• Updated : 2020.5.28 목 17:48
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The Traces of the Modern History of Gwangju광주의 근대 역사 유적지를 찾아떠나다
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승인 2011.03.08  12:51:37
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
<#307 Reporter’s Sketch>
Yangrim-dong, the Modern History of Gwangju
By Jang Kuen-won, Tribune Reporter
How much do you know about your region? I am not from Gwangju so I do not know much about this area. Before this new semester started, I wanted to go day trip around Gwangju. I found a nice place to go and it is Yangrim-dong. Early last year, Yangrim-dong was designated a historical and cultural site because of its missionary history and modern atmosphere as missionaries were first established in Yangrim-dong, Gwangju.
Gwangju Nam-gu Office, the managing body of the site, conducts tours of these well-preserved traditional cultural properties around Yangrim-dong for the public on every fourth Saturday. The Cultural Tour program is divided in two: Course A and Course B. Course A presents historical sites related to the mission and Course B shows historical sites of Yangrim-dong. I choose Course A with a church group with guide Yeo Nam-sun.
The first place we visited was the grey brick Owen Memorial Pavilion to honor Dr. Clement C. Owen, who treated infectious diseases in the churches and schools in Gwangju. Interestingly, each side has the same shape door. This was associated with Korea's Confucian culture. The Owen Memorial Pavilion also spread Christianity in Gwangju, acting as a Bible school, cultural arts center, and an educational facility. It was a rare opportunity to listen to many stories about this small and beautiful building.
The next place is the Missionary Cemetery. Dr. Owen and his family were buried here in 1909. As of 2010, 22 people are buried here; so many that it has few precedents abroad. The program guide’s description of the missionaries’ accomplishments made me feel grateful for their spirit of sacrifice for our nation. And I went to see the famous holly trees, which are as old as 400 years. The holly trees’ thorns which sprout between leaves have atrophied because it has been unthreatened during its 400 years. These holly trees seemed to represent an old history of Gwangju.
           Currently, 22 people are buried in the missionary cemetary
As I didn’t have enough time before the start of the new semester, it was hard for me to explore other regions. I experienced fun and excitement with regards to the history of our region from this program that we students should know. Yangrim-dong, with its well preserved old buildings, has been frequently used as a backdrop for TV dramas as well. That I did not know where this area was disappointed after this opportunity to tour them all a very blessed place. Because of the very cold weather, I could not look around the entire area, but a brochure and a brief description from commentator was good enough. For students from other regions such as me, and for new students as well, it is very helpful to understand Gwangju. This program can impart the feeling of love for our community and tell a lot about our area and neighborhood. I participated in this program out of casual desire but it wound up being  rewarding to my eyes and heart. 


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