The 18th Gimje Horizon Festival Day 2 (by Pavel)

This is a second part of the journey I took on the Gaecheonjeol national holiday (개천절). I ended my previous article with the fireworks show, however, I forgot to mention, that then we were place in a hotel for a night.

Quite unfortunate, I failed to take pictures of that hotel and the rooms. Neither have I found it on the internet, so you just have to believe me that it was quite a decent hotel. Of course it wasn’t 5 star one, but it was clean, nice and had everything you might need for a night.

The only organizational moment that ticked me off was that right as we sat in the bus we were given a sheets with a table of room numbers and empty spaces where we were supposed to put our names. In other words, we were supposed to organize ourselves in the rooms. Obviously, in the end it turned out that some girls found out that they are placed with guys, and they were pissed. Moreover, a lot of people made friends there and waned to be in the same room but they couldn’t. All in all, it was a complete mess but eventually everyone was placed in the room (but might be not with his friends though).

Anyway, I was okay with my roommates and spent a very nice night sleeping in my bed. The next morning brought us a heavy rain. I know a few people went home by themselves not to waste a day. To be honest, I was thinking about doing the same. However, after having a breakfast (which was completely vegetarian just as was the dinner btw) the rain has stopped. I was still kind of pessimistic about staying and walking around in that mess (dirt and water all around). My fried though, wanted to stay for the cooking competition, so I thought I might see what is it.

Anyway, I stayed for the competition. It was a competition between countries and my friend persuaded me that we should stand up for Russia, so I put on the red apron and prepared myself for the worst.

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Well, you can divide the competition in three parts. In the first part we were making…uff…there is no even close word in English. Basically it is a rice bread stuffed with some nuts and sugar.








I like this picture because it shows who was really working in our team while someone was eating what we made:



Kidding, we were working equally. =D


In the second part we mixed rice with different ingredients such as flour, and kimchi, and bunch of other stuff and then we fried kind of flapjacks in a pan. Then we had to decorate two plates from parts one and two and move on to the part three.

In the next part all of the teams presented their plates on a common table:








Honestly, I thought we would be among the worst there. When the man leading the competition was announcing the places my last hopes died as he named the first and second places. Imagine my surprise when it turned out that the winner of the competition were we!



I haven’t even realized it at first. I thought we won some kind of People’s Choice Award or a consolation prize. But as unbelievable as it might seem, we took the first prize! On top of been honored we got some cash prize too, so it definitely made my day.

Compared to that experience the rest of the day was kind of fuzzy, but it was still interesting. They gave us the traditional farming clothes first:



Then we went to a small field where we were doing some ritual for the good harvesting season.

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After the ritual they gave us the tools to try how is it to harvest rice.

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After a group photo we had a small lunch right by the field and pretty much called it a day!


To sum up, it was a great experience, so I would recommend you to go there and do that for yourself! Anyway you have hardly done something like that in your life and will hardly have another chance. Plus, this is a great opportunity to make more friends there. What can be better than that?


Article by Pavel from the U.S.A.

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