By Lee Hana
A series of events nationwide on Oct. 25 marked Dokdo Day, which commemorates the official proclamation of Emperor Gojong in 1900 declaring Dokdo as territory attached to Ulleungdo Island.
One hundred years later in 2000, the private organization A Party for Tokdo Protection designated Dokdo Day to encourage an accurate public perception of the historical significance of the nation’s easternmost islets.
To mark Dokdo Day’s 20th anniversary, a variety of events across the country was scheduled.
Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, whose jurisdiction Dokdo falls under, has designated October as Dokdo Month. To celebrate Dokdo Day, the province-funded Dokdo Foundation will hold a concert at the provincial government’s headquarters in Andong at 6:30 p.m. The Andong Children’s Choir and Little Dokdo, an activist group, as well as the band Ulala Session will perform for the crowd, who will also draw the national flag together using their fingerprints.
In another of the province’s cities, Pohang, the National Institute of Fisheries Science will hold an exhibition showcasing Dokdo’s marine life at Dongbu Elementary School. Photos of around 60 species comprising the islets’ marine ecosystem as well as a corner featuring Dokdo’s underwater seascape in virtual reality will be on display.
The Daegu Metropolitan Office of Education encouraged all of its workers to come to work dressed in T-shirts saying “I love Dokdo.” Events featuring the islets will also be held throughout the day.
The animated series “Dokdo Guard Gangchi” set on the islets will be broadcast on EBS at 3:25 p.m. and on Andong MBC at 4 p.m. Produced by the Gyeongsangbuk-do Creative Content Agency, the cartoon is about a sea lion that lives on Dokdo who bands together with his friends to protect and save the islets from villains.
In Gyeonggi-do Province, members of the Gyeonggi-do Assembly showed their support for Dokdo Day by singing “Arirang Alone” at their assembly hall. This was the first time for them to sing a song other than the national anthem at the hall, and the event was filmed and uploaded on the assembly’s YouTube page.
Several private organizations had planned on visiting Dokdo that day, but bad weather reportedly made it difficult for any ferry to land on the islets.