Featured in SBS, the said women that were paid tribute by Kim were the last generation of Haenyeo or ‘sea women’ and also nicknamed ‘real-life mermaids’.
Based on the post, they were those that dive deep into the sea to get abalone, oysters, seaweed, octopus, and conch in an island of Jeju in Korea. What is even more amazing is that they do this without bringing with them any equipment for breathing.
The report also entailed that it was once a profession that were sought by many but later on, people chose not to engage to it due to the risk of the job – they dive as deep as 1 meters.
“There are still Haenyeos in Korea, but as this industry is declining because of sea pollution and the dangers of the job itself. So it’s important to preserve their legacy for posterity,” said Kim justifying her tribute to Haenyeos.
“I believe that these women divers are carrying on an important cultural legacy during their life-time. I hope to share not only their beauty as women, but also their courageousness [bravery] for facing such difficulties during their lives,” she added as stated in the feature report.
Based on the report, most of the real-life mermaids of today are those aging over 60 years old. There were less than 2,500 real-life mermaids who take risk and dive down the sea.
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