There was an event on in Jongno this afternoon by the Cheonggyecheon stream. There were tents with all kinds of Korean goods and foods for sale and a 각설이 (kaksori) performance. Traditionally kaksori were singing beggars or gypsies travelling from place to place making a living from entertaining people. Sometimes in sageuk dramas there will be a group of kaksori travelling around – the Lee Byeong Hoon sageuk drama Sangdo comes to mind. Today the kaksori is considered an entertainer (not a beggar!)
As we watched, this kaksori was attracting a lot of attention and given money – some down his cleavage too! He’s dressed as a woman (sort of) but sings like a man. He was fascinating to watch and even suited his outfit in a strange kind of way. (See video below, sorry for the abrupt ending) He has two backing musicians who are also selling traditional Korean candy.