“Every day is such a hectic day. I do not have time to watch a movie”, “How can I dare spare my time to see a musical or a movie? I am so busy”, “It has been ages since I watched a move.” These are what most of the contemporary people think when it comes to enjoying cultural activities such as watching movies, performances or exhibitions. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Arts Council in Korea came up with two solutions, “A Day of Culture” and “Love Ticket”, to help people have an entertaining time.
A Day of Culture – At Least One Day for Every Month
A Day of Culture is exercised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and has been operated since last January. A Day of Culture refers to the last Wednesday of every month when people can watch a movie, performance or exhibition at a cheap cost. According to Ha Hyun Jin, who is currently working at the ministry, she said, “A Day of Culture was initiated to provide more opportunities for the public at a cheap cost so that they would have less burden.”
Currently, there is an increase in people of about 30 percent to 40 percent who are visiting national and public cultural facilities on that day compared to other weekdays. Based on the statistics provided by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, there are 1,539 facilities participating in the Day of Culture. This is a stark increase of 74.3 percent considering the fact that there were only 833 facilities included in January.
Ha said, “A Day of Culture is mostly run voluntarily by private centers. Generally, deciding whether to participate in the Day of Culture is up to them. In the past, there were usually unknown performances or exhibitions that were available in cheap prices.” However, nowadays, more and more private centers are sympathizing with the purpose of the Day of Culture and an increasing number of the facilities that are participating. In fact, more famous and well-known performances such as Jekyll and Hyde are included in the discount.
It seems that the Day of Culture is doing the job. There are numerous small gatherings of people in companies on that day to enjoy cultural activities together. This would not only provide opportunities to have more cultural time for people but also to have more bonding relationship with others.
Ha then added, “We are now looking forward to cooperating with companies so that workers can leave work at regular times on the Day of Culture. Also, the ministry is planning to hold many nationwide events.” Through such efforts, it seems clear that the Day of Culture is seeking its way out to help busy modern-day people have at least several hours to forget about reality and relax.
Love Ticket – For The Minorities And Ordinary People
Similar to the Day of Culture, Love Ticket is allowing people to watch movies, performances and exhibitions at a low cost. It is hosted by the Arts Council in Korea. It started in 1991 and it was only targeted in Seoul. However, from 2001, it has been exercised nationally. At first, it was planned for the ordinary people to have benefits, but from 2008, it is trying to support the underprivileged to enjoy cultural activities.
Park Chang Ho, who is currently working at the Love Ticket Center in Seoul, said, “This year, we are trying to support culturally alienated group, especially adolescents under age of 14. We believe that not only adults but also young people should have opportunities to enjoy cultural activities.” In order to use Love Ticket, people have to sign up through the website, wwwsati.or.kr.
Unlike the Day of Culture, people who can benefit from the ticket are people under 24 and over 65 years old. For any performance, people can receive a discount of 7000 won, and for any exhibition, they can get a 5000-won discount, applied to both for total of ten times a year. Many performances or exhibitions that are held in Daehakro, which is a popular place for people to hang out, are included in the Love Ticket.
Many college students seem to be benefiting from the Love Ticket. Lee Hyun Ji (’12, Business School) said, “I enjoy using the Love Ticket. I think it is very beneficial for university students because we are not financially affluent and can have a lot of discount through the ticket. Many of my friends also use the Love Ticket.” With huge discounts on performances and exhibitions, it seems that the Love Ticket is gaining much popularity among university students as its usefulness is being recognized by many of them.
Park added, “Even though we do not have concrete future plans of Love Ticket, we are trying our best to help the marginalized to have entertaining times through cultural activities. If the target changes, we propose different plans accordingly.” As such, through the Love Ticket, a wide range of people can enjoy various performances and exhibitions without much burden.
While the Day of Culture is mostly for workers, people in their thirties and forties, the Love Ticket is mainly for young adults and the elderly. With the Day of Culture and the Love Ticket, even though modern day people are extremely busy, they can now have more entertaining time and enjoy cultural activities.
People can watch a movie, performance, exhibition at a cheap cost or for free on the last Wednesday of every month. The last Wednesday of each month is called “A Day of Culture.” Provided by lib.seoul.go.kr