Jump to Navigation

Feed aggregator

Why ‘Women Cross the DMZ’ Was a Bad Idea: The Threat of Moral Equivalence

Koreabridge - 7 hours 44 min ago
Why ‘Women Cross the DMZ’ Was a Bad Idea: The Threat of Moral Equivale

 

 

Gloria Steinem is in the middle with the sunglasses and yellow sash. To her left is Christine Ahn, the primary organizer.

I have to say that I am amazed at how controversial this ‘march’ across the Korean DMZ became. My essay below speculates on why this obscure event – which will almost certainly change nothing, because the geopolitical split between the Koreas is now deeply baked-in – nonetheless provoked a huge fight among Korea-watchers for the last month.

The march got coverage on CNN, the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and a whole host of other places. A lot of the relevant links are in my essay below, but here are a few more, so you can make your own mind:

the ‘Women Cross DMZ’ website (watch the introductory video by Ahn on the homepage)

Christine Ahn and Gloria Steinem on Twitter 

Josh Stanton, arguably the march’s most vociferous critic

I also thought this recently published critique was a good one. The author writes, “ironically, the symbolic crossing has provoked a stark division between its few supporters and many more detractors.” That is my impression too. While march supporters were passionate, the backlash (of which my essay below is a part) struck me as greater and quite widespread.

Now Ahn says they are going to try again next year, so I guess we can we argue about this every year now. Hoorah!

The essay below the jump was first published here, for the Lowy Institute.

 

 

“On Sunday March 24, a global group of female peace activists crossed the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea. Led by Gloria Steinem, the American feminist icon, and Christine Ahn, a Korean-American activist of some notoriety for alleged excuse-making for Pyongyang, the march stirred up a surprisingly sharp debate within the North Korea analyst community and sparked a backlash rally by South Korean conservatives. I argued against the march and received hate-mail for it (best put-down: ‘your stuff is older than Kim Il Sung’s rusty pistol’), while anti-march protestors told the marchers to “go to hell.” For something so apparently minor and innocuous – I strongly doubt the march will open the North or change the basic confrontationalism of the South – the whole debate got remarkably heated. For a good case for the march, try this, and against, here.

I see four undercurrents that lead to this surprising outburst from all sides:

1. Traditional democratic right-left Cold War divisions remain alive and well in the Korean debate.

In the West, much of the debate over how to respond to communism has faded into intellectual history. That acrimonious and largely unresolved split between right and left has, thankfully for all, receded. On Islamist terrorism, by contrast, there is much more consensus, with the debate structured mostly between hawks and ultras.

But in South Korea, it feels like time stands still: it is still 1982, with an evil empire, replete with gulags and economic collapse, threatening nuclear war, and all the macarthyite paranoia that breeds in response. Just as in the West a generation ago, conservatives here see the left as appeasers, if not traitors, while left-wing parties think the South Korean right is unhinged and bellicose, driving North Korea into belligerence. Most notably to me is the replication on the left here of almost exactly the same tortured debate on communism which roiled the Western European left throughout the Cold War: is recognition ‘appeasement’?; a persistent admiration of socialism ‘in theory’ while ‘real-existing socialism’ is grudgingly rejected; a far-left party that is openly pro-communist; the constant challenge at the ballot box to convince voters they are not tools of Moscow/Pyongyang; and so on. The march has brought these underlying divisions forcefully to light.

2. Moral equivalence is the main challenge to the march.

My primary concern throughout the march debate was the appearance of moral equivalence between the two Koreas regarding both culpability for the continuing division, and the moral character of the competing regimes. Ahn has spoken of “parity” between them. In reality, North Korea is the worse on both counts, and that cannot be re-stated often enough (a point I tried hard to make in my Al Jazeera English interview on this).

Fault for the continuing division today lies almost exclusively with North Korea, or to be more specific, a North Korean elite terrified of post-unification justice and the loss of their privileges, if not lives. During the Cold War, culpability was arguably equal, as each camp sought a different version of Korea that had some ideological defensibility. But today, that is long over. All the other Cold War-divided states (Germany, Yemen, Vietnam) are re-united, and the bankruptcy of the socialist alternative is apparent in all those cases, as it is in Korea. There is really no reason anymore for North Korea to exist. The game is over. The steady hemorrhage of North Koreans out of country against enormous odds, the gulags, and the massive internal military presence all suggest domestic illegitimacy. Given a chance to vote freely, is there any doubt they would choose other leaders, if not unity with happier, freer, wealthier South?

Similarly, the North and South are not morally analogous competitor regimes who deserve a similar chastising. South Korea is easily the better place on almost every conceivable vector, including importantly, the one privileged by the marchers themselves – the treatment of women. Does it need to be said that South Korea has elections, a free press, due process for arrestees, nothing like the songbun system or the gulags of the North, a female president, and so on? Given how obvious this is, I found it worrisome that the marchers ducked these obvious distinctions in their various press conferences.

3. The North regularly instrumentalizes prestigious foreigners for regime legitimacy.

North Korea, like East Germany before it, has long struggled to attain global legitimacy against what came in time to be seen as the ‘real’ Korea (or Germany). One East German stratagem was the global attention gained from Olympic victories, leading to the world’s most notorious doping program in the 1970s and 80s. In a similar vein, North Korea seeks at every turn to accumulate and record prestigious foreign personages and institutions interacting with the regime in such a way that implies its existence is legitimate. The Kumusan ‘Palace of the Sun’ (the ‘sun’ being the Kim family) houses a large collection of foreign recognitions, as does the Juche Tower. Here too is likely the reason why North Kora seeks out high-profile US visits when US citizens are taken hostage (and why such visits are so rare). Even ‘useful idiot’ Dennis Rodman served this purpose.

In the case of the marchers, critics assumed the North would try to attribute sympathetic comments to them, which it did. This has led to a predictable argument over who said/did what. For example, the North claims the marchers labelled the US “a kingdom of terrorism and a kingpin of human rights abuses,” which Ahn has had to publicly deny. That a high profile personality like Steinem, with her moral credibility, would flirt with such predictable manipulations is unhelpful.

4. North Korea’s terrible record on gender and sexuality heighten the march’s contradictions.

Not only is North Korea the world’s worst human rights violator, a point indisputably established by last year’s UN report which likened its internal repression to the Nazis, but it is particularly harsh for women. The general culture is deeply Confucian patriarchic (habits that are [too slowly] slowly eroding in South Korea). Pyongyang elites – party, military, Kimist – are nearly all-male, and they enjoy the services of the notorious ‘joy brigade’ as well.

Far worse, the treatment of women in the gulags is appalling, almost certainly meriting ICC prosecution – rape, sexual abuse, and infanticide are now well-established. The terrible exploitation of Northern women continues should they escape North Korea. North Korean women are trafficked in China to pay for their and their families’ escape.

This raises yet another credibility issue for the marchers with their pointed focus on the role of women. The most damning criticism I have read of the march came from Suzanne Scholte, head of the North Korea Freedom Coalition: “If they truly cared, they would cross the China-North Korea border instead, which is actually more dangerous now than the DMZ” (in reference to the trafficking issue). That is likely accurate. This march will do little to alter the geopolitics of the peninsula, which has been locked-in for decades, but high-powered feminist attention could have done a lot to press China for better treatment of North Korean female escapees. A missed opportunity…”


Filed under: Engagement, Korea (North), Korea (South), Lowy Institute, Moral Equivalence, North Korea & the Left

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
robertkelly260@hotmail.com

 

About Me

About this Blog

C.V.

Publications

Terms and Abbreviations

What I am Reading Now

Subscribe 

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Featured Events - The Weekend of May 29~31 and Beyond

Koreabridge - Thu, 2015-05-28 12:15
Featured Events - The Weekend of May 29~31 and Beyond

 

 

Coming Up This Weekend & Beyond 

  • Table Talk's Last Weekend
    In the short time that Tamara & Devin have run this awesome English Cafe, it's become one of Busan's finest spots langauge learning, drinking on a deck, and eating goodies from carrot cake to paninis. Their doors close this weekend, but not before one last BBQ and a used book sale. 
  • ​Busan to Nepal
    Many bands perform at Vinyl Underground to help raise funds for Nepal relief. 
  • KOTESOL National Conference in Sookmyeong University in Seoul
    Bridging the Digital Divide:Examining Online Language Teaching in Asia
  • Haeundae Sand Festival
    One of the best photo-ops of the year. There's a chance of rain Saturday morning, but the great weather should hold up otherwise. 
  • Busan Port Festival
  • Busan International Outdoor Opera Festival
  • Saturday Yoga in Namcheon
  • Arab Film Festival at Ewha University
  • Seoul Culture Night Festival
      & lots more
  • Next Weekend: Busan Foreign Culture Market

    Check out all Koreabridge Event Listings (and post your own) at:http://koreabridge.net/calendar

===BUSAN===

Used Book Sale at Table Talk English Cafehttp://koreabridge.net/event/used-book-sale-table-talk-english-cafe-may-2015Repeats every day until Sun May 31 2015 .Fri, 05/29/2015 - 12:00 Busan to Nepal at Vinyl Undergroundhttp://koreabridge.net/event/busan-nepal-vinyl-underground-may-2015Sat, 05/30/2015 - 20:00 Haeundae Sand Festivalhttp://koreabridge.net/event/haeundae-sand-festival-may-2015Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:00 Landscape & Garden Show Busan 2015 at Bexcohttp://koreabridge.net/event/landscape-garden-show-busan-2015-bexco-may-2015Repeats every day until Sun May 31 2015 .Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:00 Busan Port Festivalhttp://koreabridge.net/event/busan-port-festival-may-2015Repeats every day until Sun May 31 2015 .Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:00 Busan Design Market at BEXCOhttp://koreabridge.net/event/busan-design-market-bexco-may-2015Repeats every day until Sun May 31 2015 .Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:00 Tipsy Talk a.k.a. Drunk Englishhttp://koreabridge.net/event/tipsy-talk-aka-drunk-english-april-2015Repeats every week until Sat May 30 2015 .Fri, 05/29/2015 - 19:00 Busan International Outdoor Opera Festival at Cinema Centerhttp://koreabridge.net/event/busan-international-outdoor-opera-festival-cinema-center-may-2015Repeats every day until Sun May 31 2015 .Fri, 05/29/2015 - 19:00 Laochra Busan GAA - Gaelic Football Traininghttp://koreabridge.net/event/laochra-busan-gaa-gaelic-football-training-march-2015Repeats every 7 days until Sat Oct 24 2015 .Sat, 05/30/2015 - 11:00 2015 Spring Busan Flag Football Seasonhttp://koreabridge.net/event/2015-spring-busan-flag-football-season-april-2015Repeats every 7 days until Sat Jun 13 2015 .Sat, 05/30/2015 - 11:00 Saturday Yoga in Namcheon 12:00http://koreabridge.net/event/saturday-yoga-namcheon-1200-may-2015Sat, 05/30/2015 - 12:00 Dalmaji Art Markethttp://koreabridge.net/event/dalmaji-art-market-april-2015Repeats every day every Sunday and every Saturday until Wed Nov 25 2015 .Sat, 05/30/2015 - 14:00 Global Party at PNUhttp://koreabridge.net/event/global-party-pnu-may-2015Sat, 05/30/2015 - 14:00 Final BBQ at Table Talk English Cafehttp://koreabridge.net/event/final-bbq-table-talk-english-cafe-may-2015Sat, 05/30/2015 - 18:00 Onnuri English Worship Servicehttp://koreabridge.net/event/onnuri-english-worship-service-april-2015Repeats every week until Thu Dec 31 2015 .Sun, 05/31/2015 - 10:00 Redeemer ICC Sunday Servicehttp://koreabridge.net/event/redeemer-icc-sunday-service-may-2015Repeats every week every Sunday until Mon Dec 28 2015 .Sun, 05/31/2015 - 11:00 English Worship Service @ Podowon Church in Yullihttp://koreabridge.net/event/english-worship-sevice-podowon-church-yulli-april-2015Sun, 05/31/2015 - 12:00 Busan Sunday Language Exchange in Seomyeonhttp://koreabridge.net/event/busan-sunday-language-exchange-seomyeon-may-2015-1Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:00 Free Irish Dance Lessonshttp://koreabridge.net/event/free-irish-dance-lessons-april-2015Repeats every week until Sun Jun 14 2015 .Sun, 05/31/2015 - 18:00 Language cast Busan weekly meetuphttp://koreabridge.net/event/language-cast-busan-weekly-meetup-june-2014Repeats every week until Thu Dec 31 2015 .Mon, 06/01/2015 - 18:30 Wing Night at Eva's Ticket!http://koreabridge.net/event/wing-night-evas-ticket-june-2015Tue, 06/02/2015 - 19:00 Open Mic Night @ OL'55http://koreabridge.net/event/open-mic-night-ol55-april-2015Repeats every week until Wed Dec 30 2015 .Wed, 06/03/2015 - 21:00 Taco Night at Eva's Tickethttp://koreabridge.net/event/taco-night-evas-ticket-june-2015Repeats every week until Thu Jul 30 2015 .Wed, 06/03/2015 - 19:00 Wing Night at Wolfhound Busanhttp://koreabridge.net/event/wing-night-wolfhound-busan-may-2015Repeats every week until Tue Sep 01 2015 .Thu, 06/04/2015 - 17:00 Open Mic Night at Beached Bar (Gwangan)http://koreabridge.net/event/open-mic-night-beached-bar-gwangan-april-2015Thu, 06/04/2015 - 21:30 June Busan Foreign Culture Markethttp://koreabridge.net/event/june-busan-foreign-culture-market-june-2015Sat, 06/06/2015 - 13:00 Eco Art Class: Healing with naturehttp://koreabridge.net/event/eco-art-class-healing-nature-june-2015Sat, 06/06/2015 - 14:00 OngoingBuster Keaton Retrospectivehttp://koreabridge.net/event/buster-keaton-retrospective-may-2015Tue, 06/02/2015 - 11:00 Africa Art Fair @ Walseok Art Hall in the KNN Centum Buildinghttp://koreabridge.net/event/africa-art-fair-walseok-art-hall-knn-centum-building-april-2015Tue, 06/02/2015 - 11:05  ===SEOUL=== Seoul Culture Night Festivalhttp://koreabridge.net/event/seoul-culture-night-festival-may-2015Repeats every day until Sat May 30 2015 .Fri, 05/29/2015 - 19:00KoreaTESOL 2015 National Conference in Seoulhttp://koreabridge.net/event/koreatesol-2015-national-conference-seoul-may-2015Sat, 05/30/2015 - 09:00 Get together and Learn Korean with Local friends in Hongdaehttp://koreabridge.net/event/get-together-and-learn-korean-local-friends-may-2015-0Repeats every week until Sat Jun 27 2015 .Sat, 05/30/2015 - 15:00 Modern Korea: The Land of Extremes’ at Seoul Book and Culture Clubhttp://koreabridge.net/event/modern-korea-land-extremes%E2%80%99-seoul-book-and-culture-club-may-2015Sat, 05/30/2015 - 16:00 Improv & Sketch Comedy 101 Class @ Qu Recreation (Jonggak)http://koreabridge.net/event/improv-sketch-comedy-101-class-qu-recreation-jonggak-may-2015Sun, 05/31/2015 - 11:00 English Language Prayer/Worship Service (Torch-light Ministry)http://koreabridge.net/event/english-language-prayerworship-service-torch-light-ministry-april-2015Repeats every month on the last Sunday until Fri Jan 01 2016 .Sun, 05/31/2015 - 17:00 Arab Film Festival at Ewha Universityhttp://koreabridge.net/event/arab-film-festival-ewha-university-june-2015Repeats every day until Wed Jun 10 2015 .Thu, 06/04/2015 - 18:00  'Joint Security Area’ (2000) at Seoul Global Cultural Centerhttp://koreabridge.net/event/joint-security-area%E2%80%99-2000-seoul-global-cultural-center-june-2015Sat, 06/06/2015 - 15:00  ===ULSAN=== Ulsan Simin Church English Worshiphttp://koreabridge.net/event/ulsan-simin-church-english-worship-may-2015Repeats every week until Wed Dec 30 2015 .Sun, 05/31/2015 - 12:00 ===OTHER=== Chuncheon International Mime Festivalhttp://koreabridge.net/event/chuncheon-international-mime-festival-may-2015Repeats every day until Sun May 31 2015 .Fri, 05/29/2015 - 13:00 
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Prejudice against Filipinos in Korea

Koreabridge - Thu, 2015-05-28 08:51
Prejudice against Filipinos in Korea

I thought that I have lived in Korea long enough to evade discrimination or at least get used to it, but when you are a Filipino living in Korea, you have to accept the fact that there will always be prejudice here against Filipinos, and you just have to deal with it, period.

Don’t get me wrong, life as a Filipina in Korea isn’t that bad. I have made a lot of Korean friends who are kind and unpretentious, worked with wonjangnims who treated me well, and met a couple of Koreans who have much respect for Filipinos and have good things to say about the Philippines; however, there are others whose blatantly racist remarks about my country and its people have made me feel so small, such as:

Oh, I can share a number of personal experiences with discrimination from the moment I came to this country, but to do so will make this article too lengthy and boring to read. I used to cry and complain to my husband about others’ unfair treatment, but I have learned that the best way to deal with prejudice is to NOT LET YOURSELF BE DRAGGED DOWN INTO THE PIT OF OTHERS’ IGNORANCE AND ANIMOSITY by feeling angry or drowning in self-pity. It’s either you ignore them, or you speak up. You can ignore jokes or petty remarks, but if you feel the need to say something, do so. Don’t sound so defensive, though. Speak to enlighten others of their wrong perceptions and not to argue.

They can’t even get it right… T.T

Last week, I started working in a new hagwon. While I was getting ready for my next class, a co-teacher approached me to say that if students ask where I am from, I should tell them that I’m from the United States and not from the Philippines, because as she puts it, Koreans “look down” on Filipino teachers. Although that wasn’t the first time I was asked to lie about being a Filipino, I was flabbergasted at how facilely those words came out of a fellow educator’s mouth. She probably thought that she was doing me a huge favor by giving me a heads up and by lying to the students about my nationality: “Some students were asking (me) where you are from and I said (that) you are from the USA.”

She wanted me to lie, too: “Maybe it’s better (if) you don’t tell them (that) you are (a) Filipino, because if they know (that) you are (a) Filipino teacher, they will not listen to you.”

“If their parents know (that the foreign teacher is from the Philippines), maybe they will not like it.”

As she was gabbling on and on about what Korean students or their parents might think if they find out that the new foreign teacher is a Filipino, I was thinking whether she was really referring to others’ prejudice against Filipino teachers… or she was trying to feign her own xenophobic attitude.

I was fuming inside, but I knew that if I let anger get the best of me, I would prove her right about all the things she previously said. “You know, the first time I was hired to teach in Korea, I was also asked not to tell the students that I am from the Philippines. I had to say that I was a Kyopo. I soon quit that job,”

I wanted to tell her to read my resume and watch me teach, so that her preconceived notions about Filipino teachers will somehow change, but even if I succeeded in changing her opinion of me, there are so many bigots out there who will always see Filipino teachers differently no matter how we try to prove ourselves.

Photo taken from: Pinterest

“I’m not going to lie to keep a job,” I told her. “Besides, I already told most of the students that I’m from the Philippines, and they don’t seem to mind that their teacher is a Filipino.”

She looked at me, slightly surprised, perhaps not expecting that answer. Her last words to me before she left me alone were: “It doesn’t matter.” That was the only thing she said to me that day that actually made sense. I have been an ESL teacher for more than ten years, and I know that to the students I have taught, where I come from doesn’t really matter. I am a teacher who happens to be a Filipino. As an educator, I am damn good at what I do, and there are many Filipino teachers in Korea who are very good, too. It’s just disheartening that in a country like Korea, there are still some who believe that Filipino teachers are not competent enough to teach English, even if they have the degree and years of teaching experience.

An accomplished Filipina professor in Daegu, Prof. Emely Dicolen-Abagat, was also not spared from this kind of discrimination. In the Philippines, she wasn’t just any teacher, she was a respected administrator… but when one of her friends recommended her as a private teacher, this is what happened:

One time, my friend recommended me as a private English teacher to a “Gangnam Omma” to her daughter. We met in a coffee shop in Gangnam and the first question she asked me was, “Where are you from?” I proudly answered, “I’m from the Philippines!” Without hesitation, she tactlessly answered, “I don’t want a Filipina teacher for my daughter. I want a native speaker.” Without letting me finish my coffee, she left. When some Korean moms learn that I’m from the Philippines, they would immediately quote a lower price of tutoring fee compared with westerners.

(Source: abs-cbnnews.com)

If you search the net for teaching jobs in South Korea, you will usually find ads that require NATIVE SPEAKERS ONLY. Some hagwons (academies) will hire Filipino teachers, but will offer the lowest salary. When I started looking for a teaching job in Korea, some hagwons offered me a salary that I thought I didn’t deserve, but no matter how I wanted the job, I DID NOT accept the offer. If you are a Filipino teacher in Korea, please do not accept less than what you think you are worth as a foreign teacher. It’s not merely about money. It’s about being treated fairly.

Discrimination is everywhere. The truth is, we can never get rid of it… but we can learn a lot from it and strive to be better. Because of experiencing prejudice in a foreign land, I have learned to love my country and appreciate my heritage. I have learned to be humble and tolerant of others. I have become stronger in my beliefs.

All the things that I heard Koreans say about the Philippines and Filipinos, whether good or bad, have helped me grow as a person. I may not be able to evade discrimination or get used to it as I have gotten used to kimchi, but now I know that I can cope with it by maintaining my integrity as a Filipino.  

From Korea with Love
Chrissantosra.wordpress.com


 

 

Join 473 other followers

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

An Interview with Joey Rositano, Photographer of Jeju Shamanism

Koreabridge - Thu, 2015-05-28 05:38
An Interview with Joey Rositano, Photographer of Jeju Shamanism

Joey Rositano is not your ordinary expat. Hailing from Nashville, the Tennessee native has called Jeju-do, an island off the southern coast of South Korea, home for the past nine years. 

 But it's not just the island's tropical charms and beautiful beaches that keep him there. Rather, his interests in shamanism, a religion that has all but become extinct in recent years, as well as his desire to protect it and share its stories with the world, have driven him to produce a documentary and publish a book of photographs that document his experiences on the island. Spirits: the Photo Book, which will feature 220 full color images that highlight Jeju shrines, as well as shamanic religious practices that are often carried out by its elderly population, including rare ceremonies performed by haenyeo, the island's famed women divers, to ensure safety while performing their treacherous work. 
The book is set to be released in mid-June and will be available for purchase in Jeju, as well as on Joey's blog and Facebook page. Despite his busy schedule preparing for his book launch, Joey took the time to chat with me for an exclusive Seoul Searching interview to discuss his experiences in Jeju, his efforts to preserve shamanism and the future of the island religion.  What is it that fascinates you most about shamanism? Shamanism is so fascinating, especially an intact system like Jeju’s muism. After immersing myself in the practice and exploring a number of shamanic communities here, I waver between being fascinated by the familiar and the unfamiliar.  There is so much in shamanism that mirrors the world’s major religions. There are points at ceremonies where I feel I am at a religious gathering back home; the emotions, the sense of community is really familiar. Then there are times when it is so clear that the elderly practitioners of muism view the world very differently than I do. It’s really fascinating that people with intensely different world-views live beside each other on Jeju Island, the elderly and the younger generations.   How common is shamanism in Jeju? It’s in every village but to varying degrees. This is a difficult question to answer because we would have to first agree on what shamanism is. I’ll try to answer simply though. As far as fully functioning systems with a living village shaman and regular shrine rites, perhaps around 25-30 villages out of some several hundred villages practice shamanism in its original form. In villages where the line of traditional village shamans has broken, people still worship at shrines and contract shamans from outside to perform ceremonies.  Elements of shamanism can be found everywhere in Jeju, in Buddhism and even in Confucian rites. For example, people in Jeju celebrate the Mountain God and Sea God ceremonies with Buddhist monks and at each family’s memorial services a table is set for the Door God who is one of the central deities in Jeju muism’s cosmology. Shamanic funerary rites are often performed in houses even if the younger residents aren’t practitioners of shamanism.   How is shamanism and the religion's shrines in Jeju different than shamanism on the mainland? It’s really different, though it was more similar in the past. In Jeju, the village shaman, called shimbang in Jeju-eo, a variation of Korean that is only orally spoken on Jeju, is the religious leader of each village. The shimbang is responsible for leading ceremonies at shrines and performing ceremonies in village residents’ homes. These ceremonies are performed to call on the gods to bless a new home, to heal the sick or to ensure the souls of the dead are able to reach the afterlife.  These are just a few examples. The position of shimbang is generally inherited through family lines and the community is organized around this person who has the unique ability to recite the island and village myths. This is no small feat. We’re talking about up to thirty hours or more of recitation in some cases. I understand that this type of village shamanism is more common in Jeju still than the mainland.  Also, the music is quite different as are the deities. The female deities are more prominent in Jeju. Of course, all these practices take place in Jeju’s language. Some of the gods overlap with gods in the mainland but they play a different role in Jeju’s cosmology.  In the 1980s, the Korean government attempted to eradicate shamanism in an effort to shed its reputation as a superstitious, "backward" nation. Even today, it is often viewed by mainlanders in a negative light. Are these sentiments shared by those in Jeju? How is the religion perceived by the general public there? The Anti-superstition Movement had a great effect on shamanism in Jeju. Many village shamans were coerced to give up their practice during that period. Shrines were also destroyed. Yet, the people of Jeju resisted and fought back. That is certainly a theme in the story of shamanism in Jeju.  Outsiders have tried over the centuries to destroy the practice but the fact is the people of Jeju always pick up the pieces and rebuild their shrines. That said, the movement did a lot of damage. It successfully erased shamanism from the minds of the younger generations.  I am constantly educating younger people in the city about muism’s myths and shamanic practice. I’m not trying to be arrogant when I do this. I am always shocked to find out how little they know. So I give presentations at high schools and talk to whoever I can. Many younger people from outlying villages know about muism though, as they grew up around their grandparents. Many of them have had encounters with the village shamans when they were young.   What efforts are being made, if any, to protect the shrines? There are around 400 shrines. A handful have been protected as cultural assets and individual villages have been making efforts to protect their shrines as well. But the overwhelming majority aren’t protected and many are near to being entirely forgotten.  There are people working on this problem in Jeju and there is a sense that it is an eminent problem as so much development is occurring. Recently two shrines have been damaged and both are seriously threatened. I’ve been working with a local group on this issue and have played a prominent role in the case of Sulsaemit shrine, which was desecrated last year. I want to work on an initiative to protect all of Jeju’s shrines. You mentioned that each shrine is associated with a myth. Which is the most interesting you've heard? I really like the myth of Miss Hyun’s shrine on the southeastern side of the island. Miss Hyun, unlike many of Jeju’s deities, is a young goddess, not a grandmother goddess. She was an actual person, a village shaman, who lived several hundred years ago. It is said that she died of grief after discovering her brother’s corpse on the nearby beach. He had returned to Jeju from the mainland with a ceremonial dress for her but then shipwrecked. Today, villagers still hang ceremonial dresses for Miss Hyun in a tree in her shrine. You can see these dresses in some of the photos I included from the book. 
Throughout your research on shamanism, for both your book and your documentary, what is one event or discovery that sticks out the most? There are so many. It seems like every time I go out I learn something new. I particularly like hearing people’s personal stories, stories of miracles or stories of times when people had no one to turn to except the shrine gods.  I have enjoyed getting to know one elderly shaman called ‘Oh Halmang’ (Grandma Oh) in her village. Over three days we recorded about fifteen hours of Jeju’s myths. She’s a very comical woman and often would clarify the plots of the myths by comparing them to situations in Korean dramas. Also, hearing stories from the period of the Jeju Uprising, also known as the April 3rd massacre of 1948, has been very sobering.    In your opinion, what is the future of shamanism in Jeju? Many believe that Jeju’s native shamanism is on its last legs. Many village shamans agree with this view. Ten or fifteen years is generally a number given. Yet, there is a movement building in Jeju. The youth are starting to embrace the mythology and learn a little bit more about the religion. Shamanism is being incorporated into many art forms. Time will tell if this is only a fad.  It isn’t unheard of for a community to rebuild its traditional religion. Estonia is a great example of a place where shamanic shrines and practices were essentially entirely reinstated. It will be difficult though. The training that village shamans go through is very extensive and takes great commitment. There are some new shamans in training now. Anything else?  On Jeju, there is a living example of Eurasian shamanism that is extremely valuable. By examining it, we can get a sense of what it was like to witness the pre-Christian era in places such as Europe as well. I want to bring people’s attention to this and show them that shamanism is not what they think it is. As far as protecting the shrines, it’s time to make some noise.   Interview by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching. Images courtesy of Joey Rositano. 


Seoul Searching
www.MySeoulSearching.com

Subscribe      Follow     Like

LIKE SEOUL SEARCHING ON FACEBOOK

 




 

SEOUL ON PINTEREST

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with Mbarek Akaddar about managing EVO with Trello

Webheadsinaction.org - Thu, 2015-05-28 01:21
 Sunday May 24, 2015 1400 GMT Archived on Learning2gether here

http://learning2gether.net/2015/05/24/learning2gether-with-mbarek-akaddar-about-managing-evo-with-trello/

 

What was this about?

 

Mbarek Akaddar is well-known in Webheads and EVO circles for his edtech skills. He has recently taken on the task of head coordinator of EVO (Electronic Village Online) where he has introduced Trello as a coordination portal. In this meeting Mbarek will present Trello, which is management and collaboration tool that organizes projects into boards,  lists and cards.  We'll also talk about his plans and vision for EVO in 2015 and beyond.

 

EVO Portal: http://evosessions.pbworks.com/

EVO CoP for 2014: http://evosessions.pbworks.com/Call_for_Participation2014

Trello Tutorial, explains cards, the back of the card, etc: https://youtu.be/aaDf1RqeLfo

 

How this worked at showtime May 24, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed above, which will go live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open the chat in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: https://youtu.be/QVYpKNxtQqQ
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/cfdvvbpssq11dfgvi4v3ua9icqg
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link (posted here at the time of the event)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know via the stream when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a HEADSET to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

The following text from this session is copy / pasted from Chatwing to here

 

 

Vance Stevens

 

 Learning2gether is about to start now with Mbarek Akaddar, details http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether4 days agochatWING vancestev (Admin) This is the live linkhttps://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/hoaevent/AP36tYchnpb1ploGeSZTfPzmRCxRA9VGILuG5LLNqoU2g8XTMB3Ppg?authuser=0&hl=en4 days agochatWING Nina Liakos   If you want to join the hangout I can step out--let me know3 days agochatWING Daniel Bassill   Listening to Mbarek Akaddar talk about EVO plans for 2015 and beyond.3 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   great, there are 8 in the HoA now3 days agochatWING Marijana   Hi, I can't join HOA, am on tablet. A bit slow for me, but am watching live stream! Hi everyone, hi Mbarek3 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   great nice to see you Marijana3 days agochatWING nina.liakos   Hi Daniel and Marijana!3 days agochatWING Daniel Bassill   Hi Nina, Vance, Marjana and all. Happy to be able to join you today.3 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   https://trello.com/3 days agochatWING Marijana   Haha Nina ,you were the to encourage Mbarek!.Hi one more time to all, Vance, Daniel, Nina :-)3 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   Daniel I wonder what you think about this task management tool3 days agochatWING nina.liakos   ElizHS compares a card on Trello to a forum thread. I think That makes sense.3 days agochatWING Daniel Bassill   I can see some applications. How hard will it be to attract other people in a group to Trello?What I mean is that as early adaptor, I find others may not be as motivated to go where I go.3 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   in this case the manager has implemented trello (or the manager of a company might) and others are simply included3 days agochatWING nina.liakos   I think you need to have a group and then have everyone use it.3 days agochatWING Halima Ozimova   seems that trello is convinient and easy to handle3 days agochatWING Marijana   Fellow is managing tool, organizational tool,we can use it for collaboration,but for our personal use as well. I don' t know if we can use it for storing images files. How much is the capacity or storage? My question for Vance, thx3 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   I'll askwhen I have a chance :-)3 days agochatWING msbozinovic   Hi Marijana and Daniel :)3 days agochatWING nina.liakos   A card is like a word; a list is a phrase; and a board is a sentence!3 days agochatWING Daniel Bassill   Is there a limit to the number of members in a Trello group?3 days agochatWING Marijana   Thx for asking Vance and thx for your answer Mbarek! :-)3 days agochatWING nina.liakos   Obrigada JA!3 days agochatWING Marijana   I promise to work more this week on Trello, but am soon busy lately.3 days agochatWING Marijana   Good question Nina, trello is a nice tool, but as any other tool we need to get use to it. My two cents, asTeresa would say :-)3 days agochatWING Daniel Bassill   Vance, could you see this used to plan Learning2Gether events?3 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   no, it would not apply well to L2g, this is for managing people with assigned tasks and roles3 days agochatWING Marijana   Need to go guys, family fun is coming! See you soon, hugs to all! Bye3 days agochatWING msbozinovic   Bye, Marijana!3 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   ok, thanks Marijana3 days agochatWING nina.liakos   Exactly, Marijana. Nothing is 100% intuitive3 days agochatWING nina.liakos   ElizHS: She was asking about the email features
I think Trello is less a communication system than a way to manage projects.
I'd like to see a digest feature.
You have to go into each card when you do it only online.
Jose - I don't see the little wheel to change the announcements to digest?
I found it --
You can have Never, every hour, or instantly. Not exactly a digest, e.g., every 24 hrs would be better.3 days agochatWING nina.liakos   ElizHS: There is a voting feature, so that could stand in for short comments like "I like it"3 days agochatWING nina.liakos   ElizHS: I notice in some of the advertising videos on the Trello site, that their own management team is using Trello with a bunch of other apps for communication. http://blog.trello.com/tips-for-managing-a-remote-team/?utm_source=notification%20link%20&utm_medium=email%20&utm_campaign=manage%20remote%20team3 days agochatWING Daniel Bassill   Thanks for hosting. Good information.3 days agochatWING Halima Ozimova   Thank you to ALL!!!!!3 days agochatWING Vance Stevens   thanks, we always manage in the end :-)the recording should be on YouTube any minute now3 days agochatWING vancestev (Admin) This event has been blogged with embedded YouTube recording and mp3 download available, enjoy:http://learning2gether.net/2015/05/24/learning2gether-with-mbarek-akaddar-about-managing-evo-with-trello/3 days agochatWINGLog out   2  

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit
http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

read more

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

GeoCastSemanal 21may15. Mar de Fondo, Salgar, Drones, vertido California, sismicidad Oklahoma

Worldbridges Megafeed - Wed, 2015-05-27 20:01

29:34 minutes (13.53 MB)

Noticias semanales relacionadas con la geología y las ciencias de la tierra. Consultad las noticias en Delicious.com/geocastaway

leer más

GeoCastSemanal 21may15. Mar de Fondo, Salgar, Drones, vertido California, sismicidad Oklahoma

Puentes al Mundo - Wed, 2015-05-27 20:01

29:34 minutes (13.53 MB)

Noticias semanales relacionadas con la geología y las ciencias de la tierra. Consultad las noticias en Delicious.com/geocastaway

leer más

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Busan to Nepal Benefit Concert (Sat May 30th)

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-05-27 13:44
Busan to Nepal Benefit Concert (Sat May 30th)

facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1613194458917942/

The organization of a local benefit concert to support the relief efforts for the recent earthquake in Nepal is currently underway. As of today, April 28th, the death toll is estimated at 4,000 people. The devastation is astronomical and although we cannot erase the tragedy, we can help. 

Dong Ha has graciously offered the use of his club Vinyl Underground as the set venue. The show will include multiple musical acts, a raffle and a variety of ways to donate to the cause. All proceeds will be sent to a secure 100% nonprofit organization.

If you wish to attend or assist, save the date, spread the word and look here for further details.

Vendors willing to donate to the raffle please contact Violet Lea or Gino Bravo

The Busan collective always has and always will bind and unite for anyone in need. It is a very unique and beautiful aspect of living in this little corner of the world. Give what you can, when you can. Hope to see you at what certainly will be an amazing show and a memorable night. Family style.

Thank you.

directions: from Kyungsung/Pukyoung University exit 3, take your first right and walk 2.5 blocks. Vinyl will be on your right, look for the big banana.

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Upcoming Busan Sand Festival

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-05-27 13:12
Upcoming Busan Sand Festival

 

 

BUSAN SAND FESTIVAL 2015

This weekend (29th May) sees the start of the Busan Sand Festival at Haeundae beach. The theme for this years festival is children’s stories (fairy tales) and there are some really excellent sculptures to greet the visitors.

For the last week I strolled along the beach to chat to the artists and see the progress they are making.

The first note, is that they are all professional sculptors and travel the world producing their art for all to see.

The sculptors come from Holland, Mexico, Korea, Italy, USA and Canada. To many of us, and I was one until this week, it just seemed that carving shapes in the sand was all that there was to this art form, but how wrong could we be! – I cannot even get a kiddies bucket of sand to stand up.

Surprisingly there is a science to this art, for example there are different types of sand, the sand in Haeundae is particularly difficult because it is Sea Sand meaning that it has been rolled by the waves producing a more polished grain with rounded edges. This makes it difficult to ‘stack’ the grains into a vertical shape, rather like trying to make a wall out of tennis balls. River sand is apparently much better and can be set into vertical shapes.

Putting the science behind us, we now need to stop it from blowing away, being eroded by the weather or just crumbling as it dries out, for this a solution of glue and water is sprayed on to the finished surface to bond it and give some protection from the elements. This siolution is sprayed onto the finished area rather than mixed with the sand, it may provide a little protection from slight rain but being soluble it can still be easily broken down,

By watching the sculptors you get an insight to the degree of difficulty and time required for even the simplest items in the design.

One sculptor was blowing the grains of sand with a straw to ensure the sharpness in detail, another example were the leaves on the trees, each leaf required a single spatula of damp sand be applied per leaf and accurately placed before the sun dried the sand out.

 The toolkits of these artists contain straws, brushes, knives, spatulas just to name a few. A white soluble glue similar to that used in schools is the setting agent that is used by all of the artists and can be seen in the large blue drums.

The designs (in no particular order) are Peter Pan , Aladdin, Hansel and Gretel, Wizard of Oz, The Hares Liver (Korean) , 잭과 공나무 (Jack and the beanstalk)

 The massive size of these sculptures are a sight to behold and even more intriguing is the fact that they are on an inclined plane, meaning that for the details to look correct to the eye, some of the actual sizes have to be enlarged so that the perspective gives the correct proportions, an example would be the size of the hand on Aladdin is actually the same size as his head which is not normally the case.

For the budding photographer wanting to take photos of these structures you will need a wide lens  as much as 14mm and the best time of day would be early morning or late in the afternoon so that the sun doesn’t blow the detail out of the sand sculptures.

This weekend should be a fantastic event and really marks the start of the summer season in Busan. Let us remember to say thanks to the sculptors and Busan City for what will be a jam packed few days.

see more photos on Flickr :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kabayanmark/sets/72157651073532444


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Buddha’s Birthday 2015

Koreabridge - Mon, 2015-05-25 14:53
Buddha’s Birthday 2015

One of my favorite times of the year in South Korea is during the Buddha’s Birthday celebrations. It is a time where you get to see people celebrating something that is not commercialized or tacky. Everything is decorated with a sort of quiet charm and for the most part everything is sort of quiet.

Over the past few weeks I have visited several temples in the area to get footage for an upcoming cinemagraph video project. I must admit that I really did enjoy getting out and shooting at these great temples. I learned a lot from these past few week and I hope that you can get something out of what I learned as well.

Don’t Be Afraid to Return

Often when we are shooting for a particular project we get in the habit of thinking that this is the last time that you will ever get to this place. If you are on a trip, perhaps it maybe true but for most of us living here, you just have to make time to come back. Why I say return is that sometimes the stars don’t line up for you and you just have to come back another time.

Last Friday, I left immediately after work to get to Tongdosa. I was in high spirits and excited to be free from the prison that is “work” However, by the time that I got to Tongdosa, they were closed or rather they were not allowing any more visitors. I was pissed off too because the ajeoshi (middle-aged Korea man) just shooed me away like a stray dog. I stood too long glaring at the jerk instead of hauling ass to the next location. By the time that I got to Beomosa, it was too dark to get the shots that I wanted. So I returned this past Sunday and it was amazing. The sky was much better and the people were so friendly.

Slow Down

I often get so over excited when I am shooting that I stop thinking about the shots that I want to get and instead I just run around snapping away. The problem with this is that I usually finish without getting the shots that I wanted to get. What I found was the best thing to do is to just stop, sit down and just go over in your mind what you want to achieve. I did this while shooting out at Hongryeongsa. I just sat down on a bench and meditated about the shots that I wanted.

Before you snicker and think that I have turned into a new-age hippie, just think about this for a second. Imagine you are at a mountain temple with next to no one around (rare for Korea) and you have time to kill before the light gets good. Why wouldn’t you just relax and let your mind flow for a bit. Organize your thoughts and make a plan. Not to mention, that once I did this, I was much more relaxed and the pressure was off. By pressure, I mean that nagging feeling that you “have” to get the best shot from this location. The pressure was off and I just took it all in.

Choose a Mantra

Going along with the meditation thing, I found that choosing a mantra helped me stick to the theme. I know some of you are probably scratching your heads thinking “has this guy spent too much time at these temples?” The mantra that I was using was “find the movement” because I was trying to get footage for cinemagraphs and not just still photos. When the light gets so nice, my brain gets overloaded. Having a mantra helped me stay on course and get the shots that I wanted.

 

When I was at Junggwansa, a temple that I have visited so many times that I think the Monks have started to remember me, I easily slip back into my standard shots. Using this phrase “find the movement” helped break my old habits before I spent too long focussing on the lanterns and not enough time finding the repetitive movement movement needed to make the cinemagraphs.

Be Courageous

When I am at places of worship, I am almost too respectful. I got kick out of a cathedral in Seoul once and I really felt bad about it. I could feel the people’s eyes burn through me. I am the same way at temples. If they say “no photos” the camera doesn’t even come out of the bag. However, this also means that I get a lot of the standard shots that everyone else gets.

During a bell ringing ceremony that blesses the temple, people and the spirits around, I saw an old man just walk up with a flip-phone and start taking photos in front of everyone! I could not have cared any less about the people leering at him. I wanted to get a shot of the monk ringing the bell and up until now I was too shy to get it. So, I took this old man’s lead and walked up and got the shots that I wanted. No harm, no foul.

Put Your F***ing Phone Down!

I am not a person who gripes about people on smartphones. I love mine. Perhaps a little too much. The problem with running another site, doing a masters as well as being a husband is that you have to juggle your time wisely because people are always contacting you. I noticed that I got better shots when the battery died on my phone and I left it to charge. There was no temptation to reply to a text or snap off one of those “behind the scenes” shots. I love being able to edit and share shots as soon as I take them but it as takes my head out of the game in a way because I end up checking facebook when I should be shooting. While I was at Junggwansa I missed a chance at a really cool shot because I was checking my phone.

I visit this temple every year. I get the feeling sometimes that the monk have even started to recognize me.

Make a Plan

This year I visited all except for one of the temples on my list and that was because this morning I had a nasty migraine. At any rate, over the past few weeks I visited Baekyongsa (2x), Tongdonsa (2x), Hongryeongsa, Beomosa (2x), Hongbubsa, Seongnamsa, Jeonggwangsa, Bulguksa and the Ulsan Lantern Festival. This would not have been possible if I had not made a plan and stuck to it. Sure, I didn’t make it out to Yonggunsa, but seriously with that mall being built behind it, the road to Yonggunsa is a now a nightmare.

At any rate, I learned that planning for a project like this made me more aware of my time and also pushed me to get out. It also allowed me to focus more on the photos because I was setting time out of each day to do something specific. I had a plan, I knew where I was going and what I had to do. That frees up a lot of brain space for focussing on your shots… if your phone is put away.

 

I hope that these pieces of advice help you in some way. I learned a lot this past month with regards to my photography. I felt that even though my photos were not ground-breaking by any stretch of the imagination, I still learned so much and that perhaps in the future you will see the improvement too. I hope that you all had a great long weekend!


 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with David Winet about using WeChat and Polleverywhere for live, in-class, corrected on-the-fly student writing

Webheadsinaction.org - Thu, 2015-05-21 04:04
Learning2gether with David Winet about using WeChat and Polleverywhere for live, in-class, corrected on-the-fly student writing Sunday May 17, 2015 What was it about?  David Winet will show online participants how he entices his students to write enthusiastically, and with purpose using WeChat and Pollanywhere. Used skillfully, these tools can enhance students' style, syntax, grammar and structure. By dint of the student wanting to communicate effectively, he/she will little by little adopt the conventions that make effective, powerful communication easier. Dave will reveal the skills he uses with these tools The definitive achive of this event, containing details of its truncation due to modem failure, is here:http://learning2gether.net/2015/05/18/learning2gether-with-david-winet-on-teaching-f2f-writing-using-wechat-and-polleverywhere/ 

How this worked at showtime May 17, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed above, which will go live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open the chat in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: https://youtu.be/3gGx7ghHtqQ
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cdl7319mjskg3higciq9vbllp10
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link
      The link was posted here just before the HoA started live
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know via the stream when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a HEADSET to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit
http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

read more

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

SURVIVAL TIP: All about taking the Korean Trains

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-05-20 10:15
SURVIVAL TIP: All about taking the Korean Trains

To travel from city to city in Korea, taking a train is probably the most safest and the best way as a foreigner.

There are several types of trains in Korea.

1. Regular Trains

a) KTX : It’s the fastest train in Korea. By taking this train, it takes less than 3 hours from Seoul to Busan. Although the train fee is expensive, you can save time with high quality seats. If you go to Busan from Seoul by Mugunghwa train or a car, it takes more than 5 hours.

b) Saemaul Train : Before the launch of KTX express trains, Saemaul was the fastest class of trains in South Korea, making the journey from Seoul to Busan in less than 5 hours. Saemaeul trains are distinguished from the more basic Mugunghwa trains by their larger and comfortable seats and the absence of standing passengers.

c) Mugunghwa Train : The basic train which stops at many stations where KTX & Saemaul train are not serving. It is cheap but slow. Also there are standees who don’t have any seat available in the train.

2. Special Trains

a) S-Train : S-train takes people to Korea’s southwest region. This is a new tourist train which launched in 2014. It operates between Busan and Boseong, South Jeolla Province, along the southern coast of the peninsula.

b) V-Train : The ‘V’ in V-train stands for “valley,” as it travels through the remote mountainous areas of Gangwon-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do. It is also referred to as the “Baby Baekho (white tiger) Train” due to the motif on the train’s exterior of a white tiger. It stops at Bucheon, Bidong stop, Yangwon, Seungbu and Cheoram.

c) O-Train : O-train is a central inland region tour train. Its name derives from the word, “One”, as the three provinces (Gangwon-do, Chungcheongbuk-do, Gyeongsangbuk-do) in the country’s central inland region are connected by this circular route. It stops at Seoul, Wonju, Jaecheon, Yeongwol, Mindungsan, etc.

d) DMZ Train : The DMZ-Train allows tourists to travel through Korea’s untouched natural landscape and historical landmark that is the Korean Demilitarized Zone. The train runs twice a day and tickets are available at each station. Tourists can also purchase a “DMZ Plus Ticket” which lets you freely board and depart at any of the stations along the way.

e) G-Train : G-train is a west gold train which has rooms with “ondol”, Korea’s floor heating system. It runs down the coastal area along the west sea. It stops at major travel destinations, including Boryeong and Gunsan.

f) Wine & Cinema Train : In this train, you can enjoy wine and cinema at the same time. The Wine-Train runs between Seoul and Yeongdong every Tuesday and Saturday. Starting from Seoul Station, you go to Yeongdong to taste wine and try wine food spa. Then also stop by Geumsan to look around geumsan ginseng museum and town.

g) Sea Train : This train operates along the coastal of east sea. Running along the beautiful East Coast, every seat is tailored to see the ocean and windows are larger than those in regular trains for visitors to overlook the majestic waves, beaches, and the blue ocean.

Try to enjoy any of these special trains!


Trazy.com
a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Pages

Subscribe to Worldbridges.net aggregator


Main menu 2

by Dr. Radut