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Davis, California

Friday, May 24, 2024

City of Davis welcomes South Korean official sister city

Leadership with Sangju, South Korea meets at the city hall meeting


By ALMA CULVERWELL city@theaggie.org 


On April 19, the city of Davis welcomed Sangju, South Korea, its official sister city, at the city hall with Mayor Josh Chapman alongside Sangju Mayor Kang and Council Chairwoman Ahn. Sangju has been a sister city to Davis since 2004, but the Sangju delegation met for the first time in Davis with city leaders at city hall.

The city of Davis has several sister cities that usually share common environmental goals or other similar interests. A few other of these sister cities include: Inuyama, Japan; Uman, Ukraine; Qufu, China and more. 

“Today, the City of Davis welcomed our sister city Sangju, Korea to our community,” the city shared on Instagram. “Last year, Sangju invited a small delegation of Davis staff and council, including Mayor Josh Chapman, to Korea.”

Establishing the relationship between these two cities allows for learning from both parties, helping them gain insight on economic development, culture, education and diplomacy.

“These partnerships create opportunities for each sister city to learn in areas such as economic development, education and culture while promoting understanding, diplomacy and friendship,” the city shared in the post.

Sangju is an agricultural community located along the northwestern border of South Korea with a population of around 120,000. They are best known for their production of rice, silkworms, cocoons and dried persimmons, nicknamed “Sam Baek,” or “The Three White Things” for the popularity of these goods. 

It was originally one of the Nine Provinces during the Unified Shilla Dynasty and one of the eight provinces during the Goryeo Dynasty, according to Sangju’s city website. Soon following, it went on to become a grander city more comparable to a capital. 

The community shares several similarities with the city of Davis, including its bike friendliness, agricultural success and being home to a local university, the Sangju National University. 

“Sangju was doing research on communities with similar interests to theirs, a university, agricultural land and appreciation for biking and Davis came up with their findings,” Carrie Dyer, city community relations program manager, said. “They reached out and our friendship began.”

Sangju’s executive and legislative branches are led by officials elected by popular vote with elections held every four years.

Becoming an official sister city with Sangju has allowed both parties to gain valuable knowledge and cultural experiences. Dyer explained some past examples of how the city’s cooperation has benefitted them. 

“For a number of years now, Sangju has sent one of their employees to spend a year in Davis,” Dyer said. “They spend their time learning about our community, our school system, our government and our culture. It is an opportunity for exchange in learning. We spend time weekly learning about Sangju and in exchange they experience all that life has to offer in Davis. Every couple of years the city of Davis has a delegation visit Sangju. These delegations typically include a member of Council, a school board trustee and community members. It is an opportunity to continue to grow our sister city relationship and to learn more about Sangju and their culture. The Davis High School Culture Club also does a student exchange program with Sangju.“

Most recently, the Sangju delegation participated in the annual Picnic Day parade. Sangju Mayor Kang and Council Chairwoman Ahn rode alongside the Davis City Council in the parade on the antique firetrucks and enjoyed being part of the festivities. 

Dyer expressed that the city of Davis looks forward to many years of heightened friendship and cultural exchange with Sanju, South Korea.


Written by: Alma Culverwell — city@theaggie.org 


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