Date of final update : 2023.09.08   |  
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A Journey for a New Life, the Life of a Stranger

Hambak Village1

Incheon is the place that gave hope and made hearts flutter for many immigrants and overseas Koreans! Aren’t you curious about stories of people who lived their lives in unfamiliar lands, languages, and cultures? The stories of our grandfathers and grandmothers who had to live as strangers in foreign lands after leaving their homes and people who returned to their ancestors’ homeland and settled down. If you wish to learn about the extraordinary lives of people who merged Korean culture with overseas culture, start your journey to where their sweat, tears, joys, and laughter are.

Hambak Village, Central Asia You can Meet in Incheon

#Russia #CentralAsianVillage #KoryoPeople #UrbanRegeneration

Hambak Village1
Hambak Village2

Hambak Village is a small village created within the residential areas around Mari Children’s Park. You can hear Russian more often than Korean in this little village, as about 70% of its residents can speak Russian. It is a melting pot of foreign residents from Central Asian countries and the Koryo people from Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, etc. At first, they formed a cluster for education and economic reasons, but in 2017, the area became a small group resident area.

Hambak Village3
Hambak Village4

Instead of familiar Korean signboards, you can spot signboards written in Russian and observe various Central Asian stores. Typical mobile phone stores are filled with Russian characters, and Korean signboards of common fried chicken shops look strange in this neighborhood!

Hambak Village5
Hambak Village6
Hambak Village7
Hambak Village8

The food in this neighborhood perhaps best shows the mixed culture of Russia and the Koryo people. The Koryo people keep looking for carrot kimchi made by their grandparents, and the foreign residents miss food from their homeland. Diverse types of pastries and bread that cannot be easily found in Korea, like samsa (Uzbek traditional meat pastry) and honey cakes, charm the Korean palate, attracting many locals as well.

Hambak Village9
Hambak Village10
Hambak Village11

Various foods such as plov, Uzbek fried rice, Russian dumplings, and shashlik, a representative Central Asian food, entice people with their unique flavors and fragrance. Even common-looking supermarkets sell different food products so you can enjoy a unique shopping experience.

Hambak Village12
Hambak Village13

A large rose park north of the town hosts a mirage of blooming roses. It’s a perfect spot for amazing photos surrounded by rose blooms, so don’t miss out!

  • Address514, Yeonsu-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon

The Museum of Korea Emigration History, telling the stories of overseas Koreans’ home away from home

#LaborEmigration #EmigrationHistory #OverseasImmigration #OverseasKoreans

Mr. Sunshine is a 2018 Korean historical TV show starring Lee Byung-hun and Kim Tae-ri as the leading cast. The male protagonist “Eugene” was born in Joseon (Korea’s last dynasty) but went to the United States and returned to Joseon as an American citizen. As you watch the show, you can’t help but wonder, “Could people move overseas in that era?” The thought may pique your interest in the history of overseas Koreans. When and how did Koreans begin to migrate overseas? And how was the very first Korean passport created?

The Museum of Korea Emigration History1
The Museum of Korea Emigration History2

The Museum of Korea Emigration History is Korea’s first emigration history museum. It shows the first official immigration to Hawaii, United States, in 1902, the first Korean passport, and the life of immigrant laborers in foreign lands. Visitors can glimpse ancestors who had to board an immigration ship at Jemulpo and travel to faraway countries.

The Museum of Korea Emigration History3
The Museum of Korea Emigration History4
The Museum of Korea Emigration History5

Various materials and exhibits displayed in the museum tell vivid stories of the joys and sorrows of Koreans who lived in different eras. The Korean people never forgot their identity despite the bone-crushing labors they endured as pioneers who took root across the United States. They established Korean schools to continue learning the Korean language and helped Korea’s liberation movements through many means.

The Museum of Korea Emigration History6
The Museum of Korea Emigration History7
The Museum of Korea Emigration History8
The Museum of Korea Emigration History9

Unlike immigration to Hawaii, immigration to Mexico began illegally. The scorching sun of the Yucatán Peninsula and fields of strange-looking henequen plants were waiting for Koreans. Inside and outside the museum are exhibits showing four years of labor at a henequen farm, telling the hard life Korean laborers had to endure. A henequen-processing machine used during the period is also displayed.

The Museum of Korea Emigration History10

Other than Hawaii and Mexico, the two major Korean labor migration destinations, the museum also displays the early history of Korean immigrants that dispersed across the globe, showing the process of their immigration and settlement.

The Museum of Korea Emigration History11
The Museum of Korea Emigration History12
The Museum of Korea Emigration History13

The museum also exhibits the history of Korean orphans’ “overseas adoption” after the Korean War. Unlike the sad history of early immigration, the history of hopeful immigration with a spirit of challenge is far from an entirely sad story. After you complete the internal exhibition course, you can get a stamp of the country on a souvenir immigration passport and leave a review.

The Museum of Korea Emigration History14

If you exit the main gate, you can see the outdoor exhibition on the left. This area lets you sense the weight of immigration history much more. Walk through the displays and feel the hearts of the overseas Koreans who never let go of their hope despite the unfamiliar environment and life.

  • Address329, Wolmi-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon
  • Opening Hours9:00–18:00 (Last entry is at 17:30), Closed on Mondays, January 1, and days following public holidays
※ The information above may have changed since the initial registration date. Be sure to check before you travel.