Seongju Life Culture Festival

May 17, 2013

The long trip to Seongju–land of yummy melons and the resting place of the Placenta Jars of the Sons of King Sejong the Great–took almost five hours by bus. May 17 was a holiday, and a huge number of Seoul-lites had the same idea as us international students—road trip!!!

Arriving in Seongju a few minutes before 1:00PM made us feel famished. We were ready to eat anything. And everything on this table looked yummy! 행복마을 기사식당 prepaerd yummy dishes for us Korea Performance Supporters and our friends!

Among the banchan on the table, this was the most special. It’s pickled melons made from Seongju’s famous melons. The sweet-sour combo tickles one’s taste buds.

After lunch, we were given a special tour of 한개 Village by the village president himself. He made us pay special attention to how different the walls are on the right and on the left.  According to him, the craftsmanship of these two walls reflects the time period when these were made. The wall on the left, with its smooth finish, is newly made. The wall on the right, with its rough and ragged appearance, is an authentic Joseon era wall.

Personally, I like the ragged wall better. It still stands strong up to this day despite its seemingly poorly made and weatherbeaten appearance.

As a foreigner, I can’t get over the beauty of the 한옥. I’ve seen a lot of these houses in Seoul, but seeing more of these in Seongju still excites me.

I hope I can have the chance to live in an actual 한옥 someday. That’s my wish.

The village president is a lucky guy. He lived in this grand Joseon era house as a kid. This is his ancestral house.

According to him, men and women lived in separate houses during the Joseon era. And just this week, I learned from my professor that a Joseon wife’s living space is called 안방, and only her husband and children can go there.

A husband’s living space is outside the compound, and looks grander than the wife’s living space.

Should we just make peace with this part of history?

As long as there is a roof over people’s heads?


Either way, we K-Performance Supporters were too happy to tour this village.

Next, we went to the Life Culture Festival.
There was a traditional tea ceremony booth, the elegance of which was just breathtaking.
There were life-size dioaramas depicting Joseon life. This one shows us a yangban wedding.
This one shows us ancestor worship during the Joseon period.
This nice 아저씨 patiently taught my friends how to properly do ancestor worship.
And then there were melons.
Melons everywhere!
There was also a booth on how to make crafts.
There was also a booth on how to take care of babies.
Practice makes perfect, I suppose.
Either way, I think I am better at working and studying. And seeing Korea with my curious foreigner’s eyes. Thanks Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and BnBHero for this awesome trip!

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