September 10, 2008
The day after we sang our hearts out in a Bucheon No-Rae-Bang was a Saturday, which, as you may recall, means fun times around Bucheon City Hall area. This week we were surprised to find another high-school event of sorts. Last week there was a high-school Karaoke festival, with a stage set on the street. This week there was an all out talent show, with a pretty big stage set up right at the steps of Bucheon City Hall. The talent show was for more than just singing, though. We saw some full-out bands playing, yeah, but we also saw two beatboxers, and a group of 20 people or so doing Taekwondo or some other martial art in a synchronized dance to the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song. All around the place were concession stands set up, where you could buy food made by Bucheon high school students, or buy a polaroid picture of yourself acting goofy, or get your face painted, bid in a charity auction, or whatnot.
As well, in the center of City Hall’s grass was a huge white mat with a bunch of paints and paintbrushes bundled to the side of it. People were encouraged to write a message on the mat, or leave hand or footprints. Martina was dead set on writing something as well, even though nothing was written in English. Thankfully, we know enough of the Korean alphabet to be able to spell out phonetically. And so, with green paint, Martina smeared on the mat “Ma-tee-na” [heart] “Sa-yee-mohn.” That’s as good as it gets when it comes to spelling out our names, by the way. For Martina’s name, the R-T combination is impossible in Korean, so we just have to drop the R altogether. Anyhow, we’re proud of being able to show off our skills in writing Korean; kids around us were staring at Martina with their mouths open, shocked to see that a foreigner knows the secrets of their script. Click on the picture here to see Martina’s writing in all its glory.
Altogether, the event was loads of fun, and even though Simon’s first Korean cold was just starting to gain strength (we’ll write about Korean medicine soon), we both still had a good time. What makes the event even better is that Martina saw a bunch of her students there and some of them even served us food. Â Anyhow, the video is nothing special, but you’ll get a sense of what the day was like. We’re just surprised that the city of Bucheon is so heavily involved in high school activities. For two consecutive weekends these streets were shut down for school festivities, and we can hardly ever recall anything like that happening in Canada. Kudos to Bucheon for being so involved.