A Trip To Korean Cul­tural Her­itage Sites

The Global Digest (English) - - Contents - By Staff Cor­re­spon­dent

The Korea Cul­tural Her­itage Foundation or­gan­ises two­day trips to var­i­ous UNESCO cul­tural her­itage sites in Korea through­out the year and th­ese trips are pro­vided to groups of peo­ple who do not have much op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence Korean cul­ture.

A group of for­eign­ers were able to visit the South­ern Korean penin­sula, a UNESCO Cul­tural Her­itage site, the Jikji mu­seum, Haeinsa Tem­ple and Upo wet­land on 2627 Novem­ber 2011.

Jikji is the ab­bre­vi­ated ti­tle of a Korean Bud­dhist doc­u­ment; lit­er­ally, it means “An­thol­ogy of Great Bud­dhist Pri­ests’ Zen Teach­ings.” It was printed dur­ing the Go­ryeo Dy­nasty in 1377, and it is the world’s old­est ex­tant mov­able me­tal print book. So, UNESCO con­firmed Jikji as the world’s old­est met­al­loid type in Septem­ber 2001 and in­cluded it in the Mem­ory of the World Pro­gramme. How­ever, whilst Jikji is the only re­main­ing ex­am­ple of the me­tal printed book it has been dis­cov­ered that the Chi­nese de­vel­oped me­tal print­ing tech­nol­ogy ear­lier than Korea but un­for­tu­nately there are no Chi­nese ex­am­ples in ex­is­tence. China his­tor­i­cally con­cen­trated on wood print­ing tech­nol­ogy rather than men­tal print­ing tech­nol­ogy to pro­duce large num­bers of books for their big pop­u­la­tion, the trip guide said.

The next site the group vis­ited was Haeinsa tem­ple. Haeinsa is a head tem­ple of the Jo­gye Or­der of Korean Bud­dhism in the Gaya Moun­tains, South Gyeongsang Prov­ince South Korea. Haeinsa is most no­table for be­ing the home of the Trip­i­taka Kore­ana, the whole of the Bud­dhist Scrip­tures carved onto 81,350 wooden print­ing blocks, which it has housed since 1398. UNESCO rec­og­nized not only the wooden print­ing blocks, but also the stor­ing house with its incredible ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem. The trans­la­tion of the Trip­i­taka into Chi­nese lan­guage took 900 years, said the trip guide. Haeinsa is one of the Three Jewel Tem­ples of Korea, and rep­re­sents Dharma or the Bud­dha’s teach­ings.

The last site the group went to was Upo wet­land. Upo Wet­land (in­cludes Upo, Mokpo, Sa­jipo and Jokjibul) is the big­gest nat­u­ral con­ti­nent wet­land in South Korea. It is

lo­cated on 128°25' east and 35°33' north. In July of 1997 it was des­ig­nated as an Eco­log­i­cal Con­ser­va­tion Area by the Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment. The Upo Wet­land is also known as a tran­sit-point for mi­grant birds go­ing from Siberia to Aus­tralia and New Zealand. There are ap­prox­i­mately 160 species of birds. Male Mal­lard birds are one of the in­ter­est­ing birds; when they are mat­ing their heads are the color blue.

Warn­ing: please don’t try to catch and eat the birds, oth­er­wise you have to pay a fine of $20,000 and face 2 years in pri­son, ac­cord­ing to Korean gov­ern­ment law. The Korean gov­ern­ment pro­motes their Cul­tural Her­itage sites across the na­tion and co­op­er­ates with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

At the site of King Tomb


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