Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Korean Folk Village

Hello everyone!

One of the places you must visit when you are in Seoul is the Korean Folk Village!!  We spent no less than half a day there with my family, and we had so much fun!  =)

As you may have guessed from the name of the place, it's full of Korean traditional houses, household items that you can try out yourself, foods, activities, and entertainment.  It's basically Namsan Han-ok Village on steroids  haha.  So on the scale, Bukchon < Namsan < Korean Folk Village.  

It was also interesting because the Folk Village also portrayed the commoners' lives and houses while the other villages tended to focus more on the wealthy and the noble class.

One of the first things we saw was a traditional Korean wedding.  Usually, this would be a show put on by the Folk Village just to show how it was done, but today, it was an actual wedding taking place!   I guess they allow real couples to have real weddings here in the traditional way if they request to do so. It was really interesting to see how the traditional weddings happened, and it was fascinating to see the garments especially, but we also felt a bit odd being wedding guests at strangers' wedding, so we left before the ceremony was over.

Once we got outside, we decided to try on traditional wedding garments as well! what do you think? do we look good?   =p  

My uncle decided to get in on the fun and tried his own Hanbok on  ;)

The day was pretty hot, so after our shenanigans and walking around in the heat, we decided dto take a little break in a gazebo.  Korean gazebos (the common people kind) were built rather high above the ground, and I think because of that it's really breezy and cool inside.   

As we were resting, these guards came by telling us to attend the mayor's birthday party, so of course, we had to go and see how fancy the mayor's birthday party would be like.

It was quite the party, and just about anyone and everyone was in attendance. The guards were there, the mayor's friends were there, the Gisaeng (Korean women entertainers) were there, and the whole village seemed to be present, including the beggars.

We began with the gift giving to the mayor where all the townsfolk brought gift over, and most of the kids seemed to enjoy it, except this terrified little girl  haha   so sad, but so adorable  ;)

Then of course the Gisaengs had to come dance and entertain everyone with their womanly guile...

the Mayor's friend also wanted to get in on the action, and entertained(?) us...  haha

but wait!  there was a big twist to the story, and there was intrigue and corruption and...!!!  but I won't ruin that for you in case you decide to visit the Korean Folk Village and attend the Mayor's birthday party in person  ;)

having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the Mayor's birthday party, we began our wanderings once more.  We saw a traditional fan making artisan at work,

tried a traditional grinder (I think a cow was supposed to have done the work, but we didn't mind becoming the cow for a minute  ;)

Tried the traditional swing, which you ride standing up, and is deceptively difficult...  but the boys seemed to have no problem  ;)

Then we tried our hand at some more ancient tools.  It's crazy how creative and ingenious traditional people were in thinking up tools with the limited materials they had at their disposal!

Frolicking around like that leaves one quite hungry, so we left the fun in search of food.  The grounds of the village are quite beautiful, and we got to experience some of that as we walked to the food court.

Right before we walked into the food court, we found this traditional candy maker, and we had to have some.  I know, I know, you should wait to have your sweets until you are finished with your main meal, but we just couldn't resist!  Our excuse is that the 'candy' is made of sweet potato, and has no artificial sugars so it's ok..?  haha

Besides, we were still ravenously hungry by the time we got to the food court, and we still finished an incredible amount of amazing traditional foods.  The only picture we managed to get are these two because we were too preoccupied with eating once the food came out.. so I apologize for the lack of pictures of the food.. haha 

the process of spoon making

You have to have a dessert after the meal, of course, (even if you had dessert before the meal) so we had this thing called 'Jjondegi'.  Apparently it used to be really popular as an after-school snack, even when I was in Korea, but I had never had it before.
I guess it was ok..?  I'm not really sure what it was made of, and while it was fun to heat it up over the coal fire, I wasn't too much of a fan of the actual food item  haha

We needed to walk off some of the food, so we took a leisurely walk back to the events section of the village to see if anything fun was happening.

and indeed!  amazing things were happening!
First, we witnessed a tightrope walker who not only walked, but also bounced and jumped and kicked on the rope like he was merely on a trampoline!

Then we witnessed some amazing feats by a few horses and their riders.

We got some of their amazingness on video so that you could share the experience it with us.

Isn't it absolutely incredible?!  I was in awe, cheering and fearing for their lives all at once  haha
I hope you enjoyed this little virtual trip to the Korean Folk Village, and I hope that you get to experience it for yourself in person sometime soon! =)

Thanks for stopping by!

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