Thursday, April 7, 2011

Seoul Friendship Fair 2011

My favorite Seoul festival* is back. Seoul Friendship Fair will just like last year be held around Seoul Plaza and Mugyodong-gil, at the feet of the new City Hall.

By the way, that building looks scarier than ever : from the beginning, this towering steel and glass wave reminded me of a tsunami about to crash over Seoul Plaza, but these days, without its final touches, the new exoskeleton structure around the old carcass from the Japanese era looks like a gigantic eagle claw. Yet, just like for Gwanghwamun Square, I'm rather confident : beyond the look, it's mostly about reopening a crucial area to pedestrians, and if Seoul City Hall used to be a hurdle for traffic, it has a great potential as a vital hub once it cracks open like say the Sony Center in Berlin. I'm anxious to see the final result and often have a peek at the working site (the other day, I could enjoy a dramatic view from above, at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club).

But enough chit-chat about architectural projects, let's talk about food.

Yes, the friendship fair is about bringing Korean and Foreign communities together, discovering new cultures, listening to music, or attending dance shows from all over the world, but to me it's mostly about food and roaming all day long from booth to booth to try the most exotic specialities. And for certain cuisines which don't even boast a restaurant in Seoul, the dishes can be of the genuinely home made variety (sometimes even served by the ambassador himself).

It's good, it's fun, and it's a fantastic opportunity to see how international Seoul has become**.

You don't want to miss this.

Seoul Friendship Fair 2011 ("Meeting and sharing of the world, and unity")
Organizers : Seoul Metropolitan Government
Date: May 7 and 8, 2011 (Saturday - Sunday)
Location : downtown around Seoul Plaza and Mugyodong-gil.

Seoul Village 2011

* "
Friendship Fair"
** see also "
In 2050, almost 10% of Korea's population will not be Korean" - note that Yonhap disclosed two statistics today that confirm the trend : elderly citizens in Seoul reach 1 M, foreigners living in Seoul after marrying a Korean spouse 41,000.

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ADDENDUM 20110501 - SFF website and map

More details and updates about the events on the official website :
seoulfriendshipfair.org.



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