The Korea Herald


Korea-themed cafe opens in Paris to promote Busan World Expo bid

By Choi Jae-hee

Published : June 20, 2023 - 14:40

    • Link copied

An entrance of Cafe de Busan in Paris, France (Busan Metropolitan Government) An entrance of Cafe de Busan in Paris, France (Busan Metropolitan Government)

A pop-up exhibition dubbed “Cafe de Busan” was launched in Paris ahead of the General Assembly of the Bureau International des Expositions, to support Busan's bid to host the 2030 World Expo, according to the Busan Metropolitan Government on Tuesday.

South Korea is vying with Rome, Italy; Odesa, Ukraine; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to host the Expo in its southeastern city of Busan.

The two-day assembly, which began Tuesday with 179 BIE member countries attending, involves intense competition among the contenders to secure votes before the final vote takes place in late November.

Cafe de Busan opened in front of the Westfield Forum des Halles, a large shopping center in the Les Halles district, featuring various installations, props, and activities that offer cultural experiences.

There are booths where foreigners can make a Korean name, apply sticker tattoos featuring Boogi, Busan's seagull-themed mascot, and make dalgona, an old-fashioned Korean sugar candy. Visitors can also experience other traditional Korean desserts like misugaru, a traditional Korean drink made of grain powder and milk.

The cafe’s exterior walls feature photos of Korean celebrities, including K-pop superband BTS and smash-hit Netflix series "Squid Game" actor Lee Jung-jae, who is one of the promotional ambassadors for Busan's bidding activities for the World Expo 2030. The exterior also displays a character from Baby Shark, a song that went viral worldwide released by Korean education company Pinkfong, catching the eyes of little children passing by.

The pop-up store also has an installation called "Busan Expo Tree" at the entrance, furnished with decorations that resemble garbage. Once clearing them away, people are given beverages or other eco-friendly items like non-plastic balloons that biodegrade with water and carbon dioxide.

The store aims to promote Busan’s green initiatives under the slogan of “Sustainable Living with Nature,” one of the three themes of the envisioned Busan 2030 World Expo, along with "Technology for Humanity" and "Platform for Caring and Sharing.”