Busking in Daejeon

Temperature: -2’C 

Mission: Busking in Tanbang-dong to give praise to God. 

Easily one of my ultimate favourite nights in Korea so far. 


Tonight, in the freezing cold, our group of friends here in Daejeon decided to go outside to busk and give praise to the Lord. One of our friends, Emily, has an amazing  classical voice, so she sang, Star played the viola so beautifully and I messed around on the ukulele.

We sat down in the pathway between Say Department Store and Rodeo House and just started playing anything that we felt inspired to try, mainly Amazing Grace, Valerie by Amy Winehouse, quite a few opera songs and an original gospel song composed by Star.  People started to gather and suggested some songs too.

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It was so cold that our fingers became numb. Later, I couldn’t feel my fingers at all anymore and developed a blood clot on my one finger, but nothing could stop us. During the evening my friend’s Korean lecturer came and wrapped blankets around us and gave us hot packs and warm tea. She even put her fur beanie on my head. I was so amazed! What a heartwarming act of kindness.

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We had a very loyal audience member, who stayed with us for quite a while, but when Emily stunned the crowd with her brilliant rendition of the Korean national anthem as well as a very powerful Korean ballad, he called his friends to come as well. They came and later took pictures with us and sang along to some of the songs. It was beautiful.

Busking is quite popular in Korea. Not usually in this area that we performed in, but in Eunhaeng-dong and, especially, in Seoul, you will see many buskers. I go to Eunhaeng-dong every Wednesday evening for acting rehearsal and then I always see some buskers. Sometimes singers, sometimes dance groups, sometimes rappers or even magicians. Magicians are actually really popular. In Hongdae, Seoul, there are so many buskers, you can walk from one show to the next and have a whole evening of entertainment without even leaving the park. 

Emily is a very successful professional busker from New Zealand and Emily is a professional musician, also from New Zealand. They work together as part of a group who produce contemporary gospel music. I have busked only once in South Africa before, where busking isn’t that popular yet. I fell in love with this way of intimate and spontaneous performance. When you’re busking and people voluntarily stop to listen and appreciate your music, a very special connection is formed. You can look them in the eyes and explore the performer-audience relationship on a much more personal level. It’s truy exhilarating. This was my first time busking in Korea and I just can’t wait to do it again (and again!!!).

I am really grateful that God had brought us together tonight and that we had the opportunity to use what we have to just give glory to His name. It’s really special to me how God brings people from all over the world together for His divine purpose. Earlier this year, I moved to a new area and felt lonely. You know when you’re surrounded by people, but still feel lonely? Yeah. Then, at the absolute perfect moment, God sent His angles into my life and from that moment on my life changed. It just blows my mind to see how He works! Sometimes I just feel like….pffffsshhhtttsfeniwr?!?! : at complete loss for words.

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All glory to God. 

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