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Korea's Little France, Seorae Village Updated: 2009-06-23 00:00:00 KST

Looking for a little taste of France in Korea[Interview : Francoise Costaf, Resident]
"It's like a small village, somewhere in France."
[Interview : Alexandre Tchetverikov, Resident]
"It's a small French community, but we mingle well with Korean people."

Some of the stores in this village give off a distinctly French scent.
There is one bakery that is a must-see when visiting Seorae Village.
With its variety of breads and pastries, this bakery is loved by French people living here as well as th Koreans visiting this village.

"What is the local favorite[Interview : So Jeong-seop, Manager
Paris Croissant Seorae store
]
"The baguettes. The texture is different."

The secret of the difference in taste[Interview : Park Seong-jung, District Mayor
Seocho District]
"When the French school moved here in 1985 from Hannam-dong, Seorae Village first became a French enclave.
One by one, people began settling here."

And this is the Lycee Francaise de Seoul, or French School of Seoul.
Here, classes for students from kindergarten through high school are taught exactly as they are in France.
The French method of laissez-faire mixed with strict rules.
[Interview : Thierry Tillement, Principal
French School of Seoul]

This school has been the center of Seorae Village since it moved here.
[Interview : Thierry Tillentent, Principal
Lycee Francaise de Seoul]

Today in particular, there is a school talent show where the students will show off the results of their hard work and preparation.
The auditorium is filled with parents who have come to watch their children perform.

The children show-off their skills at Samulnori, a Korean percussion performance.
The traditional show was reinterpreted with a French flare.
The entire French community came out to see the show.
Parents beamed and applaud enthusiastically as they watch their children perform.
Another go-to place is the Seorae branch of the Global Village Center!
There are 5 Global VIllage Centers in Seoul, and the one located in Seorae is charged with helping French people in particular.
[Interview : Marie-Pierre Allirol, Director
Global Village Center Seorae]
"Many French people come to the Center, mainly to learn Korean language or culture.
We help them bridge the culture gap."

In one classroom at the Center, a Korean painting class is in full swing.
Korea paintings require ink, a paintbrush and traditional canvas.
The French students are avidly following their tutor's instructions as they try to familiarize themselves with Korean art.
Soon enough, they have a Korean painting of their own.
[Interview : Cuylene Blauet]
"Learning Korean is not that easy. But I will keep trying as I want to learn the culture."
[Interview : Carollad Clemeilt ]
"I like living in Korea. The children's school is right next door and I feel like I can experience Korea by living here."

These Korean paintings are signed off with French names.
These French people have engraved a little of themselves in Korea.
Another must-see location in Seorae Village is the infamous Montmartre park.
This is where the residents of Seorae Village go to take a rest.
Last Saturday, there was a special event in Seorae Village.
It was the nationwide French singing contest.
100 teams tried out, and 10 were selected as finalists.
This nationwide contest is bing held in none other than Seorae Village.


Seorae Village has become a favorite for Koreans who want to discover French culture.
[Interview : Kim Ji-hye, Visitor]
"It's a meeting between French and Korean."
[Interview : Park Won, resident]
"I think that it is great that people don't live extravgantly, but try to be simple."
[Interview : Park Seong-jung, District Mayor
Seocho District]
"From now, Seorae Village is trying to change all of its storeboards and signboards to resemble France. I hope that by next year, we can be a better Seorae Village."

If you want to taste a little bit of France, come to Seorae Village, the heart of the Korean French community.
This is where France meets Korea.
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