May 18, 2013 by rkpcs
A Bank Holiday was held today in honour of Buddha’s birthday today. A Temple visit was organised so that we could see the rows of delicate paper lanterns strung throughout the courtyard. Pretty young ladies were dressed in traditional ‘hanbok’ handing out lotus flower badges to all comers. There were street stalls outside the temple gates selling children’s toys and ice-creams, all the fun of the fair!
The temple had been burned down during religious conflict and is now famous for the surviving artefacts, its entrance gates and a large bronze Buddha. Korea is a country of many old and new religions and all now seem to live in peace and harmony with one another.
We proceeded from the beauty of the 500 years old Temple of Borim to the more modern 100 year old Jangwun Temple in which the community was feasting upon Buddhist temple dishes comprised of traditional vegetarian recipes including pine nut soup, rice and miso soup accompanied by the ever present kimchi. This was a really lovely event with grown up children returning with their families from as far as Seoul to help. People of all ages were sharing tables and the monks were mingling with all.
The team, along with many families travelled up to the Jeungnamjin Observatory in which we were able to present a special gift from Sidmouth’s Norman Lockyer Observatory to the Director Mr Bag. After seeing so many of the Korean museums and galleries empty except for us, it was nice to see so many families enjoying each other’s company and learning about the stars. The Observatory had a really effective education program and is one of 19 observatories throughout the country to educate families about space. Mr Bag was very kind in sharing some of his best practice and has given as a gift some of the specially developed children’s packages to bring back to England.
Last but not least we took a walk along the river as the sun was setting and experienced what this town of Jangheung is famous for, its water celebrations. We crossed stepping stones and bridges and watched children fishing off the bank and playing in the water fountains, identifying as many ideas as possible to bring back and share at home, within the confines of the UK Health and Safety legislation.
In amongst all of the above we also managed to squeeze in a formal visit to Jangheung Rotary Club, visit Jangheung Multi-purpose Dam Waterium and to take a walk through the Saturday Market (I know today is Friday but that is what it is called) seeing for the first time a dog restaurant and huge scallops.