Photos by Lee Wooki, Lee Tae-Ho, Park Inchun, Hosu, Joan, Park Young-In, Fr. Mun Kyu-Hyun, JoYakGol, and Jeju branch of the Korean Federation of Environmental Movement (For more photos, see here)
Regarding the New Year event, please refer to the top headline article in Dec. newsletter, too.
As of Dec 31, 2014, the struggle to oppose the Jeju naval base project hit 2787th day. (It is counted from the date when the villagers’ anti-base committee was set up on May 17, 2007) The daily struggle still went on in the last day of struggle. The police ritual to carry off people sitting in front of base construction site went on, too. Mr. Oh Chul-Geun’s daily three steps one bow went on, also. It reached already near 600th days.
The weather during the both days of Dec. 31 and Jan, 1 was quite fickle—You can see most of the weather elements- Sun, Moon, Stars, cloud, wind, snow, frost, sleets, rain but lightening. It was as if the two spirits of the good and evil were in battle in the sky for the domination of next year.
“We pray that there is no more bad luck in the Gangjeong village in the coming New Year….We hope to inherit our embraced village to the future generations.” Mayor Cho Kyung-Cheol said in his words of invitation for a New Year event.
The ceremony to lit the fire on the cotton-wrapped letters of the ‘Gangjeong, the Life and Peace Village’ was lit this year, too, amid many people who welcome the New Year after a festive in the community Hall on the last day of 2014.
Otherwise, it was for the 1st time in nine years that the villagers held the Byeolpoje in the Moetburi, the eastern tip of the Gangjeong village and of the Jeju naval base project. Byeolpoje is a villagers’ special prayer ceremony held in the Moetppuri every year until the Jeju naval base construction impeded villagers annual walks into the coast-adjacent high rock area filled with sands and reeds.
Gathering people’s annual aspirations of a little better living, the native groups in the Gangjeong village, such as the Gangjeong village association, Gangjeong village elders’ association, Gangjeong young people’s association, Il-Gangjeong folk conservation association, Gangjeong Saemaeul safe, holding hands strongly together, have prepared for the ‘2015 Gangjeong Peace Prayer Ritual.’
As of Jan, 7, the navy has sent the 4th warning notice to dismantle villagers’ sit-in tent in front of the military residence construction area. It gave people due date of Jan. 13, which was already passed.
To save the village from the threat of the navy base project and military residence construction that could swallow the small village of 1,900 population, the people set up two traditional totemic poles of male and female in the corner of the village community restaurant on Jan. 1, 2015. The Poongmool team, the peace activists’ traditional music performance team posed a group photo in front of the two poles.
The program was as the below.
The 2015 Gangjeong village peace prayer ritual
From 5 pm, Dec. 31 to Noon, Jan. 1, 2015
On Dec. 31, 2014
Village Community Hall, 5 pm
Village party, song concert, lighting ceremony, and flying wind lanterns
On Jan. 1, 2015
Carrying out a peace prayer ritual, in front of the ‘Byeolpoje’ altar in the Moetppuri, [eastern tip of the village, now threatened by the Jeju naval base project]
Welcoming sunrise in the Moetppuri
Building Jangseung (Korean traditional totem poles) in the Joongdeok Samgeori (Three-fork road)
The New Year rice cake soup, words of blessings and congratulatory ceremony in the village community hall
For the original Korean script, see here (Photos in the link are by Choi Yong-Beom and Choi Hye-Young)