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A Jige Discovery Experience in Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul, South Korea

Updated on January 8, 2013
Jige
Jige

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What is Jige ? I saw this really unique back-carrier during my visit to Seoul. It was displayed at the entrance of Bukchon Hanok Village, an exquisite Korean traditional village with 600 years history.

The Korean called it “Jige”, originated from the Korean verb “Jida”. "Jida"means to lift something and place it on one's back in Korean language. The "ge" öf "Jige" is a Korean suffix, forming a noun.

Korean is often proud of its invention. The Korean believes that Jige is one of the greatest tools they have invented. Usually made of pines which are readily available in Korean forest, the basket is inserted into Y-shape wooden frame. The wooden frame comes with two strong and long wooden legs arranged like an “A” shape. A few shorter wooden hands stretched out to support the basket. The shoulder straps allow the user to hang the carrier to his shoulder. At the part where the user’s back is in direct contact with the basket, a thick straw-woven pad is attached, for user’s comfort. When not in used, the Jige can be put in resting position with a long wooden stick to support it in standing position.

I tried carrying it and the big one is heavy, it weighs easily about 10kg. Imagine carrying this carrier with loads of goods up the hills, a laborious task indeed. It shows how hardworking and difficult life the older Korean generation has to bear. I think the device speaks a lot about the Korean people and culture that often manifest diligence, dedication, perfectionism, and quality in their work and products.

Jige
Jige

 

About Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village is the perfect destination for those seeking to learn about and enjoy the beauty of traditional Korean-style house (“Hanok” in Korean) and catch a glimpse into the 600-year history of Seoul in a few hours. The Hanoks are well preserved in this village and they are clustered between two palaces with stretching alleys branch out across the beautiful surroundings. In different atmosphere and form, a walk through Bukchon’s narrow alleys will bring you the fun and excitement experience similar to a walk through the small streets of Venice.

Writing the wish on a paper, fold it and tie it onto a rope like a ribbon
Writing the wish on a paper, fold it and tie it onto a rope like a ribbon | Source
the rope with ribbons of wish is then up to a pile of wood, a structure that looks like wishing tree
the rope with ribbons of wish is then up to a pile of wood, a structure that looks like wishing tree | Source

The Wishing Tree

Koreans like to make a wish on this wishing tree. They will write down their wishes on pieces of colourful paper. Then they will roll the papers and tie it onto a rope like a ribbon. When the rope is filled with wishing ribbons, it will then be tied to the wish tree, which is actually piles of wood. When night comes, they will light up the fire and burn the wishing tree down. The Korean believes that as they perform this ritual, their wishes will come true.

You can actually see this wishing tree in the Bukchon Hanok Village. Many Koreans and foreigners will gather around the wishing tree, write down their wishes and tie it to the rope to be hung on the tree. It is an interesting experience. The wishing tree is as tall as 7 to 8 feet, colourful and filled with people's hope, written in many different languages.



Knowing South Korea

I have been to about 21 countries around the world, and South Korea fascinates me the most. If you like to know a country that still strongly upholds its own culture, consider visiting South Korea. You maybe overwhelm by its culture. Here are more articles about Korea from me :

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The roasted Korean seaweed is normally made with delicious sesame oil taste. It is crispy and quite salty which goes very well with steamed white rice. Just wrap the hot steamed rice in the seaweed and eat it immediately while it is still crispy. Yummy !

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Korean ginseng is a medicinal root purported to have wondrous palliative powers. Although it grows in other countries as well, Korea has the most suitable climate and soil to produce the world`s finest specimens. It is a perennial herb that belongs to the Araliaceae family. Scientifically, it is known as Panax schinseng Nees.

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    • Ingenira profile image
      Author

      Ingenira 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for the explanation. What you said make sense. I shall edit my article above.

    • profile image

      hi! 5 years ago

      Hi! I hpoe you had a good experience in Korea!:)Actually, its name "Jige" orginated from the Korean verb, "Jida", not from the English word "jig". "Jida" means to lift something and put it on one`s back in Korean. The "ge" of "Jige" is a Korea suffix, forming a noun. I hope this would help to know about the great invention!

    • Ingenira profile image
      Author

      Ingenira 5 years ago

      Me neither until I saw it in Korea. thanks !

    • funmontrealgirl profile image

      funmontrealgirl 5 years ago from Montreal

      Had never heard of a jige, but it certainly looks like a very handy tool. Nice hub.

    • Ingenira profile image
      Author

      Ingenira 5 years ago

      wow, StarWarsFans, that's awesome to have one of this Jige in your very own house !!

    • profile image

      StarWarsFans 5 years ago

      I am the proud owner of a vintage Jige. A man in our community brought it back with him from Korea after he served in the Korean War. When we adopted 2 children from Korea, he wanted them to have it. We were honored to take it, but are now trying to figure out where to display it. :)

    • Ingenira profile image
      Author

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      Lilian, it's really awesome. You can get a really good English speaker volunteer to show you the place around on a personal basis.

    • lilian_sg profile image

      lilian_sg 6 years ago from Singapore

      Hi! Looks awesome...I didn't get to visit this place during my first trip. Will try to see this place when I go again someday!

    • Ingenira profile image
      Author

      Ingenira 6 years ago

      Thanks Nell and Prasetio. I was fascinated with many things in Korea, new and old. It's an interesting city to explore.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Good morning, Ingenira. I never know about this before. I agree with Nell. It is really traditional device but has great function. I believe that Bukchon Hanok Village was a beautiful village in Korea. Thanks for share with us. Thumbs up for you.

      Prasetio

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, what a great invention, it certainly shows how the people were clever in the old days to use such a thing, and the village sounds beautiful, there are so many places around the world that are lovely, thanks for pointing this one out, cheers nell

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