May 22, 2013 by rkpcs
After an early breakfast on Tuesday 21st May it was time for the team to say goodbye to the great friendship and hospitality they had received over the last few days from the Rotary clubs of Goheung and Bosung and move on once again.
The team were met by a new group of Rotarians from the Gwangyang area and quickly realised that Rotary is very popular in this area, with Gwangyang and the neighbouring district of Gokseong having nine Rotary clubs between them. Four of the nine clubs are female clubs (by far the greatest ratio the team have come across so far) and the female members have developed a strong network of business and friendship in the area of which they are very proud.
After a very warm and friendly welcome the team were taken to see Gwangyang traditional market. This large daily market sells pretty much everything from fish and vegetables to clothing and furniture. According to locals this market, and others like it across the region, have become increasingly popular in recent years with consumers favouring the competitive prices, variety and freshness of produce in comparison to some larger supermarkets and retailers. Indeed, team members and Rotarians alike could not help but pick up a couple of bargains!
After the traditional market a delicious traditional Korean lunch was on offer which included, amongst other things, a noodle and shellfish soup.
After lunch the team were given the opportunity to try their hand at scarf dyeing. It’s fair to say that some members of the team were looking forward to this experience more than others but it is also fair to say that the finished articles looked pretty spectacular!
A brief tour around the Beageun Mountain resort gave the team the opportunity to take in some of the beautiful local scenery as well as the chance to eat fresh cherries growing wild in the resort.
This was followed by a tour of a museum in Gwangyang dedicated to Jang-do (the tradition Korean knife) which is described as “the most magnificent traditional artefact among all Korean inheritances”. A Jang-do was traditionally used as an everyday tool – to cut simple objects, to collect wild vegetables and to protect themselves when needed. However, when Korea was invaded by the Japanese (1592 and 1597) and the Chinese (1636), the Jang-do became seen as an essential possession amongst noble ladies as a weapon for self-defence which could ultimately be used to take their own lives. Over time, as peace returned to Korea, the Jang-do carried by ladies became a personal ornament and a luxury good. As the function of the item the designs became more ornate and decorative, resulting in some truly stunning creations.
The day was rounded off with a traditional Korean beef dish (bulgogi) , a definite team favourite, together with a very warm, charming and inviting atmosphere created by our new hosts – good times!