In the heart of Seoul lies a park which is known to be the popular hangout for about 400 elderly ladies. While it might not be surprising that one park is a favorite among the older generation, it might be a surprise why they love the spot.
The ladies who love the park so much are known as Bacchus women and thanks to a few different factors they must work to survive. These ladies sell the popular Bacchus energy drink, hence their nickname, but many of them also sell something completely different, themselves.
Bacchus women sell sexual services for as little as $10. Some of the women charge extra for the cost of the hotel room and others will pay for it themselves, meaning they could make as little as $5.
In a country that has always placed a high value on respect for the elderly, this phenomenon is unique and strange. So what exactly has prompted these ladies to turn to the world’s oldest profession?
It might be down to the changing values of generations. The elderly used to solely rely on their families to take care of them as they age but as families are changing, so too must the Bacchus ladies.
Or it might be because when South Korea experienced major growth after the Korean War, many older women didn’t receive equal education or job opportunities. Now, these women are widowed, divorced, or abandoned and must set out on their own to survive.
But the real issue may lie in the fact that there really isn’t a welfare system. Thanks to their quick growth, things like welfare haven’t had the chance to catch up. In turn, this has left many elderly people to fend for themselves.
The issue is so common and well-known in the country that in 2016, a movie was made about the struggles of Bacchus women! The movie even gained international attention!
So while these ladies should be at home spending time with their children and grandchildren they are sitting in a park to survive.