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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Buses in Seoul


There are some type of bus in Seoul. If you want to get around Seoul or want go to other suburban area or maybe you want to explore some of metropolitan satelite cities near Seoul area, you may know this info. Seoul bus can be devided with different kinds of colors, they are :

Green Bus operates in downtown of Seoul. You can find this kind of bus and it connects you to residential areas, subway lines and bus terminals. The green color stands for the mountains surrounding the city.


                         

Blue Bus will connect from downtown of Seoul to suburban area. The blue color represents Seoul’s skyline and Hangang (River) to symbolize security and freedom.


                         

Red Bus or can be said as an express bus, is a convenient bus which connects people who live in neighboring cities. This bus serves routes between major areas (downtown, Gangnam, Yeongdeungpo, etc) and metropolitan satellite cities (Ilsan, Bundang, Uijeongbu, etc). The color red exudes energy of speed.

                       

Yellow Bus operates in downtown of Seoul and will connect you to tourist spots, shopping and business area. Yellow simbolize for dynamic and friendly image.

                       

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Gift Wrapping with Bojagi !

Image by Youngmin Lee
Bojagi Artist
www.youngminlee.com

What did Korean moms usually do in their spare time ? in the past times, Korean moms like to make a bojagi. Bojagi is one of Korean traditional craft, made from pieces of unused fabrics usually in small cutting pieces and sewing them one by one into one layered useful things. This activities still continue until now and many people are interesting to learn how to make a bojagi. I can say Bojagi is one of Korean beauty made from mommy’s love.
Bojagi usually used as a daily household equipment or as a gift wrapping. Bojagi also can be used for a gift wrapping from a groom to the bride on the wedding day with special accessories or as a gift wrapping for friends, relatives or inlaws.
                                         
Eastern Asia including Japan, Korea and other countries usually use this kind of gift wrapping method. Using fabric as a wrapping is ecologically friendly and can be used frequently.
If you come to Korea and getting around at the tourist spots, there are some galleries in Insadong which provide the workshop of Bojagi or Bojagi gift wrapping workshop.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The oldest stone bridge in Seoul, the Geumcheongyo bridge

                             
                                        The oldest stone bridge in Seoul, the Geumcheongyo bridge

Geumcheongyo (Bridge) located in Changdeokgung Palace was built over the stream that sprang from the north and encircled "Oedang" which means the outer buildings of the palace. The bridge, 12.9m/42.3 ft long and 12.5m/41 ft wide, was constructed in 1411. The banks of the stream are made up of long rectangular stones.

                                         

Geumcheongyo is one of the oldest stone bridge to remain in Seoul today. The structure of bridges is as follows: two arches, and a mythical carved animal called "Haetae" to the south and a turtle statue called "Hyeonmu" to the north, in the middle of the arches.

"Haetae"

                             

Behind these statues, a monster, which is said to ward off evil spirits, is carved on the lateral side of the base where the two arches meet. On the both sides of the bridge have balustrades. The balustrades are composed of stone pillars with animal-shaped figures on the top, balusters, and flat stones with wind holes.

Especially the lotus petal design on the balusterades, the statues in the shape of animal heads at the foot of each baluster, and a mighty mythical animal statue, called "Haetae", on top of the last baluster is very charming. This bridge is arched with the rise in the middle.
                       

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Hongdae Free Market

                                                            Hongdae Free Market !

                           

The market was established in 2002 as a cultural event during the Korea-Japan World Cup and has been held continuously thereafter.One of Seoul’s popular area for the young, hip,artistic and cultural hubs, Hongdae (Hongik University) offers more than a vibrant nightlife, nice restaurants and cozy coffee shops. Every Saturday, Hongdae’s ‘Playground’ (the recreation ground in front of the main entrance to Hongik University) becomes a marketplace where young artists display their creative artwork and a performance venue for Korean indie bands.

                             

Looking for a unique souvenir or gift, the 'Hongdae Free Market' is definitely one of the best places to visit. Items displayed at the free market are all handmade original creations. Thus, most of them are very unique items that are not readily available in other places. Some of the creations on display at the market include hand-painted shoes, bags, hats and t-shirts; silver jewelry and ceramic accessories, postcards and many more.

                               
                               

To presenting handmade creations, the free market also offers creative workshops and free live performances on different corners of the recreation ground. The creative workshops allow visitors to learn arts and crafts, including drawing and sewing among others; while the open stage program, called ‘Afternoon  Stage’, includes dance shows, live gigs and performance art.

If you are interested in participating: take a look around the market first to grasp a feel of what the atmosphere is like, judge whether your work is appropriate or not, and then contact the organizers for registration. Registration is for the participant and the products to be sold, so you must have a portfolio or samples to present. The organizers hold the right to deny registrations if they decide the products are unfit for the event.

For more info visit 
http://www.freemarket.or.kr

Friday, 7 March 2014

What to gift on Korean Cultural Ceremony's

What to gift on Korean Cultural Ceremony's

Buying gifts in any part of the world is always hard. Luckily, you don’t have to think too much when you’re in Korea. Korean culture will tell you what presents to buy for Korean weddings, house warmings, birthdays, and traditional Korean holidays. These traditional Korean gifts will impress your friends and family, and also make them happy.

**Gifts for Korean Weddings**
Just like most countries in Asia, when you go to a wedding in Korea, cash is the expected gift.Traditionally, gifts for Korean weddings are not of even numbers. Cash gifts for Korean newly weds typically come in odd numbers (30,000, 50,000, 70,000 won) as odd numbers represent good luck. The whole odd/even thing don’t matter so much once you reach a nice round number of 100,000 won!

축의금 (Chukuigeum) – Congratulatory money 




**Korean House Warming Gifts** 
Housewarmings in Korea, called jibdeuli (집들이), are nice fun little gatherings with friends, family, food and of course gifts. The traditional gifts to bring to housewarmings in Korea are rolls of toilet paper and laundry detergent. Back in the day when Korea was pretty dang poor, toilet paper and detergent were pricy items that not every household could afford. In addition to that, the bubbles produced by the detergent and the length of the sheets of toilet paper represented prosperity. This is a bit old school though. Some chic and trendy Korean peeps might like a bottle of wine instead.





**First Birthday Party Gifts** 
Baby’s first birthday party, called doljanchi.Although these days, parents are totally cool if you bring clothes or toys for their kid, the traditional gift for a baby’s first birthday party in Korea are tiny cute baby gold rings for cute little baby fingers. If you’re fashion savvy, gold anything would be extremely appreciated.if you can’t afford the bling, just go with cash.
(금반지 Gold Ring)

**Seollal and Chuseok Gifts **
Seollal (설날) is the lunar new year.
On Seollal lots of people drink alcohol to bring in the good luck (called 음복술/eumboksul). Although it’s not necessarily a traditional gift, your Korean hosts would appreciate some traditional Korean alcohols.


Chuseok (추석) is the celebration of the harvest. So the old school Korean gift to give is good food! Fruit is a common gift, but we aiin’t talking no 1,000 won apples off a back of a truck here. Get the big box of Korean pears or the mega apples. If you want to get them beef, Korean hanu (한우) beef is a common gift.


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Gyeongchip : Day of Awakening from Hibernation


[경칩 /Gyeongchip : Day of Awakening from Hibernation]
Today, March 6th is Gyeongchip, the day that Koreans believe frogs awaken from their winter sleep. Also, known as “Day of Awakening from Hibernation” and is the 3rd out of the 24 solar terms in the Jeolgi Calendar. Gyeongchip is on the 74th day after the winter solstice, when the sun is at the ecliptic longitude of 345 degrees and indicates the start of spring.



The two characters “gyeong” and “chip” mean “surprise” and “hiding,” referring to the term of the time of year when the frogs, snakes, and insects begin singing, chirping, and peeping again. The “hiding” refers to the fact that the insects hide in the ground throughout the winter, and the “surprise” comes from the traditional idea that the first thunder of the year peals on this day and the insects come out from the ground in surprise at the noise.

A custom associated with Gyeongchip was hunting for frog or salamander eggs in rice paddy fields, ponds, and ditches. There was a belief that consuming those eggs would keep one healthy throughout the year. Gyeongchip was also considered a day on which all work associated with dirt could be done successfully so people repaired walls in their mud-plastered houses or built mud fences, even if there was no real need to do so, as this repair work was believed to eliminate bedbugs from the house. 

On Gyeongchip Koreans also tried to predict the success of farming in the year ahead by looking at how well barley had germinated by this day.Another related custom was drinking sap from the trunks of maple trees as this was believed to have healing benefits for gastric disorders and intestinal diseases. The maple sap had to be collected on a clear day because, according to a popular belief, cloudy or windy weather would spoil the positive energy of this day. Past Gyeongchip, the amount of sap available in a maple tree dwindles sharply and the sap was thought to lose its healing quality. Therefore it was critical to collect the sap on the day of Gyeongchip.


Monday, 3 March 2014

Korean Traditional Table Settings

                                         Korean Traditional Table Settings


The most basic table setting of a traditional Korean Food table is called space development table. This setting is where all the food is placed on top of the table all at once. According to the staple food, a table can be divided into many different groups. bansang, is a table consisting mainly of rice and side dishes, juksang, is a table composed of soups, myunsang, is a table with noodles, jooansang, is a table designed especially to drink alcohol with appetizer, dagwasang, which is a table for deserts, and gyojasang, which is a very large table for dining.

1-Bansang Table Setting
Bansang is the most basic table setting of Korean Food. It is mainly composed of rice and the side dishes are placed according to the recipes, ingredients, color, temperature, and other factors. There are also different types of bansang, according to how many plates, or ‘cheop’ in korean, are placed on the table. There can be a 3 cheop-bansang, 5 cheop-bansang, 7 cheop-bansang, 9 cheop-bansang, and 12 cheop-bansang.

                         



2-Juksang Table Setting
Juksang is when the staple food is soups. This table setting should consist of side dishes which are not spicy or salty. Nabak kimchi (radish water kimchi), small slices of dried pollack, and Jeotguk jjigae (salted-fish soup) would be good side dishes to place on a juksang.



                             

3-Myungsang Table Setting
Noodles, tteokguk, mandu are the staple foods for this table setting. It is used when eating simple lunch or dinner.
   
                               


4-Jooansang Table Setting
This table setting is placed to serve alcohol. Yuk po, Uh po, and other dry snacks, such as: jeon, pyeonyuk, jjim, jeongol, saengchae, kimchi, fruits, tteok, and Korean biscuits.

5-Dagwasang Table Setting

       
This table setting is used when drinking tea or other beverages. Side dishes such as : yumil, yugwa, dasik (a patterned candy made of sesame, chestnut, greenpea flour, and honey), suksilgwa (stewed fruits), and fruits.

6-Gyojsang Table Setting
This table setting is done during traditional holidays, when there are a lot of people that have to eat.