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Impressions of Norway at Samgakji Station

The Norwegian Embassy has opened a photo presentation at Samgakji Station that will run for three years.

The images aim to offer passengers something to rest their eyes on while also promoting awareness of Norway.

When asked about Norway, many people will only think of two things: it is cold, and it is expensive.

“Both of which are only half true: How cold it is depends on where in Norway you go,” said Norwegian Ambassador Didrik Tonseth to The Korea Herald.

“Many Norwegians will actually experience colder winters in Seoul than in Norway,” added Tonseth, “and while some things might be expensive, the most beautiful aspect of Norway, the breathtaking nature and scenery, can be enjoyed for free.”

The project is in cooperation with the Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation, who want to upgrade Line 6 by creating new cultural spaces for their passengers. 
Samgakji Subway exhibition displays Norway’s history with Korea and natural attractions like fjords, mountains and the midnight sun. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)
Samgakji Subway exhibition displays Norway’s history with Korea and natural attractions like fjords, mountains and the midnight sun. (Yoav Cerralbo/The Korea Herald)

In the process the embassy thought this to be a good opportunity to show Koreans a different perspective on Norway.

They chose Samgakji Station because it is an interchange, meaning more people will be able to enjoy the pictures.

Another reason is its proximity to the War Memorial Museum, which shows where the bond between Korea and Norway arose: the Korean War.

“Not many people are aware of the close links between Norway and Korea, which started with the Korean War,” he said.

Norway contributed a medical unit during the war, and operated a field hospital in Korea from 1951-54.

“The war veterans in Norway still remember their time in Korea well, and regularly revisit Korea,” said Tonseth.

For many of the men and women serving at the Norwegian Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (NORMASH), their travel to Korea was the first time leaving their hometown.

The part of the station leading to exits 11 and 12, which are the exits to the War Memorial Museum, shows images from NORMASH during the war.

On the moving walkways, which connect Lines 4 and 6, as well as over the escalators and stairs on the way down to Line No. 6, you will see the magnificent Norwegian landscape such as glaciers, fjords, mountains, lakes and the aurora borealis (also known as northern lights).

On the platforms, there are large walls in the shape of mountains, giving more detailed information about Norway and Norwegian culture. Here there are also television monitors showing Norwegian scenery.

For now, this part of the exhibition will offer a general introduction about Norway, but later, will transform into an area that offers more interaction between the exhibitors and the audience at Samgakji.

“Norway is more than just pretty nature and beautiful scenery,” he said. “By running this exhibition for the next three years, and changing the material (every three to four months), the embassy has the opportunity to show different aspects of Norway, such as culture, sports, traditions, values or our political system. Hopefully, we can give Koreans a broader idea of what Norway is all about.” 

By Yoav Cerralbo (yoav@heraldcorp.com)
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