Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gyeongbokgung Palace: Pride of Seoul City

Gyeongbokgung is one of the important palace which is located in the heart of the Seoul City. Everyday they show the morning session of the Joseon dynasty culture and the royal procession of the dynasty for public display. These ceremonies are intended to promote Korean traditional culture and to provide historical events for tourists.


Palace Gate Guards from the Joseon period were responsible for guarding the gates of the city and the palace in which the king and royal families resided. They followed a strict procedure in opening and closing the gates as well as changing shifts to protect the royal court and the nation as a whole."

The Royal dress red and blue colour display at the Museum

Head gear ornaments for Korean women

The Ancient Calender based on Solar System

Important significance of Mask and Korean Culture showcase at the museum

One of the important historical painting which signify the royal culture

The other side of the Palace

The Royal throne

Crouching Golden-dragon

These are the heritage that remind us the purity, rich and symbolic meaning of Korean traditional culture and treasure.

The traditional kitchen which can be hardly available at the modern Korea except in the country side or at the museum.

Different shapes and size of shoes which used to wear in those days.

The Korean couple wearing traditional attires.

On the way to the Palace from the Blue House side

I always wanted to visit this palace again and again, the royal gurad and their parade draws me back to them again and again with their colourful dresses. I know I am away from Korea now but the memory and these beautiful pictures always refresh and make me dream to visit Korea again and again.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Recent Books that makes tremendous change !

Modern and Traditional Korean Games and Sports

Karl Randall; Hollym: 144 pp., 12,000 won

Korean folk games and sports are diverse and well known but they are not actually practiced that often among modern Koreans, except on special festival days. Also, the details of their history and how to perform them are little known in English.

The book, written in English, is a useful reference for both Koreans and foreigners who are interested in Korean folk games and sports.

Consisting of three parts ― games of old, such as kite-flying and sledding; board and card games, such as Korean chess and go; and martial arts and sports, such as taekwondo, the book offers an introduction to provide a wide overview of the games and sports in each part, along with illustrations.

Each includes the historical background and evolution that shows how and why it became unique to Korea or otherwise important to local culture. It includes an explanation of any equipment and instructions on how to play.

The book is considered as something that gives important clues for readers to understand the core of Korean traditional culture.

30-Second Philosophies

Barry Loewer et al; Translated from English to Korean by Lee Jae-young; Open House: 264pp., 14,800 won

Philosophy can be a scary subject, especially if you don’t know where to start. Related books tend to scare readers with philosophers and their interests on existence, knowledge, values and other ambiguous subjects, but a new book by philosophy professor Barry Loewer is hoping to change that.

The new book ``30-second Philosophies’’ deals with 50 different theories that have changed the world and affected so many. Divided into seven categories, including ``Language and Logic,’’ ``Science and Epistemology’’ and ``Mind and Metaphysics,’’ the book offers them in the easiest way possible.

Each theory is covered in one and a half pages that are supposed to be read in about 30 seconds. Since its purpose is to introduce and help readers get used to the intangible theories, ``30-second Philosophies’’ may not be enough to satisfy those who are looking for more in depth information. Nevertheless, the book is a breath of fresh air and will certainly assist those who wish to delve into the world of Aristotle or Immanuel Kant but need to start with something light.

Morning Glory

Diana Peterfreund; Translated from English to Korean by Lee So-eun; Gimm-Young Publishers: 360 pp., 12,000 won

Diana Peterfreund’s “Morning Glory” has been translated into Korean to coincide with the release of the film adaptation here (titled “Good Morning Everyone”).

The film, starring the charming Rachel McAdams opposite Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford, has been praised by the New York Observer as being “the smartest, sharpest, funniest and most consistently entertaining comedy since ‘The Devil Wears Prada.’”

Becky struggles to find employment after losing her job as the producer of a suburban morning show. She’s already sent out a pile of applications and called in a number of favors.

While waiting for responses, the young woman spends her time binging on world news and lamenting about her stale romantic life. Then one day it seems like nothing short of a miracle when she gets a call from a major network in New York.

But she soon realizes the reality of trying to succeed in the big city. Their program “Daybreak” suffers all-time low ratings and the jaded anchors show no sign of wanting to cooperate. Will Becky be able to survive these new challenges and make it in the big city?

On Food and Cooking

Harold McGee; Translated from English to Korean by Lee Hee-gun; After 100 Years Publishing: 1,326 pp., 78,000 won

Harold McGee's "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen" is now available in Korean. This is a revised edition of the 1984 book “McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture.”

The book is full of facts on food and cooking, covering from why fish is white and flaky while meat is red to why wine should be stored laid down.

Korean food and ingredients, such as kimchi, doenjang and salted seafood, often appear in the book. A wider cultural view to these foods has been applied and unlikely or unique connections are made between foods such as sauerkraut of Germany and anchovies.
Biochemist Kang Chul-hoon and chef Suh Seung-ho were consulted for the translation.

This book won the James Beard KitchenAid Book Award and the IACP Cookbook Awards in 2005.
Source: KoreaTimes

Thursday, March 10, 2011

IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011/South Korea

There are several sports that Korea excels at: taekwondo, archery, judo, and weight lifting to name a few. But in athletics, unfortunately, Korea has rarely won medals and accordingly, public interest, too, is rather modest.

But this year, it seems it may be quite different – for the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Championships is scheduled to be held in Daegu, Korea from August 27 to September 4. Those who run the fastest, jump the highest, leap the farthest will be all gathering together!

IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011

So the 27th of August 2011 is going to be the day it will begin. Following the 1988 Olympics and the 2002 World Cup, this time Korea will host the IAAF Championships, with some ambitious goals set for itself – ranking within top 10 in 10 categories, including marathon, race-walking, hurdles, pole vault, and javelin throws for both male and female.

Organizing Committee for the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011

The organizing committee for the Daegu Championships is working hard to make the event a success. They are repairing and upgrading the Daegu Stadium which will be the main venue for the games, and the Athletes’ Village where the athletes from all over the world will be lodging is scheduled for completion in April 2011. About half has already been completed. Also, some 6,000 supporters are being recruited, including interpreters, assistants and organizers in some 10 specific areas.

D-365 Ticket Launching Ceremony

Now that slightly less than a 6-7 month is left till the grand opening, the tickets are on sale both on and offline. The price of the tickets ranges from KRW 10,000 to 150,000 and the season ticket with which you can watch all of the competitions costs from KRW 200,000 to 850,000. The prices are cheaper than the ones at the Osaka Championship in 2007 or Berlin in 2009.

A Mega-Scale Sporting Event

The IAAF Daegu 2011 will be the second time the competition is held in Asia, following the one in Osaka, Japan in 2007.

Daegu Stadium night view

It will be a mega-scale sporting event where over 6,000 foreigners from 213 countries will visit and participate in 47 different games. Apparently, it is a major opportunity to showcase various attractive aspects of Korea. Apart from the actual visitors, there will also be some 7 billion TV viewers, which will induce an impressive amount of economic value. To host this championship, Korea needs KRW 5.5 trillion’s volume of manufacture, 60 thousand employments, and is expected to generate value-added of 2.3 trillion’s worth.

Hosting a sporting event of this magnitude is certainly no easy job. It requires a lot of resources both finance, energy, time-wise, not to mention a thorough, meticulous planning. The entire world will be watching Korea. So, let’s hope and strive for a successful hosting!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

White Day 화이트데이 14 March / Red day 14 Feb

First of all when I land down to Korea, I was surrounded by lots of surprises. For instace White Day which is another form of Valentine Day version which is held on 14th of March almost 1 month after valentine’s day.
In the class our teacher used to tell us about the white day which made us curiosity to know more about and on the otherhand I used to wonder......why a big question mark to myself ??

But now I understand..............

Boys have you prepared the gift to your love one ? now, it’s your turn boys, for paying back to your girl friend .In South Korea, on a Valentine’s day i.e on 14th of Feb, woman usually gives a chocolate and red roses to her man, and on a White day it’s a man turn to give back some love token to their woman, couples usually celebrate a White Day "화이트데이" on March 14th.

On this day man will give something sweet stuff to their woman, usually with chocolate or candies but it can be a bouquet of flowers, jewellary or other gift items as the expression of love. It seems this day is very common in Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan. But valentine’s day is more popular in the world than a White Day.

A very happy White Day to you all...

P.S : Read this link , here you will find the whole 12 month's dated 14 marked special for the Korean and people who are there, what the day 14 of any month meant to them. Hope you all will like this given link, thanx..!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Chinese professor honored for book on Korean culture

The Korean Factor:That swept the Chinse and the other Asian countries.

Lai Jidan, professor at the South China University of Technology, became the first person to win an award presented by the South Korean government for her outstanding achievement in promoting cultural exchange between the two countries.

For her book “Korean Wave,” Lai was presented with a medal and prize by Kim Jang-hwan, South Korean consul in Guangzhou, on behalf of South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-phwan last week in Guangzhou (广州).

Published last April, “Korea Wave” examines and analyzes the South Korean popular culture phenomenon. The book was based on Lai’s two investigative visits to South Korea in 2008. During the visits, she interviewed Lee Byung-hoon, the producer of the hit TV drama “Jewel in the Palace,” fashion designer Andre Kim, showbiz celebrities and cultural luminaries. Through her research and interviews, Lai traced the origins of the Korean Wave, or the popular South Korean cultural phenomenon, and provided detailed information on Korea’s “B-Boy” breakdancers, kimchi and Korean fashion.

This is the first time a Chinese academic has published a book on the Korean cultural phenomenon based on first-hand research. It won the top prize last year at the Chinese Literature Awards hosted by China’s economic publication association.

bron: (Source: Shenzhen Daily)

Here comes "Spring Season"

In every place spring season are welcome by the prince frogs. Here in Korea too.

The harbingers of spring are all the more welcoming after an especially harsh winter.

Flower buds and willow branches are still huddled up in the last cold snap, but “gyeongchip,” or the day hibernating frogs crawl out of their holes, suggests that the warmer season is drawing near.

Traditionally in Korea, the seasons are divided into 24 parts according to the solar cycle, and gyeongchip marks the third of these parts. This is when winter comes to an end and flora and fauna regain energy and dynamism.

Frogs are a representative harbinger of spring, and Seoulites can witness these creatures’ awakening at the 63 Building in Yeouido.

The aquarium, 63 Sea World, is holding an exhibition of some 40 frogs. Some six different exotic species of frogs can be seen, such as a glowing green “blue frogs” or golden-hued Golden Toad, and the cartoon-character-like Ornate PacMan.

source:The Koreatimes

Sunday, March 6, 2011

'Hanji' the famous Korean traditional paper

The traditional Korean paper is known as Hanji, which is made from the bark of paper mulberry. It is strong and long-lasting, known for not discoloring, even after some 1,000 years.

During the Three Kingdoms period (57 BCE-668 CE), each of kingdom used paper to record their official histories. In 610, a Korean Buddhist monk named Damjing traveled to Japan and introduced papermaking methods, which indicates a the level of development in Korean papermaking by the beginning of the 7th century. The world’s oldest surviving wood block print is the Buddhist Dharani Sutra called the Pure Light Dharani Sutra (Korean: 무구정광대다라니경; Revised Romanization: Mugujeonggwangdaedaranigyeong).

Paper flowers made by artist Lee Soon-jae are on display at the "Korean Traditional Paper Craft Exhibition" held at Namsangol Hanok Village, central Seoul, Wednesday. / Korea Times

The paper is mainly used for literary purpose, but also popular as a construction material for window and door since it is good for lagging.

The traditional paper is also used in handicrafts, such as hanji dresses, paper dolls. In the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), ordinary people used scraps of paper to make folk art.

Hanji’s golden age peaked in the Goryeo period (918-1392), which saw the rise in quality and use of hanji in conjunction with printmaking. Paper was used to make money, Buddhist texts, and medical and history books. The government encouraged dak cultivation and paper production, and dak was planted countrywide in the 12th century. Often called Goryeoji, hanji became famous in Asia for its strength and luster, and became a heavy tribute item to China.

However, the Imjin wars of 1592 was a huge blow to the hanji industry. The Joseon government pressured Buddhist monks to increase their production of hanji that they were already making for Buddhist scriptures. As the final blow to hanji, western methods of paper mass production were introduced in 1884. The colonial period of 1910 to 1945 also undermined the hanji culture as it suppressed Korean culture in general, and machine-made paper’s cheapness and wide availability undercut hanji dramatically. In the 1970s, the New Village Movement that aimed to modernize Korea rapidly also led to further decimation of the hanji industry, as it eradicated traditional straw-thatched homes that used hanji to cover floors, walls, ceilings, windows, and doors of homes. The most recent threat to the Korean paper industry is the rise of inexpensive paper made in China, where labor costs and overhead are significantly lower than in Korea.

“Korean Traditional Paper Craft Exhibition,” an exhibition on hanji, always display in various places in Korea.