For the last couple of years, I’ve taken photos and written essays of sweet grannies in my island home, Jeju-do, South Korea. Here, we call grannies ‘Halmang’ in Jeju dialect.
Most of them live alone in peaceful rural villages, set against the mountains and ocean. Their kids left their old towns and ran away to the city. Their husbands have long passed away. Sadly, many grannies lost their beloved ones to the tragic Jeju 4:3 massacre (1948-1954) or the Korean war (1950-53).
my grandaughter looks like me
In a Halmang’s universe, time passes slower and smoother. Without speaking too many words, their stories spread like endless tree-rings; the stories as someone’s lovely daughter, as some guy’s beautiful woman, as some kid’s strong mother, and also as everyone’s sweet grandma.
This is the only photo he left when he died
I love these grannies. And I love their stories. How fortunate was I to be invited and allowed to wander in their universe? It is a never-ending journey into a place of peace. **My stories are all written in Korean, so I am sharing only photos with you guys!**
I was the most beautiful girl in my town
MaYa Sinji Jung is a multi skilled storyteller trying to inspire people by her images, sounds, writings and smiles. Recently based in Jeju-do(South Korea), delivering various life stories by her writings and photographs. You can view more of her works in JPG Magazine, visit her on Flickr, and on FaceBook.
Parts one and two of MaYa’s “Grannies” series on aamora.