The Independence Movement Celebration Day In South Korea
You may be aware that March 1st is a Bbalgan Nal or "Red Day," which is a major government celebration in Korea, but do you know what Koreans celebrate? The Independence Movement Day, or 3-1 Samil Jeol, is a significant day in Korean culture, celebrating the beginning of the March 1st Revolution.
What exactly is the March 1st Revolution?
In Korean, the March 1st Movement is known as Samil Undong or the Samil Movement (literally meaning 3-1, the month and the day), and it is also known as the Manse Demonstrations (Manse Undong).
Korea was ruled by Japan, beginning in 1910 and suffered under the horrible colonial rule for nearly a decade before declaring independence in 1919. The mysterious death of Korea's retired emperor, which myths said was caused by Japanese poisoning, and the Paris Peace Conference that followed the end of the world war I were both catalysts for Korean independence.
Woodrow Wilson introduced his Fourteen Points at the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919, declaring that even weak nation states had the right to national "self-determination". Following Woodrow's speech, a group of Korean students and educational leaders in Tokyo planned to issue a statement encouraging independence and freedom from Japanese control.
Regarding this, on March 1, 1919, 33 members of the Korean Independence Movement gathered in Seoul's Taehwagwan Restaurant to interpret and approve the "Korean Declaration of Independence." At Pagoda Park, a Korean student read aloud the Korean Declaration of Independence for the first time (now known as Tapgol Park).
This statement was also read in many areas around the country by movement activists, and Koreans' long-repressed feelings against Japanese colonists began to emerge. Large crowds began to form and move in cities to demand independence. The movement spread so quickly that police were unable to handle it, and militaries were called in, resulting in horrifying mass killings.
This movement lasted over one month, from March 1st to April 11th, and over two million people took part in over 1,500 activists. More than 7,000 people had been killed by the Japanese, 16,000 were injured, 46,000 were detained, and many buildings, houses, and churches were destroyed. As a result, this incident is also known as The Bloody History of the Korean Independence Movement (한국독립운동지혈사).
This independence movement had no effect, and Korea stayed under Japanese control until the end of World War II in 1945. Even so, the Korean Voluntary Government was established in Shanghai as a result of the migration of abused Koreans to Manchuria, Shanghai, and other parts of China. The rise of the Korean Communist Party and the establishment of the Korean Liberation Army in China were also influenced by this incident.
The Independence Movement Celebration Day:
March 1st has been a national holiday in Korea since May 24, 1949, and has since become a hallmark of the country's peace, courage, and sacrifice in the struggle for independence.
Currently, Koreans honor the national holiday by recounting demonstrations and gathering in Seoul's streets, especially around City Hall, while raising Korean flags and chanting "Manse" (meaning Hurray). 만세. At Tapgol Park (formerly Pagoda Park), a reading of the famous Korean Declaration of Independence takes place, which, as previously stated, would be the first public reading of the public statement in 1919.
By: Merna Mohamed Fathy
Merna Mohamed is an Egyptian girl who is interested in Korean culture, food and archaeological sites. She is passionate about the Korean culture and loves to aspire and achieve her dream of studying in Korea and to let everyone know how great this culture is and make the Korean lovers realize the unknown side of the Korean development and on the other hand the historical monuments. She wants to discover the social potential and values of Korea and passes it on to you.