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Bibimbap Backpackers, Dokdo Racers Travel and Promote Korea All at Once Updated: 2011-06-07 00:00:00 KST

These Korean backpackers are not your typical backpackers as they travel AND promote Korean traditional food, bibimbap, at the same time.
The four members of the "Bibimbap Backpackers" left their jobs last year and decided to go on an eight-month world tour to introduce the Korean dish to some 40 nations.
They traveled through Asia and then arrived in Europe.
And here in Madrid, Spain, the bibimbap ambassadors came across another team of travelers who call themselves the Dokdo Racers.

[Interview : Kim Young-joo, Leader
Dokdo Racers] "The Dokdo Racers left Korea on February 25th and are introducing Korea's Dokdo Island to the world through cultural performances. Through performances of Korean traditional dance and music at universities, on the streets and at Korean Cultural Centres, where we can easily approach foreigners, we ask them to visit Korea's beautiful Dokdo Island someday."

The Dokdo Racers have been putting on outdoor Korean traditional performances in numerous countries that they have visited over the last three months.
Once they attract a crowd of people, they introduce themselves and raise awareness about the Korea-controlled Dokdo islets.
Given free T-shirts and trying bibimbap in the middle of downtown Madrid, the crowd is amazed by the efforts of the young travelers.

[Interview : Kristian Holmesland, Visitor from Norway] "Yes, I think it's very nice to see them in a central place like this. And to be able to stop and witness both the dance and performance and taste the food.

Both the Dokdo Racers and the Bibimbap Backpackers first started off using their own money, although now they are receiving some help from the Korean government.
Sometimes, financial difficulties have become a hurdle for them, but they say despite the obstacles that they face that the trip is extremely rewarding.

[Interview : Kang Sang-kyun, Leader
Bibimbap Backpackers] "When the people who tried bibimbap tell us that the food is good and when we see empty bowls, and when people ask us where they can get more of the food, I feel very proud.
Also, I feel like what we are doing is worthwhile when people flock to get bibimbap from us, as you just saw a few minutes ago."

[Reporter : Hwang Sung-hee, Madrid, Spain
ssung86@arirang.co.kr] "The next destination for the Bibimbap Backpackers will be France, while the Dokdo Racers will wrap up their trip in August, after visiting the rest of Europe, Central America and Asia.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News, Madrid."
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