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The Korean Folk Village: Where History Comes Alive

May is the month when Kingos may spend a lot of time with friends, lovers, or family members more than any other time. People enjoy warm sunshine on holidays and special days like Parents’ Day and Children’s Day in May. Therefore, Kingos might like to make special memories with them this month. The Sungkyun Times (SKT) invites those Kingos to the Korean Folk Village, where Korean history comes alive.

Information About Korean Folk Village

Introduction of the Korean Folk Village

The Korean Folk Village was founded in Yongin in 1974 in order to introduce Korean traditional culture to tourists and visitors by collecting folk customs which have been passed through long periods of time. This village aimed to create an integrated park based on Korean traditional culture with a size of 245 acres. The Folk Village consists of houses with the architectural characteristics of the Joseon period, and those houses were moved from the original places or reconstructed in the village. Moreover, the Korean Folk Village is able to share traditional values with visitors through activities such as interactive exhibitions, making traditional crafts, and experiencing Korean seasonal customs. In fact, the village was considered to be a boring place for students until the early 2000s. After 2012, however, it became a place where young people could have fun and enjoy traditional culture. The village used social networking services (SNS) with the name of Sokchonassi (Ms. Sokchon) to upload fan contents, and held several events like Subakseori (mischievous acts of stealing watermelon) with traditional characters. The actors and actresses play special characters in the village. Their realistic acting makes the Folk Village seem much livelier. This change has attracted more and more people to the Village. From May to September, this village opens from 9:30 to 18:30 every weekday, and from 9:30 to 19:00 every weekend. The entrance fee for an adult is 20,000 won, and the express ticket fee of an adult is 28,000 won. If a Kingo wears a hanbok, the Korean traditional dress when visiting the village, the Kingo can get a ticket at the discounted price of 16,000 won.

Guidance to the Korean Folk Village

The Korean Folk Village is located at 90, Minsokchon-ro, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do. It takes about one and a half hours from the Humanities and Social Sciences campus. From the Natural Sciences campus, it takes about an hour to get there. The whole village consists of four villages; the Market Village where people can purchase traditional souvenirs, the Amusement Village where people can enjoy attractions, the Folk Village where houses from Joseon period can be seen, and the Marketplace where people can eat traditional food.

Watching Traditional Lives of People

Traditional Houses

The Korean Folk Village exhibits several traditional houses from each province of the country. There are a total of 270 diverse houses. For instance, there are houses for aristocrats with tile roofs and houses for commoners with thatched roofs. Here, the Village displays houses from the Joseon dynasty. There are many kinds of houses such as a gwana (provincial government office), seowon and sudang (educational institutions), hanyakbang (a medical institution), and more. Through these many houses, tourists can experience the daily lives of the Joseon period closer than just reading books about the old dynasty. For example, Kingos can watch and experience torture instruments like the rack in gwana. In addition, people can pound a mill or grind a grindstone, which is not easy to experience in daily lives.

Traditional Art Performances

In the village, Korean traditional art performances take place at an outdoor stage. There are three kinds of performances: farmer’s music and dance, equestrian feats, and a traditional wedding ceremony. In the farmer’s music and dance performance, the audience can get immersed in the performances by dancing together. During the performances, the performer might even talk to the audience. While watching the equestrian feats, Kingos can see the amazing techniques of horse riding. If Kingos make a reservation for a traditional wedding ceremony, they can become a bride and groom at a wedding ceremony.

Participating in Festivals

The Play from Those Old Days in Spring

The festival that recalls old memories of retro styles in the 1980s and 1990s takes place in the village. While the festival used to be held just during the winter period, the village extended the period of the festival to June 16th, because this festival increased the number of visitors to more than 70% compared with last year. Visitors can enjoy fun activities in the village. The main event of this festival is “Memories of Knock & Run” where a visitor rings a doorbell and runs away so as not to be caught. In addition, visitors can enjoy traditional games like playing with a spinning top. Furthermore, the village has prepared traditional ice popsicles to help visitors to cool down. People can also taste Dalgona (sugar candy), which was a popular snack in the late 1900s.

Welcome to Joseon

The “Welcome to Joseon” festival is designed for visitors to experience the Joseon dynasty’s lively atmosphere in the village. Visitors can experience jobs of the Joseon dynasty by wearing clothes and participating in events including maepoompali (a paid whipping boy) contest, and a first-class gisaeng (female entertainer) contest. Also, they can enjoy the festival by watching and participating in performances of actors and actresses. While wandering through the Folk Village, visitors can encounter diverse Joseon characters, can take pictures with them and have a conversation. There are many characters including a gisaeng and satto (the governor of the village). “The Village Governor’s Birthday Party”, the popular performance of last year, will also be held at this year’s festival again with some improvements. The program is combined with a splendid percussion performance and acrobatic dancing, which Kingos might enjoy. “Welcome to Joseon” will take place from April 6th to June 23rd.'

박예지  ggoomtlex2@skku.edu

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

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