Monday, August 27, 2012

Culture Cookies: Fan Death and other Korean Myths

As the typhoon blows itself over Seoul I thought I would update here. Today's post will be a "culture cookie" one where I explore some culture from Korea. This one is going to be about Korean myths that we hear about through our time here. Whether it is the infamous Fan Death or other such things they can make life out here more interesting.

1. Kiss My Kimchi: A fun and whimsical post about many Korean Myths and whether they are real or not. I didn't know about the whistling at night one....oh boy!

2. F5 Waeg: Sometimes we create myths amongst our expat selves, here in Korea. Here is one about how those with an F5 visa earn more money than those on an E3.

3. The Marmot's Hole: I discovered he posted about a video someone made on the subject of Fan Death. A bit funny and silly as well!

4. Whatawaygook: General myths people might have about Korea discussed and debunked. For example, I guess some people think you can't get foreign food in Korea or you can't buy fluoride toothpaste. 

5. GwangjuNews: Who would have thought that eating apples at night are considered bad. Well here is a Korean myth discussed with science in mind. 

"It’s believed in Korea that eating an apple at night is actually unhealthy, causing indigestion and making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. The origins of this idea are unknown, but the belief seems to be well known in Korea. There are many Koreans who say they’ve heard about this from an elder at some point in their life. A few of them believe it and refrain from eating sahgwah (Hangeul: 사과) at night."

Well I think it is safe to say you can learn a few new things from all those posts. What kind of myths come from my home country that people would find absurd? 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Abundance Yum!: Local Specialities

In this adventure we look into Kbloggers talking about local food. If you have done some traveling around this peninsula you likely have had some "local speciality". Maybe it was a local makkoli or just a different version of a jiggae. Let's see what other folks have found in their time in Korea.

1. Lee' Korea Blog: In some place called Beomnaegol there is a cave bar, an artificial tunnel you can go to and enjoy some local drinks. A very local experience, indeed. Also included was some only-in-Busan kind of food. Check it out.

2. A Search for Happiness: Although Bulgolgi can be found anywhere, what if the cows that you eat were fed local grass? hmm

3. Zen Kimchi: Here you can get the ultimate line up of local food along with a side-by-side comparison. Suwon Galbi vs. Jeonju Bibimbop is up for thrashing around.

4. Seoul Eats: He gets out of Seoul and gives a local tour of Sokcho and what they have to offer, plenty of pajeon here!

Even though our summer vacations should be rolling to a stop, I hope wherever you travelled you enjoyed the local food and community.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Abundance Pop: "Gangnam Style" or Any City Style

Perhaps this trend of singing a tribute song to a certain section of Seoul is nothing new. Like when "Itaewon Freedom" came out or that song about Apgujeong. But PSY's "Gangnam Style" is definitely this summer's big hit, and is one that invites others to parody. Summer 2012 will be one to remember for hot sunny days, and also hit songs like this one. Let's see what other parodies have cropped up.

1. PSY's Gangnam Style: First a look at the original with all it's fun locations and dance moves.

2. Hongdae Style: If you are going to make a song about famous spots in Seoul, using Hongdae is an obvious choice. During any of these videos it is fun to spot places you have been and familiar scenes.

3. Daegu Style: Having never really spent time in Daegu I can't really say much about this parody. However, it's amazing how far things can spread.

4. MyChonny's English Parody: Now I found this through clicking around youtube and it's funny but also a bit vulgar. So a bit of warning ~

It's fun to see Korean people poke fun at their own culture and I hope to see more creative responses pop up over time.