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Ggotbi – Rain of Flowers: 꽃비

The Rain of Flowers, or “Ggotbi – 꽃비” at Magoksa Temple in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do.


Whenever you enter a Korean Buddhist temple shrine hall, one of the very first things you’ll notice are the floral paintings adorning the ceiling of the structure. These floral patterns are known as “Ggotbi – 꽃비” in Korean, or “Rain of Flowers” in English. You might also see paper lanterns designed as pink or purple lotus flowers suspended from the ceiling, as well. So why exactly are these flowers painted or hanging from the ceiling? And what do they symbolize?

History of Flower Ceilings

The Introduction of the Lotus Sutra describes the sermon given by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) on Vulture Peak. As Seokgamoni-bul completed his sermon entitled “Immeasurable Meanings,” he “sat down cross-legged, undisturbed in body and mind among the great assembly and entered the samadhi [meditative consciousness] called the ‘abode of immeasurable meanings.'” It was while he did this that “…great manjusaka flowers [celestial flowers] fell like rain from the sky, scattering over the Buddha and all of his attendants.”

The Rain of Flowers from inside the Daeung-jeon Hall at Pyochungsa Temple in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do.
The “Ggotbi – 꽃비” from Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

There is another reference in the Lotus Sutra found in chapter seven entitled “The Parable of the Phantom City,” where thirty-three devas built a lion seat under a bodhi tree for the Buddha. “As soon as the Buddha sat on this seat, all the Brahmas rained down various heavenly flowers for a hundred yojanas [ancient Indian measurement] around; periodically a fragrant breeze would blow away the withered flowers and they would rain down fresh ones.” The devas created this lion seat so that the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul, could sit on it and gain supreme and universal enlightenment. And after gaining enlightenment, to the time of his earthly death, flowers would rain down from heaven periodically on the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul.


With these textual references in mind, a Korean Buddhist temple shrine hall’s ceiling is symbolically referring to the Lotus Sutra. The Korean temple shrine hall is meant to symbolize the site of the Vulture Peak Assembly, where the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul, taught his community his teachings. And a second reason for these painted flowers and hanging paper lotus flowers is that the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul, gained enlightenment under a sky of flowers. With all of this in mind, the ceiling of flowers is meant to remind monks, nuns, and devotees that they too can gain enlightenment.

The hanging paper lotus flowers at Wonhyoam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.


There are two typical ways in which these floral patterns make their presence known inside a Korean temple shrine hall. The first is that they are painted on the ceiling of the structure. They are typically divided into cross-hatched sections with a lotus flower painted in the centre. And while the lotus flower is the most common flower that you’ll find adorning the ceiling flowers, it isn’t exclusive. Sometimes you’ll find peonies, roses, and other colourful flowers, too. And the other way in which these celestial flowers can manifest themselves is as purple and pink paper lotus flowers that are suspended from the ceiling of the temple shrine hall. Typically they are suspended at head height or just above it.


So now that you know what all these flowers are meant to symbolize inside a Korean Buddhist temple shrine hall, you can now appreciate them that much more. While they are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, they are also packed with the symbolic meaning of the Buddha’s enlightenment. And they act as a reminder that enlightenment is also possible for anyone at any time, as well.

From Sinheungsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.
And from Jogyesa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

The Ultimate Guide to Jobs in Korea [2021]


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This post covers what you need to know about jobs in Korea for foreigners.


It includes:


  • How to find your first job
  • The pros and cons of working in Korea


I got my first job in South Korea in 2006 and worked at a variety of companies. Here's what I learned from my experience.


Let's dive right in!


How to Get your First Job in South Korea as an Expat


Step 1. Make sure you have the right qualifications


To qualify for a basic work visa, you need:


  • Passport
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Clean criminal record
  • Health screening


Step 2. Find the right job online


Decide which city you want to live in and what kind of work you want to do.


Check the company's reputation online. You can check some private English academies through Dave's ESL Cafe.


Step 3. Apply


Send all required documents including:


  • Resume
  • Picture


Be prepared to do a phone or video interview.


If you get the job, ask to see pictures of your housing.


Step 4. Get packed


Make sure to bring:


  • Warm winter clothes
  • Prescription medication in bulk
  • Vitamins and pain relievers in bulk
  • Melanin for light sleepers
  • Unlocked phone
  • Your favorite spices
  • Power converter if you're not coming from the EU (they use 220 volt plug C and F)

My experience working in South Korea

I worked in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do for 10 years, and started a business I've been running since 2013. I only had to apply for one job during that period (I've spent more time helping others find work). It was actually a position I found on in 2006, before leaving the states. Even though I didn't have much work experience, there were many options.

I found the best opportunities through networking. 


While living in Korea, I found work as an actor, model, marketer, salesperson, translator, lecturer, and interviewer. I gave private English lessons to celebrities, CEOs, and high-ranking government officials. I even worked at a Stewardess Academy, a concept that doesn't exist in most countries.


Working in Korea provided me with a wealth of experience and a new perspective. I also learned the language and traveled all over the region.


It even helped me start a business, which I wouldn’t have done back home.


I highly recommend it for recent college graduates or anyone looking to make a change in their life.



What are the benefits of working in Korea?

There are many benefits to working in Korea. 


With its natural beauty, ultra-modern cities and vibrant expat community, Korea is a great place to relocate. 


There are many opportunities for English-speakers that you won't find at home.


It’s fun to live in Korea, especially in your twenties. There are enough neighborhoods with bars, clubs and restaurants to keep you busy for a decade. 


In Fact:


You can have a high-standard of living in South Korea. Even for entry-level private academy jobs, the base salary is around 2 million KRW ($1,800) along with housing and insurance. This is enough to live comfortably and enjoy a variety of activities.


Korea has fast and convenient online shopping.


You can even save money in the process and spend it on travel in between contracts.


South Korea has an excellent healthcare system that will cost you about 100 USD a month.


You get paid one month's salary for every year you work. This is known as 퇴직금 or severance pay.


Many jobs pay for your flight into the country and flight home after a year.


Korea has very effective disease control measures and takes pandemics seriously. Infection rates are relatively low given the dense population.


Korea has a rich and unique culture that’s fascinating to learn about.


The country has something for everyone. Whether you're into nature, history, food, or K-dramas and K-pop, you'll never get bored.


Korea has a relatively low crime rate for a developed country. It's not uncommon for people to forget their laptops or wallets at a café and come back to find them untouched.


Violent crime is also very low, even in a densely-packed city like Seoul.


Education has been a priority in Korea for hundreds of years. Families can send their children to a range of international schools.


Korea has top universities as well. There are also ways to get your master’s degree for free at universities like Yonsei.


Seoul attracts expats from all over the world, so you’ll interact with a diverse group of people.


You won’t need a car in Seoul and most parts of the country.


Korea has a network of buses and a modern subway that can be accessed with one transportation card.


Since a round trip on public transport costs around 2 dollars, your transportation budget can be $50-100 dollars a month.

Expats can start a business once they have the right visa.


What are the drawbacks to working in Korea?


Life in Korea comes with many emotional peaks and valleys. There are times when it's the best place in the world, and times when you wish you were elsewhere. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. But, you'll never know until you try.


Working hours can be long and you're somewhat expected to stay longer (You can get away not doing this, but Koreans are pressured to stay until the boss leaves and sometimes even attend after-work gatherings).

Harmony and relationships are often more important that merit and results. This is a positive for some.


Politics might be part of your job description whether you like it or not. (Having Noonchi or intuition helps!)


Traffic can be an issue during commuting times in Seoul and even Busan. It’s often quicker to take the subway. Make sure to check how far your place is from work.





Check out Lingua Asia for more helpful tips on living in Korea. Find out more below: 

Moving to Korea | Where to Live | Expat life in Korea | Haggling in Korea | Korean female models | Korean labor rights




Original Post: 

Grading your Korean – Making longer, complex sentences | Billy Go

I've received so many submissions from you asking me to grade your Korean in my series, and it's been great to see how many of you can speak Korean.

Please keep sending me your submissions! In the video description you'll find information with the criteria for how you can do that (click the video below to see it).

In this video I'll give tips for how you can make longer and more natural sounding sentences. We'll also talk a bit about Korean names, and more tips for intermediate learners.

The post Grading your Korean – Making longer, complex sentences | Billy Go appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Seoknamsa Temple – 석남사 (Ulju-gun, Ulsan)

The Cascading Waters at Seoknamsa Temple in Ulju-gun, Ulsan.

Temple History

Seoknamsa Temple, which is pronounced Seongnamsa, means “South Rock Temple” in English. The name of the temple is in reference to its southern location on Mt. Gajisan (1,240 m). Seoknamsa Temple was first established in 824 A.D. by the highly influential monk Doui-guksa (?-825 A.D.). It was built to pray for the nation. The temple continued to be enlarged until it was eventually destroyed in 1592 during the Imjin War (1592-1598). During the Imjin War, the temple was used as a centre for the training of the Righteous Army to help defend the area from the invading Japanese.

Eventually, and in 1674, Seoknamsa Temple was rebuilt. And through the years it was enlarged both in 1803 and 1912. The temple would be completely destroyed during the Korean War (1950-1953). In 1959, the temple was rebuilt by Abbot Inhong-sunim, a Bhikkuni (Buddhist nun). It’s from this time that the temple would exclusively become a temple for Bhikkhuni and their training.

Seoknamsa Temple is home to a Korean Treasure. This is the Stupa of Seongnamsa Temple, which is Korean Treasure #369. Additionally, the three-story stone pagoda at Seoknamsa Temple is Ulsan Tangible Cultural Heritage #22.

Admission to the temple for adults is 1,700 won. And it’s 1,300 won for teenagers, and 1,000 won for elementary age children. However, the temple is free for non-student aged children.

Temple Layout

Seoknamsa Temple is situated under the towering Mt. Gajisan and alongside a cascading river valley. After passing under the colourful Iljumun Gate, you’ll make your way up to the temple courtyard, which is seven hundred metres away. This stretch is one of the most beautiful you’ll find at a Korean Buddhist temple. At the end of the trail, you’ll come to a clearing, where you’ll find a beautiful new bridge. Underneath this bridge flows crystal clear cascading water. There are rock stairs that lead down to the base of the valley where the cascading water flows. Finally crossing over the newly built bridge, and up around a bend in the road, you’ll find the elevated outskirts of the main courtyard at Seoknamsa Temple. Hanging a left past the twisted red pine, you’ll pass through another entry gate. This time, this entry gate is adorned with four Sanskrit letters and a central Manja (swastika) image. Each of the four Sanskrit letters are meant to rid yourself of bad karma, while the central image of the Manja is meant to be a sign for good luck and auspiciousness.

Up the stairs, you’ll first be greeted by the Silla-era three-story pagoda that’s also Ulsan Tangible Cultural Heritage #22. It’s believed that the pagoda was built by Doui-guksa, and it dates back to the founding of the temple in 824 A.D. The pagoda, like the temple, was built in hopes of protecting the nation from foreign invasion. Unfortunately, the intention of the pagoda didn’t quite come to fruition, as the pagoda and the temple were destroyed in 1592. In 1973, the pagoda was restored, like so much else at the temple, by the Abbot Inhong-sunim

Behind this ancient pagoda stands the Daeung-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to this main hall are adorned with a beautiful collection of Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes of the Historical Buddha’s Life). While these paintings are now cracking, they are still beautiful in their composition. There are also images of the Buddha up near the eaves of the Daeung-jeon with smoky emissions rising forth from their heads. Stepping inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find three statues resting on the main altar. They are centred by an image of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This central statue is joined on either side by Yeondeung-bul (The Past Buddha) and Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha).

To the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall is an area that’s off-limits to the general public. It’s the living quarters for the nuns at Seoknamsa Temple. And to the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the Geukrak-jeon Hall. Inside this temple shrine hall, and resting on the main altar, is a diminutive triad centred by Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This statue is joined on either side by Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul). The exterior to this wall includes various Buddhist motif murals including a mural of monkeys playing. Also housed inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall are two beautiful shaman murals. One is dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), while the other is dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint). And on the far right wall is the Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural).

Directly behind the Geukrak-jeon Hall is the Josa-jeon Hall. At the centre of the collection of portraits of monks and nuns that once called Seoknamsa Temple home is a painting dedicated to the famed Doui-guksa.

To the right, and behind the Daeung-jeon Hall, are a couple flights of stairs and a well-manicured clearing that houses the Stupa of Seoknamsa Temple. This stupa was once called the Stupa of Doui; however, in 1962, when the stupa was taken apart, it was discovered that the sari reliquary was empty. The sari (crystallized remains) had either been stolen or gone missing. As for the design of the stupa, it’s a standard octagonal stone stupa. At the base of the stupa, you’ll find a lion and clouds prominently engraved on it. Also around the base of the stupa, on panels, you’ll find the symbolic images of elephant’s eyes. Within the panel design, you’ll find flower shapes in the centre with a belt connecting to them. As for the body that’s shaped like a pillar, there is a front and rear side that have doors on each side. However, there is only a lock on the front side of these two door designs. And there are guardians placed on either side of the door designs. As for the roof of the stupa, it’s rather short and narrow.

It’s from this historic stupa that you get a great view of the entire temple grounds. There are some beautiful views of the valley, the temple, and the mountains from this beautiful vantage point.

How To Get There

First, you’ll either have to get to Miryang, Ulsan or Eonyang to get a connecting bus to Seoknamsa Temple. From Miryang, you can take one of the numerous buses that travels throughout the day from the Miryang Bus Terminal. The cost of the bus ride is about 5,000 won. You can take Bus #807 or #1713 from near the Ulsan Intercity Bus Terminal. Also, you can take an Eonyang city bus that travels out to the temple eleven times during the day.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

One of the main highlights to Seoknamsa Temple is its scenic location with the towering mountains overhead and the cascading waters down the rocky valley. Adding to the temple’s aesthetic beauty are its two historic stone artifacts. Both the Stupa of Seoknamsa Temple and the Silla-era three-story pagoda are something to enjoy while at this Buddhist temple. Also of interest are the beautiful paintings surrounding the shrine halls at Seoknamsa Temple.

The Iljumun Gate at the entry of Seoknamsa Temple.
A twisted red pine just outside the main temple courtyard.
The Silla-era three story stone pagoda with the Daeung-jeon Hall to the left.
The main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall with Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) in the centre.
The Geukrak-jeon Hall at Seoknamsa Temple.
The main altar inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall with Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) in the centre.
To the right of the main altar inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall is this mural dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit).
Between the Geukrak-jeon Hall (left) and the Daeung-jeon Hall (right) is the Josa-jeon Hall (Founders’ Hall).
A beautiful purple lotus at Seoknamsa Temple.
The Stupa of Seoknamsa, which is Korean Treasure #369.
A fuller look at the stupa that dates back to the 9th century.
And a close-up of one of the guardians and doors that adorn the body of the stupa.

Double Passive Verbs (이중 피동사) | Korean FAQ

I've often seen native speakers use verbs such as 닫아지다, 보여지다, and others ending with 지다 as passive verbs. Did you know that these sorts of verbs are technically incorrect? However, since they're so common, I recommend knowing what they are and how they work.

These sort of verbs are known as Double Passive Verbs, since they're made by taking a verb that's already passive, and attaching the passive 지다 ending - thus making them double passive. However, since there is no such thing as a double passive, they should be avoided in any sort of academic setting (such as on your next Korean test, or when giving a speech).

Are there any other double passive verbs you've learned about? Let me know here, or in the comments below the video~!

The post Double Passive Verbs (이중 피동사) | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Agwi – Hungry Ghosts: 아귀

An 18th Century Image of an Agwi from a Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Mural) at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul.

This post contains affiliate links. I receive a percentage of sales, if you purchase the item after clicking on an advertising link at no expense to you. This will help keep the website running. Thanks, as always, for your support!


If you’ve ever looked close enough, especially around the Myeongbu-jeon Hall, perhaps you were lucky enough to see the image of an “Agwi – 아귀,” or “Hungry Ghost/Spirit” in English. Or more likely, you’ve probably seen this demon-like creature, but you weren’t sure what it was. So what exactly is an Agwi? Where can you find them? And what are they supposed to represent?

Physical Description of an Agwi

An Agwi, or “Hungry Ghost” in English, was formerly a human who is now suffering in the afterlife from hunger and thirst as a part of their karma for their bad deeds. These deeds can include killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, desire, greed, anger, and ignorance, while they were alive. As a result of their actions, their appearance reflects their misdeeds.

An 18th century painting of the Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld) from the museum at Girimsa Temple in eastern Gyeongju.
Another 18th century painting of the Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld) from the museum at Girimsa Temple in eastern Gyeongju.

Agwi are human-like in appearance. They have sunken, mummy-like skin. They also have small limbs with bulging eyes, open mouths, distended bellies, and a long narrow neck. Also, they are hardly wearing any clothes on their bodies. Their eyebrows are knitted in anger, while they are either bald or losing their hair. Additionally, they typically wear a lot of jewelry like bracelets or anklets. Also, their ears are typically pierced with gold earrings. But perhaps the easiest way to identify Agwi is by the red wings that appear from behind their ears. Their overall appearance, especially the large belly and narrow necks, are meant to symbolize their insatiable appetites that are never satisfied.

History of the Agwi

Agwi appear in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and local folk religions. They have their origins in Indian religions; however, there are many myths surrounding the origins of Agwi. Agwi were later adopted into Eastern religions by way of the spread of Buddhism eastward. In Sanskrit, they are called Preta. Preta means “departed or deceased”, and it comes from “pra-ita”, which literally means “gone forth/departed.” The Chinese translation for the word Preta is Egui (餓鬼), which literally means “Starving Ghost” in English. Agwi is a transliteration of the Chinese Egui. In East Asian Buddhism, Agwi are also called “burning mouths.” The reason for this very literal name is that when Agwi put food to their mouths; the food bursts into flames so that the Agwi can’t consume the food.

An image of an Agwi from a Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Mural) housed at the National Museum of Korea. This mural is from 1649.
Another image of an Agwi from the mid 17th century from the historic Daegwang-jeon Hall at Sinheungsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Agwi are believed to live in the afterlife in the Agwi Realm. This is believed to be located far beneath the earth’s surface, but it’s located above hell. Agwi are reincarnated in one of the three evil destinies. This belief comes from the idea of “The Doctrine of the Ten Worlds and Their Mutual Possession.” In Korean, this is known as “Sibgye – 십계.” Of these ten realms, there are four upper realms and six lower realms. They are distinguished by the degrees of enlightenment that an individual has achieved. The four upper realms are 1. Śrāvaka (Disciples), 2. Pratyekabuddha (lone Buddha), 3. Bodhisattva, 4. Buddhahood (fully enlightened being). As for the lower realms of enlightenment, they are known as the Six Realms. And these Six Realms are: Hell (Naraka), The Agwi Realm, Beasts, Asuras (demigods), Humans, and Heaven (or realm of the deities). So because these individuals lived a past life as someone that consumed with insatiable desires and/or cravings, they have been reborn in the Six Realms in the Agwi Realm. In this Realm, and according to Buddhist sutras, there are thirty-six different types of Agwi.

More specifically, Agwi were once humans. In fact, they could even be a deceased member of your family. A good example of this can be found in the Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha). Of the sixteen Nahan, one, Mahākālika, or “Gariga – 가리가” in Korean, saved his own mother from the Agwi Realm. Ceremonies are performed in Korea at Buddhist temples to help “feed” Agwi. They are held by people for their own deceased family members, or they can be held by monks for those spirits suffering as Agwi in the afterlife. This ceremony is typically held inside the main hall at the temple or inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall in front of a Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Mural). Typically, the ceremony involves chanting and the performing of Buddhist instruments like drums, bells, or cymbals in front of the Gamno-do to help comfort Agwi.

An Agwi adorning the exterior wall to a shrine hall at Seongjusa Temple in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Agwi in Buddhist Texts

One of the most common places to find Agwi is in the “One Hundred Fables Sutra,” which is from the early third century. Here are just a few examples of stories related to Agwi found in this sutra:

One tale from the “One Hundred Fables Sutra” is about a rich man who travels selling sugar cane juice. One day, a monk came to the rich man’s house looking for some juice to help cure his illness. The man had to leave rather abruptly, so the man instructed his wife to give the monk a drink of juice, while he was gone. Instead of doing this, the wife secretly urinated in the monk’s bowl, added a bit of sugar cane juice, and gave it to the monk to drink. The monk was not easily fooled, so he poured out the contents of the bowl. When the wife eventually died, she was reborn as an Agwi.

Another tale is entitled “An Operation of the Mouth.” In this tale, there is a man who visited his wife’s home. There he saw people removing the husk of the rice. He stole some of this rice and hid it in his mouth. When his wife came to talk to him, instead of opening his mouth and confessing to the rice he had stolen, the husband remained silent. She said, “On his way over, my husband suddenly got a swollen mouth and is unable to speak,” so immediately the wife’s father called a doctor. When the doctor arrived, he said “Very serious is your illness. It will be cured by an operation.” The operation was completed and the husband’s theft was revealed. The conclusion of the tale says, “In doing evil deeds it breaks the pure commandments and hiding sins, people descend to the Three Evil Ways of hell, beasts, and Hungry Ghosts.”

Yet another tale from the “One Hundred Fables Sutra” describes a man who was giving and kind. One day, he was about to leave his house when a monk came begging. The man told his wife to give the monk some food. After the man left the house, his wife was overcome with greed. The wife decided she would teach the monk a lesson, so she locked the monk up inside an empty room all day without food. When she eventually died and was reborn, she was reborn as a Hungry Ghost [Agwi] for an unlimited amount of lifetimes.

Another mid 17th century Agwi image from inside the Daegwang-jeon Hall at Sinheungsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Agwi Examples

There are some wonderful examples of Agwi spread throughout the Korean peninsula at Buddhist temples and hermitages. Here are just a few of these examples. First, there’s a pair of 17th century Agwi murals inside the historic Daegwang-jeon Hall at Sinheungsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. There are other historic murals of Agwi that can be found in Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Mural) at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul. There is also a beautiful collection of Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld) in the museum at Girimsa Temple in eastern Gyeongju that have amazing images of Agwi. For more contemporary Gamno-do images, you can find them at Boseongsa Temple near Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do and Naewonam Hermitage near Unmunsa Temple in Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do. And finally, there are images of Agwi adorning both the interior and exterior walls of temple shrine halls like at Seongjusa Temple in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do and Nammireuksa Temple in Gangjin, Jeollanam-do.


This tortured creature often appears around temple shrine halls at Korean Buddhist temples, especially in paintings. The most common place to find these desperate spirits is around the main hall and the Myeongbu-jeon Hall especially in Gamno-do (Sweet Dew Murals). Typically, you can find monks and/or descendants making offerings to the deceased to help pacify and aid these Hungry Ghosts. So the next time you’re at a Korean Buddhist temple or hermitage, have a look around for these red-winged Agwi that are in constant torment. And if you can, say a little prayer for their well-being.

An image from Nammireuksa Temple in Gangjin, Jeollanam-do.
And a pair of Agwi from Boseongsa Temple near Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

10 Summer Classroom Activities and Games – Great for ESL Lessons!

Republished from:

Teaching English during summer can often be very difficult. It’s hot, students have a lot energy and everyone would rather be outside enjoying the warm weather.

To help with that I’d like to share 10 Summer Activities you can do in your class. Keep students engaged with plenty of games and movement-based activities. Even though this is primarily for English Teachers, most of these can be used in other classes too.

And as always, I’ve added all the best worksheets in the description where you can get them for free by joining the Etacude email list.

Now, let’s check out 10 Summer Classroom Activities and Games for English Class

1. Five Senses

Summer is all about the senses. The amazing smells, the warm sun on your skin, a cool breeze, the sound of laughter or waves if you’re at the beach This is a great outdoor activity if you are able to take the kids outside. If not, they have to stay inside and use their imagination. “sad face”

Pair students with a partner and give them a paper. On the paper they write the 5 senses” see, smell, hear, touch and taste. Then, they have to fill in the sections with as many examples they can think of as possible, give them a minimum number like 5 so they don’t keep it blank.

See children playing outside. Smell the ocean. Hear the bees buzzing, touch the sea sand when building a sandcastle or taste ice cream for example.

Once they are done ask pairs to share the items they have on their sense paper. Write the answers on the board to compare. You could take it a few steps further by telling the students to write sentences with those words or a story.

2. Human Scrabble

Not necessarily a summer activity but it will get the students moving

Get some A4 papers and write a letter on each – Similar to what you would do with real Scrabble. Add lots of vowels, S’s, R’s , N’s – You know, letters that are easier to use.

Once a teacher shouts Scrabble, students have a minute to arrange themselves into groups to create the longest word possible. Groups can score points by having the longest or most complex word.

Once they’ve created a word, each individual student can write down their score. After 10 Rounds you can stop and see who has the highest score at the end.

Once a word has been created they may not use it again. You can also swap cards so that students have different letters to use.

With younger students you can give a point per letter and with older classes give each letter the real scrabble score.

3. I’m going to the beach riddle

This is a fun, or frustratingly fun riddle activity. You start by saying “I’m going to the beach and I’m taking a…” Here you can say anything. But whatever you say is related to a secret rule that only you know…

For example, the secret rule is milk foods. I’m going to the beach and I’m taking a milkshake.

Each student has a to take a thing. If they say “I’m taking a chocolate.” They can’t go!

If they say cheese. They can go. The students continue until they figure out the secret rule.

There are many creative rules that you can use like:

It could be categories like food, or the word has to start with the first letter of your name, or the alphabet so you start with “Apple”, Only words with 4 letters. Compound nouns like pencilcase. Anything inside the classroom. Any rule you can imagine.

4. Summer Flashcard Activity

Create flashcards or write down Summer vocabulary on papers.

Have 4 students each hold up a flashcard at the front of the class, flash and then hide their card.  The teacher calls out one of the words and the children have to remember where the word is and line up in front of the child holding that flashcard.  Children have great fun trying to remember, jumping from one line to the next, following their friends and excitedly waiting for the card to be revealed.  In a second round, it’s fun to add an additional challenge and get the children holding flashcards to change places, and then repeat the activity with the whole class”.

Once in their lines you can ask random students to use the word in a sentence. That gets them all to think of possible sentences to use if asked.

5. Blindfolded Games

There are many activities that can be played by using a blindfold. Any scarf or sleep mask will do.

One such activity is by the touch or taste challenge. Get different summer-related items like a snorkel, tube, sunscreen, beachball ect. A student puts on a blindfold and you give them different items to touch and identify.

You can then let them use the items in a role play or write a story, whatever you feel like you want to do.

If it’s in your budget, you could get different summer fruits for them to taste – Watermelon, apple, oranges. As a cheaper option you can use fruit-flavored sweets in stead of the real thing.

Another fun blindfold activity for question practice is to have everyone stand in a circle with one student in the center wearing the blindfold. Spin him/her around a few times and have him ask the nearest student a question. When the student answers, the blindfolded student must guess who it is. Let students think and write down some ideas for questions before starting. You can let students change once they guess the correct person.

6. Travel Activities

Travel is another common activity that takes place during the summer months.  A fun activity is to help your students plan real or virtual summer vacations. They create a personal itinerary and discuss or write about their plans. I added a list of Travel Questions that students can ask each other in the worksheet file which you can get from free once you join the Etacude email list.

Click HERE for the FREE Travel Questions

7. Suitcase of Random Items

Another travel related activity is to have a suitcase with many random items. If you don’t want to do that you could find a picture on the internet of a collection of items or it could be many people in one photo, almost like Where’s Waldo.  Give the students a minute to study the suitcase contents or picture. Then they write down everything they saw. It could be fun to put students in pairs to write everything down together. After that, randomly remove a few of the items, students then have to guess what’s missing.

They can also create a dialogue or story based on the items.

8. Scavenger Hunt

Create a list for the summer scavenger hunt. There is an example in resources. Students walk around the class (or outside if possible) and make their own scavenger list of things to see. They should try and make it specific. Then randomly redistribute the lists to everyone. They have to walk around and find the items. After you’ve given them time to complete, put them in groups and where they explain the items and where they were found to the other students.

This is a good activity to practice prepositions and explaining where things are.

9. Planning a Picnic

The summer is also a popular season for picnics and barbeques.  Discuss with your student about how they would plan and organize a (real or imaginary) picnic or barbecue. The students  create a Mind Map about the best location, weather, food, and beverages for the event. Practice conversations about verbal invitations and review writing invitations with your student. Help your students discover some in-season dishes they would like to make and they can write a recipe for foods they would like to create.

Many great places you can take this activity

10. Summer Bucket List

Students create a summer bucket list. They write down what activities they hope to do that summer. After sharing their bucket lists they can plan a timeline to explain how they might achieve these goals.

It’s very important for students to share these ideas with their classmates in pairs or small groups, and then they share what their friend is planning to do. This a great way to practice listening for information and then sharing it. Also, I’ve found that students are less shy to speak in front of the class if they are talking about another friend’s activities in stead of their own.

So these are 10 summer games and activities for class. Check out this next video for more fun and easy activities you can do in class.

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Learn Korean Ep. 120: 아/어/etc. 가다 & 오다

Lately I've started doing some yoga. It would be great if Keykat would join me! After all, she looks like she'd be great at yoga, considering she's fluffy and a bear.

This lesson is about the grammar form ~해 가다 and ~해 오다, which are used when moving somewhere (or moving here).

Also make sure to download the free PDF lesson, which you can find right below the video here.

Click here to download a free PDF of this lesson!

The post Learn Korean Ep. 120: 아/어/etc. 가다 & 오다 appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Baekyangsa Temple – 백양사 (Jung-gu, Ulsan)

The Wooden Stairs that Lead Up to the Sanshin-gak Hall at Baekyangsa Temple in Jung-gu, Ulsan.

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Temple History

Baekyangsa Temple at the foot of Mt. Hamwolsan (200.6 m) in Jung-gu, Ulsan, which shouldn’t be confused with the one in Jeollanam-do, was first founded in 932 A.D. by the monk Baekyang-seonsa. In fact, the temple is named after this founding monk. The temple was destroyed by fire during the Imjin War (1592-1598). However, Baekyangsa Temple was later rebuilt in 1678 by the monk Yeonbu-seonsa.

Baekyangsa Temple would later fall into disrepair. And in the 1920’s, the temple would be resurrected under the watchful eye of the Bhikuni (nun) Bohyeon. More recently, and in 1992 with the development of Jung-gu, which is where Baekyangsa Temple is located, this area became the city centre of Ulsan. While the temple used to be located up in the mountains in rural Ulsan, it is no longer the case with the overall development and spread of the urban areas in Ulsan.

Since 1998, Baekyangsa Temple has undergone a large scale renovation and expansion which continues to this day. As for the temple itself, it was designated as Ulsan Traditional Buddhist Temple #6 in 1999. And the historic Shinjung-do (Guardian Mural) that dates back to 1878 that’s housed at Baekyangsa Temple is Ulsan Metropolitan City Tangible Cultural Heritage #27.

Temple Layout

You’ll first approach the temple grounds off of some neighbouring city streets, and make your way under the newly constructed Iljumun Gate. This sturdy, and rather colourful entry gate, has a pair of stone sculptures at its base. To the left is a lion and to the right is a dragon holding a wisdom pearl in its mouth.

Now making your way through the temple parking lot, and the simplistic Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion), you’ll notice a cluster of buildings. Past these, and to the right, there’s a stone stairway that will bring you to the main temple courtyard at Baekyangsa temple. It’s from this vantage point that you’ll find all the amazing shrine halls that Baekyangsa Temple has to offer.

The first of these temple shrine halls, and to your rear, is the Gwaneum-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to this hall are beautifully adorned with paintings of animals, the Sacheonwang (The Four Heavenly Kings), and paintings dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). As you step inside this sparsely decorated interior, you’ll notice the main altar to your right. Standing in the centre, all by herself, is an image of Gwanseeum-bosal. This statue is backed by an equally eloquent painting of herself joined by Yongwang (The Dragon King). There is a fiery nimbus surrounding the statue, and there are two large Bicheon (Flying Heavenly Deities) floating overhead of the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

As you step outside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall, you’ll notice the monks residence to your immediate right. This hall is beautifully adorned with Shimu-do (The Ox-Herding Murals). And to your immediate left are facilities at the temple like the kitchen and visitors centre.

But by far the main highlight to this temple, and straight ahead of you, is the Daeung-jeon Hall at Baekyangsa Temple. Out in front of the main hall is a variety of stone statues like twin elephants, the Wheel of Dharma, and the Sibiji-shin (The Twelve Zodiac Generals), as well as a Bicheon, and massive stone lanterns. Nearing the Daeung-jeon Hall, and looking around the eaves of the hall, you’ll notice the amazingly intricate dancheong that’s adorning the main hall. In addition to the vibrant dancheong, you’ll notice one of the finest collection of Shimu-do (Ox-Herding Murals) in Korea. In addition to this amazing set, you’ll also be greeted by various Buddha and Bodhisattva murals around the exterior walls, as well, to the Daeung-jeon Hall. Before stepping inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, make sure you have a look at the stunning front floral latticework that adorns the doors. As for the interior, there are five statues that take up residence on the main altar. Sitting in the centre is the largest in the set. This statue is dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). To the right and left of this central statue are two standing statues. They are Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) and Bohyeon-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Power). And completing the set, and standing to the far left, is a green haired statue dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). And on the far right is another standing statue. This time, however, this statue is dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal. And hanging on the far left wall is an older, red mural dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This mural is fronted by a triad of statues, again, centred by Amita-bul and joined by Gwanseuum-bosal and Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul) on either side.

To the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the Eungjin-jeon Hall at Baekyangsa Temple. Adorning the exterior walls to this hall dedicated to the Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha) are a beautiful collection of Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life). Stepping inside the Eungjin-jeon Hall, you’ll be greeted by sixteen masterful statues of the Nahan with each of their names written in front of them on a black plaque. Sitting in the centre of these sixteen statues, eight on either side, is a triad, rather uniquely, centred by Amita-bul and joined by Gwanseeum-bosal and Daesaeji-bosal, again. It’s also inside the Nahan-jeon Hall, hanging on the right side of the shrine hall, that you’ll find the historic Shinjung-do (Guardian Mural) from 1878.

And to the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the temple’s Myeongbu-jeon Hall. Around the exterior walls are various Buddhist motif murals of coming of age. It’s also on these walls that you’ll find one of the more sensational images of the Dragon Ship of Wisdom to adorn a temple shrine hall in Korea. As for the interior, there are large sized seated statues of the Siwang taking up residence inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall. And taking up residence in the centre of the main altar is a rather dour older image of Jijang-bosal with green hair.

Next to the Myeongbu-jeon Hall is the Chilseong/Dokseong-gak Hall. Each mural housed inside this shaman shrine hall are dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars) and Dokseong (The Lonely Saint), and they are rather typical in their composition inside the Chilseong/Dokseong-gak Hall. Also housed inside this hall, rather uniquely, and to the left, is a mural dedicated to the founding monk of the temple: Baekyang-seonsa.

The final temple shrine hall that visitors can explore at Baekyangsa Temple is to the rear of the main temple complex and up a side-winding set of wooden stairs. Fronted by a rather tacky fading picture of a tiger, the Sanshin-gak Hall houses one of the more peculiar images of Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) inside the confines of this type of shaman shrine hall. The image of Sanshin looks rather unhealthy and ghost-like in appearance; thus, bucking the more traditional trend of exuding health and virility found in the image of The Mountain Spirit. It’s also from the heights of the Sanshin-gak Hall that you get a great view of the temple compound and the rest of Ulsan off in the distance.

How To Get There

To get to Baekyangsa Temple, you’ll first need to ride Ulsan city Bus #5003 from the Ulsan Train Station. With this bus, you’ll need to get off at the Samhogyo bus stop. From here, you’ll need to transfer to Bus #408 for an additional six stops, where you’ll need to get off at the Gungdojang bus stop. From this bus stop, you can walk to get to the Ulsan City Police Station Headquarters. From here, you’ll need to walk about five to ten minutes, or six hundred metres, to get to Baekyangsa Temple.

Overall Rating: 8/10

There’s quite a lot to see and enjoy at Baekyangsa Temple in central Ulsan. First, you can enjoy all the amazing murals that adorn all the exterior shrine hall walls at the temple. Another thing to enjoy are all the inspiring statues at Baekyangsa Temple like the statued dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal inside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall and the Nahan statues housed inside the Eungjin-jeon Hall. In addition to all this artistry, there’s all the beauty surrounding the Daeung-jeon Hall like the latticework, the statues, the dancheong colours, and the beautiful murals, as well as the main altar statues. Adding to all this is the haunting image of the Mountain Spirit housed inside the Sanshin-gak Hall to the back of the temple grounds.

The Daeung-jeon Hall at Baekyangsa Temple.
One of the Ox-Herding Murals adorning the Daeung-jeon Hall.
The main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.
A look out towards the Gwaneum-jeon Hall from the Daeung-jeon Hall.
Some of the amazing artwork adorning the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.
Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) inside the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.
The Myeongbu-jeon Hall at Baekyangsa Temple.
A look inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall at the main altar.
One of the Palsang-do that adorns the exterior walls to the Eungjin-jeon Hall.
The main altar inside the Eungjin-jeon Hall.
The historic Shinjung-do inside the Eungjin-jeon Hall.
And the ghostly image of Sanshin inside the Sanshin-gak Hall.


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