Monday, 29 October 2012

Korea Day 2012 Malaysia

Hi guys~

We meet again... this time I'll post about Korea Day that already been held in 3 days at Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre in KL from 12th - 14th October 2012.

This is the first time ever in Malaysia. This event organized by Korea Tourism Organization, Korean Society and Korean Embassy in Malaysia.

Poster of the event

Snow riding prop prepared by KTO
I went to the event on the last day which is Sunday after my Korean class ended. At the time I was there, the Korean Youth Music Festival 2012 had just started. The participants were Korean who live in Malaysia and also from Korea themselves. They performed a few songs and Korean traditional dances. The pictures of the event as below.

Performance by Korean Youth - Male teenagers

Korean Traditional Dance

Korean Traditional Dance 2

Korean Traditional Dance - Fan Dance

Korean Traditional Dance - Fan Dance

 Next performance by Natalie Dance - a dance group from Mon't Kiara with the members are Korean housewives who live in Malaysia.

Performance by Natalie Dance - Roly Poly

Performance by Natalie Dance -  Oppa Oppa

Energetic dance

Still with Natalie Dance

Korean Traditional Dance

Korean Traditional Dance - Drum dance

Korean Traditional Dance- drum dance

Hwangjini Band from Korea play modern song with Korean Traditional Instruments. It's hard to find a teenagers or youth who still can play the traditional instruments. But this band, not only can play the instruments but also they played it with modern songs. Check out the pictures and videos below.

Hwangjini Band

After the performance, I went outside of the exhibition hall to take a look at other booth which selling food and cosmetics.

The front door

Wonder Girls standee to promote Korea National Election from oversea

That's all for this time~ See you guys on next post!!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Touch Korea Tour

Watch Touch Korea Tour videos from buzz Korea!!

I vote for this team!!! Fun Tour Team~

Really hope they will win this~

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Korea Trip (Part 7)

Annyeong!! Hi guys~

We meet again and sadly want to say that this post is my last part of my Korea trip. But don't worry, I'll still post anything related to Korea.

As for our last day, we spent our morning time in Namdaemun (sorry guys, no pictures taken during there, so busy in shopping... LOL).

After tired of shopping, we went back to our guest house and rest for a while.

About 3 hours after that (we are so tired, seriously), we start our journey to Han River Park. As you can see below, there are the scene in the park. It was so big actually but we just be in a part of it.

Twilight in Han River Park

Night view

We spent about two hours there and after our stomach starveling, we decide to go to Shindangdong Tteokbokki Town as our last meal before went back.

We went to Morning Glory Shop just like Yongseo (We Got Married couple) did and saw these flush toys. Oh My Yongseo heart!! (sorry for spazzing here)

Okay guys, that's all for my Korea Trip 2012. Hopefully we can meet for another interesting story about Korea. Till we meet again~

Monday, 1 October 2012

Thanksgiving Day (추석 - Chuseok)

Hi everyone~ Happy Thanksgiving(Chuseok) Day to all Korean!!
How do you spend your Chuseok? Hopefully you spend it with joy and healthy.

안녕하세요 여러분~ 추석을 잘 보냈어요? 즐겁게 건강하게 잘하면 좋겠어요.

I just want to share my excitement to get to celebrate the Chuseok here in my country. 

I went to Koreatown in Ampang a night before Chuseok. I stopped at one of the mart there to buy some ingredients for Korean food. So I had asked the owner uncle when was Chuseok will be. He said tomorrow, and asked me whether I have taste the rice cake or Songpyeon before. When I said never (which is true since I don't know Songpyeon so much), he gave me Songpyeon as a gift. I'm so touched. The taste is good and the aroma of sesame oil. 

What is Chuseok? (source from Korea Tourism Organization)
Chuseok (추석) is by far the biggest and most important holiday in Korea. It is a time when family members from near and far come together to share food and stories and to give thanks to their ancestors for the abundant harvest.

In 2012, Chuseok Day falls on September 30, but the holiday is observed for a total of three days (September 29 – October 1). Essentially, Chuseok is a prime opportunity to go sightseeing in the major cities since many Koreans return to their hometowns in the countryside, leaving the city attractions relatively crowd-free. Visitors need note, however, that many places (especially stores and restaurants) may be closed for Chuseok Day or the entire Chuseok holiday period.

Before we get into Chuseok events, let’s take a closer look at what Chuseok means to Korean.
 Chuseok (Hangawi)
Chuseok is one of Korea’s three major holidays, along with Seollal (New Year’s Day) and Dano (the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar year) and is also referred to as Hangawi (한가위), meaning “the ides of August” (August 15th according to the lunar calendar). Hangawi/Chuseok was the day on which Koreans, an agrarian people throughout most of history, gave thanks to their ancestors for the year’s harvest, and shared their abundance with family and friends.

Although the exact origin of Chuseok is unclear, the tradition can be traced back to ancient religious practices that centered around the moon. The sun’s presence was considered routine, but the full moon that came once a month was considered a special and meaningful event. Therefore, harvest festivities took place on the day of the bright, full moon or August 15 on the lunar calendar system.
 Chuseok Customs
On the morning of Chuseok Day, Songpyeon (a type of Korean rice cake) and food prepared with the year’s fresh harvest are set out to give thanks to ancestors through Charye (ancestor memorial service). After Charye, families visit their ancestors’ graves and engage in Beolcho, a ritual of clearing the weeds that may have grown up over the burial mound. After dusk, families and friends take walks and gaze at the beauty of the full harvest moon or play folk games such as Ganggangsullae (Korean circle dance). 
Charye (ancestor memorial services)
On Chuseok morning, family members gather at their homes to hold memorial services (called Charye, 차례) in honor of their ancestors. Formal Charye services are held twice a year: during Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) and Chuseok. The difference between the two services is that during Seollal the major representative food is white Tteokguk, a rice cake soup, while during Chuseok the major representative food is freshly harvested rice. After the service, family members sit down together at the table to enjoy delicious food that symbolizes their blessings. 
Beolcho (clearing the weeds around the grave) and Seongmyo (visiting ancestral graves)
Visiting ancestral graves during Chuseok is known as Seongmyo (성묘). During this visit, family members remove the weeds that have grown around the graves in the summer season, a practice which is called Beolcho (벌초). This custom is considered a duty and expression of devotion and respect for one’s family. On the weekends, about one month prior to the Chuseok holidays, Korea’s highways become extremely congested with families visiting their ancestral graves to fulfill their familial duties. The graves are then visited again during Chuseok. 
Ssireum (Korean wrestling)
Traditionally, during the Chuseok holidays the strongest people in each village gather together to hold wrestling competitions. During the match, two competitors face each other in the middle of a circular sandpit surrounded on all sides by cheering spectators. The last wrestler left standing after a series of competitions is considered the winner and is named the village’s strongest man, taking home cotton, rice, or a calf as his prize. Today, Ssireum (씨름, Korean wrestling) competitions are held around the time of Chuseok to determine the strongest man in Korea, but the competitions are not as big a part of the celebrations as they once were. 
Ganggangsullae (Korean circle dance) 
In this dance, women dressed in Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) join hands in a circle and sing together. The dance dates back to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) when the Korean army used to dress the young women of the village in military uniforms and had them circle the mountains to make enemy troops think the Korean military was greater in number than it actually was. The Korean army enjoyed many victories thanks in part to this scare tactic.
Chuseokbim (Chuseok dress)
During Chuseok, everyone in the household buys and wears new clothes, usually hanbok (Korean traditional clothes). This custom is known as Chuseokbim, and is still practiced today. These days, however, most families purchase clothes from department stores or boutique shops instead of having hanbok made. Dressed in new clothes, families and relatives are ready to celebrating Chuseok. 
 Chuseok Food
Chuseok celebrates the rich harvest season when fruit and grain are abundant. Using the newly harvested grains, people make steamed rice, rice cake, and liquor. 
Songpyeon (송편) is one of the representative foods of Chuseok. This rice cake is prepared with rice powder that is kneaded into a size that is a little smaller than a golf ball, and then filled with sesame seed, beans, red beans, chestnuts, or other nutritious ingredients. When steaming the songpyeon, the rice cakes are layered with pine needles to add the delightful fragrance of pine. On the eve of Chuseok, the entire family gathers together to make songpyeon under the bright moon. An old Korean anecdote says that the person who makes beautiful songpyeon will meet a good spouse or give birth to a beautiful baby. It is no wonder that all the single members of a family try their best to make the most beautiful songpyeon!

Another major element of Chuseok is traditional liquor called Baekju (백주, white wine). The holidays are a time of thankfulness and generosity and drinking is a way in which many Koreans show their generosity and affection for their fellow countrymen.