Seoul’s semi-underground apartments are about to be wiped out due to flooding, what is life like there?

August 14, 2022

Film “Parasite“, which in 2019 and 2020 took the box office by surprise, tells the story of a poor family in South Korea who lives in a small semi-underground apartment, and a rich family who lives in a luxurious mansion in Seoul.

Although the story in the Oscar-winning film is pure fiction, that’s not the case for his apartment. They call it a banjiha and thousands of people, in the capital city of Seoul, live there.

Now, the Seoul government has announced it will abolish the semi-underground apartments, after two women and a teenager died in floods that occurred earlier this week. The cramped living quarters are usually rented by people with low incomes.

Julie Yoon from BBC Korea met some of the people living in banjiha in 2020, to find out what life was like there.

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