Things You Should Know About South Korea

Here’s some brief information that you should know about south Korea!

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 The South Korean flag: The black lines are called Trigrams and they represent harmony. The yin-yang in the center, symbolizes balance within the universe.

 South Korea’s population as of July 2009 was 48,508,972. Its capital, Seoul, is one of its largest cities with a population of over ten million.

 The official language of South Korea is Korean but English is taught widely in the country’s schools. In addition, Japanese is common in South Korea.

 The population of South Korea is composed of 99.9% Korean but 0.1% the population is Chinese.

The dominant religious groups in South Korea are Christian and Buddhist, however a large percent of South Koreans claim no religious preference.

 South Korea’s government is a republic with a single legislative body which is comprised of the National Assembly or Kukhoe. The executive branch is made up of chief of state who is the country’s president and a head of government who is the prime minister.

 Most of South Korea’s topography is mountainous with its highest point being Halla-san at 6,398 feet (1,950 m). Halla-san is an extinct volcano.

 Around two-thirds of the land in South Korea is forested. This includes the mainland and Continue reading

White Day: Payback time !

As the whole world know, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th every year. It’s the most romantic day on earth where couples would buy gifts to their better halves. In Korea however, only women  would buy chocolates and give them to their partner. S like that,
everyone will be happy 😉

It’s like a ‘payback’ time. On White Day, women expect to receive the chocolates in return of what they’ve given the men on Valentine’s Day. Sounds weird to you? But that’s how it works in Korea. If the guys receive chocolates on V day, they are expected to return the ‘favor’ on W day. Whatever it takes, they must.

Origin:

White Day was first celebrated in1978 in Japan.It was started by the National Confectionery Industry Association as an “answer day” to Valentine’s Day on the grounds that men should pay back the women who gave them chocolate and

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Do You need a reason to go to south korea ?… well there you go!

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South Korea is an amazing country and I’m sure no one can deny that. The reasons why you should pack your bags buy a ticket and fly to S.Korea are many, I’ll try to give you the main reasons … so here we go!

  1. First of all FOOD ! Many of you will say that Korean restaurants are every where no need to fly to south Korea just to eat their food. Sorry guys but eating Kimchi in your country may look as delicious as the one in S.Korea, but it’s not! Original spices, local vegetables, Korean chef, traditional Korean restaurants … Trust me all of these factors affect the food taste, you will never be able to find the same flavors and variety of Korean cuisine as in Korea itself.There are combinations of flavors , spices and recipes that you can not find anywhere else.
  2. PEOPLEI’m sure that you’ll be amazed by the kindness of the Korean people. They are friendly, very kind and willing to help you if they can ( There are some exceptions of course ).I watched their dramas for over 8 months and you can not believe how it has affected my behavior ( positively ) so imagine if you could meet Korean people in person and learn from them.
  3. The Korean sauna: When I first heard about it I thought it’ll be a small , maybe, individual room ( like Hamam or spa ) where you can relax for little time and that’s it, but actually it’s a whole different story than I expected ! In their sauna you find three rooms or you can call them halls: The traditional Korean kiln sauna, The steam rooms and dry saunas. they offer different services like body scrubs and traditional Korean massage… But the thing that caught my attention is : If you can not find where to sleep go to the sauna, you can find  people there sleeping, eating… all I can say is go and see it by yourself it will be an amazing experience !
  4. Shopping !! Let me say this : Seoul is a 24/7 city. You can go there and do your shopping at any time of the day or night. Plus you have a variety of malls, shops, articles that match everybody’s taste. Also the many shopping centers are built next to amusement parks, places of interest for tourists, so make sure when you finish shopping go there and have some fun ;).

© Copyright Sanaa Ouhessaine.

Korean new year


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Korean New Year, commonly known as Seol-nal, is the first day of the lunar calendar. It is the most important of the traditional Korean holidays. It consists of a period of celebrations, starting on New Year’s Day. Koreans also celebrate solar New Year’s Day on January 1 each year, following the Gregorian Calendar. On the day of Seollal, everyone gets up early, puts on their best clothes, children wish their elders  (grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents) a happy new year by performing one deep traditional bow and the words saehae bok mani badeuseyo  which translates to Receive many New Year blessings, or more loosely, “Have a blessed New Year.” Parents typically reward this gesture by giving their children new year’s money, or “pocket money,” (usually in the form of crisp paper money) in luck bags made with beautiful silk design and offering words of wisdom, deokdam. Historically, parents gave out rice cakes (ddeok) and fruit to their children instead. Before and during the bowing ceremony, children wear hanboks as a respectful way to appreciate ancestors and elders. This activity is called Sebae.

Many traditional games are associated with the Korean New Year. The traditional family board game yunnori  is still a popular game nowadays. Yut Nori (Yunnori) is a traditional board game played in Korea, especially during Korean New Year. It is played using different types of specially designed sticks. Traditionally men and boys would fly rectangle kites called yeonnalligi, and play jegi chagi, a game in which a light object is wrapped in paper or cloth, and then kicked in a footbag like manner. Korean women and girls would have traditionally played neolttwigi, a game of jumping on a seesaw , and gongginolie, game played with five little gonggi (originally a little stone, but today many buy manufactured gongi in shops) while children spin paengi .