A weird, fun, weekend – or – Destination: Daegu Colorful Welcome Festival

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With Namiseom and the French Village behind us, Kiwiwiwi and I made our way to Daegu, where I was to participate in a singing contest,  specifically at the 국채보상공원 – the National Debt Repayment Park. While the whole singing thing was a great excuse to come down to Daegu, I won’t pass up a chance to relax and enjoy a park.

With Namiseom and the French Village behind us, Kiwiwiwi and I made our way to Daegu, where I was to participate in a singing contest,  specifically at the 국채보상공원 – the National Debt Repayment Park. While the whole singing thing was a great excuse to come down to Daegu, I won’t pass up a chance to relax and enjoy a park.

The sign at the bell tower. If you read the tourist sign, it explains the history of the park, and the movement during the early 20th century to repay the country’s national debt and reclaim their sovereignty. While men gave up their tobacco (imagine that happening today) and women helped to raise funds, they only gathered a small fraction of the funds needed. Read more on Wikipedia if you like, but the park’s function is mainly to host the events therein.

The 2011 Daegu Colorful Welcome Festival seemed like a great opportunity to introduce the locals to the traditions of the larger world, as well as reinforcing some classic Korean traditional games.

 

These, of course, are far from Korean – a nice sampling from masks from Europe.

There’s also plenty of people around the park as well – presenting a few acts from the talent / singing show:

Nothing quite like the Wonder Girls’ ‘Nobody’.

A rather random sight – this little guy was caged inside what looked like a birdhouse at first glance.

Alongside a row of drums was the following poster, displaying a few possible rhythms to beat.

Now back at the stage and waiting my turn – but you can’t resist a limbo contest where the moms have to carry their babies! As the bar got lower, a couple of guys stepped in to ensure mother and baby didn’t fall or injure themselves.

A pretty, but sad, ‘Mother of Mine’.

Fan dancing, anyone?

Hey, that’s me! A big thanks to Kiwiwiwi for the picture. I sang 보고싶다 by 김범수 (Bo-go-ship-da, or ‘I miss you’ by Kim Bum Soo, from the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ TV series).

After my performance, I learned that the awards wouldn’t be for a couple hours, so off we went in search of some fun – and the nearby Dongseongno Festival had plenty to offer!

More than a few Koreans took the chance to pet this little guy – surprisingly, he seemed calm the entire time I watched him.

Sigh… An outdoor festival on a beautiful day and the kids are more interested in playing computer games.

A quartet of women dancing as men – and a LOUD audience supporting them.

It was at this point that J. and I headed back to the park to see who won, and/or claim a prize if applicable.

After watching people get recognized as participants, I wasn’t quite sure what was happening. It was a couple minutes later that they called my name – as first place overall. Wow – awesome :) My prize? A complete set of Korean children’s books – a full 20 kilograms worth of brand-new books. After a few photo ops and an awkward video ‘interview’, we caught a taxi back to the train station and headed home – it is rather hard to walk around carrying a camera bag and a heavy box of books.

 

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