Monday, October 22, 2007

Haunted Harbor

Last weekend we went to the Jagalchi Festival which seems to be one of those fairly low-key local events which tend to be a bit off the tourist trail. If there is some greater point to it I'm afraid it was lost on me, though on the whole it looked like it was just an excuse for local vendors to serve copious amounts of freshly-captured seafood and for some people to get up onto the stage to indulge in some good old fashioned Korean dancing and singing (or lip-syncing at least) whilst wearing extremely short mini-skirts, which might not be so remarkable here had they not been men.

Seoul has a bit of a reputation for being more liberal and bohemian (by Korean standards - it's all relative), and they tend view the far South and the province which Busan is in as being quite conservative, a place where men are real men, and the women can also be quite loud and frightening. Yet it's hard to reconcile that supposed conservatism with the enthusiasm with which the cross-dressing dancers are greeted, although it must be said that men in women's clothes are a regular sight on comedy shows, which is certainly thought provoking, although I fear the day my Korean language ability is sufficiently advanced to realise that most TV shows really are the 1970s pastiche they appear to be.

Down by the harbour was an exhibition of model ships, a man chopping traditional Korean sweets in time to music, karaoke for drunk ajeoshis (older men) which was about as bad as you can possibly imagine, and of course, lots of eating, and drinking of soju.

Korean tags: 음악, 축제

1 comment: said...

An awful lot of British comedy is also centered around men in womens' clothing. (and hanging out in bars)

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