Have you been to the German Village in Korea?
At first glance you might notice it’s just a modern city, just some beautiful buildings.
Then you start walking around the community and you’ll start to hear some German being spoken, though they are clearly Koreans.
There is a stone that welcomes you to the the German Village and right above it, you’ll notice the first flag is red, black, and yellow.
Have we stepped into Germany?
Well, you have ! All of the residents who live here are retires from Germany.
How did this come to be?
After the reputation they created from WWII, Germany wasn’t looking so hot to the world. The country was very much divided due to their their ideologies, similar to North and South Korea. Because of Germany’s similar situation where their country was divided, West Germany wanted to offer support, and setup a system which invited miners and nurses from South Korea.
So the girls got dolled up and went to Germany!
And the boys went to work.
These guys that came were called Gastarbeiter, meaning guest worker.
Though the Gastarbeiters were only allowed to stay for a specific amount of time in West Germany, anyone who’s spent a few years in another country and found their second home, half of them didn’t want to leave.
I mean, who’d want to go back, they look so happy!
So was the case with the South Koreans; they protested and fought to stay in Germany, and the government agreed.
Now, some retirees have come back to South Korea in order to live their golden years in their motherland.
There is even a village dedicated to these people which is like a German village in South Gyeongsang in the Namhae County (in red).
It’s a beautiful place, from what I can see. And the area is definitely a German village but better because all the buildings are new. One German professor said that 90% were German here.
As I’ve felt the need to come to Korea sometimes even though I’m immersed in the American culture, the Koreans who’ve lived in Germany for over 20, 30 years felt the same say. Which is why this village was built.
I’m glad they’ve found a place halfway between Germany and Korea 🙂 There is also talk of an American Korean community as well, but that will require giving up citizenship in the U.S. Hmmm, wonder what my parents would think about that.
Consequently, there are still people who have made Germany their home, and now reside usually in Metropolitan areas, Berlin having one of the largest Korean communities to date.
In any regards, has anyone ever been to the German Village?
Danke, your Kyopo friend,