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Dangjin hosts 2015 Gijisi Tug-of-War Culture Festival April 9-12Ambassadors and families are specially invited

Mayor Kim Hong-jang of the Dangjin City the Chungcheongnam-do Province, some 87 miles southwest of Seoul, is hosting the 2015 Dangjin Gijisi Tug-of-War Culture Festival for a four-day run on 9-12, 2015.
Designated by the Central Government as Important Cultural Asset No. 75, the Dangjin Gijisi Tug-of-War Game is becoming increasingly popular among the foreign residents in Korea and visitors as well as the Korean people.
Mayor Kim invites ambassadors and their families to attend the Festival on April 10, 2015 for the promotion of understanding and friendship between the Korean people and the members of the Diplomatic Corps.
This year, Mayor Kim has an expanded plan in terms of promotion of the image of the Festival and city to the outside world and for this purpose he plans to also invite foreign students in Korea two days later on April 12.
Dangjin Gijisi Juldarigi was designated alsoas a promising festival by the Central Government in 2013 for many interesting features, including the fact that the rope used is 200 meters long, 1 meter thick, and weighs 40 tons.
It is the largest rope in the whole world and it takes 30 technicians full 60 days non-stop to make it.

▲Citizens of Dangjin clad in traditional white Hanbok of Korea carrying logs to be used for tug-of-war ropes

The number of individuals participating in a single game is 300,000 persons who pull the rope in opposite directions at the same time. This makes it the largest folk festival on the planet.
Gijisi Juldarigi (tug of war) contains a variety of cultural significances including, but not limited to, teamwork for harmony and unity, efforts to overcome natural disasters in an agrarian society and the shamanistic beliefs that pray for abundance and prosperity.
Nearly 200,000 citizens of the Dangjin City are known to have applied for registration of this treasure as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity so that more and more people may watch and enjoy this cultural heritage, to which end the citizens of Dangjin are striving.

▲The Dangjin Gijisi Tug-of-War Culture Museum in Dangjin City

Elected to the Dangjin City in June last year, Mayor Kim has a strong pride of the Dangjin Region. He says, “We are a central city in the Pan Yellow Sea region. We will relive the hey-day of Dangjin, which was a port city that traded with the Tang Dynasty of China. As a harbor city with an ideal environment for the agricultural, industrial and maritime trade sectors, Dangjin is quickly developing into the hub of Korean-Chinese trade in the Pan Yellow Sea region.”
Then he said that Dangjin is a city where culture and arts are flourishing, whereas the city attracts a stream of visitors annually with its rich culture and fascinating arts and related events.
“We host the Gijisi Tug of War Festival celebrating the 500-year-old game that was played to pray for fecundity and good harvest and to build solidarity and a sense of community among the residents,” Mayor Kim accents the popularity of the representative festival of the city. The Dangjin Gijisi Juldarigi (tug of war) has a history of 500 years.

▲Citizens examine huge ropes of the Dangjin Gijisi Tug-of-War

He says, “There also are a number of historical sites such as the Solmoe Sacred Site, where the first priest of Korea and martyr, Andrew Kim Taegon, was born, as well as the Silli Sacred Site that is considered the cradle of Korean Catholicism.”
Dangjin City is the considered the most vigorously developing area in the Republic of Korea and is as competitive as any city in Korea with unlimited growth potential.

▲Ambassadors and spouses tour Hyundai Steel Mill

Dangjin has three Industrial complexes, namely, Godae, Bugok and Seokmun, with a Steel Industrial Complex developed near Hyundai Steel Co., Ltd. Dangjin has one port and two highways, giving it excellent conditions for logistics. Quite a few foreign companies prefer to invest here and we would greatly appreciate your keen attention and promotion as well.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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