Life is exciting in Gangnam-gu
Have you ever heard about Gangnam? You are probably familiar with places such as COEX, Seoul Aquarium and SM Entertainment. I am sure many of you might have already visited those great places. As you know, all those great places are in Gangnam District, south of the Han River.
To be more precisely Gangnam is one of the districts in southern Seoul, known as a global city where traditional and modern lifestyles coexist.
On March 31, I had a chance to be part of a wonderful event held by the Gangnam District Office called ``Goodwill Festival.” This festival was held for one day for the district’s honorary publicity ambassadors and more than 30 foreigners like me were selected to have a chance to join this wonderful program.
The festival was composed of an event called ``Appointment Ceremony of Honorary Ambassador” and ``Local Tour” followed by sightseeing of tourist attractions and having traditional cultural experience in the district. Gangnam Mayor Shin Yeon-hee herself hosted the appointment ceremony and a reception.
In the morning, we visited Seven Luck Casino and Korea Cultural House. At the house, we had a cultural experience, learning taekwondo. I didn’t know that I would be so amazed by the place that I visited in the afternoon. It was U-Health Park built in 2010.
There are many parks Korea but this health park is unique and different. In the U-Health Park you could get a checkup, exercise at the indoor fitness center and exercise outdoors on the jogging track, lined by a smart machine that can automatically measure how long you exercise and how many calories you burn by just touching the ``magic health card” you are given.
The magic health card automatically saves your exercise data online, including the information from your checkup. You can monitor your exercise and health record on the website. All the facilities at U-Health are free of charge. The Gangnam District Office has invested a lot of money in this great facility. I am sure this creative program will also make a big contribution to Koreans’ health, sharply reducing the obesity rate here.
After visiting U-health Park, we also stopped by Seonjeongneung, a royal tomb of the ninth and 11th king, Seongjong and Jeongjong. I found Gangnam itself was an area where modern and traditional assets coexist.
In my opinion, this kind of capital city concept and management should be applied elsewhere. This is the way we could support people to live healthier and happier. Be healthy and also be happy at the same time.
In Indonesia, I lived in the capital city, Jakarta. I really hope Jakarta will also evolve from the present crowded metropolis to one which provides nature, modern facilities and a healthy life.
In Jakarta there will be an election to select a new governor. I am sure it will be wonderful if the new Jakarta governor could take several great examples from Gangnam to make Jakarta friendlier to its people by providing more free support facilities instead of allowing exorbitantly-priced fitness centers to spread.
My fellow Indonesians, let’s start a healthy life! And let’s create a healthy city!
The writer is a Ph.D. student at KAIST majoring in nuclear engineering. She is also a nuclear safety reviewer at the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency of Indonesia (BAPETEN) and can be reached at email@example.com.