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Gwangju News

International Magazine for Gwangju and Jeollanam-do

March 2008
Volume 8, Issue 3

n the early afternoon of February 11th, I scanned through the weekend’s news online and came
across a report that in the night Namdaemun had caught fire. Hurriedly I searched for more
information and found it in the form of a video. As I watched the blaze I felt an indescribable feeling
in my stomach. Was it sorrow? Disgust? Regret?
Clearly this was an event that deserved comment. As I thought about what to write here, I went over my
memories of my time living in and near Seoul. It was nearly impossible to spend any length of time in
Seoul and not see Namdaemun, but had I visited it? Or had it been Dongdaemun that I had visited? I
searched though my photos and found that I had in fact visited it on July 30th, 2006, but had only taken
two photos, one of the structure and one of the paintings on the ceiling. I’m sure that at that point of my
living close to and in Seoul, it had become commonplace. It would be there tomorrow. But now it isn’t.
I wanted to come across as knowledgeable on the history of Namdaemun, but the truth is I knew little about this. Sure I knew
that it was the South Gate, part of the old city wall and that there is a famous market close by. I searched the Internet for
history, but other than a few scattered blurbs on tourist sites, everything I found was about the fire, the destruction, the arsonist.
In my first year in Korea, I managed to go to over 80% of the Seoul locations in the Lonely Planet Korea guide. It is lucky that I
had had such a spark for visiting tourist locations and getting to know my new home. But had I done it correctly, getting to truly
know the locations I visited? Reflecting back now, in this age of “bbali bbali”, perhaps not. As things become familiar we take
them for granted. Even some of my Korean friends have admitted that they never visited the gate, or if they had it had been on
school trips or such and they hadn’t paid it proper attention. I know each of us in our own respective countries has been guilty
of this at some point with our own local treasures and landmarks.
The Gwangju News would like to extend our sympathy and condolences to the Korean community in regards to the sudden
loss of this important national treasure. Namdaemun will be rebuilt. Let’s not dwell on the mistakes that have been made and
instead focus on getting it right the next time.
Jessica Solomatenko, Editor

Letter to the Editor

In regards to the Traffic Accident Experience article in the February issue of the Gwangju News: I am quite
disappointed in the GIC for printing such an irresponsible article, especially from your “editor”. The GIC’s stated
mission is to provide foreigners with information and services, promoting an international exchange in the fields
of culture and economy. Advocating illegal driving is not only careless, but stupid. Laziness is not an excuse to
break the law. Go to Naju, get a license, and if you can’t follow the laws of the country you are residing, stop

Jeremy Bissett
An American legally driving in Korea for 4 years


We at the Gwangju News appreciate that you took the time to share with us your concerns. The mission statement of Gwangju News
is in fact:
"Gwangju News, as an extension of Gwangju International Center, is committed to representing the international community; its
needs, complications and hopes. In addition, Gwangju News is written to benefit the English-speaking Korean community which
would like to welcome and assist the foreign community."
Upon hearing about my experience with my traffic accident, the Gwangju News approched me (I was not editor at the time) and
asked me to share the complications I had experienced. It is my understanding at this point that less than a year ago the license
requirements for a 50cc scooter changed and, since then, the current policy is that you do need a license, even for a 50cc scooter.
Unfortunately, many foreigners who drive a 50cc scooter do not know this, but by running this article the Gwangju News hopes that
it has provided a service by informing them of such.
The article that was written is simply my own experience. It certainly does not advocate illegal driving – indeed quite the opposite
since I’ve gone to great lengths to get my license. There is also no “laziness” involved, as I have spent a lot of time researching this
and my previous December 2007 article on driving in Korea. I called Naju and the local police station several times only to receive
conflicting information about 50cc license requirements and have visited both locations more than once in this process.
My piece by no means represents the experience of all foreigners and refers specifically to the confusion with the license for a 50cc
scooter and no other vehicle. I would like to refer you to my upcoming article on how in the end I was able to get my license.
Obviously, we at the Gwangju News advocate that all drivers drive legally, and safely.

Jessica Solomatenko

2 Gwangju News March 2008

4 Teaching Design with a Message
By Pete Gallo
March 2008, Volume 8, Issue 3
7 A Westerner Raising a Biracial Child with a Korean Partner
Publisher: Prof. Shin Gyonggu By Ryan Deschambault
Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Shin Gyonggu
8 The World is Becoming a Web of Globalization
Editor: Jessica Solomatenko
By Taiza Pickering
Copy Editors: Jon Ozelton, Rebecca Fairless
10 Trendy Korean Shopping – Fair Enough?
Public Relations Manager: Daniel Lister By J.J. Parkes

Coordinator: Kim Minsu 11 Welcome to Cittaslow Jeollanam-do

Layout and Design: Kim Minsu By Lee Hyeongah

Proofreading: Brian Deutsch, Jon Ozelton, 12 Careless Hyperbole Cheapens Impact of Sungnyemun Fire
Rebecca Fairless, Doug Stuber, Jessica Solomatenko, By Brian Deutsch
Aneta McNally, Christina Berkers, Daniel Lister, Steve McNally,
Imran Rehnani, Eric Wisnar 14 The Korean Way No. 62: The Manchu Invasions in 1627 and 1636 (II)
Printed by: Hana Printing By 2Ys

Photographer: Matt Furlane 16 Nammireuksa and Omcheonsa: Temples Worth the Trip
Matt is from the United States and has been By Brian Deutsch
teaching English in Gwangju for 7 months. He
enjoys taking pictures. 18 Temple Stay: An Englightening Experience
By Shilpa Ramesh
Cover Photo: Taken Feb 17th next to the
Democracy Bell (across from the Culture 22 Cake Art Gallery
Complex subway exit)
By Tim Cha

24 Photo Contest

Special thanks to the City of 26 Do You Know Tuva; the Center of Asia?
Gwangju and all of our sponsors. By Kwon Hee Won

Copyright by the Gwangju International Center. 28 Will Exchange Culture For Food: The Solnal Story
All rights reserved. No part of this publication covered by this copyright By Pete Gallo
may be reproduced in any form or by any means - graphic, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise - without the written
30 Ireland – It’s not just for St. Patrick's Day
consent of the publishers.
Gwangju News welcomes letters to the editor By Steve McNally
( regarding articles and issues. All
correspondence may be edited for reasons of clarity or space.
32 Online Education: A Great Learning Opportunity
By Christina Berkers

33 Dr.Ko’s Mailbox

34 Ddeokguk (Rice Cake Soup)

07, 09, 45, 52, 55, 59, 61, 51, 58, 80, 82 By Maria Cecilia Sharpe
53, 56, 57, 518 1187, 1000

09 Jonggak 35 Is there Life after Teaching ESL?

57 , 45
,5 ,5
18 6, By Leah Kenyon

36 Fish with Two Tales

55, 59, 61,
1187, 1000 By Aneta McNally and Ahn Hongpyo

Chocolat Village
By Catie Magee

LIVE at the Guitar & Music Bar
By Aneta & Steve McNally

44 Community Board

Gwangju News March 2008 3


Teaching Design with a Message

GREEN REVOLUTION! stuff he thinks is cool. In his most recent publication,
I was so inspired by the “Greencanvas” presentation at “Stop Global Warming”, Yoon features fifty-seven
the Gwangju Design Biennale show last October that I posters created from student work designed during a
designed my own “Stop Global Warming” poster right single seven-hour class at the start of the 2007 spring
there, on the spot! It encompassed my experiences, semester ad design class.
ideas, and beliefs about a green revolution that could I discovered his Greencanvas exhibit at the Gwangju
stop, maybe even reverse, the trend of climate change Design Biennale a week before I returned there to meet
and global warming. My ideas included forming land- him in person. His assistants noticed my interest, and
based collectives that could freeze unsustainable in my excitement I may have over-emphasized my
development; collecting waste grease from dumpsters commitment to radical recycling of trash, by
behind restaurants to use as bio-diesel fuel for trucks; introducing myself as “a garbage eater”. The post-grad
dumpster-diving for food, clothes, and firewood to students of Green Design were so impressed at my
replace full time jobs; building fun “circus bicycles” to confession, they gave me a copy of Yoon’s “Stop Global
replace wasteful, polluting, and boring cars; going Warming” magazine. As I thumbed through page after
solar…everything: cooking, heating, gardening, page of green propaganda, targeted at the average
clotheslines. The Korean man I was explaining this to Korean consumer, I realized that it was perfect
was actually nodding his head in comprehension and classroom material for teaching English as a second
agreement at the ideas I was proposing. He turned out language, which just happens to be my “real” job.
to be Professor Yoon Ho-seob, creator of the Besides the obvious practicality of the magazine, I was
Greencanvas exhibit and website, and he appeared to attracted to something familiar in the tone.
be a little overwhelmed by my enthusiasm.
The two page centerfold spread is a reconstruction
CREATOR OF GREENCANVAS from the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of Adbusters magazine.
This ad-designer-gone-green is now a full time You might remember “Forgive them Father, they know
professor of Design at Kookmin University in Seoul. not what they do”. The one where Christ lay upon his
Yoon has been designing professionally since 1968, and
still does ads and poster designs. These days he’s
promoting campaigns like “Stop Global Warming”,
“Love Storks”, and “No Whaling” for environmental
activist organizations such as Greenpeace, instead of
doing gigs for giant American corporations like Kodak
and Pepsi. He’s participated in several major art and
design exhibits, such as Eco Product Korea, 2005 put
on by Green Design major students at Kookmin. For
the last couple of years he’s published high quality
color magazines, such as “Design and Order in
Everyday Life”, that feature his own work and other

4 Gwangju News March 2008

cross, among an unending sea of trash. On page 50 and the official interview. Yoon expressed relief that
51 of “Stop Global Warming”, he’s hanging face down Korea’s climate was still relatively normal. His two
hovering just over the trash sea, his head having been week stay in Thailand had been summer-like. The
replaced with the image of planet earth. conference in Bangkok was an attempt by students and
teachers to form a “Stop Global Warming” campaign.
I’ve long been a fan of Adbusters. The “Journal of the Yoon’s first trip to Thailand was a series of
Mental Environment” became infamous in the 1990s presentations and workshops with students of all ages.
for printing manifestos of radical design for a new When I casually asked if Yoon enjoyed his first visit to
anarchist revolution alongside glossy full-page color Southeast Asia, he made it clear that it was strictly a
“anti-ads”; these so strikingly resembled the ads they working vacation, with the emphasis on working.
were parodying that they practically accused Checking out the photos recently posted on his
themselves of copyright infringement. I’ve been a fan of website, you understand what his idea of work is:
the magazine for a decade, as well as the other works by designing and painting a lot of t-shirts and posters
creator Kalle Lasn, such as Culture Jam. This magazine with a lot of kids. Does Yoon believe that if he paints a
has given a comprehensive voice to the silenced million T-shirts with a million kids, then he can reverse
majority of artists and activists that have been blacked the trend of global warming, and prevent catastrophic
out by a media whose self-censorship is obedience to climate change? A recent workshop series in Tokyo,
their corporate masters. two weeks in Thailand, and now, a planned visit to
Despite the fact that Yoon still does the occasional Indonesia tells me, “Yes”. Then it’s back to full-time
design that gives huge corporations like Toyota Korea a teaching, for the spring semester at Kookmin
pat on the back for their pitiful efforts at University, teaching Green Design.
environmentalism, I feel his work contains a refreshing There was something electric about the energy during
flavor of sincerity. His personal favorite is from an Yoon’s Greencanvas exhibit at the Kim Dae-Jung
ongoing series, “Everyday is Earthday”, in which he Convention Center that caused me to seek him out in
hand paints found newspapers with this image: the last his natural habitat. The space at Gwangju Design
human, balancing, barely staying afloat, upon the last Biennale had the raw appeal of live theatre. A stage-
whale in a flooded sea that has swallowed the like area was roped off like a celebrity book-signing
overheated Earth. A dire warning for our young people event. Props, like the stacks of cardboard bricks, were
of today, for sure. Perhaps it balances out the majority handy for improv. Yoon played a lead role, but anyone
of Yoon’s work with children, which is painting brightly willing to stand in line for a signed, hand-painted t-
colored images of hope on t-shirts. shirt by the master could steal the show. Cameras
Last month I traveled to Seoul, and took the flashed. The audience rushed forward. Hysterical
opportunity to visit Yoon in his cardboard-filled office youth like crazed Beatles fans were tearing their hair
at Kookmin University. Yoon’s English is poetic, and out with excitement. The prospect of getting a hand-
the kindness and compassion in his voice are painted t-shirt caused a frenzy. Perhaps I’m
accentuated when he’s offering you a hot bowl of exaggerating, but they did seem to idolize this
“ramyon” in a cold office on a winter’s day in Seoul. professor. Yoon allowed me to poke around the exhibit
“Welcome back to wintertime,” he tells me when I turn and to join in the theatre. He gave me a business card
on my recording device, which marks the beginning of printed on the back of some coffee-colored, and
flavored, reused paper. The stacks of neat “cardboard

Gwangju News March 2008 5

Some of the most creative and colorful responses to the
dire predictions of global warming I’ve ever seen were
the photos of Thai kids painting t-shirts on Yoon’s
website. I can’t encourage you enough to check out the website. As I’m writing this,
hundreds of interesting, colorful, and inspiring photos
from the workshop series in Bangkok are flowing onto
the site. Photos featuring Yoon’s exhibit during the
Gwangju Biennale Design Show are also directly linked

Contact: Yoon Ho-seob

Dept of Visual Communication Design, College of
Architecture & Design, Kookmin University
861-1, Cheongnung-dong, Seongbuk-ku, Seoul, Korea /

Yoon’s publications are printed in Korean with English

translations, making them a handy tool for ESL instruction.
Design and Order In Everyday Life (100 pages) features
Yoon’s designs, and writing from spring of 2006.
bricks” were uniformly cut and bound together with Stop Global Warming contains works from his students
produced for their advertising design class in 2007.
twine. They were being utilized for crafty interior
Greencanvas is a short pamphlet printed especially for the
design. I completed a survey with a pencil made from Gwangju Design Biennale’s 2007 “G-Zone: Green Growth”.
tightly rolled paper. By the end of the meeting, the
survey had been transformed into the poster design I By Pete Gallo
described at the beginning of the article.

During lunch of fish soup with former students of the

Green Design major, I expressed my regret at not being
able to attend a march to demonstrate support for
people of devastated Darfur. Later, I was secretly glad
to be safe and warm, inside the exhibit observing a
master of spontaneous T-shirt painting workshops. I
snapped photos with my cameraphone and played with
a ball of used trash-tape that had grown through the
years to the size of a soccer ball. There were messages
everywhere. Some obvious, like the “Stop Whaling”,
“Stop Global Warming”, and “Stop Transporting
Nuclear Waste” posters on the walls. Some messages
were more subtle, like the innovative lamps made from
machine-cut Absolute Vodka bottles. Specially
constructed transparent trash bags filled with assorted
garbage were redesigned as cushions and used in the
same fashion as 1970s lounge beanbags. Get the

Yoon’s exhibit had given me the opportunity to play in

trash, something that I desperately missed from my
previous life as a dumpster-diver. I knew that telling his
story would give me the opportunity to tell mine, and I
knew I had to write about him. From Yoon’s work, I
realized the power of inspiration, and I aim to do the

6 Gwangju News March 2008


A Westerner Raising a Biracial

Child with a Korean Partner
o my partner was out walking around a peaceful That evening I relayed what had happened to my partner.

S plaza in Gwangju where my parents-in-law reside:

our son was in the stroller, checking out the
highlights of the scenery (ahem) and drooling like
the teething little dude he is. As usual, people are staring
without realizing it, but this is alright, because my partner
She said the ajummas had probably understood what I
was saying, and with a slight smirk told me that I had (in
Korean terms) done well. She asked me questions about
the ajummas’ age, appearance, and style of speaking, and
her smirk turned into a minor laugh. When I asked why
is used to it. She cruises by two ajummas (old women) and she had so many questions and thought it was so funny,
overhears the following comment from one to the other: she asked me if I had taken into account the source of the
derogatory term. I hadn’t.
A1: 애기 엄마가 들으면 기분 나쁠지 모르겠지만 저애
튀기 처럼 보인다. She explained that she hadn’t reprimanded the ajumma
(A1: If she hears this, maybe she’ll be upset, but he looks she had heard using the term twee-gi because that
like a half-breed.) ajumma had obviously known it
was rude to use the term – recall
She relayed the story to me later “If she hears this, maybe she’ll be
that week, in passing. I asked my upset” – and had used it anyway.
partner what the problem was with Why then, my partner asked,
“half-breed” (튀기, twee-gi) and should she have wasted her
she explained that it was a kind of energy scolding someone who
derogatory term used to describe didn’t care? Fair enough, I
children with mixed-blood. She countered, but wasn’t that just an
contextualized her explanation by excuse not to stick up for our
saying she had heard twee-gi used son? Wasn’t that just a
in reference to children of Korean complacent attitude about trying
women and American soldiers to change the mindset of a certain
sometime around (or following) Daniel Henney, a famous Korean “ ”
Photo source: demographic of the Korean
the Korean War. After hearing this, public? Even though I had
I asked her why she didn’t say anything to the ajummas in admonished that ajumma for calling our son twee-gi, my
defense of our son, and she told me the ajumma’s partner taunted, did I really think that would stop her
comment was not worth responding to. from using that word to describe a biracial child the next
Though I didn’t tell my partner, I kind of hoped that I time she saw one?
would encounter that word when I was out walking alone I had no answer for her. I really didn’t/don’t know. The
with our son. I wanted to say something to the person who fact that I said something might have caused her (at least)
would use that kind of word to describe him. I got my to think about the connotation of the word she had used. I
chance about a month later in a large mart-type store wondered if by tweaking the word we could reclaim it for
when I overheard an ajumma say this to her friend as they people like our son, or if by lovingly referring to him only
waited near the entrance/exit: as a twee-gi if we could reverse the meaning of the word. I
A2: 저 애기 튀기 인가? then pondered whether I would reprimand a stranger for
(A2: Is that baby a half-breed?) using a similar word to describe our son in my first
language in Canada. Like my partner, I would probably
I spun around, and made eye contact with the lady and her have given some consideration to the source.
friend. I said (as forcefully as I could muster with my
Korean skills): Through whatever type of outward action, there are some
days where I’m not interested in changing Korea and
Me: 우리 아들이 혼혈아 라고요!!!! 아줌마 가 왜 그렇 would rather just roll with everything, but there are others
게 싸가지 없게 불렀어요? where I just can’t help myself and have to speak or act.
(Me: My son is biracial. Why did you speak so impolitely The whole reason for telling this story is to point out that
about him?) since I have begun raising a twee-gi with a Korean partner
The ajumma, her friend, and many people in the in Korea, there has been a dramatic reduction in the
immediate vicinity looked at me like I was an alien – number of days where I am able to just roll with things. I
perhaps because they could not understand me, perhaps suppose this has more to do with raising kids than it does
because they could. I had a great rush from the with raising a twee-gi with a Korean partner, in Gwangju.
experience, and quite proudly completed my shopping By Ryan Deschambault
mission with my biracial big buddy.
Gwangju News March 2008 7

The World is Becoming

a Web of Globalization
The world is increasingly becoming a web of
globalization. Ideas, money, goods, foods, and ways of
life flow from one corner of the Earth to the other. The
proliferation of English is an indicator of this
phenomenon; according to some estimates, 75% of
international communication is conducted and 90% of
internet content is written in English. Globalization
mandates that countries desiring expansion learn
English. This emergence has caused the increasing
demand for English teachers. A native instructor is
useful for developing adequate phonology and use of
expression, as well as international exposure and new
ideas. Some countries, like Korea, China, and Japan, Burka
The city of Faisabad
import native English speakers to teach. Other
countries, or programs, use technology to connect the country. After ten years, the Soviets withdrew, only
English instructors to students across the globe. One to leave Afghanistan with internal conflict. This
example of this is Afghanistan. includes the infamous rise of the fundamentalist
Taliban, which took away several of the Afghans’
It seems a remote place; after all, what do you think of human rights and civil liberties. Prior to the rule of the
when you hear of Afghanistan? Do you see CNN Taliban, it is estimated women accounted for 50% of
coverage of soldiers in desert-camouflage driving the government workers and 40% of the doctors in
Hummer envoys through Afghanistan’s rugged Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital. The Taliban government
wilderness? Perhaps you imagine Afghan women with of Afghanistan forbade women from working outside
indigo burkas walking by buildings punctuated by the house, and imposed dressing in burkas. Then after
bullet-holes and ruins of war. Maybe you recall The September 11, 2001, Afghanistan was thrust into the
Kite Runner, sheep herders, or National Geographic’s War on Terror in the world’s opposition to the
haunting cover of the green-eyed Afghan girl, young, Taliban’s tolerance of terrorist factions. If war isn’t
beautiful, and defiant. enough to emaciate the hope of Afghanistan, other
factors have contributed to the lean times. Much of
The last three decades of Afghanistan’s history have Afghanistan is in dire poverty, with only 6% of the
been rife with war. In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded country having constant access to water and electricity.

Faisabad Faisabad

8 Gwangju News March 2008

Kabul Kabul

Earthquakes and a severe winter in 2005 have generators. A woman who is learning English will often
devastated Afghanistan further. In addition, the wake up in the predawn hours to complete all her
country is recovering from the Taliban's strict rule and household chores, such as washing laundry, hauling
strives to regain its previous identity. In light of all this water, preparing breakfast, and cleaning up. Then the
tribulation, English seems more of an expendable woman will walk as long as an hour away to reach the
educational tool than an important necessity. Why computer lab. Depending on the woman’s community,
would learning English be important when much of the many women also need to find an escort to ensure their
country doesn’t even have clean water to drink, or safety during the walk because in some communities, it
electricity? The obstacles in Afghanistan make English is not socially acceptable for a woman to walk alone.
imperative as well as empowering. English
communication gives access to resources, aid, and Once the woman arrives at the computer lab, she has
connection with the rest of the world. the new experience of typing and using the Internet.
Many of the students have never typed or used a
computer before. The students have classes twice a
week for 45 minutes and during this time, they are
connected through Skype to a native English speaker
anywhere in the world.

The teachers, who are recruited as volunteers, must be

native speakers with an ESL teaching certification or
teaching experience, and must be able to commit to
two 45-minute class sessions a week for a three-month
period. The teachers must also have access to high-
speed Internet, Skype, and be available to teach
between 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. Kabul time (which is 4:30
to 6:30 p.m. Seoul time). The Alliance for International
Women’s Rights encourages teachers of both genders
Tent school in Faisabad
to volunteer to teach English in developing parts of the
world; however, for sensitivity to Afghan culture only
One organization is doing that: teaching Afghan female teachers are placed with female Afghan
women to speak English. The Alliance for International students. The Alliance is actively recruiting teachers for
Women’s Rights based in New York has set up an the Afghanistan program and would gratefully welcome
international group of volunteers to offer women in new applicants.
Afghanistan the opportunity to learn a new language.
If you are interested in knowing more about this
The Alliance partners with other organizations, such as program, you can contact Lisa Herb, the Alliance’s
USAID, who are able to offer access to computers and president, at or visit
the Internet. USAID has built new computer labs in
universities throughout Afghanistan which have By Taiza Pickering
satellite connection and self-provided power Photos by Sky Mclaughlin and by Lisa Herb

Gwangju News March 2008 9

Current Issues

Trendy Korean Shopping – Fair Enough?

the end of my last contract I found high quality, high-
cacao fair trade chocolate, and also fair trade tea and
coffee in supermarkets, fair trade coffee brands in
common coffee shops, and a new café chain store
specialising in fair trade coffee. Even the local shop from
the national fair trade chain store has moved from a
cheap-rent street to an upmarket corner downtown.

There are many reasons why Korea could and should

take up the fair trade trend. Korea is a newly developed
nation, so now has a large middle class who can afford
to pay the "premium" or relatively high prices of fair
t was early on a warm autumnal evening in late trade products. Officially certified fair trade products

I 2001. We walked around downtown, passing

Kumnamno on the way home after a meal. We were
in a jubilant mood from the great Gwangju food, the
approach of the Christmas festive season and with it a
are consistently of the highest quality, as expected by
Korea's newly wealthy shoppers. Fair trade agricultural
produce is usually organic which goes well with Korea's
popular well-being trend. Some say buying fair trade is a
way to subvert or resist the power of multinational
break at the end of our years' contracts. We were
happy with life in Gwangju…except for one thing. corporations and their corrupt Western governments
Brian was a coffee drinker and a traveller, and had who try to force FTAs on countries like Korea. Finally,
sampled the best of international espresso culture in Korea is well placed to support fair trade producers in
Italy and elsewhere. As we wandered happily along nearby countries in the Asia-Pacific region, for example
that night he mentioned how interesting it was that by importing fair trade bananas or sugar from the
Koreans seemed happy to drink so much hazelnut Philippines, fair trade tea from Nepal, or fair trade
coffee. coffee or honey from Vietnam.

He was excited when espresso coffee shops suddenly So as you savour some chocolate this month, or sip your
started appearing. In fact within a week of our favourite drink from a Gwangju café, ask yourself how
conversation that night, we noticed the first new café much the farmers who grew the beans were paid for all
near our school. The very sight of a real coffee machine their labour; or even better, ask the shop manager or
and the strong aroma of freshly ground coffee beans staff. Do they know anything about the new fair trade
made Brian happy, and he quickly befriended the trend? If not, give them a copy of Gwangju News next
owner/operator on his daily visits. Life suddenly month when there will be a special feature article on the
seemed complete. Gwangju was re-established as the topic. You could also invite them to the Saturday
centre of the universe and all that was cool. afternoon talk on fair trade in April. Cynics, supporters,
trend-spotters, and anyone curious for a sample of fair
With the upcoming 2002 World Cup and faster than trade tea, coffee or chocolate are all welcome.
you can say "DDR", new trends started appearing.
Whole teams of local and international chain coffee The GIC Saturday talk in May (date TBA) is entitled
shops opened downtown and throughout the country. "What in the World is Fair Trade?" At the talk you can
The Korean doughnut craze began, and bagels simply listen, or ask questions and talk about fair trade
mysteriously appeared in quality bread stores. Movie issues. You can also enter to win a prize shopping bag
multiplexes sprouted, and good local films could be full of fair trade produce worth approximately 150,000
seen. Fortunately, the whole peroxide-hair colour won. Raffle tickets are only 1,000 won each. The hemp
thing was more of a quick fad and less of a lasting shopping bag will contain chocolate, coffee, tea, a CD, a
trend. High quality chocolate with a high-cacao puzzle, an ornamental picture frame, an ornamental
content has been recently confirmed as the latest box, a toy, and various other products. The raffle will be
health-food elixir. drawn on World Fair Trade Day 2008, May 10th.
By J.J. Parkes
The success of these trends shows us that Korea is a J.J. Parkes is a teacher who has taught English in Korea
capitalist country of diligent shopaholics and savvy for several years, including a few years in Gwangju where,
style-spotters. One new major shopping trend has been it seems from his experience, the air is fresher, the food is
developing in many nations overseas but has yet to yummier, and the people are more politically funky. He
take hold in Korea: "fair trade". When I went home at enjoys teaching at universities in Korea, studying part
time, and eating bungohpang just for fun.

10 Gwangju News March 2008


Welcome to Cittaslow Jeollanam-do

(Damyang, Jangheung, Wando and Sinan)
ittaslow, which is

C Italian for "slow city"

or "slow town", is an
international network
of towns. A Cittaslow
signs up to working towards a
Jangheung Changpyeong in Damyang
set of goals that aim to improve
quality of life, and needs to
pass an assessment before
being admitted as a member of
the Cittaslow network.
Cittaslow is a way of thinking.
It is about caring for your town Wondo Shinan
and the people who live and
work in it or visit it. It is about Delegazione gennaio 2008
protecting the environment, Dehyun Sohn: Chairman, Cittaslow Korea Network
about promoting local goods Sangil Kim: Secretary-General, Cittaslow Korea Network
and produce, and about Moonsun Shon: President of Taepyung Salt, Inc.
avoiding the “sameness” that Heejung Jang: Professor of Silla University
afflicts too many towns in the
modern world. CONTACTS
The Cittaslow movement has strong links with Slow Food, Dehyun Sohn
and began life in October 1999, during the food festival in Comitato Promotore Cittaslow South Korea - Korea
Orvieto, Italy. While Slow Food is open for individuals to #2015, 943-24 Daechi-dong Gangnam-gu
join as members, membership in Cittaslow is open to Seoul 135-845 Korea
towns, which must have a population under 50,000. Phone 82+2+2052 1752
Organisations can also join as Cittaslow Supporters. Fax 82+2+2052 1755
Taken from E-mail
How did Jeollanam-do (Damyang, Jangheung,
Wando and Shinan) become a Cittaslow? The Cittaslow Network
Italy, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, New Zealand,
To become a Cittaslow, [Jeollanam-do] completed a Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, South Korea
self-assessment against a series of goals using the Taken from
following categories:
- Environment (air, water or land pollution, waste management On December 1st, 2007, Jeollanam-do became the first
and recycling)
Asian Cittaslow. When the Cittaslow board toured
- Infrastructure (open space, seating, public conveniences, access Jeollanam-do, they said, "I was moved, Korea
to town centre)
preserved traditional culture and residents' passion."
- Quality of Urban Fabric (historic buildings, gardens, parks)
- Local Produce and Products (local producers and suppliers of Damyang Changpyung-myeon has traditional houses,
food and crafts, healthy eating, the arts) stone wall paths, bamboo crafted products, Korean
- Hospitality (facilities for tourists, community life) cooking and taffy. Jangheung Yuchi-myeon has the
- Awareness and Education (communications, local involvement) beetle's natural habitat and pyogo mushrooms. Wando
Criteria taken from Cheongsan-do has an island village surrounded by
stone walls and farming particular to the island. Shinan
Cittaslow South Korea - South Korea network jeungdo-myeon has shallow sea foreshore, saltpans and
Jangheung (Yuchi-myeon) salt galleries.
Damyang (Changpyeong-myeon) Cittaslow Damyang, Jangheong, Wando and Shinan
Shinan (Jeungdo-myeon) welcome you to the clean city and hope you enjoy
Wando (Cheongsan-myeon) freshness while you are here.
By Lee Hyeongah
Gwangju News March 2008 11

Careless Hyperbole Cheapens

Impact of Sungnyemun Fire
lready, in the early hours of February 10th, Seoul feel a great sense of loss and frustration at the sight of

A residents had come to see the damage to

Sungnyemun, commonly known as
Namdaemun, in person. Visitors took photos,
placed flowers, wrote messages, and prostrated
themselves before the ruined landmark. The
the Namdaemun collapse. The disaster in Seoul didn't
pose any threat to their lives. But they psychologically
felt the equivalent of feelings the American had in the
wake of the 9/11 attacks." Four days later, Korea Times
columnist Kim Heung-sook compared the ineptitude
newspapers and Internet portals showed images and responsible for the Sungnyemun fire to that seen
videos depicting funeral rites performed in front of the during and after Hurricane Katrina, which claimed
gate, and residents from all stations and all walks of 1,836 lives. Later a February 18th Joongang Ilbo piece
life professed their surprise and their sorrow. likened the post-fire pilgrimages to Sungnyemun to
other "dark tourism" spots like Auschwitz, Ground
It wouldn't take long, however, for the media to engage Zero, and the Cambodian killing fields.
in disappointing and insensitive displays of hyperbole.
Any well-adjusted person knows that the Sungnyemun
Two days after the fire the Chosun Ilbo carried, at the arson doesn’t belong in the same line of thought as
top of its website, an article that compared the concentration camps or sites of suicide attacks. So why
Sungnyemun fire to the terror attacks on September have these comparisons been made? Well, I feel that
11th. In the lead paragraph of the article, titled "Sense there is, first of all, a profound misunderstanding of
of Disaster Over Lost Monument Sweeps Nation," one September 11th by many Koreans. For those separated
person stated, "The Korean equivalent of the 9/11 physically and emotionally, the attacks were a televised
attacks happened while the whole country was action sequence that played out live on every network.
watching." Later in the article, Baek Sang-bin, a Like Sungnyemun, the targets did have symbolic
professor of psychiatry, said, "Just as Americans were significance, but for many Koreans – and indeed for
thrown into a panic after watching on TV the World many outside the United States – the attacks
Trade Center buildings, the symbol of the U.S., collapse represented a strike against American economic
in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Koreans now dominance and cultural hegemony. The attacks had a

12 Gwangju News March 2008

number of unpleasant consequences for Koreans that such bar told a reporter, "I wanted to be different." One
exacerbated an already fragile US-ROK relationship: patron told a TIME magazine reporter in 2000 his
military support in Afghanistan and Iraq, the execution views on the Nazis: "I don't hate them, I don't like
of Kim Sun-il, and – as some have argued – the capture them, but at least they dressed well." The highly-
and ransom of Korean missionaries in Afghanistan in offensive "blackface" make-up has appeared on comedy
2007. The human suffering was buried by other programs, in music videos, and even in the current
considerations and, I feel, was quite lost in translation. national elementary school curriculum. And I know I'm
not the only teacher to have had students make jokes
There is also the belief by some that, to add legitimacy about terrorism, Bin Laden, and the crumbling Twin
to things Korean, they must be cast by Koreans in the Towers.
light of things Western. Jeju is called Korea's Hawaii,
Tongyeong is Korea's Naples, and the singer Rain is The comparison to the Sungnyemun site and other
Korea's Justin Timberlake. Such comparisons are "dark tourism" locations is not appropriate because
damaging to both sides, and always cheapen the Korean most visitors to Ground Zero or Auschwitz go to pay
claim. respects to the human victims and to stand in awe of
the profound sadness of human loss. There were no
And at times, this can also be a country prone to deaths and no injuries at Sungnyemun. Moreover,
hyperbole and public displays of sorrow. Editorials on those sites in New York, Poland, and Cambodia have
topics like English education or the Yeosu Expo depict universal significance and represent the worst elements
the issues as matters of important national pride. It is of human nature. The fire in Seoul did not have
not unusual to see news reports of disgraced public worldwide resonance, and could not even hold local
figures making tearful apologies and prostrations at headlines a week after the event.
press conferences. The blog "Gusts of Popular Feeling"
has documented how Korean children were encouraged Michael Hurt on his "Scribblings of Metropolitician"
to cry on camera, and on cue, when news broke of blog makes an excellent point: the need to ground the
Pyeongchang's latest failed Olympic bid. Korean music Sungnyemun fire in terms of other tragedies cheapens
videos are another fine example, as today's top hits the traumatic events in Korea's own history. Aren't
contain images of arson, assault, suicide, and murder. events like the Gwangju Massacre, the Sampoong
The emphasis in these being not the loss of life or Department Store collapse, or the bombing of Korean
destruction of property, but rather the pronounced Air Flight 858 immensely more tragic than the burning
reaction of the video's protagonist who has watched the of a cultural artifact that has already been destroyed
scene unfold. The newspaper articles I mentioned and rebuilt numerous times? And, especially since
weren't comparing the fire to other despicable events, Sungnyemun is being portrayed as a symbol of
mind you, but were merely trying to compare the survival, oughtn't the 9/11 comparison be especially
emotional reactions. thoughtless in light of the Korean War, which inflicted
immeasurable human suffering on the entire
It must also be said that the Korean press and a fair peninsula? If Sungnyemun is being recast as a symbol
number of Koreans have displayed a worrying lack of of the enduring Korean spirit, why is it given more
empathy and tact regarding foreign cultures and currency than the horrors that spirit overcame?
countries. Lesser examples occur in the papers on a
nearly daily basis, and the major gaffes have attracted For the time being, these extreme examples seem to be
worldwide attention. For example, the day after the just that: extreme. Besides the outpouring of sorrow
Virgina Tech massacre the Seoul Shinmun ran a and disgust, there is much talk of rebuilding. Koreans
cartoon using the 33 deaths to mock the United States' use the theme of rebuilding quite a bit, and fans of
gun policies, though the newspaper pulled the cartoon Sungnyemun should take comfort in knowing Koreans
when the shooter turned out to be a Korean. In April, rebuild well. Given the power of the media here, I
2006, at the COEX Intercontinental Hotel in Seoul, the would hope that most are sensible enough to resist the
hotel's president was giving a lecture on poktanju, or temptation to "legitimize" the Sungnyemun fire by
"bomb alcohol." The president said to the gathered making untenable, absurd connections to crimes
company, which included most notably the Japanese against humanity. No, those who love Sungnyemun
Ambassador, that poktanju "is like a flash and would be better off ensuring that it is rebuilt, and by
explosion of bubbles, like the moment of the dropping taking every action to ensure it stays that way. Protect
of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima." There are also it and other Korean treasures physically from vandals,
several Nazi-themed bars throughout the country, and and emotionally from cheap metaphors.
they've just recently been given international media
attention. In response to criticism, the owner of one By Brian Deutsch

Gwangju News March 2008 13

The Korean Way No. 62

The Manchu Invasions

in 1627 and 1636 (II)
(continued from February issue)

K ing Injo, the 16th

monarch (1623-49) of
Joseon, realized the
desperate situation he was in
after a month long resistance
would be sent to Shinyang.
7. The King’s procession would
be limited to 500, including
royal guards, ministers,
officials, and so forth.
against the overwhelming Ching
forces that besieged Namhansan The conditions of surrender
fortress. The expected relief were thrust before the King in
troops from local garrisons harsh words:
around the country did not arrive 1. The royal seal, and the Book
and the provisions within the of Calendar which were given by
fortress were running low. To the Ming dynasty, must be
make matters worse, the royal surrendered.
family and officials who had 2. Sever the relations with Ming
taken refuge in Gangwha Island and establish sovereign and
had been taken prisoner and subject relations between Ching
were brought to the Ching camp and Joseon (that is,
surrounding the fortress. Under acknowledge Ching’s suzerainty
such dire circumstances, over Joseon).
deliberation of war strategies 3. Start using Ching’s reign-
often ended up in empty verbal style.
Samjeondo surrender monument
duels among the officials, thus 4. Send the crown prince and
King Injo made up his mind to the sons of ministers to
surrender and dispatched his delegates to the Ching Shinyang as prisoners. The crown prince would be
camp to negotiate this. allowed to return home and ascend the throne at the
After lengthy negotiations, the agreed process and King’s death.
conditions of surrender were as follows: 5. Send reinforcements when Ching occupies Ming.
6. Fifty warships and arms should be provided when
1. Date of surrender ceremony: January 30th 1637 Ching attacks Mao Munnyong stationed at Kago Island
(lunar year) at the mouth of the Yalu River.
2. The surrender ceremony was to be held at a 7. Courtesies observed on the winter solstice, birthdays
surrender platform at Samjeondo crossing of the emperor, empress and crown prince and on
3. The King should depart from the West gate and seasonal festivals should be carried on as before.
proceed to the platform. The King and the crown prince 8. The prisoners taken by the Ching forces, the
should wear purple military uniforms instead of royal Chinese and Jurchens who were naturalized in Joseon
robes. should be sent back to Ching. Those caught before
4. After the surrender, the King would be allowed to January 27th should be sent to Shinyang and those
return to Seoul while the crown prince and the sons of caught after that date released.
the ministers were to go to Shinyang (Ching capital) as 9. Intermarriages between the courtiers of the two
prisoners. countries are to be encouraged and mutual friendship
5. The Ching forces should start withdrawing after the be promoted.
surrender. 10. Building and mending of castles and fortresses are
6. Any prisoners taken after the date of surrender prohibited.
(January 27th, 1637 when surrender was decided) 11. Pay annual tributes as specified hereunder:
should be released, but those taken prior to that date Gold: 100 yang (=3750g); silver: 1,000 yang=

14 Gwangju News March 2008

(37,500g); ox horn: 2,000 (for bow making); tiger
skins: 100 ; deer skins: 100; tea: 1,000 bags ; otter fur:
400; squirrel fur: 400; black pepper 10mal (= 160kg): Useful Korean Phrases
somok (oriental medicine for external wounds):
200keun (= 120kg); long knives: 26; small knives: 10; 배로 보내면 얼마나 걸려요?
paper (long lengthwise): 1,000 rolls; mattress with
dragon pattern (for the emperor): 4; mattress with At the Post Office
flower: 40; white ramie cloth: 200 rolls; various cotton Henri: 이것을 모두 프랑스에 부치고 싶은데요.
cloth: 2,000 rolls; coarse hemp cloth: 400 rolls; (igeoseul modu peurangseue buchigo
various fine hemp cloth: 10,000 rolls (1 roll= sipeundeyo)
20yards); rice: 10,000 bags (50,000 mal=800,000kg) Clerk: 비행기로 보낼 거예요?
(bihaenggiro bonael geoyeyo?)
The surrender document was a one-sided directive
showing Ching’s intention. It acknowledged Joseon’s Henri: 비행기로 보내면 요금이 얼마에요?
(bihaenggiro bonaemyeon nyogeumi eolmaeyo?)
political establishment by referring to the crown
prince’s ascension to the throne after the king’s death. Clerk: 잠깐 기다리세요. 요금표를 봐야 하니까요.
Joseon’s military forces were not disarmed. Joseon’s 35,000원이에요.
high courtiers were left intact except for three minor (jamkkan gidariseyo. yogeumpyoreul bwaya
anti-peace officials. This may be interpreted as against hanikkayo. 35,000wonieyo.)
the Emperor Tai Tsung’s original intention of clearing Henri: 비싸군요. 그러면 배로 부치겠어요.
his fear of rear threat by attacking Joseon but seven (bissagunnyo. geureomyeon baero
years later in 1644 when Ching finally subdued the buchigeseoyo.)
Ming Dynasty, Joseon was asked by both countries to
assist them but was not in a position to help them. Henri: I would like to send all of this to France.
Clerk: Will you send them by air?
In the wake of the calamitous Manchu invasion, a Henri: How much is the postage if I send them
serious social problem arose from a series of suicide by air?
incidents by female returnees from Manchuria, who
were either prisoners or escapees from the Shinyang Clerk: Please wait a moment. I need to check the
rates. It's 35,000 won.
slave market or their forced trek to Shinyang. In a
society where the Confucian creed of “No loyal subject Henri: That's expensive. I will send them by
serves two masters” and “No chaste wife serves two ship.
husbands” prevailed, the females returning or
escaping from the slave camp in Manchuria were Notes:
regarded by the people as “soiled” and not accepted by 1. A-(으)ㄴ 데요 V-는데요
villagers or even by their own blood relatives. There ( A/V +predicative sentence ending)
was no place for them to turn to but to terminate their 싶다 - 집에 가고 싶은데요.
own lives. The government, feeling responsible for I want to go home.
failing to protect the people, decreed that the Manchu 고프다 - 배가 고픈데요. 밥을 먹어요.
invasion was an unavoidable natural disaster and the I am hungry. Let's eat.
people were not to blame. On a certain designated date 가다 - 지금 식당에 가는데요. 같이 갈까요?
and place, the concerned people were to cleanse I am going to a restaurant.
themselves of their sense of guilt by bathing in the Would you like to go with me?
stream. 2. N(으)로 (by N )
기차로 서울에 갔어요. I went to Seoul by train.
In the traditional Korean society the courtier who 휴대폰으로 전화 하세요. Please call me by cell
served a dethroned monarch refused to serve the phone.
usurper of the throne even at the risk of his own life.
In the same way widows were not allowed to remarry. Vocabulary:
기차 : train 부치다, 보내다 : send
(Note: All historical dates are of the lunar calendar 우표 : stamp 우체국 : post office
until 1894, when the solar calendar was introduced by 직원 : clerk 편지 : letter
the Gabo Reform.) 얼마나 : how long

By Lee Seonhui
By 2Ys
Seonhui is teaching Korean at the GIC.

Gwangju News March 2008 15


Nammireuksa and Omcheonsa:

Temples Worth the Trip
angjin is a county of 40,000 people, ninety meters taller than the figure of Jesus standing over Rio

G minutes south of Gwangju, and pretty typical

of rural communities in South Korea. It has
been home to several famous guests over the
centuries, including explorer Hendrick Hamel, and is
perhaps best know for its connection to celadon
de Janeiro, though roughly half the size of the Leshan
Buddha in China, and a mere toddler next to the 152-
meter-high bronze Maitreya planned for Kushinagar,

pottery. Celadon production in Gangjin stretches back The huge brass statue was finished in 2006 at a cost of
to the Goryeo Dynasty, and the annual celadon festival some 10 billion won. It depicts Amitabha ( )
attracts thousands of visitors each fall. Celadon is the sitting atop a lotus. It is visible from the highway over
primary claim to fame, and every county in Jeollanam- one kilometer away. The head priest, in interviews with
do has its own regional specialties. But also like every the newspaper Gangjin Shinmun, said he hopes the
county in Jeollanam-do, there are a lot of lesser-known statue will turn the temple into one of the region’s
sights to be seen, including mountains, islands, and representative tourist spots, and will revitalize the area
temples. and its people. Other residents, though, consider the
statue gaudy, and nothing more than an expensive
There are over a dozen temples in the county, and the donation magnet.
two most “famous” and most popular are Baekryeonsa
( ) and Muwisa ( ). They are not, however, Other attractions at the Nammireuksa include
much different from most other temples you’ll find in pagodas, prayer wheels, sculptures, springtime flowers,
any other part of the country, and are not the county’s and elephant statues at the entrance. The best way to
two most interesting. Those two are Nammireuksa ( get there is to take a taxi from Gangjin-eup, a trip of
) and Omcheonsa ( ). roughly 11 kilometers and 10,000 won, according to Alternatively, buses leave for
Nammireuksa is in Gundong-myeon, east of the Nammireuksa from the bus terminal in Gangjin-eup.
county seat in Gangjin-eup. It has what is among the Visitors will alight at the intersection 700 meters in
largest Sitting Buddha statues in the world. It is 3 front of the temple and walk the rest of the way. The
meters taller than Beopjusa’s Standing Buddha, and 6 temple telephone number is 061-433-6460.

O m c h e o n s a

16 Gwangju News March 2008

North of Gangjin-eup is Omcheonsa, a temple site minutes past the hour, so plan accordingly.
known for its countless stone pagodas and statues. Omcheonsa’s telephone number is 061-433-2233.
Actually, the temple has roughly 3,000 piled-stone
pagodas, numerous statues large and small, and 31 Both temples are still well off the beaten path, even for
treasures. The loose-stone pagodas are piled around Korean tourists. Few foreigners know about them and
the worship halls, fountains, stairs, and often on top of even few have visited. One reason for their relative
other statues. In addition to the forest of pagodas, obscurity is their locations. Both are located outside of
other points of interest include the bell tower, a newly tiny hamlets and their routes are not well-marked.
constructed cave to the “medicine Buddha” While they are near enough to towns to be convenient,
Bhaisajyaguru, and a large statue of Ksitigarbha. they are separated from hiking trails and other notable
Underneath Ksitigarbha is a small octagonal room attractions. Another reason is the lack of history
lined with hundreds of small, seated Buddhas. associated with them. Gangjin’s Baekryeonsa, for
instance, dates back to the 8th century, and often
Though the temple is in Omcheon-myeon, Gangjin received exiled scholar Dasan. Muwisa, another of the
county, buses run there from nearby Jangheung best-known temples in the county, dates to the 7th
county. Take an Omcheon-bound bus from the century, and contains numerous cultural properties
terminal in Jangheung-eup, and alight at the driveway and one national treasure. Nonetheless the temples are
at the temple’s entrance. Returning to Jangheung can but two of many unique sites in Jeollanam-do that offer
be a little trickier. Stop into the tiny general store at the something a little different, and that go beyond the
driveway’s entrance and purchase a bus ticket back to standard tourist fare.
Jangheung. The bus passes once an hour, a few By Brian Deutsch

N a m m i r e u k s a

Gwangju News March 2008 17

GIC Cultural Tour

Temple Stay:
An Enlightening Experience
“Stress is the trash of modern life – we all generate it but if you don't dispose of it properly, it
will pile up and overtake your life.” ~Danzae Pace

hat quote describes my reason for doing the Buddhist temples. The main hall (Daeungjeon) has

T temple stay, in search of a serene atmosphere

which would help me feel a lot more at peace.
It is a fantastic way to escape a busy and hectic
life filled with stress.
stood there since 1808. We were made acquainted with
all the gorgeous holdings of the magnificent temple.
Then they announced it was time for dinner.

We headed to the dinning area where we were to

A group of strangers from different cultural participate in balwu-gongyang, which is one of the
backgrounds started off together as part of the GIC traditional customs of Korean monks. Balwu-
cultural tour, and braved the cold windy weather for a gongyang is a special way of eating a meal which
day’s stay at Bulhoesa Temple. When the bus arrived at symbolizes equality, cleanliness, thrift and
Bulhoesa in Naju I was wowed by the beauty and charm togetherness. To me it seemed like paying respect and
of the location! The temple is located deep in the complete attention to the food you were eating. We
mountain of Deokryong and blends very harmoniously took utmost care to eat all the food that was in our
with the natural surroundings. On stepping out of the bowl, to the extent of not throwing away even a single
bus, the wooden gong and chanting of the hymns from grain of rice. Buddhists believe that eating is also a
the temple echoed in the atmosphere as if welcoming us form of meditation. The rationale here is
to a day’s life of being a monk. After filling in an synchronizing body and mind through bringing
application form, we were given our formal monkish mindfulness to how we eat. Interestingly this eating
robes and taught the traditional Buddhist bow. A procedure ends with repeated rinsing of the bowls with
traditional “deep bow” is a way to show the ultimate water, which we also consume, and in this process the
reverence in Buddhism. This formal bow is executed by bowls are cleaned and need no further washing. The
starting with a bow, followed with three prostrations food was very delicious and completely vegetarian. As
(oh-che tu ji) and then another bow. It was a totally new a monk they treat eating food more like having
way of greeting: the Buddhist way. medicine to sustain the body, and less like eating with
greed because a food tastes great.
The sunim (monk) in charge of the program took us
around the premises of the temple, whose history dates After dinner it was time for the evening prayers in the
back to 366 AD. It has seen the rise and fall of various main temple. It was a unique experience like a spiritual
dynasties and the changing rules for and against roller coaster, with harmonized sounds and with lots of

18 Gwangju News March 2008

bowing in between. That evening we introduced We had two sessions of meditation. The first was based
ourselves to each other and the monk gave us spiritual on the question the sunim had posed the previous
preaching and left us with a question, a topic which we evening. The first meditation was focused to realize
were to meditate on the next day. We headed to our “what/who am I?” and the second was called “mercy
dorms to rest after the night prayers. Though it was meditation”. As I meditated in the lotus posture, the
way earlier than I would get to bed at home, it was silence around me engrossed my mind and a great
important in order to wake up at 4:00 in the morning sense of bliss spread around. Though it was difficult as
and also to prepare myself mentally for the next day’s a beginner to concentrate on a single question, the
early morning activities. After all, getting up that early silence was worth experiencing.
and staying awake and active throughout the prayer
session was still a challenging task at hand to me. After the pleasant experience of meditation it was time
to witness the tea ceremony. All of us had the
I was woken up by the sound of the wooden gong and opportunity of tasting supposedly the best and most
surprised to see others were also awake by then. expensive tea. I am grateful to the sunim for sharing it
Perhaps the previous night’s mental preparation did with us. What was more interesting was the spiritual
work, or perhaps it was the charismatic effect of the edge to something as simple as having tea. We were
environment I was in. It was freezing outside but my asked to use all five senses while having the tea, to
determination to make it to the morning prayers was experience even the subtle features of the tea, which I
stronger. It was still dark and the sky was full of stars, had never done or paid attention to before this day.
a visual feast I must say. That all of us made it on time Frankly, I indeed could appreciate the differences
for the 4:30 prayers – indeed a mission impossible between various green teas that he lovingly served us.
achieved – amazes me even when I think of it now. We even had an opportunity to walk through the
After a brief morning prayer similar to the one we had terraces made in the mountain, to the place where the
witnessed the previous evening it was time for tea came from, a flourishing wild plantation.
something we were all waiting to experience and finish
off with: the 108 bows. Each bow was done with After lunch it was time to leave, and though we
significance. I began to count the bows, just in case we departed from our life as a monk, we walked out with
were made to do more than the required number. But more appreciation for what we already have and with
when the pain in my legs got worse I lost my count, more respect for things we take for granted. While
and bowing became a big fall on the cushion for a heading to Bulhoesa temple all that I wanted was a
moment of rest, and waiting for the bamboo clap to go. peaceful break, a chance to rest, to escape from the
And once the bamboo was clapped I could hear sighs of monotony of life. As I returned home I had more than
relief going through the hall, as the physical and what I expected: a new perception on the same life.
mental exercise was finished. Surprisingly most of us
completed all the 108 bows, and though we were sore By Shilpa Ramesh
we appreciated this truly authentic experience.

Gwangju News March 2008 19

GIC Cultural Tour

Making Pottery in the Field

of Plum Blossoms
D a
Do you want to have coffee or tea from a cup
that you made yourself? Let’s make our own :
cups and bowls! We are going to learn to
make pottery with a master potter at
Gwangyang Dosun Guksa village. After
making it, we can pick it up back at the GIC.
We can also breathe fresh air while taking a
walk on the yellow earth path through the

We are going to go Maehwa (plum blossoms)

village, located where the Seomjin River ends
and embraces the edge of the Baegun
Mountains and Geumcheon valley. Each year
the village holds the annual Plum Blossom Festival, attracting five hundred thousand tourists each year.
The village is also famous for producing ten percent of the nations’ plums, harvesting chestnuts from the
Seomjin River and lots of other local specialities.

Itinerary Please make a reservation before March 14th so we

08:50 Meet at U-square, Gwangju Bus Terminal
can arrange your travel insurance. Please kindly pay the
tour cost by March 20th to Kwangju Bank account
09:00 Depart for Gwangyang Dosungusa Village
number 134-107-000999 (Depositor: 광주국제교류센터).
If you cancel 3 days in advance, 50% of the fee will be
10:30 Make pottery refunded. The tour includes lunch, transportation,
12:00 Lunch entrance fees, group travel insurance and information in
13:00 Take a walk at Mt. Baegun English.
14:00 Depart for plum farm This tour may be canceled if less than 20 people make a
15:00 Go sightseeing at plum farm reservation. To make a reservation, please contact GIC,
16:00 Depart for Gwangju Kim Nari at 062-226-1050 or
17:30 Arrive in Gwangju We need the following information: Your contact
(possible delay due to traffic) information (E-mail, Phone Number) / Your full name /
Nationality / Alien registration number (77xxxx-xxxxxx)

Kumho Industrial Co. kindly provides the

buses for GIC Cultural Trips in 2008.
20 Gwangju News March 2008
Creative Communication Sharing
Ourselves Through the Arts
Are you a girl in grade 1 or 2 middle school?

Do you like to make art?

Do you enjoy talking in English?

Come join us!

Make art, make friends and speak in English.

The GIC is hosting a ten-week art project facilitated by two Canadian English teachers and
creative artists and two Korean co-facilitators with arts backgrounds. Together we will explore
our personal identities through the arts. All levels of English are welcome, the purpose of the
program is to have fun, make art and share who we are. We will provide snacks and art
materials. We will explore many different art techniques including, photography, collage and
painting to name a few. At the end of the ten weeks we will celebrate our creativity with an art
show and party.

When: March 29 – May 31 2008

Where: Gwangju International Center (5th Floor, Jeon-il Bldg, Geumnam-no 1-1, Dong-gu)
Who: Girls in levels 1 and 2 middle school
When: Saturday afternoons from 4:30 - 6 p.m.
Fee: 50,000 won for ten weeks.
Partial scholarship of 40,000 won is available for participants who meet the following criteria:
-Are passionate about art or can think creatively
-Are eager to collaborate with others or interested in making new friends
-Come from a low income family

*Enrollment is on a first come first serve basis. Please fill out an application form (available at the
GIC) and mail it to GIC by March 22, 2008.

Gwangju International Center

5th floor, Jeon-il Building, Geumnam-no 1-1, Dong-gu, Gwangju
Phone: 062-226-1050, 2734 Fax: 0505-227-2092
Website: E-mail:

Contact for questions:

Sarah Epp:
Victoria Heaton:
Yun Minju: 062-226-1050
Gwangju News March 2008 21

Cake Art Gallery

hen I worked as an interpreter at the children under the age of six in Korea have Atopic

W Gwangju Design Biennalle in 2007, I found

a very good bakery. I now want to share this
with you, so that you may also have the
chance to try good and healthy bread.
Dermatitis, a skin disease caused by environmental
pollution and unhealthy chemical ingredients in foods.
He decided to pursue “Honesty bread”, which is a
bread made using only good and fresh ingredients,
without any kinds of chemical elements. It tastes pretty
On the way to the Gwangju Design Biennalle, having different from bread made in franchised bakeries.
skipped breakfast, I was very hungry so I entered a Since these bakeries focus on the large production of
random bakery to buy some bread. Fortunately, it was breads and profits, the ingredients are not so fresh or
extremely good! The baker explained some special good. For example, instead of using butter, some
methods, which made me realize his bread was not franchised bakeries use margarine and chemical
only tasty but healthy as well. ingredients which can cause cancer. Compared with
such breads, the honesty bread takes a long time to
The name of the baker is Professor Noh Han-seung bake and maybe doesn’t taste as good, but it doesn’t
and he graduated from Nihon College of Confectionary have any chemicals and so is much healthier. He also
in Japan with a doctorate degree in Food and sells regular bread, and breads with bean paste, tofu,
Nutrition. He has won many contests and is now oatmeal or fresh cream, pizza bread, macaroons,
teaching in various colleges. His bakery, Cake Art ciabatta, castella, and chestnut cookies.
Gallery, is on the main street between the Sae-Jung
Outlet and KDJ Convention Center, in front of Chon- Based on what he studied, Professor Noh creates
Nam High School. The bakery opens at nine in the natural yeast involving Saccaharomics and
morning and closes at ten at night, and can be reached Luconostick. Good yeast reduces, or possibly gets rid
at 062-384-7777. of, dangerous chemical elements in one’s body. His
breads also contain lactic-acid bacteria, which can help
Professor Noh has a special reason for making healthy the body’s metabolism and facilitate digestion and
breads. He was shocked by the fact that 45% of absorption. Good natural yeast also improves the

22 Gwangju News March 2008

immune system. His natural yeast water and the jams, and contains only fresh fruits, quality liquor and
natural yeast powder are also available for purchase at has no added chemicals. He explained that this is the
his store. The natural yeast water is 90% lactic-acid way of making traditional jam in Europe. When I tried
bacteria and 10% yeast. If taken, they help intestinal his apple jam, it still tasted of fresh fruit! He also
activity and getting rid of constipation. makes fresh chocolate from fresh butter and high
quality liquor. Professor Noh uses the technique of
Bread using natural yeast has a very low amount of “tempering” (that is, mixing the ingredients of
sugar. In general, regular bread is 18% sugar while chocolate by hand), and his chocolate is dehydrated at
natural yeast bread is only 5% sugar. Some of the sugar a low temperature to give it a soft and moist taste.
in the bread ferments, while the rest becomes When I tried his green-tea chocolate, it was so mild
monosaccharide through hydrolysis. To reduce the and rich. The Professor’s cookies were also the best I
amount of sugar, Professor Noh ferments his breads have ever tried! He uses the technique of “sabrejue”,
for at least two hours and bakes them at over 200 which originates from the word “saber” (sand), and it
degree Celsius. If the breads are not fermented is a method of making cookie dough. When I ate the
enough, the sugar is not changed into monosaccharide cookie, it felt heavy at first, but after a bite it was like
and so too much remains. This baking process means sand, spreading soft and wide in my mouth.
his breads have good volume and are not too sweet.
The lactic-acid bacteria content in natural yeast bread Compared to various franchised bakeries, the breads at
also makes it very good for someone with diabetes, Cake Art Gallery are 30% more expensive because of
high blood pressure, constipation or obesity. A the fresh ingredients and natural yeast that Professor
diabetic, for example, having eaten natural yeast bread uses, but most of his breads still cost under 7,000 won.
would find that his blood sugar levels do not change. Professor Noh recently received a patent for his natural
yeast as a healthy therapeutic food. If you want to take
Professor Noh not only makes healthy breads but also care of your health, try some natural yeast breads from
other good confectionaries such as jam, chocolate, and Cake Art Gallery!
cookies. His jam has only 30% of the sugar in regular By Tim Cha

Gwangju News March 2008 23

Photo Contest

By Doug Stuber

By Mathieu Deprez By Mathieu Deprez

24 Gwangju News March 2008

By Mathieu Deprez By Aneta McNally

By Aneta McNally

Gwangju News March 2008 25

Jr. GIC Talk

Do You Know Tuva;

the Center of Asia?
is. I have experienced other foreign cultures through
books, but I didn’t care about smaller, unfamiliar
countries. I thought that researching lesser-known
countries was not worthy of my time. After reading
Tuva or Bust, I realized I was “perfectly” wrong. I
thought that foreigners felt the same way about Korea
as I did about other small countries, and I was wrong
about that too.

After reading about Tuva, I found that Tuva and Korea

have a few things in common. First of all, Tuvans and
Koreans have similar physical characteristics such as
flat noses, eyes shapes, and skin tones. Koreans, like
Tuvans, were nomads at one time. They were both
descendants of Mongolia but separated to different
areas – some to Korea, and some to Tuva. Researchers
claim that Tuvans and Koreans are brothers. Tuva and
Korea were both affected by big countries. Tuva was
formerly a part of the Soviet Union and was released in
1991. Because of the Soviet Union’s occupation, it still
keeps a socialist government and economy. On the
other hand, Korea was affected by both the US and
USSR. This led to the separation of Korea into North
and South Korea. Both countries were affected by the
ave you ever heard of Tuva? hands of the Great Powers of the 20th century.

H Most people don’t know about this quiet and

peaceful country. I didn’t know about Tuva
until I read Tuva or Bust by Ralph Leighton;
that’s when I found out how interesting Tuvan culture
Although Tuva is very small, it has its own special
culture, but still many people don’t know about Tuva.
People don’t even know its name although it is in the
center of Asia. The main reason is because of its

The Center of Asia Tuvan Family Vast Plain in Tuva

26 Gwangju News March 2008

Khoomei Performance

geographical features. Tuva is surrounded by Teenagers are making more troubles for their country
mountains and has had few cultural exchanges with because of the influx of Western culture. Tuva has
other countries. Some foreigners visited Tuva a long invaluable underground resources, but no efforts are
time ago and built a monument labeled “Center of made to use them. Behind beautiful plains, many
Asia” in 1964, in Kyzyl, Tuva’s capital. But going to people are suffering from lack of money.
Tuva was very difficult and only a few people could
bypass the complicated entry procedures. There What I realized searching about Tuva, is how
weren’t any organizations to help visitors and Tuva was important it is to preserve both our nature and our
isolated from other countries. culture. If a country as remote as Tuva is suffering
from global changes, what about Korea? In the
On the other hand, Tuva has conserved its beautiful globalized world, lots of new things are flowing into
nature because other countries have not tried to Korea. Our environment is becoming more and more
develop or destroy it. Tuvans usually raise sheep and polluted, and the government is destroying our
yaks in clean, green plains. Nothing is polluted. beautiful nature in the name of progress. Of course, we
Everything is quiet. have to keep cultural interchange with other countries,
but if we forget our responsibility to preserve our
Tuvans are a mix of Mongolians and Russians but their nature and culture, we will soon lose all of what we
culture is especially influenced by Mongolia. Tuvan have now. Losing old traditions weakens our spirit as
children cut their hair leaving just a patch of hair and Koreans, and it also threatens the basis of our country.
girls wear hair bands. They are nomads, which mean
they move often and live in tents. Seasonal changes A small country with silence and green fields is how I
and consumption of natural resources dictate their imagine Tuva. Tuva experienced isolation and lost
move so the environment can replenish itself. many things at the hands of strong Western countries,
just like Korea did. I don’t know exactly why I was
The most interesting thing in Tuvan culture is attracted to Tuva, but maybe it was because I knew the
Khoomei, or throat singing. Throat singing is a sad story of a small country. Strong nations are still
traditional way of singing in Tuva. It sounds like two trying to show their power all over the world, but we
voices coming from one person. But unfortunately, have to fight and protect smaller nations against them.
many of Tuva’s fascinating traditions disappeared Tuva or Bust!
when Tuva experienced changes by socialism. Even
now, though Tuva is basically isolated from the rest of
the world, it is still affected by the fast changes of the By Kwon Hee Won
world and Tuva is losing its traditions. Kwon Hee Won, aka Jenny is a 3rd
grade middle school student. She is
Tuva has many big problems such as unemployment, one of three coordinators with the
Junior GIC. Her goal is to become a
drugs, and financial concerns. The rate of
diplomatic ambassador. Jenny is a
unemployment in Tuva is very high but the student that makes all of her
government can’t carry out projects to solve its teachers very proud of her.
economic problems because of Russian influence.

Gwangju News March 2008 27

Community Event

Will Exchange Culture For Food:

The Solnal Story
y personal contributions during these events

performed an Elvis Presley song with his two young
included my wild punk hair style, which I call sons. The director of UNESCO was also present, and
“Doggebi” after the mythical Korean ghost- made a welcoming speech in English. Several Korean
goblin. It literally stands out in a crowd, and children were there for most of Nepal Day, and this
provided many an ice breaker, which often went like created a family atmosphere
this: familiar to every culture
“I like your hair.” spoken in during holidays. Nepal’s
English with a thick accent presentation was actually
by a smiling Indian, postponed until that
Nepalese, Mongolian, or evening at the Asian
Korean. Cultural Exchange Center,
“I love your food!” I would on the big screen.
think, as I beamed back,
accepting the compliment. On February 7th, “India
The idea of cooking and Day”, Mukul Basu of
eating with Indians, UNESCO gave an
Nepalese, and Mongolians informative talk about his
was the clincher for my home country. I was
participation. Since I arrived inspired by his defense of
over a year ago, I’ve become Indian toilet culture.
increasingly desperate for Othogong from Mongolia
alternatives to the limited gave a presentation in
availability of non-Korean perfect Korean, while
Asian foods. The Solnal Cultural Exchange Days Basu provided English translation for me, the only
program kicked off the morning of February 6th, 2008 native English speaker in the room. I was intrigued to
at the Gwangju International Center (GIC), and learn that Mongolians are responsible for such Korean
introduced new faces, places, and foods to me, and delicacies as sam-gyup-sal, and shabu-shabu.
nearly a hundred participants in the following three
days. Where It Went Down
The places we visited during the program were
A few notable presentations and performances were
incredibly supportive and, for a first time visitor, great
made during opening ceremonies. On February 6th,
fun to explore. The regular occupants of Mireuksa,
“Nepal Day”, GIC Director Professor Shin welcomed
Boeunsa, and Wongaksa temples were generous to
participants and performed Arirang, a traditional
allow us to invade and disrupt their regular Solnal
Korean tune. Korean Jo Seung-jun then fearlessly

28 Gwangju News March 2008

holiday proceedings. I’m sure, however, that they provided moments of hilarity, sharing, and
appreciated the unique spices and culture that we commitment, that are in my opinion the real work of
brought, even if we did clog the kitchen sink drain at cultural exchange.
The Man With The Plan
On Nepal Day, Wongaksa Temple – located in Mukul Basu was responsible for much of the program
downtown Gwangju, down the street from GIC – conception and planning. His presence was felt at
provided traditional tea drinking and bowing lessons. every level. Fluent in Korean, English and Indian
On Friday, a tremendous Korean vegetarian lunch was languages, he acted as translator, guide and MC
served to participants, followed by professional throughout the three days. Even at the post-event
traditional singing and dancing lessons for “Mongolian meeting he led a spontaneous Yoga lesson in the GIC
Day.” Boeunsa temple provided kitchen space for hallway.
lunch, as well as space for spontaneous puppet
shadow, and magic shows, put on by the multitalented Basu’s vision is that all foreigners, and their
Mukul. representative organizations in Gwangju, will unite,
One building, referred to as “Makkulli Kong-Jang”, and benefit through active sharing and cooperation. A
because it is a former rice wine factory, actually houses series of cultural exchange days are planned that will
Mireuksa temple on the ground floor, Indian Museum also create funds to help bring this vision to reality.
on the second floor, and Asian Cultural Exchange During the program GIC volunteer Laxmy, who is
space on the third floor. All three were well utilized by actually Korean despite her Indian nickname,
the events during the three day program. tirelessly promoted a fund to benefit poor Nepalese
children, and contributed greatly to this spirit.

Look for the colorful plastic piggy banks with “Nepal

Education Fund” (or “Laxmy Koh Fund”) written on
them, or contact Laxmy via e-mail: Mukul Basu can be found in
the UNESCO office on the fourth floor of the GIC
building or at Wellbeing Asia office location, just
around the corner. Rumor has it certain items like
Indian food, relics, and even calling cards can be
acquired there.

The inexpensive 10,000 won (per day) participation

charge for the program did not go toward expenses. It
has been deposited into a GIC account. Basu’s
Wellbeing Asia Organization is currently over
600,000 won in debt. There will, no doubt, be
upcoming fundraising events to compensate.

Food I urge everyone, especially if they participated in the

Nepalese dinner foods included masala chicken fry, program, to contribute to these efforts. Contact Mukul
which reminded me of New Mexican chitcharones. Basu at, or 010-6327-1358 for
Achar, golabjamun, and laddoo were kick-ass details.
vegetarian dishes prepared by participants that
evening. Indian dinner foods, however, were all Yubraj, vice president of SONSIK (Society Of Nepalese
completely vegetarian. Favorites such as rajma dal, Students in Korea) helped organize Nepal Day,
purri, rasam, poppadum, salad, and a fresh coriander Shashihara Marathe represented GIST (Gwangju
chutney were prepared and consumed. Institute of Science and Technology) students and
helped organize India Day, and Othogong organized
Cell Roti, which I would describe as a ring shaped Mongolia Day events. Thanks also to Professor Shin,
donut, was prepared on Wednesday afternoon, and Laxmy, and other GIC members who contributed.
snacked on continuously at Mirueksa throughout the Don’t miss out on future chances to exchange cultures
next couple of days. Traditional Korean holiday foods with these fine folks and get your Wellbeing on, yo!
were also generously shared by Mireuksa staff. The
preparation of food by the program participants By Pete Gallo

Gwangju News March 2008 29


– It’s not just for St. Patrick's Day
hen you mention Ireland people often deaths. Because of this, one million also immigrated,

W think of St. Patrick's Day, Guinness Stout

beer, Leprechauns and anything green.
Whilst all of this can be found in Ireland
there is a lot more to this fascinating, beautiful and
entertaining island. So here are a few bits and pieces
mostly to America, and today 35 million Americans
(12% of the population) have reported Irish ancestry.

The early 20th century saw a rise in Irish nationalism

among the Catholic population, and with leaders like
you may find interesting, although the only true way to Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and Michael
experience it is to take a trip there, but then you may Collins, they fought for home rule. The Easter Rising
never want to leave. of 1916 and the War of Independence in 1919
eventually led to an independent state in 1922 when
Geography – Firstly, the the Treaty was signed (although it was rejected by
island is split into two most Republicans). The mostly protestant population
separate countries, the (who considered themselves both Irish and British) in
Republic of Ireland and the six counties of Ulster would remain British and the
Northern Ireland. There are remaining 26 counties would become the Irish Free
four provinces called State.
Connacht, Leinster, Munster
and Ulster. These four Since 1949 the Irish Free State (Eire) has been called
provinces combined have 32 the Republic of Ireland.
Festivals – The most internationally known and
Northern Ireland is in the celebrated festival is St. Patrick's Day (honoring the
northeast (Ulster) and has patron saint of Ireland) on the 17th March each year.
six counties. It is part of, and It’s a national holiday in Ireland where people wear
governed, by the UK, so the anything green and clumps of shamrock as well as
currency here is the Pound Sterling. The population is meet for a drink and a
almost two million, with its capital being Belfast. singsong. There is a big
parade in Dublin that day,
The Republic of Ireland (or just Ireland) is the other 26 and the pubs are full to the
counties and is completely independent from the UK, brim.
but it is part of the EU and they use the Euro. The
population is around four million with its capital being Around the world there are
Dublin. Other cities of size include Cork, Limerick, also some unusual practices,
Kilkenny, Waterford and Galway. Geographically it’s like cities dying their rivers
five sixths of the island. green, putting green food
coloring into the Guinness,
History – The island was once just Ireland, but during wearing silly green hats and
the 12th century King Henry II of England dressing up as Leprechauns.
unfortunately decided to take it over. In 1641 there was Leprechauns One thing is for sure, no
a huge rebellion, as the English state (which was matter which day you visit Ireland you can be assured
predominantly non-catholic, or protestant) did not of a warm welcome and a great time.
want to give the Irish Catholics any rights, including
voting. Symbols of Ireland – The
national flag is the tri-color.
However in 1801, the Kingdom of Ireland and The The green represents the
Kingdom of Great Britain were merged. In the 1840’s Catholics, the orange
the Great Famine, also known as the Potato Famine, represents the minority
spread throughout Ireland resulting in one million protestants and the white is for peace and harmony

30 Gwangju News March 2008

between them – which today is very much the case. smaller than a football. The object is to score by hitting
or kicking the ball in between the posts. Above the bar
Shamrock – This is a type scores 1 point and below the bar (in the “goal”) scores 3
of clover and is also a points. Each game is 70 minutes made up of two halves,
national symbol of Ireland. for inter-county games.
It’s been adopted by the Irish
national rugby team and Aer Hurling is similar to Gaelic football, however in this
Lingus. The shamrock is said game they use a hurley (looks like a hockey stick) and a
to bring luck – the “luck” of the Irish. very hard leather-covered ball called a sliotar (same
size as a hockey ball, but with raised ridges). I would
The Language – Irish Gaelic (gay-lik) and English best describe hurling as violent hockey.
are spoken. Almost 40% of the nation regard
themselves competent in Irish Gaelic. It is still taught Both of these games are fast-paced and very exciting to
in schools today, and there are areas in Ireland known watch. There are local area (parish) teams, and there
as Gaeltachts, where only Gaelic is spoken. All the are also county teams. Each of the counties have
road signs in Ireland are in both Gaelic and English. nicknames, for example The Banner (Clare), The Rebels
(Cork) and The Tribesman (Galway) and to play for
Culture – The Irish are an amazingly friendly nation. your county is a huge honour. The All-Ireland
When you visit, the locals will ask you lots of questions tournament is played over the summer months each
about why you’re there, where you’ve been and where year in both sports. People’s houses, pubs and
you’re going, but this is merely their welcoming nature businesses will be decked out in their counties’ colours,
and they will just as readily tell you all about as will the fans either going to the game or watching it
themselves if you ask. on TV.

It’s the one place where you may end up at a stranger’s The season culminates with the All-Ireland Final in
birthday party or wedding just because you happened early September at Croke Park stadium in Dublin,
to be talking to someone who was already invited. which holds 82,300 fans. On that day the finals of both
Although there are all these interesting cities, it’s the sports are played at the stadium so you get two finals
country that is really Ireland at its best. for the price of one. The main thing that strikes you
about these two sports is that throughout the All-
Guinness is, of course, Ireland tournament, fans from each county will
from Ireland and I have to congregate together in the pubs, drinking and singing
say that having lived there side-by-side, with friendly rivalry, and at the end of the
for three years, it truly is game, no matter who has won, they will all meet up
the only place for real again to party together.
Guinness. This smooth
stout takes a bit of getting Music & Dance – The
used to, but after that you Irish certainly know their
will want to drink it music and dance,
forever. obviously there are the
well-known bands like
Sport – The Irish U2, The Cranberries,
love football (soccer) Thin Lizzy and Van
and rugby, but their Morrison, however Irish
biggest passion and traditional music is
most followed sports brilliant. A typical
are the Irish sports, traditional band would
Gaelic football and include fiddles, flute and
hurling. bodhran (type of drum) and people would ceilidh or
set-dance to the music. It’s very similar to the Scottish
Gaelic football is dancing and it’s a great night out.
played on a similar
sized pitch as soccer So a visit to the Emerald Isle will certainly make you
Hurling Game
or rugby. There are smile and it will be a place you will long to go back to.
two teams of 15, “H”
shaped posts at either end and they use a ball slightly By Steve McNally

Gwangju News March 2008 31

Practical Tips

Online Education:
A great learning opportunity
person in a real live school setting when applying for
work. From my personal experience, these
misconceptions are untrue.

In my online education experience, participation in

weekly chats and forums is not only encouraged, but often
makes up a good percentage of the final grade, anywhere
from 5 to 20%. Participation is key to learning, whereas
in-class participation is rarely marked in the traditional
college course. It is too easy to just sit back and simply
listen, or take a little cat nap, as so many of us I am sure
have done. I was a quiet student and very rarely spoke up
in class, and often felt like I was getting very little from
the experience. Online I am unknown; I can express my
fter teaching in Korea for a few years, I started opinions and enter into debates, without ever worrying

A to feel like I needed something to keep my mind

busy and my brain in working order. I still
enjoyed teaching English and found it to be very
rewarding, but I simply wasn’t stimulated
enough anymore. I got to thinking about my future and
what I would do when I finally left Korea and returned to
about being judged negatively. It is also a good place to
network, ask questions about the field and gain insight
from those who have more experience.

One thing that is key when making the decision to study

online is motivation. I can be very lazy, but at the same
time am self-motivated and organized, always getting my
what so many of us expats like to call the “real world”. I
work done on time, or early, and always keeping up with
had my degree in Communications, but I felt that
each week’s readings. Not everyone can do this
furthering my education would definitely not hurt my
successfully. I know many people who have had a desire
chances when re-entering the work force back home. I
to take courses online, but really felt like they didn’t have
knew I would be staying for a little while still, and thought
the discipline to do it. I say it is like anything else in life,
this was the perfect opportunity to study again—I had the
you build it into your routine and then it just gets done,
income to pay for school, and the free time needed to
same as going to the gym. I always feel like it is important
focus on courses. So, I began researching online
to find courses that motivate you from the beginning. A
few courses I have taken have bored me to tears and 14
Going back to school was something I had always thought weeks felt like forever, but I did need them to complete
of, but I still didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to my certificate. Those courses that are more exciting and
study. A few of my friends here pointed me towards doing challenging are very rewarding in the end. I have grown to
an online degree and I found that a surprising number of enjoy online education far more than I remember
Canadian universities offered some form of online enjoying sitting in on seemingly endless lectures when I
education, some with a far more extensive list of was still in school. Maybe it’s because I am a little older
programs and courses than others, of course. I settled on and perhaps a little wiser (well, maybe not!), but it has
Ryerson (, which is a large university in been a great experience, both in terms of learning about
Toronto that has a very strong reputation. Its continuing new subjects, but also in learning more about myself.
education programs are widely offered at a distance and I
could have chosen anything from writing, to public Online education is also great, in that anyone can go back
relations, to business, to publishing, which is the program to school and study towards the completing of a
that I finally set my sights on. certificate, a master’s, or even just take a few classes for
fun, and personal growth. Any age, any nationality, any
I think it is important to mention that online education is field, there are courses available. A few other teachers I
not for everyone. It is very different from taking classes in have met throughout the years have studied online, most
a classroom, which is what most of us are used to. I also recently, I met Audry, who is taking courses online from
feel that at times the idea of online education holds a Wayne County Community College, located in Detroit
negative connotation. Many don’t feel that it is a proper Michigan, to satisfy prerequisites for a Master of Art in
education, that the learning outcomes are not as strong as teaching (MAT), which she will complete in person when
they are when taking in-class courses, and that such she heads home. Ultimately, her plans are to open a day
degrees may not stand up against degrees received in care center for children with special needs.

32 Gwangju News March 2008

Another important issue when considering returning to
school online is cost. Courses range in price, anywhere Here are a few websites to take a look at if you are interested
from 200- to 500-dollars, to much more when it comes to in online courses:
doing a master’s degree or MBA. Another cost to factor in Athabasca University - Canada’s leading online
is the cost of books. Books are definitely not as easy to University and students from all over the world can take
come by living abroad, although I have found that What classes
the Book often has what I am looking for. If not there is
always Amazon, which ships to Korea. A third option, Ryerson University
which Audry has used in the past, is to order used books
from sellers on Amazon, have them shipped to one’s home Wayne County Community College
in Canada or the U.S. and then have a family member
send them to Korea. This sounds complicated, but does Distance education Canada - a searchable database of
save quite a bit of money, up to 60% of the cost of books, programs offered
which can add up quite fast.
Online College Education - Distance Learning USA
Distance education is, in my opinion, a great way to keep
learning no matter where you are in the world. It is
rewarding, interesting and I have met so many diverse Distance learning U.K.
people who live everywhere, from Canada, to the U.S., to
Asia and even the Middle East. From obtaining degrees to Distance learning in Australia
taking non-credit courses for personal growth, online
education is a new way to learn.
By Christina Berkers

Dear Dr. Ko,

are a lot of men out there who are looking for a woman just like
I am an attractive, you; it’s just that when your standards are high, it takes a little
smart, and physically longer, but don’t worry he is out there. Keep up the good work,
fit woman. I have carry on feeling good about yourself and make meeting someone
many interests, a good new a priority; you will be “hooked up” in no time.
job and no children;
however I am missing Dear Dr. Ko,
one thing – a
relationship. I am now 32 I have a 22-month-old baby and I am having problems
and wonder if I will ever find getting her to use the potty chair. Sometimes she does
anyone. My friends tell me that I am so busy, that it and sometimes she doesn’t - what can I do
would be hard to find someone, but I stay busy to keep to make her usage of the chair more
the lonely blues away. I want to be with someone, but consistent?
just not anyone. I feel like I am in a catch-twenty two
situation. What can I do? Tired of Diapers!

Lonely Dear Tired,

Dear Lonely, Every time you feed your child, put her on
the potty chair immediately. Babies
Congratulations on being one of unlike most adults have clean pipes
the rare breed of woman who and they usually go right away.
thinks that she deserves the very When you put her on the chair give
best. It is refreshing to hear that her something to play with or place
there are still some women who the chair where she will be around other
have a shred of self-esteem and don’t people so that she doesn’t feel alone or left out. Every time she
settle for the first thing with a beard makes a tinkle or a slam dunk, reward her. It can be with a clap of
that hobbles her way. hands, a big kiss, or anything else that you know she likes.
Eventually she will get used to the pattern of eating and using the
I totally understand your wanting to be in a relationship, but if potty. Oh yes, if she does make a mistake, show a very slight form
this is so, you must make it a priority. Take a look at the priorities of disappointment, but then make it right by putting her on the
in your schedule. If you can eliminate something, do so, and pot in case there is an encore. Potty training is easy:
spend that additional time being somewhere where you might 1. Feed and sit
find eligible men. Go some place that you like and then scope it 2. Reward and praise
out. If you meet a guy, you will at least know that you have one
thing in common – where you met. Don’t be afraid to take the
Do you have a problem with love, life or the lottery? Ask Dr. Ko.
first step, if you see something you like then go for it. He may not Dr. Ko knows all and sees all. Contact Dr. Ko at
be Mr. Right, but you will never know unless you speak up. There

Gwangju News March 2008 33

Local Food

Ddeokguk (Rice Cake Soup)

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” cook the ddeokguk the following day but I wouldn’t be
James Beard (1903-1985) preparing it for breakfast like Koreans traditionally do
because Mike does not particularly like soup for
’ve always liked to cook but I never did a lot of breakfast. After we parted I wondered about the

I cooking back in the Philippines because I was so busy

with work and I also lived on my own for a few years,
so cooking for one just wasn’t as much fun as cooking
for two or several people. Now that I am married and
simplicity of the recipe she gave me and if I could add a
few more spices to jazz up the taste a bit. That is how I
cook – I read a recipe and take note of the ingredients. I
substitute, add or remove ingredients depending on their
working less hours I have enough time on my hands to availability and my imagined taste. I’ve never really
even create my own dishes. And cooking for Mike (my completely followed a recipe. I always put a twist
wonderful husband who’s always generous with praises) according to my taste. Here’s my version:
is never difficult because he eats almost anything. He’s
my guinea pig! He often tells me that I make delicious Rice cake soup
dishes and he even suggested we think about putting up Beef (the stewing kind, cut into
our own little restaurant in Canada. That is an ultimate small pieces), ground beef
flattery! But either he just loves me a lot or he flatters me (seasoned with a little salt and
so he never has to cook! Hmmm… but one thing for sure powdered pepper), 1 egg,
beaten garlic, chopped onion,
is that I don’t mind cooking for him and cooking in chopped green onion or leeks ,
general. dried laver (dried seaweed
called kim) cut into strips, flour,
Mike suggested several times that I make some sort of a water, olive oil
diary of what I cook and I would mumble a half-hearted,
“Yeah, maybe I should.” I was just too lazy to start one I sautéed the garlic, onion and the stewing beef in a little
and I was not feeling creative enough to make a olive oil, then added two cups of water and let it simmer
scrapbook (with lots of pictures of what I’ve cooked until the meat flavor permeated the broth. I then added
because that was what I thought it should be like if I the tuk. While the broth was simmering I added a third
decided to document my “cooking”). Months passed and of the beaten egg into approximately a half cup of
I’d forgotten about starting a cooking diary when Mike seasoned ground beef. I shaped the beef into small
mentioned it again. Afterwards, there were times that the meatballs, dipped them into flour and fried them. I also
thought of working on it would often prompt me to have fried the remaining egg and cut it into strips. Once the
the urge to print all the recipes I’ve used. Often, I would tuk was cooked I placed the soup into two bowls and
sit in front of the computer wondering how to go about topped it with egg strips, meatballs and kim.
starting a blog (my cyber journal) or trying to decide on a
title if I start one. I am like an artist waiting for the Mike said the soup was really good (and I will take him at
inspiration to strike me. And it has. his word hehe), except that there was too much meat (I
kind of overdid on the meat there, I had stewing beef and
Sunny Lee, my Korean language teacher, and I met on ground beef and only used two cups of water, some of
the eve of Solnal (Lunar New Year) for our language which evaporated) so I made a mental note of going easy
learning session and, bless her generous heart, she gifted on the meat the next time I make ddeokguk.
me with tuk (rice cake) and gave me instructions on how
to make ddeokguk. She also asked if I could manage it When the two bowls of ddeokguk were ready I took our
and I said it would probably be easy (hmmm… I hope I camera out and started taking pictures and while we
didn’t sound too braggy!) since I’ve cooked several were eating I finally decided that this is the right time to
Korean dishes so far and I think they turned out well start what Mike has been encouraging me to do; to write
(she asked what Korean dishes I can make and she was a and compile the recipes of what I’ve cooked and will be
little surprised when I mentioned that I can make cooking. And since I also like to write – though I mainly
kimbap, cook galbi-jim, chap-chae, sam-gye-tang and a wrote for myself until most recently – I’ve started a blog
few others). She told me to sauté the beef, pour two cups and this was my first post. (My second post is about my
of water (since I’d be cooking for just two people), let it chocolate banana bread and for those who have asked me
boil, put in a little salt, add the tuk, let it simmer till it’s for the recipe, please check it out at
cooked then add chopped green onion or leeks. Sounds
easy, right? She even said it tastes a little like kal-guk-su
By Maria Cecilia Sharpe
(noodle soup) so I promised myself and her that I would

34 Gwangju News March 2008


Is there Life after Teaching ESL?

came to Korea to

to wash his dishes in the bathtub too… maybe it’s not so
teach ESL for many bad.
reasons: to
experience another FFWD to three months, two household moves and a new
culture, to travel, to job later. I now worked within the radio division of a large
save money, and yes, Canadian broadcasting company, and it was pretty much
to figure out what I “same-same”. After reaching my limit in ‘busy work’, office
was going to do with politics, and sucking up to the boss, I started to wonder if
my life (small things, a solid diet of competitive paper-airplane making at work
really!) meant that I was bored.
Unfortunately, after a Turns out that it did, and at that moment, I gave myself
one-year contract and nine-month permission to think BIG – to think about what I loved to
extension at my hogwan, I was about to come home – and do. To realize that maybe media wasn’t for me – I wanted
wind up exactly where I started in the first place! to hear people's stories and let them tell them! Giving
Looking back, my experience of living in Gwangju was myself this permission was not easy but it did mean seeing
incredible! It opened up the world to me, and gave me things from a new angle, aligning my values to a job and
opportunities that never would have existed back home. not the other way around.
The people I met, countries I visited, and memories I now Despite words of wisdom from family and friends not to
have are invaluable and if I had to do it all over again, I get into this new, strange profession called Life Coaching,
wouldn’t change a thing. (for them, a trendy word for psychologist), and
That being said, after nearly two years abroad, a little encouraging me to pursue an Education degree, I began
money in the bank, and no clue what to do next, I my studies to learn Life Coaching, taking classes on
unraveled the life I had worked hard to create, said my evenings and weekends and I slowly developed my
goodbyes, and sent nine boxes of belongings on home practice. It was this past August of 2007 when I finally
ahead of me. Next stop Beijing, then Bangkok. The month resigned my full time gig to do what I love! Coach.
of travel in between was heaven. It gave me some time to FFWD to now and another household move later. Looking
reflect upon the experience and process where I had been back, what a trip it’s been! Get a car, find an apartment,
and what had happened. It was an excellent blessed-out land a good job, reconnect with old friends, make new
buffer in which I happily toured around, romanticized friends, work 50 hours a week, survive rush hour, adapt to
about life ‘back home’ and continued to ponder what the weather; in other words, completely readjust. The
could possibly follow a successful career as an ESL experience continued well after touching down on
instructor? Canadian soil.
FFWD to Canada – one week spent with my mother and I came to Korea to teach ESL for many reasons: to
sister in Victoria, one week with my father, step-mother experience another culture, to travel, to save money, and
and friends in Kelowna, BC. Then boom… home to to figure out what I was going to do with my life. It may
Calgary. I felt like I had just landed on another planet! not have happened in Korea – for this thick-headed girl, it
Aside from the reverse culture shock, in the time I’d been look a little longer. What a gift to see how many ways
gone, Calgary had experienced a massive economic boom. there are to live in this world. Looking back, I could have
The oil and gas industry was driving a sizable population handled things differently, made fewer mistakes, slowed
increase and there were more colossal trucks on the road down, and been in the moment. I see it now as perfect.
than at a Garth Brooks concert. Jobs were popping up all By Leah Kenyon
over the place – every Tim Hortons in the city was Leah is a Certified Life Coach with clients all over the
offering generous salaries with full benefits. Sixteen-year- world and in countries such as Singapore, Belgium, New
olds now had Investment portfolios that would impress Zealand, and France. She works with highly motivated
even Suze Ormond! individuals to create the life of their dreams. One of her
passions is in working with expatriates – specifically ESL
Where was I? Had I just landed in the city of dreams and teachers – through the transition of what’s next. She
limitless opportunities? Would I too soon be driving my coaches one-on-one, and also leads group coaching
own F-150 and counting my golden nuggets? Surely a workshops and teleclasses. For more information, visit
highly sophisticated world traveler would land a pretty or email her at
sweet gig.
FFWD to reality – I landed an internship at a well known
publishing company and was assigned to their wine and Look for Leah's article next month where she offers tips
food magazine. It seemed that they paid in peanuts, rather for teachers entering into the "real world”.
than nuggets. Was this it? I heard that Tony Robbins used

Gwangju News March 2008 35

Current Issue

Fish with two tales

few of us decided to try it out the Dr Fish café

A in downtown Gwangju, near Mudeung

Cinema. The general concept is a fun day out,
where you put your feet in a small spa and
the fish nibble away. It was bizarre and very tickly at
first, so we kept splashing and giggling. Eventually, we
got used to the fish and sat still whilst they did their
job. We became so relaxed that we stayed at the spa for
nearly two hours and started wondering if this might
be an idea for a business back home.
We were charged 6,500 won for a drink and unlimited
time with the fish, and left the café with much
smoother skin on our feet, already scheduling to lotion. The water in the tubs was constantly filtered
repeat the experience in a few weeks time. Soon after, and sterilized with an extremely elaborate freshwater
though, I heard that Dr Fish spas are very filter and UVC, and exchanged completely 3 to 4 times
controversial in Korea, so I decided to investigate a day. Both water and the fish were tested for bacteria.
further. The results were very promising. Full text of this study
(Ichthyotherapy as Alternative Treatment for
The name “Doctor Fish” is commonly used in Patients of Psoriasis: A Pilot Study) is online.
reference to two species of fish: Garra rufa and
Cyprinion macrostomum. They both belong to the Garra rufa are protected by Turkish law from being
same family of fish: Cyprinidae (carp and minnow) exported. However, they also live in neighbouring
and can feed on the dead skin of humans. This is about Syria, Iran and Iraq, and can be legally bought from
as far the similarities go, however. breeders in Austria, Germany and other parts of the
world. Some people spotted the business potential and
Garra rufa were discovered in the hot springs of Dr Fish spas cropped up in Croatia, Japan and other
Kangal, Turkey, and are the only species used as an countries, offering the fish treatment as a brand new
alternative treatment for sufferers of incurable skin exfoliating experience.
conditions like psoriasis or eczema. Garra rufa were
tested in Austria between 2002 and 2004 by two Unfortunately, since the prices of fish and filtering
scientists from Medical University of Vienna, Martin systems are hefty, those wanting quick profits have
Grassberger and Werner Hoch. Sixty seven volunteers decided to use the other species, Cyprinion
with psoriasis vulgaris undertook a 3-week treatment, macrostomum, commonly found and bred in China.
which involved two hours daily in a private tub with The trouble is that even though Cyprinion also like to
250-400 fish (ichthyotherapy), followed by UVA sun nibble off the dead skin, they do it in a very different
bed treatment and the application of generic skin way from Garra rufa.
The Garra rufa cling to the surface of the skin with
their crescent-shaped, ventral mouths, like a vacuum
cleaner to a carpet, and gently remove the affected
scales. This leaves the skin intact. The Cyprinion’s way
of feeding however, has earned it the nickname striker
or kissing fish (ChinChin), as it hits the skin surface
with its mouth, and by so doing can cause painful,
sometimes bleeding skin conditions. As a result, if the
water isn’t clean, germs from the water and the fish
can enter small skin wounds and cause serious
The second significant difference between the two
species of fish is the quality of water they require.
Whereas Garra rufa can live in normal, well

36 Gwangju News March 2008

oxygenized tap water of near drinking quality,
Cyprinion need certain levels of coliform bacteria in
order to survive. These bacteria are monitored as an
indicator of the presence of other dangerous germs in
bathing water. If their concentration exceeds a certain
threshold, you are not allowed to run a spa or a
swimming pool.
The controversy of Dr Fish in Korea started in
December 2007 after the MBC TV channel published
the results of an investigation they conducted into 25
establishments around Seoul and Gyeonggi-do. They
reported that only one out of 25 spas they checked was
free from bacteria, as required by the government’s circulation by stimulating skin pores. It has medical
sanitary standards. Around 650 customers used the benefits of getting rid of horny substances, atopy
pools weekly, but the water was not changed all day. related problems and whitening skin.”
They showed the case of a man who visited such a place
The world’s largest breeder of Dr Fish (according to
hoping to get rid of athlete’s foot. He used the fish pool
Wikipedia), called FISHO, advertising franchising
for only 15 minutes, but soon found himself in hospital
opportunities on their profit-orientated website, don’t
with a serious infection. Chosun Ilbo and The Korea
even mention the species of fish used. The only clue as
Times quickly picked up the topic, adding their
to where the fish come from is a video of a fishing farm
negative reviews.
in China. Worse still, is the information we find on
I recently interviewed Mr. Seo Hoi-yeol, the owner of, regarding Termeden Spa & Resort in
Dr Fish café-in, in downtown Gwangju and asked him Incheon, which does mention both species of Dr Fish,
what he thought of it all. “It’s absurd.” he told me, “My but completely twists the information on them, stating
business is suffering because of the low quality of water “The ChinChin from China live and breed in
in spas and franchise establishments around Seoul temperatures of 40℃, higher than that of the Garra
which only care about making huge profits. I use a rufa of Turkey. Also, Garra rufa has protruding teeth,
world-class filter, the German EHEIM, a coliform and can damage it’s skin. However, the ChinChin’s
bacteria activator that monitors its levels, I exchange a teeth are located inside its mouth, therefore rarely
third of the water every 3 days (otherwise the fish damaging it’s skin.” (quote verbatim)
wouldn’t survive), and spend an hour daily cleaning the
pool by hand removing any debris or suspended solids. No wonder Dr Grassberger is perturbed, stating:
I also do a weekly pH and ammonium test, and … I “unfortunately, the profit-making desires of some
have to send regular reports to the appropriate individuals ruin the image of ichthyotherapy. This
authorities. They also checked the bacteria levels in my happened in German-speaking countries several years
pool when I started running it. I care about both my ago and is now happening in the Asian countries –
fish and my customers’ well-being, and don’t advertise namely Korea. The debate related to ChinChin fish
any medical benefits of ChinChin like the big spas unfortunately ruined the reputation of a powerful
around Seoul do. My fish are just for fun. They treatment option for people with chronic skin diseases.”
stimulate blood circulation in the customers’ feet, and It is clear that ichthyotherapy is not something one can
have a massaging effect similar to reflexology.” do by going to a Dr Fish café one afternoon and dipping
However, this is not exactly what the board above the their feet in a small pool full of ChinChin fish whilst
pool tells you, which states, black on pink: sipping a café latte, and the owners of these
establishments are definitely at fault here for
“What is a Doctor Fish? It is called Doctor Fish for its misleading their customers. Mixing up and twisting
medical properties and it is a tropical fish that can facts certainly let a few people earn a quick buck, but
live in spa water. In Germany, Doctor Fish are used in did no-one any good in the long run, and from my point
dermatology clinics as a legitimate curing method for of view was completely unnecessary. Still, if you treat a
skin problems and the therapy is offered under visit to a Dr Fish café as a leisurely, Sunday afternoon
medical insurance. Chinchin-eo is a kind of Doctor activity, don’t have any wounds on your feet and choose
Fish, meaning ‘kissing fish’ as it stimulates blood a place that keeps its standards up to scratch, it can be
circulation and has massaging effect similar to regarded as relatively safe. But don’t expect any
reflexology. miracles.
The benefits of Doctor Fish:
By Aneta McNally and Ahn Hongpyo
It gets rid of tiny germs on the skin. It helps blood

Gwangju News March 2008 37

Restaurant Review

Chocolat Village
undulating rattan lounge chair.
It was love at first sight, I tell

As it turns out, chairs are quite

a theme for this new Sangmu
café. For the owner, Song Hye-
jin, or Jenny, as her customers
call her, it was important that
Chocolat Village be a new
experience for her customers
each time they visit. To
facilitate this, an eclectic array
of chairs stand at the ready—
gold and velvet brocade if
you’re feeling regal, wooden
and straight-backed for those
studious types, cowhide-
covered Eames-style, perfect
for sipping a Matcha Latte and
reading the latest fashion
magazine, available from the
café’s centerpiece, a
community table. Whatever
hile walking home from work one evening, your choice of seating, the café’s warm, inviting, and

W we noticed a new spot in the

neighborhood. A small café had opened
near our school. In a city where coffee
shops are most certainly a dime a dozen, I made the
assumption that this would be just more of the same,
languid atmosphere, not to mention their divine
selection of teas and hot chocolates, might just make
this java joint a regular hangout.

About two years ago, Jenny, 25, started work on what

but something about the décor caught my eye—an open would become Chocolat Village. As a high school
front patio flanked on one side by a gorgeous, student, she fell in love with café culture and saw an

38 Gwangju News March 2008

absence of places in Sangmu to enjoy
it. After studying in Canada for a year
and traveling through the United
States, Jenny returned to Korea. She
worked as a photographer in Seoul for
an online marketplace specializing in
boutique fashion called How Girl
( She then made
her way back to Gwangju, with the
dream of opening a café. With the
help of a loan from her father, and
support from her mother and brother
in the café’s daily operations, the
doors opened on November 15, 2007.
The café just got its first upgrade with
a new menu, some new food and
drinks, and soon, a new flat screen TV
for one of the walls, which Jenny
plans to use to show late-night
discourage laptop users from staying longer than two
movies. “It’s been really hard work,” Jenny said in
hours. Chocolat Village’s prices may be a bit more than
January, “but I really love it.”
what we’re used to spending back home, but as a quiet,
pleasant place to be for as long as you like, you won’t find
The café serves a wide selection of hot and cold
a better experience.
beverages. Coffee is, of course, on the menu—the Marble
Mochaccino and the Matcha Latte topping the fancy list.
When I asked her what the best thing has been with the
Tea also makes a prominent appearance. The café serves
café, she replied, “Guests come here to work, or write in
14 different kinds of silk bag tea, 3 types of flower
a diary, or study. This is why I made this café. [This] is
blossom tea, and now, 3 varieties of “leaf teas” by a
what makes me happy.” Jenny knows her café culture,
company called Tea Forté from San Francisco. The silk
and she’s succeeded in creating an exquisite oasis for
tea comes in a pot for 6,000 won with a tea light heater
people to enjoy. I asked her about that chair out front.
and endless hot water refills. Then there’s the Chocolat
When I told her it was what drew me to the café in the
Chaud. The baristas serve 3 flavors of rich, milky hot
first place, she smiled. “Well, I found it in Thailand. I
cocoa—dark chocolate, mint, and orange. It’s by far the
spent a lot of money on it, but I told my mom, ‘I don’t
best sweet treat I’ve had in Korea. There is also a
want to spend a lot of money on a sign for the café. I
generous wine and champagne list for big spenders.
want this chair. This will be it. We’ll put it out front. I
think people will like it.’” Smart girl, that Jenny.
As for food, there are both sweet and savory items to
enjoy. New York cheesecake and scones are available as By Catie Magee
well as the occasional baked goodie straight from the Catie Magee came from San Francisco, California, in May 2007
Chocolat Village oven. (On my last visit, there were fresh to teach English in Gwangju. She loves writing about her wacky
Madeleine cookies wrapped in pink ribbon as a gift to adventures in Korea. She has a masters in public health and
customers.) The menu also includes a Belgian Waffle plans to return to California in May 2008. Please email her at
(15,000 won), a tomato and mozzarella salad (23,000 with any questions. This article was
won) and a soy ginger twist salad with grilled sausage first published in Get in Gwangju newsletter.
(18,000 won). The ginger salad is excellent and is
definitely big enough to share. (The prices are a little Chocolat Village
high for what Westerners are used to, but they’re pretty Hours of Operations: Monday-Sunday, noon-2 a.m.
standard fare for Korean cafes and bars.) Phone: 062-376-8220
In the States, spending long periods of time in a café, Website: (Site in Korean)
Address: Sangmu, 1237-9 Chipyeongdong, Syokulra Building
especially one with as much character and quality treats
Subway Stop: Sangmu
as Chocolat Village, is virtually impossible. Minimum It is located on a small street two blocks west of Lotte Mart and
order-policies are more prevalent and there is inevitable one block east of the BYC building on the north side of the
“encouragement” to turn those tables over to new street. It is around the corner from Outback Steakhouse. The
paying customers. My favorite café in San Francisco café is in the same building as the Dublin Family Restaurant,
even installed locks on their outlets in order to and a king crab restaurant is next door.

Gwangju News March 2008 39


LIVE at the Guitar & Music Bar

here is a place in Gwangju which you may

4,000) plus spirits, however there is no cover charge,
want to know about, especially if you like which after a fantastic night of music and fun, you will
listening to good live music and experiencing realize is incredible value for money.
some authentic Korean culture.
The band is made up of four extremely friendly Korean
The place is called the Guitar & Music Bar, and is guys, whom we have given English names to (that’s
located in Pung-Am dong, only a 4,000-5,000 taxi-ride what happens when you work in a hagwon). They sing
from downtown (or a short trip on the No.45 or No.1 a whole plethora of Korean folk songs and the
bus). It is definitely something of a treasure where the occasional English song, accompanied by acoustic
entertainment happens six nights a week, Monday to guitars, drums and a mouth organ. There is Ben (guy
Saturday from 9 p.m. to around 1 a.m. on weekdays normally sitting middle front), William (tall guy with
and 2 a.m. at weekends, although it has been known to glasses), Simon (plays drums and often lead guitar at
delay closing time on some nights. back) and Mick, who sings the harmonies.
The bar itself has a surprisingly cozy, wooden interior, Sometimes a fellow musician who may happen to be in
with seats and couches spread out, as well as some the bar will join in, playing the piano and we’ve also
stools around a small breakfast bar. There are normally seen other musicians, including a whole band one time,
2-3 waitresses who will tend your every need and not also join in. The acoustics in the place are just amazing,
only keep you stocked up in drink, but will with the sound of their voices and music surrounding
continuously bring free nibbles to your table, which you perfectly from every corner, yet allowing you to
always includes popcorn, but you will also get peanuts talk very comfortably.
and either small fish or shredded squid. There is a
choice of bottled beers (Korean and foreign from The crowd that go there are 99% Korean’s, mostly

40 Gwangju News March 2008

business people who just love to hear the music being Hang around for a little while as you may just see the
played. The band play requests all night long (mostly Guitar & Music Bar at its best.
Korean songs), and often people will start dancing in
the small space that may appear in the middle of the And if all of the above isn’t enough encouragement, this
bar. They are a very welcoming crowd, who don’t see might do the trick: you are occasionally blessed with
many foreigners and it is highly probable they will try the sound of the gong – make sure you clap loudly and
to befriend you. As for the band, Simon (guy who plays bow slightly towards the person who has struck it, as
at the back) and Ben speak very little English, but they they have just bought the whole bar a drink, well to be
will be happy to see you there, so don’t be shy and accurate, they have bought each table a drink. However
introduce yourself. if they hit the gong twice, then it’s two drinks per table.
Don’t try it yourself unless your credit card can handle
But the best is yet to come. If you are lucky – and if the damage at the end of the night!
you hurry up and visit the place before too many
discover it – Simon has a whole host of Western songs We were very lucky to have discovered this gem of a
up his sleeve, and whilst the rest of the band are taking place the first night we arrived in Gwangju in March
a break, he will often (especially when encouraged) do 2007. Coincidently, we actually live above the bar, so it
a solo set for you, in almost perfect English and with is our local as well as being what we think is the best
such an amazing voice. music bar in town. Remember and tell them where you
heard about their bar from.
We’ve heard songs from The Beatles, The Eagles, Guns
N' Roses and a number of others. In fact one of From the taxi stand at Umi Apartments in Pung-Am
Simon’s signature numbers is Desperado by The dong, walk up the side of Family Mart to the top of the
Eagles – which he is pretty damn good at and gives it road. At the T-junction, walk through the park, veering
the respect that such a classic deserves. to the right. The Guitar & Music Bar is at the other side
of the park, with a wooden façade, and will be facing
After 1 a.m. the crowd thins significantly, but does not you.
completely disappear. With a few customers forming a
tight circle around one of the tables and browsing By Aneta & Steve McNally
through the thick folders, Simon or Ben will often start Steve & Aneta have lived in Gwangju for one year now and
playing again, with some of the customers joining in. will leave to continue their world tour on 2nd March 2008.

Gwangju News March 2008 41

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

How to Subscribe
Send an email to including the following information:

1. Sender name:
2. Receiver name:
3. Shipping address (including zip code):
4. E-mail address:
5. Telephone/mobile phone number:
6. The starting month:

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

For further information on magazine subscriptions,

please contact Minsu Kim at
or call (062)226-2734

42 Gwangju News March 2008

March 8th All talks take place at the GIC office
Speaker: Brian D. Thomas (ESL Instructor) Address: 5th Floor, Jeon-il Bldg, Geumnam-no, Dong-
Topic: Project 57 gu (동구 금남로 1가 전일빌딩 5층).
‘Project 57’ is to put one computer in each of the Directions: The GIC office is located in the same
57 elementary schools in Grenada. building as the Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) in
downtown Gwangju. The entrance is immediately
March 15th
north of the KEB on Geumnam-no street, across from
Speaker: Karl Mischler (ESL Instructor)
the YMCA.
Topic: The Amish of Ohio (Subway stop: Culture Complex Bus: 07, 09, 36, 45,
March 22nd 51, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 74, 80, 95, 150, 151,
Speaker: Kasia Auer (ESL Instructor) 518, 1000, 1187 )
Topic: Budget travel tips For more information about the GIC Talks go to
March 29th
Speaker: Jonathan Brenner (ESL Instructor), Call for Presenters: The GIC Talk series welcomes
Diane Sejeong Kim (CNU Graduate Student) your proposals for presentations on topics of
Topic: Bulgaria - off the beaten path society, culture, politics, science, education, or
anything of interest to the foreign community. For
*Dates and topics are subject to change.
more information, or to submit a proposal, please
Contact GIC to confirm schedule: contact Kim Ji-hyun at:
Phone: (062) 226-1050, 2734 or call: (062)226-1050, 2734.

2008 GIC 2nd Korean Language Class

March 10th - April 26th (2 times a week for 7 weeks)
Class hours: 10:30 am -12:30 pm (2 hours)
Level Days (Every Saturday for 7 weeks)
Level 1 Monday & Wednesday 10:30am ~ 12:30pm
Level 2 Wednesday & Friday
TUITION FEE: 53,000 won
Level 3 Tuesday & Thursday
( 10,000 won Membership fee, textbooks
Level 4 Tuesday & Thursday
Level 5 Monday & Friday and materials included)
*Dates and times subject to change. - Beginner Class / Intermediate Class

TUITION FEE: 68,000 won GIC is located on 5th floor of the Jeon-il building, the
same building as the Korean Exchange Bank,
(10,000 won Membership fee, textbooks
and materials included) downtown. The entrance is located immediately to the
north of the bank.
*The tuition fee is non-refundable after the first week. Contact GIC office for more information.
Phone: 062) 226-2734, 1050

Gwangju News March 2008 43

Community Board

Gwangju News Needs You are only as good as the volunteers who 222-6547, 011-618-6562. My phone
Due to the rapid expansion of our bring it to life! number is (062) 940-5937, and my
community magazine, we need more Contact GIC at 062-226-1050, 2734 or email address is
volunteers to help with the running of
the magazine. Help the community and
gain new skills. Kona Volunteers It will be a solo exhibition; all my own
You can help in a variety of roles: Kona Volunteers is a registered work - paintings, pastels, watercolors.
- Proofreading organization for helping under-
- Editing privileged kids by teaching English Project Warm Hand
- Photography using storybooks. "helping hands
- Writing through the language barrier"
- Layout We are looking for long-term native
- Administration speakers who desire to enrich their lives EVENTS for MARCH:
or any other way YOU can think of. by volunteering. - Hanji Paper Crafting
Contact This is a traditional Korean skill, using
We would like you to volunteer at least hanji paper to make boxes, lanterns,
2 Saturday mornings or Sunday items of furniture.
Gwangju Men’s Soccer afternoons per month. We help The group sessions are on Saturday
The Gwangju international soccer team orphanage children or children of low- mornings, 9am - 12 noon, to May 10
plays regularly most weekends. If you income or single-parent families. If you Cost: 50,000 won for tuition, plus cost
are interested in playing, email have any picture books or storybooks, for materials. please donate them when you leave Contact Han-na at the web site below to
Korea. register, and for further information.
Sung Bin Orphanage For more information, please visit - Candle Making
Sung Bin Orphanage is looking for or A one day introduction. Saturday March
long-term volunteers. We would like contact Kona (Kim Young-Im) at 8th. Meet at Starbucks 3.30pm.
you to give at least two Saturdays per
month. As well as being a friend, you - Monthly Restaurant Bun-fight
will be asked to teach basic English to Project Warm Hand hosts a monthly
Mario Maccani Art Exhibition
girls aged 7 to 14. For more information Korean / Foreigners dinner. All
please contact Mike at: welcome. Saturday March 22 – meet at Starbucks, 7.00pm.
- Any Ideas?
Help Gwangju News Magazine! Post your event on the Project Warm
Volunteer one day a month Hand website
GIC needs volunteers to mail out
Project Warm Hand is a mutual aid
Gwangju News. Gwangju News,
community project, coordinated by
published monthly, is sent to nearly
700 addresses. Join our Gwangju
If you need help, ask for it here. If you
News mail-out volunteers at GIC.
can help, offer it here. If you have an
Volunteers are called 48 hours before The exhibition will be from April 17th - idea for an event, share it here,
the mail-out day (during the first week 30th, at Won Gallery, 51-26 Gung-dong, at
of each month). GIC needs 6-8 people Dong-gu. (Art Street.) The contact
who can help. GIC and Gwangju News details for the gallery are: Tel: (062)

Indian Museum (Asian Culture Exchange Foundation) Women’s Development Center

Tel: 062-223-0045 Tel: 062-383-4141
Website: Website:
This center offers India’s various cultures and arts to people. This center offers diverse education such as Korean language
classes and cooking classes for migrant women.
France Cultural Center (Alliance Francaise)
Tel: 062-527-2500 Asian Culture Complex Information Center
Website: Tel: 062-230-0100
In this center, people who are interested in French culture are Website:
welcomed and many types of materials such as books, videos, This center offers various cultural events to promote Asian
magazine and TVs are available. culture.
China Cultural Center Catholic Center
Tel: 062-226-6668 Tel: 062-222-1004
Website: This center offers Korean language education to migrant
This center is founded to introduce Chinese culture in Gwangju women from the Philippines and Vietnam in Gwangju.
and cultivate a good relationship between Korea and China.

44 Gwangju News March 2008

Gwangju News Pick Up Sites
Below is a list of places where at present the
Gwangju News is available. Unfortunately in
February less issues than normal were printed
meaning copies may have been hard to find, expect
copies to be slightly more prominent in March and
Angel in Us (Downtown - 2nd Branch, near
Blue Travel
Blue Bear Travel
The Catholic Church
Dr. Fish (Downtown)
Gwangju International Center
Outback (Downtown)
Song's German Bar
Underground Grocer
Gwangju Airport
Tourism Information Center in Gwangju
KNTO Information Center (in Seoul)
Incheon Airport
* Additionally, Gwangju News is always looking for new
places to deliver, especially beyond downtown and
Gwangju's local proximity. If you know of any locations
that are popular with expats or English speaking Koreans
please feel free to make a post or e-mail

March Cultural Programs

The Asian Culture Complex offers good programs to experience Asian culture. Also all the programs are free of

Period: March 1st – March 31st on weekends

Place: Asian Culture Complex Information Center, 1st floor
Participation: The general public
How to apply: Fill out the application form at the information desk, 1st floor
Ceramic Art
March 1, 2, 8, 9 at 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
- Handicraft program. Drawing a picture of face using clay and making a pottery using potter's wheel.

Hanji Craft
March 15, 16, 22, 23 at 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
- Handicraft program. Making a pencil case/hand mirror using Korean
paper, Hanji.

Folk Art
March 29, 30 at 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
- Handicraft program. Dyeing a craft like a mobile phone with self-
How to get there:
designed character.
Subway: Exit 3 Culture Complex
(Old Docheong in downtown)

Gwangju News March 2008 45

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

Pastor :
Dan Hornbostel

Bus: 15, 27, 28, 55, 74,

80, 1000, 1187 get off at
Nongjang Dari or
at Court Office Entrance

Advertise in Gwangju News

Target Your Customers!
Does your business cater to the foreign community?
Advertising in Gwangju News is the best way to reach
your target market. 4,000 copies are printed and
distributed every month. News about your services
will spread like wildfire!

For advertising information contact Kim Minsu at

(062) 226-2734 or e-mail:

46 Gwangju News March 2008

Gwangju News March 2008 47
GIC was established by the Gwangju City Government and Gwangju Citizens Solidarity in
1999 as a model of government and NGO collaboration. Gwangju City provides financial
assistance to help GIC to carry out its missions of
- providing foreigners with information and services
- promoting international exchange programs in the fields of culture and economy
- fostering international awareness among Korean youth

GIC has administered a number of programs in Gwangju and Jeollanam-do.

Its activites of note include the following:
- A Monthly Magazine - Gwangju News - GIC Library
- GIC Culture Tour - GIC Concert
- GIC Talk on Saturdays - Additional Activities:
- Korean Language Classes Translation Service
Counseling and conflict resolution services
- Gwangju International Community Day Monthly newsletter for GIC members
Information Service through phone and e-mail
Membership Fees
International Residents/Students: 10,000 won/year
Korean Adults: 5,000 won/month
Please remit membership fee to:
Gwangju Bank 134-107-000999 / Kukmin Bank 551-01-1475-439 / Nonghyup 605-01-355643
Account name: 광주국제교류센터
*Your contribution to the Nonghyup account is used to provide assistance to the Third World countries.

The Benefits for the Center Members

The Center members are privileged to
- receive the Gwangju News and the GIC newsletter every month
- participate in all events sponsored by the GIC
- have opportunity to develop international friendship

5th Floor, Jeon-il Bldg, Geumnam-no 1-ga, Dong-gu, Gwangju 501-758, Korea
Phone: +82-62-226-1050, 2734 Fax: +82-505-227-2092 Website:
Directions: The GIC office is located in the same building as the Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) in downtown Gwangju. The entrance is
immediately north of the KEB on Geumnam-no street, across from the YMCA.
Subway stop: Culture Complex 문화전당역
Bus No.: 7, 9, 36, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 74, 80, 95, 150, 151, 518, 1000, 1187