150,000 come to 3 WeAJa flea markets

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150,000 come to 3 WeAJa flea markets

The JoongAng Media Network’s 12th annual WeAJa charity flea market was held Sunday in Seoul, Daejeon and Daegu, with nearly 150,000 visitors taking part in making this year’s event another success.

The proceeds from the three markets, about 83 million won ($73,000) - approximately 52 million won from Seoul, 12 million won from Daejeon and 19 million won from Daegu - will be donated to We Start, a civic organization aimed at helping children in low-income families obtain proper education and medical care.

Since 2005, the fair has raised around 1.5 billion won, helping more than 67,000 children.

This year’s WeAJa flea market ran from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Gwanghwamun Square, central Seoul, and 30 minutes longer, until 4 p.m., in Borame Park in Daejeon and at the National Debt Redemption Movement Memorial Park in Daegu.

The flea market in Busan was canceled due to rain.

Donations were made by a spectrum of high-profile figures, including pro-golfer Park In-bee, who won gold in the 2016 Summer Olympics; Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon; former President Lee Myung-bak; GS Caltex Chairman Hur Dong-soo; SK Telecom CEO Jang Dong-hyun; as well as actors Park Seo-jun and Bae Yong-joon.

Riri Lestari, 24, and Anneke Purnamasari, 25, tourists from Indonesia, said they were in Korea for eight days and decided to drop by the Seoul market after visiting nearby Gyeongbok Palace.

“It’s lunch time so we’re looking for something to eat,” said Lestari. “We’re Muslim, so we would have to look for something halal. I don’t think it would be easy, but we very much enjoyed Korean food so far during our stay in this country.”

Another visitor at the Seoul market was Shin Jin-woog, 49, who was accompanied by his wife and 5-year-old son.

“We bought tteok (rice cake) and sikhye (traditional sweet rice beverage),” said Shin. “We didn’t do much shopping, though, because we’re mainly here for our son. There are many interesting experimental programs that my son could learn from.”

Shin’s son, Shin Hae-sung, learned how to make hanji (traditional paper) and also took a lesson on CPR from a booth set up by the Korea Association of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. The 5-year-old said his favorite experience was making hanji.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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