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Six Things You Need for a Korean Picnic

Koreabridge - 13 hours 29 min ago
Six Things You Need for a Korean Picnic Is the weather not glorious right now?!

In sunshine like this, I refuse to be inside for any longer than I absolutely have to. This includes for meals. In fact, one of my favorite things to do in this weather is picnic. And with all the great green spaces the city has to offer (like Naksan Park, the Han River and the Dream Forest), a picnic can be had just about anywhere.


Koreans picnic under a canopy of cherry blossoms, an icon of spring. (Photo by Travel Unmasked)
And I'm not the only one who feels this way. In fact, Koreans love outdoor dining. Whether it be on a mountain hike or simply outside a convenience store on plastic furniture, they know how to do it right. I've taken a few cues from my Korean friends to get the picnic techniques down perfectly. So, I decided, why not share all the valuable know-how I've learned over the years with you guys, so that you too can have a great Korean-style picnic.

So, without further ado, here are six things you absolutely need for your Korean picnic:

6. Picnic Mat

Why get grass stains on your favorite duds when you can pick up a picnic mat at Daiso for a few bucks? These easily toteable mats pretty much last forever and come in handy a lot during picnic season, whether at the park or a rooftop party.



5. Selfie Stick

Because let's face it. No Korean outing is complete without one. Enough said.



4. Sun Protection

Everyone knows that Koreans have gorgeous skin and this is no doubt thanks to their skin care systems, which they follow religiously. Be sure to follow their lead and slather on the sunscreen, don a giant sun hat and if you're a really serious picnicker, order one of these sun tents, easy to pack and perfect for the beach or park.

3. Kimbap

The Korean equivalent of America's sandwich, kimbap makes for a great picnic snack. It's easy to eat. It's healthy. It's delicious. It's cheap. And thanks to the recent trend of gourmet kimbap, there's a flavor to suit everyone's taste. My go-to is Robot Kimbap, which sells varieties like Wasabi Tuna and Cream Cheese. Pick up a few rolls or make your own and your picnic will be perfect.


(Photo by SamIsHome)
2. Fried Chicken

A less healthy but even tastier Korean picnic staple is fried chicken. But even better than the dish itself is the picnic culture that surrounds it. In many of the green spaces around Seoul, like the Han River and the Dream Forest, nearby chicken restaurants will actually deliver your order right to your picnic spot. For reals. Just keep an eye out for their fliers, make a phone call, let them know where you are and they'll bicycle it over in record speed. Did I mention they also deliver beer?



1. Makgeolli

Chilled makgeolli and picnics go together like peanut butter and jelly. Just ask any Korean hiker, farmer or me. More refreshing and tangier than beer, it's a great way to get a bit of a buzz on your weekend outing. Available at any convenience store, it's easy to get your hands on and not so strong that you'll get out of control. In small doses, that is.



So there you have it. Your packing check list for a great Korean picnic. Plan out your picnic spot using this list of the top 10 outdoor spaces in Seoul and enjoy!


Words and photos by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching unless otherwise noted. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.


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www.MySeoulSearching.com

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Vlog Entry #13: Jindo Sea Parting and Holi Hai Festivals

Koreabridge - 18 hours 12 min ago
Vlog Entry #13: Jindo Sea Parting and Holi Hai Festivals

On March 21st and 22nd I took a trip organized by Enjoy Korea with friends to the island of Jindo, for the Sea Parting Festival, and Busan, for Holi Hai!


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!

 

 

 

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Nampo-dong and Jagalchi Market

Koreabridge - Tue, 2015-03-24 12:22
Nampo-dong and Jagalchi Market

 Last Sunday's start was a bit confusing!   Like the picture above (taken outside exit 4 of Nampo Station), there were many directions we could have taken to meet our friends in the "shopping district" of Busan, Nampo-dong.  I snapped that photo just as we had exited to street level and was excited to see both Vancouver and Toronto represented. The shopping street is a bit tucked away from the main street (take exit 7 if you choose to go!) so we went to the mall by mistake.  They run a water show so as we entered the mall the William Tell Overture was playing and water was falling from the ceiling.  As we tried on Dior Sunglasses (at a kiosk, no less) the show was approaching its finale.  We couldn't get wifi at first, so we wandered around enjoying the changing LED lights and the Sam Smith-themed apparel. 





While the mall was pretty cool (and offers a viewing deck on the 12th floor that we'll need to go back to) we finally got wifi and finally met up with the other two. 
 

 We immediately headed into a Green Tea shop where there were various Green Tea lattes and Green Tea flavoured foods like the Green Tea pesto grilled cheese I had for lunch.





 


  







I'll definitely need to head back - they had some great (and inexpensive) clothes, a huge street-food market, and an Art Box shop (with great household appliances/ cutlery, etc. makeup, and school supplies).  I bought a shirt and a wallet as well as some Hotteok ("Hotteok is a variety of filled Korean pancake, and is a popular street food of Korea. It is usually eaten during the winter season." Busan Tower
Street Performers
 I'll have to head back for Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream!
 Yes - that is a Taekwondo uniform for dogs.
They sometimes spell city names wrong...
 
















 After lots of walking around, window shopping, snacking, and sight-seeing we headed back to Hwamyeong visa the Jagalchi Market Subway Station (Jagalchi and Nampo are linked through an underground path).  I'll definitely be back to this area soon!
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans)

Koreabridge - Mon, 2015-03-23 14:11
Korea Through the Eyes of Foreigners (through the Eyes of Koreans)

 

 

By John Bocskay

Icame across in my news readings today a story about this survey by a group called the Corea Image Communication Institute, and the results are interesting for the little bit of light they shed on the gap that still exists between what Koreans think will interest foreigners and what foreigners actually find interesting about Korea. The survey “asked 308 Koreans what aspects of Korea they felt most pride in and 232 foreigners what they enjoyed most while visiting.”

This bit caught my eye:

Personally I think this kicks the shit out of Skinfood and Tony Moly.

“For shopping spots, 45.8 percent of Koreans said they would introduce tourists to traditional marketplaces, while 42.67 percent of foreigners said they would prefer the more contemporary road shops and shopping streets, possibly due to the fact that English communication is easier in downtown areas.” 

It’s possible that English is more widely spoken in downtown areas, though the old folks at Kukjae Shijang or Dongdaemun Market seldom fail to get their point across with whatever level of English they have at their command. I couldn’t help but wonder whether one reason for the discrepancy is simply that many people are just more interested in contemporary Korea than they are in the traditional stuff.

Yeah, that’s great, but I don’t see anything that looks like a Pina Colada.

This finding also jibes with something I’ve often noted in the classroom. Over the years, I’ve had adult students plan an imaginary 2-day itinerary for a foreign friend who is visiting Korea for the first time. Some suggestions, like mask dances, temple tours, and palaces are common. You might be surprised at how many of them have included conference centers, shipyards, and automobile assembly plants on the must-see list. Who knows what our hypothetical tourist thinks about all that, but those are not really the things that leap to mind when I’m doing the 2-day tourist thing.

It’s natural to want to showcase great achievements and traditional heritage, but tourism planners do well to acknowledge things that travelers actually want to do (sauna, anyone?), as opposed to what the bigwigs would like them to experience. Surveys like this are certainly a step in the right direction, because as anyone who lives here knows, there are many features of modern Korea that are pretty cool.

Case in point: food. Regarding the popularity of fast food delivery service (over 50%), the article had this to say:

No thanks.

The fact that the singer Psy portrayed Korea’s delivery food culture in his internationally-watched music videos may have contributed to its popularity,” said the CICI in a press release.

Thanks Psy! And here I thought that was just because late-night food delivery is just utterly brilliant.

Actually, I do think it’s brilliant, which is why I like it. When I read things like this, I catch a faint whiff of the old insecurity that makes it hard for some Koreans to believe that without a spokesman or an aggressive (andoccasionally hokey) ad campaign the world will be unaware that there’s a lot about modern Korea that’s not only cool but speaks for itself.

Maybe that’s reading too much into this (I’m sure you will correct me in the comments section), but I also note that Koreans are sometimes caught by surprise when something of theirs catches on. Psy’s viral hit was itself an example of Korean pop culture taking off in ways that no one could have anticipated, let alone packaged and pimped for global consumption. Watching this quirky Korean crooner skyrocket to global fame, it was hard to tell who was more surprised, the world or Korea.

Full disclosure: I purposely chose the least flattering photo of ddeokbokki I could find.

Not everything in the survey was unexpected: it showed strong agreement about food, with Korean restaurants being far and away the most popular food option among both Koreans and foreigners (76% and 77% percent respectively). However, a discrepancy in the second-place option shed light on another tendency: Korea’s chronic overestimation of foreigners’ enthusiasm for ddeok. For those of you who have somehow escaped it, Wikipedia describes ddeok as a rice cake made from rice flour and which has zero taste whatsoever until it is filled, sprinkled, drizzled or slathered with something that has some actual goddamn flavor (I’m paraphrasing). Anyway, survey said:

While 12.50 percent of Koreans guessed that tourists would seek out street food such as tteokbokki, 10.43 percent of foreigners replied that they prefer cuisine from other Asian regions such as pho noodles and sushi.

Glad I was sitting down for that. Your thoughts?

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with Vance Stevens and a TESOL 2015 iPadagogy preview

Worldbridges Megafeed - Tue, 2015-03-17 15:00
Sunday March 15, 2015 1400 GMT What was it about? 

Ellen Dougherty, Nery Alvarado, Daniela Coelho, and Vance Stevens, four colleagues working for HCT/CERT at the aviation college in Al Ain UAE, are presenting a mini-workshop at TESOL Toronto called iPad-agogy: a Bloomin’ Better Way to Teach, Thursday, March 26, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM at the Electronic Village in Toronto

http://tesol2015ipadogogyabloominbetterwaytoteach.pbworks.com/ (the link will go live before March 26)

 

One of the presenters Vance wishes to share his insights into using various apps for writing including Google Docs with students to both enhance and streamline the process of interacting with them in their writing practice. Vance teaches to students who use iPads but manages the process on a PC. We will discuss the reasons for this configuration, but my purpose at this session is in part to  get feedback from those present on how they address writing with their students in an iPad or PC environment.

 

Official archive of the event:
http://learning2gether.net/2015/03/08/learning2gether-with-elizabeth-anne-about-blended-learning-in-a-conservative-higher-ed-environment/

 

How this worked at showtime March 15, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed above, which went live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: https://youtu.be/Lk2E-uuI3DU
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/claa0ug5rblh2u5m55rvi1sdjfc
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link (posted here prior to the event)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit
http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

read more

Learning2gether with Vance Stevens and a TESOL 2015 iPadagogy preview

Webheadsinaction.org - Tue, 2015-03-17 15:00
Sunday March 15, 2015 1400 GMT What was it about? 

Ellen Dougherty, Nery Alvarado, Daniela Coelho, and Vance Stevens, four colleagues working for HCT/CERT at the aviation college in Al Ain UAE, are presenting a mini-workshop at TESOL Toronto called iPad-agogy: a Bloomin’ Better Way to Teach, Thursday, March 26, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM at the Electronic Village in Toronto

http://tesol2015ipadogogyabloominbetterwaytoteach.pbworks.com/ (the link will go live before March 26)

 

One of the presenters Vance wishes to share his insights into using various apps for writing including Google Docs with students to both enhance and streamline the process of interacting with them in their writing practice. Vance teaches to students who use iPads but manages the process on a PC. We will discuss the reasons for this configuration, but my purpose at this session is in part to  get feedback from those present on how they address writing with their students in an iPad or PC environment.

 

Official archive of the event:
http://learning2gether.net/2015/03/08/learning2gether-with-elizabeth-anne-about-blended-learning-in-a-conservative-higher-ed-environment/

 

How this worked at showtime March 15, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed above, which went live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: https://youtu.be/Lk2E-uuI3DU
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/claa0ug5rblh2u5m55rvi1sdjfc
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link (posted here prior to the event)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit
http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Deep Thoughts

Koreabridge - Tue, 2015-03-17 02:23
Deep Thoughts

Ever since I left Seoul I have been thinking more and more about myself and my photography. I saw John Steele’s great post about his turning point with photography and it really gave me a lot to think about. I have gone over what I do and and how I do it more than at any other point in my photographic life. Was there a turning point for me? Are my best photos behind me?

These past few months have worn me out. A year ago, I had what I called the perfect job for a photographer. I worked at a university with some amazing photographers and I had the time to get out and take some photos whenever I wanted. However, just a few months ago the same person who hired me basically laughed me out of his office when I went to check my schedule for this term. So I that got me thinking  a lot about if I am at a crossroads in life right now.

The biggest choice that I think that anyone has with life and with photography is do you continue down the road that you have always gone but ultimately leads nowhere or do you keep changing paths until you find one that suits you or that is profitable? For the longest time, I chose the comfortable path. For 5 years I worked at the same school, took the same photos of the same places. It was really comfortable knowing that nothing would change. I knew where to go and what to do.

Sadly, nothing lasts forever and doing the same thing wasn’t doing it for me. That is the same way that I feel about my photography. For years, I had a recipe for HDR photos that I thought were really good. I would set up, shoot and not really even have to think about the settings. Maybe a bit about the composition but more or less I just knew that I was going to get something out of the shoot. For most, that is great.

For me, I started wanting more. I started seeing other people pop up and make some serious waves and yet no matter how many of my photos I posted, they only made ripples. It was really starting to get to me. I was got so annoyed when I saw people getting getting great shots with a ton of comments. I knew that this wasn’t healthy and the whole thing was meaningless but it still burned me inside.

My Turning Point

The biggest thing that I realized was that I had to change myself in order to change the outcome of my efforts. I have been doing the same things over and over again. Taking the same photos over and over again. So I started learning new techniques. I started depending on HDR less and less and actually using the camera and the myriad of photo techniques to get the desired look that I wanted.

It is the same in life. I got lazy and I realized that the people that I look up to are the ones are pushing themselves everyday. Sure, they may seem relaxed but they are also hitting the gym, studying, maintain schedules and just being positive. I have grown into a complainer while the people that I was complaining about were out there putting in some serious effort to get their name out. It’s easier to gripe about how crappy things are than to change them. It is a lot harder to see how great things are and that with a little effort each day I can do something better.

 

So for now I am focussing on being that person and that photographer that I want to be. This means learning and studying each day and even meditating. I always thought that meditation was for hippies or something to only do when you are really stressed but it is helping to give me a clearer idea of what I want. I have even done this while waiting for a right light out shooting. Just taking a few minutes to clear my head and focus on the scene in front of me really helped make a better photo.

So in the end, I just want to say that hopefully there will be a new path for me in the coming days. I have a new blog style with a clearer focus on the photos and I am really happy with it. Thank you all for the great support and I hope this post wasn’t too sappy. I hope that it gave you something to think about on some level.


 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with Elizabeth Anne about Blended Learning in a Conservative Higher Ed Environment

Webheadsinaction.org - Sat, 2015-03-14 18:54
On Sun Mar 08 at 1400 GMT Elizabeth Anne discussed with us blended learning in her conservative Higher Ed environment in Grenoble, France What was it about? Elizabeth writes: The establishment is notoriously opposed to change. For the past 8 years my 3rd and 4th year science students have all had to create their own pbworks wikis for their English class (to fulfill the requirements of their mark), while each class shares a wiki on which they collaborate. I'd love to share some of the things I've learnt from this experience while learning how you manage to reconcile blended learning with institutional requirements. Webheadinaction.org archive: http://learning2gether.net/2015/03/08/learning2gether-with-elizabeth-anne-about-blended-learning-in-a-conservative-higher-ed-environment/ 

How this worked at showtime March 8, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed above, which will go live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDHXNw1vxw0 
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/cebrg7tm8sa3kn26dqoe1fe7qic
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link (provided on the day)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit
http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with Elizabeth Anne about Blended Learning in a Conservative Higher Ed Environment

Worldbridges Megafeed - Sat, 2015-03-14 18:54
On Sun Mar 08 at 1400 GMT Elizabeth Anne discussed with us blended learning in her conservative Higher Ed environment in Grenoble, France What was it about? Elizabeth writes: The establishment is notoriously opposed to change. For the past 8 years my 3rd and 4th year science students have all had to create their own pbworks wikis for their English class (to fulfill the requirements of their mark), while each class shares a wiki on which they collaborate. I'd love to share some of the things I've learnt from this experience while learning how you manage to reconcile blended learning with institutional requirements. Webheadinaction.org archive: http://learning2gether.net/2015/03/08/learning2gether-with-elizabeth-anne-about-blended-learning-in-a-conservative-higher-ed-environment/ 

How this worked at showtime March 8, 2015

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed above, which will go live on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDHXNw1vxw0 
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/events/cebrg7tm8sa3kn26dqoe1fe7qic
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link (provided on the day)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you
        • Please MUTE YOUR MIC when not actually speaking into it during the HoA

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit
http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

read more

Facebook Groups related to Korea (Updated)

Koreabridge - Thu, 2015-03-12 02:11

Facebook groups related to Korea
If you have any additions to make, please comment below with the name and URL of the group.

Nationwide     Busan     Daegu     Daejeon     Gwangju  
 Gyeongju     Incheon    Jeju     Seoul     Ulsan    Other Areas

Nationwide

Busan

Daegu

Daejeon

Gwangju

Gyeongju

 

Incheon

Jeju

Seoul

Ulsan

Other Areas


Facebook Groups related to Korea (Updated)
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Rebranding Freddie: From Korean Adoptee to Swedish Design Star

Koreabridge - Tue, 2015-03-10 17:06
Rebranding Freddie: From Korean Adoptee to Swedish Design Star

A casual glance at 32-year-old Swedish branding-design mastermind Fredrik (Freddie) ֖st and one would hardly label him a Swede. His smallish frame, long black hair, and Asian eyes place him from this part of the world.

Born somewhere in South Korea, sometime in July 1981 to unknown parents, his entrance into the world contrasts the style and flair of the man now. Not long after birth, he was found wrapped up and abandoned in a police station; a discarded infant, barely a few days full of breath. He was sent to an orphanage to await his fate as an international adoptee. A few months later, he was sent to Sweden, as two new parents awaited anxiously.

His life was typical to that of any other Swede; kindergarten, grade school, secondary school and an eventual stint in the army the culmination of which lead to studying at the centuries-old Cumbria Institute of Arts in the UK and becoming a designer. Freddie would later go on to co-found Snask, an internationally renowned design, branding, and film agency based in Stockholm, where he now serves as creative director. When asked to translate the company name, Freddie quips, “€œFilth, gossip, and candy.”

THE PRODIGAL SON

After founding Snask in 2007, Freddie and his co-founder Magnus Berg, have focused on rejuvenating businesses, organisations, events and their brands with imaginative logos, films, and advertisements.

A 2011 feature in Computer Arts Magazine described Snask as a “funky young company” €œthat believes it’€™s always better to get strong, passionate reactions and make a few enemies than to fade into the background, while referring to ֖st and Berg as larger than life.

I caught up with Freddie, the orphan-done-well, over Skype early one morning. Over the course of our conversation, we discussed topics including his life, the possibility of returning to Korea and finding his birth mother.

Growing up an orphan was the norm in Freddie’s family: Image provided by Fredrik Ost.

Freddie remembers nothing of his 4,500 mile transition to the snowy lands of Scandinavia. Back then, he was a small Korean boy in a country full of tall blondes. His foster parents had no choice but to be straight with him about his past. In this new family however, being an orphan, as Freddie explains, was normal.

“My oldest sister is adopted from Sweden. My second sister is adopted from South Korea as well. And my third sister is biological. We also had a lot of foster children and exchange students as well, so no one looked the same.

Had he stayed in South Korea, he believes he might have died already. “I was at the orphanage for a while and then if I came out, I would have lived on the streets. In Korea, it’s a lot about having a family to support you. So, the chances must be so limited if you’re an orphan.”

Freddie feels no resentment towards the woman that left him alone on fate’s doorstep, instead he empathises with his biological mother’s actions. “€œI imagine it’€™s a poor young girl who got pregnant and couldn’t take care of her child, or was ruining her education or future in doing so. I don’€™t think that anyone wants to give away their child, but I understand.”

OFFF Lille – Main Titles from SNASK on Vimeo.

Snask Off

Owing to the success of Snask, Freddie and co-founder Berg have traveled much of Europe, North America, and China, lecturing on the importance of creativity. Yet so far, his travels have not led him back to South Korea where it all began.

The peninsula fascinates him though and one day, he would like to bring Snask to his birthplace in some capacity. “It would be strange of course”, Freddie muses on the possibility of return. “But I would also be like, ‘€˜Hey, everyone looks like me here. They’€™re my height, this is where I’m from; from the beginning.’€™ It would be a culture shock, but I would suck it in like a sponge.”

His biggest concern for South Korea is, unsurprisingly for an art major, a lack of creativity.”€œIn China, I got the impression there’€™s no creativity. They learn to do what they’re told, but when they’re supposed to come up with something on their own, they don’€™t have a clue what to do.”

The Snask Man: Image provided by  Fredrik Ost.

He wonders if South Korea is the same. I tell him that many Koreans might likely agree. “Shit. That’€™s gonna be really frustrating, but really interesting. I learned to, well everyone in the Western world and especially in Sweden, to say what I think all the time. In my profession, saying what you think is the single most important thing. It would be interesting to see the difference between me being brought up in Sweden and being brought up in Korea.”

One of  Freddie’€™s fascinations is the rebranding of nations. I ask him to suppose that North Korea wanted Snask to rebrand them.

“It’s an interesting question. Their government is so terrible today; they would need to change before we could look at their branding. Although, maybe if there was a lot of tourism, the people there would have the chance to see and talk to more people from abroad, and get knowledge of the world outside.”

What about the South? “€œThey should be a bit more cocky, you know? As a country, they should be like, ‘Hey we are super, super innovative.’€™ I would really like Snask to be, uhm, how do you say not a role model, because that’€™s so narcissistic … something they could choose to become. A lot of the things we make are about having self-confidence, being a provocateur, and questioning things. Don’t be afraid to show that you love someone, and if you think something is bad, say it!”

PUSAN? BUSAN?  

Busan

Before wrapping up our conversation, Freddie quickly asks, “Is Busan the same as Pusan? Because when I said I was orphaned in Seoul, I think I was wrong. In my passport they wrote Seoul, but I was from Pusan.”

I tell him it’s the same. To Freddy, it seems like returning to Busan and tracking down his birth mother is not a step he’s quite ready to take yet.

“€œFirstly, it€’s gonna be people I don’t know. If I’€™m going to get to know them, then I will take on another family in my life, which I am going to start to care about. Right now, I don’€™t want to do that. But maybe in the future I will make the decision. Maybe.

This article was originally written for Busan Haps, you can read it here

(Cover image provided by Fredrick Ö–st. Now go and check out Snask!)

The post Rebranding Freddie: From Korean Adoptee to Swedish Design Star appeared first on Monkeyboy Goes.


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Jeongwol Daeboreum 2015

Koreabridge - Sat, 2015-03-07 23:15
Jeongwol Daeboreum 2015

The Jeolwol Daeboreum festivities date back hundreds of years and it is still amazing to see just how many people come out to these celebrations. This festival is held on the first full moon of the lunar year. The typical celebrations will start in the afternoon with singing and dancing until the final main event. Here in Ulsan, the main event is the burning of the Daljib. The Daljib is the large pile of straw and branches that gets burned to ward off evil spirits and misfortune in the new year.

I have visited the festival for almost my entire time here in Korea and I must say that it is one of my favorite festivals. There is a sense of hope in the air and people burn messages hoping for good luck in the coming year. There is also the build up to the burning of the Daljib that really gets people “fired up”  (sorry had to). I am not sure what it is about fire but it really grips people and this year was no different.

The one thing missing from recent years was the jwibulnori. Normally it was used to spread fire around the fields but during the festivals people would swing the cans of fire around in a circle. Sadly I think that too many people got hurt and organizers stopped allowing it.

While there are events scattered all across the country and the city, the one that I usually go to is the one down at Ilsan Beach. It is the largest event in Ulsan and with the heavy traffic around any festival in Korea, it is also the easiest for me to get to. What amazed me most about this year was the fact that I was able to find parking near the Daljib. I was worried that I would miss the event while trying to find parking.

The event was in full swing when I got there. As I said before, I really one come to see the Daljib burn. Thus, I was in and out in about an hour. I was really shocked at how fast the Daljib burned. At any rate, it was great to see so many people hoping for better luck in the new year.


 

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Playing with Fire – Korea’s Great Full Moon

Koreabridge - Thu, 2015-03-05 21:21
Playing with Fire – Korea’s Great Full Moon The Great Full Moon Party (대보름날 Daeboreum Nal)

Not so long ago – before Korea was divided into commie and capitalist-puppet halves and before it was annexed into a fascist empire – Buddhism and the folk traditions of the peninsular reigned supreme. I have no idea what the folk religions were, but they have to be way more fun than worshipping a skinny jewish guy who was nailed to a cross and whose father cares way too much about where people stick their genitals. Of course there was Confucianism, which isn’t so much a religion as it is a set of strict societal rules.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that you don’t see Korea’s cultural traditions all that much and when you do they’re are more simulacrum (Jean Baudrillard, anyone?) than historical reality. A tragic total-civil-war will see to the burying of all of that, rampant consumer culture only exacerbates it. So when you bump into a real (if the real even exists) tradition festival, it’s all the more special.

On a romantic walk along Busan‘s Gwanganli beach on the corporate sham that is Saint Valentine’s Day last year, I stumbled upon a paganistic display of arson and dancing. Little did I know that it was the first full moon for of the lunar new year (the Year of the Horse) and the festival revellers were hoping our planet’s satellite and its all powerful moonbeams would awash them in good fortune.

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Take a Look into a Korean Folk Village (민속촌)

Koreabridge - Fri, 2015-02-27 13:02
Take a Look into a Korean Folk Village (민속촌) 민속촌 means "folk village," and there are only few of them in Korea. The most popular Korean folk village is located in Yong-in City (용인시), which is south of Seoul.A 민속촌 offers us a glimpse into traditional Korean life. There are old-style Korean buildings, arts and crafts displays, performances, and more. You could visit for an hour or spend the entire afternoon, and there are plenty of interesting things to do and see for everyone.Check out the video below for a guided tour of Korea's most popular 민속촌!민속촌: Traditional Korean village and K-drama filming spot


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11 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Teaching in Korea

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-02-25 05:32
11 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Teaching in Korea

Bear with me folks. This is a long one, and there are no pretty pictures. Sorry. But I hope you find it useful/interesting. I’ve been teaching in Korea for 6 months now, so it seemed like a good time to reflect and share a few humble words of wisdom. Some of these points are things I thought I already knew, but it turned out that was only true on a superficial level. Other things on the list didn’t hit me until I was already in Korea. Here we go:

  1. The language barrier is HUGE. It’s SO MUCH bigger and harder than I ever imagined. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t felt like a prisoner, an infant, a helpless dog, a moron, or some combination of these things at some point. The feeling never lasts all day, and I do enjoy occasional breakthroughs, but those usually go as quickly as they come. Living in a non-English speaking country is often exhausting and frustrating. And yeah, struggling through the language barrier is “part of the adventure.” But let me tell you, there are days when I’m tired of “adventures” to the corner store and all I want is to buy some frickin Frosted Flakes without engaging in another rousing game of charades. Before coming to Korea, I wish I had put as much energy as possible into learning the language ahead of time. Not only would it have made my first days and weeks in the country easier. It also would’ve left me at a higher level once my language-learning enthusiasm took a nose dive here. If I had known that the very obstacle I was initially so determined to overcome would become such a demotivator, I might’ve worked harder before leaving to arm myself better for the battle. 
  2. Don’t bother caring about things beyond your control, particularly when it comes to teaching. There are days when I’ve worked my ass off to prepare a lesson, or I’ve come up with something really fun and exciting to do, and no one shows up or the class gets cancelled without warning. Do I go and demand an answer from my co-teacher or do I channel my inner Taylor Swift and shake it off? Other times I’m faced with the choice of waking a sleeping student in the middle of class and forcing him to participate, or just letting him snooze away so I don’t disrupt the lesson. Should I take it personally that he finds my material so boring or should I tell myself it’s not MY class that’s drawing out the snores in him (yes, sometimes they actually snore) it’s the SYSTEM as a whole? Harder still are the kids who are awake but blatantly don’t want to be there. Do I bend over backwards to make them like me and my class? Or do I focus on the other students who are sincerely paying attention and engaged? Before coming to Korea, I wish I had known that more often than not, I should be prepared to NOT care; that my happiness on the job would largely depend on my ability to shrug off the frustrations and let go of the disappointments; and furthermore, I would find myself having to “not care” way more than I expected. But, that being said, the result is that the things I DO choose to care about, I do so very much, and I put as much time, thought and energy into those things/students as possible; almost like I’m subconsciously trying to make up for all my other moments of apathy. If, before arriving in Korea, I had been ready to only care/focus on the things I could control, I probably would’ve found peace/satisfaction with the job a lot sooner. 
  3. There was a reason EPIK kept me in the dark. I can remember feeling annoyed and vulnerable throughout the drawn-out application process leading up to orientation, and then still feeling that way for most of that first week. ‘Why was the program so slow to divulge any information about our placements? Why did every step have to take so long to complete?’ Well, 6 months later, I’ve discovered answers to both of those questions. First, EPIK wants to ensure that people don’t try to peace out early if they’re unhappy about their placement, their living situation, or anything else about their future in the program. So they keep everyone in the dark all the way until the end of orientation, at which point they finally turn the damn lights on. It’s also a good way for them to weed out the people who’re applying for the wrong reasons. Second, the application is like the “song that never ends” basically because the program is one big, giant cluster-you-know-what. Imagine several thousand applicants all trying to jump through the same hoops at once, and the wring leaders (aka EPIK staff) are a surprisingly small contingency of young Koreans doing their best to hire the right people to work in a foreign country–a difficult process to complete when it’s just one person being hired, let alone hundreds. So it takes time. A lot of time. In my head I picture the EPIK headquarters perpetually looking like a bomb just went off: official documents and resumes render the floor invisible, and leftover take-out bags and boxes litter food-stained tables because no one on staff ever has time for table manners when they eat. Before coming to Korea, I wish I had better appreciated just how difficult it is to obtain a job overseas and all the paperwork that comes with it, and that waiting and feeling out of the loop isn’t just part of the game, it’s part of the game for a reason.
  4. There’s no real way to fully prepare for the extreme highs and lows that come with living and working abroad, but knowing so might help.  For me, there was an incredible euphoria to the initial weeks of settling into my new life: taking weekend trips, going out with new expat friends every Friday night, and just being enthralled with the exotic new culture. Then, at some point, piece by piece, things started to unravel. In my case, it was a combination of culture shock, homesickness and a disillusionment with teaching that sent me plummeting into what I now like to call The Dark Ages. Then one day a lesson went REALLY well, or I made a new friend, and I was flying high again…only to crash and burn once more around the holidays. You get the idea. Up and down, up and down. Before coming to Korea, to a certain degree I knew I would feel homesick and that I would face many mental and emotional challenges. And I knew it was going to be fun. But knowing and experiencing are two very different things. And that’s what I wish I had taken into account; that even with all of my other experiences of travel and being away from home, this was different, and it was going to be far more difficult than I ever could anticipate. However, all the difficult times made the great ones all the more awesome. I don’t think I could’ve prepared for this any better, but maybe knowing that it was impossible to really prepare would’ve helped…maybe.
  5. The quickest way to make life enjoyable and easy is to have a combination of expat and Korean friends. Here in Korea I need both. For my own sanity and my survival. Expats understand where I’m coming from, literally. They work the same job as me so they understand my triumphs and struggles. And their schedules are similar to mine, so social activities and vacations are easy to coordinate. Oh yeah, and they SPEAK ENGLISH! But Koreans know the native language, the culture and social norms, and all the cool spots/things to do that expats don’t. When comparing cultural experiences/trips that I’ve had with my expat friends vs my Korean friends, the latter offers a greater amount of authenticity every time. However, in the end, there are benefits to both. So, before coming to Korea, I wish I had known how important it would be to break out of my foreigner bubble and strike a balance early on to get the most out of my experience.
  6. The role of EPIK teachers is not to swoop in and “fix” the Korean education system.  Not long after starting at my school, I began to feel guilty that I was contributing to the institution that produces the world’s unhappiest students. Seriously, it’s a fact. As a result, I instantly felt a desire to change the soul-sucking norms of late night hagwon sessions and boring lecture-style lessons. But after talking with my fellow Korean teachers about our students and education in Korea, even they didn’t have any real answers or know how/if things would ever change. It might sound fatalistic, but that’s when I decided it wasn’t my job to find those answers or bring about those changes.  What I also decided, though, was that I could still  make a difference in these kids’ educational lives by exposing them to alternative teaching and learning methods, and make class as fun and painless as I could. I was never going to solve the whole problem, but at least I could do something about it within my own classroom. Before coming to Korea, I wish I had reminded myself that I wasn’t going there to fix the country’s imperfect education system, and that I wasn’t responsible for all (or any) of its flaws; that all I would be able to do is offer my experience and point of view, and show them a different way of thinking/working.
  7. The classes run by EPIK teachers are more of a bonus and less of an actual class. This is not what I expected when I walked in on day one. I knew the class might be seen as “a little different,” since I don’t speak Korean and it’s run by two teachers instead of one. ‘But how much different could it really be?’ Actually, the answer is: a lot. At least in my case, students already have their regular English class twice a week with just my co-teacher. Then, once a week, I come in for a lesson. Unlike in the other two periods, in my class they don’t get graded (though I could probably ask) and there aren’t any other obvious incentives for them to participate or try to understand me. As a result, I’ve been confronted with major motivation issues from many students. The way I’ve skirted around that, though, and gained their interest/respect is by making lemonade out of the giant lemon that is this situation. Instead of trying so hard to be taken seriously as a “real teacher,” I play up the “bonus status” of my class. Before my first day on the job, I wish I would’ve known that the more I take advantage of this “bonus status,” the better things will go. When I break the mold from the usual teacher these kids see and do something outside of the box, it’s almost always a hit.
  8. Signing the EPIK contract = relinquishing all control for the next year. When I signed the official contract, I effectively agreed to have no actual say in where I would live, who I would work with, where I would teach, how much I would teach or when my vacation would be. It was all out of my hands. I knew that going in though. And none of it bothered me…until it came time to book winter vacation plans and I was suddenly at the mercy of the Ministry of Education. Basically the Education Office blew a giant hole in my plans at the last minute and I had to be very flexible and roll with the punches, which they were entitled to dole out since it states in my contract that I can be summoned to teach where I’m needed if I haven’t fulfilled all my teaching hours for the week yet. Fortunately I hadn’t booked anything at that point so there was no financial loss. But it was still frustrating, and it resulted in me purchasing flights later and thus paying more. Before coming to Korea, I wish I had known that at some point I was guaranteed to get jerked around by the system. It wasn’t a matter of if, but when and how badly. S’just what happens when you sign a contract like this.
  9. Speaking of money, banking here sucks. Maybe I just haven’t figured it out, but banking in Korea is a huge pain. I wish I would’ve opened a credit card account in the States before I left. Not only would it have been nice to have for settling-in purposes in the beginning, but also for other travel and online purchases. Korean bank cards and credit cards just don’t work well all the time. They especially don’t like to cooperate with online transactions for whatever dumb reason (maybe it’s just my particular bank, Nong-Hyup). And then when I have a problem, I have to go to a help website that’s entirely in Korean to sort it out, which I can’t do without assistance from my co-teacher. And unfortunately it’s happened at least three times now where I’ve gone to my co-teacher with a simple question about trying to use my bank cards for something, intending to only take up a minute of her time, and it’s turned into an hour or more of her being on the phone with a customer service agent, who sometimes asks us to visit the nearest branch to resolve the issue. End rant. So the moral is: Before leaving the US, I wish I had gotten a credit card and opened an account with CitiBank (they allow no-fee international money transfers and have English-speaking branches in Korea). I’ve recently learned that Korean Exchange Bank is also very foreigner friendly, so I’ll be looking more into that soon.
  10. In the classroom, play to your strengths whenever and however you can. I do not come from a teaching background. I do not possess a strong technical knowledge of English. Therefore, trying to come off as a professional, highly qualified and knowledgeable English teacher is rather stressful and frustrating for me…but that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to be for the most part up until now. And it’s filled me with such anxiety and fear and despair at times that it’s tainted my experience. For these first six months, I’ve had small bursts of successful and enjoyable lessons, but I wasn’t looking closely enough at why I’d succeeded. And now I realize it’s because I was teaching in a way that I enjoyed, that made sense to me and made me comfortable. And once I started working and feeling that way, the kids responded to my enthusiasm and returned the favor. I am a project person. So whether it’s a video, an art project, a creative writing assignment or whatever, that’s where I feel at home and excited. As I said before I’m not a “real” teacher here, so why should I kill myself trying to be one? My co-teacher has literally told me several times not to stress, that my job is to just make English enjoyable and accessible to the kids. I guess up until now I’ve been afraid to take her words at full value and run with them. Not anymore though.
  11. You never know unless you try. Before coming to Korea, I wasn’t totally sure if I liked teaching, if I could handle homesickness, or if Korea would be a good fit for me. At times these doubts really got to me, and they made me second guess myself. After all, a year is a big commitment to make to something that you’re not 100% sure of. But on the other hand, it’s only a year. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And really, for the most part, an experience like this tends to offer nothing but gains, even if we aren’t aware of therm at the time. So my final thought is that, before coming to Korea, I wish I would’ve let go of all my doubts, uncertainties and reservations and just trusted that everything was going to be fine, at the least, and frickin awesome, at best; that the only way to know would be to try, and that I would be so glad I made the choice I did.

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The Agony and the Ecstasy of Buying a Car in Korea

Koreabridge - Wed, 2015-02-25 02:52
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Buying a Car in Korea As usual, I managed to go for weeks without posting, despite my best intentions. There's something about vacation that just sucks away what little ability I ever had to stick to deadlines or regimes, and suddenly it's been weeks and nothing at all productive has been done, even though I actually have more free time. It's a great mystery of my own personal universe.

In my defense, a lot has been going on. I did manage to buy my car, but not after what were probably the most stressful 48 hours of my life. Buying the car itself was pretty easy, but trying to get insurance...well, the phrase "when it rains, it pours" is pretty accurate here. Okay, story time.

So, I was cutting it pretty close, budget-wise, but I was pretty sure I had everything worked out. I'd heard from various people a ballpark range for insurance for a year, and naturally I divided that over 12 months and figured it was totally doable. That was, of course, where I made my first mistake.

IMPORTANT FACT IF YOU ARE BUYING A CAR IN KOREA: 
Unless you have a KOREAN credit card, you have to pay for a whole year of insurance all at once. Also, at least based on my own experience, that card has to be in your name, so no putting it on your incredibly generous and kind friend's card and paying her back. That was the original plan, but you know what they say about the best laid plans...

So, about 48 hours before I was slated to buy the car, I discovered that A) my plan for paying for insurance wasn't going to work and B) I had to somehow get my hands on over $1000 in a very short amount of time. Normally I'd make a withdrawal from the National Bank of My Mom for an emergency like this, but since it takes time to transfer money overseas, that route was out.

Fortunately, I am in possession of more than one incredibly generous and kind friend. I was stressing to Harry over FB when he just...offered to loan me the money. He even bullied me into accepting his help, totally against my wishes. In the end, his mom helped me to find a slightly more affordable plan, and talked me through the whole process and loaned me the money to pay for it.

That whole 24 hour period of uncertainty about insurance filled me with so much stress and anxiety my body started to think it was having a heart attack. The only other time that has ever happened to me was when I was preparing to move to Korea; it's pretty intense and scary, but at least this time I knew what was happening.

So finally, I reached the day: Friday the 13th. I signed the lease of one of my favorite apartments on a Friday the 13th during a thunderstorm, so I feel that the date is relatively auspicious. I wasn't able to officially leave work early to meet Adele at the car registration office, but my coteacher said, with a wink, that I could take a "long lunch" and promised to cover for me if anyone asked where I was.

Registering the car was probably the easiest part of the process, though if you don't speak any Korean it's probably a good idea to bring a Korean-speaking friend, as all the forms are in Korean. We were also really lucky to have the help of one of the office ladies who spoke fantastic English. She shepherded us through all the different steps, and before I knew it, I was handing over an envelope full of money to Adele in exchange for the car registration and keys.

And then...I drove back to school. In my car.

He's a beauty.
So yeah. That's pretty much the most interesting thing that's happened in the past few weeks. If you need any tips or more specific information, I'd be happy to answer questions to the best of my ability! It's really hard to find reliable information about all this stuff.

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Middle school ESL teacher, lover of pink, eater of kimchi, addicted to Etude House, expert procrastinator, meeter of 2-dimensionial popstars: Ana. That's me.

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Busan Shark Dive: Up Close and Personal with Jaws

Koreabridge - Sat, 2015-02-21 04:18
Busan Shark Dive: Up Close and Personal with Jaws When I was a young gal, I had an ungodly fear of sharks. Perhaps it was the animatronics at the Jaws ride at Universal Studios, or the threat constantly reiterated by the warning signs on the beaches of Destin, a beachside town in Florida where my family and I spent our summer vacations. So, it came as a surprise to me that I had an extreme desire to swim with them when I learned of the opportunity offered by the Sea Life Aquarium in Busan.

So, I left my nerves (and inhibitions) in Seoul and headed down to the southern coastal city to take a dive with Aquatic Frontier, a foreigner-owned and -operated diving company based just outside of Seoul.



Upon arrival, I was greeted by the bubbly Sammy, my scuba instructor for the day, as well as a British couple who would also be participating in the dive. We were brought to a room where we were briefed in detail regarding the indemnity form we were all required to sign, which basically stated we wouldn’t (or couldn’t) sue, should we happen to lose an arm, end up with a collapsed lung, or find ourselves in some other similar situation.

This had the same effect on my nerves as hearing side effects of a medicine or a medical procedure from a doctor does. But, I did feel reassured learning that in the history of the program, there had been zero serious issues. Sammy was very confident in her instructing abilities, and assured us we would be fine.

We then changed into wet suits and donned our gear, which was ridiculously heavier than I imagined it to be. Fortunately, the buoyancy of the water made the weight bearable.



Sammy taught us the basics of scuba diving: how to deflate our BCD (scuba suit), how to empty our masks should they fill with water and most importantly, how to breathe. While this step seemed as if it would be the easiest, it was one of the more unnatural things I’ve ever had to do. The strange breathy noise the regulator produced, as well as having to practice breathing face to face with a giant sea turtle made me immediately uncomfortable; I all but gave up a few minutes into training. I’m really glad that I stuck with it, though, as I ended up getting it after a few more attempts.

I was convinced I wasn’t ready but followed Sammy into the tank. When my feet touched the bottom of the tank, I instantly felt in control, knowing going back up wasn’t an option. After checking our air gauges and exchanging “A-OK” hand gestures, Sammy proceeded in taking us for a stroll around the tank.



Blacktip reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks and sand tiger sharks gracefully glided through the turquoise water, inches away from our faces, obviously disinterested in who we were and what we were doing in their territory. I took comfort knowing that these species of sharks aren’t particularly attracted to mammalian blood, but the mere sight of their menacing jaws and powerful bodies sent a rush of adrenaline through me. Ginormous Queensland groupers, ancient sea turtles and other varieties of alien-like creatures only contributed to the rush I was experiencing, keeping me wide-eyed, seemingly unaware of the waving families on the other side of the glass.



Although our walk was approximately half an hour, it felt like minutes; I’m sure the adrenaline had something to do with that. As we made our way out of the tank, it felt strange to experience gravity once again. My lips were purple by this point and I had lost all feeling in my toes, so I thoroughly enjoyed the hot shower that followed.





After the shark encounter, I took a walk around the aquarium. It had a few exhibits worth checking out, like the touch tanks and rehabilitated porpoises but honestly, none of them could compare to what I had just experienced. And while it was nice to observe the animals from behind a sheet of glass, nothing can quite hold a candle to the strange and exhilarating experience of being a part of the underwater world, walking alongside nature’s most feared predators and majestic creatures.



More Information: Busan Shark Dive / Aquatic Frontier

Dates: The dive dates are pre-scheduled, but usually held on Saturdays and Sundays. You must make a reservation to participate in the dive. Check the schedule here.

Price: ₩150,000 (includes ₩70,000 deposit)

Website: Click Here

Facebook: Click Here

Map (Sea Life Aquarium):



Although this post was partially sponsored by Aquatic Frontier, the opinions above are, of course, my own.

Words and photos by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.


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Inspiration through Dance - Dance To Connect in Busan

Koreabridge - Mon, 2015-02-16 10:53
Inspiration through Dance - Dance To Connect in Busan

Being part of a multi-racial society can be a barrier to making friends due to the limitations of language, but recently here in Busan four groups of people crossed that divide in a most unusual way.

The Dance-To-Connect workshop arranged by the American Embassy Seoul and the American Prescence Post in Busan invited the Battery Dance Company (BDC) from New York to hold a week long workshop in Busan.

The worksop was hosted at the Sohyang Music Theatre near Centum in Busan and comprised of four groups of people numbering about a hundred strong.

The four groups were split into, North Korean family members, disadvantaged children, a choir and multi-national housewives.

The theme of the show was to highlight the emotions of the lives of people in each group. I was very fortunate that my wife, a Filipina was one of the housewife group members and became the photographer for the event.

The event started on Sunday 25th January and lasted until Friday 30th January. On the opening day each group was assigned a dance instructor from the famous Battery Dance Company, who would guide them in Modern Dance towards the final performance which was not actually made known to the participants until later in the week. 

Clement Mensah, African by birth but trained as a dancer in London and later joined the Battery Dance Company in New York was the instructor for the housewives group that I followed.

The opening, was to have the housewives talk in their own language about the stereotypical view of the housewife and how it influences their role in society. Clearly sitting in a group trying to talk of such a personal subject needed some encouragement until one or two strongly focused ladies presented their views and issues about life a multi-racial household.

The starting point was for each dancer to dance out their name, this helped everyone to recognise each other when there was no common language between them. This melting pot of nationalities included, Korean, Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese and Ukrainian with limited common language skills. There were a few of the group members that knew each other previously but in general they were strangers to each other. It is amazing that even weeks after, I see some of the dancers still recognising others by the name-dance.

Then each member would have to dance out their daily houshold routine in front of the whole class -twice !, and even at this point it was interesting how the second performance improved over the first.

This was the opening for Clement to use their emotions to act out in 'Modern-Dance' style, some of their activities and later to add emotion and build a dance routine around this.

Over the course of the week, Clement built on the subject of the household routines and selected parts to be used in the final performance.

For me there were some memorable days, one of those was asking the group to form either pairs or small groups and try to lift or carry each others weight. With little guidance I saw some very strange moves and efforts and found myself being called to photograph some hilarious moments as they struggled and collapsed into piles on the floor. By the end of the thirty minutes I was the one sweating !

The final performance was on Friday night, the first time the group saw the theatre was about two hours before the performance when they pitched up to practice their routine under the direction of the lighting and performance director's command.

The theatre is a truly beautiful place with almost 1200 seats in two teirs. The stage was enourmous in both depth and width. From the audience the lighting, sound and visual effects were stunning. When I saw the final practice I was amazed and excited and knew that I had to get it right in the camera because this was a remarkable event.

The final performance would have the performance by the amateur dance groups interspersed by a performance from the professional Battery Dance Group.

As previously agreed by the Organisers I have put many of the photos of the amateur performers on Flickr for anyone to look at, these can be found at : (please like your favorites)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kabayanmark/sets/72157650149898997/

The choir had been tutored by Mira, she is a very talented songwriter, musician and dancer. Three of the four songs were written by the children and the last by Mira. All were fantastic and worthy of praise, at the same time they danced out thier routines, clearly some appeared to depict the struggle in North Korea and the survival of these people. It was hard to believe that just a few days before they were not even dancers, now they looked professional. One of the dancers introduced the western influence of break-dancing by spinning around on the floor and using one handed break-dance routines.

The housewives bought their piece of homelife to the stage with real pazazz, it was obvious that the group had bonded well and turned their 26 person routine into real eye-candy using the routines they had designed and practiced themselves during the week.

Not to take anything away from the true professionals though, the routines of (Battery Dance Company) were amazing. In all honesty, and I am sure like so many of you reading this, I never developed a liking for this expressive modern dance style. This is probably due to not understanding it, but after a week with these groups I not only understand the art of modern dance but feel the passion in the story of the dance. Clement put on many solo routines, clearly an amazingly talented dancer with a strong muscular body that most men pray for. His routines depicted the developemnt of 'man'from birth and through life in a way that stirs the passion of the audience. It was like opera without the singing and the music added another dimension to your perception of the dance.

The BDC  were four, they each performed impressively both individually and together in a flawless performance that made the audience pay full attention.

Equally however we must remember that the BDC has turned ordinary people into great dancers in just a few days and that the dancers put a lot of effort into becomming those great dancers to everyone's delight.

From an outsiders perspective, I saw individual people dancing in their own tightly controlled space on day one, clearly aware of the group perception of themselves, to a group of flamboyant dancers using every inch of space they could get, share it withothers and even buckets of tears when they finally said goodbye. If this is about connecting people it worked to perfection. the group have formed lasting bonds, got thier own social network group and will soon attend a reunion dinnner once more.

thanks to the American Prescence Post in Busan; Mr. Kim DB, and Mr. Byung Junghwan in particular for their efforts.

FB : "Battery Dance Company"

Website:   http://batterydance.org

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

EVO 2015

Worldbridges Megafeed - Sat, 2015-02-14 04:55

For five weeks in January-February, participants and ESOL experts can engage in collaborative, online discussion or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These sessions will bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by land-based professional development conventions and will allow a fuller development of ideas than is otherwise possible.  Sessions are free and open to anyone around the globe. Bring your colleagues!

 

 EVO2015 Closing Webcast with Nina Liakos, Vance Stevens, and Jeff Lebow
Sunday, February 15, 1400 - 15:30 GMT (local time here: http://bit.ly/1zUMlen

http://learningtimesevents.org/webheads/    
For those who cannot access the primary venue, there will be a simulcast at: http://webheadsinaction.org/live
Countdown to event here: http://bit.ly/1yRVPX0
EVO2015 participants reflect on their EVO experience
Opening Ceremony Recording at:  http://sco.lt/7djUCv


Sessions

Using Moodle as a Bridge to Blended Learning

Flipped Learning

ICT4ELT

Creating eTextbooks

EVO Minecraft MOOC

MachinEVO 2015: How to make a Machinima

for Learners of English

Dream Act: What Teachers Can Do

Educators and Copyright: Do the Right Thing

Teaching EFL to Young Learners

International Writing Exchange

Moodle for Teachers (M4T)

Non-Native English Speakers in TESOL

and Collaborative Teaching

 

Teaching Pronunciation Differently

 


 

 

read more

EVO 2015

Webheadsinaction.org - Sat, 2015-02-14 04:55

For five weeks in January-February, participants and ESOL experts can engage in collaborative, online discussion or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These sessions will bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by land-based professional development conventions and will allow a fuller development of ideas than is otherwise possible.  Sessions are free and open to anyone around the globe. Bring your colleagues!

 

 EVO2015 Closing Webcast with Nina Liakos, Vance Stevens, and Jeff Lebow
Sunday, February 15, 1400 - 15:30 GMT (local time here: http://bit.ly/1zUMlen

http://learningtimesevents.org/webheads/    
For those who cannot access the primary venue, there will be a simulcast at: http://webheadsinaction.org/live
Countdown to event here: http://bit.ly/1yRVPX0
EVO2015 participants reflect on their EVO experience
Opening Ceremony Recording at:  http://sco.lt/7djUCv


Sessions

Using Moodle as a Bridge to Blended Learning

Flipped Learning

ICT4ELT

Creating eTextbooks

EVO Minecraft MOOC

MachinEVO 2015: How to make a Machinima

for Learners of English

Dream Act: What Teachers Can Do

Educators and Copyright: Do the Right Thing

Teaching EFL to Young Learners

International Writing Exchange

Moodle for Teachers (M4T)

Non-Native English Speakers in TESOL

and Collaborative Teaching

 

Teaching Pronunciation Differently

 


 

 

read more

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by Dr. Radut