Language and Culture

  • "Kwon Mi-hee is South Korea's traditional K-pop crossover singer. She combined 'gugak,' traditional Korean music from prehistoric times, with K-pop to introduce the unfamiliar genre all across the world. Let's go meet Kwon and learn how to sing from her!"
  • "There is perhaps no sound quite so unmistakable -- or subtle -- as that of an ink-covered calligraphy brush pressing against a sheet of traditional Korean Hanji mulberry paper. Even in today’s ever-noisy, ever-bustling Korea, the sound is a familiar voice of calm, and one that instantly connects the modern world to the ancient past." Read more from
  • 'There were times when social class distinction was very clear. Even music differed for people in different social classes. The music played for the royals and nobility was called “jeongga(정가),” meaning the right music, while the music enjoyed by ordinary folks was lumped together as simply “folk music.” Even songs were divided into two categories – “norae(노래)” for the ruling class, which was usually poems set to melodies..
  • "Built centuries ago during the Chosun dynasty, these single-storey houses made of wood and stone, are making a much anticpated comeback. Our Kim Jung-soo went out to check out this a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Korea's traditional houses, or hanok, have long been known for their grace and natural beauty, but modern-day Koreans often see them more as tourist attractions than as places to live."
  • "Celebrating the first birthday of a child is a joyous occasion in any culture. In Korean culture there are ceremonies that will tell the future and more! When it came time for us to celebrate we had to decide which parts of each of our cultures, American and Korean, we wanted to bring together for the big day."
  • "With so many celebrities tying the knot these days, you might be wondering what wedding customs are like in Korea. We’ve noticed some questions in the comments section – for sure, Korean weddings can be confusing for those not in the know. Let’s take this time to talk about how they’re typically done!"
  • “Traditionally, on the day of Jeongwol Daeboreum, or the first full moon of the year, which falls on Feb. 8 this year, organizations like national museums, traditional institutions or city governments set up a large daljip, or 'moon house,' at certain locations and set it on fire to ward off any bad luck that may come in the new year. However, as the country is working to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, organizers tha..
  • "Seollal is a cultural holiday rooted in traditional Chinese Confucianism, which is celebrated on the first day of the Korean lunar calendar. It usually lasts three days, including the day before and the day after the set date." Read more from 10 Magazine.
  • "In South Korea, it isn’t easy being a Bing, says Who. In a country where more than half the people are either a Kim, Lee, Park or Choi and where two-thirds of the population share just 10 surnames, having a rare- name such as Bing or Who can be inconvenient at the least and a downright hassle when no one believes that is your real name. Having an unusual name in South Korea can mean a lifetime of misunderstanding."
  • "The headline statistics are, admittedly,  impressive. According to South Korea’s Catholic Pastoral Institute, Church membership in the country rose by 48.6 per cent between 1999 and 2018; Suwon diocese reports a phenomenal hike of 89.1 per cent. Altogether 5,866,510 South Koreans identify as Catholics – that’s 11.1 per cent of the population – and all during a period when Protestant expansion has become sluggish."
  • "Hello everyone! Welcome to my channel!  I will be uploading videos of me playing various genres of music with ‘haegeum’. Haegeum is Korean traditional musical instrument. Video will be uploaded twice a week."
  • “Baebaengi-gut is a song that was sang most often in the Hwanghae and Pyeongan regions in what is now North Korea. It is also called 'seodo pansori,' which means the pansori of the western region, since a lone singer tells a long story in the pansori format. The story of Baebaengi is an amusing one that involves unrequited love and the calling of a dead spirit and even possession.”
  • "I met a surprising number of interesting people on my 2010 visit to North Korea, the most memorable of whom was probably South Korean pastor Han Sang-ryeol. Han, a Presbyterian pastor and reunification activist who had been staying at the Yanggakdo Hotel, the same as my group. One of my friends noticed an elderly Asian man dressed in simple clothes, and suspected it was Han, who had snuck into the North on June 12 that year."
  • "How similar are Korean and Japanese? In today’s episode, we’re comparing some of the similarities between two popular East Asian languages, Japanese and Korean, with Sato, a Japanese speaker, and Seoyeon, a Korean speaker challenging each other with a list of words and sentences. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, please reach us on Instagram."
  • "The similarities found between Korean and Tamil is a subject that many people are unaware of. In fact, a proposed language family called Dravido-Koreanic, or Dravido-Koreo-Japonic, links the living or proto-Dravidian languages to Korean and in some cases to Japanese. In this video, Ellen (Korean speaker) and Visha (Tamil speaker) demonstrate some of the commonalities between the two languages with a list of words and sentences."
  • "To those who’ve passed through Seoul, you might be thinking: piss off a Korean? That’s easy… I saw them fighting on the streets. [But] to truly make a Korean reach deep inside himself, ignore societal rules, and want to pummel you takes some knowledge of Korean culture and history."
  • "Retaining the inner peace within, no matter what happens in the outer world- is what Buddhism has always taught us. The situation is always in our control if we choose peace over pain and that is the first step to understanding self, and others. Delving deep into the Buddhist culture, one will understand that how the age-old tradition and practices are beneficial for mind, body, and soul. Such is this 1,700-year-old Korean practice of Sag..
  • "Though gugak, traditional Korean music, is often considered an unchanging art form from the past, various gugak acts and institutions are working on revitalizing the genre to make it more relatable to today’s audiences. Strong prejudices against gugak exist -- namely, that it is boring and difficult to listen to. Despite those negative preconceptions, more gugak musicians are taking up the challenge of introducing gugak in an audience-f..
  • "South Korea’s traditional dances, along with its chronicled history, have developed over a long period -- including the Joseon era -- and are highly visible today. To be specific, they began with shamanistic rituals around 5,000 years ago and have been a big part of the nation’s culture ever since. Likewise, age-old traditional dance has endured several wars and invasions from occupying powers that threatened to wipe it out from the c..
  • "Before K-pop or K-beauty, there was Korean literature. Before the vivid, strange writing in translation of contemporary South Korean writers (including Han Kang, Hwang Jungeun, and Bae Suah) and writers of the Korean-American diaspora (such as Min Jin Lee, Patty Park, and Alexander Chee), there was literature being produced in the the city of Keijō—or Gyeongseong—where Seoul now stands. The following modernist, urban writers created ..

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