Passport to

Korean Culture

Korean Cluture and Information Service
Ministy of Culture, Sports and Tourism


Korea Today
Enjoying Life in Korea
1. Currency and Prices 9 2. Shopping 12 3. Efficient Public Transportation 17 4. Housing 21 5. Special Days 26

Part I

Korean Food
6. Unique Flavors of Kimchi 31 7. Koreans and Rice Cakes 35 8. Table Manners 38 9. Five Dishes Non-Koreans Like Best 41

Tourist Attractions 81 Seoul City Tour 21. The “Korean Wave” and Pop Stars 46 11. B-boys and Namsadang 66 17. Chungmu-ro and the Film Industry 52 13. Taekwondo 59 15. TV Dramas 49 12. Museums 96 .Popular Culture and Hallyu 10. Seoul City Tour 88 22. Football and the Red Devils 62 16. Norae-bang and Jjimjil-bang 78 20. Koreans at Leisure 75 19. Korean Pop Songs outside Korea 56 14. Samullori and Nanta 71 Leisure 18.

Classical Music 115 5. Traditional Life Experience 110 Part 2 Elegant Tastes of the Korean People 4. Traditional Dance 119 6. Major Holidays 106 3.Contents Korea in History In Pursuit of the Korean Heritage 1. Graceful Pottery 123 . Hanbok 103 2.

Emerging Multicultural Society 140 5. UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in Korea 146 Enjoying Life in Korea 5 . Korean Enterprises and Economy 142 Part 3 Part I Korea Today A Glimpse of Korea 6. The People 133 3. Climate and Population 129 2. Spoken and Written Language 136 4.Korea and Its People Korea in the World 1. Geography.


Unique Flavors of Kimchi 7. Taekwondo 15. Samullori and Nanta Leisure 18. Koreans and Rice Cakes 8. Shopping 3.Korea Today Enjoying Life in Korea 1. Seoul City Tour 22. Efficient Public Transportation 4. Football and the Red Devils 16. Tourist Attractions Seoul City Tour 21. TV Dramas 12. Currency and Prices 2. B-boys and Namsadang 17. The "Korean Wave" and Pop Stars 11. Five Dishes Non-Koreans Like Best Popular Culture and Hallyu 10. Housing 5. Museums Part I . Special Days Korean Food 6. Korean Pop Songs outside Korea 14. Table Manners 9. Norae-bang and Jjimjil-bang 20. Koreans at Leisure 19. Chungmu-ro and the Film Industry 13.

Enjoying Life in Korea .

He is credited with the invention of the Korean native script. Enjoying Life in Korea 9 . ). 10. the 4th monarch of the Joseon kingdom (1392-1910) appears on the 10. Her image graces the largest-denomination Korean bill.000. 50. The Appearance of Korean Money Sin Saim-dang was the mother of Yi I.000-won note. including a rain gauge and sundial.000) and coins in six denominations ( 1 and Korea Today 500). She was an accomplished artist who was particularly famous for her paintings of nature subjects such as flowers and insects. cultural treasures and important symbols are featured on the notes and coins. However the 5 coins are virtually unused today because of their very small value. 1. Han-geul. 1418-1450). a project that was carried out with the help of selected scholars. and many important inventions were created during his reign. 50. He was also very much interested in the promotion of science.000 and 1.000.000 note.Currency and Prices The Korean currency is called the Won ( denominations ( 5. King Sejong (r. 100 and 5. Historical figures. for her adorable motherhood and faithful wifehood. one of Korea's most famous Neo-Confucian scholars). Part I 50. and Korean money consists of banknotes in four 10.

The obverse of the 50 coin bears the image of a rice stalk. a symbol of longevity. utterly defeating invading Japanese naval fleets with his "turtle ships. pen name: Toe-gye)." the world's first iron-clad war vessels. emphasizing the importance of Korea's agrarian tradition. and was included on UNESCO's World Heritage list in 1995. He brought key victories to Korea during the Imjin War (1592~1598). The person who appears on the 1. Yi Hwang (1501~1570. The Manchurian crane.000 note is another great Joseon philosopher. He was one of the most prominent scholars in Joseon and an accomplished statesman who is acclaimed for his tireless efforts to fight political corruption in his time. was designated Korean National Treasure No. The pagoda is considered one of the finest examples of stone masonry from the Silla kingdom (57 BCE-935 CE). a four-storied stone pagoda at Bulguk-sa (temple in Gyeongju) is on the face of 10 coin.000 note. while the 100 coin features the portrait of Admiral Yi Sun-sin (1545~1598). wealth and fame. is depicted on the front of 500 coin. 20. Korean Housing and Transportation Expenses Apartment: typical housing Housing is rather expensive in 10 Passport to Korean Culture . pen name: Yulgok) appears on the 5. He was a leading scholar in the study and development of Neo-Confucianism.The portrait of Yi I (1536~1584. Dabo-tap.

a Big Mac was priced at US$4.25 in the US.38--as opposed to $5. the typical tip Cappuccino & Pastry : $6. along with a cup of coffee. For the health-conscious.Korea.300.530.28 in the UK. A 100m2 apartment costs at 560 million in Seoul. $4. Part I Korea Today salaried worker in Seoul would have to be in his late 60s before he could afford to buy his own home.500 per hour. And if you go in the daytime. $6. With the same amount of money. According to that report. a cup of cappuccino and a piece of pastry costs around $2.90 in Seoul. A halfliter of draft beer can be had in Seoul for $2. $6. $5.00 in Germany. The basic fares of Seoul subways are 1.50 in Tokyo.88 in Germany. Thus. you can get a bowl of rice mixed with assorted vegetables (bibim- bab).600. $3.150) in 2008. $6.150. The taxi meter starts at between 2. $6.00 in the UK or Seoul.43 in Tokyo for the same thing. most Koreans cannot own their house in Seoul without help from parents or someone else. Enjoying Life in Korea 11 .94 in Naples.00 = age of least 1. and individual households managed to save an aver9. public transportation in Korea is relatively inexpensive. the bus and subway or between subway lines. What 10.000 Buys Today Ten thousand won is enough to buy two servings of Chinese noodles in bean sauce (jjajang-myeon). You get a significant discount when using a rechargeable transportation card and transferring between bus lines.52. Although the coffee was pricy in Seoul. but you have to pay $2.00 in Okinawa.68 in the US. when business is slow. the proprietor may let you sing a while longer. or five orders of spicy rice cake (ddeogbokki).000 and 100 increments.000 (US$1.000. On the other hand.20 in the US US military personnel stationed at different locations worldwide were surveyed on the relative cost of living. 10.20 in the US and $5.41 in Tokyo and $9.000. If you are not hungry. a trip to the dry sauna (jjimjil-bang) will cost no more than tronic games or web-surfing at a PC parlor costs only 10. while the bus costs 1. $5.75 in Italy. $6. and increases at 1.000 will get you 30 min- utes at a singing room (norae-bang). In other words.50 in Tokyo and over $9. while playing elec1. A 2009 study by the Office of Statistics showed that the average household income was 39.000 to rise.

it became a center for buying ingredients for Oriental herb medi- Ingredients for Oriental herb medicine at Gyeongdong Market 12 Passport to Korean Culture . People go to these places not only to shop but also to discover the latest fads and trends.Shopping Shopping is one of the great pleasures awaiting travelers to Korea. Gyeongdong Shijang The massive (some 100. This market formed in 1953. with vendors coming together spontaneously to buy and sell hot peppers.000m ) Gyeongdong Shijang (Market) is in Seoul's Jegi2 dong (District). Shopping venues are diverse. fish markets and department stores. wild greens and herbs. Traditional markets that carry local specialties are always tourist attractions for their uniqueness. unlike the modern discount stores or department store. garlic. after the Korean War. Variety of Markets No trip is complete without a visit to the local marketplace. including the traditional open markets. As such.

cine. One of the great benefits here is the low prices. The advantage for buyer and seller is the elimination of middle men. Dongdaemun Fashion Town The area near the Great East Gate (Dongdaemun) has long been a popular Buying clothes at Dongdaemun Market Enjoying Life in Korea 13 . with 97. visited each day by some 450.000m in total floor space. Koreans of the most genuine kind.000 shops. and people can still haggle on unit prices and get volume discounts. at very attractive prices. Here you 2 Dynamic and lively Namdaemun Market can buy clothes. the hustle and bustle is a memorable experience for any visitor. home appliances. retail or wholesale. On a site of more than 40. Southeast Asia and elsewhere.000m are 58 buildings that collec2 Part I Korea Today tively house over 9. This is a place where you can feel the warmth of common folk. meaning lower prices without compromising quality.000 people. The market opens at 11:00 AM and closes at around 3:00 AM the following day. Shoppers are not only local but also from America.000 to 500. Pricing is not set. kitchen utensils. Late at night. fabrics. Namdaemun Shijang East of Namdaemun (the Great South Gate in Seoul) is a huge marketplace. in fact 90% of all the children's clothing in Korea passes through here. A major item found here is children's clothing. foodstuffs imported goods and many other items. the place remains crowded with retailers and wholesalers from all over the country. Europe.

shoppers are treated to live performances by young artists who want Modern high-rise Dongdaemun Shopping Malls to show off their skills. over 30. In the vicinity. and a so-called "fashion town" has emerged. Noryang-jin Fish Market The huge fish market in Seoul's Noryangjin Fish Market Noryang-jin district originally begun as 14 Passport to Korean Culture . Nearby are many shops carrying wedding dresses as well as other items for weddings such as cloth. textiles. with 26 shopping malls. bedding.000 specialty shops and some 50. This is Korea's largest retail/wholesale district. especially for garments. Doosan Tower.retail and wholesale market. electronic goods. footwear. kitchen utensils and traditional Korean clothing ( han- bok). office supplies and toys. APM) that cater to the garment trade were added.000 manufacturers clustered together to trade in garments. sportswear & accessories. Recently modern high-rise buildings (Migliore.

garments. grain.000 (1. Gyeonggi Province is held every fifth day. Seo-in Sangga. food. 14th. The auction starts at 1:00 AM for shellfish. 19th. Terminal Jeonja Sangga and others) with multiple vendors. and some 100. 24th and 29th of each month. This is probably Korea's most popular "5-day market. vegetables. in Yongsan-gu.susansijang.000 vehicles visit the market daily.kyungdongmart. The daily transaction volume averages around 330 tons of marine products. The products are delivered from all parts of the country. poultry. worth some tip Market Websites : Gyeongdong Market: http://www.200 registered members and some 800 non-member vendors). are sold wholesale through auction. Clustered together in this area are large buildings (Jeonja Land. People can also buy individual fish for cooking or sashimi at low prices. Some 370 different marine products.000 people each time it opens. Yongsan Jeonja Sang-ga The Yongsan Electronics Mall (Jeonja Sang-ga).000 people and 5. More than 30. Visit the food section and you can eat generous portions of traditional rice soup with blood sausage. 9th. on the Dongdaemun Fashion Town: Moran Market: Noryangjin Fish Market: http://www. deals in personal noodles and pork head in a simple yet inexpensive setting.moranjang." drawing some 50. near the Seoul Railway Station in 1927. pet dogs. Traditional Moran Market The market at Seongnam-dong in Seongnam. The market is divided into several sections that specialize in medicinal herbs. flowers. Computer buffs can Enjoying Life in Korea 15 . Sometimes you will also be treated to street entertainment reminiscent of traditional times.the "Gyeongseong Fish Market" at Uiju-ro. including live or frozen fish. marine Other Shopping Centers Part I Korea Today 1 billion. and sundries. computer peripherals and other electronic and electric goods. 1:30 AM for fresh fish and 3:00 AM for live fish.000 tons of products are sold here annually.dongdaemunsc. The merchants total about 2.

Department Stores & Other Large Retailers Koreans around the country today frequently shop at large retailers that carry everything from food and clothes to home appliances. Hyundai. The sales area is spacious and pleasant. Some of the better-known ones are Emart. Lotte Mart and Home Plus. and the stores remain open till late evening. 16 Passport to Korean Culture . They are usually conveniently located near public transportation and offer plenty of parking space. Galleria and others) are for Department store high-end luxury goods. Department stores (Lotte. and consumer electronics at attractive prices. Shinsegae.Yongsan Electronics Mall either have their own PCs assembled here or purchase do-it-yourself parts.

Getting information by phone: First press 1577-0287. On the Internet log onto bus. or route number + #. Using the transportation card Most people in Seoul pay their fares with the transportation card rather than in cash. then 7 + bus stop number + #.seoul. convenience stores and pay phones have also begun accepting these like cash. Bus-only lanes Enjoying Life in Korea 17 .Efficient Public Transportation Rapid. Busan. a monitor system added at bus stops to Bus information monitor tip Accessing Bus Information You can find bus timetable at each bus stop. subways. Recently. The benefits of using the card include discounted basic fare and free or discounted for information on bus and subway services (bus stops. with some six million passengers daily in Seoul alone. routes). and convenient. and not every city is directly connected to the high-speed rail service (KTX). Gwangju and Incheon. kiosks.go. which made the service much faster and more has reliable. taxis. been Recently. trains (regular and highspeed) and airplanes. However the subway systems are limited to Seoul. Daegu. to include buses (local and intercity). Daejeon. The cards are honored on buses and subways as well as in taxis. subway stations and the mini-kiosks at bus stops. timetables. public transportation is an integral part of life in Korea. They can be purchased or reloaded at convenience stores. Bus riding became even more popular in the capital after the introduction of bus-only lanes in July 2004. Part I Korea Today Popular Bus Routes The most frequently used public transportation in Korea is the bus.

( 18 Passport to Korean Culture .co. inexpensive and convenient services via 11 lines Seoul Metro platform that connect virtually every destination. or bus and subway lines. For instance.seoulmetro. Rapid Subway Service throughout Greater Seoul The Seoul Metro offers fast.Inside a Seoul Metro train provide information on the estimated arrival time of each bus. The low fare is another reason why bus ride is so popular. You also receive a discount on the basic fare as well as on transfers between bus lines. and Lines 5 and 9 serve the international and domestic air terminals at tip Subway information is available on Seoul Metro homepage. Line 1 is connected with Line 2 at Seoul City Hall Station. Lines 1 and 4 intersect at Seoul Railway Station.

The cost of taking a taxi in Korea is much lower than fares charged in most other countries. You may catch taxis on the street or Regular taxi call them to come to your location (in which case you pay an additional 1. The subway will get you to most tourist attractions downtown as well as throughout the Greater Seoul Area.300. You may reserve an international taxi by contacting the Call Center (1566-2255) one hour in Enjoying Life in Korea 19 The drivers speak English. "water taxis" also run on the Han River. unaffected by road traffic congestion. the subway takes you to Onyang Hot Springs for only 3. A free interpretation service is available for communication with taxicab drivers.Gimpo. For more information.000).000. Yangsu in the southeast and Sinchang in the south. tip Using International Taxis International taxis are fast becoming popular among foreign visitors in Seoul. The Seoul Metro is a truly attractive way to get around on weekends to areas within the Seoul city limits as well as out into Gyeonggi and Chungcheong Provinces. for example. log onto www. The basic fare starts at 2. and the 100 meter increases at increments.500.internationaltaxi. extending as far as Soyosan in the north. Japanese and/or Chinese. Part I Korea Today Multiple Taxi Types Taxis are readily available in Korean cities.000 won if the total fare is less than 10. The basic rate starts at 1. The subways are safe and reliable. 365 days a year. providing shuttles during rush hour or used by individuals or families for tourism or fun. The fare can be paid in cash or with either a transportation card or credit card. providing friendly service. In Seoul.1. On the subway you pay only half what a regular train costs. any time.

Using Express Buses East (Dong) Seoul Terminal: (02) 446-8000 or http://www. express buses run between all the cities and are a very popular form of while the Seoul Nambu and East Seoul Terminals also offer similar services. Meanwhile. facilitating one-day business or sightseeing connecting Seoul with Busan (Gyeongbu Line) in 2 hours and 40 minutes and Seoul with Mokpo (Honam Line) in 2 hours and 58 minutes.KTX (for Korea Train eXpress) High-speed Rail (KTX) Express Buses The KTX (for Korea Train eXpress) high-speed rail serves many major Korean cities. Yeongdong and Honam lines depart from the Seoul Express Bus Terminal. The KTX began operation in April 2004. Tourist companies take advantage of the fast and pleasant KTX trains in their package tours. The Gyeongbu. Guma.korail. com/.kr/ 20 Passport to Korean Culture . tip Using KTX Advance tickets for KTX can be purchased either from automatic ticket machines installed at train and subway stations or from travel agents. You may also purchase your ticket online by logging onto the Korail homepage at: http://www. Night trains with sleeping cars are also in Seoul Nambu Terminal: (02) 5218550 or http://www.

Hanok Revival The hanok began to disappear in large numbers during the 1980s. has again Jeonju Hanok Village Enjoying Life in Korea 21 . the structure "breathes. however. and either thatched-straw or tiled roof. depending on their taste. The interior is not too humid in the summer rainy season and warm in winter. The ondol heating system in the floor is highly efficient. and an open area with wooden floor is built between the two bedrooms to serve as a living room that is cool in summer.Housing Residential lifestyles are diverse in Korea today. ranging from the traditional hanok to high-rise apartment complexes and ultra-modern mixed-use buildings. with its environmentfriendly features. financial status and purpose. The ideal placement is facing south." allowing the proper amount of ventilation yet blocking the winter chill. Koreans may choose to live in a private home (either traditional or Western-style). low-rise apartment. as Koreans flocked to the more convenient apartments or Western-style single family dwellings. walls and floor of clay. the traditional Korean home. As such. However a certain basic tradition remains: The hanok has a wood frame. Recently. which allows more sunshine in the winter while avoiding the most intense rays of the sun in the summer. high-rise apartment or unit in a mixed-use building. Part I Korea Today Traditional Houses The traditional-style private dwellings in Korea are called hanok. which have evolved over time.

22 Passport to Korean Culture . Hanok. The heated floor is the main reason Koreans have had a preference for sitting on the floor. Of course the system has evolved over time. exterior and interior with open floor become popular among the health-conscious. the fuel first changed from wood to coal briquettes and then boilers were adopted to supply and circulate heated water under the floor via plastic pipe. Some of Korea's younger architects are now designing hanok -style offices for government offices (at the lowest administrative level--dong). The flues are covered by thin stone slabs that can retain heat for several hours.tip Ondol: Korean-style Hypocaust System The traditional ondol system is a series of under-floor flues that convey heat from wood burned in a fire pit. For example.

The windows and doors papered with traditional paper ( hanji ). with wooden beams.tip Experiencing the Feel of Hanok Hanok Cultural Center homepage: http://www. maintained by the provincial and municipal governments. hanji-papered windows and doors.go. and living room floor. pillars. The homepage: http://www. The adobe-covered walls. About 700 hanok remain here. providing the atmosphere of the original hanok .bukchon. inner court instead of veranda or balcony.seoul. The interior of these structures has a rounded Part I Korea Today dental offices and apartments. North Jeolla Province. Enjoying Life in Korea 23 . and open living-room with wooden floor add up to a cozy dwelling.go. The hanok -style apartment is becoming popular for its combination of traditional elegance with modern Jeonju Hanok Village is located in Pungnam-dong and Gyo-dong. and now being developed as a tourist attraction.hanok. The popularity of the hanok look is boosted by concern for good health and a desire to recover traditional values. traditional latticework and classical motifs on the ceiling. Jeonju.

Single-family Homes (Dandok Jutaek)

Single-family home (Dandok Jutaek)

Single-family houses in Korea have their own gates and yards. The inside features are similar to other types of housing: living-room, bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. Young people prefer apartments for their convenience and low maintenance, while families with children like the privacy of homes with their own yards. Today, Koreans are increasingly moving into private homes outside the large urban areas. One advantage of these rural dwellings is the small garden.

High-rise Apartments
High-rise (15+ stories) multi-unit housing called "apartments" in Korea (or condominiums in the West because they are owned, not rented) are found throughout Korea. More than half (52.7%) of the population live in apartments and 68.9% say they prefer them to other types of housing. The first apartment buildings were constructed in the 1960s to ease the housing shortage in large cities. Since then, apartment design and quality have improved greatly. The growing urban popula-

24 Passport to Korean Culture

tion and scarcity of residential land have also contributed to apartment boom. A building that has both residential and commercial space is called jusang-bokhap (mixeduse) and an example of the greater versatility in modern architectural design. The commercial facilities typically occupy the second through fourth floors, and the upper stories are residential. Such buildings are usually very high and centrally located for convenience of transportation. Thus they command good view, especially on the uppermost floors, and the floor space is flexible. They often come with a swimming pool, bowling alley, indoor driving range or health club for residents to enjoy.
High-rise Jusang-bokhap buildings

Part I

Korea Today

Townhouses & Low-rise Apartments
Townhouses (or yeollip jutaek, "row houses") are defined as having no more than 4 stories and floor space totaling over 660m2 per building, while low-rise apartments ("villas") are 3-5 stories. The townhouses are aimed at lower income groups; the unit sizes are usually smaller and maintenance fees are low. The price and quality of "villas," on the other hand, varies widely.

Enjoying Life in Korea 25

Special Days
People in every country have special days within the lifecycle. In Korea these are the child's first birthday (dol), the wedding day, the 60th birthday, and the day of the funeral.


A baby’s first birthday party has been a special event since early times to
Dol table and celebrating family

express gratitude for the

baby's surviving its first twelve months. Infant mortality was high in traditional times, when medicine was still undeveloped. Today, families still throw a big party for friends and relatives when their child reaches one year old. The highlight of the auspicious occasion is when the baby is put in front of a table that has various items arrayed on it (for boys: a book, paper money, sheet of paper, ink brush, inkstick, and bow & arrow; for girls: a pair of scissors, yardstick and needle are in place of the bow & arrow). The baby that picks up the money first is expected to grow up to be rich, while selection of the book or brush signifies the destiny of a future scholar or high-ranking government official, while the bow or arrow would suggest a future general. Today, a cake sometimes replaces the traditional display, and the party itself is held at a hotel or a restaurant. The well-wishers are given small gifts together with pieces of rice cake.

26 Passport to Korean Culture

a marriage is not just a union of a man and woman but also the union of two families. the bridegroom-to-be went to the house of the bride-to-be for the wedding ceremony and then spent the first three days there before bringing his bride to his own home. Prior to the wedding. Western-style ceremony (with some modifications) is preferred to the traditional type. Modern wedding ceremony Today. or church. Enjoying Life in Korea 27 .Wedding Ceremony Part I Korea Today Pyebek at traditional wedding ceremony To Koreans. and it is held at a wedding hall. hotel. the couple are busy preparing many things not only for the wedding itself but also for life as newlyweds. however. invitation cards are mailed to relatives. Of course. In traditional times.

friends and colleagues. is also a special celebration but not as much as hwegap is. In traditional times. Hwegap (60th Birthday) Hwegap (or hwan-gap or suyeon) is a big celebration on the day one turns 60 (or 61 according to the Korean system). and in response the in-laws throw jujubes onto the bride's traditional skirt (chima). influenced particularly by the contemporary reli- 28 Passport to Korean Culture . Immediately after the wedding ceremony. which stresses the magnitude of key four ceremonies: the coming-of-age. with the father-in-law sitting in the east and mother-in-law in the west. marriage. funeral. The bride bows four times. The 69th birthday (Korean age 70). Professional wedding planners are frequently consulted as well. surpassing 60 years of age was considered a special blessing. and the bride formally greets her new parents-in-law with deep bows in a ceremony called pyebek. and sacrifices to deceased ancestors. Traditionally. and special photos are taken in advance. The significance of 61 is that it completes the 60-year zodiaGohui : 69th birthday party cal cycle. Funerary customs have changed over time. a folding screen is set up in the room. expressing wishes of a happy marriage and many children. called gohui. The funeral is considered as important as the wedding. The children offer their parents glasses of wine or liquor expressing wishes for an even longer life. offering some simple food. Funerals and Condolences Koreans remain heavily influenced by Confucianism. many of which are outdoors. the newlyweds are to change into traditional hanbok.

while a Protestant would say a silent prayer and present a flower. A Buddhist would offer two bows. In recent years. The influence of Buddhism as the state religion spread the practice of cremation for the next seven centuries or so. traditional funeral procession gion and philosophical value system. and has remained the mainstream custom until the present. when Confucianism prevailed. when the Three Kingdoms Period ended. however.Part I Korea Today Funeral bier. Enjoying Life in Korea 29 . The deceased were virtually always buried from prehistoric times to about the 7th century CE. but now simplified ceremonies are more commonly performed at a funeral parlor attached to a hospital. Condolences are expressed in different ways according to one's faith. funerals were usually held at the home of the deceased. funerary customs have begun to diversify once again. Then. In the past. the importance of burials returned in the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Korean Food .

Part I Korea Today Korean Food 31 . kimchi is enjoyed in many countries. Today. and has attracted global attention as a health food.Unique Flavors of Kimchi No discussion of Korean food is complete without mentioning kimchi. This indispensable part of the Korean diet is rich in lactic acid bacteria and nutrients. Essential Part of Every Korean Meal The origins of kimchi can be traced back at least 1. and various spices were added.) Information : Tel: (02)566-7037. contributing to development of today's hot and spicy kimchi varieties.tip Experiencing Kimchi Event : The Foundation for the Preservation of Cultural Properties organizes events for visitors to experience aspects of traditional Korean culture.300 years. Date : All year round Venue : KOUS (Daechi-dong. Fax: (02)566-6314. Seoul) Duration : 2-3 hours Admission : Free Application : Reserve by phone (The application form can be downloaded. 5954 e-Mail: sunnykous@naver. Gangnam-gu. 32 Passport to Korean Culture . Chongno-gu. Diverse Varieties of Kimchi The Kimchi Field Museum in Seoul has documented 187 historic and current kimchi types. Chili peppers were introduced to Korea in the 16th century and gradually became popular. Then pickling methods were developed. Seoul) Korea House (Pil-dong. starting out simply as salted vegetables.

like godeulbegi kimchi from Jeolla. Generally. chongkak kimchi (young radishes). jjokpa kimchi (scallions). bossam kimchi (stuffed cabbage) and oyster kimchi. people in the north tend to use less salt and chili pepper in their kimchi than those in the south do.Different varieties are served according to the season and region. Winter kimchi types such as tongbechu gimjang kimchi are well fermented to last a long time. Popular in spring are tongbechu kim- chi (whole-head Chinese cabbages). Early summer brings Part I Korea Today oisobak kimchi (fresh cucumbers). Recently. oiji (pickled cucumbers) and yeolmu kimchi (young radishes with the radish greens). Autumn varieties include bechu geot- jeori (unpickled cabbage). kimchi bun Other winter favorites are seokbakgi (radishes sliced in large pieces). and godeulbegi kimchi (a kind of lettuce). Korean Food 33 . minari kimchi (dropwort). bossam kimchi from Gaeseong and ggakttugi from Gongju. followed by gaji kimchi (eggplant) and kimchi ddeok sigumchi kimchi (spinach) in late summer. ggakttugi (cubed radish). and the varieties are determined by the main vegetables and seasonings used. fusion dishes that include kimchi have been developed and are becoming quite popular among Koreans and non-Koreans alike. Different regions have their own specialties. The use of fish sauce is more common in the south as well. nabak kimchi (sliced radishes in brine).

Some studies sugkimchi refrigerator gest that regular consump- tion of kimchi can inhibit cancer growth. refrigerators have been developed specifically for storing kimchi. 34 Passport to Korean Culture . they like to follow with kimchi. Allowing o o kimchi to freeze can detract from the flavor. soy sauce. which burns fat and stimulates the appetite while reducing the need for salt in flavoring. The fermentation process kills bacteria and regular consumption of fermented foods can strengthen the immune system. chili pepper contains capsicine. Kimchi is rich in vitamins minerals and dietary fiber yet low in calories. Why Spicy Koreans generally are not fond of oily or sweet food. When they do eat it. Optimal flavor and nutrition is normally achieved by fermenting kimchi for 2-3 weeks at 2-7 C and then storing it at 0-5 C. Storage and Flavor The same type of kimchi will taste different depending on the temperature at which it is fermented and stored. fermented soybeans and kimchi . Actually. Nowadays. because the spiciness feels refreshing. so Koreans traditionally kept their winter kimchi underground.Nutritional and Health Benefits Koreans have developed many fermented foods such as soybean paste.

beans. "The ddeok in the picture" (pie in the sky) and many others. Korean Food 35 . This is evidenced by the many wellknown expressions involving ddeok : "Eating ddeok while lying down" (a very simple task). added) has long been an integral part of Koreans' lives. "The ddeok in another's hand always seems bigger" (jealousy). No Korean ceremony involving food is complete without rice cake.Koreans and Rice Cakes Part I Korea Today Ddeok rice cake (sometimes with millet. and ddeokbokki (broiled and seasoned sliced rice cake with meat. eggs and other ingredients) is a very popular snack. squash etc.

This popular snack has probably been around in some form on the Korean Peninsula for close to 3. Even today. and color may vary by region. Bronze Age implements with several holes at the bottom on each side appear to have been used for steaming grains. families who move into a new neighborhood typically prepare ddeok to pass around as a way to greet the new neighbors. In traditional times. Grindstones and stone mortars for pounding grain have been found dating from as early as the 7th and 8th centuries BCE. The type depends on the occasion and/or season.000 Modern-style ddeok years. including flowers and fruits. The principle ingredient. showing that agriculture was already established. Rice cakes are served at weddings. can be used. the royal family had luxurious ddeok prepared according to a unique recipe. Sharing rice cakes among neighbors and friends was a way to foster a community spirit. the Korean people have made ddeok for sad occasions such as funerals such as happy moments such as weddings. Different grains and other ingredients. Occasions for Ddeok Ddeok has been so closely related to all walks of life that it would be difficult to understand Korean people's lives without understanding the symbolic significance. shape. 36 Passport to Korean Culture . stuffing. birthdays and other family events as well as on seasonal holidays.A Culinary Tradition from Ancient Times About 200 kinds of ddeok are available today in assorted shapes and colors. From ancient times.

It is seasoned with hot bean paste and some sugar instead of the soy sauce. sliced and broiled. too. providing a healthier alternative to sweets and fast food. Part I Korea Today Ddeokbokki : a popular Korean snack ddeok is also exported. Ddeokbokki is a popular Korean snack that was once restricted to royal court the Ddeokbokki Festival is helping to further promote the dish among nonKoreans. hese days. and is now enjoyed by everyone.topokki. visit www. visit www. The dish now includes ddeok.or. and enjoy eating some of the delicious rice cakes.) Korean Food 37 . You can learn ddeok-related customs.Taking Ddeok to the World Korean ddeok continues to evolve with changing tastes.tkmuseum. rice cakes are sometimes served the way sandwiches are. Today's spicy version appeared in 1950. Today. Now packaged and catering to foreigners' tastes. meat and eggs. (For more information. The original ddeokbokki was seasoned with soy sauce. A variation called "rabokki" (for "ramyeon + ddeokbokki") may come with cream sauce or chili sauce instead of hot bean paste. (For more information. participate in ddeok-making. Some like it with cheese. when the Korean War broke out.) Learn How to Make Ddeok The Ddeok Museum exhibits some 200 different varieties of Korean-style rice cakes along with instruments for shaping them. Some are pre-made for instant cooking in a microwave oven.

on the side farthest from the room entrance. which are particularly important when we are eating or drinking with the elderly. As a guest. The eldest person is always allowed to sit down first and start eating first. upper-class people were served at individual tables.Table Manners Sometimes we experience embarrassment when we do not know the proper table manners when drinking or dining with people in foreign countries. beginning with the eldest. and do Family dining together 38 Passport to Korean Culture . As a junior. Now. The senior-most position at the middle of the table. you are expected to keep your posture correct and should not place your spoon and chopsticks on the table (indicating that you have finished eating) until the eldest done so. Dining with Elders In traditional times. Of course Koreans have their own sets of rules. Koreans share the same side dishes on the same table together. Do not use a spoon to take from the side dishes (which are shared by all). The eldest is also first to leave the table. however. etiquette dictates that you thank the host before starting and after finishing.

The cup is held with the right hand. but now polite conversation is normal. followed by the chopsticks. Any dish containing fluid is placed nearer to the diner. Korean Food 39 . Today. Try to use your spoon and chopsticks quietly and do not hold both in your hand at the same time. In the past. the ritual has been simplified simply using both hands. and the soup is on the right. Drinking Etiquette Traditionally.Part I Korea Today Traditional table-setting not hog the side dishes you like most. The spoon is placed to the immediate right of the soup bowl. the junior was expected to offer a drink to the senior. Table-setting The rice bowl goes on the left side of the diner. Of course you should avoid eating noisily or blowing noisily on your soup to cool it off. holding the cup with both hands and on knees before filling his/her own cup. Dishes with food cut in smaller sizes are nearer than the dishes with larger pieces are. keeping silence at the table was considered a virtue. while the other dishes are farther away.

Tea Etiquette Clinking the glasses and Cheers The teacup should be placed on a tray that is then put on a tea table before being filled and served on a saucer. The cup handle should be toward the tea drinker's right. instead of blowing on it. You should receive a drink from a senior with both hands and then turn your head a little to the side before drinking. simply allow it to cool. it should be removed from the table. 40 Passport to Korean Culture . If the tea is too hot. the cup is held in the right hand. Tea should be drunk in silence.while the left is placed underneath the cup. and the teaspoon is to the immediate right of the cup. put Tea ceremony the cup aside and thank the hostess. do not sip the tea with the spoon. while the left hand supports it underneath. Once finished. Never refill another's cup before it is completely empty. As soon as the cup is empty.

and is now a popular in-flight meal for international travelers. The diner then mixes the ingredients all together and adds red pepper paste and Jeonju bibim-bap Korean Food 41 . haemul pajeon (pancake with green onion. egg & beef). baechu kimchi (picked & spiced Chinese cabbage). and hobak ddeok (pumpkin or squash cake). galbi-gui (grilled beef ribs). japche (potato noodles with beef & vegetables). Other favorites on the survey are hobak-juk (pumpkin or squash porridge).Five Dishes Non-Koreans Like Best A survey by Korean Traditional Food Research Institute concluded that the top favorite Korean dishes among non-Koreans are (in descending order): bibim-bap (vegetables & beef on rice). shellfish & other seafoods). naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles with vegetables. Bibim-bap Bibim-bap (mixed rice) has long been popular in Korea because it is simple yet nutritious. bul- gogi (thinly sliced beef marinated in soy sauce & grilled). samgye-tang (boiled chicken stuffed with rice & ginseng). gimbap (rice wrapped in dried laver) and sunPart I Korea Today dubu-jjige (spicy stew of soft tofu & shellfish). Various vegetables are arranged on top of steamed rice.

Bibim-bap has many variations. Put in the bean sprouts and place the lid on just before cooking is finished. herbs and wild vegetables seasoned with salt. dried jujubes. 1 mushroom. 50g of squash. The scene of New Yorkers enjoying the Korean dish was televised. a stone bowl (dolsot) is used because it helps to keep the ingredients warm until one finishes eating. 30g of balloon flower root. depending on the region of Korea where it is served. soy sauce. A Cornish hen is stuffed with glutinous rice and boiled in a broth of Korean ginseng. Jeonju is famous for bibim-bap featuring fat soybean sprouts.tip Bibim-bap Ingredients: 200g of rice. Samgye-tang Samgye-tang (ginseng-chicken soup) Samgye-tang (ginseng-chicken soup) is especially popular for energizing the body the hottest days of summer. sprouts. 40g of carrots. stir the rice well before scooping it into bowls. Often. and the parts can include the roots. salted sesame powder and garlic sesame oil to taste. garlic. leaves. and fruits. vinegar and sesame oil. Virtually any type of vegetable. a huge bowl of bibim-bap was served to a crowd in New York City at an event attended by the Mayor. The name of the dish may vary slightly depending on what vegetables are used and how they are prepared. salt. sesame oil. and ginger. Namul is a general term for greens. Steaming the Rice Let the rice soak in water for 30 minutes before heating. 20g of shredded radish. 42 Passport to Korean Culture . When ready. 50g of cucumbers. Galbi-gui Galbi-gui (grilled beef ribs) is one of the most popular Korean meat dishes. herb. petals. vegetable oil. or green can be used. seeds. 30g of bracken. The dish is particularly good for the stomach and liver. They can be prepared as an individual namul or mixed. stems. 50g of bean sprouts. Recently.

The rolls are then sliced. as cooking them slowly will making the meat tougher and harder to digest. They are grilled at high heat. Gimbap Gimbap is a handy snack to take along on picnics. carrots. Therefore. are also popular and cost less than beef ribs. pickled Korean Food 43 . meat or some other protein source (fish cakes. both marinated and fresh. Steamed rice is lightly salted and mixed with other ingredients and rolled in gim (thin sheets of dried laver). hikes and other outings.) The key to delicious beef ribs lies in tenderizing the meat and removing the fat. garlic and pepper for about 30 minutes. The basic ingredients are rice. Gimbap looks similar to Japanese sushi but the taste and ingredients are different. crab meat or eggs) and various vegetables (cucumbers. the ribs are marinated in soy sauce mixed with rice wine. spinach.Part I Korea Today Galbi-gui (grilled beef ribs) (Pork ribs.

the gimbap is typically served with a pickled radish known as danmuji. Other variations include mini-gimbap. After rolling and slicing. Traditional gimbap comes in round slices. tofu in Japanese). "naked" gimbap (rice is on the outside) and chungmu gimbap (rice Gimbap only--to be eaten with kimchi). salt and pickled shrimp is cooked in an earthenware bowl. and the flavor is widely liked. mixed seafoods. mushrooms. Sundubu-jjige Sundubu-jjige is a stew with soft bean curd ( dubu in Korean. For variety. 44 Passport to Korean Culture .radish). The soft bean curd may be less nourishing than the regular one. but its texture is popular with older people. Sundubu-jjige with mixed seafoods other ingredients may be added such as kimchi. soy sauce. or short-necked clams. but nowadays it may be wrapped into triangles or squares. clams. The stew (jjige) of soft bean curd. Personal taste will determine the recipe.

Popular Culture and Hallyu .

This phenomenon has helped to promote the Korean language and culture around the world. Thailand.The "Korean Wave" and Pop Stars Popular Korean culture has gained global attention. Hallyu : Global Interest in Korean Culture Interest in popular Korean culture began to surge in Southeast Asia in the late 1990s. music and movies. Latin America and even Arab countries. the US. Introduction of Hallyu Korean singers as well as actors and actresses have become popular Hallyu stars in most Southeast Asian “My Sassy Girl” poster countries as well as in China. Japan. Hallyu has come to include global interest in Korean food. Indonesia. Momentum grew after the release of a hit album by the Korean pop group HOT and the term Hallyu was widely adopted by the Chinese media. Generally called Hallyu ("Korean Wave") its popularity has been spreading in an increasing number of countries. Today. and many more students are learning Korean as a second language. more people in these countries want to know about the Korean language and Korean culture. Naturally. followed by Korean pop songs two years later. electronics. 46 Passport to Korean Culture . dramas. the Philippines. Korean TV dramas began to be exported to China in 1996. The Korean Wave has continued to spread to Hong Kong. driving foreign interest in things Korean. Vietnam.

" "Winter Sonata" and "The Story of the Great King and the Four Gods. Jeon Ji-hyeon." His popularity continued in both Korean and Japan with "First Love. Japanese interest in Bae Yong-jun and Choi Ji-wu was sparked by the TV drama "Winter Sonata. Kwon Sang-wu. She also starred in the TV dramas "Beautiful Days" and "Truth. and the set became a very popular destination for Japanese visitors to Korea." the biggest hit overseas for any Korean TV series. The success of "Winter Sonata" was due to the poetic nature of the script as well as the music and scenes on the theme "first love. and Lee Young-ae." "Joint Security Area. and recently he received attention worldwide with his appearance in the American movie "GI Joe: the Rise of Cobra. Her leading role in the TV dramas "Stairway to Heaven" and "Winter Sonata." He has also starred in the full-length movies "Untold Scandal" and "April Snow. and actors as Bae Yong-jun." Lee Byung-heon Dramas and movies starred in by Lee have achieved great popularity in Asia." catapulted to the greatest fame." Bae became so popular that his Japanese fans nicknamed him Yonsama and remained devoted to him. Lee Byung-heon. and became popular in his role as a student of a future movie director in "A Sunny Place of the Young." Choi Ji-wu Choi made her debut as an MBC TV actress in 1994 and gained popularity from her work in the movies "Everybody Has Secrets. The film was shot on Nami Island." "A Popular Culture and Hallyu 47 . Part I Korea Today Bae Yong-jun Bae debuted with the TV drama "Salut D' Amour" in 1994. Chang Dong-keon and Hyun Bin. near Chuncheon." His most important movies to date include "Bungee Jumping of Their Own.Movie and TV Stars A Japanese survey on Korean stars ranked (in descending order) the most popular actresses Choi Ji-wu ("Jiuhime" in Japan)." "Did We Really Love." "The Romantic President" and "Nowhere to Hide" in 2002.

Taiwan and China In China she was awarded a top prize as a singer and appeared in the Chinese TV drama "The Mischievous Princess" with other top Chinese stars. Lee is also gaining strong Bae Yong-jun Choi Ji-wu popularity in Japan with the movie "King and the Clown." Rain The singer Rain has been chosen as one of the 100 most influential persons in the United States." a joint Korean and Japanese movie. the Bad. He gained his popularity not only as a singer but also from his work in TV dramas. and "Iljimae. of which "Full House" won great popularity in China. She has also starred in "Joint Security Area. 48 Passport to Korean Culture . Lee Young-ae Jang Nara Lee Young-ae Lee starred in the TV drama "Dae Jang Geum" and is now one of the most popular actresses in Asia and Middle East." "Last Present." "One Fine Spring Day" and Rain "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. He appeared in "Sangdoo! Let's Go to School" in 2003." His other major works include "Virgin Snow." Lee Jun-ki Chosen as the top Hallyu star in China recently." Jang Nara Jang started out as a singer Lee Byung-heon Lee Jun-ki and has become a popular TV and movie actress in Korea. "Full House" in 2004 and "A Love to Kill" in 2005. and the Weird.Bittersweet Life" and "The Good.

helped by the influence of Hallyu. Korean TV companies now spend a hefty budget on dramas." They met." "Dae Jang Geum. for example. Perhaps the biggest reason Korean dramas are popular in China and Japan is that the audience can relate to the character of. For instance. separated and were re-entangled by the net called "family. On the other hand.TV Dramas Koreans love watching TV dramas." The story unfolds Popular Culture and Hallyu 49 . Some of more successful ones are exported." "Stairway to Heaven. seeing movies and listening to music. someone who can overcome various hardships in the pursuit of a dream for herself and her family." "Beautiful Days" and "Hotelier. People seem to draw satisfaction from such dramas as "Dae Jang Geum" and "Winter Sonata" by identifying themselves with the stars and sharing feelings with them. Part I Korea Today Characteristics of Korean Dramas Chinese dramas tend to focus more on the stories and Japanese dramas emphasize the inner workings of the characters. The Top 5 Hallyu Dramas The five most popular Korean-made dramas in Japan are "Winter Sonata." "Winter Sonata. Korean dramas are more about the personalities involved than the story. "Dae Jang Geum" received overwhelming popularity from viewers for its detailed expression of a woman trying to do her best in her specialty. Korean productions are also highly rated for their sophistication in expressing human emotions." Starring Bae Yong-jun and Choi Ji-wu This is a tale of three persons bound together in the name of "first love. Of the three TV dramas probably take up the largest part of their time.

She then learns medicine after overcoming various hardships and finally is appointed the first female royal physician. never revealed to another. The drama awakens the viewers to their own feelings. yet surely such a love can exist somewhere. for the first time. hardly imaginable. Their love is pure. the drama captured fans' hearts with its memorable scenery and music. Many people also loved the drama for its detailed coverage of royal cuisine in Joseon." Starring Lee Youngae This fictional story is based on the life of a woman during the reign of Jungjong (15061544) in Joseon. 50 Passport to Korean Culture . the story of a significant woman's success.through a mysterious interweaving of relationships surrounding them: Junsang. "Dae Jang Geum. Besides the romantic aspects." the title bestowed upon her. It tells. Yujin. forbidden love between a man and woman. who resembles Junsang. Jang Geum becomes the top royal chef through her strong willpower and drive. "Stairway to Heaven. and Minhyung. "Dae Jang Geum" means "Chief Female Royal Physician." Starring Kwon Sang-wu and Choi Ji-wu This drama was purportedly made to give meaning to "loving someone fully. Sanghyuk. overcoming antagonistic social customs and taboos. a male-dominated traditional society." It is a tragic story of hopeless.

where "First Love. the Hongdae branch of 'The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince. Middle Eastern viewers prefer family-based stories. as they usually watch TV as an entire family." "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" and "I'm Sorry. In addition. Dubai TV." where the drama was filmed. That is one reason Korean TV dramas are so well received in this region. I Love You" since 2005. the state-run broadcaster in the UAE. A scene from "The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince" A scene from "Princess Hours Popular Culture and Hallyu 51 . In Iran. "Dae Jang Geum" received a rating of over 90%. I Love You" are particularly popular among young people. A scene from "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" Part I Korea Today "The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince" "Princess Hours" and "The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince" have become very popular in Southeast Asia because these dramas and the stars' fashion styles show how Korean youth now live. sparking greater interest in Korea and the Korean language. "Dae Jang Geum" Popular in UAE and Iran People in the Middle East have been also caught onto the Hallyu craze. "Emperor of the Sea" and "I'm Sorry. is drawing crowds from inside and outside Korea. Hong Kong.Korean TV Dramas Going Global The popularity of the Korean dramas has spread to the Middle East. Malaysia and Thailand. ore recently. Japan and the Middle East. "Taejo Wang Geon" has become popular in China. has been televising "Dae Jang Geum. was a big hit. Taiwan. "The 1st Shop of Coffee Prince" has been exported to Japan. the Philippines." introduced in 1997 and starring Bae Yong-jun.

"Christmas in August". Hallyu and Korean Films Hong Kong-made films once dominated the Asian market. Thailand and Singapore. actors and actresses worked with a cluster of film companies and cinemas. In 2002. from the late 50s through the 1980s. Chungmu-ro: Birthplace of Korean Film-making Hollywood was the base for most of the American film industry for many decades. enjoying great popularity in China. and Korean film had firmly joined the Korean Wave. The Korean film industry was primarily based in Seoul's Chungmu-ro area. riding the Hallyu wave along with TV dramas and pop songs. China. but many still remain around Chungmu-ro. was the first to receive significant attention in Hong Kong. few Korean films were successful outside the country. film directors. Taiwan. In the 1990s. Taiwan. Films in Hallyu Until the late 1990s. directed by Huh Jin-ho and released in 1999. along with TV dramas and pop songs. Korea is exceptional in that over 50% of the domestic film market is made up of home-made productions. but Koreanmade films have made significant inroads. Japan and elsewhere. The next year. Hong Kong and Singapore. "My Sassy Girl" obtained excellent results in Hong Kong. The "Swiri" poster "Christmas in August" poster Korean movies are popular for their 52 Passport to Korean Culture . "Swiri" sold well in Japan. adjacent to Myeong-dong. Korean films.Chungmu-ro and the Film Industry Korean movies are now shown both domestically and overseas. Here. are at the heart of Hallyu. film companies began moving to southern Seoul (Gangnam).

" followed by "My Sassy Girl. Thailand. but pirated DVDs of "My Sassy Girl" were a big hit. "April Snow" poster Part I Korea Today Hallyu Films in Different Countries Exports to Japan." "The Most" and "April Snow. it was sold to Japan even before completion and then went on to perform well in Hong Kong. Exporting films to China is restricted by law." "King and the Clown. Formal film exports to China have not been successful but Koreanmade movies are second only to American movies in pirated editions. Meanwhile. The film was produced with Japanese viewers in mind." "Too Beautiful. is the most successful Korean film in Japan to date." "Joint Security Area. One good example is "April Snow". starring Bae Yong-jun. Taiwan. Malaysia and Singapore. More importantly. many creative and competitive film directors began to Popular Culture and Hallyu 53 . Bolstering their success has been the international interest in Korean TV dramas in many Asian countries since the late 1990s. started with "Swiri." starring Sohn Ye-jin and Jeong Wu-seong. Excellent Directors and Genre Diversity The popularity won by Hallyu and Hallyu stars since the 1990s undoubtedly played a key role in giving the Korean film industry its current global success.solid story lines and diverse genres." "TaeGukGi: Brotherhood of War. now the largest market for Korean film." "Untold Scandal." "Old Boy." "Everybody Has Secrets. appealing to a wide audience. and their fame has boosted box office sales in several Asian countries. Korean TV actors and actresses also appeared in the movies." "A Moment to Remember." "Windstruck. Korean films remain popular in Taiwan. however. Vietnam and Singapore.

brought a boom to Hallyu films with "Swiri. Kim Ki-duk and Lee Chang-dong at such major festivals as Cannes. Im Kwon-taek. director Kang Jae-gyu. Winter and Spring." works that have made him known as the best director for expressing the Korean culture and spirit in film. and elevated the overall quality of Korean cinema. who began as a top screenwriter in Chungmu-ro." followed by such blockbusters as "Silmido" and "TaeGukGi: Brotherhood of War.come onto the scene from the mid1990s. diversified the film genres. Venice and Berlin. Director Im Kwon-taek. Meanwhile. They have ensured successful production." while director Hong Sang-soo is noted for his excellent ability to express desire. Director Kim Ki-duk became known to American and European audiences with his "Spring. Summer. Fall. The remarkable growth attained by the industry in the new millennium has been recognized with awards to Korean film directors Pak Chan-wook. who was awarded at Cannes for "Painted Fire." also directed "Seopyonje" and "Chun Hyang. brought a better balance to the mix. elevating the global stature of Korean-made films. discomfort and other aspects of the human psyche in this works." He is the most successful director in "Old Boy" poster "Chun Hyang" poster Film director Pak Chan-wook Film director Im Kwon-taek terms of production and 54 Passport to Korean Culture .

" "Old Boy" and "A Tale of Two Sisters" received Hollywood recognition Posters of award-winning films at film festivals and are now being remade. Jeon Ji-hyun and Rain are active in Chungmuro International Film Festival in Seoul ( Part I Korea Today Korea to Asia & Beyond Korean films bring a new dimension to Hallyu beyond TV dramas and pop Jeonju International Film Festival (www. is one of several such events held in Korea. and Korean film directors have been invited to Hollywood to make films.pifan. Pusan International Film Festival ( Gwangju International Film Festival (www. he also clinched the Jury prize at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. tip International Film Festivals in Korea The Pusan International Film Festival. Korean movie stars Lee Byung-heon. Director Pak Chan-wook followed up his acclaimed "Joint Security Area" with a fresh and unique series that includes "Sympathy for Mr.or. Korea has become an important player in the global film industry and holds international film festivals for everyone from the world to Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (www." "The Host. Another young but prominent film director is Bong sales. expanding the market in Asia. Vengeance. now making rapid progress in markets outside Asia. "Il Mare." Since then. who directed "The Host.chiffs. Popular Culture and Hallyu 55 . Korean movies are. His "Old Boy" has been sold to about 60 countries.jiff.piff." which became a world hit outside Asia. now considered one of the world's top 10 international film festivals. on their own strengths." "Old Boy" and "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. solidifying world recognition of the Korean film industry.

released three albums in Taiwan. a 5-girl group. "Tell Me Your Wish. Korean pop songs have evolved for nearly a century. Korean pop songs became Asian pop songs and the world pop songs. while f(x). a pop diva group. Korean pop songs are now the main driver of the Korean Wave. SS501. ballads. The genre helped to comfort the sorrow of an oppressed people. "Trot (from "foxtrot. Hallyu started out focused on TV dramas. Korea was hit by a wave of songs sung by long-haired folk singers playing acoustic guitars and wearing blue jeans. All of Asia is now the stage for Korean pop songs and pop singers. Songster Rain and Wonder Girls. Taiwan and Hong Kong. have advanced into the United States. In the new millennium. Meanwhile. topped the Thai pop charts for four weeks." the second album released by the all-girl band Girls' Generation. and they all topped one of the famous charts there. 56 Passport to Korean Culture . Korean songstress BoA released her first single in Japan in 2001 and has subsequently been the top artist on the Oricon chart countless times with sale of more than 10 million discs in Rain Japan alone. a Korean boy band. China." which influenced its simple beat) is the oldest form of Korean pop music.Korean Pop Songs outside Korea The news of Dongbangshinki's possible breakup dismayed fans in Korea. received mass media attention from many Asian countries even before its debut. then expanded to movies. hip-hop) came and went through the 1980s and 1990s. Various new genres (rock. It developed in the years before and during the Japanese occupation. In the 1970s.

Despite their adolescent appearance. Part I Korea Today Idol Group Singers Dongbangshinki This 5-member boygroup ("Asian Popularity" in Korean) made its debut in 2003.General Trend of Idol Groups The leaders in Hallyu pop songs are idol groups. books and TV program are being produced in tandem with these groups. in the English-speaking region. Many of the bands are multi-national. Sidelines such as fashion. games. and 1 single in the US and China--all in their respective languages. The group has released 8 singles and 4 albums in Korea. They focus more on rhythms and unique dance moves than lyrics and melodies. a member of the 13-member boy-group "Super Junior. 28 singles and 4 albums in Japan. makeup and dance. TVXQ. Popular Culture and Hallyu 57 . The name varies from country to country: in Japan." is Chinese and Victoria of "f(x)" is also Chinese. in Chinese region. Tohoshinki. Tong Vfang Xien Qi. They are emerging not only as singers but as part of the popular culture. Hangkyeong. which mainly perform hip-hop and dance music. the members emphasize sex appear with unconventional costumes. the members have been evaluated highly for their singing and dancing. Not only tall and good-looking.

" Called "SNSD" in English-speaking countries. singing. "Tell Me. choreography and stage performance have all been rated very highly. Thailand and the US. In late 2008. the group is composed of teenaged girls who are also talented actresses and dancers. brought the "Tell Me" craze. expanding the group's popularity to China.Big Bang This 5-member boy-group debuted in 2006. "Nobody" was a hit. They received the top prize at the 5th Asia Song Festival in 2008 and released a mini album "Gee" in 2009. Girls' Generation This 9member girl-group debuted in 2007 with the release of the album "Into the New World. 58 Passport to Korean Culture . The group went to Japan in 2008 and is active there." "Stand Up" and "Remember" have been hits. with new albums and live concerts. The members' song-writing. Wonder Girls This 5-member girl-group made its debut with the release of a single "The Wonder Begins" in 2007." with its unique choreography. which stayed on the major charts for two weeks. Albums "Always.

sparring (gyeorugi) and breaking (gyeokpa). Pumsae are series of moves that are practiced alone to improve attack and defense. while those 14 or younger wear pum belts with red and black colors evenly divided horizontally. kicking and punching evolved to create the Taekwondo of today. blue. Only punches and kicks are allowed. but they progressively become more complex and difficult. purple and red belts). from first to ninth degree. sae). Beginners wear white belts and are called mugeup (without any rank). This is followed by yudan (with black belt ranks). This Korean martial art form uses fast kicking and punching techniques. which covers ten different ranks (indicated by yellow. and attacks are limited to the front of the opponent. Taekwondo competitions bit athletes against one another according to preset rules to decide the winner.Taekwondo Taekwondo has long helped to make Korea better known to the world. Strikes to the face are only allowed with the feet and attacking the lower Popular Culture and Hallyu 59 . Taekwondo Elements Taekwondo practice encompasses forms (pum- tip Ranks & Belts A standard Taekwondo ranking system (dan and geup) is applied worldwide. blocking. requiring the A kicking form Part I Korea Today movements to be instant and fast. green. Gyeorugi is the way to apply pumsae skills in attack and defense. The origins were developed as selfdefense against wild animals. The forms start out as being very simple. Black belt holders aged 15 or older are given dan. Next is yugeup (with rank). which comprises another 9 ranks. Over time.

The instructor is called " sabu-nim " (teacherfather)." a program designed for foreigners to experience Taekwondo. It also holds a versatile performance on regular basis.body is against the rules. self-defense is the purpose. Interested persons may apply via the homepage. holds domestic and international competitions. The practitioners wear white uniforms and colored belts. and offers special classes for foreigners.or.kukkiwon.taekwonseoul. roof tiles and so on to test Globalization of Taekwondo Around 70 million people now practice Taekwondo worldwide. The practitioner breaks boards. "Power Art tip Kukkiwon (World Taekwondo Federation) The Federation was founded in 1972 to develop and propagate Taekwondo.000 gyms in 188 countries. Korean traditional music and dance. People practice the art to prevent violence. Gyeokpa is a way to measure the degree of one's Taekwondo skills. Fostering Respect through Martial Art Taekwondo does not condone aggressive violence. This is one good reason why Korean parents send their children to Taekwondo class even before they are old enough to starting primary school. respect and humility. mental strength and striking power. learning about Korea and its culture at 500." a combination of Taekwondo. each color represents a different rank (geup). (www. Taekwondo is not just for physical training but also promotes etiquette. It conducts tests for dan and pum promotion. Taekwondo Experiential Program Gyeonghi-gung (a palace in Seoul) holds "Human Power Taekwondo. accuracy. exercising patience and control gained after long and hard training. The pioneer Korean Taekwondo instructors working abroad were essential for Taekwondo's achieving its present global status. bricks. Low-ranking practitioners are expected to show respect to their seniors. (www. They have served as 60 Passport to Korean Culture .

Taekwondo has become a global sport. These days. An Internationally-recognized Sport Taekwondo was adopted as an official event at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Thanks to efforts made home and abroad and adoption by the IOC. introducing Korean culture as well as Taekwondo to the world. Taekwondo has inspired modernized Taekwon dance and Taekwon exercises in Korea to provide easier access to the martial art.Part I Korea Today Taekwondo demonstration civilian diplomats. Popular Culture and Hallyu 61 .

Koreans come together to back their team. Of course. many other countries may have better players and teams. but few exhibit the emotion Koreans do when their team competes internationally. making it a major festival. Massive rallies in the street during the 2002 FIFA World Cup 62 Passport to Korean Culture .Football and the Red Devils Football is special to Koreans.

Then the 2002 FIFA World Cup was co-hosted by Korea and Japan. To the world's great surprise. to the dismay of all Koreans." the cheerleader group that urged their countrymen to share in the nation-loving spirit. the logo symbolizes victory. the first professional league was formed. The team was lifted by the massive rallies in the streets and the "Red Devils. Part I Korea Today A Giant Step with 2002 FIFA World Cup Korean football took a big step forward when the nation co-hosted the FIFA World Cup in June 2002. Koreans' great love of football and their support for the national team helped the players perform so well. Korea became the first Asian country to reach the semifinals. Popular Culture and Hallyu 63 .Korean Football Yesterday & Today Football came to Korea about 120 years ago. Korean football underwent a Renaissance with the help of the government. quickly making football Koreans' favorite spectator sport. No doubt. Every village began to have its own early-morning football team. Nevertheless. the national team failed at the World Cup in the 1990s. There are now 15 professional football teams in the K-league. and Koreans remained excited about the sport despite many difficult historical and economic times. In 1983. defeating one football powerhouse after another. tip Chiwu cheonwang : "Red Devils" Logo As the god of war and a soldier. raising Korean football to the next level and providing Korean football fans with much to cheer about. The Korean team was led by Dutchman Guus Hiddink and reached the semifinals for the first time ever. In the 1970s.

Red Brings Koreans Together Many people identify Koreans as red-hot passionate people. but now members are formally enrolled. The world took notice of their activities in Korea during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Membership was informal through the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The official support group for the Korean national football team has been leading the public cheering since that time.“Red Devils” Birth of the "Red Devils" A group of Korean football lovers formed in 1995 and they decided to adopt the name "Red Devils" in 1997. Their organized activities began from the preliminaries for the FIFA World Cup in France in 1998. changing 64 Passport to Korean Culture . The "Red Devils" led a nation in support of their national team. The rhythmic shout " De~han min kuk (Republic of Korea)" resounded throughout the country and is now heard wherever a sports competition is held in Korea. perhaps because they still remember the massive crowds wearing red shirts during the 2002 World Cup.

Koreans' perception about the red color. red scarves on their arms. and red represents the Communist North. especially so. and Koreans. He is particularly loved for his ability to overcome physical shortcomings (small stature and flat feet) through hard work and constant self-improvement. and Korea's image abroad. Pak was already a brilliant national player. so the color was avoided in the South. He shot the decisive goal against Portuguese team in the 2002 World Cup tournament. He was the top in the Korean Premier League before joining Manchester United FC in July 2005. Such instantaneous outpourings were unprecedented. tip Football Star Pak Ji-seong The most revered Korean football star is Pak Jiseong. At 19. Red expresses joy and enthusiasm and now prompts Koreans to focus their energies. Every plaza in the country became a gala display of national unity. The 2002 World Cup gave them such an opportunity in the form of on-the-street cheering for the national team. Swarms of enthusiastic supporters appeared in the streets wearing headbands decorated with a national flag motif. Popular Culture and Hallyu 65 .Korean football. They were just the same people. participating in a celebration meant for them all. Every society needs an emotional outlet. red shirts. the Korean national team began to wear red uniforms. turning the color into a cause for celebration in the minds of South Koreans today. and their supports turned out clad in red. Part I Korea Today New Fashions on the Street The Gwanghwa-mun intersection in downtown Seoul and City Hall Plaza turned into a sea of red while the FIFA 2002 World Cup was being held in Korea. and he scored the tying goal against France during the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Korea is a divided country. irrespective of age group or economic Young “Red Devils” status. However. and red knickers.

a mixture of joy. Late comers they may be. Korean B-boys Capture World Attention The name "B-boy" comes from the American hip-hop culture of the 1970s. referring to professional male break dancer. B-boys performance 66 Passport to Korean Culture . mirth and excitement. or B-boys. don't seem to have anything in common with the itinerant entertainers (nam- sadang) of traditional times. At a glance. and many excellent performers have emerged. but they share the unique Korean heung in their magnificent rhythm and performances. the female counterpart is called "Bgirl. pleasure. Korean break dancers.B-boys and Namsadang The ecstatic moves of Korean dance express Korean heung. but Korean B-boys have made an impact on the global stage." The B-boys brought a new culture genre.

sjbboys. sense of rhythm and natural bodily Popular Culture and Hallyu 67 .com) B-boy and Ballerina (www.breakout. their accomplishment may have never been possible without their passion. Break dancers the world over watch videos of Korean B-boys and emulate their Information on B-boy Performances "Ballerina Who Fell in Love with B-boy" (www.showbboy. tip Exclusive B-boy only Theater It is easy to find B-boy performances in Korea. performances are held regularly. A Korean B-boy team was invited to the opening ceremony of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games for an exclusive performance and now many who are fascinated by the B-boy phenomenon visit Korea to watch local Breakout (www. Pungmul and B-boys Part I Korea Today Koreans' Great Rhythm & Passion The global success of Korean B-boys Gaya-gum and B-boys was not easily Join Hallyu Korean break dancers have won many world-class competitions. providing a new dimension to the Korean Wave. they worked exceedingly hard to achieve world-class status. Just go to the "Bboys-only" theater in front of Hongik University.bisabal. (www. Nevertheless.

they are now contributing to the creation of a new culture of musicals and dramas.New Culture from Street Dance Scene of "Ballerina Who Fell in Love with B-boy" Korean B-boys are no longer confined to street dancing. Versatile B-boy Performances The December 2005 "Ballerina Who Fell in Love with Bboy" took Korean break dancing to new heights at the unique "B-boys only" theater near Hongik University in Seoul. and are not just a passing fad. Korean B-boys are now embedded in the culture. Big Fun with Namsadang The original namsadang were men who belonged to troupes of itinerant performers through the end of the Joseon period (1392-1910). continuing the development of this art form. many new B-boy musicals are being created and performed. More versatile dance routines have been introduced here. Thus. mostly of commoner back- 68 Passport to Korean Culture . They continuously develop by engaging themselves in joint performances with various forms of Korean traditional music as well as classical or pop music. Each troupe would have 40-50 members. In Korea.

Part I Korea Today Namsadang performance (percussion instruments and tightrope walking) ground. resembles break danc- Popular Culture and Hallyu 69 . mask dances and puppet plays. etc. Other nori types involve dish-spinning. these traveling bands became smaller and their repertoires evolved. while dancing and making comic gestures. including percussion playing (pungmul ). tightrope walking. one of the namsadang performance categories. dish-spinning. The players wear white headbands and produce light and cheerful music. Namsadang Plays Extant are six different namsadang nori (performance categories). sogo (small hand-drum) and nallari (small conical fife). jing (large gong). Namsadang and B-boys Salpan. Since the 1920s. buk (barrel drum). tumbling (ddangjeju or salpan). Pungmul includes the traditional kwenggwari (small gong). entertaining the masses with their animated music and circus-like tricks (tightrope walking.).

kr) Anseong Namsadang Baugeogi Festival(www.baudeogi. Originally. You can discover how the excellent Korean break dancing is linked to tradition. similar to the way B-boys compete. You can have more fun by comparing the modern B-boy break dancing to the namsadang performances.namsadangnori. one after another. but nowadays performances are just 2-3 hours. Anseong Namsadang Baugeogi Pungmul Troupe (www. 70 Passport to Korean Culture .or. the namsadang performed nori from 9 in the evening till 3-4 in the following Namsadang and B-boys ing in many respects.Namsadang performance (salpan) tip Experiencing Namsadang Nori Namsadang nori keeps an exciting part of traditional culture alive through performances and classes. The performers exhibit exquisite skills on the floor.

In other words. the first performance was held in 1978 at a small theater by Kim Yong-bae. this style has gained great popularity and is performed often. Kim Deok-su. Part I Korea Today Samullori Rhythms Origin Samullori was inspired by traditional percussion playing (pungmul). Nanta is a modern reinterpretation that helps people unfamiliar with Korean culture appreciate Korean rhythms easily.Samullori and Nanta The delightful samullori (4 traditional percussion instruments) performances will captivate you. Samullori Features Samullori originated from outdoor percussion playing and dancing. and the musical characteristics were refined for the stage. On the other hand. Since then. Lee Gwang-su and Choi Jong-sil. who were namsadang troupe members. a kind of The four samullori instruments Popular Culture and Hallyu 71 . and you will unconsciously be following the exciting rhythm.

Nanta: Aesthetics of the Beat Nanta ("reckless striking") is a non-vocal musical performance consisting entirely of rhythm and beat. Pungmul performers have no set number and play on their feet.unstructured theatrical performance was developed into a musical genre. The direction of diversification has also gone into traditional Korean dance. but then piano or orchestra accompaniments were added. moving with the rhythm. The four sounds are now being integrated with other experimental and creative performing arts. Development of Samullori Samullori continues to evolve. Nanta performance 72 Passport to Korean Culture . samullori consists of four performers only. hourglass drum and large gong. Originally samullori was simply an expression of traditional Korean percussion music. who sit on the stage and play one different instrument each--the small gong. This unique genre delights audiences through bodily movement alone. By contrast. barrel drum. The instruments are simple kitchenware such as chopping boards. followed by the inclusion of jazz and rock musicians.

i-pmc. Academy of Korean Music (www.) Nanta Now a Standout Production First performed in October 1997. Culture Art Center Keun Deul (www. transforming something ordinary into a new art form. Hanul-sori Beat Company (www. To Broadway and the World Nanta was designed with the world market in mind and has been enthusiastically received for its quality of composition and performance. Russia. Experiencing Samullori Samullori is performed at many museums and there are also places where you can learn to play the instruments first-hand. Nanta opened a long-running performance on Italy. a venue of about 300 seats in Jeong-dong. Gwanghwa-mun Art Hall (www. an Asian first. Performances are held year around at each theater.onekoreaart. Taiwan.tip Nanta Performances In 2000 Nanta became the first Korean performing arts group to get its own the UK. Popular Culture and Hallyu 73 . Germany.samulnori. Nanta drew the biggest audience ever in the history of Korean performance and was chosen as one of the Top 10 Things to See in Seoul by the Korea Tourism Organization.nanta. Australia. The Jeong-dong facility was expanded in 2003 to 500 A second of similar size opened in Cheongdam-dong (southern Seoul) of similar size as the first one in 2002. In February 2004. the US. China and the Netherlands. pans and Traditional samullori rhythms have been integrated into a theatrical performance featuring comic kitchen scenes that amuse audiences of all ages.hanulsori. A Nanta performance won the highest accolades at the 1999 Edinburgh Part I Korea Today kitchen knives. The players beat them in a samullori-like fashion.or. (www. and subsequently the act has remained a very successful in Japan.

Leisure .

but some typical examples can be identified. The ways in which this newfound leisure is spent differs. mountain biking. including sports clubs (bowling. more and more Koreans want to do more than just rest. hiking. to name a few) as well as photography clubs. The working population has received much more time off since when 5-day workweek went into lay in July 2004. snowboarding. Generalizations are risky. they want to enjoy a leisure lifestyle. With greater disposable income.Koreans at Leisure Economic advancement and social stability have allowed Koreans to devote more time to leisure. Inline skating club members Leisure 75 . People who share the same hobby or interest now organize clubs. marathon running. Part I Korea Today Hobby Clubs Leisure activities are diversifying in Korea and becoming a greater part of everyday life. Koreans who own the same model automobile may form a club to exchange information related to their cars. ping pong and baseball. dance clubs and movie-watching clubs. of course. from person to person. inline skating.

gourmet club members seek out fancy restaurants together, while environmentalists and legal specialists band together to provide voluntary services.

Watching TV or Surfing the Web
A good many Koreans spend their leisure time watching TV or sitting at the computer. Each household has at least one TV set and PC and, with the availability of broadband, Koreans have easy access to online games and the worldwide web. In the past only certain entertainers had their own homepage, but now many peoWeb surfing

ple operate their own homepage or blog, sharing their personal life and communicating with friends. Social network services and blogging have become a popular means of passing time.

Hiking: an Activity for All Ages
Mountains have always been close to the lives of Koreans. Older people often go to mountains near their homes each morning to draw fresh spring water. Some do light exercises while there. People from their 20s to their 70s go hiking on weekends, sometimes alone, at other times in groups. An estimated 15 million
Hikers enjoying the autumn scenery

Koreans hike today, including men

and women of all ages. Some are hard-core rock climbers, but most simply enjoy the exercise and fresh air as a way to relieve stress.

76 Passport to Korean Culture

"Leports" (Leisure + Sports) Activities
The number of so-called "leports" enthusiasts continues to grow. In summer, they go to rivers for rafting, water skiing or wind-surfing, while in winter, they ski or snowboard. In addition the more venturesome young people may try bungeejumping, survival games or inline skating. Bicycle riding is gaining popularity today as well. Many people cycle along riverside paths or country roads in stylish wear, either alone or in groups.

Part I

Korea Today

Families at Parks on Weekends
Many Korean families visit public parks or amusement parks on weekends, trying out the rides and eating a picnic lunch. The best known destinations are Yongin Everland Resort, Gwacheon Seoul Land Amusement Park and Lotte World, while smaller ones can be found around the country. The amusement parks often operate art galleries or other family-type programs nearby.
Everland Resort Wind-surfing

Leisure 77

Norae-bang and Jjimjil-bang
Singing rooms (norae-bang) and dry saunas (jjimjil-bang) are good inexpensive places to go with friends, colleagues or relatives. The norae-bang is an especially popular place to go after dinner and drinks. The jjimjil-bang is favored by young couples and families.

Norae-bang: For Men & Women of All Ages
The singing room (often called karaoke in the West) is equipped with a large screen that displays the lyrics as the song melody plays. Microphones are attached for the singers to use, and many of the people will also dance. The charge varies by the time of day and region of the country, but you can expect to pay around

7,000 won for

each 30- minute increment.

The norae-bang machines have more than 1,000 different songs in various genres, including children's songs, pop songs old and new and traditional folk songs. Japanese, Chinese and Western pop songs are also available. The low cost, wide variety and easy accessibility make the norae-bang a popular activity for people of all ages, from young children to the elderly. Businessmen often take advantage of norae-bang as a way to entertain partners, helping to build rapport and trust.

Norae-bang Services
The singing rooms charge a basic hourly (or half-hourly) rate. In the daytime, or at other times when business is slow, the proprietor may offer a reduced rate or extend of usage time without any additional charge. In principle, only nonalcoholic beverages and snacks can be ordered at a norae-bang. The customer can request

78 Passport to Korean Culture

a CD recording of his/her singing to take home and use as a ringtone for a cell phone or upload on a homepage. are large establishments that combine the gender-segregated public bathhouse with an area for everyone to enjoy together. Here you can sleep and bathe outside your home. The person who gets the highest score is named "norae-bang jjang" ("champion of the singing room"). lounge with TV. The separate rooms for men and women are equipped with restrooms. The jjimjil-bang is opened 24 hours a day. Shirts. Leisure 79 ." three college women who appeared on the SBS TV program "Choi Su-jong Show" in 2004. Those crowned singing room champions are often treated like stars. which began to appear in the mid-1990s. Part I Korea Today Online Norae-bang A new trend is to post singing room activities online. a sauna. The highest marks are not for singing ability but for the ability to rearrange a song most interestingly. with private rooms for couples. large sauna. and music video game machines for dancing along. which will also include a public sleep area. It is also an inexpensive accommodation for travelers on a limited budget. showers. as well as club members to relax after an outing. making it ideal for night workers to relax after they get off. restaurant serving snacks and simple meals. PC room. hot tubs. Singing and dancing at an offline norae-bang are recorded with a digital camera and uploaded for online evaluation and comparison. gowns and towels are provided for all guests. It is a great place for young couples or families to spend quality time together. The term jjimjil-bang (the large dry sauna) refers to the common area. and ice room. The types of norae-bang has diversified of late. a steam room and massage tables. shorts. The first "norae-bang jjang" title was awarded to the "Dongseong-no Sisters. nightclub-type rooms with mirror balls and other lighting effects. Jjimjil-bang: a Home away from Home The jjimjil-bang.

The bang concept is associated with the closeness and warmth shared in traditional Korean life. doctor fish spa. receiving guests and doing work. they are no longer a simple space for bathing only. laundry rooms and others. you will find singing rooms. PC lounge and even stage for live performances. activated charcoal room. getting larger. The rooms in the traditional Korean home(hanok) served multiple functions: sleeping. As such. The fanciest ones now have an "oxygen cave. jjimjil-bang. Various search portals on the Internet allow exchanges among people sharing the same hobby. a complex that includes a singing room. DVD rooms. small movie theater." DVD room. skin-care salon. On the street. eating. 80 Passport to Korean Culture . playroom for children. For the time and price. the bang has become a place for entertainment. including lists of the most recommended tip Significance of the Room (Bang) Koreans like rooms.Inside a jjimjil-bang Evolving Jjimjil-bang The jjimjil-bang establishments continue to develop. salt room. Today. These features make them especially popular for people on dates. however. game rooms. they provide excellent access to a sauna and many other enjoyable facilities. and jade room. beauty parlor. more luxurious and more diverse in their offerings.

historic sites and Buddhist temples. Visits to these places will provide greater insight into Korean tradition and history.Tourist Attractions There are many tourist attractions in Korea. popular with domestic and foreign travelers alike. Highlights include scenic Jeju-do. Part I Korea Today Jeju Island Aerial view of Halla-san Leisure 81 . the largest island in Korea. the port city of Busan.

The name "Halla" means a height that reaches the stars. Bukjeju-gun Jeju Scenery and Cuisine Halla-san (Mt.tip Meaning of Oreum The Jeju dialect includes the term oreum. UNESCO designated Jeju-do a world natural heritage. tip Information on Jeju Festivals and Tourism (http://www. beaches and mountains. It is a popular place among Koreans for honeymoons and family trips. Halla) is a 1. which refers to the small cinder cones with their own crater. The island is renowned for its natural environment.go. Jeju-do (Island) is pristine volcanic island and world-class tourist destination.950-meter dormant volcano created in the Quaternary period of the Cenozoic era in an eruption that covered the island with basalt and Rape Flower Festival Date: April 9~10 Place: Gyori-ri.jejutour.800 plant Jeju “Olle” tracking 82 Passport to Korean Culture . offering visitors a wide range of things to see and do such as eco-tours and water sports. open fields." The lake in the crater is called Baengnok-dam as well as some 1.

000 years. more than 380 cinder cones (oreum) are disbursed about the island.species that grow at different altitudes on the mountainsides. Gyeongju Nam-san Hwangnyong-sa (Temple) ruins. Also. Gyeongju Gyeongju has been around for at least 1. This beautiful islet is a great place for marine fishing. Many important historical sites and relics remain here. Some of the Korean movies filmed at this location include "Il Mare" and "My Mother the Mermaid." Many tourists also come just to see the beautiful scenery and beaches." are much smaller than most other breeds and look rather wild. royal tombs. serving as the capital of the Silla Kingdom (57BCE-935AD). Yet they are mild-natured and quick with their feet. Part I Korea Today Pony Rides There are many places for riding ponies on Jeju-do. bicycling and hiking. A total 52 Leisure 83 . Halla and the beautiful seascape. with a shape reminiscent of a cow lying down. and defense works. Jeju ponies. which have been designated as a "natural treasure. is in Bukjeju-gun (North Jeju County). Most pony-riding venues are open fields that provide excellent views of Mt. Udo Udo ("Cow Island"). and UNESCO designated the area as a World Heritage Site in December 2000. ancient ruins of royal palaces. The city has been divided into five districts based on the nature of the sites located in each: Buddhist fine art. A submarine ride and cruise tour are available.

tip Temple Stay Program (http://www. Haein-sa Haein-sa is a major Buddhist temple built on Mt. The Nam-san ("South Mountain") District is like an outdoor museum with hundreds of mostly Buddhist relics disbursed throughout. stone images of the standing Buddha at Beri and Buddha images carved on a cliff face at Chilbul-am (Hermitage). Gaya.000+ woodblocks for printing the world's most complete edition of the Buddhist Canon Tripitaka Koreana (Tripitaka Koreana). traditional tea-ceremony. strolling along the wooded trails designated cultural heritages are included in the World Heritage area. Relics of note include Na-jeong a well related to the foundation myth of Silla. Haein-sa preserves the 80.Offering with evening worship: A brief retreat from busy everyday life for personal reflection An overnight program .Seated meditation (Chamseon) Cultural program .com) Beomeo-sa 1-day . This part of the old city boasts important architectural structures. a pleasure pavilion that played a part in Silla's demise.templestay. The name Haein- sa (Ocean Symbol Temple) comes from the phrase "ocean symbol samadhi" (a state of deep meditation) in the Avatamsaka-sutra. The area is sufficiently remote to avoid the onslaught of invading armies over the centuries.Regular program: Experience the tea ceremony with the monk in charge of Seon (Zen) meditation.Arts of making hanji. referring to the Buddha's state of 84 Passport to Korean Culture . Buddhist relics and monuments. making materials for natural dying. in South Gyeongsang Province in 802. Free program . Poseok-jeong. a kingdom that lasted a thousand years and reigned over the entire Korean Peninsula for some 250 years. Gyeongju was the capital of Silla. stone images of the reclining Buddha at Mireuk-gol (Maitreya Valley).

mind when preaching the first sermons after his enlightenment. Haein-sa. is a Buddhist treasure for the entire world. This is one of the most popular summer destina- Leisure 85 . Busan Part I Korea Today Night view of Busan Busan is Korea's second largest city and the world's fifth largest port--an important international logistics center with beautiful coastline and mountains. In addition. keeper of the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks. Haeundae Beach Busan's Haeundae district is famous for its long stretch of beach and beautiful coastline. the areas offer many sights worth seeing and festivals of all kinds.

"Polar Bear" swimming competition (winter). and various scenic drives. High-rise buildings and hotels along the shoreline offer convenient shopping and great sightseeing. Every year. the Oryukdo Islands. Jagalchi is one the most famous fisheries markets in Korea and a Busan landmark. the name "Haeundae" is almost synonymous with Busan for most Koreans. a yachtracing marina. 86 Passport to Korean Culture . Here you can buy all kinds of fish freshly caught and enjoy raw fish served right at the market shops. Annual events here include celebrations of the first full moon in the lunar new year (January or February). Jagalchi Seafood Market This is where you can really meet the dynamic people of Busan. a major aquarium. more tourists visit Haeundae than any other place in the country. The atmosphere of the bustling market is a treat in itself. Indeed. In the vicinity are Dongbaek Island.Haeundae beach tions for Koreans and foreign visitors alike. sand sculptures (June) and the Busan Sea Festival (August). the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center (BEXCO).

" which features Cheonbuldong-gyegok (valley).go. Part I Korea Today tip Online Information on Traveling in Korea Korea Tourism Organization: http://www.or. Ulsan-bawi (rock) the highest peak in the Taebaek Mountain Range.jejuair.nambuterminal. valleys with clean and fresh water in summer and magnificent autumn colors capture the hearts of tourists. for its many rare Transportation: Train KORAIL: http://www. 1-3). Oryeon-pokpo (waterfall) and Towangseong-pokpo (waterfall). Gwimyeon-am (rock).tip Seorak Cultural Festival This event is hosted by the city of Seokcho every autumn (Oct. Gweonggeum-seong (fortress wall). UNESCO designated the entire Seorak-san area as a Biosphere Reserve in 1982 (Korea's first) National Recreation Forest Office: Jeju Air: Nature and ecology tours: Seoraksan National Park: http://seorak.708m Daecheong-bong.go. Seorak) has 1.foa. Chinese): http://english. Geumgang-gul (cave).com Asiana: http://www. Leisure 87 .go. considered the backbone of the Korean Peninsula.visitkorea. celebrating the beautiful autumn colors along with many other events in the Seorak area.huyang. while the winter snow scenes are also Bus Seoul Express Bus Terminal: Seorak-san National Park Seorak-san National Park Seorak-san (Mt.or. On the east side is "Outer Seorak. Biryeong-pokpo (waterfall).kr Dong Seoul Terminal: Busan homepage ( Air KAL: http://kr. ForestOn: Royal azaleas and other flowers in Korea Forest Service: Seoul Nambu Terminal: http://www.

Seoul City Tour
Seoul has been Korea's capital for more than 600 years, starting from the beginning of Joseon in 1392. Tradition and modernity exist side by side, offering a diverse range of things to see and do. Visitors to Korea generally rate Seoul as their primary destination for all that it offers.

88 Passport to Korean Culture

Traditional Culture in Seoul Old Palaces Seoul is Korea's political, economic, cultural and educational captial,
with a forest of ultra-modern high-rises and crowds of bustling people. In stark contrast to this are five elegant old palaces, offering people a moment of rest in peace. They are: Gyeongbok-gung, the main palace; Changdeok-gung; Deoksu-gung; Gyeonghi-gung and Changgyeong-gung. Each has its own story corresponding to its long history. Part I

Korea Today


Seoul City Tour 89

Bukchon Hanok Village

Insa-dong & Bukchon Hanok Village
Insa-dong, near Gyeongbok-gung, is a traditional area bustling with shoppers (or window-shoppers) for antiques, ceramics or souvenirs. Many come just to watch the street performances or look at paintings on display at many art galleries. Between Gyeongbok-gung and Changdeok-gung is Bukchon Hanok Maul (Village), with many traditional tea houses. "Bukchon" (North Village) is so named for its location north of Cheonggye-cheon (stream) and Chongno (street). This was where the highest ranking government officials and royal family members lived in

Information on Seoul Palaces & Hanok Village
Gyeongbok-gung ( Changdeok-gung ( Deoksu-gung ( Changgyeong-gung ( Bukchon Hanok Maul (


90 Passport to Korean Culture

Some of the old homes of nobility remain. Recently. The concrete that once covered the stream were removed in a major project between 2003 and 2005. The stream symbolized the extreme poverty in the city in the 1950s abd successful industrialization and modernization in the 1960s and 1970s. the narrow alleys of Bukchon showe glimpses of Seoul at an earlier time.traditional times. giving new life to the Cheonggye-cheon Seoul Tower Seoul City Tour 91 . Part I Korea Today The Dynamic City of Seoul Beautiful Night Scenes from Cheonggye-cheon & Seoul Tower Cheonggyecheon (stream) has always been an important part of Seoul's history. Unlike other residential areas where high-rise apartments are common. it was reborn as a public recreation area. Various hanok guesthouses are here for you to experience life in a traditional Korean-style home.

when the city is brighter than the starry sky. each in a unique style and illuminated brightly at night to provide a balance of water and light. Night at the Cheonggye-cheon waterway. Myeong-dong is the most Busy Myeong-dong street 92 Passport to Korean Culture . Now 22 bridges cross the stream. The view is especially striking at Seoul Tower (http://www.seoul.nseoultower.go. Seoul Tower (or "Namsan Tower") commands a beautiful panoramic view of Seoul. Shopping streets Shopping in Seoul is fun and easy.tip Information on Cheonggyecheon & Seoul Tower Cheonggye-cheon (

Here people Olympic Park and Seoul Forest Seoul City Tour 93 . Itaewon is still another excellent shopping destination in Seoul. The style is both traditional and modern. ample outdoor space is available for relaxation. By contrast. arcades and diverse restaurants. Namdaemun Market Namdaemun Market is the biggest open market in Korea. Part I Korea Today Seoul Parks Not every place in Seoul is busy and congested. One such place is along the Han River (Hangang). where clothes. where locals and foreign visitors alike fill department stores. food and other everyday items are sold. making it especially popular among young shoppers. The Itaewon area is home to many different nationalities of people. and the merchants there cater to foreigners. Dongdaemun Market is a place to buy fashionable clothes at low prices. and the cuisines of different countries are available here.famous shopping area. with plenty of goods available at low prices.

near Hongik University.come to jog. Hot Spots for Young People A passionate city like Seoul has many bustling places for young people. This is famous for its clubs with live bands.seoul. various exercise facilities. and unique cafes. Twelve parks are located along the river. Daehang-no is well known for small theaters where dramas. lovers and friends just engaging in friendly conversation. musicals and concerts are staged.seoul. They have outdoor swimming pools." which was launched in 2007 and will be completed in 2030. The clubs are packed with dancers. fairs. is a favorite spot for young street performers. The Han River flows east to west through Seoul. providing residents with a wide range of cultural activities. tip Han River Parks The Han River is a very popular place to go for Seoulites to get some fresh air and relaxation. you can visit Olympic Park. and twelve different parks are along either side. Today 22 bridges cross the Han. windsurfing areas and places for sunbathing. riding bicycles or inline skate.go. the aquarium. Marronnier Park. One of the most popular today is the area called Hongdae-ap. Besides the Han River. movies and Hangang Renaissance Project The Seoul City government has been working to improve the Han River parks through the "Hangang Renaissance Project. and you can also see families. especially on Hangang Rainbow Festival (http://hangangfest. 94 Passport to Korean Culture . fishing spots. in the center of the Daehang-no area. including the Hangang Rainbow Festival and Seoul International Fireworks Festival (end of September or early October). including those at Yeouido. World Cup Park. Information on Han River parks (http://hangang. motorboat and canoe rentals. Banpo and Jamsil.go. COEX in Gangnam is always filled with young people who come to enjoy exhibitions. and the night scenery from the river is especially enjoyable. Each location is being developed with a separate theme. Seoul Forest and other spots to get some relaxation in Seoul International Fireworks Festival (www.bulnori. Various cultural events and festivals are held at the riverside. Ddukseom. You can board sightseeing boats at eight different locations.

passionate ‘Hi Seoul Festival’ The Hi Seoul Festival is held each season. organizing various events and performances to spice up people's daily Seoul City Tour 95 . (www. the Seoul City Tour Bus offers tours to famous tourist attractions in Seoul at your convenience. This package tour covers all the main sights and is very popular among both Koreans and non-Koreans. (www. Trendy Apgujeong-dong in Gangnam has emerged as the place to go for the latest in fashion and also has many excellent shops and restaurants.Part I Korea Today Youthful band in front of Hongdae tip Dynamic. Seoul City Tour Bus Package Tour Operated day and night.hiseoulfest. drink or Sinchon has many of Korea's leading universities and is naturally another popular place for students and other young people who want to eat.

Museums Korea has many museums. National Museum of Korea The National Museum of Korea is the largest museum in Seoul. helping you understand. each with its own type of displays. In recent years. Baekjae and Silla kingdoms. India and Central Asia. including many important works in calligraphy and painting in various genres. On display are artifacts from the Paleolithic Age as well as Goguryeo. Japan. exhibiting a vast collection of world-class artifacts. experience and compare the various cultural legacies of Front view of the National Museum of Korea 96 Passport to Korean Culture . The 1st floor has 10 halls that focus on prehistory and early history. Balhae. and cultural artifacts from China. On the 2nd floor you can appreciate the best of Korean fine art. metal and ceramic articles. The 3rd floor is devoted to Buddhist texts. In addition to the quality exhibits are cultural programs and performances. theme museums have been attracting many visitors.

There are three standing exhibits as well as an outdoor exhibit. online exhibits and designated culSeoul Museum of History Seoul City Tour 97 . theme exhibits. The three-story east wing resembles Mireukjeon (hall) at Geumsan-sa. a hall of fame for special donations. The outdoor exhibition features two important pagodas. and the architecture of the two-story west wing is inspired by Gakhwang-jeon (hall) at Hwaeom-sa. Yeomgeo hwasangtap (National Treasure No.Asia. and the building is topped by a five-story pagoda modeled after Palsang-jeon (hall) at Beopju-sa. children's museum. standing exhibits. The main hall has models of the nine-story pagoda of Hwangnyong-sa (Silla kingdom). the two "bridges" (stairways) leading into Bulguk-sa. and special exhibition hall. donated collections. The front of the main building resembles Cheongun-gyo and Baekun-gyo. 104) and Jingyeongdaesa boweol neunggong-tap of Bongnim-sa (Treasure No. Here you can get a better idea of how lifestyles have evolved on the Korean Peninsula.240 artifacts related to the daily lives of Koreans from traditional times to the present. 362). and Geunjeong-jeon and Dongsipja-gak (Joseon kingdom). The museum has special exhibits. Each museum building has features borrowed from some of Korea's most important Buddhist architecture. National Folk Museum of Korea The National Folk Museum of Korea is on the grounds of Gyeongbok-gung (palace) and has a collection of 2. Part I Korea Today Seoul Museum of History The Seoul Museum of History opened in May 2002 to show the history and traditional culture of the Korean capital. Mireuk-sa (Baekjae kingdom).

" and "Gallery Talk" on Thursdays (twice a month) to provide in-depth information of the exhibits. is used solely for traditional music performances and features a traditional stage and adobe-plastered walls to complete the mood. Performances here include traditional music. The collection includes some 3. dance and plays. including the free "Wednesday Movie. Kimchi is becoming more popular worldwide as a health food. the museum draws about Kimchi Museum 100.000 visitors a year. a hall opened in 1996.tural heritages. Various events are offered on weekdays. YeakNCKTPA dang. and today.000 items. Kimchi Museum The Kimchi Museum studies and researches the pickled vegetables that are such an integral part of Korean cuisine. National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts The National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts (NCKTPA) is the only museum dedicated to traditional music. Wumyeondang is a small theater (seats 300) that brings the audience close to the performers in an intimate atmosphere. including books and other documents as well as various musical instruments. The monthly "Music Night at the Museum" concert is held on a Friday. The exhi- 98 Passport to Korean Culture .

ncktpa.000 items related to traditional Korean culinary Seoul Museum of History: http://www.bitions cover the history and many varieties of kimchi. The Ddeok Museum also has a program that allows you to make traditional rice cake yourself. Songpyeon (pine-flavored rice cake) is prepared for Chuseok (Harvest Moon).kr National Folk Museum of Korea: http://www. Ddeok Museum tip NCKTPA: http://www. Deok is also traditionally handed out to guests who have come to celebrate a child's first birthday. The rice cake tradition has developed over a long time and evolved with changing lifestyles.kimchimuseum. This nourishing food has been with Koreans for millennia and comes in various types with different Ddeok Museum: http://www.tkmuseum. while publishing its own brochures and performing research projects of its Seoul City Tour 99 . statistics. National Museum of Korea: Kimchi Museum: http://www.go. and rice cake soup (ddeokguk) from sliced rice cake bars (garaetteok) is a must on Lunar New Year's (Seol).or. The museum collects kimchi-related studies.nfm.seoul.go. providing insight into traditional Korean life. focusing on the rice cake. and reference books. or Part I Korea Today Ddeok Museum The Ddeok Museum displays some 2. providing a wealth of


Graceful Pottery Part 2 . Hanbok 2. Major Holidays 3.Korea in History In Pursuit of the Korean Heritage 1. Classical Music 5. Traditional Life Experience Elegant Tastes of the Korean People 4. Traditional Dance 6.

In Pursuit of the Korean Heritage .

Hanbok Traditional Korean attire. The hanbok designs have been simplified in modern times for greater convenience. Part 2 Korea in History Woman in beautiful hanbok In Pursuit of the Korean Heritage 103 . Hanbok styles are distinctive. and hanbok was worn on formal occasions as a form of etiquette. still like to wear it on holidays and special occasions such as weddings. hanbok. especially the women. Hanbok has evolved over time and is worn much less frequently today. depending on gender and social status. is an important cultural symbol. but Koreans.

For instance.Hanbok Styles & Colors A set of hanbok includes the jeogori (jacket). curved lines reminiscent of the eaves on a traditional building. Commoners were permitted to wear hanbok on their wedding day. graceful chima to provide balance and elegance. regardless of body type. Korean commoners usually wore white clothes. for both men and women. The beauty of hanbok comes from the harmony of graceful Eaves of a Korean house lines. The materials and colors allowed would differ according to the occasion and status of the wearer. while the hanbok was normally reserved for members of the royal Rainbow-striped hanbok family or noble class. 104 Passport to Korean Culture . the best color harmony is found in the rainbow-striped hanbok for children. the women's jeogori blends straight lines with the soft. to create elegant Jeogori and graceful lines. and chima (skirt) for women and baji (trousers) for men. a bride would wear a colorful combination (for example red chima with green or yellow jeogori) for her wedding. For example. but the chima is square shaped and wrapped around the wearer. In traditional times. The short jeogori combines with the long. The duru- magi (overcoat) is worn over the jeogori not only for warmth but also for formality. It drapes down naturally. Western clothes are designed to fit tightly. The wrap-around skirt provides the wearer with flexibility and room. almost touching the ground. Probably.

hanbok is still worn on special days such as Lunar New Year's (Seol) and the Harvest Moon (Chuseok). In Pursuit of the Korean Heritage 105 . In recent years. Low priced hanbok is available at Namdaemun. modified hanbok outfits have been designed for everyday use. Other special occasions that warrant hanbok include a child's first birthday or pyebaek. tip Buying a Hanbok The price of a hanbok outfit can vary widely depending on the materials and workmanship. and the sleeves and trouser legs are narrower than with the traditional hanbok. The style is convenient to wear but retains the basic traditional look.Part 2 Korea in History Family in hanbok Modern Hanbok Modern Koreans prefer wearing Western-style clothes. However. which are more comfortable and convenient than the traditional one. Dongdaemun or Gwangjang Markets. The colors are also less garish. The traditional clothes provide the proper formality for offering sacrifices to deceased ancestors and visit one's elderly parents. Buttons are used. the bride's formal greeting to her in-laws immediately after the wedding ceremony.

Baekjung (7th lunar month). 11th lunar month). Today.Major Holidays As in any culture. Daeboreum (1st full moon of lunar year). Seol Seol. Daeboreum. Buddha's birthday (4th lunar month). The most important of these traditionally were Seol (Lunar New Year's Day). Hansik (2nd lunar month). Items on the carefully prepared sacrificial table will include fish and meat Charye table 106 Passport to Korean Culture . Lunar New Year's Day. Dano (5th lunar month). has long been one of the two most important seasonal holidays for Koreans. Koreans mainly celebrate Seol. Koreans have seasonal days for celebration.) On Seol. Yudu (6th lunar month). Chuseok (8th lunar month and Dongji (winter solstice. family and close relatives get together in the morning to offer a sacrifice to their ancestors called charye. and Chuseok. (The other is Chuseok.

the children are given money. Seol Customs & Games Ddeokguk (beef soup with thin slices of rolled rice cake) is a must on Lunar New Year's Day. the younger members of the family perform saebae. a ritual bowing to their elders. Another theorypostulates that the long and white rice cake rolls ( garaet-ddeok ) is symbolic of a pure and long life. Kites flown on this day are said to carry away bad influences for the coming year. fruit and rice cakes. After the charye. for instance. while its round shape represents the sun.dishes. The rice cake shapes and other ingredients in the soup sometimes differ by region. the first day of the new year. see-sawing Traditional pastimes associated with Seol are yut (a traditional board game). The significance of this custom has several different explanations. kite-flying. called saebae-don. In Pursuit of the Korean Heritage 107 . wishing them good health and luck. Yut. they formerly used rice cake shaped like a bottle gourd (joraenYut-nori Part 2 Korea in History gi ddeok-guk)." and the white color of the rice cake is bright. or yut-nori is played between two or more teams. The origin of this traditional board game was divination to determine the harvest in the upcoming year. According to one theory. In Gaeseong. means "brightness. Seol. In return. see-sawing and shuttlecock kicking.

Koreans thus have a saying: "Things should always be like they are on Chuseok. The person who crafted the most beautiful song- pyeon was supposed to find a good spouse or have beautiful children. The rice cakes are first molded into half-moon shapes. Nowadays. A table laden with newly harvested rice and fruits is reverently offered to deceased ancestors. The weeds and grass on the graves is either removed in advance or during the Chuseok visit. no more. People relax during the Chuseok holidays (3-4 days). Traditionally." Chuseok Customs & Games Chuseok is a celebration of an abundant harvest of grains. the whole Making songpyeon family would get together on Chuseok eve to make songpyeon under the moonlit sky. fruit and other things. followed by visits to ancestral graves. as they have lots to eat and time on their hands. Pine-flavored rice cake (songpyeon) is an indispensable part of Chuseok fare. so everyone would work hard at the task. Other names for this important holiday are Hangawi and Jungchu-jeol. then stuffed with filling (beans. Ganggangsullae Many forms of traditional enter- 108 Passport to Korean Culture . is the full moon in the 8th lunar month. no less. the Harvest Moon.Chuseok Chuseok. chestnuts or jujubes) and steamed. people usually just buy premade songpyeon from shops. red beans.

These activities used to be carried out in each village. Thus. ssireum Part 2 Korea in History Modern Scenes Traditionally. The women usually remain very busy preparing food for the sacrificial ceremonies and serving family members and guests. The mass exodus to the countryside from urban centers like Seoul causes severe traffic congestion. The markets seem to exude a festive mood. but now people just watching them on TV or attend live performances at palaces or theaters. seasonal holidays were a time for the extended family to get together. On Seol and Chuseok. health food and boxes of fruit. and seats on public transportation are hard to get. traditional markets and department stores bustle with people buying food and gifts. Koreanstyle wrestling (ssireum) competitions were held to determine the strongest man. and women would join hands to dance a circle dance called Ganggangsullae. People would supplicate the full moon.tainment and games were enjoyed during the Chuseok season. Not everyone is idle during the holidays. Much more of the food is simply bought instead of being made from scratch. even though families prepare less than they used to. Farmers' music and dance added gaiety while villagers competed in games such as tug-of-war. Those who live far away would return to their birth home. In Pursuit of the Korean Heritage 109 . When a special holiday approaches. people exchange many gifts such as traditional confectionery (han-gwa). these occasions are not always welcomed by the women. Most Koreans today still take time out from their busy lives to visit their parents or kin back in the hometown on Seol or Chuseok.

about an hour south of Seoul. Yong-in Minsok-chon The Korean Folk Village near Yong-in. and you will need a full day to see everything sufficiently. If you are interested. including about 270 traditional buildings and more than 16. The Korean Folk Village has a vast collection on display.000 tools and household implements used some 150 years ago. Everything was relocated here from Snow-covered Yong-in Minsok-chon 110 Passport to Korean Culture .Traditional Life Experience Many places in Korea offer a chance to experience the Korean traditional way of living. This is the largest establishment of the kind in Korea. is an outdoor folk museum where the Korean traditional way of living is reenacted. you may want to visit one of the regional folk villages (minsok-chon). Some offer participatory programs related to special holidays.

Minsok-chon performs a traditional wedding ceremony twice a day beginning from March 11 through In Pursuit of the Korean Heritage 111 . herbal medicine clinic. Package coupons are available for additional of which about 30% are foreign. schools.7 million visitors a year. Koreans and foreign visitors can experience the traditional lifestyle at a number of different places. Farmers' music and tightrope walking are also performed.Part 2 Korea in History New layer of straw for roof Greeting a new year around the country. government offices. visit the homepage. Regular events held here include sauce making and folk customs. Chongno) and Suweon. Each house contains daily-used utensils and shows how the people of different classes lived in the old days. For further details. Special programs are also organized for specific holidays. The Korean Folk Village at Yong-in attracts some 1. Experience programs are offered monthly.koreanfolk. Table for Traditional wedding ceremony tip Information on Korean Folk Village Transportation: Buses run from Seoul (Gangnam. Admission: 12.000 (adults) for Folk Village only. This is a good place for families to go. The buildings include the homes of commoners and upper-class people. (http://www. Buddhist temple and shrine to local deities. Yeouido. as facilities are also provided for children to have fun.

" and "Singijeon.Andong Hahwe-maul Andong Hahwe-maul: a Living Confucian Tradition An overnight trip to Hahwe-maul (village) in Andong. and more recently it was the setting for the historicaldramas "Hwangjini." A tributary of the Nakdong River encloses this village in an 'S' shape. This is the ancestral home of the Pungsan Yu clan and an excellent example of a single-clan 112 Passport to Korean Culture . North Gyeongsang Province is recommended for those who want to know how Korean gentry lived in Joseon and learn more about Korea's Confucian tradition." "Scandal. The village received media attention when British Queen Elizabeth II at the Hahwe-maul British Queen Elizabeth II visited there.

The masks worn for the byolsin- gut (a shaman dance to the village god) are believed to have originated during Goryeo (9181392) and have been designated as "national treasures. For reservations call the Hahwe-maul Preservation Assn. There are 130 homes between 300 and 500 years old.tip Food in Andong Andong Hahwe-maul is famous for its salted mackerel. and is prepared and served simply." evidence of thelong history of this village. visit the Andong Hahwemaul homepage: (http://www. and the best-known local soju types are from Andong. jjimdak (steamed chicken) and soju (clear liquor). Part 2 Korea in History A Hahwe mask village. has been designated as a major folklore resource.853-0109) For more nori is a unique game for gentry. The entire community. is symbolic of the Andong culinary tradition. They also serve as valuable resource for studying traditional gentry lifestyles and the architectural development of Joseon homes. then transfer to buses for Hahwe-maul. sliced roast beef and jeon (vegetable panc a k e ) . Steamed rice is covered with various vegetables. The mask dance is still performed once or twice a week. This dish does not use the spicy bean paste found in bibim-bab. In Pursuit of the Korean Heritage 113 . Both have been preserved here. Andong soju is also used for medicinal purposes. Lodging: Some 30 home-stay establishments are available. with its well-preserved cultural artifacts. Hahwe byeolsin-gut tal-nori is an annual competition among commoners and seonyujul bul- How to Get to Andong Hahwe-maul Transportation: Take the express bus from Seoul (Dong Seoul Terminal) to Andong. providing a glimpse of how people of various classes lived in Joseon. Korean soju dates back to Goryeo. designated as a local intangible cultural property. (054.hahoe. Another favorite is heotjesa-bab (literally "food offered in a false ritual"). A n d o n g soju. Gaeseong and Jeju.

Elegant Tastes of the Korean People .

The National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts (NCKTPA) keeps 64 different kinds of instruments. they have also been classified according to performance technique. Part 2 Korea in History Korean Musical Instruments The origins of the indigenous geomun-go (half-tube. the dae-geum Hae-geum Gaya-geum tinctively Korean styles of playing have evolved for even the imported instrument Elegant Tastes of the Korean People 115 . in the same way Western musical instruments are classified. The tunes include those handed down from the past and those recently composed. 6-stringed zither) and gaya-geum (half tube. Over the centuries. not to be confused with Western classical music. distypes. which are classified either by the material used to make them or by the kind of music they are used to play. For example. 12-stringed zither) date back to antiquity.Classical Music "Korean classical music" refers to a special genre of traditional music. while various flutes and the lute ( bipa ) were first brought in from Central Asia and China. Recently.

and the ceremonies are observed on the first Sunday of May each year. The gaya-geum. Jongmyo Jerye-ak is also performed at the National Center for Korean Traditional tip Jongmyo Jerye It is performed each May and open to the public. bowed with a rosined stick) are refreed to as stringed instruments. hae-geum (2-stringed fiddle). geo- mun-go.(large horizontal flute). ( Jongmyo Jerye-ak 116 Passport to Korean Culture . while the buk (barrel drum). The tradition has survived intact. lyric songs and dances performed during ceremonies to deceased kings and queens at the Royal Ancestral Shrine (Jongmyo). janggo (hour-glass drum) are in the percussion category. jung-geum (medium-sized flute) and tongso (long notched vertical bamboo flute) are classified as wind instruments. and ajeng (7-stringed zither.jongmyo. jing (large gong). a combination of music. Jongmyo Jerye-ak (music for royal ancestral rite) with 600-years of history One category of traditional Korean music is Jongmyo Jerye-ak. The solemn rites praise the meritorious achievements of past kings and offer prayers for the welfare of the descendents before the altars of the state deities.

but their composers are unknown. Starting out as work songs. and Susimga. and seven different tempos are employed. they have been handed down orally. those in the western region are Seodo-minyo. Originally 12 full-length stories (madang) were performed. The singer's lyrics (aniri) tell a story to A pansori scene Part 2 Korea in History the drum beat and his gestures (balim) add dramatic effect. This important genre of Korean traditional music was designated by UNESCO as a World Intangible Heritage in 2003. The former are simple and of local color. but only five remain today: Heungbu-ga. Those sung in Gyeonggi Province are called Gyeonggi-minyo. and is familiar to people in many countries. Jeokbyeok-ga and Sugung-ga. Simcheong-ga. Pansori Pansori (an oral narrative sung by a professional singer accompanied by a single drummer) was developed from mid-Joseon in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula. lives and sentiments of common folk have been loved from time immemorial. The performance lasts two to three hours. Korean Folk Songs Arirang is the most well-known of the Korean folk song genre (minyo). Chunhyang-ga. The more famous chang folk songs are Arirang. Discs of the music are available. Simple songs expressing the thoughts. while the latter are beautiful and refined. Melodies vary by region. Most minyo songs use the same melody for each verse.Performing Arts. which is followed by a refrain. They are divided into two main categories: folk songs native to certain regions and the chang (ballad) type. from slow to fast. Elegant Tastes of the Korean People 117 . those in the south are called Namdo-minyo and those on Jeju Island are Jeju-minyo. Yukja-baegi.

and received an enthusiastic response. (www." and "Comrades: Almost a Love Story" played in gukak style. bringing together pansori and Andes music. performing modern music with traditional instruments to make them more appealing to the general public.go. NCKTPA's "Tradition and Rule-Breaking" program presents the scores from "Titanic. folk and religious music collectively) has been reinterpreted in fusion forms.Rearranging Traditional Music Traditional Korean music today is often being rearranged into a modern style.mct. the Traditional Music Orchestra of Seoul recently performed Gukakjjang. and Korean parents like for their younger children to be exposed to fusion gukak to develop their sentimentality. (www. Meanwhile. hae-geum and samullori. danso. The audience loved it.or.gugak. 118 Passport to Korean Culture . Gukak seasoned with jazz is becoming popular. played Cuban musical instruments and rhythms on the outdoor stage at the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts (NCKTPA). The NCKTPA program "Bringing Gukak to People" offers a repertory of familiar and modern works reinterpreted from heavy court Fusion band with traditional instruments tip Fusion Gukak on the Rise Gukak (traditional court. tip Where to Experience & Learn Traditional Instruments The NCKTPA holds diverse performances and classes for foreigners to learn how to play the janggu. youthful sentiments to familiar themes and sounds." "Cinema Chongdong Theatre Traditional Korean music and fusion gukak are performed here. gaya-geum. Jaemijjang ("Great Gukak. Cumbaya. adding modern. Original interpretations of traditional music are easier for young people to appreciate. Great Fun"). Young musicians especially like to take traditional forms in new directions. a fusion gukak band. while more bands play a fusion style that combines traditional Korean instruments with modern Western ones such as the piano.

Traditional Dance
Koreans have long been known for their love of singing and dancing. Traditional dances genres are classified as either folk or court, the former being the most popular and diverse. Part 2

Korea in History

Features of Korean Dance
Ancient dances in Korea and elsewhere often begin as rites to Nature. Korean dances can be powerful, dreamlike, sorrowful or elegant. They express spirit (sin) and excitement (heung). Koreans have long been avid dancers, and historical records document dancing and singing sprees lasting several days and nights as part of ceremonies to the spirits.

Bongsan Tal-chum

Elegant Tastes of the Korean People 119

Folk Dances
Korean folk dances were handed down by the common people rather than being developed in the court. There are three categories (1) group dances such as Ganggangsullae and the farmers' dance; (2)those performed by professionals (mask dance, Buddhist dance and spiritual cleansing solo); and (3) Buddhist or shamanist ritual dances (butterfly dance and cymbal dance). The folk dances express the emotion and
Buddhist dance

spirit of an entire people, while the court dances were meant for a select few.

Buchae-chum ("fan dance"), performed by a group of women with feathered fans in both hands, was introduced as a part of the Kim Baek-bong Performing Arts Program in November 1954 at Sigonggwan theater in Seoul. The origins are presumed to be shamanist. The dancers wear either hanbok or dangui (a kind of court dress) and use the fans to create circles, waves or floral patBuchae-chum

terns. The effect is stunning.

120 Passport to Korean Culture

Part 2

Korea in History
Mask Dance Drama

Mask Dance Drama
The mask dance drama originated from village-level shamanist rituals (burak-

gut) to pray for a good harvest and the prosperity of the villagers. The tradition has
been handed down in the form of folk plays and reflects a range of emotions such as sorrow, happiness and scorn of the powers that be. Themes include ceremonial rites; depraved monks; poverty-stricken yangban (nobles); love triangles between a man, his wife and concubine; and the daily lives of common folk. Korean mask dances have different names by region: tal-chum in the north,

sandae-nori in the central region and ogwangdae in the south. Best known today
are the tal-chum from Gangnyeong and Bongsan; sandae-nori from Yangju and Songpa; ogwangdae from Tongyeong, Goseong and Gasan; and deul-noreum from Dongnae.

Elegant Tastes of the Korean People 121

for example black for an old person and red for a young person. black and yellow. 122 Passport to Korean Culture . white. meaning some masks are used for more than one role. or visits by foreign envoys. red. The Bongsan Mask Dance Drama was regularly held on Dano Day (5th Bongsan Tal-chum day of 5th lunar month) and was also performed at important events such as the birthday or inauguration of the county magistrate. The Bongsan masks are more colorful than those used in other regions. It continued to develop. using mainly blue. The Bongsan Tal-chum Masks The Bongsan Mask Dance Drama is divided into seven acts and has 34 different roles but only 26 different masks. The Bongsan tal-chum began to be performed in Sariwon in 1915.Major mask dance dramas by region Mask Dance Types The Bongsan Mask Dance ( tal- chum) Drama emerged as the leading style in Hwanghae Province (present-day North Korea) by the late 18th century. Around that time. The colors are used to indicate the gender and age of the character. A whit mask would represent a young woman. the lion dance ( saja-chum ) was incorporated into the Bongsan acts. influenced by other styles around the country and reached its peak around the turn of the 20th century. when the township administration office moved there and the Seoul-Shinuiju Railway opened.

However. on the other hand.Graceful Pottery Korean potters were influenced by China but developed their own unique. In traditional times. Porcelain. The excellence of the mysteriously subtle and almost trans- Elegant Tastes of the Korean People 123 . The first earthenware on the Korean Peninsula dates back to between 6000 and 5000 BCE. beautiful forms.300 C). and today remains an extremely important part of Korea's heritage. producing the finest works of celadon (cheongja). Koreans developed a pottery-making tradition that rivaled and at times surpassed what was being produced in China. the Goryeo potters distinguished themselves with an unsurpassed beauty in terms of both color and form. is kaolin (a fine white clay) glazed and baked at high temperature (1. porcelain was introduced to the Peninsula from China. pottery was close the lives of all people. a technique originally imported from China. Part 2 Korea in History Korean Pottery Origins Pottery consists of two major categories: earthenware (or clayware) and porcelain (or ceramic ware). Studies of pottery provide insights into how life was like during each historical era. Celadon is porcelain noted for its greygreen (or grey-blue) glaze. Delicate & Refined Goryeo Celadon Goryeo developed a unique pottery tradition in the late 10th century. Earthenware was developed first and is baked at relatively low temperature. During the 9th century (Unified Silla). o Earthenware figurine of horse and rider A Unique Ceramic Art Although influenced by and closely related to Chinese pottery.

from the end of April to the end of May. Pottery of the sanggam method this style has a grayish green 124 Passport to Korean Culture . Introduced in early Joseon. Rustic & Comfortable Buncheong Ware Buncheong-sagi refers to a particular type of ceramic ware decorated with a white slip coating under the glaze. (www. hand-made pottery is also available.ceramic. as rice or soup bowls or cups. The patterns (notably clouds and cranes) are heavily influenced by Buddhism and indicate how Information on Pottery Making and Exhibits National Museum of Korea ( Uniquely Beautiful Inlaid Celadon Goryeo potters began applying the sanggam method (intricate designs carved into the Haegang Goryo Celadon (www.tip Pottery in Modern Life Koreans use pottery every the Goryeo people put greater emphasis on future life than on Goryeo cheongja their present existence. Massproduced pottery is readily available at conventional Icheon Ceramic Festival: Adventure of the Fire is held every year. and other materials added to the forms) with kaolin around the 12th century. parent color is recognized even by the Chinese.haegang. department stores and so The inlaid pieces are especially prized for their artistry and beauty. At Insa-dong. the pinnacle of porcelain making.

Common motifs on Joseon baekja are bamboo. baekja did not come into its own until early Joseon. plum blossoms. and peonies. the pottery was designed for practicality with simple expression and bold patterns. Elegant Tastes of the Korean People 125 . but sometimes green or milk color is added to the clay to create a paler effect. Buncheong wine bottle with fish pattern Simple & Clean White Porcelain White porcelain (baekja) is made by painting clear glaze over ceramic made from white clay. dragons. and the white porcelain reflected that sentiment with simple. Reflecting this change in priorities. The patterns reflect the prototype of native Korean aesthetics. It lacks the refined form and surface decoration of Goryeo celadon. Korean baekja is usually pure white. distinguishing itself from the bright colored ceramics of contemporary China and Japan. However. Joseon Confucianism emphasized frugality and integrity. completely replacing buncheong ware by the 17th century. and the present world had more meaning than life after death. It was first developed in China and appeared on the Korean Peninsula in early Goryeo.Part 2 Korea in History body with painted designs or designs carved in after the body was covered with white clay. but is friendly and comfortable in mood. pine trees. Joseon was strongly influenced by Neo-Confucianism. clean-looking patterns. along with celadon. cranes.


Korea and Its People Korea in the World 1. UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in Korea Part 3 . Emerging Multicultural Society 5. Korean Enterprises and Economy A Glimpse of Korea 6. Spoken and Written Language 4. Geography. Climate and Population 2. The People 3.

Korea in the World .

Daejeon. 2 2 Part 3 Korea and Its People New Zealand or Italy. The peninsula is about 1." Six other cities (Incheon. The Japanese islands are to the east. however.000m above sea level. Of the world's significantly sized countries. Daegu. The west and south coastlines are rugged and have many islands.133km ). Seoul is the capital of the Republic of Korea and administratively designated as a "special city. North Korea: 123.000km north to south with a total area of 223. about the same size as the UK. Few of the mountains are higher than 1. Ulsan and Korea in the World 129 .273km (South 2 Korea: 100.140km . bordering China and Russia in the north. Yet 70% of the territory is mountainous. Climate and Population The Korea Peninsula is situated on the eastern end of the Asian continent. the Republic of Korea (or South Korea) has the third highest population density (behind Bangladesh and Taiwan). Gwangju. but the east coast is relatively smooth and has plenty of beautiful beaches.Geography. and most are in the east.

but its climate differs greatly between winter and summer because of its location on the east coast of the Asian continent. South Chungcheong. North Gyeongsang.Spring in Korea Busan) are referred to administratively as "metropolitan cities. North Chungcheong. South Jeolla and Jeju. South Gyeongsang." meaning they have the same status as a province. North Jeolla. while there are 9 provinces (Gyeonggi. Gangweon. Summer Climate & Seasons Korea is a peninsular country. Winter temperatures in most regions Beautiful Autumn 130 Passport to Korean Culture .

the rainy season sets in and lasts until late July. from September to November. Spring is windy but mild. and winter.500mm. This is the time for people to head for the mountains or beaches. Spring is from March to May. after which the hottest summer days are experienced. autumn. from December to February. o Korea in the World 131 . and azaleas and forsythias begin to bloom in the southern part of the country from late March.Part 3 Korea and Its People Snowy winter o o can fall between 0 C and minus 15 C in some regions. while summer temperatures will exceed 30 C for many days in some regions. Korea has four distinct seasons. About half of the rain falls between June and August (30% of the total in July alone). summer. In late June. The climate is generally humid and annual precipitation ranges between 800 and 1. from June to August.

8 million. World : 6.2% of all Koreans by 2050. Many people like to go to the mountains to enjoy the scenery. increased participation of women in the workforce.2 million as of June 2009. Snow can be heavy in the mountains during winter. but Korean society is aging at one of the world's fastest rates. ranking 26th in the world. In late October. replacement of extended families with nuclear families.however. starting from the north. of which 150.909million 80+ 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Male Female Korea : 49million 80+ 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Female Male 132 Passport to Korean Culture . Autumn offers many fine clear days with balmy temperatures.000.000 were immigrant women married to Korean men. but the birth rate today is among the world's lowest. typhoons also occur between July and September. Korean demographics are changing in another important way as well. People aged 65 or older are expected to account for 11% of the total population in 2010 and 38. 2010 problem for Korean in the past. Population As of 2009. The birth rate has slowed for a combination of reasons: the transition from an agrarian to an industrialized society.000 to 300. The number of foreign residents in Korea reached 1. the leaves begin to turn color. High population density was a constant Projection of Korean Population Pyramid. The Korean government is now offering incentives to families to have more children. the South Korean population is over 48. and skyrocketing costs for children's education. Annual population is currently increasing by 200. and many Koreans like to go skiing or sledding.

Koreans in the ROK are reaching out to other members of their ethnic group around the world. Koreans are the ethnic group living on the Korean Peninsula. Manchuria and the Maritime Province of Siberia. Koreans are defined as the nationals of the Republic of Korea (ROK) those who belong the Korean ethnic group. and Japanese. They now live in the Republic of Korea. but many agree they are part of a northern race that migrated east from Central Asia. Racially. Manchurians. United States. that number was about 50 million. along with the Mongolians. Under discussion is the formation of a Korean cultural belt Large Korean family Korea in the World 133 . China.The People Who are Koreans? What are the characteristics of the Korean people? Korean Origins Several theories have been proposed as to the origin of the Korean people. As of 2009. Manchurians and Turks. speaking the Korean language. Koreans belong to the same group as the Han Chinese. Part 3 Korea and Its People Ethnic Koreans and Korean Nationals By law. Japan and elsewhere. while linguistically they are part of the Ural-Altaicspeaking peoples. totaling some 80 million people worldwide. Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Originally. Mongolians.

han (bitterness) and heung (excitement). One source of han has been the many foreign invasions that devastated the country. much of the women's han has disappeared in recent years. Once jeong has been established between two Koreans. The women tend to feel han the most." dumb for three years. Han: Lasting Mental Scar Koreans often express han to describe repressed anguish or bitterness from suffering a wrong and having no way to redress it. while on the other hand. hiding ones talents and emotions was considered feminine virtue. Jeong: Strong Bonds Relationships are very important in Korean society." and "blind for three years. Jeong is probably the product of a group-oriented society. their mutual involvement becomes close and they suffer great difficulty when apart. such a state of mind can seem burdensome to non-Koreans. the degree of caring can come as a pleasant surprise. That feeling can remain as a mental wound. Young 134 Passport to Korean Culture .linking Manchuria. for their lives were more restricted in the male-dominated Confucian society. The development of global communication enables Koreans to access one another easily via the Internet. Of course there is interest in forging and maintaining ties with ethnic Koreans living farther away as well. Married life for a Korean woman in traditional times was described as being "deaf for three years. This is a special kind of affection that makes even unrelated people close like family. who value their privacy. Emotional Characteristics The three words that best describe Korean emotion are probably jeong (affection)." Of course. Korean women were expected to endure hardships unduly imposed on them. all areas geographically close to the peninsula. On the one hand. and jeong develops as the bonds of a relationship grow stronger over time. the Maritime Province of Siberia and Central Asia.

The same goes for modern Koreans. Likewise. Koreans in Heung Part 3 Korea and Its People Heung: to Erase the Han Traditionally. Korea in the World 135 . Koreans would often relieve their deep-seated bitterness by playing hard. When they play. Perhaps this need for excitement (heung) explains the passion shown on the streets during the 2002 World Cup. when quiet and seemingly passive people suddenly become loud and active when the opportunity arrives. they would become carried away when singing or dancing to traditional percussion music. The Korean way of supporting their team so whole-heartedly captured the attention of the world. they enjoy themselves boisterously to the full. Many Koreans participated in this movement tirelessly because it promised to help them escape poverty. For instance. and their social status has been elevated greatly. Korean women are increasingly engaged in satisfying careers. Some scholars analyze the New Village Movement of the 1970s as a part of the sinbaram phenomenon.people of both genders express themselves more openly today and do what they want to do rather than what their parents or others expect them to do. Amused spectators Heung often coincides with sinbaram (literally "spiritual wind").

mainly because of the country's enhanced global status. Thus. 506 in the former CIS. Today and Tomorrow from the Ministry of Culture. Korean Language. Koreans use a native alphabet called hangeul.000 languages worldwide.177 organizations were disseminating the Korean language outside the country in 2008.072 were in North America. The Korean Language More than 80 million people speak the Korean language: 74 million in the two Koreas and 7 million Korean expatriates and non-Koreans. a very scientific writing system. the number of people learning Korean as a second language has been growing.Spoken and Written Language Language is a key factor when discussing any aspect of Korean culture. Sports and Tourism (MCST) states 2. The publication Hangeul. among some 3. 1. Korean has the 13th highest number of speakers. National Language. In recent years. Of these. 225 were in Asia not Foreigners in Korean class 136 Passport to Korean Culture .

while the vowels were made based on the three elements that form the universe. The Korean language is agglutinative in morphology and subject-object-verb (SOV) in syntax. Meanwhile. 628 elementary and middle schools in 15 countries teach Korean as a second language. 75 in Latin America and 42 in the Middle East. Turkish and TungusManchurian. earth and humankind. 115 in Europe. In 2009. Bronze statue of Sejong the Great at Gwanghwamun Plaza Hunmin jeong-eum Haeryebon Part 3 Korea and Its People Hangeul Hangeul is a unique alphabet invented specifically for the Korean language in a project led by Kin Sejong. 142 in Japan. a total of 189. The consonant symbols were modeled after the shapes of the human speech organs. the 4th monarch of Joseon. namely. Korean is part of the Altaic language family. revealing the rising global status of the language. which includes the Mongolian. King Sejong called it Hunmin jeong-eum ("Correct Sounds to Enlighten the People"). The project was completed in 1443 and the new alphabet was officially promulgated in 1446.counting Japan. heaven. The present Korean alphabet Korea in the World 137 .320 foreigners and Korean expatriates applied to take the annual Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK). while 642 colleges and universities in 54 countries have Korean language courses or classes. A key feature is the highly developed system of honorifics.

The basic letters are monosyllabic. The consonants and vowels are combined into blocks to create syllables.Designs with Hangeul consists of 14 consonants and 10 vowels. and an additional stroke or strokes are used to create diphthongs. Design Contest of Stylish Hangeul Letters Dress with Hangeul pattern & business card holder (or fonts) and Love of Hangeul UCC 138 Passport to Korean Culture . Meanwhile. Hangeul Day. Propagation of Hangeul Every year the Korean government holds Hangeul Week around October 9. Related events include the Hangeul Calligraphy Contest for Foreigners and selection of the Hunmin jeong-eum Goodwill Ambassador.

and Hall of Hangeul-related Items. Cup mats Sandoll tium Contest are held to disseminate Hangeul around the world. Korea in the World 139 . The Hangeul Cultural Center. literature related to Hangeul. The facilities will include the Hangeul Hall. as well as on bags. World Hall of Letters. etc. sundries and electronics. Hangeul games are also available. a unique museum dedicated to alphabets. shirts and other fashion items produced by designer Lee Sang-bong. is under construction and scheduled for completion in 2012. Neck tie.Part 3 Korea and Its People Hangeul T-shirts.hangeulmuse um. Hangeul font. Installation art designed with Hangeul tip Digital Hangeul Museum (http://www. The value of Hangeul is not limited to its use as an alphabet but also as a design motif such as in the neckties. video material on Presents the history of Hangeul.

Emerging Multicultural Society Generally speaking. A 2009 survey shows that the alien population in Korea has exceeded one million and that the number of multicultural families has greatly increased. rapidly creating a multicultural country. and Koreans. The rapid changes and influx of foreigners are raising concerns. For Korea. "multicultural society" is now a hot topic among Koreans. individual peoples or nations were expected to have their unique cultures. Strictly speaking. Koreans are moving throughout the world. Korea has been known to the rest of the world as a homogeneous country using the same language and living in the same culture. but cultural diversity is emerging with globalization and advances in communication. a society with multiple cultures can be vulnerable to unrest. while the number of non-Koreans living in Korea continues to increase. And this trend is likely to continue. the figure is still only about 2%. On the other hand. reflecting their surprise at the mere possibility of such a social transformation. Multicultural festival 140 Passport to Korean Culture . but this is now changing. Most noteworthy is the growing number of aliens with Korean spouses and foreigners with long-term work visas. a society is "multicultural" when at least 20% of the population is other than the predominant group. are no exception. Nevertheless. who are so proud of their homogeneous heritage. however. Traditionally.

The increase in multi-cultural families is the focus of special attention because they form basic units in Korean society but differ from traditional Korean families. more than 150. where migrant workers may receive assistance related to their living in Korea prior to obtaining their Korean citizenship. Marriages are taking place between Koreans and non-Koreans as well as between South Koreans and North Korean refugees. both the government and private groups are undertaking various programs to help multicultural families overcome cultural clashes. tip Institutes for Multicultural Families These institutes operate counseling centers for migrant workers. Accordingly. language and lifestyle. Institutes have been established to teach immigrant wives the Korean language and provide them with counseling. Fortunately. As of August 2009.000 immigrant women were married to Korean men. Catholic Migrant Worker Center: 051-807-6403 Seoul Foreign Worker Center: 02-3672-9472 Solidarity for Asian Human Rights and Culture: 032-684-0244 Ansan Women Migrant Worker Counseling Center ‘Blink’: 031-491-3430 Migrant Workers' House: 02-863-6622 Human Rights League of Migrant Workers: 032-576-8114 Kosian House 031-439-8785 Women Migrants Human Rights Center: 02-3672-8988 Part 3 Korea and Its People Educational institutes for education of children of immigrant workers These institutes educate immigrant children. With the increasing multiculturalism. providing preschool language courses. Koreans' understanding of multicultural families is increasing rapidly. counseling on entering schools and after-school classes. customs and language. Naturally these families have a heterogeneous character in their way of thinking. Global House of Seongdong Migrant: Workers Center: 02-2282-7974 Jeongdong Church Hangeul Class: 02-725-4201 Janghanpyeong School for Foreign Youth: 02-6408-9476 Mongolian School in Korea: 02-3437-7078 Korea in the World 141 . Extracurricular classes are provided for their children to learn the language and other subjects as well as to help them adapt themselves better to their school life. Their children will also differ from those born from two native Korean parents in terms of cultural identity. immigrants must no longer be considered outsiders.

" The agricultural nation was rapidly industrialized and economic growth was led Korean-made mobile phones 142 Passport to Korean Culture . A devastating civil war was waged between 1950 and 1953. Key industries and highways began to be built in the 1960s. Korea achieved one of the world's fastest economic growth rates. and the Republic of Korea (ROK) was established in 1948. Miracle on the Han River The Korean Peninsula was divided north and south in 1945.Korean Enterprises and Economy During the past half century. resulting in a dramatic success dubbed the "Miracle on the Han River. but the ROK managed to rise from the ashes and overcame severe economic hardship thanks to a vigorous government-led economic development program and to strenuous efforts by the Korean people. Many foreigners visit Korea to learn about it and to benchmark Koreans' economic success. and foreign capital was brought in. Korean enterprises are playing an ever-larger role in the global marketplace. and the future potential of the Korean economy remains the focus of world attention.

%) Commodity Export Increase Import Increase Semi-conductor factory and Robots at auto assembly line Korean Industries & Enterprises The world's knowledge-based society has influenced the Korean economy greatly. a favorable international political climate. This was made possible by state-of-art technology and world recognition of the high. Korea has some of the world's most advanced mobile phone technology with a 40% share of the world mobile phone market. and the development of highly competitive human resources. technical innovations. Other factors include low-cost labor. Korea is Korea in the World 143 . achieving a trade surplus. Realization of the "economic miracle” would not have been possible without the sacrifices and hard work of all Koreans.capacity semiconductors and personal computers that have become major export items. the emergence of new markets in the 1960s. changes in the aid policies. and Korea now boasts a world-renowned IT industry of its own.Part 3 Korea and Its People by exports. discovery of new resources. Import/Export Trends by Commodity. 2009 (Unit: US$ million.

which has been rewarded by strong employee loyalty. The notable development of Korea's IT industry has been driven by major R&D investment that allowed local companies to dominate the domestic market and compete successfully overseas. is the world's leadKorea’s shipbuilding industry ing maker of memory chips and second-largest maker of mobile phones.also a powerhouse in the production of memory chips. another Korean electronics giant. Hyundai produced Korea's first automobiles and has continued to lead the domestic auto industry while making steady inroads overseas. Hyundai Heavy Industries is the world's leading shipbuilder. a global symbol of Korean economic success. Hyundai is another major Korean conglomerate and. during the Japanese colonial period. In addition. PDP and LED TVs as well as superb mobile phones. 144 Passport to Korean Culture . Hyundai has also made headlines for its economic projects in North Korea. while Hyundai Engineering & Construction performs projects in Europe. LG. and grew steadily after the Korean War to be a major contributor to Korea's high economic growth. rivals Samsung with its state-of-the-art LCD. Samsung Electronics. Samsung was founded in 1938. one of Korea's largest companies. started during the Kim Dae-jung administration (1998-2002). Korea is also ranked fifth in the world for steel production and has the world's third-largest Internet-using population. like Samsung. Africa and Asia. The group is especially well known for its outstanding human resources management. the Americas.

A Glimpse of Korea .

South Gyeongsang Province Haein-sa. (the Buddhist canon). where the spirit tablets of past kings and queens are enshrined. Janggyeong-panjeon at Haein-sa Hapcheon. houses more than 80. 146 Passport to Korean Culture . with court music and dance.UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in Korea UNESCO designates important cultural and natural heritages around the world for protection and preservation. As of 2009. along with one Natural Heritage. Seoul Jongmyo is the Royal Ancestral Shrine. seven entries in UNESCO's Memory of the World program.000 woodblocks for printing the Tripitaka Koreana. Ancestral memorial rites are still held here in the traditional form. its original shape has been well preserved with its unique architectural style. Since the 16th century. and another three on the Intangible Heritage of Humanity list. one of the three leading temples in Korea. eight sites in Korea are on UNESCO Cultural Heritage list. Jongmyo Jongno-gu. Special buildings were constructed in the 15th century to preserve the blocks.

Gyeonggi Province Built in the late 18th century. Part 3 Korea and Its People Hwaseong.Seokgul-am & Bulguk-sa Gyeongju. this fortress was designed with knowledge of both Oriental and Western military theories. Bulguk-sa depicts Buddhist beliefs in a form of architectural beauty found nowhere else in Asia. A Glimpse of Korea 147 . The 6km walls have 4 gates and various buildings are inside. Suweon Suweon. religion and art. North Gyeongsang Province Seokgul-am (grotto) was built during Silla and is regognized for the exquisite blend of architecture.

earning the area the designation of Gyeongju Historic Heritage District. Gyeongju. Dolmen Remains Gochang. with a horizontal capstone supported by two 148 Passport to Korean Culture .Changdeok-gung Jongno-gu. The city has numerous buildings and works of art from Silla. Seoul The main royal palace of Joseon blends perfectly with its surroundings. North Gyeongsang Province Gyeongju was the capital of Silla for 1. Gyeongju Historic Heritage District. Hwasun. Ganghwa The dolmen is a megalithic tomb.000 years.

both of which are on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list. The area boasts numerous Buddhist relics and other well-preserved cultural assets. rituals and other ceremonies related to the kings and queens of Joseon.000 years ago and serve as important prehistoric relics. They are thought to have been erected 2.0003. Cheomseong-dae Foremost among the many treasures are Bulguk-sa (temple) and Seokgul-am (stone grotto). Gyeongju is divided into five districts according to the nature of relics and a total designated cultural assets number 52. Dolmen Remains UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Gyeongju Historic Heritage District Gyeongju was added to the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2000. In essence the city itself is virtually a cultural asset. The city was the capital of Silla for 992 years. Joseon Royal Tombs Seoul & vicinity Part 3 Korea and Its People The Joseon royal tombs are supported by well-preserved records showing funeral services.or more upright stones. from the Three Kingdoms period through the end of Unified Silla. A Glimpse of Korea 149 .

The temple entrance features two stone staircases built in the 8th century. so delicate and magnificent. Other historic Dabo-tap relics. by Kim Daeseong during the reign of King Hyegong. These staircases lead to a courtyard where a pair of stone pagodas." The people of Silla wanted to re-create a utopian world in the real world. "Bulguk" means the "Buddha Realm. Seokgatap and Dabo-tap. are sure to impress even the most critical eye. and was completed in 774. during the reign of King Gyeongdeok. The well trimmed stone supports and rounded handrails.Anap-ji Bulguk-sa & Seokgul-am Bulguk-sa is a Buddhist temple on the west slope of Toham-san in Gyeongju. Both are registered national treasures. Construction began in 751. stand. national treasures and cultural 150 Passport to Korean Culture . together with Seokgul-am.

boasts numerous relics and monuments important to the study of Korean architecture and the development of Buddhism in Korea. bringing warmth to the minds of viewers. tip Value of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Gyeongju Historic Heritage District The capital of the Silla Kingdom that dominated the Korean Peninsula over a thousand Korean National Commission for UNESCO: www.unesco. drawing millions of domestic and foreign visitors to Bulguk-sa each year.gyeongju. Toham. Bulguksa boasts a unique architectural beauty and distinct method of teaching Buddhism through temple architecture.cha. This statuary is famous and considered among the pinnacle of East Asian Buddhist art. noted especially for its comprehensive design. including its vicinity and the Namsan area.unesco. a technique found nowhere else in the world.or. combining architecture. The manmade stone grotto called Seokgul-am is on the side of Mt.bulguksa. including bodhisattvas.go. while 360 broad stone pieces exquisitely constitute the vault. along with a dozen magnificently and uniquely sculptured Buddhist statues.or.portal. The temple also serves as venue for the world to view and better understand Korea's Buddhist culture. The calm visage on the Sakyamuni statue in the main section seems to smile mysteriously within the muted grotto atmosphere. Gyeongju City Hall: Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea: www. The full-length statue of Sakyamuni is sculptured in a highly realistic way.Part 3 Korea and Its People assets abound. Related Websites: UNESCO: www. arhats and A Glimpse of Korea 151 . The front section at the entrance is connected to the main section. disciples. Seokgul-am and Bulguk-sa Seokgul-am is a masterpiece of art from Sukgul-am: Bulguk-sa Temple: www. Enshrined there is a statue of Sakyamuni surrounded by 38 (originally 40) other Buddhist images.sukgulam. hydraulics. Gyeongju. religion and art.go.

net . Hyojaro. Jongno-gu. Sports and Tourism 15. Seoul. please visit: www.Passport to 2009 Edition Copyright 2009 Korean Culture Published by Korean Culture and Information Service Ministry of Culture. Republic of Korea Tel : 82-2-398-1911~20 Fax : 82-2-398-1882 All rights reserved Korean Culture and Information Service Printed in Seoul ISBN 978-89-7375-153-2 03910 For further information about Korea.korea.

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