Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dongdaemun Flower Festival at the Riverside

Ah, so spring has come and with it flower festivals, and all over Korea too. However, this flower festival I happened across seems to be in name only. There were no flowers anywhere, except for the stage design, which incorporated pseudo cherry blossom trees edging the stage. Other than that, the word 'flower' was just another reason to have a food festival with some stage entertainment. So here are a few shots of the 5th Dongdaemun Flower Festival. The pictures are divided into three groups - PEOPLE, FOOD and PERFORMANCES.


This festival wasn't for targeting kids, but there are always paved areas along the riverside for kids to learn to bike, skate or blade, chase balls, run puppies, fly kites, or a host of other things. This little boy was "driving" his baby brother around on a rental tricycle ... and loving the attention of being the star of a photo shoot!
 (2) FOOD
I have absolutely no earthly idea what this is except to say that at one time it was alive and wiggling. No thanks, and yes, my disinterest in trying these is based on not only my ethnocentrism but vegetarianism.

Roasted baby chicks. The absolute first time I saw this in Korea. I've seen dishes like this in Cambodia ... but Korea? it was definitely a novelty dish at one booth only because other people with monstrous cameras were lingering for a shot or two of these.

Shark or whale fin. I am NOT impressed. These are endangered species, and even though I'm supposed to be the impartial "participant observer" of anthropology, I will speak out on behalf of these endangered giants of the ocean.

고래고기 - whale meat. I am so NOT IMPRESSED!
Teas - chrysanthemum, 오미차, etc.

과자 (snacks) - they look sweet and tasty, but to the western tastebuds, they're lacking in both sugar and salt ... very visually appealing though!

Organic beans and grains - black beans, millet, and many more. Buying 'organic' is now the rage and so it's appropriate to have stalls for organic foods, mushrooms, and ginseng at a food, I mean, flower festival.
Hot snack foods - barbecue "shishkebabs" Korean-style, and the old stand-by 번데기 (silkworm larvae)

gingko nuts with a little salt and sold in a paper wrap ... for health-conscious people like me!
A high school symphony orchestra - They played beautifully for a whole hour. The strings were especially captivating to me, but once in a while the mystical notes of the oboe would soar or a maybe a French horn would answer. Sigh!
엿 sellers making a performance to "pimp" their 엿 - 4 men dressed as women but hobo-style and together with 1 woman a truly lewd-and-rude 2-hour comedy performance to "entertain" and market their product was given. The crowds attracted were mostly the middle-aged and the elderly. A few young parents with children on their shoulders stopped in briefly.

The 2 most lewd-and-rude entertainers ...

No comments:

Post a Comment