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Tamna Festival fuels the island's energyFrom Oct. 7 to 11, the 50th Tamna Cultural Festival struts its stuff
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승인 2011.10.13  17:10:00
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▲ From left, a ritual prayer ceremony to ensure a good harvest; fusion Korean traditional music group Chunjisori; “Ryu,” a performance by All-live Articul; and a view of Tapdong Plaza, the main location of the festival. Photos by Angela Kim

For the 50th Tamna Cultural Festival, the streets of Tapdong, Jeju City were busier than ever. Organized by The Federation of Artistic & Cultural Organizations of Korea Jeju Branch and sponsored by The Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, the festival was held on Jeju from Oct. 7 to Oct. 11. For five days the festival provided fuel for the island’s energy.

With a history of over a half century, the event has grown to become the biggest festival on the island and is comprised of six sub-festivals: prayer, folk art, traditional living culture, 50th anniversary, art & culture, and a collection of special events to close the entire festival. Within each sub-festival, more than 10 events and performances were designed to entertain visitors and promote Jeju culture.

Until this year, the Tamna Culture Festival focused more on performances and exhibitions. For audiences, not only big performances, but also small-size performances by dance teams and several intangible cultural assets, demonstrating gut (shamanic ritual) and folk singing, were prepared.

This year’s festival was filled with re-enactments, exhibitions, and activities in which visitors can participate. The organizing committee installed several activity booths allowing visitors to have a hands-on experience of Jeju folk culture.

Visitors tried on Korean traditional clothes, played with traditional toys, and looked at Jeju farming tools. Audiences stayed out late to watch performances and to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. The main stage, Jeju City Tapdong Plaza, being right next to the sea brought a nice breeze to the festival.

While playing with Korean traditional toys, Jang Eun Chul, 13, from Jeju Donghwa Elementary School said, “It is my first time here at the festival. It is very fun. There’s a lot to experience.”

Lee Soo Min, 22, a junior at Jeju National University said, “I came to the festival last year, but I found a lot more to do this year. I stayed here for two hours and I’m not bored. And it’s more lively.”

On her first day at the festival, Mary Lou MacLellan from the US said, “I think it’s very interesting, very informative. I really enjoyed looking at the pictures with 100 years of history.”

“I wouldn’t mind coming back. I’m looking forward to learning more about Jeju,” she said.

The opening ceremony was different from last year’s, with it being more celebratory. The festival organizing committee radically cut off lengthy speeches, and opted more for festive performances.

As a preservation effort, the whole of Oct. 8 was dedicated to events related to the Jeju dialect. The day started with a Jeju poem recital competition, followed by Jeju dialect speech contests, and ended with the play “Simchungjun,” The Tale of Simchung, redrafted in Jeju dialect.

As a part of the 50th anniversary celebration, similar festivals were also held in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2.

Last year, the festival, held in Seogwipo City, attracted approximately 80,000 visitors. The Federation of Artistic & Cultural Organizations of Korea Jeju branch estimates that this year there were over 120,000 visitors.






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