▲ The opening parade moves toward the main festival location in Tapdong Square, Jeju City. Photo by Cho Gyewon
The JDC-Jeju Weekly Junior Report-ers program is a five-month course, where middle school students learn about journalism. — Ed.
This year’s 50th Tamna Cultural Festival offered visitors a chance to experience both Jeju and other cultures. The Jeju Weekly’s Junior Reporters visited the festival on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 8 — a hot, slightly hazy day at Tapdong Square, Jeju City.
Among the many attractions were several traditional games including stilt-walking and Jegi Chagi, which is a game similar to hackey-sack where players use their feet to keep a shuttlecock (jegi) from hitting the ground. One of our brave reporters tried walking on the stilts, only to be surprised by how tall she was — and how scared too!
Walking between white tents, visitors could check out numerous shops, setup with the dual purpose of selling products and giving visitors a chance to experience making the products for themselves. Some of the tents featuring this theme were the bead toy tent; the hanji (traditional Korean paper), bean, and grain art tent; and the natural soap tent.
In talking with staff at these tents, a common theme emerged: All intended to offer new experiences to their visitors. Oh Hyo-sim of the bead toy tent feels that making various toys like horses and race cars out of beads helps students improve their math skills, since math is necessary to make toys from beads. Kang Seung-mi believes that inviting people to make art using hanji, beans, and grains allows parents and their children to participate together in a common project, thereby becoming closer to one another. Kang Hyeon-jeong of the natural soap tent believes that visitors can feel a special satisfaction from making a unique bar of healthy, environmentally-friendly soap for themselves. In all these cases, the staff emphasized how they could offer new, enriching experiences to their guests.
In the very center of Tapdong Square, under the hot sunshine, performers displayed traditional Korean song and dance in front of a large audience. One performance of note was a Samulnori (traditional Korean music) song, which featured performers using four different instruments once commonly used by farmers.
As morning became afternoon, more and more people arrived at Tapdong Square. Given the amount of activities they could try for themselves, they certainly had an interesting and exciting day ahead of them.
The 50th Tamna Cultural Festival ran this year from Oct. 7 to Oct. 11.
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