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SIWA’s Art and Exhibitions chair, Mihe Shin

An interview with SIWA’s Art and Exhibitions chair, Mihe Shin
By Megan Fox
Mihe Shin is a fine arts photographer who was born and raised in Seoul.  Currently she holds the title of Arts and Exhibitions chair for SIWA.  I joined Mihe at her stunning studio located in Seoul’s designated art district Buamdong to learn mor

Korea in Chiang Mai

 

You spend enough time in Asia as an Irishman and you give up expecting to find Irish stuff. You know you’ll stumble across something here or there, but at the best of times all you can find is a can of Guinness and a Westlife song. Chiang Mai, despite its large expat population and even larger tourist numbers was no better than Korea, or anywhere else I’ve been. I had hoped for half a day or so, but any hopes I had were soon dashed by the obvious.


Why does it Happen? Some Korean Cultural Conclusions

It has come to my attention that foreigners in Korea (including me) often use cultural explanations for much of the behaviour that can be seen by Korean people and also sometimes draw conclusions from it.  Why is that?

There will be a significant number of people who will chalk it down to prejudice or a lack of understanding, and to be fair in some people, and with some issues, this may very well be the case.  However, the story is not a simple as that.  In my opinion, there are obvious traits about Korean culture that stand-out and that guide us to cultural conclusions, and these are very often the right ones.  Let's go through a few and I will highlight the simplified cultural explanation (SCE) and see if there is any truth to it:


Plastic Surgery


Bitter, Sweet, Seoul

Bitter, Sweet, Seoul

 
This week [Monday, February 11, 2014] was the premier of Bitter, Sweet, Seoul.

On Tolerance

CAM00258

It was one of the most physically taxing things I’ve done in a while – a mountain hike up one of Daegu’s beautiful peaks, Mt. Apsan. It was also something that I only could have done with the help, encouragement and understanding of my fellow hikers, most of whom barely knew any English.


Hiking in Hanboks to Samseonggung Shrine 삼성궁

Roadtrippin!

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We took advantage of the beautiful weather one Saturday to head down to Jeolla-do, the south-west area of Korea. The fog seeped back into the mountains, the air smelled like dirt and trees, we moved through highways and roads that would leave us southbound. We were pleasantly surprised to find a persimmon farm.


Hwaseong Again

A Little Korean Govt Arm-Twisting of my Blog, Re:‘Sea of Japan/East Sea’ Spat

sea of japan

 

Did anyone else get this email below? Who wouldn’t be persuaded by some PR firm hack with no idea about East Asia giving suggestions she doesn’t understand by robo-email? Yuck. Maybe I’m reading it the wrong way – maybe getting yelled at by the Korean government about nomenclature means someone actually reads my blog. Hah!

 

“Dear Robert,


PNU Club Tour

Damn… It’s been a long time – apologies and all the usual garbage excuses about being busy. Let’s get into it.


Is it December Already?

So now that Halloween is over we can all start getting our Christmas decorations down and checking the fairy lights are all working. While we’re at it, order a turkey, and for christ’s sake start knitting that jumper, there’s a 12 Pubs of Christmas on somewhere… Is it a bit early to be joking about […]

My Website is blocked in China – Hah! I’m flattered

greatfirewallofchina

I was just in China for a work thing, when I checked the Duck of Minerva (the IR blog where I also write) for something. Turns out the Duck is screened out by the Great Firewall. Even if you go to Google Search Hong Kong, it’s still blocked.


Say What?! Episode 8: Koreans Don’t Apologize?

This week’s episode of Say What?! Wednesday is related to the last episode about personal space. Last week we talked about personal bubbles, but what happens when that personal bubble is violated? In America, it feels like if people come within two arms length of you they apologize for possibly being in your way. That’s one thing I noticed when I visited America last time, and I was always looking around for someone else they could be apologizing to because it seemed overboard to be apologizing to me!

We’ve been living in Korea for over 3 years, and this is just one of the examples of how much Korea has changed us! Apologies are not given out often or casually here, especially when it comes to violating your personal bubble. Koreans’ personal bubbles are much smaller, simply because of the size of Korea and its population density.


The Daejeon International Wine and Food Festival

My friend Eric and I headed to Daejeon for the International Wine and Food Festival after waking up at the crack of dawn to grab a train at 7. I wasn’t exactly sure what it entailed, but wine-tasting and international … Continue reading

Re-visited Gyeongbokgung Palace in Pictures


I've visited the Gyeongbokgung Palace 3 times and this has been the only time I had the oportunity to take my time to explore it, I've posted about this before here and here, so this will only be a re-visit in Pictures!

Ulsan World Music Fest

Now I know this isn’t technically a Busan event… but it’s close enough and the amount of overseas talent onstage is alarming. There will be folk music from all corners of the world, reggae, disco, hip-hop, jazz. Sometimes, the absence of outside culture here gets to me and I yearn for something different to stretch my brain around. This festival seems designed to do just that.


Get Ready, Get Set…Chuseok

by Ben Haynes

What a wonderful time of year we’ve happened upon! The harvest season, celebrated in as many ways as there are people and religions on this blessed planet. Yes, it’s all about getting together and enjoying the company of family and and gorging on the fruits of a well worked field or cubicle. Maybe packing on a few kilos for the winter months for good measure.

To observe this time of bounty, Americans roast up the largest, antibiotic-filled, corn fed turkey we can find at the grocery and then stuff it with some….. stuffing.

Apples for Chuseok

Apples for Chuseok


This Weekend, PNU Rocks

Zero Festival gets down this weekend in PNU with all types of sonic goodness.


Korean and Guest English Teachers Working Together Webcast


ELT Live:  Korean and Guest English Teachers Working Together
September 5, 2013


 Participants
Xena Dayoung Kim's profile photo
Mar Hee Jeon's profile photo
Evan Rachel's profile photo
Samantha Xol's profile photo
Jeff Lebow's profile photo
DayoungMarHeeMinjeeMinjiRachelSamanthaJeff



Download Audio
 
 
Korean Public School teachers and  Guest English Teachers discuss cultural issues, teaching tips, and basic survival skills for surviving and thriving in school. 
 


2013 Buddha’s Birthday~ Parade, Festival, & River lantern show

This year I went out to enjoy the festivities at the Yeon Deung Hwae Lotus Lantern Festival as usual for Buddha’s Birthday in Korea!  This holiday and festival is one of the cutest and most cultural events they seem to throw, so if you are visiting Korea in the Spring or new to Korea you should check it out!


2013 Busan Sunset Live Preview (Part 3)

<<>> A few days ago, the timetable was released to us common folk. It seems that they tried to intersperse the rock acts in amongst the non-rock acts instead of clumping them all together. So… no matter what time you go, there’ll be a smorgasbord of musics to sample and taste. […]

A Guide to Understanding Korean (School) Culture for Guest English Teachers

Editor’s Note from Jeff: This was written by a Korean elementary school teacher as an assignment for my Cross-Cultural Communication course. The task was to “prepare a guide for improving cross-cultural communication and interactions in your workplace”.  Since many Guest English Teachers will be starting school this week, I thought it was the right time to publish this. Hopefully, it will encourage a useful discussion about how Korean Teachers and Guest English Teachers can work together to create a positive learning/working environment.   Thanks very much to Jessi for agreeing to post this here.



2013 Busan Sunset Live Preview (Part 2)


The Koreans of Europe

No two cultures are the same but every one is similar, right? You could certainly say that about much of Europe, where thousands of years of breeding, trading, warring, traveling, and sharing across ever-shifting borders has caused a mixology of international characteristics of which one can be difficult to discern from the other.

In Asia, it is a little more difficult to separate the differences because the continent has suffered less fluctuation of its borders, and in terms of today’s map, colonialism for the most part decided on today’s borders. But still you can throw in the changes, regardless of actual influence, of international trade, development, colonialism, the sharing of ideas, television, and migration, and the wind at the weekend if you wish, and you will soon realise the stark similarities between peoples and cultures there.


The 6th annual Salsa Festival in Busan


Mission Statement

Music. It’s been part of me for every step I’ve taken in this life. I’ve studied, taught, performed, promoted and produced. Since moving to Korea 4 years ago, music has taken control. This has opened the door to a vibrant music scene that perhaps many people don’t realize is happening right under their noses. Even when Korean promotors and bands actively pursue foreigners for attendance at their shows, all the necessary info is rarely translated or distributed properly. There are amazing artists that are doing their thing in dingy basement clubs and most expats never know.

I’m no insider. But I do find myself regularly trying to get my friends to see bands that I find incredibly interesting. Hopefully, if you’re reading this blog, you’ll learn about a new venue or festival or band that will change the way you think about arts in Busan.


From Korea With Love – Podcast Episode 1


My EPIK Medical Check-Up

Makin’ PatBingsu at Stumpy Ruffers


Daegu Theatre Troupe & The YMCA Youth Project!

 


Gwangju Day 2 – 5.18 Memorial Park & Downtown

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