Friday, April 16, 2010

Korean Culture 한국 문화

something to share with you guys...

People Korean  people

A few basic facts about Korean people:

  • Generally known for their darker complexion and high cheek bones. As a race, they can be extremely nice as long as you treat them with respect. However, just keep in mind that some cultural differences are involved so you may consider what they do as rude but they do not mean anything personally by it, it is simply thousands of years of tradition. One example of this may be with the older Koreans.
  • Everywhere older people are respected, but in Korea they are highly respected.
  • The people truly are nice and helpful. If you need help and understand little Korean, they will help you. They love when you want to learn the language and will help you with that as well.
  • If you travel here, you may get looks and feel awkward sometimes, but this is only natural because most people there are Koreans and asian, so any other race may stand out. You really should go sometime and enjoy it! It will definitely be worth the visit.
  • One common fact that many people never understand properly deals with birthdays. If you speak to an Asian online, you may get confused when discussing ages and what grade in school and everything. This is because birthdays are a little different. Korean people will generally have an age of 1-2 years older than someone elsewhere who was born in the same year. When a Korean is born, they are automatically considered one year old. Many Koreans then consider themselves one year older on January 1st.

Holidays holidays

  • Korean New Years Korean New Years

-Two Korean New Years. This is because Koreans go by two calenders; one being the same people use in the West, and the other being the lunar calender.

The Korean New Years based on the Western calender. It is a big national holiday in Korea as well, and occurs on January 1st just like we do. During this holiday, many relatives get together to share time together and talk. In Korea, there are some old traditions that some people will still follow. One is to visit the oldest member of the family and bow toward them to show respect and to wish them a long life (this would occur on New Years Eve). The following day on January 1st people will pay respect to ancestors by offering food and wine. This ceremony is called Jaesa. At the beginning of the ceremony, the names of the ancestors are pinned to a board. The oldest family members bows and offers the wine to the ancestors who have passed away. Then, the names are burned. Later in the day, relatives talk about old times and eat food. The traditional food usually eaten on New Years Day is Duk Gook, a type of soup. Kimchi is always present.

The other New Years Day is the Lunar New Years. It is usually around February. People wear the traditional clothes called Hanbok. It also is a day relatives may get together. People will exchange gifts, and the children will definitely be happy because they are usually given money on Lunar New Years. Sometimes the Lunar New Years and the Solar New Years are pretty common and involve similar traditions. The main idea behind it all is to wish everyone a happy new year, good luck in the new year, same as everywhere else in the world, as well as pay respect to those who have passed away.

  • Independence Day Independence Day

Similar to our July 4th Independence Day, the Korean Independence Day represents when Koreans declared themselves independent from Japanese rule. It is on March 1st every year, and began in 1919 when the declared themselves independent from Japanese rule.

  • Chuseok Chuseok

Chuseok is the same as our "harvest moon." It takes place on the 15th day of the 8th month going by the lunar calendar. It is a day where the full moon appears larger and may look orange. This holiday is celebrated in many asian countries.

  • Christmas Christmas

Since Christianity took hold in Korea, Christmas has been a growing holiday there as well. It is a little different than here in the west though. Many young people will use Christmas as a day to go out and party and then will spend New Years with their family, which is just the opposite of many Western families.

  • Children's Day Children's Day

I just thought I would list this holiday because it is a holiday that should be introduced everywhere! On Children's Day, May 5th of every year, children are given money for free and taken on outings.

  • Hangul Day Hangul Day

Hangul Day, also known as Hangul Proclamation Day and Korean Alphabet Day, is on October 9th in South Korea and January 15th in North Korea. It is just a day to celebrate the creation of the language!

  • Valentines Day, White Day, and Black Day

All of these are related!

Valentines Day is on February 14th, as it is here. On Valentines Day, girls will give chocolates and other gifts to the guys. It is similar to our Valentines Day but is more one-sided.

So, what should be done? White Day was created. On White Day, one month later on March 14th, guys will give more expensive chocolates and gifts to the girls. These chocolates come in white boxes. This way it isn't so one-sided!

But what about the people who feel left out on those days because they have nobody to give chocolates to? That is what Black Day is for! On Black Day, another month later on April 14th, people who have nobody all get together with their friends and eat JaJangMyun Noodles, which are black in color. It is not as popular as Valentines Day and White Day, but it is still celebrated by some people!