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NK Refugees and LFNKR Mascot, Momo,
Turn in Surprise Performances

Korean Food Booth

Global Festival Japan was held at Tokyo's Hibiya Park on Oct. 1st and 2nd, 2011. Festival sponsors included a number of Japanese government organizations, The Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association, and The National Association of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan. Every year, more than 200 groups involved in a variety of issues join the Festival. Typically, these groups deal with human rights matters, child labor abuse, and poverty problems.

For the Festival this year, in addition to its regular display booth, LFNKR launched a new effort - a Korean food booth. Menu items included a selection of the most popular Korean dishes, such as jeon (pancake-like dish), Korean seafood noodles, and kimchi. It was a wonderful surprise that six North Korean refugees who have settled in the Tokyo area volunteered to help us with the food booth. One of the former refugees, a lady who had arrived in Japan hoping to become a chef, is now working at a Korean restaurant in Tokyo.

At the beginning of the first day, we seemed to have fewer customers that other booths. But by noon, there was a huge change. Soon the booth started to run out of ingredients and paper plates, so the workers needed to hurry to neighborhood stores to buy more. It was not easy to find a store in the area, so they went all the way from Ginza to Shimbashi.

On the second day there was a light rain, but it ended quickly, and the booth was thriving as the eye-catching chima chagori (traditional Korean clothing) worn by female volunteers drew in customers. The volunteers were very busy cooking. They had thought this time they were stocking enough food, but again they ran low and had to go out and purchase more supplies.

There were other groups selling jeon, but perhaps ours was especially good, since we saw many repeat customers. The food booth created synergy by leading people to our general information booth as well as attracting press coverage.

The LFNKR food booth did very well, with total sales surpassing our best expectations!

For the second time, the LFNKR mascot dog,
Momo, joined in and helped boost donations.