Jeju Island

16 May

The island of Jeju is considered the Hawaii of Korea. Located miles off the coast of the southernmost tip of South Korea, Jeju provides a mix of tourism and traditionalism. Most of the land is arable, making agriculture a huge part of island life. Besides being known as the Korean island paradise, Jeju is famous for the tradition of Haenyo, or female divers. Haenyo became common in the late 1900’s when diving for fish became too low paying of a job for men to take; women were not subjected to the work taxes that men were, making the job more profitable for Haenyo. Given Jeju’s mass exportation of seafood to Japan during this period, Haenyo became the breadwinners of the family. Although this tradition is slowly fading away, a significant number of women still work as Haenyo today. Seafood, Haenyo, and agriculture make up the essence of this struggling-to-stay-traditional island.

An aerial view of Jeju Island (Courtesy of Global Geopark)


The Kimchi Chronicles: The Jeju Chronicles

Wikipedia – Haenyo

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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Cities, History


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