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Gwangju hosts World Kimchi promotion in a Seoul palace

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Seoul Mayor Park, ambassadors,

madams invited to experience Kimchi-making

Gwangju hosts World Kimchi
promotion in a Seoul palace

The Gwangju Metropolitan City of Jeollamam-do Province, 205 miles south of Seoul, is hosting the 20th annual Gwangju World Kimchi Culture Festival at the Jungoe Park of the City for a five-day run on Oct. 5-9, 2013.

In advance of the Festival, the Organizing Committee is hosting a Special Kimchi Promotion Event at the Gyeongbok-gung Palace in Seoul, as well as in Gwangju, to feature the Royal Kimchi, Gwangju Kimchi and the Winter Kimchi on Sept. 7, 2013.

Ambassadors and spouses at Gwangju World Kimchi Festival in 2011. They are, from right, Ambassador Vnukov of Russia; Mrs. Saribas (spouse of the Turkish ambassador); Ambassador and Mrs. Majka of Poland; Ambassadors Saribas of Turkey and Dusan Bella of Slovakia; Mrs. Bella; Mayor and Mrs. Kang Un-tae of Gwangju Metropolitan City; Ambassador Dato Ibrahim of Malaysia; Chairman Kim Sung-hoon of the Festival Organizing Committee; an unidentified Korean guest; Mrs. Malungo; and Ambassador Albino Maulungo of Angola. The organizers say that there are a lot more to enjoy and learn this year for the the ambassadors and spouses.

To the opening ceremony of the main Gwangju World Kimchi Festival on October 5, 2013 and the Seoul Kimchi Event on Sept. 7, 2013 Mayor Kang Un-tae of the Gwangju Metropolitan City cordially invites Mayor Park Won-soon of the Seoul Special City and ambassadors and with their madams to attend both events, and have a hands-on experience in making a wide variety of Kimchi.

The Kimchi event in Seoul will feature displaying of a wide range of the Royal Kimchi, Namdo (Southern Region) Kimchi and traditional Korean Winter Kimchi.

Left photo show Mayor Kang Un-tae of Gwangju Metropolitan City and the right photo Mayor Park Won-soon. Mayor Kang has invited Mayor Pa-rk to attend the Seoul event. They are from the same political party.

This year, it is not going to be a simple sampling of Kimchi but satisfying Ogam (five senses of the human body), namely the sense of taste, sense of sight, sense of hearing, sense of touching and sense of smelling.

Then there will be the 5th International Kimchi Conference at the National Folk Art Museum of Korea located inside the Gyeongbok-gung Palace on Sept. 6, 2013, where papers will be published on the excellent effects and functions of Kimchi.

Left photo shows Janggo (Fermented Food Storage Place) at the Gyeongbok Palace of the Joseon Dynasty, which is the venue of the Seoul Kimchi Event on Sept. 7, 2013 of the 12th Grand Gwangju Grand World Kimchi Festival. Right photo shows the Hyangwon-jeong Pavilion inside the pond in the backdrop of Janggo, the venue.
Organizers of the Gwangju World Kimchi Culture Festival will also host an interesting event on the theme of Kimchi at the 12th World Korean Business Convention slated at the Kimdaejung Convention Center in the Gwangju Metropolitan City on Oct. 29-31, 2013.

On display at the venue will be various interesting historical anecdotes about Kimchi and there will also be a sampling event of various Kimchi and Kimchi-related foods such as Kimchi rice balls, performances by Kimchi characters and a Kimchi making event.

The organizers of the Kimchi Festival are trying to have the traditional Korean Kimchi registered by the UNESCO as a world heritage in the area of traditional food.

Left photo shows the Gyeonghoe-ru Pavilion built inside the Bangji Lotus Pond of the Gyeongbok-gung Palace, where the Kings of the Joseon Dynasty hosted receptions for foreign delegations and ambassadors.

The organizing Committee of the Gwangju World Kimchi Culture Festival will also operate an International Kimchi Bus which will tour Japan, Australia and various other countries of Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.

Before its departure for the overseas tour, the International Kimchi Bus will tour Seoul, Busan, Gwangju, Daegu, Jeju and various other parts of the Republic of Korea for public relations activities.

There will also be a grand Kimchi-making contest among the noted Kimchi Masters of the different regions of the Republic of Korea. For the foreigners, the organizers will host a ‘Kimchi Fusion Food Contest’ so that the participating culinary art-minded will produce various fusion foods made with Kimchi.

The host will organize a Kimchi-making class where the participants will learn how to make real traditional Korean Kimchi following an established Kimchi recipe. They will also learn how to learn Kimchi food styling through the use of various designs.

Then there will be a Kimchi Love Sharing event with the participation of various business companies as sponsors. Citizens of Gwnagju and Jeollanam-do areas, especially the multi-cultural families, are invited to receive the Kimchi sponsored by the businesses.

Kimchi characters will attract the attention of the visitors as they will mingle with them.

From left: An unidentified Korean lady, Amb. and Mrs. Saribas of Turkey, Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post, A-
mb. and Mrs. Malungo of Angola, Educational Superintendent Chang Hwi-kuk of Gwangju, Chairman Kim Sung-hoon of Kimchi Festival, Mayor Kang Un-tae of Gwangju, Amb. Vnukov of Russia (behind Mayor Kang), Chairman Yoon-Bong-keun of Gwangju City Council, Rep. Kim Young-Jin, Rep. Kim Jae-kyun, Councilman Ryodo Sasaki of Sendai City of Japan, an unidentified
lady, Amb. and Mrs. Bella of Slovakia, Mrs. Majka and Amb. Majka of Poland and Amb. Ibrahim of Malaysia (in October 2011).

There also are following events and activities:

-Foreigners will be invited to have a Kimchi Tour so that they can learn Kimchi as a culture.

-Children will be invited to have a Kimchi play

-A Kimchi roulette game where the participants will have a tour of all parts of Korea.

-Kimchi Smile Mask making: The participants are invited to have an art experience and try on the Kimchi Smile Mask

-A clay handicraft-making using Kimchi and various vegetables.

-Small-size Meju-making. Meju is a boiled soybean lumps which are fermented and used for making soybean paste, -hot pepper sauce and soybean sauce.

-Bean curd-making experience. Bean curds are named Dubu in Korean and Tofu in Japanese. The bean curds go well with Kimchi in making Jjigae (stew).

-Traditional market place for Kimchi. This event will be sponsored by the Kimchi-making companies in Gwangju and Jeollanam-do areas.

-Premium Kimchi of Gwangju will be widely advertised at the Kimchi Gwang Publicity Hall. Gwang is a homonym of Light (光) and Mania or Craze (狂), of which the Light (光) forms the first half of the city name Gwangju (光州) and puns beautifully with Gwang (狂), meaning ‘Mania.’.

-Kimchi Festival souvenirs and mementoes. Traditional Korean earthen jars used as containers of Kimchi for fermentation of winter Kimchi.

From right: Ambassador Hector Roberto Gonzelez Urrutia of El Salvador, First Secretary Petro Malaniuk of Ukraine, a Korean kimchi master, Mrs. Malaniuk, Defense Attache Col. Emmanuel Fernandes of Spain and Chairman Kim Sung-hoon of Organization Committee (former agriculture minister of Korea).

The Gwangju World Kimchi Culture Festival was first inaugurated in 1994 and this year the Festival turns 20 years old, the year of adulthood in Korea. In 20 years, the Gwngju World Kimchi Culture Festival has now become the representative Kimchi Festival of the Republic of Korea as well as a representative festival of the Gwangju Metropolitan City.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission of the United Nations which is operated by FAO and WHO officially recognized Kimchi of the Republic of Korea (and not Kimuchi of Japan) in 2002 as a naturally fermented food distinguished from the salted foods of various countries of the world. In 2006, the world-famous health magazine, HEALTH, selected Korean Kimchi as one of the Five Health Foods of the World.

NBC, the TV broadcasting system of the United States, recommended on March 31, 2009 to the audience to eat Kimchi everyday if they wanted to ‘age gracefully.’

Noted Korean Kimchi Master Mrs. Kim Soon-Ja (right) explains at Gwangju how to make the best-tasting traditional Kimchi.

Last year, Washington Post Reporter Tim Carmen who visited the Korean Kimchi Festival in Washington D.C. wrote a story entitled “Kimchi: An Inexpensive Health Insurance” where the reporter reminded the American people that Korean Kimchi was the health food of the world.”

There were reports that the First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama, disclosed her recipe of the Korean Kimchi and wrote on her SNS timeline to suggest that it might be a good idea to try to make their own Kimchi. The reports said that it attracted a lot of visitors ‘heating up’ her SNS page.

These are some of the indications that the world-famous mass communications media and noted personalities take such a strong interest in Korean Kimchi and confirm the fact that Kimchi is now emerging a world brand of health food .

This year, the Gwangju World Kimchi Culture Festival marks the 20th anniversary of its inauguration as was briefly mentioned earlier, and on this occasion expands the events and activities of celebration to Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, and other major cities across the country such as Busan.

The Kimchi-making Contest will offer an opportunity for the top-rate Kimchi Masters from all parts of the Republic of Korea to display their skills.

▲Kimchi Master Mrs. Kim (second from right, front row) poses with international and Korean food experts at an international Kimchi Conference.

There also are cultural experience events where the people will experience Kimchi as an important culture and personally take part in various Kimchi-related cultural events and activities where they can experience the satisfaction of the five senses of man (taste, sight, hearing, .touching and smelling).

According to Mayor Kang Un-tae of the Gwangju Metropolitan City and Chairman Kim Sung-hoon of the Festival Organizing Committee (both former agriculture ministers), Kimchi is a representative fermented food of the Korean people good for health, and has been with them for the past 5,000 years with continuous development and improvement.

To make the Gwangju Kimchi, they said, the cabbage is salted in coarse salt water and then is mixed with red pepper powder, onion, garlic, ginger and salted fish slices and thus-made Kimchi is not only tasty but also prevents diseases.

Then they said that the lactobacillus content of Kimchi is 59 times that of Yogurt and that Chairman Dr. Karen Hulebak of Codex Alimentarius Commission called Kimchi ‘a food that is living.

They said that to maintain the optimum taste Kimchi must be stored in earthen jars that let in good air and forced out bad air. They said that storing Kimchi in a container other than an earthen jar would not affect the taste for a short period of time but that it must be stored in an earthen jar for a long-term storage--such as winter Kimchi that should last out the whole winter (three to four months).

The Gwangju Kimchi particularly stands out from all the different kinds of Kimchi in Korea. This is because in making Kimchi in Gwangju cabbage and radish must be those grown in red-clay soil and the salt must be that from the sun-dry salt farm, which is rich in mineral contents. Then they are mixed with 300 different kinds of fish pickles.

Thus the Gwangju Kimchi is known to prevent oxidation, cancer and other viruses, bird flu and SARS, while it also protects and beautifies the human skin.

According to Mayor Kang, Kimchi also promotes friendship between the neighbors because traditionally when one family makes Kimchi the family shares it with its neighbors--asking “How does it taste?” It is for asking their advice as well as promoting friendship with them. This is why Kimchi is also known as a ‘food of love-sharing.’

“Now we wish to share our Gwangju Kimchi not only with the neighbors in Korea but with all the different peoples of the world,” said Mayor Kang, “and through such sharing Gwangju wishes to globalize its Kimchi and contribute to the enhancement of happiness and joy among all the peoples of the world through health promotion and satisfaction of their palate.”

The grandest Kimchi Festival of Korea is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Korea National Tourism Organization, Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corp, Korea Tourism Association and Korea Kimchi Association, and the Kimchi Association of Korea. k

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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