Gwangju Blog

Essentials with JD # 363 **BUDDAH’S BIRTHDAY**


Today is Buddah’s birthday and also a public holiday here in Korea.

If you are looking for something to do today you can go down to your local temple and enjoy the beautiful lanterns and also in the religion and culture.

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Alternatively you can make your way down to Gwangju Cheon near the Bitgoeul Centre near, Gwangju Park and NC Wave downtown to see the lanterns in the water.

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There is a small waterfall and you can pack a picnic ~ if you catch them at night they light up!

There is also a huge pagoda at the democracy plaza at the ACC.


Essentials with JD # 362**518 DEMOCRATIC UPRISING BUS TOUR**

IMG_3608It might be possible that you did not have time to visit some of the sites of the 5.18 movement during the past couple of days but if you would like to engage at your own pace there is the 5.18 bus which runs daily and you can access at your leisure. Below are some of the notable stops along the way that you might want to check out.

Historical Bus no. 518

Gwangju named its bus after numbers that are significant to Gwangju. They are 1187, 419, and 518. We have talked about bus 1187, and 419. The last bus is 518!

  1. Where it mainly goes??

518 freedom park – 518 commemoration culture center – GuemNamRo- Old Chonnam government center (ACC) – Gwangju station – CNU Main gate – Agricultural product market (Gwangju Correctional institute ) – May 18 National cemetery.

518 자유공원 – 518 기념문화센터 – 금남로 – 구 전남도청 (국립아시아문화전당) – 광주역 – 전남대 정문 – 농산물공판장 (광주교도소) – 국립 518 민주묘지

  1. 518 freedom park

May 18 Gwangju Freedom park restored the court and guard house which the military police had used on May 18. In the court, military trial was actually happened. Also there are military police barracks where the citizens were tortured.


518 자유공원에서는 법원과 영창이 복구되어 있습니다. 재판과정을 재현해 놓은 모형들이 있으니까, 이곳에 한 번 가보셔서 그 때의 상황을 한 번 보고 오시는 것도 좋을 것 같아요!

  1. CNU main gate

When the martial law announced, CNU students gathered and protested against the dictatorship. At CNU main gate, people students and troopers clashed.

To remember the incident and console the victims, inside of CNU, there are a lot of commemorate stones, and statues commemorating May 18

전남대 정문에서는 계엄령이 선언된 후 학생들이 독재정권과, 계엄령에 반대하여서 시위했는데요, 이때 계엄군과 학생들이 충돌하게 되었습니다.

또한 학생들의 참여와 피해를 기억하고자, 전남대 학교 안에는 518을 추모하는 많은 기념비가 있습니다.


  1. Agricultural product market (Gwangju Correctional institute )

In May 18, martial law army shot at citizens and vehicles who tried to go to DamYang and SunCheon area. Also, innocent citizens were tortured here in correctional institute, and to remember that historical incident, there is a memorial stone in front of correctional center.

계엄군이 주둔해 있으면서 담양, 순천 방면으로 이동하던 차량과 시민들에게 총격을 가해 많은 시민이 희생당했던 곳이고, 무고한 시민들이 교도소에서 고문을 받았었는데, 그것을 역사적으로 남기기 위해서 교도소 앞에 비석 같은 것이 세워져 있습니다.

  1. May 18 national cemetery

May 18 national cemetery was made to remember and mourn the citizens who were victimized on May 18.

Person who died because of May 18, person who was injured on May 18 and dead now, person who was a spouse of May 18 victim can be laid to rest in national cemetery.


518때 희생 당하신 피해자 분들을 위로하기 위해 이 국립 묘지가 생겼는데요, 518에 참여하셨던, 사망하셨거나, 이 때문에 다치셨던 분들, 그리고 그분들의 배우자 분들이 이곳에 안장되실 수 있습니다.



Essentials with JD # 361 **5.18 HISTORY ALL AROUND US**


For those interested in history of 5.18 it is all around you, downtown at the ACC in particular.

Here are a few images from the area and remember the building will be open to the public with guided tours too.

The Committee for Restoration of the Old Jeollanamdo Provincial Hall also said that 6 buildings of the old provincial office situated in downtown Gwangju will open to the public.

Members of the committee will guide a tour around the site of the pro-democracy movement till June 17th.

Also, records of the provincial office’s 100-year-long history from its foundation to a series of candlelight vigils that took place till early last year will be on display.


Jeollanamdo also plans to designate May 18 Democratic Uprising related places as historic sites for systematic management.

According to the province, there are 52 monuments and 21 signs at the May 18 related sites, but they have been left neglected without any maintenance.

The province will draw up an overall blueprint for the project by November this year and analyze their conditions to come up with further plans to preserve and utilize them.

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(for more local news updates tune into GFN)

Essentials with JD # 360 **MAY 18TH UPDATES**


Friday, May 18th is a deeply solemn anniversary for the people of Gwangju and Korea.

On this day in 1980, 38 years ago, many innocent civilians in Gwangju who were demonstrating against the authoritarian government of Chun Doo Hwan were killed by government troops charged with suppressing the protests.

To remember the day, a government-organized ceremony for the 38th anniversary of the May 18th Democracy Movement was held, at the May 18th National Cemetery, in Gwangju.


Some five thousand participants, including bereaved family members of the victims, citizens, students, and politicians, attended the event.

The event featured a memorial concert, an offering of flowers to the victims and participants’ singing “March for the Beloved”, a song written in relation to the movement.

During a ceremony, Prime Minister Lee Nak Yeon said that those distorting what happened during the May 18 Movement will face the “judgment of truth,” apparently referring to former President Chun Doo Hwan.

Lee also expressed deep regret about the “criminal behavior” of the past government in the tank-led quelling of the uprising that left hundreds of people killed and thousands wounded.


Family members of those who helped promote the truth of the May 18 Democratic Uprising to the world attended this year’s commemoration.

Barbara Peterson, wife of late Rev. Arnold Peterson, Martha Huntley, wife of late Rev. Charles Betts Huntley and Edeltraut Brahmstaedt, wife of late journalist Jurgen Hinzpeter were also present Martha Huntley gave a commemoration speech highlighting her experience in Gwangju. She said during her 17-years in Gwangju, she fell in love, learned many lessons and had nothing but admiration for the people of Gwangju, adding she felt a heartwarming humanity during May 18 in 1980.

After the ceremony, the attending families visited the Hinzpeter Monument to pay their respects.

Edeltraut Brahmstaedt expressed her gratitude for having her husband’s memorial monument in the city saying he wished to be buried close to the youth who died during the May 18.


The entire month of May here in Gwangju is dedicated to the Democratic Movement with many other events happening later in next week. The 2019 Gwangju FINA Aquatics Championship will be hosting a special concert in conjunction with the Chosun Rose festival next Friday ~ stay tuned for more updates.



(For the latest local news updates stay tuned to GFN on daily)

What to Do This Weekend: Art Class, Mortified, and a Rooftop Party!

Hello Gwangju!

Looking for something to do this weekend? The Gwangju Blog is your source for events in town. Let’s see what’s happening.

Thursday, May 17th

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Do you have a lot of knowledge about movies, music, current events, and other topics rolling around in your head? If so, you could have a great time with friends, and win some cash at Speakeasy’s trivia night! It only costs 5,000 won to play, and you can form a group of up to five friends to play. Don’t have a group to play with? Don’t worry, you can find one to join when you arrive. The second place team will get their money back, and the first place team will win the rest of the pot. There’s also a chance for free shots if you get a perfect round. Trivia night is a great way to spend a good time with friends, and as an added bonus you can win some money as well. If you need more details, please check out Speakeasy’s Facebook page.

Friday, May 18th

Gwangju residents know that Friday nights kick off at Tequilaz! Start with some of their delicious tacos for only 3,000 won each. Drink specials? Of course! You can enjoy unlimited drafts for 12,000 won, and unlimited rail drinks for only 20,000 won. All specials are cash only please, and run from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. If you need more details, please go to their Facebook page.

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Courtesy of Speakeasy

After you hit up Tequilaz, head over to Speakeasy where you can tell funny, or embarassing stories for a good cause. You might also win some prizes as well! The third edition of Mortified takes place tonight starting at 10:30 p.m. What is Mortified? It’s based on a radio show segment where people tell their funny and/or embarassing tales. Raffle tickets will be sold for great stuff like burgers and pizza from the First Alleyway, and t-shirts from Speakeasy. Also, all rail cocktails that are purchased will have 1,000 won go to charity. All money collected will go towards the Adopt-A-Child program. Hey Bill, you mentioned prizes? Yes, I did. The first prize will be a 50,000 won tab at Speakeasy. Second place will get a 30,000 won certificate from Alleyway, and third place will get a 20,000 won to spend at Tequilaz. Funny stories, cool prizes, and all for a great cause? Sounds like your Friday night is sorted! For any other details, please go to the Facebook event page here.

Saturday, May 19th

Courtesy of the GIC

Courtesy of the GIC

Today is packed with events at the GIC. First is the Saturday art class which will feature a female figure drawing class. It will begin at 12:45 p.m., and go until 3:00 p.m. The cost of the class is 10,000 won, and all materials will be provided. For more details, please go to their Facebook event page. At 4:00 p.m., the GIC Talk series will hold their second lecture of the month. The topic will be about the history of the India-Bangladesh enclaves. The lecture is free to attend, and will go for about an hour. To findo ut more info about the topic, please go to the Talk series Facebook page.

Courtesy of Gwangju-Jeonnam KOTESOL

Courtesy of Gwangju-Jeonnam KOTESOL

The monthly meeting of the Gwangju-Jeonnam chapter of KOTESOL takes place today at Gwangju National Univerity of Education (GNUE). The meeting will start at 1:45 p.m., and it will have two great presentations. KOTESOL is a great way to meet other teachers, and learn helpful tips to use in the classroom. For complete details about the meeting, please follow this link. You can also get details by visiting their Facebook page.

Courtesy of Gwangju Social Scene

Courtesy of Gwangju Social Scene

Saturday night brings a rooftop party to Gwangju!  Radio Killer, located in downtown Gwangju, will be hosting a rooftop hip hop jam tonight starting at 11:00 p.m.  There is no cover, and there will be drink specials throughout the night. The roof is also partially covered, so come check it out rain or shine! For more details, please check out the Facebook page of The Gwangju Social Scene.

Coming up!

GIC Together Day next weekend!

Mike Simning Community Builder Award ceremony on June 2nd!