Bringing vivacity to a secluded village

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Bringing vivacity to a secluded village

The Daegi-ri Village in Gangwon Province where I live is perched on a high mountain area 700-1,100 meters (2,296-3,608 feet) above sea level across the mountain range of Mount Baekdu on the northern tip of South Korea. Visitors are rare to this distant mountain area. I have been farming potatoes and cabbages in the rough mountain soil since the 1960s. We finally caught up with technological advances with the arrival of an Internet connection in 2005.

A group of university volunteers called NH Young Supporters sponsored by Nonghyup, or National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, asked if they can hold a concert in our village. We welcomed the proposal but did not believe that they can actually pull it off. On Aug. 20, a troop of 30 university students arrived and staged song and dance numbers for our villagers. Their performance echoed across the mountain, bringing youth and vivacity to our secluded village. The dark faces of our villagers, who had been anxious about poor farming yield due to lengthy draught, brightened up. Everyone clapped and enjoyed the moment, resting their worries for the time being.

Their concert left strong resonance, connecting the urban and rural communities and the young and old generation.

We were touched that such young people were so eager to bring comfort and joy to the farmers. The familiar mountain scene and natural setting felt different under their music and passion. We were sincerely touched and grateful to the young students who traveled so far to our village to offer gifts of comfort and joy.

If more young students campaign to show interest and affection to rural and farming communities, farmers would be encouraged and more proud of their profession of producing safe farm and food products. It is particularly so in mountain areas like our village where farms produce are mostly byproducts of hard efforts by farmers because machinery does not help much. We hope more people will pay more interest in our efforts and farm produce.

By Oh Kwa-hyun, Head of Daegi-2-ri Village, Gangwon

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