The Han is the place to be this month

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The Han is the place to be this month

The Han River will be a hot spot this month. More than 30 events, including live performances, contests, parties and exhibitions are scheduled, as well as marathons.
Today, more than 1,000 people will walk about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from Yeouido to Nanji Park to raise money to help feed the hungry. The national TV station SBS and World Vision are hosting their first-ever walkathon. Word Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization, serves the world’s poor. It was founded in 1950 by Bob Pierce, an American missionary in Korea, in order to help orphans from the Korean War.
On Sunday, the National Youth Commission, a governmental body in charge of national youth policies, will hold a Youth Marathon to advocate a violence-free society.
About 10,000 people will run either a full marathon, a half marathon, a 10-kilometer or a 5-kilometer race on Sept. 16 and 17. The local marathon magazine “Running World” is hosting the races, dubbed “New Life Marathon.”
Expatriates Canadian or otherwise can participate on the annual “Terry Fox Run” on Sept. 17. Hosted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea, the Terry Fox Run is an annual charity event held in more than 50 countries around the globe to raise money for cancer research. The first Terry Fox Run took place in 1981 in Canada, and the first in Korea in 1991. The event, named for a man who ran across Canada with only one leg and died in 1981, has raised more than $500 million for research.
Traditional Korean dance and musical performances can be spotted during the Korean autumn. On Sept. 10, nine groups of university students and professional performers of nongak, a traditional form of Korean percussion music usually played by farmers, will perform nongak pieces and hold a rope-twisting event, a traditional activity usually performed together with the gochang gut.
Gut, which literally means exorcism, is a popular live performance staged by local shamans and dancers, who wish for peace of the deceased, rain for a great harvest, protection against evil or just simply good luck.
The gochang gut is a unique style of the exorcism originating from the Jeolla region. Nongak is often played during a gut.
In the old days on Korean farms, a local percussion band used to wish for a bountiful harvest for the year and harmony among the villagers, while entertaining fatigued farmers. Today, both gut and nongak performances have lost their original meanings, but remain as simple forms of entertainment. They are often performed during autumn.
A large outdoor gathering titled, “No Blood No Tears Night” will be held on Sept. 22.
The event focuses on ensuring that public spaces are safe for women, so they can be outside at night without risk of sexual assault. Women of all ages and professions can hear a “debate play,” in which audience members are invited to participate. In addition, underground bands including Island City, a modern rock group, will perform live.
On Sept. 24, a “Pop Culture Competition” will showcase talented teenagers who will perform jazz, hip-hop, breakdancing and belly dance.
The special exhibition hall on Sunyu Island near Yeongdeungpo on Sept. 22 and 25 will host a “Four People’s View of Everyday Life” exhibition will feature drawings, canvas works and digital images by four local artists, including In-tae Baek, Gu-ja Kang, Yun-sun Choi and Dae-sook Shim.
At the same place on Sept. 29 and 30, a group of amateur Korean photographers will also hold an exhibition.

by Im Sun-young
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