Peace is near us
Culture reporter: Kang Gwi-woong,Translated by: Kim Yae-seol( Duncan Elder)
“Jing~jing~it is lunch time, let’s go eat”.
The gong rings at noon and six in the afternoon to announce lunch and dinner.
During the Jeju Peace Festival, for two days and three nights people live, eat and learn together in the forest. This year’s festival was held from September 30 to October 2 in Gyorea Natural Recreation Forest.
In 2009, a 100 days pilgrimage was held in Korea by the Japanese organization East Asia Peace WALK9 and the Korean organization Live Peace Association. It was hoped this walk would be a chance to spread peace in East Asian countries.
In 2014, after a conversation with the planner of the Itoshima Ecology Festival, the Jeju Peace Festival came into being. This year is the third year of the festival.
The festival planner Kim Woo-yong told us about the theme of this year’s festival, “The theme this year is The Family. In the Jeju Peace Festival community, people create a family from the traditional and the modern. ”
The planning team created a “breathing” village for the community to live in for two nights and three days. Foreigners, immigrants, teenagers, the young and people from the local village gathered together to tell stories, live in tents and enjoy the festival.
At the festival, there were booths including teenager counseling, church services, a children’s playground, a flea market and libraries.
The peace section was divided into the Learning Zone (seminar and workshop zone) and the Get Together Zone. Here people shared various opinions about peace.
As well as this, there were natural activities and relaxation programs like morning yoga and meditation, daytime forest exploration, and nighttime sky exploration.
In the networking section, people shared animated stories. Meanwhile, writers gave presentations in the Learning Zone on the topic of “Jeju teenagers, our future and peace”.
In the Learning Zone and the Get Together Zone, people shared their stories around the topics of native seeds, space renewal and the East Asia Era for peace.
In the seminar, people thought about serious questions like ‘what is peace’ and ‘what can we do for peace.’
One participant said, “I think one side of peace is a calm and serious state. But the other side is a more noisy side. In my opinion, peace is allowing the voices of minorities and other people to be heard. This is the real peace.”
The peace festival was run by volunteers. One of the Like It volunteers said, “this is the second time I have attended the Jeju Peace Festival. I had a lot of fun last year as a participant, so this year, I thought I could do something for the festival by being a volunteer. I am helping out in the places that need me. In my opinion, peace is being with others in silence.”
The expressions of the peace storytellers look pleasant and Gyorea Natural Recreation Forest was full of delight and happiness.
One participant said, “Peace is being together.”
This seemed, to sum up the event. Just by sharing stories, it felt like peace was already around us.