My name is Gim Guhui, and I am a first year student majoring in Korean Studies. Please watch the video I prepared on the topic of Hahoe byeolsingut talnori.
Related Videos List:
To learn more about the masks used in this drama in another video I made, click here. To learn more about a different mask dance drama in a video by my classmate, click here.
All videos by Gim Guhui
Yang bangeon – “Byeoli jineun eondeok”
I think that an ancient culture and a modern world reconciled in Andong Hahoe village very well.
I went to Andong Hahoe village to watch Hahoe byeolsingut talnori. And there, I felt some harmony between tradition society and modern society.
In my opinion, Hahoe village is one of the most well-harmonious places between ancient and modern. So I will explain why Hahoe village is well-reconciled place by giving example of my experience. I will separate two parts of reconciled place: positive and negative.
Positive side is that they induce participation of audience through performer’s ad-lib. For example, when the performer does their play for regular performance, deputy mayor of Andong participated in it. Imae who is one of the performers in Hahoe byeolsingut talnori said to audience, “Deputy Mayor of Andong is here! Only if the deputy mayor dances here, we can continue our performance. Please welcome him!” After Imae finished his talk, the deputy mayor really came into performance location and dance. Through deputy mayor’s participation, the audience could laugh a lot. And his appearance with western clothes (black suit) among the Korean traditional clothes (Hanbok) looks like really cool and unique. I think it is a kind of combination of ancient culture and modern world. Second positive side is that Andong Hahoe village is the place where Confucian concept is well preserved. Despite its Confucian mind, there are so many foreigners to experience Korean traditional culture. It is the evidence that Andong Hahoe village succeeded to reconcile tradition and modern society.
Third, there are Hahoe mask bread and Hahoe mask chocolate in the souvenir shop. They mix ancient culture (Hahoe mask) and modern (chocolate). Through the combination of tradition and modern, it can evoke people’s attraction and village profits.
However, there are also some negative reconciled features. Commercialization is ongoing in Hahoe village so it is a part of reconciling ancient culture and modern world. Before Hahoe village was designated as UNESCO world heritage, they collected only parking fee. But after designated as world heritage, they collect not only parking fee but also admission fee. I understand that they will develop their performance using our parking fee and admission fee, but I worry about commercialization of Hahoe village. Besides, there are so many restaurants and souvenir shops in the village. When I was young, there are only a few stores. But when I visited there in recent, I surprised at so many stores. Although it can offer convenience for tourists, it seems that Hahoe village forgets its original purpose – to maintain Confucian value.
In my opinion, there is one thing that was lacking in Hahoe village: Service for foreign people. I think that the effective way to reconcile past and present is to perform as foreign languages like English and Japanese. Actually, there are so many foreign tourists in the village. But the performance usually acted as Korean, they can’t understand the contents easily. If our traditional culture (Hahoe byeolsingut talnori) performed for foreigner with foreign language, we can reconcile it perfectly. It will become the most unique and influential performance in Korea and it will be acknowledged as bridge for linking between past and present.
Through my own experience, I learned Andong Hahoe village is the place where Korea traditional culture is full of and also co-exists modern culture. I assure that almost never exist a place where tradition and modern mix harmoniously like Hahoe village in Korea.