In a makeshift studio on the main street of Wolpyeong, Seogwipo City, an amateur DJ wearing headphones reads stories and plays song requests from people walking nearby. A loudspeaker on the street at the end of Olle Course No. 7 broadcasts village news, music, and stories to hikers waiting at the bus stop and to bystanders milling around the Dolbengdi (the old name of Wolpyeong) public relations office.
Wolpyeong was once a quiet village of about 650 people, mainly farmers growing lilies, tangerines and hallabongs. However, three years ago a fresh breeze blew through town in the form of a culture and arts project. The community broadcast “Dolbengdiro Olle,” which translates as, “Will you come to Dolbengdi?” was established by the cultural organization Cuci (pronounced cookie), with support from the central government.
Starting on July 22, the program has been delivered in front of the Dolbengdi public relations office every Wednesday to Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The studio, which consists of a table, a couple of signs, and a computer, is located near the bus stop at the end of Olle Course No. 7, and delivers Olle hikers a nice respite as they await their bus back to Jeju City.
The broadcast was suggested by novelist Kim Guk Hee who was participating in the “Art in Home” project last February. Kim became the program’s first DJ, though now five villagers have taken over the responsibility. Village chief Oh Kyoung Sik said that all DJs should be Wolpyeong citizens. “Rather than a professional from other places, we’d like an amateur DJ who lives in this neighborhood,” he said.
▲ Left, Wolpyeong village chief Oh Kyoung Sik (in the orange shirt) and other villagers listen to Dolbengdi radio. Right, the radio station and DJ Lee Chang Min. Photos by Kim Jung Lim
When it comes to content, DJ Ko Sung Yul said that the program has a number of topics. These usually include covering stories of its villagers and that of Olle hikers, playing music that the audience has requested, and interviews with selected villagers.
While some shows like “Peeking Diary” (the reading of a villager’s diary) and “Saturi,” (an introduction to Jeju expressions) run daily, the show’s roster can differ from day to day.
When The Jeju Weekly visited the studio, DJ Lee Chang Min, who left work early to man the mic, described his work:
“I wanted to do some meaningful work for my hometown so I volunteered for this job. At first, I was very nervous. It’s my second time [as] the DJ, and I feel I’m getting better.” He added that he feels happy when not only villagers but also Olle hikers listen to his broadcast.
When it comes to the broadcast’s future, village chief Oh said that he is planning to stream the program through the Internet and hopes that others from all over the world will tune in to Wolpyeong’s daily happenings.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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