Monday, August 15, 2011

Korean Folk Village

Over our summer break we traveled to a Korean Folk Village about 45 minutes from our apartment. Some of these villages are actually lived in and others are just set up to look like the original villages. This one, people actually still live there. The first thing that we did when we got inside the village, was check out these white string-like covered trees. Turns out they are wishes. There is a table and your are supposed to put your wish on a piece of paper and tie it to the tree in hopes that it will come true...kinda neat! They never seem to take any of the wishes down, so it is covered with these papers and I guess when they are full they just make a new one.

The village is divided into different social classes and you could go around and see how each class lived. There is also a zen garden and an amusement park attached to the village. We did not go into the amusement park. There is also some beautiful flower gardens that I got a chance to take some photos of.

Besides checking out the buildings and flower gardens, there are scheduled performances to take in throughout the day. The first thing we watched was the Farmer's Music and Dance. This has about fifteen men dressed in traditional apparel, the instrumentalists were basically playing different pans and drums. The dancers had long ribbon-like strings attached to their hats which they twirl in circles while dancing. They also did some leaps here and there. The climax of this performance was a gentleman with a really long ribbon that he performed several jumping tricks with.
The second performance we caught was the Equestrian Feats. This was a lot of trick riding and they showed how they would hunt boars. It was fun to watch them chase after the horse and get back on it.
The final show that we watched was the Tightrope Acrobat. This was interesting for a little while, but after watching him cross so many times it got a little old. The acrobat was an older gentleman and he used a lot of jokes in his show (all in Korean). He did some really difficult things and had a fan for balance as he walked across. He did some jumping to a sit on the rope as well as going to one knee.

There was one show that we didn't get a chance to catch and that was a reinactment of a traditional wedding. Maybe we'll visit again and get a chance to watch this. I'm not sure what performances are consistant. We were there during their summer schedule and it seems that some things change for each season.

There is a lot to take in at the folk village and there are many things that we didn't get a chance to experience. Also, there was construction and some flooding at the river, so some things were closed. There are some experiences that you can also be a part of such as dyeing material, a pottery workshop, a fan workshop, and a few more.

Most of the things at the village that are available for purchase are hand-crafted there. There is a wood carver, a knot tying shop, pipe maker, and many others. We both bought some bracelets with hand crafted knots as well as a fan and some hand carved ducks. The other interesting thing was that it all seemed to be at a reasonable price.

We enjoyed a nice lunch there as well, which we had been told not to miss out on the food there. It was very good. We look forward to visiting there again.