South Korea has its own version of the biblical story of Moses parting the sea.
GV PAN Sea with fishermen standing on rocky beach
GV Crowds in village by sea (2 shots)
GV PAN Dancers performing on beach (4 shots)
GV PAN Large crowd on slope to beach watching (2 shots)
SV & GV Dancers performing with crowd watching (4 shots)
CU & SV People in traditional costume pulling floats (5 shots)
GV PAN People dancing TO boats on sea (2 shots)
PAN Sea at low tide TO seaweed on shore
GV People paddling across to island at low tide (10 shots)
Background: South Korea has its own version of the biblical story of Moses parting the sea. In the Bible story, Moses led the Israelites across the Red Sea by making the waters subside. At Jindo island southwest Korea, scientists predicted when a similar event would occur. They said it was a natural phenomenon. But hundreds of locals and thousands of tourists arrived at Jindo on Wednesday (16 April) convinced they would witness a 'miracle'.
SYNOPSIS: Last time people could walk across this stretch of water to Jindo Island was five years (1975) ago. This time the parting of the sea was forecast, and some five thousand tourists, including one thousand from Japan, came to the sea shore to witness the event.
Wednesday (16 April), the day the event was predicted by scientists who insisted the whole thing was a natural phenomenon. They said it was caused by a rare oceanological occurrence resulting in a freak low tide. But the tourists on the beach were not convinced by their arguments. The large crowd showed more interest in the traditional dancer and their promise to make a "miracle" happen.
The local people believe the phenomenon is cause by supernatural powers. Their dances and ceremonies are claimed to entice gods to perform the miracle. But not all of their gods are benign, part of their dance wards off the evil spirits of the sea. These spirits are bound to floats the dancers pull out of the water.
And amid the dancing, the tide goes out. The waters recede revealing more and more dry land -- and sea-weed.
There may have been some controversy among the spectators whether it was a natural phenomenon or the dancers that parted the sea. But by the end of the day, a stretch of dry land, some 2.8 kilometres (1.4 miles) long and fifteen metres (yards) wide lay exposed joining the mainland with Jindo island. Local fishermen rushed in to dig for clams and other shellfish. The water remained at bay for one hour, and no one knows when the parting of the sea might reoccur.