The Press Conference for the KBS2 drama “Healer” was held on 4 December 2014 at the Raum Centre in Seoul, and we here at The Kitchen participated in our very first Rice Support project for Ji Chang Wook!
For those not in the know, you may be wondering, “What the heck is a Rice Support?” A long-time tradition with any Korean drama/musical/other special event press conference is the presentation of what are called “donation rice wreaths” arranged by various fan groups on behalf of a certain actor/actress starring in such drama. The rice sacks are then collected after the press conference ends, and the actor/actress then decides where their rice will be donated, usually to help the less fortunate. Hence, Rice Support is not only a way for fans to show support to their idol, but it is also a charitable contribution to society.
After seeking permission from Glorious Entertainment and confirming the details of the press conference with them, we went ahead to place our order with Dreame, one of the leading rice support companies in Korea.
Size of our order: 20kg of rice
Left – “Ji Chang Wook’s Kitchen 지창욱 영어 팬사이트” (Ji Chang Wook’s Kitchen. Ji Chang Wook’s English Fan Site)
Right – “우리 에게 힐링이 되는 힐러! 배우 지창욱과 <힐러> 대박을 기원합니다! ” (The Healer who gives us healing! May actor Ji Chang Wook and “Healer” be a daebak success!)
Although our 20kg of rice seems meager, we’re nonetheless happy to say that we were very pleased with the results of our contribution. (After all, we’d like to believe that it’s the thought that counts.) And from the smile on his face, it looks like Chang-wook is pleased as well. As you can see, there were other foreign fans who also sent in their own rice wreaths. There were so many donations in his name that the entire street leading up to the entrance of the Raum Centre was completely overtaken with rice support for Our Healer!
A total of 1.18 tonnes of rice were sent to the venue by fans of the main leads that day, with Ji Chang Wook fans contributing 920kg as a whole.
A couple of weeks after the event, Dreame reported that the 920kg worth of rice from Ji Chang Wook’s fans have been donated to the Manan-gu district office in his home town of Anyang on 19th December 2014. How nice is it to see Ji Chang Wook giving back to the people back at his hometown! 🙂
Now, some of you may ask why The Kitchen did not get more fans involved in this project.
Firstly, our site is still relatively new, having set up only in July last year. We also do not have experience in organising fan projects, and we wanted to try out something simple for our first attempt at doing one. After all, if this had not turned out to be a success, at least it would only be us incurring a loss and we won’t have fans banging on our doors asking for their money back, right? We had been toying with the idea of showing our support to Ji Chang Wook through some concrete action that would be feasible and not appear too ambitious for a small site like ours, so a rice support proved to be the obvious choice for us.
Secondly, The Kitchen only consists of the two of us, and we do not have the ability to initiate such a huge undertaking of collecting funds from fans all over the world by ourselves. A project such as this is not as simple as sending out an email asking for money towards the cause; certain rules and regulations apply when it comes to collecting funds. A special bank account has to be set up in order to deposit international funds requires a guaranty (deposit money ensuring the account is properly set up) must be provided to the banking authority, and then fees would be incurred to legally report to various governmental taxing agencies… well, we could not justify the costs of doing this with just us two in charge. We’re sorry we could not include more fans in this project, but it was a decision made after much thought and we hope you respect our reasons for proceeding as we did.
All in all, it was a great project in which to get involved, and The Kitchen hopes to be able to participate with another Rice Support donation for Ji Chang Wook’s next project. Thanks for reading!
Photos provided by: Dreame