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Inventions from Korea that you might not have imagined at all!

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-07-29 23:18
Inventions from Korea that you might not have imagined at all!

Good inventions can change the world into a better place. Items invented in Korea also have permeated into the lives of all, making our lives more convenient and more exciting. Can you guess what kind of items were invented in Korea?

 1. Instant coffee mix

About 50 years ago in Korea, coffee was a luxurious drink which was mostly affordable in high class families. However, thanks to the invention of the instant coffee mix in 1976, coffee became inexpensive and people easily began to purchase it anywhere. Eventually drinking coffee got popular among the middle class and was placed as a big part of the Korean culture.

 2. MP3 Player

Most of people might think that MP3 Player was invented outside of Korea. However, Digital Cast, a small Korean company, invented MP3 Player for the first time in 1997. People were shocked by the small size of MP3 player and it was a must have item among the youth back then. Unfortunately, due to the poor marketing management and IMF crisis in Korea, Digital Cast was sold off to Sigma Tel from U.S.

 3. PC Bang (PC Room)

PC Bang is a Korean Internet café and the concept of PC room (or the Internet café) started from Korea. Until the mid-90’s, personal computer (PC) was really expensive and the Internet was not widely distributed. However, as IT industries was nurtured nation wide by the Korean government and PCs were sold at reasonable prices, which eventually led to the installation of high-speed Internet around the country. Due to these reasons, the number of the PC rooms increased rapidly. The PC game ‘Starcraft’ also allured people to visit PC rooms.

 4. Gable top milk carton

When you think of a milk carton, I bet you would come up with the image similar to the one above. The shape of the entrance is called gable top. Dr. Sukgyun Shin, so-called Edison of Korea, invented the new type of milk carton in 1953. Even though the invention was innovative, he couldn’t claim patent because it was in the middle of Korean Civil War. Eventually, this gable top carton was delivered to U.S. by U.S. army and was set as the international standard.

 5. Cheering balloon stick

In Korean baseball games, cheering balloon sticks are everywhere, escalating the exciting mood. These sticks were designed by a Korean company in 1994. These 65 cm long sticks can make sounds 10 times louder than just normal claps. These cheering balloon sticks are used not only in sports games but also in various events these days.


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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Korean Royal Cuisine

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-07-29 22:29

We're about to have a once in a lifetime experience eating Korean Royal Cuisine. It's something that even people living in Korea rarely ever do, and it's probably some of the best Korean food we ever had. Check it out for this week's Food Adventure!

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Korean Royal Cuisine
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Teacher’s Real Face

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-07-29 16:56
Teacher’s Real Face One day, I walked in the classroom and found two of the girls in my elementary class wearing pink eyeliner which they made from clay.“Wow, you girls look prettier today,” I said, trying so hard not to burst into laughter as the girls gingerly walked to their seats with their heads up, so that their clay eyeliner would not fall.“Teacher, we wear eyeliner like you,” one of the girls, Mary, who was barely blinking, mouthed.“I can see that, but mine is black and yours is pink.”“Pink is pretty. I like pink.”“I like pink, too, so sometimes I wear pink lipstick, but I have never worn pink eyeliner.”“Sometimes teacher eyeliner is blue,” the other girl, Tiffany, was now putting back her clay eyeliner that fell as she was speaking. “Yesterday yesterday (the other day), teacher dress is blue, teacher eyeliner is blue.” I was flattered that these kids remember.There is one boy in that class, and I didn’t want him to feel out of place with all the girlie talk, so I began asking the class about the weather and what day and date it was (which they all answered well), but to my surprise, the boy was also interested in eyeliners… not that he wants to wear make up, too, but he was obviously curious. In fact, he was the next one to mention eyeliner again just as we were about to start with our warm-up activity.“Teacher, you have pink eyeliner?”“No, Eugene, I don’t have a pink eyeliner. I use only black or blue.”“Teacher, you buy pink eyeliner and next time wear.”“Uhm, do you think I will look prettier with pink eyeliner?’“I don’t know.”I shouldn’t have asked Eugene that question. ^^That time, the girls were busy putting back their clay eyeliner, which fell everytime they moved or spoke or giggled. Tiffany gave up, but Mary was persistent… and Eugene just would not let up interrogating me.“Teacher, why you wear eyeliner?”“I want to look prettier. Doesn’t your Mommy use eyeliner?”“Sometimes.”“I want teacher next time not wear eyeliner.”“Why?”“I want see teacher real face.”Okay, an anvil just dropped on my head.“But… this is my real face.”Eugene and the girls took turns in skinning me alive with words.“Next time teacher come here and wear no make up,” this time it’s Tiffany making the request.“Sorry, guys, but I can’t do that. I never go to work without make up.”“We want see teacher real face! Teacher real face! Teacher real face!”Ugh, the kids were relentless!“How about I just wear pink eyeliner next time I come to class?”Of course I was kidding!“No, teacher… we want see you not wear eyeliner.”“No make up, teacher.”“Only real face.”“I told you, this is my real face. Do you think there is a monster beneath this make up?”“No.”“Does teacher wear too much make up?”“No.”“Okay, maybe next time I will wear less make up to make you happy. Shall we begin with our activity now?”“Yes.”Kids… ^^ (sigh)

 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Koreabridge Typhoon Center (Halola Headed This Way)

Koreabridge - Fri, 2015-07-24 11:48
Koreabridge Typhoon Center (Halola Headed This Way)

 

 



Latest Satellite Image  *  Latest Storm Track
Korean Meteorological Administration
Typhoon Safety Guide
Past Typhoons: Sanba   Bolaven  Photos

Hourly Local Forecasts

Halola Storm updates

We've heard reports that Busan Schools have canceled classes for Kindergarten and elementary students on Monday, July 27, although teachers are still expected to report for duty. 

From Korea Herald

A small yet powerful typhoon is expected to hit the Korean Peninsula over the weekend amid heavy seasonal rains, the weather agency said Friday. 

Typhoon Halola is anticipated to reach Jejudo Island on Sunday with a speed of 12 kilometers per hour and move to the east coast, including the southeastern port city of Busan, according to the Korea Meteorological Agency. As of Friday afternoon, the typhoon was moving northwest from 440 kilometers southeast of Okinawa, Japan. 

“The typhoon is moving more forward to the west than expected. While Jejudo Island, the east coast and southern parts of the country will likely be affected, it needs to be further watched whether the inland areas will also come under its direct influence,” said a KMA official. 

The typhoon is projected to dissipate over the east coast by late Monday, weather officials said. 

From Chosun Ilbo

Halola, the 12th typhoon of this year, will probably make landfall or come close to the south coast of Korea on Sunday.

If Halola lands, it will be the first typhoon since Sanba in September 2012 to hit Korea directly.

At 3 p.m. Thursday, Halola was passing over waters about 760 km southeast of Okinawa, moving northwest with gales with a speed of up to 39 m/s, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.

Around 3 p.m. on Sunday, Halola will reach waters 170 km south of Seogwipo, Jeju and head for the Korea Strait as a mid-level typhoon with a speed of 27 m/s, the KMA said.

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Private and Public Attacks on Queer Spaces in Korea

Koreabridge - Fri, 2015-07-24 08:25
Private and Public Attacks on Queer Spaces in Korea In this long overdue post, I am going to move away from my standard role on this blog (provider of English information on gay life and news in South Korea with little commentary on my part), and write about efforts by both the government and the private sector in silencing the gay community and blocking access to resources in ways that are damaging to the community and, in some cases, contrary to constitutional rights. While there was plenty of domestic and international coverage on the push by the religious right to ban Seoul's pride parade in 2015 (and Namdaemun Police Station's compliance through disallowing any gathering), there has yet to be a comprehensive look into the other more nefarious ways in which both public and private bodies aim to cripple the gay rights movement in Korea. This includes the Department of Education's decision to exclude any mention of queer sexualities in the national textbooks, censures of resources for LGBT individuals by the Korea Communication Standards Commission, and Samsung's recent decision to ban social networking applications from their app stores. 
In the sex education guidelines introduced in March 2015, the government aimed to remove any mention of LGBT people in schools. While draft of the guidelines in 2014 mentioned same-sex relationships, Christian groups pressured the department to change these incidents, and the 2015 guidelines said that teaching about homosexuality is forbidden. The international backlash was strong, but short-lived, with the Ministry of Education yet to work toward amending these guidelines that will continue to endanger LGBT teens
Warning message when trying to visit the censored Pinkmap websiteWith information unavailable at school, other institutions have stepped in to provide a supporting role for LGBT teens. But these groups, such as Dding Ddong and Beyond the Rainbow Foundation, have struggled with the government to achieve recognition simply due to the fact that they are LGBT organizations and, as a result, rely solely on private funding. This is compounded by a recent censorship of websites under the Korea Communication Standards Commission, including the ban of Korea's Pink Map, an online tool that showed the location of gay bars, clubs, and organizations. This is in direct violation of the law; while the Youth Protection Act of 1997 stated that minors shouldn't be exposed to the topic of homosexuality censoring gay websites, this was challenged in court in 2004, removing sexual orientation as a category of harm. Apparently, however, it hasn't stopped the KCSC from continuing to censor information made for LGBT individuals. 
The private sector in Korea is also working toward the destruction of LGBT spaces in Korea. Samsung, based in Korea, was recently put in the spotlight for its lack of gay dating programs in its app store. Apparently they ban apps on a country-to-country basis, with Hornet illegal in Korea, Argentina, Syria, and Iceland. Samsung is not alone in this venture, with the normally quite progressive Google also banning Jack'd years ago. But why would a same-sex dating app be against public morals in Korea? Heterosexual apps are widely available and sex between consenting adults of the same-sex is legal in Korea. 
So who is behind all of these efforts to curtail the gay rights movement in Korea? Obviously the small but loud radical Christians play a large part. With their large church memberships and ability to bring people to the polls en masse to vote for specific issues, their power as a group should not be ignored. Institutional realities also play a large part. As the Park administration is able to choose the head of the Department of Education and the appointments of the Korea Communication Standards Commission's nine members are heavily influenced by the president, these institutions strongly reflect the president's preferences.  
In the next election, leaders are needed that protect our freedom to exchange information, gather, and communicate. Unfortunately, as a foreigner in Korea, it is beyond my ability to engage in the political process, push for candidates that represent my values, or encourage others to do the same. But that doesn't make me completely helpless.
Private companies will react to international pressures. Although the Buzzfeed article on Samsung and Google's censorship points to the inherent difficulties of trying to legally influence a company's self-regulations, as consumers of Samsung products, we can push for change. I do love my Galaxy S3, but if Samsung doesn't change their hypocrisy on dating apps in Korea, I have no problem with switching to an Apple product with my next phone purchase. If all those loyal users of gay dating apps and individuals fighting for equality threaten to make a switch, Samsung will surely notice.  Getting Korea's flagship company to change its stance on the provision of gay dating apps would send a message that the international community is committed to the fight for equality and signal to the Korean government that stifling the gay community's voice will not stand. 
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

ELT Live Summer Brainstormt#2 - Student Collaboration Projects & Teaching Kids Online

Worldbridges Megafeed - Thu, 2015-07-23 14:31

59:34 minutes (27.26 MB)

Summer Brainstorm Part#2 
Student Collaboration Projects & Teaching Kids Online
July 23, 2015
Ben & Jeff discuss possibilities of having their composition student sin Mexico and Korea work together online as Bora chimes in with a student perspective.  Maha & Nives discuss tools and strategies for teaching young learners online. 

Participants
 

Links Mentioned

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ELT Live Summer Brainstormt#2 - Student Collaboration Projects & Teaching Kids Online

EdTechTalk - Thu, 2015-07-23 14:31

59:34 minutes (27.26 MB)

Summer Brainstorm Part#2 
Student Collaboration Projects & Teaching Kids Online
July 23, 2015
Ben & Jeff discuss possibilities of having their composition student sin Mexico and Korea work together online as Bora chimes in with a student perspective.  Maha & Nives discuss tools and strategies for teaching young learners online. 

Participants
 

Links Mentioned

read more

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Sourdough, Hongcheon and Compost

Koreabridge - Thu, 2015-07-23 06:16
Sourdough, Hongcheon and Compost This week has been a week. I don’t want to get too far into it, because gainful employment is nice to have after taking a year off of work and draining my savings on language school and travel, but let’s just say that I am currently working for two large corporations and, occasionally, we are -- how should I put this? Invited to enjoy lectures on the subject of marketing and advertising. I’ll just say that I find there is a strange kind of optimism about capitalism in South Korea that doesn’t really exist anymore in the US. Which isn’t to say the US isn’t in love with capitalism, but Americans for the most part have some vague knowledge of the devil with whom they dance. Part of it, too, is how the TED Talk model has swept the nation – even if you’re going to give a lecture about how to make more people want to buy more things, you have to start by asking everyone how they think they can give more meaning to their lives, or why they think living in today’s world is so difficult. You don’t need to actually connect these issues to making more people want to buy more things (because you can’t, really – well, you can, but not by heading in the direction the marketing team wants to head in) – just quickly transition like so: happiness = success = money = make your bosses more money = marketing techniques. 
See? Easy as that. Might not want to ask a room full of employees who are being forced to sit through a four-hour lecture if they would go to work on Monday if they won the lottery on Saturday, and then tell them that they should be working a job where the answer to that question is ‘yes’, though. You may not want to that question to most people, actually, because it’s delusional. 
I haven’t won the lottery. It’s fine. Most days are better. I'm putting the photo of our new compost bin here because it fits. Not because I mean to suggest some connection between the lecture and fertilizer. 
This week, there hasn’t been a lot of time for stuff at home, but I did manage to get a few things done this weekend. I planted some hearty greens out on the outdoor veranda, with hopes that they’ll be hearty enough to push through the heat and grow. I also got seedlings for a variety of herbs, as well as lavender, started and replanted the adolescent mint and basil plants that were jonesing to get out of their pots. I moved one of the basil plants out to the front steps, which get full sun, so hopefully it’ll grow up properly into a full bush. I started some sprouts, put some mint and rosemary cuttings into a bit of water for propagation (cover the stem with water, refreshing the water every couple of days, until roots sprout and -- bam! – a whole new baby plant), and dehydrated some cherry tomatoes (because no matter how good they are – and they are good – B and I aren’t going to make it through 3kg before they start to go off). B and I also got the compost bin set up (a plastic storage tub with holes drilled in it – fancy) which has done wonders for the summer gnats and fruit flies that were making an event of things around the food trash in the kitchen.

We finally got the big cedar cabinet we ordered, which I stained on Monday night with B standing by as the official fan repositioner. I had been to Hongcheon and back during the day and had spent the entire day in three places that are amazing on a sweltering July afternoon – a corn field, a traditional market and a 찐빵 (steamed bun) shop. I figured, why not just make a whole day of not being able to breathe? 
The truth is, I’ve been waiting for this cabinet for a good while, because, while we have a ton of bright sunny veranda space good for plants, we have no cool, dark place to put things like canned goods or ferments. I had started my sourdough starter over the weekend, storing it under the sink in the meantime, but I’ve been sitting on my new canning book since I got it a month ago. 
In regards to the sourdough, I’ve never done it before, but the thing is alive and hopping already, so I’m excited to give it a spin this weekend. The general idea, in case you don’t know, is to make bread not by using instant yeast but yeast from the air. It’s supposed to give bread a whole new level of flavor. 
There are a million recipes out there all calling for different ratios of flour to water, some using white flour, some whole wheat. I kind of just went with my gut with mine, figuring that if there are so many different recipes, it must not be that fussy of an ordeal. Sometimes living in Korea, too, the stuff you have access to is just different by nature from what most North Americans are using. Sometimes you just have to figure it out by trial and error. So I mixed together nearly equal parts white and whole wheat flour (통밀가루), with about 3 cups of white and 4 of whole wheat, and put it into an airtight plastic container to make feeding the starter throughout the week as little hassle as possible. I originally mixed the suggested 1 2/3 cups flour with 3/4 cups of water, but ended up with a crumbly little ball. So I added more water – maybe 1/3 of a cup – until it looked more the way it ought to (slightly thicker than pancake batter). This has always been my experience with bread recipes – whatever they say the ratio of liquid to solid should be is never what ends up working for me. Over time, I’ve learned how to eyeball it and go with what looks right. 
I put the starter in a large glass mason jar (much bigger than it looks like I may need, because the starter will rise and fall throughout the day) and covered it with cheesecloth (technically, a cloth for steaming corn, which seems oddly specific). Now, I feed it every night before I go to bed, when doing the watering rounds for the plants – I dump out about half and add 3/4 cup of the premixed flour blend and half a cup of water. Mix it, stick it back in the cabinet. They say it should take up to a week for things to get going, but mine was already bubbling by the second day, which may be because it’s hot as hell. 
When I want to make bread, all I need to do is replace a portion of the flour and water in the recipe with some of the starter instead. I expect that too will take some time to get right, but I’ve learned over the years that bread is a fickle beast, anyway – depending on the temperature, the humidity, the time of day, the position of the stars, the direction of the wind, you’ll rarely have two loaves of bread come out exactly the same. 
I’ll close with some photos from Monday’s Hongcheon trip, which included visiting with the lovely folks at the Hongcheon Agricultural Cooperative, and Kim Choon-ok, who makes 올챙이국수 (tadpole noodles) at the Hongcheon Central Market and who very much reminded me of my mother-in-law. Named for the tadpole shape the noodles originally took back when the batter was made from fresh corn rather than dry and the equipment wasn't as developed, the corn noodles are mixed with a spicy sauce made from chili peppers, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions and sesame seeds and a little bit of ice-cold water, if you want. I love noodles, but they’re usually too heavy for me to get through much of them before I give up. These were different—even lighter than 냉면 (cold noodles), and so soft that they break apart when you stir in the sauce. 
She may have just been being humble, but I think Kim meant it when she told me the noodles tasted like nothing compared to the ones she can make with fresh corn. But since fresh corn is only available for so long, and she needs to run her business year-round, she has no choice but to serve what is in her opinion a second-rate product. But she still gets to the market at 3 or 4am every morning to start stewing the batter, and doesn't go home until 9 or 10pm every night, after the next morning's cornmeal is finished grinding.
While I was on the trip, by the way, I got a strange email from B with nothing more than this image attached: 
It says: 
People who fail are infected with a bug. That bug’s name is “대충”. 
대충 can have a lot of different meanings, like roughly, approximately, basically, almost. It can also mean sloppy or half-assed. One of the most common nagging phrases that makes its way from my lips into one of B’s ears and out the other is 대충대충 하지 마 – don’t half-ass it. He’s far from being a failure, and I’ve seen some people 대충대충 their way to pretty decent success, but a few hours after I opened this email while standing in the middle of a corn field, I was in the van on the way back to Seoul when I got a message – B had gone for an evening ride along the Han, zoned out and crashed his bike and was at the emergency room. 
He's fine. Just conveniently can't use his hands to do anything, 대충 or otherwise, for a few weeks. 





























I'm No Picasso
This is a tale of the seaports where chance brings the traveler: he clambers a hillside and such things come to pass.In Imminent Danger
Bits and pieces about Korean literature and translation philosophy

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Top 20 things you must do in Seoul!

Koreabridge - Thu, 2015-07-23 05:11
Top 20 things you must do in Seoul!

Because every part of Seoul is so appealing, you may be confused of what to do and where to go if it’s your first time in Seoul. Here are our expert recommendation for your bucket list of travelling Seoul. From popular and hip places to hidden local spots, you will visit the must-go places and have unforgettable experiences if you finish all the things mentioned below. Now, let’s hit the road~~~~!

1. Feel the sublime Korea through a palace tour

Old palaces from the Josun dynasty display the traditional beauty of Korea, showing how long the Korean history has been. (It’s almost 5,000 years!) There are 4 major palaces in Seoul – Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung. Especially Changdeokgung is designated as a World heritage site by UNESCO and renowned for its beautiful garden. Also, you can rent a Korean traditional cloth –Hanbok – near the old palaces. Why don’t you walk the path that ancient Koreans walked by becoming a princess or a prince from the Josun dynasty? Do you like to visit the old palaces? Click here! Do you like to rent the Hanbok? Click here!

2. Romantic night view from Namsan Mountain

Namsan Mountain, especially N Seoul Tower on the top of the mountain, is a recommended spot for foreigners. You can have the overview of Seoul in any direction at the towel’s observatory. The night view of Seoul from N Seoul Tower is romantically beautiful. Especially, bridges over the black Hanriver at night shine like diamond bracelets. If you bring your lover to the N Seoul Tower, visit a spot where you can install a lock, wishing an eternal love.

3. Try fresh raw fish in Noryangjin fish market

If you want to see the liveliness of the local people in Seoul, Noryangjin fish market will show more than what you can imagine. You will also be surprised to see so many fish and other marine creatures in one place. Owners in the Noryangjin fish market will try to attract you by showing how fresh their fish are. You can even see the owners filleting the fish you choose. Sometimes, they give you extra fish or sea food as a sign of their kindness.

4. Burn, Baby, Burn – Clubbing

Seoul is a city that never sleeps, because young people burn their passion in clubs during night times. Hongdae is a famous area for clubbing of young people, especially college students. Club ‘NB2’ is managed by YG entertainments. So, if you are lucky, you can see some of YG artist there! Also, there are many 24 hour open cafes in Hongdae for clubbers who want to take a rest after clubbing. Gangnam is another hot place for clubbing. As there are a lot of companies’ offices in Gangnam area, usually people over 25 go clubbing after work. Club ‘Octagon’ located in Gangnam ranked in the 6th place of the world’s best club in 2015.

5. Put your feet in the cold water of Cheonggyecheon!

Cheonggyecheon is a stream going through the northern part of Seoul. There used to be many stores along the stream, but it was restored at 2005 by Seoul city hall. After the restoration project, Cheonggyecheon and its near area became cleaner and more organized. You can even see fish swimming in the water. Many people have visited Cheonggyecheon during summer, and sometimes people put their feet in the water.

6. Time-slip to the past: Korean folk village

You can experience how people from the past lived by visiting Korean folk village. Real traditional houses were built and actors were hired to play the roles of people from the past. Instead of just seeing the ancient artifacts in museums, you can be a part of the lives of the commoners from the past. Do you like to visit the Korean folk village? Click here!

7. Be the Shopaholic!

Shopping is something you must not miss while you are in Korea. There are numerous shopping places in Seoul from underground shopping complexes in subway stations to elegant shops in department stores. Myeongdong is one of the most popular shopping areas as most of famous brands in Korea are placed there. Dongdaemun is famous for reasonably priced items. Several shopping complexes are built in this area, providing young and casual style clothes for young people and tourists. Garosugil has risen as a trendy shopping area filled with small boutique shops of unique styles.

8. Enjoy exotic cuisines in Itaewon

Itaewon is the most international place in Seoul where the cultures from many countries gather together. It is like a small village of the world. There are many restaurants specialized in authentic traditional dishes of various countries. Especially, Zelen is a Bulgarian restaurant run by chef. Michael who has been popular in Korean cooking TV shows.

9. What will you buy as souvenirs? – Insadong

Good souvenirs will make you a thoughtful and caring person among others around you. Insadong is a street filled with shops selling Korean traditional items perfect for souvenirs. From small items like a key chain to big ones like a piece of furniture, you can purchase almost anything. Sometimes the price of the identical items differs from a shop to a shop, so always search more to make economic purchase. Besides, there are many good museums and galleries in Insadong to look around.

10. Irresistible yummy Street foods

You can easily find vendors selling street foods in Korea. Korean’s street foods have their own charm that can’t be replaced by restaurants’ meals. We bet that street vendors selling local street foods will catch you with the mouthwatering smell and look. Gwangjang market is a famous place where you can enjoy classic local foods like mungbean pancake and sliced raw beef sashimi. Noryangjin is the place where you can have really good meals with cheap prices. Most of dishes are around 5,000 won or below. Street foods in Hongdae are trendy and experimental like their fashion style. Do you like to eat Korean street foods? Click here!

11. Hot as hell – Jjimjilbang

Jjimjilbang is a Korean sauna. You can go into rooms with high temperature and emit your toxic things by sweating. There are many types of rooms: Red clay room, Ice room, Crystal room and so on. Before you go into the Jjimjilbang, you have to use a public bath in full nudity. However, don’t worry! The public bath is a common thing in Korea and people don’t care how others’ bodies look like. You can order boiled eggs with Korean traditional rice drink – sikhye – as snacks in the Jjimjilbang. Dragon Hill Spa is the most famous Jjimjilbang in Korea.

12. Workout during traveling – Climbing Bukhan Mountain

You may think that Seoul is the city of the high technology. Then you are half right. Surrounded by mountains, Seoul is also an eco-friendly city where you can enjoy nature. One good way is to hike Bukhan Mountain located in the northern part of Seoul. There are several courses to hike Bukhan Mountain, but most of them usually take about 4~5 hours. If you get tired during climbing the mountain, visit Buddhism temples built on the mountain. Unlike temples in the middle of the city, the temples isolated in Bukhan Mountain are more peaceful and reflective.

13. Experience North Korea through DMZ tour

Korea has been divided into South and North Korea after the Korean civil in 1950s. At the border between South and North Korea, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was set to prevent any invasion and is currently controlled by dispatched UN soldiers. With your ID, you can have a tour in DMZ guided by the soldiers. You can go to Dora observatory to see North Korean villages, the third tunnel built by North Korean soldiers, and the joint security area Panmunjom. DMZ tour is carried outside Seoul. (only 30 mins driving away distance) Do you like to have DMZ tour? Click here!

14. Do you enjoy going on the rides in amusement Parks?

There are 3 big amusement parks in or near Seoul – Lotte World, Everland, Seoul Land. Lotte World has many thrilling rides, visited by young people mostly. Everland also has many ride like Lotte World, but there are a zoo, a botanical garden and a glamping place in Everland. Seoul Land has many exciting yet less thrilling rides, targeting families with children. Along with rides and additional attractions, various festivals are being held with numerous events in these amusement parks. Do you like to visit the Everland? Click here!

15. Be Yuna Kim in City hall’s ice rink!

When winter comes, Seoul city hall opens an ice skating rink in front of the Seoul Plaza for Seoul citizens. Usually it opens from 10 AM to 10PM and the entrance fee is 1,000 won per hour including ice skate shoes rental. Next to the rink, various booths are installed to offer additional entertainments for the visitors.

16. Imagine the sky covered with cherry blossom flowers in Yeouido

Spring is a romantic season, but what makes it more romantic is walking under cherry blossom trees. Yeouido has a road where a row of the cherry blossom tress stand along the way. Millions of people visit this road during the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Flower Festival in April. We recommend you to visit there in night as there would be less people and the cherry blossom flowers gleam dreamily under the street lights.

17. Small picnic at Hanriver

Hanriver is a perfect place to chill out in the summer. Feeling the cool breeze from Hanriver, you can have a nice little vacation without leaving Seoul. Delivery foods are another attractive point of this outdoor picnic at Hanriver. The best menu is always chicken with beer! You can just call any restaurant and tell where you are sitting. Sitting on a picnic mat, you can eat or even take a nap. Also, many night performances are held during the evening time By the way, be careful not to be bit by mosquitoes. You may need to bring a bug bite ointment or mosquito repellents.

18. Cleans your body and mind through a temple stay

Wanna have a healing time? You don’t need to go out Seoul for finding your inner peace. You can join a temple stay operating in Seoul. Forgetting all the complicated and loud things surrounding you, you can relax and focus on ‘Yourself.’ In temples located in Seoul such as Gilsangsa, Hwagyesa, and Bongeunsa, you will learn basic temple manners and the way of life harmonized with nature through the guide of monks.

19. Explore the hometown of K-pop

Seoul would be the most fascinating city among K-pop lovers. If you wait front of the buildings of big entertainment companies like YG, SM and JYP, you may see your beloved stars commuting. You can even visit performance halls like Klive or SM artium where you can see K-pop hologram concerts anytime. Also a lot of K-pop concerts are held in big stadiums in Seoul, giving you opportunities to participate in Koreans’ famous crowd sing-along. There are several lessons teaching you how to sing and dance like K-pop stars as well. Do you like to have the K-pop lesson? Click here!

20. Enjoy Seoul life 24 hour

As Koreans love to play even at night, many shops and facilities are 24 hour open. Usually in crowded areas like Hongdae and Gangnam, cafes open 24 hours to give clubbers places to rest. Buses whose names start with the alphabet ‘N’ are night buses that runs during night, providing convenience to Seoul citizens. If you are hungry around 1 or 2 am, then run to any convenient stores. They are always 24 hours open even in national holidays.


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a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

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The Fugitives

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-07-22 15:16
The Fugitives  

A window-shopper from the hospital (At least she’s not carrying an IV pole. ^^)

Clad in their hospital gowns, they can be seen moseying through the busy streets on Market Day, dining in a crowded restaurant or drinking in a 호프 (hof or bar) with friends, sometimes dragging their IV poles as if they are carrying a Prada bag with pride. It is easy to spot them at the public parking garage or on a bench outside the hospital, smoking and chinwaging with other smokers, not giving a damn about other patients who went out of their room to get some fresh air. I call them THE FUGITIVES. You see, patients normally stay IN THE HOSPITAL and are allowed to go out as long as they are on the premises of the hospital where they are being cared for, but these patients I call fugitives are always itching to leave the hospital grounds. They don’t just leave; they paint the town red, more like they are on a hospital-holiday spree. My husband was one of these fugitives. When he was confined for more than a month, he would escape from the hospital and spend the entire day at home. At first, I thought that he just missed me, so he kept coming to the house, but he would either be playing computer games or curl up on the sofa and watch TV for hours. At times, he would play pool with his buddies… in his hospital gown! Oh, and yes, he did the most dreadful thing a fugitive can do when he was admitted to the hospital for a minor accident… leave the hospital late at night to drink in a bar! He even attended a wedding a few hours away from the hospital! Good thing he traded his stylish hospital gown for a suit that day.

Hospital gown, check! IV, check!

Fugitives are everywhere in Korea, and people who see them don’t seem to mind. I understand, hospitals can be boring… but wandering around town with your IV or drinking alcohol outside when you are being treated and cared for? C’mon!  I remember when my husband had a surgery in the Philippines, and he was confined for a week. He called the hospital a prison, the doctors the prison wardens. He couldn’t leave his room even when he could walk. He wasn’t allowed to smoke outside. The doctors kept reminding him to refrain from smoking and quit drinking, as his condition was alcohol-related. When he had another surgery in Korea, none of his doctors told him to cut down smoking and stop drinking. He said that Koreans don’t like being told what to do, even by doctors… unless it’s a matter of life and death. Could this be the reason why doctors in Korea are reluctant to tell their patients the do’s and dont’s? Could this be why the fugitives behave the way they do and get away with it? Well, there is no harm in enjoying a typical day outside even when you are sick, but should you really be wandering around town with that IV drip?

Could this “don’t-tell-me-what-to-do” mentality be the reason why a MERS-infectee from Korea flew out of the country on a business trip to China despite being advised by his doctor to wait and see if he was disease-free, thus causing panic among Chinese citizens?

Could this be why seeing an in-patient drinking in a bar or a hof like there is no tomorrow does not shock Koreans anymore?

 

From Korea with Love
Chrissantosra.wordpress.com


 

 

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12th Stepping Stone Indie Rock Festival (The Korea File)

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-07-22 01:35
12th Stepping Stone Indie Rock Festival (The Korea File)

 

 

From humble beginnings in a Tapdong parking lot 12 years ago, the Stepping Stone indie rock festival celebrated another success in 2015 in spite of heavy rain, intense winds and a washed-out beach due to Typhoon Chan-hom. 

The Korea File was at the festival's Plan B, Daemyung Resort's Diamond Ballroom on Hamdeok Beach, to speak with festival organizer Kim Myoung-su and some of the bands, including: 

the Stooges-era garage rock of Dead Buttons, 
https://www.gigmit.com/dead-buttos 

Romantiqua's guitar-heavy post-rock
http://www.koreanindie.com/2013/05/07/romantiqua-%EB%A1
%9C%EB%A7%8C%ED%8B%B0%EC%B9%B4-when-and-where/

the Mogwai-esque soundscape harmonics of Apollo 18 
https://apollo18.bandcamp.com/

and the dynamic folk punk of Jeju's own Zen Alone. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUA-cLDLoKo

For more on the festival check out Ann Bush's eyewitness account at
http://www.jejuweekly.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=4846


   The Korea File
      http://www.spreaker.com/show/korea_moments

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Temple Stay: Hwaunsa Temple (Gyeonggi-do)

Koreabridge - Tue, 2015-07-21 05:09
Temple Stay: Hwaunsa Temple (Gyeonggi-do)

(Courtesy of the Hwaunsa Temple Facebook Page)

Hello Again Everyone!!

Introduction to the Temple:

Hwaunsa Temple, which means “Shining Cloud Temple,” in English, was established as a training centre for Buddhist nuns in 1962. The temple was originally constructed in 1938 by Jaeyun Cha, a Buddhist devotee. He constructed the temple at the foot of Mt. Myeokjosan as a small Buddhist sanctuary. Then, in 1962, the Venerable Biguni Ji Myeong came from Sudeoksa Temple to become the abbot at Hwaunsa Temple. It was under her direction that the temple became a Sangha College for Korean Buddhist nuns. Under her tutelage, over 500 nuns graduated directly under her guidance. In fact, Ven. Ji Myeong was a revered national Seon Master. It was under her that her disciple, Ven. Seonil, the abbot at the temple now, studied.

(Courtesy of the Hwaunsa Temple Facebook Page)

Directions:

From Seoul:

From Seoul, you’ll first need to get to Jogyesa Temple. From the temple, you’ll need to find the Templestay Information Center, which is directly in front of Jogyesa Temple. From the Templestay Information Center, you’ll see the bus stop for the Red Bus #5000 about 50 metres to your right.

The Red Bus #5000 runs Monday to Sunday from 6:30 to 24:00. The bus runs every 10 minutes, and the bus ride to Hwaunsa Temple takes an hour and thirty-eight minutes.

You can take the Red Bus #5000 from Jogyesa Temple, or you can catch Red Bus #5003 directly at Gangnam Station. From Gangnam Station, the bus ride lasts anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes.

Which ever bus you decide to take, you’ll need to follow the signs where they drop you off out in front of Hwaunsa Temple. The walk is a mere 600 metres to the temple.

 

General Schedule: Hwaunsa Temple conducts two different types of programs. The first is the “Korean Buddhist Educational/Cultural Tour.” And the second program is the “Sunim’s Space: Experience Monastic Life Just as Sunims in Korea Live It!” The first is a one day program, while the other is a two day program.

 

A: Korean Buddhist Educational/Cultural Tour: Day 1: 14:00 – 15:00: Arrival at Hwaunsa Temple. Introduction to temple etiquette, history, and culture. 15:00 – 16:00: Tour of Hwaunsa Temple (Main Buddha Hall, Healing Center, Meditation Hall, etc.) 16:00 – 17:00: Tea Time with Venerable Biguni Seonil, PhD 17:00 – 18:00: Dinner 18:00: Departure from Hwaunsa Temple

(Courtesy of the Hwaunsa Temple Facebook Page)

 

B: Sunim’s Space: Experience Monastic Life Just as Sunims in Korea Live It!: Day 1: 15:00 – 16:00: Arrival at Hwaunsa Temple. Introduction to temple etiquette, history, and culture. 16:00 – 17:00: Tour of Hwaunsa Temple (Main Buddha Hall, Healing Center, Meditation Hall, etc.) 17:00 – 18:00: Dinner 18:00 – 19:00: Evening Prayer in the Main Buddha Hall 19:00 – 20:00: Salt Mandela Making 20:00 – 21:00: Shower 21:00: Bedtime Day 2: 04:00 – 05:00: Wake Up 05:00 – 06:00: Early morning prayer (Begins at 4:45) 06:00 – 07:00: Breakfast 07:00 – 08:00: Walking Meditation through the Mountain 08:00 – 09:00: Meditation/Sutra Study (On Your Own) 09:00 – 10:00: Communal Temple Work (Yurak)/Free Time 10:00 – 11:00: Mid-Morning Prayer 11:00 – 12:00: Tea Time with Venerable Biguni Seonil, PhD, Abbott of Hwaunsa Temple 12:00 – 13:00: Lunch 13:00: Departure from Hwaunsa

 

Hwaunsa Temple Information:

Address: Hwaunsa Int’l Templestay & Training Center 111-14 Dongbaekjukjeon-daero (Samga dong) Cheoin-gu, Yongin-so, Gyeonggido, Korea 449-060 Tel : 031-337-2576/Fax : 031-335-0465 homepage: http://hwaunsa.kr E-mail: hws2555@templestay.com Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/ProjectHwaunTemple

 

Fees: To get more information on the two different temple stay programs, you’ll need to contact the temple directly.

 

Link:

Reservations for the Korean Buddhist Educational/Cultural Tour

Reservations for the  Sunim’s Space: Experience Monastic Life Just as Sunims in Korea Live It!

 

(Courtesy of the Hwaunsa Temple Facebook Page)

 

The post Temple Stay: Hwaunsa Temple (Gyeonggi-do) appeared first on Dale's Korean Temple Adventures.

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How Japan Manages to Hang Tough in History Debates with Korea & China

Koreabridge - Mon, 2015-07-20 07:48
How Japan Manages to Hang Tough in History Debates with Korea & China

This is a cross-post of an essay that went up today at the Lowy Interpreter.

I was wondering why it is that Japan seems to be able to duck-and-weave on thorny East Asian history questions, when these are settled in just about the rest of the world? Even the Japanese left admits the nasty stuff the Empire did, so how is it the right hangs on in denial?

Some of it, to be sure, is domestic politics. The uyoku dentai certainly keep up the pressure on Abe & co. to give up nothing. And my own experience with them on Twitter has lead me to block them a lot, because they’re so visceral and racist: ‘Koreans are immoral’ and so on. But they’re no more than a few hundred thousand people at most, out out 126 million Japanese total.

The IR academic in me instinctively looks to foreign pressures, and here one can really see how the Chinese Communist Party’s appalling history toward its own people conveniently lets the Empire off the hook. The CCP will lose a ‘who was worse to the Chinese people than who’ contest with the Empire. Similarly, the ROK’sinstrumentalization of the relationship with Japan for national identity-buildingpurposes allows the Japanese right to stonewall, the logic being ‘Korea will never stop demanding apologies, so there’s no point engaging them anyway.’ As usual, it’s a tangle.

The essay follows the jump:

 

In my last essay for the Interpreter, I argued that Japan needs at some point to come around on the history questions that divide it so sharply from South Korea and China. I argued that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his coalition persist in interpretations of the empire and the war that are accepted nowhere outside Japanese conservative circles. Brutalities such as Unit 731, the Rape of Nanking, and the comfort women are established fact in historiography everywhere else in the world. Normatively and empirically, the Japanese right will never win Asia’s ‘history wars.’ At some point it would help enormously if Tokyo would just admit what the rest of the world already knows anyway. The whole thing is fairly fatiguing, not to mention immoral.

But I received a number responses from Japan-watchers noting that despite all the moral pressure, the US arm-twisting for rapprochement, and the enormous light on the subject right now, including both the 50th anniversary of Japan-Korea diplomatic normalization and the 70th anniversary of the war’s end this summer, Japan has given rather little. Why so?

China

Regarding China, geopolitics enables obfuscation. China is authoritarian oligarchy which opportunistically manipulates the Japanese invasion for political legitimacy. Sadly, Japanese behavior in China was probably the most appalling in the entire empire, but the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) authoritarianism and its own historical myopia – Mao is responsible for far more Chinese deaths than the empire was – basically lets Japan slip off the hook. Of course Japan should be honest about its record, but so long as China is not a democracy and so obviously lies about its own history, then the political pressure on Japan is considerably blunted. Certainly the Americans, for example, will not push Japan over this. The same applies – probably even more so – to North Korea.

South Korea

South Korea is a far tougher case, because it is a democracy. It can therefore claim a moral and normative legitimacy in its calls for restitution which China cannot. But here too, Abe has proven surprisingly recalcitrant for several reasons:

1. Geopolitics: South Korea is simply not as important to the United States as Japan, so there are limits to how far the US will push Tokyo. And so long as the US provides strategic security to both, Japan is shielded from regional pressure on its unwillingness to move. (In the same way, the US alliance also enables Korea’s Japan maximalists.) I have called this ‘moral hazard’ elsewhere.

2. Park Geun-Hye’s Flailing Presidency: Park is very unpopular. After multiple scandals and public safety disasters, her approval rating is around 30%. She is desperate for some kind of victory to turn around the incompetency narrative surrounding her presidency. This has weakened her hand; Seoul’s sudden climb-down on its opposition to Japan’s recent UNESCO bid looks suspiciously like a concession to get a rumored comfort women deal.

3. Exaggeration: Korean critics of Japan often compare the imperial occupation of the peninsula to the Holocaust. I think this parallelism is deployed, because it carries so much weight before a Western audience and implies that a Willy Brandt-style, on-your-knees apology from Japan is the appropriate outcome. It is up to Koreans to decide what kind of apology they will accept, but I wonder if Koreans actually realize just how ‘eliminationist’ the Nazi Neuordnung was, particularly toward the Jews, Poles, and Russians.

The Japanese Empire intended to absorb Koreans as something like sub-Japanese second-class citizens. Hence the ‘cultural replacement’ efforts, such as forcing Japanese language instruction and insisting on Japanese names. By contrast, the Nazis intended to exterminate peoples wholesale, by the millions. There were no death camps in Korea.

A better, if far less evocative, analogy might be English control of the Celtic fringe in the British Isles, especially Ireland. There, a far longer period of colonial control did indeed significantly eliminate the original language (Gaelic), anglicize much of the population, and lead to so much socio-political assimilation that Irish ironically went out into the further Empire as imperial representatives. Like Japan in Korea, there were both collaborators and brutalities, most notably the insistence on food exports during the Great Famine, but these were not deliberate, planned exterminations.

4. Politicization: Elsewhere I have argued that South Korea’s legitimacy needs fire a politicization of the colonial period. My critics reject the notion that South Korean ‘anti-Japanism’ is driven by anything other than legitimate objections to Japanese behavior from 1910-45. Several data-points suggest this is not so, all of which make it easier for Japanese conservatives to muddy the waters by claiming that “South Korea demonizes Japan beyond reason” (as I heard a Japanese scholar say at a conference once):

a. North Korea does not fixate on Japan the way South Korea does. The primary objects of North Korean enemy propaganda are the ‘Yankee Colony’ South Korea and the United States. Japan is a surely villain but mostly serves as a foil to demonstrate Kim Il Sung’s early heroics and nationalist commitment. If anti-Japanism were a deep, Korea-wide sentiment, surely the North would use it more for legitimacy’s sake, instead of the far-away Americans, or the preposterously mystical ‘Baekdu bloodline.’

b. Dokdo military drills. Japan and South Korea are US allies. A war between them is unthinkable; indeed, given that US commanders are strew throughout the defense structures of both, it would be nearly impossible for each to seriously fight the other. Were a conflict to break-out between them, the US would likely leave the region, an eventuality no decision-maker in Seoul or Tokyo would risk. Yet the Seoul nevertheless annually runs military exercises around the islets, such as test flights of combat aircraft or amphibious landings. These could be called off with no detriment to Korean security – because of the mutual US alliances – nor reduction in the sovereignty claim to Dokdo – because Korean police, fishermen, and tourists would still be present. In short, the exercises serve political rather than military goals.

c. The Sea of Japan re-naming campaign. This appears almost purposefully antagonistic and political. One can certainly understand how the body of water to the east of Korea would be the ‘East Sea’ in Korean – just as Germans refer to the Baltic Sea in German as the ‘East Sea’ too. But why should such a non-descript name – there are many places ‘east’ of the other places – be a new global standard? Should the Indian Ocean be renamed for Sri Lankans? Should the Arabian Sea be renamed for Pakistanis? If the Sea of Japan becomes the East Sea, should the Korea Strait be renamed the South Strait, as the Japanese will almost certainly insist?

d. Ethnic Korean lobbying against Japan inside the United States. Ethnic Korean-American lobbying has brought comfort women memorials and the ‘East Sea’ to the United States. This is marketed in South Korea as spreading global concern over Japanese recalcitrance, when in fact, these are the outcome of concentrated Korean-American interest group politics in the US with strong support back home. This is South Korea competing to negatively define Japan to the United States, even though Japan is a US ally.

Each of these actions make sense within the framework I provided in my earlier Lowy essays – that Japan acts as a national identity other against which South Korea constructs its political self. Each has an obvious political-theatrical element that does not advance the cause of Japanese softening on Korea’s concerns. Rather, each clearly provokes Japan the other way, to stiffen its spine and hang tough as Abe has done – a point I have heard from many Japanese colleagues and friends over the years.

The Korean, and Chinese, moral positions on the war and empire are correct. But a great deal of politics has enabled surprising Japanese recalcitrance. While no one expects moderation from the CCP, South Korea might smooth the path by rolling back some of its most maximal positions, such as points 3 and 4 above. None directly impact South Korean security or growth. All would strip the political cover from Japanese conservatives who claim ‘Korea fatigue’ as cause to reject concessions.

 

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
robertkelly260@hotmail.com

 

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Flavored Soju & Korean Drinking Games

Koreabridge - Mon, 2015-07-20 04:29

Rachel invited her friends over to try some of the new flavors of SOJU that have been showing up in stores all over Korea lately. Soju is Korea's quintessential alcohol. What's the best way to drink soju? With Korean drinking games! If you've tried the new soju, what's your favorite flavor??
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Flavored Soju & Korean Drinking Games
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10 EPIK Haikus

Koreabridge - Mon, 2015-07-20 01:23
10 EPIK Haikus

As my year with EPIK comes to a close, I find myself thinking a lot about the experience. Below are 10 haikus that reflect what I’ve learned while living, teaching and traveling in South Korea (though really they’re applicable to anyone teaching or living abroad anywhere!).

 

Being a teacher

Requires kindness, patience

And–JIMMY SIT DOWN!!!!

 

 

Be as curious

About the world as Kore’n

Kids are with arm hair.

 

 

Try new things, even

If it scares you. Open your

Mouth. Bite down. Swallow.

 

When teaching young kids,

Speak slowly and carry a

Big bucket of treats.

 

An-yeong-ha-se-yo (Hello. How are you?)

Ne, ne an-yeong-ha-se-yo (Fine, thank you. How are you?)

Language skills on point.

 

 

Whenever in doubt

Bow it out. A smile goes

A long way also.

 

Travel: exploring

A new part of the world and

Soul at the same time.

 

 

To be homesick is

To know without any doubt

Where you’re meant to be.

 

 

Language barriers

Are not impenetrable.

Speak. Listen. Converse.

 

The world is a book

And I’ve read many pages

The next chapter is…

 

To view the original post and other great content, visit Korealizations at:
http://korealizations.wordpress.com

Like Korealizations on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube! Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

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Losing weight in Korea

Koreabridge - Thu, 2015-07-16 13:57
Losing weight in Korea

 

The Korean diet is SO healthy...not! While on a bus the other day a friend and I started flipping through timehop and then through old photos on Facebook ("ohhhh my gosh BABY KATE!" was the reaction).  My birthday (coming up August 6th where I'll go from 27 Western age to 30 Korean age) is always a time of reflection on what I've accomplished, what I hope to accomplish, and how I'm looking and feeling.  This is a long post with tons of photos, ten years of nostalgia, and me still trying to figure out what hair colour I can stand long-term.    
To all my friends: there will never be a birthday where I don't want to feel young and ridiculous.  There will never be a day where pink dresses, wine through a straw, tiaras, and macarons are not of value.


When I told people I was moving to Korea most people were very excited for my new adventure and many wanted to tell me second-hand stories of friends (or friends of friends) who had done the same thing.  I was told stories of people coming back entirely fluent in Hangul, people coming back and leaving again, and people who just never came back at all.  I was told stories of people who started photos series of all the crazy "Konglish" (Korean + English) tee-shirts they had seen abroad.  I was also told many stories of people who had gone to Korea and dropped mad weight.  "The pounds just seemed to fall off" I was told.  I was skeptical, but at the same time hoped that I would also be able to enjoy the benefits of living on a Korean diet.

Keeping my weight in check has always been a struggle.  Growing up I lived in a fairly affluent neighbourhood with a variety of slim, pretty girls in Gap Kids clothes.  I was not one of those kids.  My Mom always let me have my own sense of style (which may have gone a little too far when I cut my own hair so it looked like "Jem" at 3 years old) and I enjoyed seeking out unknown designers as well as what I wasn't aware at the time was an entirely different echelon of fashion: Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Elie Tahari.  By the time I was 11 years old I was 5'8" tall (a height that hasn't changed to this day) and a women's size 6-8 (a size I wish had stood the test of time).  I was unhappy not fitting in at my elementary school and had been teased most of my life for big calves and my hips that came in early (hey boobs - I'm still waiting for you!).

  

 Let's fast forward a few years to grade 12.  I was happy in high school - I went to a performing arts high school taking musical theatre so I got to sing, dance, and play a difference character every day.  It was rad.  I was getting exercise at school several times a week and with a gym membership my parents had got me (I was 17 and still holding onto baby weight - I think they knew what University had in store for me). 
 





 


















By frosh week, I was down to a weight that was heavy, but I'm a tall, muscular girl and I felt confident in my appearance.  I put on the freshman 15 in first year University and when I moved out of residence in 2nd year and got back to a gym routine many (but not all!) of the pounds fell off.  I was content enough, but still not thrilled.

 I made this face a LOT at UBC!






When I moved to Vancouver to go to UBC everything changed.  I was a residence adviser (so I lived back in res) and my cafeteria meal plan was completely different (I don't think Sodexho/ Queen's University has ever really heard of a proper salad regardless of the salad bar that was available).  I walked miles every day - circles around a giant, stunning campus with zillions of opportunities to walk, run, ride, dance, cheer (yes - I was a cheerleader and a sorority girl) climb, or rest enjoying a combination of mountain and sea air.  I was happy - really, really happy.  I almost immediately dropped about 25 lbs unexpectedly.  All of a sudden I was hot and people wanted to pay me to take my picture (the photos are out there on Google but I'm not going to share my professional vanity shots in this particular post).  I had a great shoe closet.  It was wonderful.  My ego was enormous.


 I am my Father's daughter. I hope I still have the same smile and party attitude in x # of years...
 Hey Mom - is this sweater in Ontario?

 My Mom still has a better body than I ever will - she's a fox.
When I started working full time I was the same weight but worked out harder (leaving my house at 5:45 AM so I could get a work out in before heading to the office).  I thought because I was sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day I was all of a sudden getting fat.  Regardless, people still took photos of me mid-bite and to this day I think they're cute.  Wouldn't catch me doing that now, though!












Eventually I did gain weight (and a lot of it!) because of my desk job, but that was in Toronto, not Vancouver.
 I can tell you - this was not a look that floored Lupul.
 I actually thought this was a flattering photo.
                               
In Toronto I was unhappy.  I worked long hours and even after leaving the office I never really left my work behind as I had two cell phones (work and personal) and the work one never gave me any rest.  Working in hospitality management meant that sure - I got to work at 9 (well - usually earlier) to get the business, but was responsible late into the night for keeping the business happy, fed, and imbibing to increase liquor sales.  I was lonely because I didn't have time to make real friends the first couple of years (shout out to the amazing gal pals I did end up making!) and I ate poorly not just because it was there and convenient, but because it was a crutch.

  
What a difference...a month makes?
I think that I thought I would drop a pile of weight like I had in Vancouver upon my arrival in Korea, and in some ways I did.  I figured I would do a lot of hiking (the only temples with climbs have been 10-15 minutes max) and that the Korean diet would do magical, wonderful things to my figure.  I have lost weight.  When I came to Korea I snacked a lot, had a lot of chocolate from Canada with me, and was trying to be cheap so that I could stretch the money I brought with me until my first paycheque.  Pasta and LotteMart red "vodka" sauce, rice bowls, and peppers were my go-to diet.  I think I probably put on about ten pounds when I first arrived as I had no gym membership and was eating like garbage.  Don't fall into that trap!  Koreans are bringing in more and more western food and quite frankly it's cheap.  Just don't do it.








In chronological order from left to right... 

 The goal: my 2009 Kits Beach Body.
Since April 17th, 2015 (when I bought my scale) I've lost about 9 lbs.  Seeing as I joined a gym at the end of March and started using MyFitnessPal around then I think overall I've probably lost about 20 lbs since my heaviest.  I go to the gym 5 times a week and on a lazy day still manage to get in at least 30 minutes of cardio, plus 5 sets of abs and a target area for my weights.  On days I go hard (which are more often) I hit Eco-gym and get in 50-60 minutes of cardio plus another 30 minutes to an hour of abs and weights.  I aim to net around 1200 calories a day (ie. if I workout 700 calories you better believe I'm having some extra snacks) and aim for under 100 g of carbohydrates.  MyFitnessPal really helps to ensure I'm getting enough protein and fat to make my day effective.  I also enjoy walking and riding a bike through the Hwamyeong Eco Park.




















                              January 2014                                                                                 June 2015

My best advice would be to get a calorie-counting app, go to the gym and work HARD as much as you can, and make sure to enjoy time out with your friends once a week - balance is key or you'll lose interest and fall off the wagon.

 July 2015

 The pizza here is great (Pizza Maru has green tea crust - I'm not cutting that out completely).  Don't overdo it on the soju (it puts me right to sleep) and splurge on a nice bottle of red every so often.  The best advice I've ever been given was to keep everything in moderation - even moderation.  My ultimate goal is to lose another 23 lbs, so I'm almost halfway there.  Leave a message in the comments if you plan on hitting the ground running on this awesome fitness journey!  I don't think anyone can call me "the incredible shrinking woman" (that's my sister's title after losing something ridiculous like 140 lbs!), but I'm well on my way...


 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Koreanized Fast Food Menus in McDonald’s, Lotteria, Burger King & KFC

Koreabridge - Thu, 2015-07-16 06:55
Koreanized Fast Food Menus in McDonald’s, Lotteria, Burger King & KFC

Sometimes, when travelling in budget, you’ll probably have a moment when you miss the time of having a proper meal. Moreover, some restaurants have a break time, not receiving any orders. Then what would you do? I’d say “Fast food.” Even though fast food is infamous for being unhealthy, many fast food restaurants are alluring you with delicious and simple menus.

Do you know that there are some fast food menus suited for the taste of Koreans and sometimes only available in Korea as well? There are some localized or so-called “Koreanized” Fast Food menus in Korea that are rare in other countries. We will introduce the menus of 4 major burger fast food restaurants – McDonald’s, Lotteria, Burger King, KFC.

McDonald’s

McDonald’s brought the era of the fast food in Korea. At first, they usually sold original American style menus, but as McDonald’s got popular among young people in Korea, they started serving localized menus that suit Korean people’s taste.

  Bulgogi Burger

Bulgogi Burger is a steady-seller menu, eventually becoming one of the Happy Price All Day menus. It means that you can get Bulgogi burger just at 2,000 won at any time. Bulgogi burger’s patty is marinated in a sweet soy sauce which is usually used in a Korean traditional dish of stir-fried pork – Bulgogi.

1955 Burger

Celebrating its 25 years of running business in Korea, McDonald’s in Korea released 1955 burger. The burger was originally introduced in the European market and became a huge hit. The number 1955 is the year that McDonald’s was founded.

Lotteria

Lotteria is a Korean brand fast food restaurant. Lotteria is known in Korea for launching very distinctive (?) menu that tend to cater to Korean people’s taste. With McDonald’s, Lotteria is the most familiar fast food brand remembered by Koreans.

Vegetable Rice Bulgogi Burger

You will be shocked when you see Vegetable rice bulgogi burger from Lotteria. Instead of bread buns at the top and the bottom, there are sticky and chewy rice buns. Some people said that Vegetable rice bulgogi burger could be somewhat a good meal that could make you feel full.

Gangjeong Burger

Gangjeong burger has a fried chicken patty with Korean sweet spicy red pepper sauce. Other fast food restaurants already have burgers with chicken patties, but Lotteria was the first to use chicken gangjeong sauce in a burger. Gangjeong is chopped and fried chicken that is stirred with soy and red pepper sauce.

Shake French Fries

Both McDonald’s and Lotteria sell french fried potatoes with extra seasoning. When you order these french fries, you will get a seasoning powder with french fries contained in a paper box. You have to put the powder in the paper box and grab the top of the box to avoid spilling any powder outside the box. Then shake it hard so that the powder mixes with the french fries. There are various tastes of the seasoning powder and you can change normal french fries into the shake fries with a bit of extra charge.

Burger King

Due to its name ‘Burger King,’ Burger King has been recognized as a fast food restaurant where burgers are exceptionally tasteful.

Quattro Cheese Whopper

Quattro cheese whopper is one of the most beloved menus in Burger King around the world. Unlike our thoughts that all the menus from Burger King were originated from the United States where they started the burger business, Quattro cheese whopper was born in Korea to suit Korean people’s taste. Analyzing that Koreans like the rich flavor of cheese, Burger King developed the menu Quattro cheese whopper using 4 different types of Cheeses. The result was successful and Quattro cheese whopper was imported to many countries.

Jalapenos Whopper

With the spicy flavor of jalapenos, Mexican chilies that have a strong spicy flavor gradually coming up in the mouth, Burger King Korea developed Jalapenos Whopper to attract Korean’s taste. The subtle spiciness of jalapenos makes the burger more delicious by catching the greasiness of the fried meat patty and the cheese slice.

We have introduced McDonald’s, Lotteria, and Burger King so far. Popeyes has been decreasing its number of stores in Korea and KFC has no specific burger localized to Korean taste. However, KFC in Korea has unique dessert menus that are hard to find outside Korea.

KFC Mozza Ball

Mozza ball is a fried bread ball with mozzarella cheese inside. There are two types of Mozza ball: plain and squid ink one. As you can guess, squid ink one is black but it tastes the same with the plain one.

Fried ice cream

Fried ice cream is another rare menu that can be found almost exclusively in Korea. When you bite the Fried ice cream, the outer part is hot and crispy and the inner ice cream part is cold and soft. However, since it is fried in oil, some people say that it is too greasy for them.

Adding to the menus introduced above, many seasonal menus have been released as test experiments. Keep an eye on those menus and try them. You may find those menu nowhere in the world but only in Korea! :)


Trazy.com
a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

2015 TESOL Asia / Asian EFL Journal International Conference

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-07-15 01:33

Asianefl.com/14thconference

Theme: "Teaching TESOL in Changing Times, Learning English in a New Age"

August 21-22-23, 2015

SITE Skills Training Campus
Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines 

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
  1. Prof. Rod Ellis (Auckland University N.Z.)
     Explicit and Implicit Grammar Instruction
  2. Prof. Andy Kirkpatrick (Griffiths University)
     English as a multicultural language : implications for language education in Asia
  3. Prof. John Adamson (Nigata Prefecture U - Japan)
    Rethinking CLIL in local Asian contexts
  4. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phyllis Chew (Nanyang Tech U - Singapore)
    From Third World to First”: a case study of English language management and classroom implementation in Singapore
  5. Prof. Winnie Cheng (Hong Kong Poly U)
    English Language curriculum and assessment : Hong Kong Poly Technic University
  6. Robert Dickey JD (USA) (Korea)
    Assessment in language learning classrooms : More questions than answers
VIRTUAL PRESENTATION
This year we offer Presenters who can't make the conference in Person the chance to deliver their paper by way of Virtual presentation. Plesae add to your Abstract (below) VIRTUAL PRESENTATION Please submit your abstract - 250 words and Bio by July 31, 2015

Send abstract here.

» Key Speakers session schedule

» Breakout session schedule

 

SITE campus - a Green campus

About Clark Free Port Zone (http://www.visitclark.com/)

The Clark of yester year was an American base filled with all things American—from Mom-and-Pop diners to retail outlets that only sell American goods.

The Site Campus is built on a 30 hectare area where International Vocational Skills training takes place, as well as location of the TESOL Asia suite of offices housing the new TESOL FM studio.

Also within the Freeport Zone are multiple recreational facilities including several world-class hotels and restaurants, 7 golf courses, casinos, a water theme park and adventure activities. An international airport (Clark) is 10 minutes drive from the Campus.

After the Americans left in the 1990’s, Clark, which was originally a town of Angeles, is now called the Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ).  It is now a 4,500-hectare industrial and leisure hub where visitors love to shop and vacation. Enjoy the nightlife and casino at Mimosa Leisure Park; swim in Fontana’s themed-pools; or ride a horse in the old American stables of El Kabayo. Clark is your essential vacation rolled into one area.


 

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

The Serious Business of Corn

Koreabridge - Tue, 2015-07-14 14:24
The Serious Business of Corn In case I haven’t really explained it yet, each month at the magazine, we chose an ingredient and visit a farm that produces that ingredient, in a region that’s famous for that ingredient, and a restaurant (or two) that specialize in Korean dishes that feature the ingredient. This is the basis for the article I write – farm to table, an introduction to Korean food from a foreign perspective. 
This month’s trip hasn’t even happened yet, but I’m already somewhat captivated by the subject, simply because Asian waxy corn vs. Western sweet corn seems to have the internet pretty divided. On the one hand, forums and message boards for Western foreigners in Korea are full of venomous ranting about waxy corn not being fit for human consumption, where as 찰옥수수 (glutinous corn) is considered the best in Korea. While foreigners are exchanging tips on where to find sweet corn on the cob in Korea, forums based in the States are full of Asian Americans swapping information on where to find the waxy corn they grew up with. 
We all know that weird and wonderful things can happen when immigrants bring their native culinary habits to a new country, where the locals adapt the dishes to fit their tastes, and fusion food is born. Italian pizza and American pizza can’t be said to be the same food, and even regional preferences within the same country can eventually come into play – see Chicago vs. New York. 
What’s interesting about waxy corn is that it’s an example of the same thing, but in a form that’s been occurring for a long time before trendy fusion restaurants were a thing. Essentially, corn was carried to China in the 16th century by the Portuguese who found it in the Americas. The Chinese took the crop and bred it over time to match their own taste – it’s not surprising that a rice-based culture would breed for glutinous qualities. From there, the waxy variety spread across Asia. This is considered to be the “real” variety of corn here, while the sweet, bright yellow stuff that comes in cans isn’t good for much other than an added flavor in side dishes, sandwiches or – another sore spot for Westerners – on pizza, the Korean version, which isn’t as different from the American version as the American version is from the Italian, frankly. 
What I found most amusing about this casual pre-article research is just how angry people on both sides get about the opposing camp’s idea of what makes for good corn. A lot of comments on both side referred back to childhood and, especially, summer. Of course, I have my own memories of the juices from grilled corn dribbling down my chin in the backyard. But my real emotional association with the food is even more regional than that – it’s cornbread, which I also ended up reading a lot about once I found myself starting to crave it while reading about corn. Specifically, I was annoyed that, while I can go out and buy cornbread in Korea, both Korean and foreign, it will either be the soft, fluffy, slightly richer version of white bread produced in Korean bakeries, or the overly sweet stuff the foreign barbecue restaurants I know of produce. Which is not right. American cornbread is not sweet.
I found that this preference, too, has its own background story. Apparently, the shift from stone milling to roller milling in the south caused the corn to lose a lot of the kernel and, with it, a lot of the resulting cornmeal’s flavor. To cope with the new meal’s flavor and texture, cooks began to doctor original recipes with things like sugar and wheat flour.
Et voila. Skillet-sized corn muffins for everyone. 
On the other side of the coin, there was the time B brought back a loaf of bread with little kernels of corn stuck all through it from the corner bakery for me to make French toast with. I generally take Korea’s variations for what they are. I try not to compare them too much to what I’m used to, and I quite enjoy 옛날 빵 in all its forms – they’re no less valid than any other kind of food, as long as you look at them as their own thing. But I draw the line at corny French toast. 
What’s funny to me is how generous I can usually be with Korean variations on foods that I have some personal stake in, while I’ll be ready to go ten rounds with anyone from the next state over who screws around with foods I grew up eating at home. Maybe that’s how the people calling 찰 옥수수 ‘cattle feed’ on the internet forums feel (to be fair, it is actually used as cattle feed in the US). But as for me, I think I laid that cross down the first time I bit into a stuffed crust pizza to find my mouth full of mashed sweet potato. Some battles are just not worth fighting. Sometimes it’s better to just let it go.

In other news, I went to the National Museum of Korea for the second time in a week today. We're preparing to do an article about it, celebrating the ten-year anniversary since its relocation to Yongsan. Today, a coworker and I met the director and were given a tour around the museum, which definitely made me appreciate it a little more. Prior to today, I had never noticed the little icons on certain displays that read "AR Tour," but it turns out, if you download an app and situate those displays in the center of your smartphone screen, some pretty cool features pop up. You can listen to the sound of a Goryeo bell or examine celadon pieces in much more detail than the dimly lit gallery allows.

I snapped just a few photos, two from the Hangeul Museum and one of Lady Hyegyeong's memoir, which may be my favorite Korean book.

   

I made off with a bag full of dorky swag from the various directors, who were all very kind. I've actually met the director of the foreigner activities before, although I'm not surprised she didn't remember me -- we first met last year, right after I'd entered language school, when we took a class field trip. She thought that was funny, but it caused me to pause for a moment and realize how far I've come in the past year. If you'd told me then, when I was struggling through the first exams I'd had in years and still trying to get over my eternal shyness about speaking Korean out loud, that I'd be sitting in on a meeting with her to discuss an article my magazine was working on, you'd have been blown away by the force of the laughter.

It's easy to get dragged down into the daily routine -- the pitches I have to somehow finish by the end of this week, while reviewing the final color prints for the August issue, the trip out of town on Monday for the article, followed by a possible late night at the printer on Tuesday. The article I then have to crank out by Friday while also doing the first round of editing on the articles I'm in charge of, before the deadline period starts again the following week.  All of the other things I wish I could be doing, all of the time. But sometimes, a fragment of the past glimmers in front of my eyes for just a moment, and I feel grateful, and just a bit proud.

I'm No Picasso
This is a tale of the seaports where chance brings the traveler: he clambers a hillside and such things come to pass.In Imminent Danger
Bits and pieces about Korean literature and translation philosophy

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Translation: What is Family?

Koreabridge - Tue, 2015-07-14 10:21
Translation: What is Family?

The following is a translation of a Huffington Post Korea article by Director Kim Jho Gwang su written last week about his efforts to obtain legal recognition of his marriage to Kim Seung-hwan. The original can be found here

The Supreme Court of the United States made a historic ruling on the 26th of June, 2015, to legalize same-sex marriage. Immediately after the decision, President Barack Obama tweeted his thoughts saying "Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else."The news spread quickly not only throughout the United States and was met with support and cheer throughout the world. The world's citizens began to use the hashtag "#lovewins" through SNS services like Twitter and Facebook to show how love is stronger than discrimination toward sexual minorities and through people using the LGBT movement's symbolic six-color flag as a filter on their Facebook profile picture, they joined together in a historical moment for equality. Our country was no exception. Source: Kim Jho Gwang Su and Kim Seung-hwanLooking at this historical decision, memories of a painful eventOn the day that same-sex marriage was legalized throughout the country, I remembered an incident in fall of 2013. The incident was reported in the following way: "On the 30th of October, 2013, at 6:40 in the morning, 62-year-old Ms. X's body was found in a flower bed of an apartment a citizen, who reported it to the police. Ms. X had that morning jumped from the apartment she was living in. In her pant's' pocket, a note was discovered saying to "Donate my body" (시신 기증). According to police reports, Ms. X had graduated from a nearby girl's vocational school and had been living with another alumni of the school, Ms. Y, for more than 40 years. Ms. Y  had been diagnosed with late stage cancer in September and had died in the hospital in early October while receiving treatment. Ms. X said that there was friction with Ms. Y's family caused by economic problems during the process of caring for Ms. Y." (Seoul Newspaper, 2013/10/31) Graduates from a girl's high school living together for more than 40 years. Seeing the news story, seeing how one died from cancer and the other committed suicide from jumping from the apartment the two had lived in, was shocking. I exhaustively searched for other articles. Pieces of their lives could be found in articles here and there. It was reported the two had met while at a girl's high school. They had lived together for more than 40 years. One person had a job and earned money while the other stayed at home to do domestic work. The two lived together for around 40 years but they weren't able to receive legal recognition as a family. The two's assets were under the name of Ms. Y (the one who worked). The same with the house and savings. When Ms. Y was diagnosed with cancer, it had already spread beyond control. In the letter of admittance form, a family member had to sign, but Ms. X wasn't family so she had to go and find Ms. Y's family. At that point, Ms. Y's nephew made sure that Ms. X could not use savings or the house that were under Ms. Y's name. In the end,  Ms. X was not allowed to be by Ms. Y's side when she succumbed to the disease in the ICU, and in this way had to say goodbye to the person she had lived with for more than 40 years. Not long after Ms. Y left this world, Ms. X ended up throwing herself from the balcony where they two had lived. Seeing the note left to donate her body, I burst into tears. I can't even imagine how that person felt. If it was me... If I was treated in that way by the family of the person I had lived with for more than 40 years, not able to take care of the one who hurt, if I wasn't able to say goodbye when they passed. If it was me, what would I do? We can't know what kind of relationship Ms. X and Ms. Y had. But I don't think that is important. Living for 40 years under the same roof, isn't that a family? Is there any thing more important in the idea of a family? Even so, the two were not able to receive any sort of legal protection as a family. Not only legal protection, but they weren't afforded any social or cultural protection as well. Rather, as it wasn't a 'normal family', they needed to be separated, they weren't even allowed to be together as one person fought with a disease, and the one left behind had to be accused of laying her fingers on property that wasn't hers.Now, it is time to embrace a variety of relationshipsIn our country, there are not many legal ways to be considered a family. First of all, blood. If your blood is the same you just become family. The word family is extended to parents and offspring, as well as siblings. There are two other ways to become family other than through blood. The first is marriage, and the second is adoption. Marriage is the case where you meet an other and become a family. Through the simple system of marriage registration, you can easily marry someone and become a family provided they are older than 20 (TKQ: Korean age), are not currently married, they are not a close relative, etc. (In the case of those younger than 18, marriage is not allowed and those older than 18 but a minor, marriage is allowed with permission of the parents). It is said that there are thousands of legal and institutional benefits provided to those who become family through a marriage. Through marriage, they become a couple (부부) and are recognized as a new family. However, marriage is only available to heterosexuals in our country. On the other hand, adoption requires a lot of rigid steps compared to marriage. When the adoption is beautifully recognized, the name given by blood can be received as well. In this way, established families are an important unit recognized by society and receive both legal and institutional protection. As of now, relationships other than blood, marriage, or adoption cannot become families. Specifically, if a relationship is established through blood and the two only meet once or twice a year at holidays, or even don't see each other for decades, they are family. On the other hand, two people who have no blood relationship but spend 40 living together cannot become a family. We need to think about whether our family system is rational. We need to think whether we need to accept those who have a relationship out side of blood, marriage, or adoption, and if so we need to think about how we should regulate and protect those relationships. Already, 'civil marriages' are being recognized in several countries as a way to recognize new families. There are also many countries like the US that recognize same-sex marriage, and systems that recognize couples who have not married (including same-sex couples) as having the same relationship as married couples, and countries that recognize community families rather than couples. Even if it is late to the game, we also need to expand what we consider a family. Article 11 Section 1 of Korea's constitutional law, stating that all citizens should be treated equally in front of the law, must not be a law in theory only. 
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