On May 18, 1980, Korea’s one of the most intense and significant pro-democracy popular uprisings known as the May 18 Democratic Movement took place in Gwangju.
While citizen militias were fighting against the dictatorship on the front line, brave people of the Yangdong Market also risked their lives by making rice balls for starving protesters behind the scenes.
The sellers in the market, mostly mothers, came together to deliver rice balls by handcarts to protesters at Chonnam National University, one of the epicenters of the uprising. Some even confronted armed soldiers with rocks and bricks.
In Gwangju, rice balls mean much more than some balls of rice. They are a medium of solidarity and a symbol of the noble spirit of the May 19 Democratic movement. The spirit of such solidarity remains strong until today.
Forty years have passed since the tragic event which left a lingering pain deep in their hearts, but the truth about what really happened in Gwangju remains undiscovered to date.
In this episode, we meet these courageous unsung heroes to remind us of the true meaning of the Gwangju Democritization Movement.