#14 on 50 Things about Korea – Pepero Day (빼빼로 데이)


In Korea, there are many special days celebrated, sometimes for no special reasons at all. And Pepero Day is the exact example of such celebration. But it’s kind of cute how they make 11.11 (11th day of November) special. So yes, Pepero Day is celebrated on 11.11 every year. And this year, it is even more special, with not four, but six “1” < 11.11.11 >. The number “1” represent the Pepero stick.

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#13 on 50 Things about Korea – Nine Tailed Fox/Gumiho (구미호)

Gumiho is a Korean folk legend. Basically a 구미호 (Gumiho – or literally translated as nine tailed fox) lives for thousands of years and is able to transform itself into a beautiful lady and seduce men before eating their livers.

However, when the tale of a Gumiho started to appear in Korean texts, it was considered as nice and in fact many of the older texts make more frequent mention of wicked humans tricking kind but naïve Gumihos. It is unclear at which point in time Koreans began viewing the Gumiho as a purely evil creature, since many of the ancient texts mention benevolent Gumihos assisting humans.

As the mythology of the Gumiho evolved it was later believed that a Gumiho had to consume human hearts in order to survive. In later literatures they are often depicted as flesh-hungry half-fox, half-human things that wandered the cemeteries at night, digging human hearts out from graves.

The story of Gumiho always appear in dramas during summer. In 2010 two TV stations KBS and SBS aired drama adaptations which depict the life of a Gumiho. SBS’ “My Girlfriend Is A Gumiho” starring Shin Min A and Lee Seung Gi attracted many k-drama lovers with its story.

OST:

Lee Seung Gi – 지금부터 사랑해 (I Love You From Now On)


While KBS’ “Grudge: The Revolt of a Gumiho” was not a disappointment either. And to be perfectly honest I preferred this drama more than MGIG. The casts for this drama include Han Eun Jeong and Jang Hyeon Seong. This drama also starred two very promising child actors; Kim Yoo Jeong and Seo Sin Ae.

Trailer:

#12 on 50 Things about Korea – André Kim (앙드레 김) [R.I.P]

André Kim (August 24, 1935 – August 12, 2010) was a noted and well known fashion designer based in Seoul, Korea. He was the first male designer in Korea and also the first South Korean to hold a fashion show in Paris. In 1981, he was appointed as the Chief Designer for Miss Pageant. His death was considered a great loss to all Koreans as he was a fashion icon.

André Kim and celebrities

Why did I include André Kim in my list? Because I think he is/was synonymous with South Korea. Everyone in Korea would know him, so I think it’s apt for me to include him in the list. 🙂 For your information, André Kim always appeared in the same white outfit, wherever he went. That’s a bit of an irony for me since he’s a famous fashion designer, don’t you think? 😀

His designs however, are definitely not for average people, especially the male outfits. IMHO,they are a bit glamorous and ‘futuristic’ to be worn everyday or even on special occasions. The designs for female however, are quite captivating. 😉

One thing that I noticed, his fashion show would always end in the same way, sort of like his ‘signature’ pose. The main models [male+female] would walk hand in hand down the runway, male model kiss the female’s forehead, then their foreheads met and both of them would look to the front together [as if they are looking at the future ahead..].

Celebrities in South Korea who have been in André Kim’s fashion show are considered as an ‘achievement’ in their career. That shows how respected André Kim was.

May his soul rest in peace.

#11 on 50 Things About Korea – Ramyeon (라면)

Ramyeon (라면) – South Korean noodles in soup, served in food stalls, made of instant noodles with toppings added by stalls. In the 1960s, instant noodles were introduced to South Korea from Japan. Its quick and easy preparation, as well as its cheap price, ensured it quickly caught on. It is typically spicy with chili and kimchi added, amongst other ingredients.

I guess Korea and Koreans are inseparable with ramyeon. Besides Kimchi which is their staple food, ramyeon is considered as one of the common food among Koreans. This ramyeon-eating-culture is featured in ALL Korean dramas I’ve ever watched!

So what is so special about eating ramyeon? Isn’t it the same as eating Maggi in Malaysia, or ramen in Japan? The answer is yes and no. Basically it is the same thing. But Koreans have this sort of ‘special’ utensil used to cook the ramyeon that is the copper pot. 😀 And whenever Koreans eat ramyeon, they always use the lid to put the ramyeon on before eating [this helps the noodle to cool down].

#10 on 50 Things about Korea – White Day (화이트데이)

limited edition coke

I decided to write about this because I’ll be arriving in Seoul on White Day! So my travel mates, you guys should know that White Day falls on March 14th. 🙂 Those who are not familiar with the celebration might wonder what in the heaven’s name is White Day? LOL.I’ll explain it.

As the whole world know, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th every year. It’s the most romantic day on earth (or so I am told, hehe) where couples would buy gifts (often in the form of chocolates or roses) to their better halves. In Korea however, ONLY WOMEN would buy chocolates and give them to their partner. So what about the guys,you ask? Well, that’s why we have White Day. 😉

It’s like a ‘payback’ time. On White Day, women expect to receive the chocolates in return of what they’ve given the men on Valentine’s Day. Sounds weird to you? But that’s how it works in Korea. If the guys receive chocolates on V day, they are expected to return the ‘favor’ on W day. Whatever it takes, they must. Hehe.

More info of White Day can be read here. I hope to find something that can remind me of White Day, like the limited edition coke featured in this entry, or something like that. You might think the single people must feel so down for these 2 months of love ‘show off’. Hehe.

No worries, exactly 2 months after Valentine’s Day and a month after White Day, it’s a SPECIAL  day for SINGLE and AVAILABLE people. And you’ve guessed it. It’s Black Day. Hahaha. I’ve blogged about it here.

#9 on 50 Things about Korea – Bibimbap (비빔밥)

Ref: My Name is Kim Sam Soon ep 11.

Yeah, again I’m referring to Kim Sam Soon. No need to guess, because it’s the second-best k-drama for me, after Goong. 😉 In the scene, [18:26 onwards] you’ll see how Sam Soon enjoyed her Bibimbap that it’s almost impossible not to make your mouth water. Seriously.

my own version of bibimbap, made it MYSELF. 😉

The name Bibimbap simply means “mixed rice” ( bibim – mix; bab – rice). Well, that’s basically it. The rice is mixed with various ingredients, mostly vegetables,meat,gochujang (chili paste) and sesame oil. It may not sound delicious, but once you’ve tried it, you can’t forget how good it is. But mind you it’s advisable to eat it when you’re REALLY famished, if not you might not finish all of it.

Tried making my own bibimbap, and thankfully it was a BIG success. But it was such a hassle trying to prepare all the ingredients, as I wanted it to be perfect. If not, it can be made with whatever ingredients that you have, such as leftover veggies, chicken et cetera.

#8 on 50 Things about Korea – Karaoke (노래방)

Ref: My Name is Kim Sam Soon, episode 14.

From now on, I’ll be referring my blog entries to the drama that reminds me of the topic. Since I’ve done that in most of my entries I’ve written so far,so by telling you which drama you can relate to, I hope it helps. I’ll try to find clips too, but if I can’t find it then I hope the reference would do.

Today’s topic is Karaoke or as Koreans like to refer it to as Noraebang (노래방) – literally it means “Song Room”. This is definitely the TOP in my list of what-to-do-in Korea. Seriously. To those who are not familiar with the ‘culture’ might not see the difference between Noraebang and the usual karaoke-ing. But as an avid Korean drama fan, I’ve grown to adapt to this passion most (if not all) Koreans have about singing in Noraebang. And mind you, they don’t just sing in Noraebang. Lol.

There are like sort of the ‘unwritten rules’ when you go to a Noraebang. A trot song is a must. And you’ll sing while dancing like a retard (lol). And of course, there’s the maracas and tambourine to accompany your ‘performance’. Hehehe. I came to a conclusion that Koreans love singing. I should too?? Hehe.

Anyway, almost all k-dramas featured a scene in Noraebang, but the ultimate one for me is definitely in My Name is Kim Sam Soon. I’d laugh like crazy every time I watch this scene. Rotfl. Need I say more? Watch this part, and pay extra attention towards the last 3 minutes. Hehe.

-video credit to JLINK27