EBS Documentary [Korea Travelogue : Life Is a Road Movie] Watching Guide

Published : Monday, November 26, 2018, 10:25 am
■ Introduction

Nature seems to have soothing powers that comforts us. We often find ourselves longing for the green mountains and the blue oceans in the midst of the hectic lives and constant stress.

EBS Korea Travelogue is a TV program that takes you to the hidden beauties of Korea. The history, traditions, architecture, and culture of Korea is delivered through vivid images.

For those of you who can’t enjoy a day off, Korea Travelogue introduces people who are living their dreams in nature. Shall we look into the lives of those who ride bikes across the fields, live by and with the ocean, and farm for the fruits of hard work?

■ Where Are You Going Today?

Sang-Sun Kim received a motorcycle from a friend fifteen years ago. He takes his motorcycle into the country every weekend. Riding the motorcycle allows him to feel and look at things he has missed driving a car. Today, San-Sun Kim rides to Yangyang, Gangwon-do to visit his old friend. Watching him ride pass the mountains and lakes almost feels like we are on the motorcycle with him. The friend he is meeting is Sang-Sun Nam. The two friends with the same names met in Sokcho, Gangwon-do and has been friends for a long time. They were separated when Sang-Sun Kim had to move to Seoul for work, but they still think of each other dearly. With his motorcycle, Sang-Sun Kim is able to meet new people in new places and visit old friends who live far away. Now he is off to a new destination for his own little road movie.

■ Like a Flowing River

Let’s meet our new guest in Yangpyeong, GyeongGi-do. Chang-Jin Kim runs an outdoor learning camp for children. Chang-Jin makes recorders of all shapes out of clay. Watching a frog made out of clay turn into a recorder is just marvelous. He especially likes to make frog, salamander, and toad shaped recorders to show his apologies to the animals harmed by humans’ greed. Making clay recorders got Chang-Jin interested in sounds, which led him to make his own speakers, and to plant trees around the house to attract birds for their chirping. Chang-Jin has not always lived in Yangpyeong. It has been fifteen years since he left the swamped life of the city and settled here surrounded by beautiful sounds. Sounds of nature is now a crucial part of Chang- Jin’s life. The sound of frogs coming out of hibernation in April and the sound of geese coming back home in November gives Chang-Jin his strength. It looks like Chang-Jin has found himself at home in the peaceful nature.

■ Let's go Visit Now

Where is the one place you think of when you feel homesick? Let us introduce you to a place full of nostalgia: Shinan, JeollaNam-do.

Korea’s west coast has islands that are estranged then rejoined due to the high tidal range. Shinan, JeollaNam-do has an 18km pathway, which used to be stepping-stones put in place to ward off evil spirits. This pathway connects six islands from Byungpoong-do, and it is open all day except during the high tides.

The women of Byungpoong-do just finished their potato harvest and are gathered around for lunch. They start “Sandai”, a folk song singing done in groups, which originated from the cities of southwest coast: a performance that can rarely be seen elsewhere. Watching the entire town working and living like one big family brings about great nostalgia.

Shinan used to be the trading center for natural sea salt. Although decreased in number, there are still operating sea salt farms on the island. Seawater crystallizing into natural salt is like watching a life grow and ripen. Myung-Seok Lee, an owner of one of the salt farms, promises to think of the farm as a gold mine and keep it safe. Myung-Seok Kim’s passion reminds us that it is things that change, not people.

■ That's How You Become a Farmer

Yang-Hee moved back home to the countryside three years ago and is now starting to get used to farming different crops. Her next goal after corn is Shiitake mushroom. Most of her friends worry about her and the demanding work of a farmer, but Yang-Hee is confident.

Yang-Hee and her brother Yoon-Seok say that there is a lot more to farming than just the financial outcomes. Planting the seeds, caring for it night and day comes the joy of harvesting the fruits of hard labor. This keeps them working on the field every day.

Jin-Chul Shin and Hee-Jeong Jung also started farming for a living ten years ago. The couple grows mulberries and never once used chemical pesticides. The couple started with a solid philosophy and a promise that they will not farm to earn a fortune and has been keeping the promise ever since.

Once harvesting of mulberries is done in the summer, the rest of the year is vacation. The couple enjoys their free time making jam for their friends. The reason for their move to the countryside was Hee-Jeong’s health. Hee-Jeong recovered from her illness, but they have realized that healthy body and mind comes from healthy environment and work. The couple’s goal now is to “work less and live healthy”.

■ Conclusion

Just like how everyone is born with different faces, everyone has different definitions of happiness. Today we looked at the lives of those who have found their happiness in nature. The birds chirping, ocean sparkling with sunlight and fruits ripening overtime will stay with them through the good and bad of life. How about taking some time off the busy city life and enjoying the nature to make your own ‘road movie’ of memories?

* Video available on Youtube. English narration and subtitles provided.

Part 1. Where are you going today?

Part 2. Like a Flowing River

Part 3. Adventures of the Three Musketeers

Part 4. Let's go Visit Now

Part 5. That's How You Become a Farmer

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