[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 5-day market, traditional marketplace in Jeju island, has a long history over 100 years. The market was first formed in 1905 during Chosun dynasty. At first, it was located in Kwan-Duk-Jung, but now in Do-Du-Dong, near Jeju international airport. The 5-day market is held on 2nd, 7th, 12th, 17th, 22nd and 27th of each month. The market opens from 7 A.M to 8 P.M. It is a unique place where people can feel, enjoy and learn about Jeju.
The 5-day market is a place where foreign visitors are most interested in. According to the Jeju Special Self-governing Province, over two million foreign travellers has visited Jeju island this year and the number is continously increasing. They want to experience unique culture and tradition of Jeju. They would like to visit traditional 5-day market rather than large supermarkets such as E-mart or Lotte mart. Preston, 34 year-old man from the U.S.A, said, “ The 5-day market is very different from the markets of U.S.A and I love to be here.” His friend is also here to buy a bed sheet and pillow because they are cheap and traditional.
Even the natives can feel the scent of Jeju’s traditional culture on 5-day market. There are about 900 sellers in 5-day market. Most of them say traditional Jeju language and has been in the market for long time. Lee Gee Hun, a seller from the market said “ I’ve been working in this market for 30 years selling baby clothes. I do sometimes have a trouble with the customers, but this 5-day market is very big thing for me.”
Customers are also satisfied with the market. A 26 year-old woman with a baby said “ I am here to buy some fresh vegetables and to show my baby a lot of things. What I like about this place is that products are cheap and moreover it’s very fun to look around here. And I can smell a scent of Jeju’s tradition in this 5-day market.”
For over 100 years, Jeju’s seller and customers have led this Jeju’s 5-day market. Nowadays, even foreigners visit this market often. Here, people can hear a lot of traditional Jeju language which is not available in Korea mainland. To preserve Jeju’s tradition and language, we have to save the 5-day market. Jeju’s government is also trying to preserve the market issuing gift certificates that can be used at the market, encouraging traditional performance in it, and upgrading facilities and parking lots. The 5-day market will be a great treasure of Jeju island.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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