Gwangju International Center will run its first GIC Culture tour on March 23, with a trip to Namwon.
GIC Tours and GIC culture programs were run separately once a month last year, but this year they have been combined.
Nestled in the northwestern foothills of Jirisan Mountain, Namwon has a long musical legacy, and is the setting for two of Korea’s five remaining “pansori,” the stories of Chunhyang and Heungbo.
The tour will make its first stop at The Birthplace of Korean Traditional Music, a center dedicated to the city’s music and musicians.
After learning about past masters, participants learn how to play some of the music. They will then assemble their own miniature “janggu,” an egg-timer-shaped traditional drum.
The group will then stop for lunch, trying the local specialty of “chueotang,” a mildly spicy soup made with a small freshwater fish.
The tour will then move on to Gwanghallu, a Joseon period pleasure garden. The place is well known for its beautiful traditional architecture set around a pond and its connection to the tale of Chunhyang, one of Korea’s best-known love stories.
Before heading back to Gwangju, there will be a stop by a traditional marketplace that sells local products such as lacquerware and knives. The city was historically a trade center, and was known for its farming tools and blades, and the tour will visit a traditional forge there.
The tour runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and costs 45,000 won for GIC members and 55,000 won for nonmembers. To attend, register via www.gic.or.kr . Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (062) 226-2733 for more information.