[This article is written by a JDC Junior Journalist. The JDC Junior Journalist program is an educational project sponsored by Jeju Free International City Development Corporation (JDC). JDC Junior Journalist articles are only briefly edited by mentors before publishing.]
The five day market, and markets like it, can be found here and there throughout Korea. It is held every five days, hence the name. As for the Jeju five day market, it is held on the 2nd to the 27th day of each month at 5day intervals. The market carries a wide range of goods at affordable prices.
According to the Jeju homepage, the merchants at five day markets played the role of messengers since they moved around to different towns selling goods.
Park Sang Hyun, who came with his daughter to the five day market said, “I come to the five day market to buy everyday supplies. I come to the 5-day market rather than Emart or other big markets because I like the long history the 5-day market has.” Mr.Park summed up the Jeju five day market into one sentence. “The gathering place of Jeju’s culture.”
Park Hyeong Oh, a merchant who sells Bbeongtuigi (a popped grain snack) and chocolate at the five day market. He said, “I began selling here by reccommendation. And I’ve been selling here for 3 years.” He summed up the five day market as, “The field of life.”
There were also many expatriate customers as well. Lisa and Theresa were amoung them. They are teachers at the Korean International School. Lisa said, “I come to the five day market because I raise some fish, and the five day market sells many kinds of fish and fish-food.” Theresa said, “I come to the five day market because it has fresher and cheaper food.”
The five day market always bustles with people, and it is hard to get around. But that is one of the things you can experience at the marketplace. Also, many of the customers haggle with the shopkeepers for the best price.
The five day market has its own problems, such as the narrow labyrinth passages and a cash-only transaction policy. But many people come to the market and goes back home with heavy bags, fat tummies, and considerably lighter wallets.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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