Traditional markets in have been suffering from low attention since hypermarkets emerged in cities. The younger generation grew up without knowing about traditional markets and there was growing concern that the markets would perish. However, there is a new movement among university students to revitalize traditional markets.
Young Challenge, an alliance of university students assembled in the hope of revitalizing traditional markets and promoting them to the younger generation.
The group has held a club party at the Jeil market, a traditional market in Uijeongbu for 150 days since January 27 to attract people to the market.
“We thought the party would represent the culture of young people. We combined this young culture with the traditional market so that we could draw more attention from the younger generation to traditional markets,” said Kim Seo-joon (Postech, 4). “We also installed some storage containers and made them into small stores or lounges for young people to come and enjoy.”
Raising funds and completing the project, however, was not easy. The group first tried to contact related organizations but was rejected because the members were only students. By chance, Tomato Media, a documentary production company, took interest in the project, offered to help in contacting government organizations, and filmed the entire project. Eventually, Young Challenge signed a contract to carry out the project.
The party featured DJs and celebrities, as well as university dance clubs that performed dance battles to liven up the party.
Jeil market is welcoming the project and interest from the youth.
At another traditional market, the
Kim Dong-wook (
“The project was part of an already existing program of
Being a rookie, Kim Dong-wook said that he is learning a lot from the merchants of the Joongang market. Thankfully, the students coming to the store are slowly increasing in number.
“It’s true that hypermarkets are fancier and have better service. However, we cannot feel traditional culture and true human interaction there,” said Kim. “I hope that even younger people will continue to visit here and revitalize not only the market but also themselves.”