[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.]
Jeju traditional five-day market is a traditional market in Dodu-dong, Jeju, just like its name. The word ‘five-day market’ means the market opens every five days, in 2nd, 7th, 12th, 17th, 22nd, and 27th of each month. It has many different kinds of goods that are seperated into different areas. Jeju traditional five-day market is the largest five-day market in South Korea, and has a long history dating back to 1968. Over the years, the market has moved from here to there but the merchants haven’t changed.
Cho Yoon hyung, a merchant for the past 30 years, started selling hats close to when the market began. Mr. Cho talked about the difficulties caused by big markets. He said, “Some people come, and some people go. They can go where the price is low. Something that is not here can be there and something that is not there can be here.”.
Another merchant, Kim Young hee, has also been at the market for 30 years. He sells many different items for gardening like plants, pots and fertilizer. He said profits are damaged because of big markets but people who come to the market still come.
Park Seok bum, 37, is a different type of merchant and started his business in June 2013. He sells naturally dyed clothes. He says he hasn’t felt much impact from the big markets because they don’t usually sell naturally dyed clothes, only ready-made clothes. Before starting his buinsess, however, he usually went to the big markets. He came to the market to have fun. Park said, “If you come to the market, there’s nothing that’s not here. So it’s so fun. There are also lots of things to watch, lots of things to eat. So I hope lots of people will come here, even to have fun. And if they buy some things, it is good for the merchants.”
Jeju traditional five-day market is not just a place for buying and selling merchandise. It is a place where to communicate and understand one other. It is a place where the people and cultures of Jeju are alive. It is a place to get to know Jeju Island.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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