So the title of this post might have attracted you for a different reason...if so, shame on you, I meant Tug of War. Last week on our Just Kicking It journey we decided that it was time for a cultural Sunday. After one or ten weekends of seeing the night life, we thought it rather important to check out what is happening around us. See some sights, experience some culture and maybe one or two drinks along the way. A temple and a tug of war festival were on the cards, and I can tell you that this was not the tug of war festival I expected. We headed out with a few fellow sightseers, our first stop I am not even going to mention, there was some sort of house and to be honest I would not go back to it. I can imagine that for people in South Korea it is good to check out, but if I am recommending, I would say no. Here are one or two cool pics though, then we get onto the cool stuff.
Pretty cool don't you think. but other then that it was time to head to Sudok-Sa Monastery. A Monastery famous for....well you can just read what it says in the picture below. Ok no one would be able to read that. Anyway, the monastery is over 2000 years old, I was so impressed by that, it definitely made me take a moment and look around and just try and comprehend, what history had taken place on the spot I was standing. Also it is famous for only having female monks, which is apparently unheard of. I did wonder if that was similar to the western convents with nuns.
The Temple/Monastery was great, and to be honest we didn't have enough time to explore the whole place. There was a section high off in the mountains that we couldn't possibly hope to reach in the time that we had available to us. So I know that I will have to go back to check out the rest. Here are some pics below.
Some cool pics, and Jay-ess and I were not so stoked we had to move on, but the Tug of War festival awaited us. The festival was took place in Dangjin, South Korea, and so I didn't really know what to expect. I had heard that there would be thousands of people and when I heard Tug of War I presumed that people would be tugging some rope. You know maybe some contests and we stood around and watched, ate some food and maybe one drink (it was a Sunday after all). But no I was terribly wrong. You don't just stand by and watch, nope, you take part. There is a 40 ton rope that is 200 meters long. That was what I was first told, but then even better, I was told that it takes us 3-4 hours to drag it to the finishing grounds. If I am not mistaken, this tradition has gone on for 400 years (if am wrong I don apologize). So to say I was not looking forward to this was an understatment. Well that was the second time that I was wrong about the Tug of War. It was awesome. Everyone coming together an pulling and all the while you are plastered with local drink called makkoli. If you have tasted it before you will know that it takes some getting used to. But by your 6th one, it is going down like water. Everyone was so friendly and it was so festive. Being foreigners, seemed to hand us a sort of VIP card, and we literally took part in every aspect of the day. From the pulling and the drinking, to be on TV and the threading of the ropes at the end.
When the rope finally reached it's destination and all was in place. It was then time to pick sides and have a tug of war. Thousands on each side, and would you believe it the rope snapped, which I took to mean, not only that we had won, but also that I was incredibly strong.
So what a day it was. You can see some more pics below. I am getting my GoPro this week and I want to start making vids of everything. Anyway take a look below.
Below is a little video of what was going on.