Friday, April 29, 2011

This morning's royal wedding reminded me of a popular TV show several years ago. Based one a comic book, Palace(Goong) illustrated an imaginary lives of royal people in Korea. Until the early 1900s, there was Korean dynasty existing, but due to the invasion Japan, most of them were killed, and others ran way to other countries. This show is a fiction, base on the idea about how it would be if the dynasty was still existing. At the beginning of the show, the prince and his family look for a bride, and a common, middle classed high school girl is chosen as his mate. Rest of the show is about their lives in palace. Here's the synopsis from DramaWiki. Goong is a story about young love in face of tradition, politics, and intrigue. In the imaginary world, modern-day Korea is a constitutional monarchy and the Royal Family lives in a grand Palace, the Goong. Story opens with the sudden death of the reigning the King. Faced with the decreasing popularity among the public for the Royalty, a grand wedding for the Crown Prince, Lee Shin, is decided to be the best publicity move to improve the image of the Royalty and at the same time prepare Shin for immediate succession. The intended bride? The headstrong, awkward, and sweet spirited Shin Chae Kyung that just happens to go to the same exclusive art school. Chae Kyung was betrothed to become the next Crown Princess by her grandfather and Shin's grandfather.
After 14 years of living in England with his mom, Lee Yul appears all of a sudden. He is Shin's cousin as well as the former Crown Prince. Everything seemed to be going normally until Chae Kyung's optimistic spirit wins the heart of internally lonely, Yul. As the Crown Prince Shin and simple-minded Chae Kyung's relationship appear to developing deeper feelings, a series of scandals are exposed to the public right after the pair were officially announced married. Will love prevail all in a world of political pressures and martial hardships? Or will being in the spotlight of the public be too much for the young newlyweds to endure?
This show was popular, especially among young girls in Korea, because it gives the fantasy of royal lives to them. However, what attracted me about this show was the outfits the casts were wearing. In the palace, the royal family were Korean traditional outfit, hanbok. Hanbok itself is pretty too, but what the main character was wearing was the modern version of hanbok, which was new and interesting. Her clothing gained popularity, and that affected on huge popularity of the teddy bears with her clothes. Even though Korean culture is not welcoming people wearing hanbok unless it is a special occasion, but it was nice that this show helped the tradition gain some popularity. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Designer Hey-soon Lee
 Silla Hotel, one of the biggest hotel in Korea, got in trouble due to the recent incident about regulation on clothing. Last week, the most renowned Korean hanbok(Korean traditional clothes) designer, Hye-soon Lee was resisted to enter the conference held in Silla Hotel; because of her outfit. Lee was wearing the traditional Korean dress, hanbok, and when she was entering the conference room in Silla Hotel, an employee stopped her, because hanbok has "danger of causing accidents by tripping legs". Embarrassed by this incident, Lee tweeted about this happening, and the followers re-tweeted this, which eventually caught Silla Hotel in trouble. What fired people's anger toward Silla is that they were found out to let a Japanese women with their traditional clothes, kimono.
 After this happening, Silla Hotel apologized in public several times, and Bu-jin Lee, Samsung's chairman, Lee's daughter visited Hye-soon Lee to apologize about it(Silla Hotel is one of Samsung's branches). Despite their continuous apologies, people are still upset about Silla's attitude of neglecting the traditional culture.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Different from USA, where school year starts during summer, Korean schools start their new semester during spring. Most of the elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools start in early March, and colleges usually start in April. As most of my friend go to college this month, I want to tell little bit about the universities in Korea. Unlike America, all of the renowned colleges are located in Seoul, the capital city of Korea. Almost every students regard the colleges they attend very seriously. The college that is known to be the best one in Korea in Seoul University, and everyone struggle to get into this school. Since most of the good universities are in Korea, students want to attend one of those, and they regard their life to be successful if they are accepted to one of the "In-Seoul" colleges. Another difference about Korean college system is that many students study one or more years if they fail to be accepted to the colleges they want. This is the reason I previously said that "most " of my friends are going to colleges this year. Because Koreans take only one test a year that is required to attend a college, many of them dedicate their whole year to prepare the test. One of the reasons why I prefer the educational system in America is that students are given several chances to take SAT or ACT. Especially in Korea, university is one of the major factors that affect one's life. Therefore, students take this test very seriously,  and even decide to spent one or more years to get high grades on the test. Since the tuition fees in colleges are ridiculously high, some of the students have to spend some of the college years working. Because of that, it is common to take more than four years for one to graduate from a college. In high school and probably in middle school, students have to study hard to get into good universities. After they graduate from colleges, they have to work hard to get high jobs. Therefore, many of Koreans regard the college years as the most precious time in one's life that he or she can enjoy the freedom. So, I want to tell my friends to enjoy their precious years...

Friday, April 22, 2011

secret marriage of the celebrities

Many people in Korea got shocked for the recent news about Korean pop stars' marriage that were kept for secret for 14 years. Jia Lee, who recently started to gain fame by her acting in one of the most popular shows, were found out to be married to the most famous rocker in Korea, Taeji Suh. What is more shocking about their secret marriage is that they are working on divorce, and that the woman is dating with another Korean famous actor. The media says that they met each other when Jia Lee was staying in Los Angeles, to help Suh being stabilized in the US, and got married in Nevada in 1997.
Of course, I got shocked about this news, because no one even knew that those two people know each other. However, what I felt about this news when I first heard it is pity towards them. Most people are celebrated when they get married, and they enjoy their happy lives as married couples. However, these two people had to live worrying if someone would find out that they are married. Being famous might be fun and enjoyable, but I appreciate about being normal.

Friday, April 15, 2011

 One of the Korean rapper, MC Mong got in trouble because of he extracted his teeth with the intention to dodge his military draft. Every males in Korea need to be in the military for two years, but there are many problems with that, especially for the stars. What most of the male actors and singers worry about joining the military is that people might going to be forget them. In addition, the music industry and TV shows are changing so quickly, so they are worried that they might not going to be adopted well after two years of military trainings. For those reasons, MC Mong seems to extracted 20 teeth, so that he can be exempted from the military. However, soon this fact has been found out, and he is now going through his fourth court trial. Even though he is refusing this fact, everyone thinks that the purpose of his extracted teeth is on the military.
 Not only singers, but every other males in Korea also struggle join the military. Because they are required to join the military at the age of 20 through 30, many people refuse to join the army, Most people join the military after the freshman year in colleges, but things are different when they dropped out once or more. As they get older, they worry more about getting job, but the thing is that of they spend their most important two years in military, they hardly can catch up others. I hope the nation to be united soon, so that no one should worry about this.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

This article is about a Korean educational institution, Kaist, in Korea where all the elite scientists are known to be going. Since this January, four students committed suicide, and in April 10th, a professor in this institution killed himself. As so many "blessed" people kill themselves, people started wondering why they committed suicide. As a result, they all turned out to be died because of harsh educational system in Kaist. The school made the students pay the tuition fees depend on their GPA, so that the students have more will to study. The students who passes away had different GPAs, but people agree that the reason for the suicide is in the education in Kaist. Two of them had GPAs that are higher than 3.0, but both of them turned out to have depressive disorder. Other two students had GPAs below 3.0, and they also had struggled because of the tuition fee.
 Like I said in the previous post about the "tiger mom" and her education, I disagree with this kind of forceful education. In my opinion, the true learning is coming from one's willingness in learning, not from any other reason. I am especially upset with this incident, because the school connected money and education, while they are arguing that education should exist for education itself. I hope people realize the true reason of education so that no more young people in Korea suffer from this matter. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Martian Virus

Because people constantly pursue something new, there are some people regarded to be different from everyone else. This Korean TV show, "Martian Virus" shows those people's lives. In this show, the audiences can see the  people who are not living like everyone else. Sometimes, there are rather "crazy" people come to show off their weirdness. For instance, there was a woman who spend money like Paris Hilton, without that much of money. She buys all the expensive clothes, bags, and shoes. What was so shocking about her was that she periodically goes to Japan just to have lunch there. Also, there was a guy who goes to hair salon whenever he goes outside - even when he goes to a nearby market. Another shocking episode was the one about a girl who hasn't brush her teeth for a decade. Other than those people, there were people who wears weird makeups, wears weird clothes, and do stuffs what other ordinary people would never do.
Although I can't really understand why people do those insane things, I can compliment their braveness. They are brave in a way that they do what majority of people would not do because they worry about what others would think. However, those "Martians" not only live however they want to live, but appear on TV to courage people to live their own lives. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

     Just like in the U.S., smart phones, including Iphone or Android, are widely popular. As Americans use Skype as a messenger for their smart phones, there is a messenger program, called Kakao Talk, in Korea. This messenger is available only on the smart phone devices, and most of the smart phone users use it. Just like Skype, Kakao Talk provide messaging and calling service for those of who are connected to the Internet. So far, there are 10 million people using Kakao Talk, which is enormous regarding the total population of south Korea is 40 million. Recently, this application is causing problems for the network providers, because the smart phone users don't use much messaging and calling services, because they can do that with their messengers, for free. Being upset about this, some network providers were known to black mailing Kakao Talk to make them charge people additional fee for the app.
     In my personal opinion, I think this kind of trouble is happening, because smart phones were adopted to Korea without proper systems ready. In many other countries, network providers seem to earn money by monthly plans, However, the network providers in Korea seem to charge people more for individual phone calls or messages. Also, different from US, where wifi is available at almost everywhere, there is not so many places where wifi is available, since the land is small enough to connect all the internet with wires underground. As a result, when smart phones were first released in Korea, people got shocked by the huge amount of bills they got charged for 3G networks. These kind of troubles might be necessary to make the services better, but I am not sure if smart phones are proper for Korea right now.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

"I Love You"
 The movie, "I Lover You", is a movie flimed based on a famous webtoon (cartoon that is published on a website). This movie illustrates loves between Seniors. I have not watched the movie yet, so I will shortly describe the contents based on my memory about the cartoon. There are two couples in this movie. One of the old men delivers milk every morning, and meets this old lady who collects trash to earn little money. The man helps her pushing the cart to collect the trash, and falls in love with her. Another man is the friend of that old lady, and he also lives day by day by earning small amount of money from managing parking lots. He has this wife who has dementia, and he takes care of her so well.
 When I read this webtoon, I felt many things. The scenes where the old man tries to talk to his wife with dementia was so touching, and since all of four characters are abandoned by their children, it made me think thoughfully about how I would treat my parents when I get older. The thing I thought the most, is about love. People does not consider older people to love someone else other than their family, especially in Asian culture. Most Korean people think this as something embarrassing. However, I learned that people can love others no matter how old they are.I really look forward to watch this movie, since many people says that this movie illustrates those things I mentioned well.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Asian education
 Amy Chua is a professor of Yale University. She recently wrote a book about her education, which is extremely harsh to their children. After I read this article about her new book and her educational theory, I recalled the memories of the education in Korea. Almost every Korean parents regard their children's grades at school as the most important thing.Therefore, they force their children to attend "cram schools" after schools are over. "Cram schools" are basically similar to the schools, but the students attend there for additional studies after school. There are many types of "cram schools," and English and Mathematics are regarded as the mandatory subjects when one goes to the cram schools. Usually, when a kid enters an elementary school, his or her parents send the kid to a cram school, and sometimes a child as young as four or five years old goes to the cram school. The hours a student studies in the cram schools in a day depends, but many of them stay in there at least two or three hours. Since most of them go to more than one cram schools a day, so many students come to home as late as seven. As one goes to a middle school, the hours they stay in cram schools increase, and high school is even worse. For instance, I had classes until five p.m., had diner at school, and was forced to stay at school until ten for "night study hall". After that, I had to go to a cram school, which started at 11:00 p.m. and ended at 1:00 a.m..
 Many people asked me if it was effective to study in Korea. And every time someone asks such a question, I answer them "No". Even though I studied for a long time, I could not concentrate on almost any subject, since I was so tired due to last night's cram schools. After I read the article about Amy Chua, I started to wonder if that kind of education is really effective. From the article, Chua says that she forces her children to be on the top of everyone in any field. That can be possible if one really put efforts 24/7, but I am not sure that will make the one happy. Not to mention that the child would rebel against parents, in my opinion, this kind of education does not guarantee the stable and happy future.

Monday, March 28, 2011


 A Korean comedian, Sae-Yoon Yoo, is recently gaining people's attention by releasing a new album. His first album was released last year, and it was so popular for the witness in the songs. Corroborated with a professional singer-song writer, Sae-Yoon created a  group, UV, and made people laugh with brilliant  lyrics and music videos. Last summer, they released a song named "Sorry, I'm not cool", demonstrating a guy's feeling towards the woman who wants to break up with him. After UV gained some attention from people by that song, they appeared in a show, called UV Syndrome. This show was a documentary type, and filmed UV's daily lives. During the show, UV did some embarrassing things, including having a concert in a high school radio booth, which successfully made people laugh. The newest album is gaining attention with the collaboration with one of the most famous singer, JYP. As one of the people who enjoyed last summer's UV's album I'm really looking forward to listen to the album.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Please Look After Mom

 The novel, Please Look After Mom, was written by one of the most prominent author in Korea, Kyung-Sook Shin, and was so popular. Released in 2009, Please Look After Mom was sold over 1.7 million copies, and affected Koreans in many different ways. Here is the synopsis from Barns and Novel.
 A million-plus-copy best seller in Korea—a magnificent English-language debut poised to become an international sensation—this is the stunning, deeply moving story of a family’s search for their mother, who goes missing one afternoon amid the crowds of the Seoul Station subway.

Told through the piercing voices and urgent perspectives of a daughter, son, husband, and mother, Please Look After Mom is at once an authentic picture of contemporary life in Korea and a universal story of family love.You will never think of your mother the same way again after you read this book.

 As one of the readers who was so impressed and touched by this novel, I felt so glad when I heard the news that this novel will be released in the U.S.. For the younger people, this novel gave chances to look back what they have done to their parents, and for the older people, it gave chances to reminisce their memories with parents. As one of the people who were influenced by this book, I hope people over the world enjoy it. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

After Japan was attacked by a huge earthquake two weeks ago, many countries have been sending them helps. As a country located right next to Japan, Korea is also trying to help Japan. Many medias are trying to persuade people to donate for Japan by many means. However, the concert that was broad casted yesterday for the fundraising is blamed by many people, because of song selection. There is an old singer, Young-nam Jo, who chose to sing a inappropriate song to persuade people to donate for Japan. What he sang was a song that's lyrics was made out of one of the most famous poet's poem. The poet has died during the time period when Japan was invading Korea, and thus the poem is about blaming Japan and wishing the freedom in Korea. After this concert was broad casted, many people in Korea blamed the singer and the PD of the show for the song selection. It is good to help other country to recover from a disaster, but I think that people should be aware of the whole situation too. Helping others is what we should do, but we don't need to do that by humiliating our history.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

   Since the movie, Memory of Murder, was opened in Korean theater in 2003, films about those unsolved cases gained attention. Memory of Murder is a film that is based on a real case where the murdered is not found yet. In 1986, a woman's body was found, and within a month, three more dead bodies were found that were seemed  to be murdered in the same way. The police tried to find the murderer, but eventually failed, and the case was closed, because too many years were passed. In 2007, another film, His Voice was released. This film is also based on a real crime case. It is about the boy who was kidnapped in 1990s. The boy's body found to be dead, but this case was also closed unsolved, because of the prosecution prescription.
   These movies were popular, not just because those are entertaining. The major reason for those films to be successful, is because of the the purpose of the movie directors to make those films. They filmed the movies about the past cases to find the criminals. Although the cases were closed because of the prosecution prescription, some people could not give up to find the murderers, and decided to gain people's attention by medias. Even though they were not successful on finding the criminals, people became more aware of those crimes, and I believe that that helped people to prevent some of crimes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I am a singer

    This new Korean TV show, I am a singer, is enormously popular these days. This show is showing the competitions among seven famous singers in Korea, all popular and famous. When they are assigned certain songs or themes, they recreate those for two weeks and have performances. So far, they had only two performances, but the quality of that were surprisingly good, and therefore, people's expectation for the next performances is growing. When the seven singers perform, 500 random people vote for the best one and the one who gets the least votes must yield for another singer for the opportunity to have performances.
     Korean Music industry was not so fluent these days, because many of the singers are "wanna-be singers" without much skills. As this show becomes so popular, many of the Korean people became interested in more "skilled" singers. In my opinion, this show is really good, since it gives opportunities for the singers to perform their talents, as well as amuse the audiences.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Korean people, especially the young women are very sensitive about being in fashion. Most of them copy the stars, so whenever some star tries something new and be famous because of that, those items become widely popular and be sold a lot. These days, most popular one is the style called “the airport fashion”. As the name of it shows, this style is based on the clothes and accessories worn by stars in airports. The basic theme of this fashion is “worn as if you did not care much about clothes”, but this is kind of ironic, since people care a lot to wear as naturally as possible. Here are some pictures of so-called “airport fashion”.

People's interest in clothing and fashion can be helpful to improve Korean fashion industry. However, Korean people tend to try hard to copy what everyone else is wearing, which cannot be helpful for one's individuality. To be a "fashionable person" people should learn to create their own style, rather than try to be a part of everyone else,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

  Before Japan's invasion in 1910, there was not much of Western culture influenced Korea. People wore traditional Korean outfits, ate Korean food, and lived in traditional Korean houses. Since it was not so long time ago when Koreans lived like "Koreans", there are many historical soap operas broad casted, which reflect Korean history and culture. Those historical shows can be widely divided into two groups. One is based on historical truth, usually about some important or famous historical figures. Since those shows should be based on truth, they usually have much more episodes -usually more than 150 episode-, and tend to be more boring, because there are fewer dramatic situations involved. Another type is the ones that use only historical backgrounds, such as time period, and make fictional stories.
Sungkyunkwan Scandal
  Of course the second type of historical soap operas are more popular, especially among teenagers and females in their early 20s. For instance, one of the most recent shows that were broad casted was Sungkyunkwan Scandal (성균관 스캔들), which was widely popular among Korean girls. It describes the life of a girl who has to pretend to be a guy to get into an old Korean elite school, which, surely, is a fictional story.
  Even though they are not so popular, it is true that the first type, which is based on the history, is more helpful for the young students in Korea. For instance, one of my friends could always get As for her Korean history class, based one her memory from watching those shows. As the nation becomes more and more Westernized, those historical shows can be helpful to acknowledge of the culture. If you are interested in these shows, you can watch some if you go to and type in Korean Drama on the search tab.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Musical "The Phantom of the Opera" Korean cast
  Recently, performing art's market in flourishing in Korea. The number of people who go to watch plays and concerts is increasing. However, more than anything, the popularity of the musical significantly increasing. Until less than a decade ago, there were not so many musicals performing, and most of those were Broadway musicals. People in the musical market tended to translate some of the world-wide popular musicals and perform that. On the other hand, there are more number of musicals created in Korea these days. Most of the time, the Broadway musicals performed in Korea is in large scales, and the actors and actresses are widely famous. On the contrary, the musicals created in Korea are performed in smaller theaters with fewer people, and most of time those actors and actresses are less famous.

"Spring Awakening" Korean cast

                       I love musicals, and I've watched number of musicals played in Korea. I've watched many of the Broadway musicals in Korea, including Hedwig, Dream girls, Grease, Chicago, Spring Awakening, and Broadway 42nd st.. Their stage is huge and I could say that they put a huge amount of money for the shows. On the other hand, the musicals with smaller scale usually doesn't have much of stage setting or famous actors or actresses. However, in some reasons, I liked those smaller scaled musicals more than the Broadway ones. When I watched the Broadway musicals in Korea, I felt somewhat awkward about the lyrics, since they are just translated from other languages, usually from English. Also, I cannot feel the communication between the actors and actresses and the audiences, which I could find from the musicals in smaller scales. Maybe these are the reasons why Korean musicals are so flourishing without fancy stage, large theater, or famous cast.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Indie Music

 While the teenagers are crazy for those idol groups as mentioned in the previous post, people in their 20s tend to pay their attention towards the indie bands. There would be several reasons for this phenomenon, but there are two notable aspects. Usually, those indie bands are not so famous, and thus do their performances in small theaters located near to some colleges in Seoul, the capital of Korea. Most of those theaters are located near Hong-Ik Art University, where many of the young people in Korea enjoy their youth. Thus, those young people easily go to see their performances pretty much whenever they want to. In addition, since most of the indie bands are consisted of the people in their twenties, their lyrics and other things tend to get more attention from 20s.
 The video is the performance of one of my favorite indie band, 10cm. They recorded this video in a running bus. Maybe their spirit of trying something new like this helped them to be so popular among the people in 20s. If you are interested in these kind of things, you can visit this website where I found this video, which has some videos of indie bands and artists from different countries are posted. And please don't worry. contents in this website are written in English :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

TVXQ - Keep your head down

TVXQ is a group that is widely popular in Korea and China. This video is a music video for this group's newest song, "Keep your head down". Here's the translated version of lyrics for this song.

 Keep your head down U-Know time (Max)

You know what time it is?
This is return of the king
(Everything has ended) I didn’t even start yet
(We broke up) I haven’t even heard the reason yet
Everyone around me keeps asking me why I’m like this
Why are you like that, why are you like that? I’m already the bad guy
(If it’s a sin) If loving you was a sin
(If that was a shin) If being genuine is a sin
(I’ll keep it low, I’ll keep it low) I’ll hold it in and stand my ground
(Keep your head down)
You look pretty, but inside you’re so different, that’s what I’m afraid of
(Keep your head down)
I said I loved you but I’ll let you go
(Why?) Did you leave me so easily
(Why?) Did I look easy to you?
(Why?) My heart is ripping to shreds
(Why?) If every moment was a dream
(Why?) If only I had the time to set it right
(Why?) I prayed for your happiness
I was always satisfied with having you
I was happy to dream the same dream as you no matter what they said
I had to let you go, but I’m just walking my path anyway
Now I’m just chillin’, Feel like I’m healing
It’s too late, you said you can’t come back
You’ve always believed that I’d crumble without you
That’s a misunderstanding, why would I do that? why, why, I told you I wouldn’t
(Hey) I was really, really sad, because you were so immature
and I was afraid you’d meet someone bad (Why? baby)
(Keep your head down)
You’re really pretty, but that’s all there is to you, there’s nothing important inside of you
(Keep your head down)
A nail is driven into the heart that is holding in the pain of love
(Why?) Why
(Why?) You let go of our love so easily
(Why?) Did you ever think that someone would get worried?
(Why?) I don’t think you know yet
(Why?) Exactly just what you let go of
(Why?) Just remain there and watch me grow
Ha~ Don’t play with people like that
In front of me, all you do is speak of lies
You’re such a two-faced person
(Why why why) Since when did our crystal-like feelings become so opaque?
Our love has ended, I’ve let you go, and now my heart is empty
But my future is gesturing towards me to get up and smile
I’m letting you go, live happily (why why why)
One day far from now, far from now, I want to just smile comfortably
(Why?) Why
(Why?) You let go of our love so easily
(Why?) Did you ever think that someone would get worried?
(Why?) I don’t think you know yet
(Why?) Exactly just what you let go of
(Why?) Just remain there and watch me grow
(Keep your head down)
Erased, disappeared, you’ve burned to death in my heart
(Keep your head down)
Erased, disappeared, you’ve died in my heart and you no longer exist

 These days, this kind of "idol" groups are really popular, and there are huge number of groups out there. Typically, their songs are all about some meaningless stuffs, and songs themselves are resemble to each other, which sometimes make me hard to distinguish. However, most of the teenagers think it is really cool to like them because of their appearance and some cool dances, and as a consequence, people can't pay attention to  some really talented artists. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011


 Since the internet became available in Korea, numerous types of services were rapidly spread out. There are innumerable number of online games and different portal sites that provide different kinds of services. People can do everything on the internet, including listening to music, watching TV shows, listening to the internet radio, etc.. One of the most prominent services available on the internet is the blog. For several years, blogs became widely popular for everyone. Three major portal sites in Korea - Naver, Daum, and Nate - provide blogging service, which gave easier access to the blogging. There are many genres in blogs, but the most popular ones in Korea are blogs about baking and reviews of different products.
 Until 2000, home baking was very rare and limited to some rich family, because not many people had ovens in their homes. However, as people became more and more interested in home baking, people started to look for recipes on the internet. At the same time, blogging became widely popular, so many people started to post their recipes on their blogs. Not only people post recipes, but they also take pictures of every steps, which help people to visualize and easily follow step-by-step. Here is the link to the one of most popular blogs about home baking:
 People who does not have any special interest, but who want to blog, started to write reviews of different goods on their blogs. Since women in the age of 20s take overwhelming percentage of the whole population of people who blog, many of the reviews are about cosmetic goods. People write reviews about different cosmetics, show how to make up with them, and write their own opinions. The following address is the access to one of my favorite blogs about cosmetic reviews: Some other people write reviews about movies, books, and basically everything. Since American TV shows are widely popular in Korea, there are some bloggers who write review of some shows, too.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Social Network

 In every part of the world, websites that provide the social network service is widely popular. Just like Facebook or Twitter, there is a website providing the social network service in Korea. There are several websites for this, including Korean Twitters, but the most popular and famous one is the website called "Cyworld". Different from Facebook of Twitter, which simply let the users write their status on their pages, Cyworld gives the users their own home pages. However, this is different from other home pages, because there are only some simple functions available. The users can share their status by posting their pictures, songs, videos, or maybe some longer documents. Other users who are added as the owner of a home page can write some comments too.
 Since 2003, I've been using Cyworld, and I found it useful to contact some old friends. With some simple information about my previous school, I could easily find the home pages of some friends whom I could not see for a long time. With their pictures and diaries, I could see how they are doing these days and I felt so happy to see them doing great on their college applications and other stuffs. Maybe there are some differences among the websites that provide social network service, they share at least one common aspect, which is that they connect people.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy New Year!

   Last Thursday was the Korean new year's day. New year's day in many Asian countries is based on the lunar calender, which was used several hundreds years ago. People don't use this calender any more, but we still use it to count some holidays. There are various holidays in Korea, but new year's celebration is the most prominent one. All of the family members gather in the oldest son's house and spend one or two days together. In the morning, people have a special ceremony to show appreciation towards their ancestors. After the ceremony, they have lunch together. For the lunch, they have this special food, called Ddok-guk (떡국). This food is significant because our ancestors believed that people gets a year older after they eat this food. After the supper, a family have a special time. People dress up with the Korean traditional clothes, Han-bok (한복), and younger people in a family bow to the older ones, wishing their long, healthy lives. For the bows, the older ones "pay" some money for the younger people. After the bows, people spend time having some conversations, eat dinner, and play some traditional games.

  For me, the new year's day was always the most exiting day of a year. When I was little, I was exited about the fact that I am getting older by eating Ddok-guk, and as I know the value money, I was exited about the money for bows. However, since I missed this holiday for three years, staying in the states, I realized that the thing I miss the most about this holiday is the gathering of my family. Meeting grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in one place at the same time is impossible other than this big holiday. In my opinion, that is the reason why the New Year's Day is so significant in Korea.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Infinite Challenge

무한 도전(Muhan Dojeon), which means "infinite challenge", is a  TV show that is hugely popular especially among teenagers and young people in Korea. Since 2004, this show was broad casted every Saturday, and for me, watching this show is one of the reason why I love weekends. As the name of this show tells, people from this show challenges for various things "infinitely". At the beginning of the season, people challenged for all the stupid things (chasing a train with bare foot or washing a car faster than a machine, for examples), and everyone in this show was rather described as ugly. Therefore, no one thought that this will be so popular like now. However, the producer was replaced, and since then, the popularity increased more and more. These days, people in this "reality show" challenge for more thoughtful things, such as fundraising by creating and selling their own calender every year. (The following pictures are their calender I got for this year...)

 This show is one of the most hilarious shows I've ever watched, but that is not the only reason why it is so popular. In my opinion, their huge popularity is based on their acts of doing good for the society. For that, people in this show sacrifices themselves in many ways. For example, they have practiced wrestling for more than a year so that they can perform a professional wrestling for a fundraising. I watched the episodes that show their practice for the pro wrestling show, and I realized that they really give people impression that they are working so hard, not just to earn money, but to help others. I think that is the reason why I cannot stop watching this show even when I am busy working on something else.