Sale and Yajan Shikokani came to Korea two years ago to help their uncle with his car exporting business. On their most recent yearly trip to their home country, Jordan, the pair decided to take advantage of a unique amenity at Incheon International Airport: a traditional cultural center.
The Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation runs two such centers in the duty-free shopping section on the third floor of the passenger terminal. At these facilities, passengers can have hands-on experiences with traditional Korean crafts, view traditional performances and buy artisans' work, including pottery, accessories and handicrafts.
During their visit, the Shikokanis first learned how to make rubbed copies of engraved letters and patterns. As they patted hanji, or traditional Korean paper, with cotton balls soaked in Chinese ink, patterns from the template appeared underneath. They were also lucky to watch a traditional music performance, one of four scheduled each day.
Soon afterward, a hanbok or traditional dress precession happened to pass by. It was a reenactment of the king and his consort taking a stroll during the Chosun Dynasty. Passengers are permitted to join the procession and take photos with the performers.
"It's good to experience the diverse aspects of traditional Korean culture at the airport," the Shikokanis said before boarding their flight. "When we return, we'd like to learn more about Korea's tradition."
For more information, visit the websites of the foundation (http://www.chf.or.kr/) or the Incheon Center for International Cooperation and Exchange (http://www.icice.or.kr/).