sea and land, but also with the
joys of cinema. The 15
Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF), indisputably one
of the biggest film festivals in Asia, hits the shores of Busan this month and film
fanatics flock to the event. by Oh Kyong-yon | photographs by KimHong-jin
2681 tro·cl 2010.10.1 !18 !` ¯~¯ 1 moc! 1180!·!out
Johyun Gallery on Dalmaji Hill hosts several special exhibitions each year (top).
<Virginia, lab assistant> Acrylic, vinyl and lights, 2006 by Julian Opie (circle). Mystery
stories fromaroundthe worldhave foundtheir way to the World’s Mystery Library (above).
Before it became a widely recognized film locale, the 40 Stairs was known as a historic
Korean War location (top left). Busan is a beloved filming location for moviemakers (top
right). The entrance of the Cinematheque Pusan boasts the handprints of celebrities
(middle right). You can feel the filmmaking air at PIFF Square in Nampo-dong (above).
Busan is Korea’s second-largest city after Seoul. If you’re in
the coastal city in October, you may find yourself agonizing
over which film locale to hit up first: Haeundae, where the
action happens, or Nampo-dong for its preservation of the
city’s rich tradition and culture?
Haeundae is Busan’s most symbolic spot and is getting more
attention as a shopping district. Local shopping center
Centum City’s Shinsegae is listed in the Guinness Book of
World Records as the largest department store in the world.
Nampo-dong, on the other hand, is the perfect place to enjoy
Busan’s unique history and tradition. The two hotspots are
worth visiting at any time of the year.
A CENTER OF FILMMAKING In addition to hosting the
country’s first international film festival, Busan is known as
the location for filming international and domestical
produced films and TV dramas. Since December 1999, when
Busan actively began to attract filmmakers, more than 500
films and videos have been shot in the city, according to the
Busan Film Commission. Busan Cinema Studios, located at
the Haeundae Yacht Club, is the single largest indoor studio
in the country, proving Busan’s power as a mecca for film.
Among those shot in Busan, the most well-known
productions include Haeundae or Tidal Wave, which sold 11
million tickets in Korea alone, and Chingu or Friend, shot
entirely in Busan and successful in both ticket sales and
praise. In addition, Camelia, the closing film at this year’s
PIFF, features a scene collaboration between Korea,
Thailand and Japan, where three love stories set in
Busan are weaved together. The film has created a buzz
because it stars hallyu stars like Song Hye-kyo and Kang
For a film buff who loves all genres of movies, from
maniac art films to black-and-white classics, the Cinema-
theque, an art film cinema located near Busan Cinema
Studios, is worth a trip. Each season, movie-goers find special
programs and retrospectives on the masters, and rare record
films of various fields are screened. Visitors can see the hand-
prints of PIFF film stars from years past. During the festival
season, various events are held at the cinema as well.
Dongbaekseom Island, home of Nurimaru APEC House, is
the No 1 spot for breathtaking views. The name “Nurimaru”
comes from the Korean words “nuri,” meaning the world, and
“maru,” meaning peak. Together, the word means “a house for
world leaders” and it played host to the 2005 Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. Stand in front of
Nurimaru APEC House, a modern interpretation of a Korean
traditional pavilion, and gaze out at the ocean. You’ll find a
stunning panorama of the white Gwangandaegyo Bridge,
soaring skyscrapers, and the Pacific horizon.
Film isn’t the only subject shaking up Haeundae. The area
is also well-known for its art. The path connecting Haeundae
and Songjeong beaches is nicknamed Dalmaji-gil (“a road to
greet the moon”), as it’s exceptionally beautiful when the
moon is out. Those who were mesmerized by the breathtak-
ing view of Dalmaji Hill settled down in the area, building
galleries and cafes, creating an attraction for friends and
lovers. One of those venues, Johyun Gallery, is a gallery and a
cafe, and special exhibitions are shown in the exhibition halls
almost monthly. There is a library at Dalmaji Hill dedicated
to detective novels that are rare in Korea and around the
world, and visitors can read novels and magazines published
in and out of the country.
ON THE TRAILS OF HISTORY IN NAMPO-DONG When
PIFF opened its doors for the first time, the main stage was
situated at PIFF Square, where local cinemas have been locat-
2681 tro·cl 2010.10.1 !18 !` ¯~¯ 8 moc! 1180!·!out
Busan boasts a tasty fare all its town – delicious local cuisine includes squid and
vegetables seasoned with chogochujang (top right). Even the backstreets of Nampo-
dong are bursting with buchu-jeon (right above).
An enthusiastic peformance at the PIFF’s opening ceremony (top). Gwangandaegyo
Bridge, around Haeundae, offers a breathtaking nightview (above). Fresh catch from
the nearby sea are displayed at the Jagalchi Market (opposite top left).
ed for years. Just across the street from Jagalchi Market, the
square is a rather crowded space and the floors are filled with
handprints of famous actors and directors. During the last
few years, many PIFF events have been held at the open-air
stage near the Yacht Club and the temporary Pavilion in
Haeundae, but it’s hard to deny that Busan’s Nampo-dong is
the original birthplace of the festival.
The “40 Stairs” near Nampo-dong is widely recognized as
the film location of Woochi and Nowhere to Hide. For the
younger generations, it may well be just another famous film
location. The 40 Stairs is deeply rooted in history and reflects
the harsh reality for refugees of the Korean War. Bronze
statues offer a glimpse of life in the 1950s. Nearby is 40-Step
Culture & Tourism Theme Street, where 40 Square Culture
Center gives a detailed history of the area.
For an impressive experience and a taste of local cuisine,
stop by one of the pojangmacha wagon-style eateries hidden
around every corner of Nampo-dong’s narrow alleyways.
Taste the local take on snacks like tteokbokki (a Korean dish
made from rice and flour cake boiled with red pepper sauce),
sundae (a Korean style sausage, pig intestines stuffed with
glass noodles and vegetables), buchu-jeon (savory chives pan-
cake), squid and vegetables seasoned with chogochujang (a
sauce made from vinegar, gochujang, and sugar), sweet red
bean soup, chungmu-gimbap (rice rolls wrapped in dried
laver) and other unique local treats.
Jagalchi Market across from PIFF Square is Busan’s most
beloved tourist spot. As the biggest fish market in Korea, the
market boasts a wide variety of seafood, from fresh fish
straight out of the water to those dried in the sun. To see the
bustling market at its busiest, visit early in the morning. The
energetic atmosphere is certainly worth experiencing.
HOW TO GET TO BUSAN
> By Car Take the Gyeongbu Expressway from Seoul to
Busan. Past Busan IC, bound for Haeundae directly,
passing Dongseo Highway, take Hwangnyeongsan Tunnel
and Haeundae New Street.
> By Bus Buses run from 6am till 2am every 30 minutes,
from Seoul Express Bus Terminal to Busan Express Bus
> By Train Trains run from Seoul Station to Busan Station
by KTX, Saemaeul, and Mugunghwa Train.
Pusan International Film Festival (Busan Office)
1393 Yacht Club, U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Tel 82 1688 3010 Website www.piff.org
Busan Cinema Studios
1392 U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Tel 82 51 731 6527 Website www.bfc.or.kr
1393-1 U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Tel 82 51 742 5377 Website cinema.piff.org
Nurimaru APEC House
714-1 U-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Tel 82 51 744 3140
1501-15 Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Open Monday-Sunday 10am - 7pm (by appointment)
Tel 82 51 747 8853 Website www.johyungallery.com
Korea Art Center
1502-2 Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Tel 82 51 742 7799 Website www.koreaartcenter.co.kr
The World’s Mystery Library
1483-6 Jung-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan
Tel 82 51 743 0480 Website www.007spyhouse.com
Street Nampo-dong, Jung-gu, Busan
Tel 82 51 713 8000 Website www.jagalchimarket.or.kr
Ssangdungi dwaejigukbap (restaurant)
887-1 Daeyeon-dong, Nam-gu, Busan
Tel 82 51 628 7020
Menu Suyuk-baekban 7,000 Won (US$6), dwaejigukbap
4,500 Won (US$ 3.9)
40-Step Culture Tourism Theme Street
Street Jungang-dong, Jung-gu, Busan
Tel 82 51 600 4041
2681 tro·cl 2010.10.1 !18 !` ¯~¯ ¯ moc! 1180!·!out
In any culture, food is of the utmost importantce. In Korea, however, that importance is
increased tenfold as eating together signifies unity and commonality. From the outside look-
ing in, the Korean tradition of hoesik, or eating together, can be overwhelming for those who
are unaccustomed to spending time with co-workers outside of the office. But as an
American expat discovered, this warm tradition sheds insight on Korean culture and offers
the opportunity for friendship and bonding in the most unlikely of settings.
My first dinner with my co-workers surprised me. I was told that we were
having a staff dinner after school, and that I was invited. I couldn’t help
thinking, “I’m supposed to be with my co-workers after school, too?” It was
a bit of strange concept, coming from a culture where you can’t wait to get
out of work and home to your family and friends. Enjoyment quickly
replaced skepticism, however, as a group of smiling co-teachers encouraged
me to eat. Every time I finished my drink, it was immediately refilled, every
828¯ m· lorco 2010.10.1 !2! !` ¯~¯ 1 moc! 1180!·!out
Kate Engelkes and
her husband are
American expats liv-
ing in South Korea.
They are both Guest
English Teachers in
the public middle
school system in
Busan. Formerly an
student at Iowa
Kate now enjoys
and Korean school
Korean foods of all
kinds and curling
up with good books
after school. She
can be reached at
these large parties when his principal retired. Since this was not just a regular
teacher, but the principal, there was quite the farewell party for him. All of the
staff and the principal’s family attended the celebration. There was a nice buf-
fet, drinking, toasts, and, most importantly, gifts. Every person left the party
with a memory book of the principal’s service in teaching, as well as a beach
mat personalized with the school name emblazoned on it. “It was similar to a
wedding feast we would have in the US. There was a guest of honor table
raised above everyone else, and all of the principal’s family was there,” my
husband explained. “Everyone was so helpful, giving rides and making sure
everyone got involved in the gathering, including me.”
My experiences with hoesik culture have been relatively tame, if you don’t
count the teacher retreat I experienced where our music teacher drank a little
too much and was yelling toasts throughout the night. My husband even had
a teacher begin singing opera as he doled out toasts throughout an evening of
hoesik. Every time I’m invited to a teacher dinner, I say yes. As a foreign
teacher, I’m already at a disadvantage when it comes to bonding with my co-
workers, so anything I can do to create unity and friendship in the workplace
is a plus for me. Eating with my colleagues is a great way for me to get to
know them. People I’ve never spoken to suddenly speak phenomenal English,
and even my Korean language abilities get a little better. Little did I know how
rewarding a staff dinner could be in relationships at work.
My three female English co-workers and I decided to take an afternoon this
past summer to engage in some hoesik of our own. When I say an afternoon, I
mean an entire afternoon. This was no ladies luncheon at noon. We began our
bonding at a buffet with seafood, pasta, salad, steak and chicken. Ms Choi was
the first to break the ice, asserting that whoever ate the least number of plates
at the buffet was the loser. Trip after trip was made to the buffet area, and
story after story was shared in the bites between those trips. Everything from
students to teaching theory to summer plans were discussed. Once again,
when I thought I could eat no more, it was time to hit the dessert counters.
After piling our dishes with sweets, we sat down to more conversation. At this
point, disaster hit our group as the kitchen began filling with smoke. We were
forced to pay and leave the restaurant, with grumbles of, “But we didn’t even
get coffee yet!” Even though lunch had ended, our bonding was not yet over.
Being in need of coffee (Every good meal must end with coffee, right?), we
headed to a delightful European-style cafe not far from the buffet. My co-
workers emitted squeals of delight, sighing, “It’s just like Sex and the City,” and
then began assigning characters to each of us. As soon as coffee cups were
clasped in each of our hands, we began anew our conversation, continuing
where it had left off. Only when one of us had to leave because of a hair
appointment did our group begin to disperse. After a buffet, dessert, coffee,
and a million words, our hoesik had ended.
This was my first real experience of “letting my hair down” with my co-
workers. It was truly invigorating, and I left with a sense of being a kindred
spirit with my co-workers that I had not yet felt since beginning my life in
Korea. I also realized that there really was something to this whole concept of
hoesik. We had “eaten rice from the same bowl,” and a bond had been created
that continued when we went back to work
the next day. I now knew I had people on my
side as I prepared for the tough days of stu-
dents and lessons and preparing for tests. I
had an English co-worker family.
In Korean thought, eating brings unity.
Language barriers are broken, conflicts
resolved, and true selves are revealed in an
effort to bring unity and friendship into the
workplace. I hope to find and engage in this
type of communal family no matter the
workplace in which I find myself. by Kate
Engelkes | illustrations by KimHyeong-geon
time a side dish ran out, yells of “Yeogiyo!”
brought more delicacies, every time I
stopped my flying chopsticks for a breather,
waving hands encouraged me to continue
eating. Just when I had stuffed myself to the
brim, the question of, “doenjang-jjigae and
rice?” brought yet another course to the
table. Needless to say, it was a good thing my
apartment was directly across the street from
the restaurant, so I could have a co-worker
give me a push and let me roll across the
street into the building. I got home thinking,
“Welcome to Korea.”
In the US, we may make a few friends at
work to spend time with at lunches and some
evening excursions, but
Koreans consider being
with co-workers of
the utmost impor-
tance. Korean hoesik
“gathering to eat”) is experienced at every workplace. From office workers to
teachers to salespeople, co-workers are expected to join together for dinners
and drinking after the stressful hours of the workday. To an outsider like me,
this may seem weird – who wants to spend all evening with the people you see
all day? – but it’s a tradition that enhances relationships in the workplace bet-
ter than anything else.
To gain some insight into why this is such an imperative part of the culture,
I talked with my co-worker and friend, Ms Choi, about hoesik. She explained
to me exactly why this tradition is so essential in the culture, saying, “It gives
us a chance to get familiar with each other. If you don’t eat outside of school,
you are not a friend.” Eating together outside of work provides a unity that
cannot be experienced within the office. Due to Confucianism, a strict hierar-
chy is to be maintained in the workplace. Eating with co-workers, however, is
a wayin which that hierarchy can relax a bit, and people can speak freely. “If I
go to hoesik with English co-workers whom I am more familiar with, I can
say anything, and we can show our true selves,” Ms Choi said. “We can share
the same story, so it is fun.” By eating together after work, co-workers are
allowed to bond in a way that unites them when going back to the workplace,
a bonding experience like no other.
Hansotbap sikgu is an idiom in the Korean language that
means, “We eat rice out of the same bowl.” This idiom comes
from the way families eat together. In the past, Korean
family members would mix a bowl of bibimbap (rice
with vegetables and spicy red pepper sauce), the
father would begin eating, and then the family
would all eat out of the same bowl. Similarly, co-
workers who eat together after work will introduce
their friends saying, “We’ve eaten rice
out of the same bowl for five years.”
It is a way of saying, “We are
family.” Not only does eating with
co-workers offer a chance to
become familiar with each other,
it allows them to consider
themselves a family.
For this reason, Koreans who
are beginning a new job or
retiring are treated to the
largest parties. It’s almost
like a family reunion or a
wedding. It is a way of
welcoming people into
their new “family,” or
thanking them for all
of the years they’ve
spent in it. My hus-
band attended one of
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FINAL PREPARATIONS FOR SUCCESSFUL
HOSTING TO INCLUDE SECURITY,
PREP-WORK FOR CULTURAL EVENTS
G20 summit, to be held in Seoul from November 11-12, is only a month away.
Considered the Lee Myung-bak administration’s largest diplomatic coup, the summit
will host heads of state from around the world, and the government is putting the
final touches on its preparations. In this series, we take a look overall preparation for
the summit, as government agencies work to ensure a safe conference and a top-
notch official dinner for the world’s political and economic leaders. by Kwon Kyeong-hui
SPECIAL FEATURE : G20 REPORT
As the G20 Seoul Summit nears, the
Korean government is, working tire-
lessly to put the final touches on
months-long summit preparations.
Because the G20 leaders failed to
reach agreement on core issues at
the G20 meeting in Toronto in June,
the summit in Seoul is under that
much more pressure to seal the deal.
“We’ve been having meetings to
determine the agenda for the summit
since September,” an official at the
G20 Seoul Summit’s organizing
President Lee Myung-bak stressed
that leaders had to find common
ground on framework, financial safety
nets, and reform of financial regula-
tion and international financial
agencies – areas where leaders failed
to reach an agreement in Toronto. Lee
also emphasized Korea’s responsibili-
ty to bear fruit in its efforts to share
its development experience with less
‘AIR-TIGHT SECURITY’ AFTER THE
LARGEST DRILL EVER In order to
ensure the safety of guests for the
summit, organizers are vamping up
security efforts. The Korean National
Police Agency will station 400,000
officers near conference facilities,
the largest-ever security operation,
as part of the comprehensive security
measures. Those measures also
include security for conference rooms,
hotels, and streets, plus anti-terrorism
techniques, plugging in holes for civil-
ian security and minimizing inconven-
iences to the public to prevent recur-
rences of major protests, like the
demonstrations that marred the
Toronto Summit in June.
The national police will set up
checkpoints near the summit venue,
and police have adopted the latest
technologies in their security efforts.
Helicopters to guard the skies around
the summit site will be equipped with
thermal infrared cameras that can
detect any human or objective around
the conference site. The police are
also working to adopt an automatic
detection system to check for explo-
sives underneath vehicles for the
prevention of car bomb attacks.
Inside the conference venue, up-to-
date security systems will be able to
distinguish individuals in attendance.
Closed-circuit television will recognize
faces of individuals who are registered
for the summit. The government will
also block entry of foreign NGOs with
a history of violent demonstrations.
Bounties are available for those who
report on terrorists, and extra police
officers will be posted at 447 key
national facilities, 1,468 public
places, and 282 subway platforms
and waiting rooms.
KOREAN SUITES TO CAPTIVATE
WORLD LEADERS The government is
eager to let the rest of the world know
more about Korean culture through
this summit. “The outside evaluation
of the Korean economy is already
quite high since we’ve quickly
recovered from the global financial
crisis,” an organizer for the summit
said. “This time, we will show the
world we’re also a cultural power, not
just an economic one.”
Recently, the Corea Image
Communication Institute invited global
leaders in the fields of cuisine, cine-
ma, concert and fashion. The aim was
to have the guests visit Korea’s major
tourist attractions, taste hansik
(Korean cuisine), feel the beauty of
hanbok (traditional clothing) and gen-
erally experience the local culture so
that they can later act as the bridge
for the spread of Korean culture.
The invited figures included: Vittorio
Missoni, chairman of the leading fash-
ion group Missoni of Italy; Guy
Sorman, a renowned culture critic
from France; Cemil Ipekci, a Turkish
designer who dressed Princess Diana;
and Chef Hemant Oberoi of the Taj
Mahal Hotel in India.
On the first day, the guests toured
Changdeokgung Palace and Bukchon
Hanok Village in Seoul, and visited
first lady Kim Yoon-ok at the Blue
House. Kim highlighted the balance of
nature and humanity as she intro-
Preparations for the G20 Summit <October 2010> ; The Outcome of the Summit
and Untold Stories <December 2010> would appear on these pages.
Teens from the G20 member countries participate in
the 2010 Youth G20 Low Carbon Green Growth
Forum (opposite). Korean Buddhist ceremonies are
held ahead of the summit (left). Children show off
folk costumes from G20 countries (below).
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G20 SEOUL SUMMIT, A WATERSHED MOMENT IN HISTORY
Kim He-beom, Head of PR Division
duced characteristics of Korean
culture and extolled virtues of Korean
On the second day, visitors went
to the Leeum Samsung Museum of
Art and the National Museum of
Korea to get a closer look at the
essence of Korean culture. “The
museum itself is a piece of treasure,
with its simple arrangement that also
considers movements of visitors.”
Oberoi, the chef from the Taj Mahal
Hotel, said he particularly enjoyed the
temple food lunch at Insa-dong and
said, “I would like to become the
evangelist for hansik.”
On their final day, Guy Sorman gave
a lecture and visitors had a chance to
compare their own cultures with the
Korean one and exchange opinions.
The government is paying extra
attention to the menu for the official
banquet and accommodations. “Offi-
cials traveling to Seoul for the sum-
mit, including those accompanying
heads of state, are expected to
number about 10,000,” said an
official for the agriculture ministry.
“We’re trying to find just the right
hansik menu for all of them.”
The Westin Chosun Hotel has
renewed its rooms into hanok-style
suites. Five-star hotels in Seoul are
also trying to one-up each other in
preparing menus specifically to serve
G20 luminaries. The Intercontinental
Hotel in Samseong-dong has come up
with the first official menu. The seven-
dish course is based on Western food
with a touch of Korea. It starts off with
Korean caviar grown on Korea’s only
sturgeon farm at Chungjuho Lake with
woods-grown ginseng and pheasant
tortellini. It is followed by bluefish in
ginger sauce, tenderloin steak made
of hanu (Korean cattle) raised in the
DMZ area, Gochang cheese ice cream
and sherbet of Jeju cactus.
SPREADING ‘CULTURAL KOREA’ TO
THE REST OF THE WORLD In August,
the Korean government revealed the
restored Gwanghwamun, the iconic
gateway in central Seoul, three
months ahead of schedule. During the
G20 Summit, there will be special
cultural exhibitions, including the show
of Goryeo Dynasty Buddhist paintings.
The government is also considering
hosting the official dinner at the
Gyeonghoeru pavilion inside the gates
of Gyeongbokgung Palace, at the
Changdeokgung Palace, a UNESCO
World Heritage site, or at the National
Museum of Korea.
The National Museum of Korea will
The Presidential Committee for the G20 Seoul Summit is
stepping up preparations in the final weeks before the sum-
mit scheduled for November 11-12. The committee, created
to support Korea’s role as Chair of the G20 summit, is the
sole Korean government organization working on the prepara-
tions for the summit itself: the fifth meeting of G20 leaders
and the first summit in a non-English speaking country. Kim
He-beom, former Director of the Korean Culture and
Information Service, joined the committee in February as
head of the PR division. Tasked with enhancing awareness of
the 2010 G20 Seoul Summit and its importance to the global
economy, Mr Kim took us through some of the key points.
KOREA: A GLOBAL ECONOMIC LEADER “I am often asked
about the significance of Korea’s hosting the summit,” said
Kim. “As the first G20 meeting to be held outside the G7
countries and the first G20 meeting to be held in Asia, the
Seoul Summit has tremendous symbolic and practical signifi-
cance. With the world watching, Korea must prove itself –
both in terms of its ability to coordinate the logistics for a
major international event and, even more importantly, in
terms of Korea’s intellectual capability to lead the global com-
munity in finding solutions for major economic problems.” No
doubt, the 1988 Seoul Olympics provided a huge boost to
Korea’s standing in the international community. When asked
to compare the upcoming summit to a significant turning
point in Korean history, Kim predicted that the 2010 Seoul
Summit will surpass the Olympics with regard to enhancing
Korea’s global image, and is likely to be remembered as a
key turning point in the history of modern-day Korea.
BRIDGING THE GAP As host of the first G20 summit in Asia,
Korea understands that the results of the November 2010
summit will be critical to the future credibility and effective-
ness of the G20 process as a whole. According to Kim, this
is a year of transition for the G20, which was designated the
world’s “premier forum for international economic coopera-
tion” at the Pittsburgh Summit just a year ago in November
2009. “The top priority for the Seoul Summit will be to ensure
that the G20 can follow through on agreements made at
previous meetings and that clear policy directions are put in
place to pave the way for strong, sustainable and balanced
global growth after crisis,” he said. Kim went on to outline
Korea’s additions to the G20 agenda, specifically Korea’s
efforts toward strengthening the financial safety net system
First Lady Kim Yoon-ok, center, and PR ambassador
Bae Yong-joon for the globalization of Korean cui-
sine committee, second from right, attend at a
meeting of the committee (above). A SWAT team
prepares for the G20 Seoul Summit (below).
run a blockbuster exhibition ahead of
the G20 Summit. The Goryeo Buddhist
paintings, leading pieces of Korean art
works, will be on display from October
12 to November 21. The exhibition will
feature some 70 Buddhist paintings,
plus 20 paintings from China and
Japan to serve as comparison. A
museum official said it has “never
hosted anything quite as large as this,
and won’t again for a while.” The
museum will also hold other special
exhibitions, including an exhibition of
Hwangnamdaechong (large ancient
tomb), which will offer scientific analy-
sis of some 500 pieces of unearthed
items from the tomb; “Reviewing
Baekje,” which will present about 50
relics from the Baekje Kingdom; and
another exhibition will put on display a
drawing of Hamheung Palace.
An 80-minute traditional perform-
ance called “Taepyeong-seogok
(Prelude wishing the peace)” will be
staged at the National Center for
Korean Traditional Performing Arts.
The National Theater of Korea will
invite heads of state and diplomats to
“Dance, Chunhyang” and “Korea
Fantasy” by the National Dance
Company of Korea. The National
Changgeuk Company of Korea will per-
form “Cheong.” The Asia Song Festival
will bring together 15 popular musi-
cians from nine Asian countries, and
the 2010 Korea International Music
Festival and 2010 Seoul Performing
Arts Festival will be held as well.
Visiting luminaries and tourists alike
will get an incredible dose of Korean
culture during the action-packed
month of November.
and putting a greater emphasis on development. Both issues
draw on Korea’s own recent history. By bridging the perspec-
tives of the advanced and the emerging and developing
worlds, Korea can reach out to non-G20 countries, underscor-
ing the group’s global credibility.
KOREAN HOSPITALITY AT ITS BEST Kim He-beom acknowl-
edges feeling a certain amount of pressure these days, in the
run-up to the most important international event in Korean
history. Heads of state, along with an estimated 10,000
other important guests, including ministers, global corporate
leaders and journalists, will all travel to Seoul for the two-day
event in mid-November. Kim is primarily responsible for sup-
porting the domestic and foreign media. “We are trying to
insure that the delegates feel the hospitality of all Koreans
from the moment they land at the airport for the November
summit,” he said. “Of course, they will be here to put the
global economy in order. But, we are doing our best to make
sure that our visitors will at least get a sense of the beauty
and vitality of Korea during their short stay.”
8680 ·20 rcrort 2010.10.1 !2! !` ¯~¯ 8 moc! 1180!·!out
contribute to the aims of the conven-
tion. Previous winners include Angela
Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, and
Stephen Harper, Canadian prime
“When I was younger, I was more
focused on development than on envi-
ronment,” President Lee said as he
Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary
for the Convention on Biological
Diversity (CBD), presented President
Lee Myung-bak with the CBD Award on
August 24 at Lee’s presidential office,
the Blue House. The CBD, which was
endorsed at the United Nations
Conference on Environment and
Development in 1992 to preserve
species and ecosystems, presents
the CBD Award to heads of state who
Geumgang River is a peaceful, pastoral sight on
a clear day.
accepted the award. “But later, I real-
ized the importance of restoring
ecosystems and preserving nature.
That changed my approach at work.”
“It’d be ideal if development and
preservation of environment could
co-exist,” President Lee continued.
“But if they clash, you have to choose
At the ceremony, Djoghlaf praised
Lee’s dedication to biodiversity.
“President Lee is an example to us
all, to world leaders and to citizens
alike,” he said. “At a time when global
leadership is needed more than ever,
the leadership shown by President Lee
has advanced the achievement of the
Convention of Biological Diversity at
the national level and provides a
model for others to follow.”
The executive secretary also
acknowledged Lee’s contribution to
international cooperation by agreeing
to establish the Intergovernmental
Platform on Biodiversity and
Ecosystem Services (IPBES) under the
UN after intergovernmental talks in
Busan last June.
President Lee’s efforts for the envi-
ronment date back to his days as
mayor of Seoul, from July 2002 to
June 2006. During his stint as mayor,
completed the restoration of
Cheonggyecheon Stream in downtown
Seoul, regarded as the most success-
ful eco-friendly project in Korea. The
stream was covered by paved roads
during industrialization and had been
forgotten by Seoulites for years. The
two-year restoration project, which
began in 2003, tore down old over-
passes and removed the asphalt that
once covered the stream. With the
completion of the project,
Cheonggyecheon Straem regained life.
Sidewalks were created along the
stream, and public squares and light-
ing facilities transformed the areas
around the stream into an urban
oasis. Cheonggyecheon Stream is now
listed as a must-see attraction for
foreign tourists. Fish swim, and the
DREAMS OF GREEN FUTURE
President Lee Myung-bak recently received an award from the Convention on
Biological Diversity (CBD) and was internationally recognized for his long-standing
emphasis on green growth. Lee, who played an important role in Korea’s rapid
economic growth as a CEO of a major corporation, continues to advocate environ-
mentally friendly growth during his presidency. Faced with crises such as dearth of
energy and climate change, President Lee has his sights set on another green growth
project that would match that of the “Miracle on the Hangang River,” which refers to
the country’s rapid economic growth. by Bae Hyeong-ryeol | photographs by KimNam-heon
!0!8 summit oirlomoc· 2010.10.1 !!0 !` ¯~¯ 1 moc! 1180!·!out
CHAMPIONING GREEN GROWTH In
his speech on August 15, 2008, to
commemorate the 60
Korea’s foundation, President Lee
once again stressed green growth.
“The crisis for the earth’s environment
caused by climate change is a funda-
mental and grave threat that mankind
is experiencing for the first time,” Lee
said. “Green growth has its premise
on our mental maturity that cares
about ourselves, our family, and the
Amazon rainforest, and polar bears.
Our government will continue to
bolster research and development
systems for green technology. We will
achieve the dream of becoming the
renewed stream has made its neigh-
boring areas better places to live. The
project also cut down on the volume
of traffic, meaning cleaner air and
The success of Cheonggyecheon
Stream drew the attention of global
media. The International Herald
Tribune said the revived stream
brought a breath of “green air” into
the heart of the city. The New York
Times noted that Cheonggyecheon
Stream has been “liberated from its
dark sheath and burbles between
ready banks” and that people “cool
their bare feet in its filtered water.”
Cities such as Los Angeles, Sao Paolo
and Medellin, Colombia, along with
some numerous Korean cities, have
followed Seoul’s lead by benchmark-
ing the city’s eco-friendly project.
The Four-River Restoration Project,
currently pushed by the Lee adminis-
tration, is the expanded version of his
earlier work on Cheonggyecheon
Stream. The aim is to revive ecosys-
tems on the nation’s major rivers –
Hangang, Nakdonggang, Geumgang
and Yeongsangang rivers – and to con-
trol floods and water supply problems.
Reworking Cheonggyecheon Stream
changed the face of the city and trans-
formed the environment. Changes to
the four rivers will bring about “green
reform” on a national level.
world’s greatest green power.”
The need for reducing emissions of
greenhouse gases, including carbon
dioxide, in the face of global warming,
has already become a global agenda.
Developed counties are promoting the
“Green New Deal.” The Korean ver-
sion of this deal is President Lee’s
green growth strategy. The Lee admin-
istration integrated three organizations
– the Presidential Commission on
Sustainable Development, National
Energy Commission and National
Council on Climate Change – to form
the Presidential Committee on Green
Growth. A basic act on green growth
was established, and a five-year plan
for green growth has been laid out.
Green growth is increasingly becoming
the most central national policy.
President Lee’s “green leadership”
also shines outside of Korea. His work
at the Conference of the Parties in the
United Nations Framework Convention
on Climate Change, held in
Copenhagen, Denmark, last
December, put Lee under the interna-
tional spotlight as leader of green
growth. In the keynote address, Lee
said, “Green growth is the new global
developmental paradigm through the
switch to the low-carbon regime. It is
necessary to build an institution to
systematically develop green growth
and support developing nations in set-
ting up their green growth policies.”
Lee lived up to his words by opening
the Global Green Growth Institute
(GGGI) in June of this year. Former
Prime Minister Han Seung-soo is the
inaugural director, and he is joined by
Thomas Heller, a professor at
Stanford University, and Sir Nicholas
Stern, a professor at the London
School of Economics and Political
Science. GGGI is an international body
for which the world’s leading academ-
ics in climate change serve as direc-
tors. GGGI aims to push global low-
carbon green growth by encouraging
participation of developed and devel-
oping nations, East and West, and
governments and civilian sectors. As
the GGGI got off the ground, President
Lee pledged the institute would “tran-
scend the vision of green growth and
will propose to the world the method-
ology of implementation.” He added,
“By 2012, it will establish the global
network and will be developed into an
international agency built on intergov-
ernmental treaties, and will serve as
the permanently shared asset of the
KOREA BECOMING A GREEN POWER
It’s been more than two years since
President Lee declared “low-carbon
green growth” as the national vision
for the next 60 years. The govern-
ment’s efforts to make a breakthrough
in climate change and economic devel-
opment by blending environment and
economy are coming to fruition.
In order to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, the government is expand-
ing facilities to turn wasted resources
into energy. Its goal is to turn 47 per-
cent of inflammable waste (1.82 mil-
lion tons/year) and 26 percent of
organic waste (2.04 million tons/year)
into energy by 2013. The government
also provides grants for drivers who
replace large diesel-fueled vehicles,
such as buses, with cars that run on
natural gas. Last year, 4,112 natural
gas vehicles hit the streets and 1,450
more joined them as of June of this
year. Korea will also accelerate elec-
tric car production. Hyundai Motor’s
“Blue On” opened the era of electric
vehicles in Korea in September, and
the Ministry of Knowledge Economy is
aiming to produce mid-sized electric
cars by 2014, three years earlier than
planned. The ministry will also begin
developing battery-powered electric
vehicles starting in 2012.
Investments are pouring in for eco-
friendly industries. According to the
environment industry, Korea’s environ-
ment technology, which was only
about 40 to 50 percent of that of
developed nations as of 2001, has
since grown to 60 to 70 percent
thanks to continued investment for
development. Over the past two years,
about 200 billion won have been
spent on developing next-generation
core environmental technologies.
Exports used to be centered on waste
disposal systems, but have since
expanded to landfill gas development
and sewage construction.
The government has set out to
strengthening of adjustment to climate
change, improving the resource cycle,
setting the foundation for green econ-
omy and forming green land. The
country is taking quick steps toward
becoming a green power. The eyes of
the world are on President Lee to see
if “green leadership” can duplicate the
“Miracle on the Hangang River.”
One of the virtues of Yeongsangang River is its
green surroundings and clean ambiance (above).
President Lee takes a trial ride in an electric car at
the Blue House on September 9 (below).
Ahmed Djoghlaf, fourth from right, who is Executive
Secretary for the UNCBD, presented President Lee,
third from right, with a CBD Award at the Blue House
on August 24 (above). A bicycle path winds around
Yeonggang River in Mungyeong (right).
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NOW IN KOREA
A festive energy fills an island in the
Gapyeong region of Gyeonggi-do Province.
Jarasum International Jazz Festival, an
annual event that garners excitement for jazz
lovers in Korea and beyond, is back. This year
marks the festival’s seventh year, and the
event has grown into one of Asia’s major jazz
events. Jarasum – a platform where nature
meets jazz and global musicians come
together – invites you to its autumn celebra-
tion. by Seo Dong-cheol | photographs by KimNam-heon
With each year comes growth, and more than 150,000 jazz lovers gathered at
Jarasum International Jazz Festival last year.
!!!8 now in lorco 2010.10.1 !26 !` ¯~¯ !! moc! 1180!·!out
Cool jazz tunes breeze through the air and the jazz stage heats up (above).
Headliners at 2010 Jarasum Jazz Festival features Helge Lien, The Watts Project,
Kyle Eastwood, Candy Dulfer and Tania Maria (from top to bottom, left to right).
Richard Galliano shares a passionate musical moment at 2009 Jarasum Jazz Festival
(top). Klezmofobia will hit the stage at this year’s jazz festival (middle). Audiences
are bedazzled by the live jazz music at the festival (above left).
years, the festival has seen more than 600,000 visitors, each
of whom seemed to be fascinated by the cool mix of jazz
tunes and the green surroundings of Jarasum.
“As the festival becomes more recognized, the number
of foreign visitors is also rapidly increasing,” said In Jae-jin,
artistic director for the festival. “Last year, around 5,000
foreigners visited Jarasum to enjoy the festival. Some
renowned foreign musicians who wish to participate in the
festival even get in touch with us before we go to them. So I
can safely say that the festival is becoming global, going
beyond Korea and Asia.”
AN ISLAND OF JAZZ As in the past, this year’s festival will
be held on eight different stages in Gapyeong, including
Jarasum, from October 15 to 17. Not only is the action
happening on its main stage in Jarasum, but the entire area
will become a “Jazz Town.” The 500 “Early Bird” tickets,
which went on sale at the end of July, were sold out within
three days, providing proof of the anticipation the festival
International Jarasum Jazz Concours, a gateway
for performers dreaming of standing on the global stage, will
also be held. Artists from Korea and other countries, including
the US, Canada, and Malaysia, will show off their talent. Past
winners Kenji Omae (Canada, saxophone), Lee Sang-min
(Korea, drums), and Kim In-young (Korea, bass guitar), are
now active musicians around the world.
“Until last year, the stages for the festival were all scattered
within Gapyeong, which caused a bit of inconvenience for
many visitors,” said Jarasum Jazz Center’s Choi Seol-hee.
“But this year, we have prepared the sites according to
convenience. With ‘Jazz Island,’ the main stage of Jarasum, at
the center, there are various stages such as ‘Party Stage’ and
‘Jazz Cube,’ which participants can reach within 10 minutes
on foot. We also plan to have English-speaking staff placed at
the entrance of the venue to hand out brochures in English,
so that visitors from other countries can enjoy the nature in
Gapyeong and get a taste of some rich jazz during their
MUSICIANS GATHERING TOGETHER What
is the center of attraction at 2010 Jarasum
International Jazz Festival? The well-known
artists, of course. This year, 34 top-level jazz
bands and 30 teams of amateur performers are
expected to participate. Performances by five
teams are an absolute must-see, and artistic
director In Jae-jin said audiences will regret it if
they miss out on the action.
The team that catches our eyes first is The Watts
Project, which grew famous for its music in the
film Mo’ Better Blues, an all-time favorite of jazz
An hour and a half northeast of Korea’s capital of Seoul lies
Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do Province. With its crisp, fresh air,
stunning scenery and the beauty of the Bukhangang River,
the region is frequented by travelers year-round. Six years
ago, no one could have imagined that Jarasum Island,
considered a wasteland in the center of the Bukhangang
River, would become central platform for jazz in Asia.
When word got out in 2004 that a jazz festival was opening
on Jarasum, people were dubious – and with good reason.
Some questioned whether a jazz festival could be successful
in such a small suburb. After the festival opened, however,
people’s reactions were unexpectedly positive, even explosive.
Blended with the natural sounds of autumn insects and the
gentle flowing of the Bukhangang River, the jazz tunes hit
even sweeter tastebuds. Mixed with the spirit of the audience
of all ages and nationalities, the melodies touched the hearts
of the people.
In its first year, 150 artists participated in the festival. Five
years later, a massive jump in numbers has seen the expan-
sion of the event to 440 artists, with 27 foreign acts and 50
Korean groups. The increase in concert-goers was amazing,
growing from 30,000 in its first year to 150,000 in its sixth, a
five-fold increase since its humble beginnings. In the past
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JARASUM INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL
Date Friday, October 15 to Sunday, October 17, 2010 (3 days)
Venue Jarasum Island and Gapyeong region (8 stages total)
Reservation period August 5 to October 13 3-day ticket 50,000 won
(US$ 44) 2-day ticket 40,000 won (US$ 35) 1-day ticket 25,000
won (US$ 22) On-site tickets October 15 to 17 Adult 30,000 won
(US$ 26) Teenager 21,000 won (US$ 18) Tel 82 31 581 2813
JAZZ CLUBS IN SEOUL
Once in a Blue Moon
85-1 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Tel 82 2 549 5490 Website www.onceinabluemoon.co.kr
1-66 Dongsung-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Tel 82 2 743 5555 Website www.chunnyun.com
All That Jazz
168-17 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Tel 82 2 795 5701 Website www.allthatjazz.kr
407-3 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Tel 82 2 337 8361 Website www.clubevans.com
1670-6 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul
Tel 82 2 546 9774
373-6 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Tel 82 2 324 5105 Website www.moonglow.co.kr
aficionados. With Jeff “Tain” Watts as the team’s leader, his
long-time friends, Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and
Robert Hurst join hands. Because each member is so talented,
the lineup itself stirred great excitement.
Candy Dulfer, an internationally renowned female jazz
saxophonist and vocalist, will also perform at Jarasum.
Kyle Eastwood, the son of famous actor, producer and
director Clint Eastwood, also stands out. He studied film at
university but realized his passion was music, and joined the
ranks of world-class musicians with his unique style blending
R&B, soul and pop music with jazz. By participating as music
director in the films by his father, he is making his himself
known in the film industry as well.
Stanley Jordan, who mastered a special “tapping” technique
on guitar fret boards, will perform onstage solo, and the audi-
ence will become absorbed into his technique, which looks
like his hands are dancing on the guitar strings.
Tania Maria, praised for her talents as a vocalist in Brazil,
will exhibit a unique style showcasing a mix of samba, bossa
nova, R&B and blues, pop music and funky jazz. Her vibrant
voice and piano performance will fill Jarasum with a smooth
and lively show.
A HAVEN FOR JAZZ LOVERS In Seoul, after darkness falls,
jazz lovers, Korean and non-Korean alike, gather together at
local music havens where soft tunes stream out, soothing the
heart. With eyes closed and a cocktail in hand, time flies by
and night turns into dawn. Here, time flows with the tunes.
As fingers glide across black and white keys, time seems to
slow down, yet the hours dart forward.
These live jazz clubs, a refuge for Korean jazz musicians,
were a great impetus in the creation of Jarasum International
Jazz Festival. This is where musicians and audiences meet
closely, a place that has helped Korea’s jazz scene grow. Some
clubs even have recording studios and jazz academies, which
serve as a driving force for the scene in Korea.
Starting with “All That Jazz,” which opened in 1976 in
Itaewon, an international district in Seoul, many jazz clubs
began popping up across Korea’s capital. In 1978, first-
generation Korean jazz vocalist Park Sung-yeon opened Janus
in Sinchon, Seoul, spurring an interest in the genre that until
then had been foreign to the ears of many locals.
Manager Reo at Club Evans, located near Hongik
University, says, “There are a lot of jazz clubs in Seoul, but
clubs like Evans, Once In a Blue Moon in Cheongdam-dong,
Chunnyun in Daehangno, Janus in Seocho-dong and Moon
Glow near Hongik University are favorites of jazz lovers. The
jazz music market is still small in size and the number of
clubs is small in Korea compared to Japan or the US, the
birthplace of jazz. But these jazz clubs provide space for a lot
of Korean musicians to perform their pieces on stage.”
Improvisation and freedom, the unique characteristics of
jazz, tear down the wall between the stage and the audience,
and enable us to jump over barriers between all formalities.
Take some time to visit one of these clubs this autumn –
you’re sure to fall in love with the sweet sounds of jazz.
A live jazz performance at Club Evans in Seoul (above).
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