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Korea’s 400-year-old Andong Hahoe village

The Andong Hahoe (pronounced ha-hwe) village is known for its traditional mask dance, which you can read about here.

But it’s also a really special part of Korea where the traditional homes have been preserved for up to 400 years. That makes it the perfect setting for historical dramas like Arang and the Magistrate (starring Lee Joon-ki and Shin Min-ah).

Traditional Korean houses at Andong Hahoe village


Monoculture?

This post started life months ago as the third in a series about clashing cultural norms. After more time in Korea and (hopefully) more understanding on my part, it turned into something a bit different…you can read where it all started here.

Here are some criticisms of the UK according to other Europeans:

1. Opaque communications: Our morbid fear of conflict makes our language indirect and gives us a reputation, amongst our continental counterparts, for being dishonest and sneaky. The rest of the English-speaking world, too, complains of the bafflingly high incidence of coded language in British English. For those new to this phenomenon, this handy chart should help:

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Now and Then: Beopjusa Temple

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Beopjusa Temple in the early 20th century.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Beopjusa Temple was first established in 553 A.D. by the monk Uisin. The name of the temple means “The Place Where the Dharma Resides Temple,” in English. The reason that the temple was named Beopjusa Temple is that Uisin brought back a number of Indian sutras from his travels that he wanted to house at the temple.


Colouring in the Favelas of Busan

The past six decades have absolutely transmogrified South Korea from poorest nation on Earth to one of great opulence and wealth. Busan has benefited mightily from the country’s change in fortunes, but like cities the world over, booming Busan has its fair share of poor neighbourhoods. Pushed out to the margins of the city, these hidden districts face a similar situation to the famous favelas(shantytowns) of Brazil. With rising costs of city living, it seems that Busan’s incoming tourist and business dollars are forever out of reach for these communities. But a few of these rustic areas are using colourful street art in hopes of attracting visitors.


My Top 5 List for 2104: 5 Biggest Foreign Policy Events in Korea

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This is a follow-up to my previous post – a top 5 list of events for US power in Asia in 2014.


Hoods: Busan’s Ugliest Neighbourhood

Korea’s cities can be obnoxiously monotonous at times. And thanks to the country’s fixation with capitalism, everywhere on the southern half of the peninsular looks pretty much the same.

Hoods intends to show that Korea’s real urban beauty is hidden where the veneer of modernity is at its thinnest.

This is Seomyeon…

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How I celebrate old and new in Busan

Hello peeps!! Happy new year!!

Glad to be back to write this blog after so much hectic during the end of the year before.
Well to cut it short I am writing about my experience about my new year celebration-the one that I celebrate the way Korean celebrate it- well here is the story.

December 31st
I went to Nampo-dong area around 11pm to see the fireworks and the charity bell ringing in the Mt.Yongdu park, the area was awfully crowded to the point that you have to queue for around almost half an hour to get to the park. And it was freaking cold but the line was that long. I got up and heard the 33 times charity bell ringing which supposed to mean as the bell of peace.
Then we went until we saw bunch of flying paper and lantern and when we almost went down the fireworks were there!! it was beautiful and worth to watch.

Now and Then: The City of Gyeongju

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Anapji, in Gyeongju, during the 1950s.

Hello Again Everyone!!


The only thing to fear is change itself…. Wait…

It was only temporary…but…last week, in the immortal words of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, my new Korean life got totally flip-turned-upside-down. Now-I’d-like-to-take-a-minute, just-sit-right-there-and-I’ll-tell-you-how-I….how my…forget it. How things changed.

Long story short, part of my Winter Camp involved me teaching at an elementary school reading camp for a few days before going back to teach at my regular middle/high school. Sidenote for those not in-the-know: a winter camp is a  two-three week period between regular semesters where kids come to school anyway to study more. The camps vary in theme and content, sometimes being determined by the school and other times by the Native English teachers. Generally speaking they’re supposed to be lighter and more “fun,” but in the end the kids are still there to study and learn English.



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