South Korean city Busan аs a crossing pot for past, present, and future - Mediamax.am

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South Korean city Busan аs a crossing pot for past, present, and future


Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Hwang Hyung-ki
Hwang Hyung-ki

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax

Photo: Mediamax


The current unpredictable realities destroying the forms of daily routine are proving that we never know what will happen to the world tomorrow. Despite this, humanity continues to strive for stability. The upcoming World Expo will be hosted by Japan in Osaka in 2025, and the competition to host this mega-event in 2030 is already underway.

The journalist of Mediamax visited one of the applicant countries, the Republic of Korea, at the invitation of the Korean Culture and Information Service. She has observed ongoing preparations to host the World Expo in Busan and tells what makes Busan so special.

From recipient of assistance to a donor

After the first World Expo in London in 1851 was held, this format became a way to present solutions to global challenges and designate the direction of humanity’s development.

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4 countries offer their cities as a venue for the World Expo 2030: Republic of Korea (Busan), Italy (Rome), Ukraine (Odessa) and Saudi Arabia (Riyadh). Russia was among these countries until May 2022, when it announced its voluntary withdrawal from the competition. The name of the winner will be known in November 2023, and until then the countries strive to represent their cities in the best possible way.

Photo: Mediamax


In the Republic of Korea they are convinced that Busan will be an excellent choice, as it is ready to share with the world its path of struggle and success, from a recipient of economic assistance to a donor country in just 50 years.

The melting cauldron for cultural flavors

Located on the crossing point of the East Sea and South Sea, Busan is the gateway to the sea routes of the Korean Peninsula. It is the second largest city in the Republic of Korea after Seoul, with a population of about 3.4 million. From Seoul to Busan one can easily reach by Korea Train Express (KTX) in just 2-2.5 hours.

The name of the city originates from the 15th century. It consists of two characters: 釜山, the first of which means cauldron, the second means mountain. The mountains here were said to resemble a cauldron, but the name corresponds to the city in another sense as well. Since 1407, when the port of Busan was opened to the world, it has become a melting pot of Asian cultures, just as different tastes are being combined in the cauldron by forming new flavor.

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During the Korean War of 1950-53, Busan remained one of the few areas that avoided the invasion of the North Korean armed forces. Millions of refugees have found shelter here, also the political and cultural elite has gathered in Busan. It had been the temporary capital for 1023 days.

Due to the war, the area also received refugees from the northern regions of the Korean Peninsula, continuing to enrich Busan's hybrid culture. For example, some of the most famous dishes, like dwaeji gukbap (pork and rice soup) and milmyeon (wheat noodles) were spread through families fled from the north.

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Cultural diversity has also shaped the locals’ attitude towards foreigners. People here are open to communication with foreign guests of the city. Especially if the shape of your eyes betrays that you are not a local, strangers on the streets will smile warmly, say "hello" and may even strike up a conversation, happily listening to your impressions of Korea and soju (Korean distilled alcoholic beverage generally made from rice).

The transformation from grays to colorful brightness

A beautiful example of harmonizing old and new is Busan’s Gamcheon village. It was formed during the Korean War as many refugees found shelter in this area. They hurriedly built wooden houses piled on top of each other on the hillside so as not to block the view of the mountains and sea.

From 1950 to 1960, the town’s population grew to 30,000, after which it began to decline as residents started moving to other cities.

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In 2009, The Gamcheon Culture Village project was launched in order to turn it into a cultural town to preserve its history and atract tourists. For that purpose, a number of local artists took up the task of transforming the Gamcheon and breathing a new life into it.

Photo: Mediamax


Today, the town is an ideal place for tourists to take a walk: at every step of the colorful streets, there are souvenir shops, photo zones, beautiful illustrations and motivational quotes on the walls, and you are surrounded by a wonderful view of the sea and mountains, which you want to "breathe" all the time.

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Here, also your fortune is being told. You just need to throw a coin into the slot corresponding to the animal sign of your birth year and you will get a prediction about what awaits you in each month of the given year. In this case, of course, it is good to have friends with some ancient Korean language knowledge to help you figure out what the mysterious divination tells.

The crossing pot of the past, present and future

"Transforming our world, Navigating towards a better future" is the theme for World Expo 2030 within the framework of which a number of global challenges will be considered: climate change, downsides of digital transformation, inequality within and between nations. This was said by Hwang Hyung-ki, the representative of Overseas Expo Outreach Divisiono, Busan Metropolitan City, during the conversation with international journalists.

According to him, it is planned to provide a platform for the development of 3 main discussions: sustainable living with Nature, technology for humanity, caring and sharing.
Hwang Hyung-ki Hwang Hyung-ki

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A number of reconstruction works are planned in the city in order to make it more comfortable to host the World Expo. They have already started and will be completed regardless of the results of the expo competition.

The singers of the world-famous group BTS and the actor Lee Jung-jae, who became gobally famous from the movie "Squid game", are the official PR ambassadors of the World Expo 2030, Busan. Thus, they hope to attract international tourists, especially among the youth.

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The official in charge of the expo preparation also noted that they also plan to use metaverse technology in order to making the expo accessible from every point of the world.

Photo: Mediamax


According to Hwang Hyung-ki, in Busan people will be able to see the past, present and future.

"Today, the whole world is facing various challenges related to the environment. We strive for sustainable development through green energy, innovation and social security. Over the past decades, Korea and Busan have seen many transformatios: war, industrialization, democratization. Thanks to this experience, we have enough soft power to discuss various issues with the world. Throughout its history, through cooperation with various developed countries, the Republic of Korea has been able to create solid foundations for development, taking a place in the top ten countries in the world by GDP. Thus, we could be a bridge between developing and developed countries and are able to provide an effective exchange of experiences to discuss mechanisms for addressing global challenges," he said.

Gayane Yenokyan (Busan-Yerevan)




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