Mapo Bridge, The Bridge of Life

2015-04-05 20.02.02

As some of you may already know, I love watching k-drama. Sometimes, I feel curious about the drama location. One of them is a bridge with words written on the guard rails. It appears a lot in k-drama & movies. Later, I found out that it’s Mapo Bridge. And there’s interesting story behind the words.

South Korea is a country with high suicide rate. And apparently, Mapo Bridge is one of “favorite” spots for suicide. So in 2013, Samsung Life Insurance had a makeover project on this bridge to reduce the number. They put words of encouragement, dialogue, and photos on the guard rails, equipped with LED lights that’s turned on as people walk by. Well, sometimes what people need is someone to talk to and words of consolation.

And several weeks ago, I did a night walk there. It’s quite nice reading the words. It felt like I have a friend during the walk. A super nice and caring friend. It started with “Did you eat?”, “Are you doing good?”, “The wind is nice”, “How’s your day, today?”, “It looks like hard”, “I know even though you don’t tell me” and so on. There are some funny questions like “Do you like jjajjangmyeon (black bean noodles)? If not… Do you like jjampong (seafood noodles)?” and several food names and photos. Some made you think about your problem. Your life is like a movie and it’s not the end yet. Think about your family, friends, your loved ones. And some words are kind of mellow like “Open your heart”, “Hold my hand”, “You are not alone”.

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I also saw 2 SOS phones. There are 2 buttons on these phones, green button to call 119 (like 911 in US) and red button to call suicide hotline. At the middle of bridge, there’s statue of 2 friends. One of them pinches the other’s cheek. The project had super nice intention. Even though a report mentions that the number of people who attempted suicide on this bridge a year after the project finished actually increased. And up until now, I still find news about suicide attempt on Mapo Bridge.

Btw, this bridge also appears on Psy’s Gentleman music video and The Avengers: Age of Ultron!

Mapo Bridge
Yeouinaru Station, Exit 2

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