Kimchi-making-season-is-back-for-diplomats
Diplomatic Corps members pose at the opening ceremony of the 28th Gwangju World Kimchi Festival in Gwangju on Oct. 29. Photo by Yeo Hong-il/Korea News Plus

Diplomatic Corps’ participation in the 28th Gwangju World Kimchi Festival

By holding several kimchi-making experience events which invited Ambassadors’ spouses and senior diplomats from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps, Gwangju Metropolitan City heralded the start of the 28th Gwangju World Kimchi Festival not only in Gwangju metropolitan city but also all over the world.

From several years ago, Gwangju Metropolitan City has maintained its tradition, which invites excellencies, madams, and senior diplomats from the Diplomatic Corps. to Gwangju so that they can experience kimchi-making processes in person. 

Without any exception, media partner Korea News Plus invited ambassadors, their spouses, and senior diplomats to Gwangju Kimchi town on Oct. 29 with the help of Gwangju Metropolitan City as well as the Secretariat of the 28th Gwangju World Kimchi Festival.

Senior diplomats, including Nicaragua Amb. Rodrigo Coronel Kinloch and ambassadors’ spouses, from 14 nations and representatives from foreign organizations enjoyed the 28th Gwangju World Kimchi Festival fam tour organized by Korea’s leading digital online media.

They visited the Kia automobile factory, Songjeong traditional market, Asia Culture Center, and the Kimchi Town, where the opening ceremony of the 28th Gwangju World Kimchi Festival took place.

Vice Gwangju Mayor Cho In-cheul, General Manager Oh Kyoung-bok of the kimchi festival, and 23 Diplomatic Corps members were part of the event.

Hectic schedule

Diplomatic Corps members who arrived at Gwangju Songjeong station with KTX train from Seoul Yongsan station visited Gwangju Kia factory as their first itinerary in the morning. 

After lunch, they toured the 1913 Songjeong station market as part of the Songjeong alley tour guided by Songjeong Merchant Prosperity Association president Kim Jae-bok.

In the afternoon, Diplomatic Corps members dropped by Asia Culture Center, an integrated platform where all the people from Asia can freely unite and exchange their ideas.

Undoubtedly, the Diplomatic Corps fam tour’s highlight was the opening ceremony of the 28th Gwangju World Kimchi Festival, where Diplomatic Corps members were able to learn how to make kimchi with careful guidance of kimchi masters.

Vice-Mayor Cho said that kimchi has settled down as an iconic food of K-food all over the world.

In particular, he stressed that Gwangju is a representative region for kimchi thanks to its characteristics _ organic cabbage and radish grown in eco-friendly muddy soil plains, high-quality fermented fish, and solar salt produced in the south-western coast, and outstanding skills in making kimchi.

“I will cherish today’s visit experience as beautiful memories.”

On behalf of all participants of the Seoul Diplomatic Corps, Nicaragua Amb. Rodrigo Coronel Kinloch said through an interview with local newspapers.

“Today’s fam tour at the 28th Gwangju World Kimchi Festival was very beneficial in that Diplomatic Corps members were able to experience Korea’s kimchi-making culture, a suzerain city of kimchi in Korea,” he said.

“I will cherish today’s visit experience as beautiful memories.”

According to the Secretariat, the 28th Gwangju World Kimchi Festival is proceeded with on and off-line separately from Oct. 29 until Nov. 14.

On Nov. 13 and 14 as well, Gwangju Kimchi Day event linking the world takes place in Kimchi Town, including kimchi direct-transaction market, kimchi flea market, kimchi-making experience for children, traditional fermented food experience, kimchi busking, and squid game.

In consideration of the recent COVID-19 circumstances, Gwangju Metropolitan City carries out some programs online, including Global K-kimchi academy, Gwangju kimchi master classroom, and kimchi-song dance challenge where foreigners can experience kimchi-making experiences online.

More details can be found on the homepage of the 28th Gwangju World Kimchi Festival.

And please refer to Wikipedia for the customs of Korea’s kimchi-making.

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Yeo studied German in Seoul. He has worked as a journalist for the past 40 years. He has mostly covered diplomacy, foreign schools, regional festivals, culture and other areas. He can be reached at hyeo7832@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.