In a Corner of South Korea, a Taste of German Living
GERMAN VILLAGE, South Korea - Here in one of the southernmost points of the Korean Peninsula, hours away from the nearest city, a few dozen houses with sloping, red-tiled roofs and large white walls dot the side of a hill. More are under construction, separated from one another by wide, sometimes cobblestone streets.To build German Village, cheap land and subsidies were offered to any Korean nurse or miner who had lived in Germany for at least 20 years.
On closer inspection, as the setting sun enveloped the hill in a warm glow one recent evening, large and, well, German-looking men could be seen standing on a terrace or in a yard next to garden dwarfs and white picket fences. German could be heard, not only from the men, but also from the Koreans here.
German Village, South Korea, only three years old, is an improbable creation, the product of this nation's shifting needs. In the 1960's and 70's, South Korea, poor and overpopulated, sent thousands of its citizens to work as nurses or miners in West Germany. Today, they and their German spouses are being welcomed back, especially in rural areas whose populations have been decimated by urban migration and declining birthrates.