▲ Jeju Peace Festival Photo courtesy Jeju Peace Festival
“Many people don’t understand the spirit of the Peace Festival,” organizer Bang Seung-cheol explained over a cup of chai, “it’s not “good” business.”
For anyone who grew up watching the Woodstock generation cash in and burn out, a word like peace may feel like just another marketing tool. And with good reason. Much of the 60’s counterculture in America has become a mere commodity. Ideals and images that business executives sell with great success. From the music of Hendrix in car commercials to hippie Halloween costumes at Daiso.
However, for organizer Seung-cheol, peace is far from being a tired advertising cliché. You won’t find busloads of tourists at this festival. It’s not about being profitable, nor is it simply about having a party. For Seung-cheol, this festival is about sustainability.
How do we make enough money without losing touch with our friends, our family, or ourselves? What does enough really mean? How can we address urgent environmental issues in our day to day lives? How do we help one another with often overwhelming problems? How do we foster sustainability in our daily routines, our long-term goals, our community, country, and our world?
The folks at the Peace Festival are trying to create a space where it’s okay to admit that we want to change the world, but we don’t know how. Just like we want to change ourselves, but we don’t know how. A place where we might get some new perspectives. A place where we might feel a little more supported and at ease. An event where we can practice our shared humanity.
In its third year, the Jeju Peace Festival will begin Friday, September 30 and keep going until Sunday, October 2: two nights and three days of community, music, art, dance, workshops, seminars, food, and camping in Gyorae (교래자연휴양림) near the Jeju Stone Park.
You can look forward to an authentic shaman ceremony, real-time furniture building exhibitions, recycling workshops, and much, much more!
Casual English language support will be available at the information desk near the entrance where you buy tickets: ₩10,000 per day, and you can rent a tent if you don’t have your own for ₩15,000 per night. Proceeds are used to cover festival costs. This is not a money-making event.
“It’s a success not because of numbers,” Seung-cheol concludes, “but because we’re learning how to find friendship again. Honesty and truth. Outside, and under the stars. Together.”
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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