Hanam City, South Korea

Liaisons: Robert Coon and Melanie Berman

Hanam has been a Sister City to Little Rock since May 19, 1992.

Hanam is part of the Greater Seoul area, located in the mountainous center of the Gyeonggi Province in the western central region of the Koren Peninsula. It has a continental climate with four seasons. According to the 2015 census, the city has a population of 195,422.

History

The Hanam area has been settled since 6 B.C., when it was declared as the capital of the Baek-jae Kingdom. It was named “Hanam Wyireasong,” meaning “Southern City of the Han River.” In 1210, and again in 1232, the area was invaded by the Yuan dynasty, but the Mongols were defeated in 1232. Over the next centuries, the area was divided and re-divided administratively. Hanam was designated as a city in 1989.

Economy

Hanam is a residential and commercial hub located near Seoul’s vast transportation network. Service provision makes up the bulk of economic activity. Tourism is also a significant sector, including leisure, hotels, and recreation.

There has been a push toward building a self-sufficient city that is clean, eco-friendly, and citizen-centered, to provide for a better quality of life. The City promotes itself as “a green city within nature.” There is an aim for balanced urban development with agriculture and housing for the future.

Culture

Korean is the official language of South Korea, and the Gyeonggi dialect of the greater Seoul region is closely aligned with Standard Korean.

Traditional Buddhist temples and monuments, including many that are designated as national treasures, are abundant in Hanam. The Hanam Gyosandong Maaeyaksayeoraejoasang, a statue of the sitting Buddha; the myeongmaaeyaksabuljwasang, a carved Buddha holding a medicine bowl; numerous pagodas; earthen fortresses; and other historical sites dating back to the Bronze Age are notable attractions.

Hanam has a beautiful natural environment. There are parks along the river and into the mountains that are filled by cherry blossoms in the spring and pampas grass in the fall, and offer trails with views over the valley,

The Iseong Cultural Festival is held every year as part of Citizen’s Day, honoring the identity of Hanam.

Hanam is home to the Seondong Soccer Stadium.

Exchange

The relationship between Hanam City and Little Rock began because Grand Master H.U. Lee, who founded the American Taekwondo Associate (ATA) and located its headquarters in Little Rock, was interested in establishing such a relationship.

The Korean War Veterans Memorial in MacArthur Park, which was dedicated on June 25, 2007, had significant financial and cultural support from our friends in Hanam City.