community

Our Commune: Putting the Community Back in Gyeongnidan

The neighborhood of Gyeongnidan, which is nestled not far from the bustling main strip of Itaewon, was once a peaceful residential neighborhood inhabited mostly by international expats and elderly Koreans. Over the past few years, however, it has been popularized by food bloggers and television programs, transforming into an overcrowded commercialized district of lifeless cafes and restaurants established with priorities placed on the wallets of their proprietors rather than serving a community.

 
While the gentrification of Gyeongnidan does have its upsides, any traces of the neighborhood it once was have seemingly all but vanished. Long term residents of the area are disheartened by this, longing for a relaxing space they can come together, without having to wait in preposterously long lines. While such a place might only seem like the stuff of dreams these days, the newly opened Our Commune, located on the main road just next to the GS25 (previously 7-11), is the answer to residents’ hopes.


Friends Like These

Friends Like These

I love the part that friendship and camaraderie plays in Korean society, even well into old-age. This particular band of merry men were sat enjoying the crisp fall weather in Gwangju's Pureungil Park. 

Life from Above

Life from Above

Life from above, as captured in Daegu's sprawling Seomun Market complex. You can read the accompanying story here . 

A space for all

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Hello,

I never really was into my Korean background at all.  I would’ve thought I’d make a website dedicated to kyopos but here we are.

During high school I wanted to have blue eyes, blond hair, and hated that I wasn’t born this way.  Throughout my life, I’ve been called Chinese, Japanese, or the typical ‘Asian’.  I hated being called asian, it almost sounded degrading; people would assume I played the piano well.  I played piano well because I practiced, but was quickly assured that it was because I was ‘asian’. Right.


Queer Groups at Korean Universities

I was planning on writing a post about queer groups at Korean Universities (my boyfriend is a member of QIS at Seoul National giving me the idea) but apparently it has already been done! Good job Queer Koreans Alliance!

Yangyang Traditional Market

Across Korea traditional markets are still a common feature. Taking place every five days in towns and even cities, the markets give a brief insight into an older part of Korea. For the most part these markets are straightforward occasions and possibly a bit like you could imagine in the so-called olden days, drawing in all the local populace for not only business but also social reasons.

Throughout you can see people meeting and doing business, while at the same time there is a good quantity of back slapping and hearty laughing by the stalls. There are rows and rows of people, mostly old women it has to be said, selling what is clearly the excess from their small gardens, and for them it seems to be as much a chance to get out and meet people, with the added benefit of actually making some money.


Supermarkets -v- the People?

 

It has been bothering me since about the time it has been instigated. It’s a simple thing that shouldn’t really get me agitated as it has very little effect on me, and in many respects it is a good principal to take. It’s just that I think it’s the wrong step and I don’t think it really solves any problems, only encourages more populist resolutions to complicated social and economic problems.

What am talking about? Sunday closing for the so-called discount stores in Korea.

Now lets establish some terminology first.

“Discount stores” are what major supermarket chains are called in Korea. These include E-Mart (part of Shinsaegae international), Homeplus (owned by Tesco, the second largest supermarket company in the world), and Lotte Mart, which are the biggest ones.


September 21st ‘Chuseok’ Meeting Registration Open!!

Wouldn’t you know it, our regular Makgeolli Mamas & Papas meeting falls right smack in the middle of the Chuseok holiday!  As Chuseok is a traditional eating and drinking holiday, we thought we should find somewhere with a traditional style to celebrate ourselves.  Of course we were inevitably steered towards the Insadong area, and we stumbled on a traditional alcohol house that has a seriously extensive makgeolli selection!


Community Korea – Makgeolli Party

 


A Day of Professional Development: KOTESOL International Conference 2012


On October 20th and 21st Sookmyung Women's University held the 20th KOTESOL International Conference. During this time teacher's and ESOL enthusiasts gathered to see presentations ranging from topics such as mobile language learning to gaining more participation from students. Yet most importantly it felt like a time to celebrate the profession of teaching English as a second or foreign language.

I for one enjoyed the presentations I attended and especially found the conference well organized and entertaining.

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