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Korean Folk Village: Welcome to Joseon!

Along with the recent cancellation of the K-Drama Joseon Exorcist due to China’s controversial Northeast Project and its historical distortion, people are paying more attention these days to Korean history. There is a place where people can enjoy the beauty of Korean tradition and various kinds of attractions at the same time. Everyone who is getting sick and tired of indoor activities can spend meaningful time at the Korean Folk Village. Therefore, the Sungkyun Times (SKT) is going to introduce the Korean Folk Village, where people can create valuable memories.

A House with Pots

Korean Folk Village: Where Ancestors’ Lifestyles are Alive

-Introducing the Korean Folk Village

The Korean Folk Village, located in Yongin, Gyeonggido, was built to introduce Korean culture and wisdom passed down from our ancestors over centuries to domestic and international tourists. It was opened on October 3rd, 1974, and has played a key role as a cultural leader sharing the value of Korean traditional culture. It is generally open throughout the year from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., but schedules can change depending on the weather and the seasons. Even though there is an entrance fee, people can enjoy various discount promotions. For example, the normal cost of a ticket for an adult is 30,000 won, but when people wear Hanbok (a kind of Korean traditional clothing) in the village, they can buy a ticket for only 17,000 won. In the Korean Folk Village, tourists can also enjoy traditional music and dance or entertaining parades such as Pungmul Performances and Eolssigu Jeolssigu. Since the schedule of performances varies every day, it is recommended to check the website before visiting.

Spacious Farms in front of Houses
A House with a Pond

-How to Get to the Korean Folk Village

Kingos from the Humanities and Social Sciences Campus can take bus No.140 at Myeongnyun 3-ga and get off at the Financial News station to take bus No. 5000-1. When you get off at the Jigok-dong three-way intersection, you will soon come across the entrance. It takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes in total. From the Natural Sciences Campus, Kingos can take bus No. 62-1 and transfer to bus No. 10-5 in front of Noksan Station. In the same way, you should get off at the Jigok-dong three-way intersection, which takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes in total as well. Moreover, there is a free shuttle bus to the Korean Folk Village at Exit 4 of Suwon Station, taking only 30 minutes to get to the destination. Keep in mind that the number of seats is limited, and buses are scheduled with an interval of about two hours.

How to Enjoy the Korean Folk Village

-The Folk Village

1. A Village with the Background of the Joseon Period

The village restored traditional houses of common people and aristocrats from various provinces and even islands. With an area of 990,000m2 with 270 traditional houses, it has a changeable landscape based on the four seasons. Along with simple houses, there are also places that reflect the ancestors’ real lifestyles like a seodang (village school), a herbal medicine shop, a temple, and a fortune-teller’s shop. Those houses, hanoks, and the pavilion in the middle of the pond, Wanhyangru, which means a place to enjoy scents in Korean, are recommendable spots to feel the atmosphere of the past. Moreover, you can participate in various events and festivals in the village. From April 3rd to June 20th, a cultural festival called Welcome to Joseon is scheduled. During this festival, people who dress up like those in the Joseon Dynasty did wander around the village, giving performances and sharing traditional tales with tourists. On May 5th, diverse events are held for Dano, which is one of the major Korean traditional holidays, and visitors can experience some activities like sharing mugwortflavored rice cakes and washing their hair in boiled water with changpo (a type of iris). Moreover, between May and June, there is an activity that gives a glimpse of life in Joseon, which is to participate in rice planting.

A Herbal Medicine Shop
Wanhyangru
Part of Aristocrat’s House

2. The Korean Folk Museum

The Korean Folk Museum presents what life was like in rural communities and provides examples of traditional daily culture in the late Joseon period. This museum portrays the lives of four generations of a farming family in Yongin. To be more specific, several villages are displayed with different themes, moving dolls, miniatures, relics, and photos to embody the real farming life of common people from that period. As traditional music is also played in accordance with various themes, you can imagine as if you are really visiting villages of the past. Since the museum provides an indirect experience of life in Joseon through vivid descriptions with diverse graphics and models, it helps visitors to understand Korean culture better than just reading books about it. It is interesting to compare how people celebrated several events, such as Chuseok (Korean national holiday, similar to Thanksgiving), weddings, or one’s 60th birthday party, with modern styles.

Straw Shoes: Common People’s Shoes in Joseon/ Hahoe Masks: Traditional Masks Made of Wood

-The Amusement Village

1. Mind-Blowing Attractions

The Amusement Village offers several attractions of various rides and zones applied with Korean traditions. In addition to popular rides such as a roller coaster, a viking ship, or bumper cars, there is also a special attraction called the Horror of Ghost Zone. In the Horror of Ghost Zone, you can go around the ghost exhibition, which is filled with descriptions of diverse traditional ghosts. Ghost models designed with special make-up techniques and equipment immediately come out from each zone accompanied by horror music when pushing the red buttons under each description of the ghosts. Before pushing the buttons, there are stories about the origins of each ghost, and this makes visitors more interested and helps them get more immersed in the exhibition. For example, a virgin ghost has a story of being dead before getting married, and her sorrow of being unmarried bursts out by teasing similarly aged girls who are ready for marriage.

Merry-Go-Round in the Amusement Village/ Various Shops in the Amusement Village

2. The Sculpture Park

Many traditional and modern artworks which were once displayed in the International Symposium can now be seen on the walking trails. The trails are decorated with spring flowers such as magnolias and royal azaleas, which please people’s eyes and noses with beautiful scenery and scents. Various artworks of both famous Korean and foreign artists are exhibited there, such as the works of Italian sculptor Staccioli and Cruz-Diez, an expert in optical illusions.

A Bridge Between the Amusement Village and the Folk Village
Traditional Swings
A Traditional Craft Workroom

윤지민  linda0202g.skku.edu

<저작권자 © THE SUNGKYUN TIMES, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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