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Chairman of promoting the World Kimchi Culture Festival

Chairman of promoting the World Kimchi Culture Festival

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Agrafood: Could you give your thoughts as Chairman of the WKCF?

Mr. Kim : I’ve been working as Chairman of the WKCF since last year. The Kimchi Festival has been held since 1994 and it became a national event as we started adding the word ‘culture’ to the title. For this year, we are even more ambitious as we focus on making the event a world-wide festival.

Agrafood : Previous festivals did not include the word ‘World’ in the title, but it becomes ‘World Festival.’ Can you comment on this?

Mr. Kim : Encoded in the catchphrases ‘Say Kimchi, the Taste of a Thousand Years, and Go to the World!’ is our effort to achieve the globalization of Jeollanam-do kimchi in the context of the internationalization of Korea.

Kimchi has more than 1,500 year’s history. Rice and fermented food such as kimchi, Doenjang (bean paste), Jeotgal (salted seafood) and soy sauce have been the staple Korean diet for centuries. Jeollanam-do is the center of Korean fermented foods and Gwangju is known as the capital of traditional Korean food. Kimchi has been chosen one of the five healthiest foods in the world and it has a prophylactic effect against new kinds of virus such as SARS and H1N1. It has also obtained a food certificate from Codex. So we are going to focus researching the medical effects of kimchi.

Agrafood : What is the things you focus on for this year’s event?

Mr. Kim : The main goal of the festival is to give kids, Koreans, and foreigners the full kimchi experience! For that, we are going to organize a kids’ kimchi zone and some other event booths such as ‘Cabbage Book Store’ and ‘Kimchi Health Center’. There will also be photo zones and the event of erecting a cabbage tower. We are going to exhibit the other fermented food such as yogurt from Grease and natto (fermented beans) from Japan, and health foods such as olive oil from Spain and lentils from India.

Agrafood : What is the vitalizing strategy of the WKCF?

Mr. Kim : The WKCF is a festival of the local of Jeollanam-do, albeit focused on kimchi. I think the great culture of Jeollanam-do such as Pansori (a kind of folk play), traditional writing and drawing, and pottery were created because of its wonderful kimchi. We are set on introducing people to Jeollanam-do’s kimchi brand ‘Gamchilbaegi’ and obtaining HACCP or organic certificates will be helpful in this regard.

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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