SHORELINE — A contingent of city, school, college and business officials are heading to Shoreline’s “sister city” Boryeong, South Korea on Monday to formalize the relationship.
Former Shoreline City Council member Cheryl Lee is president of the Shoreline Sister Cities Association.
“For the past two-and-a-half years this has been a work in progress, after several Korean community residents and businesses in the city approached me about creating this relationship,” Lee said.
This past spring, representatives from Boryeong came to visit Shoreline and next week the visit will be reciprocated. Mayor Scott Jepsen will join the mayor of Boryeong in making the sister city relationship official.
“I am looking forward to signing the proclamation with Boryeong’s mayor and visiting their city to learn more about their government structure and their culture,” Jepsen said.
Jepsen is joining Lee, City Council members Ron Hansen and John Chang, along with Ros Bird of the Shoreline/Lake Forest Park Arts Council, Vicki Stiles of the Shoreline Museum, Herb Bryce with the Shoreline School Board, Robin Young, registrar for Shoreline Community College, Korean business owners Tai Song and Hee Kang, and Filipino community representatives Connie and Sammy Sampson.
Each participant is paying for the trip.
“I hope to be meeting some people and starting a relationship to facilitate cultural exchanges in the future,” said Bird. “As an official gift we are taking a water color painting by Shoreline artist Joan Archer, of a beach scene, which is very appropriate since Boryeong is known for its beaches.”
Boryeong is 120 miles southwest of Seoul, on the Yellow Sea and is about 219 square miles in size. About 12 percent of the city is urban, the rest is farm and field, Lee said.
The city serves a population of about 116,546, twice Shoreline’s. About 50 percent of the city’s industry is agricultural, featuring the mushroom, farming and seafood industries.
Boryeong is also famous for its mud cosmetics. Every year the city hosts a mud festival and the city runs an entrepreneurial enterprise based on soaps, shampoos and body wash featuring the famous mud. The city also has a technical college that specializes in automotive technology and design, Lee said.
A core group of immigrants from the Boryeong area immigrated to the Seattle area starting in 1955 and the largest majority of Korean-Americans in Washington have family ties to the area.
“Our goal is for each representative from the schools, community college, arts, museum and business community to form relationships so we can move forward with cultural arts exchanges in the future,” Lee said.