Celebrate Valentine’s Day 2015 at the Second Busan Foreigner Market

This Valentine’s Day, love of local commerce, cross-cultural exchange and charity are in the Gwangan-li air as three local businesses host the second Busan Foreigner Market from 1 to 5 p.m.

Many vendors from the first market return on Feb. 14. Products on offer will include hummus, handmade soaps and candles, infused vodkas, homemade jams, pickled foods, wooden art, clothes, Iranian meals, British chocolates and various American products. Vendors will have their wares set up at Sharky’s, Beached and HQ Gwangan, which hosted the first market.

Organizers say an expansion to more than one location was necessary after the first market’s success.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect it to be anywhere near as popular as it was,” says Cat Griffin, an organizer of the event. “The Ulsan foreigner market has been going for some time and proved to be pretty popular, fostering a great community feel. I strongly felt Busan could really benefit from something similar.”

The city is not the only benefactor. As a cultural exchange and charitable operation, Busan Foreigner Market vendors are donating a portion of their proceeds to selected charities, including the BAPS animal shelter in Gimhae, Busan Women’s Shelter and Educate a Child, a Korea-based charity that funds school fees for children in the Philippines.

Foreigner market Busan

“We love the idea of having a venue for foreigners to share parts of their culture with both Koreans and other foreigners,” says Richard Schaefer who, along with Miranda Neerhof, will again be selling their homemade Greek-and-plain-styled yogurts and cheeses. “At the first market there were vendors that represented a variety of countries: from India and Iran to Ireland and America. We think having a prominent event that showcases foreign cultures in Korea is a great thing. The fact it helps out various charities in the area is a huge plus and we think it has tremendous potential to do great things for the city and the community.”

Seventeen vendors participated in the first market with about 300 patrons in attendance, Griffin says. Given its success, organizers decided to make it a monthly event, she said.

“Supporting local charities is a big part of the market for myself and will be a core feature of all future markets,” she says. In addition, Griffin says she hopes more Koreans will hear about the event and check it out, as well. “It would be great if the market could serve as a bridge between the foreigner community and the community here in Busan,” she says.

For more information and to RSVP for the event, click on its Facebook event page here.

To read more of John Dunphy’s work, visit his blog here.




HQ bar