#4 on 50 Things about Korea – Hanbok (한복)

My favourite idol group, SNSD with their hanboks.

The first time I saw hanbok in a drama (can’t really remember which drama), my comments were; ‘what a weird looking clothes! Those dresses make the women look fat… Kimono is way much better!’ And so I thought. Not long after, when the Korean culture slowly ‘gotten into me’ and my Dad (yes, you read it correctly. MY DAD! hehe) suddenly didn’t miss an episode of “Hwangjini” on tv, I fell in love with the beauty of this traditional clothing worn by Korean women.

I started to appreciate the uniqueness of the clothing and soon after, I even thought Hanboks were much better looking than all the western dresses. The authenthicity of the Hanboks and the fact that they are a part of the local culture,captured my interest.

Unlike Malaysian Baju Kurung that is still worn regularly by the women, that is not the case for the Korean Hanboks. These days, we can only see people wearing beautiful Hanboks for weddings, festivals or other special occasions.

Urbanisation and Westernisation have made wearing a Hanbok old fashioned. However, recently fashion designers are reinventing the Hanboks for more modern-looking designs to attract youngsters to wear them. What’s more, Hanboks are being recognised widely around the world.

I don’t know why that makes me PROUD. Lol. And oh, traditional clothes for men is also called Hanboks!

p/s – as I’m writing this, KBS World is showing a clip about a Hanbok Fashion Show. Wow, I do have chemistry with Korean culture, don’t I? Hahaha.

why are they so good?

bands

i recently found a very interesting fact about korean artists/entertainers [especially singers]. at first i was quite in a daze as to why they really make a big deal out of their ‘debut’ on stage. well, the truth behind it is quite shocking to me, but at the same time it explains why these korean entertainers are really good in what they are doing.

as you might know [or perhaps might not], koreans really dig boy-bands, girl-groups. i thought i’m over them since i finish high school [backstreet boys was my favourite back then]. but surprises, surprises. the “Hallyu” wave did not only make me love the dramas, but also its music, which apparently made me go crazy over boy bands again. totally not apt for my age, but heck! no harm in ‘dreaming the impossible’, right?

ok, back to the main story.

these korean entertainers, before their debut, will be put into training for years. take SNSD for instance, the girls have been trained since they were in middle school. and now look at how good they are after being nurtured for so many years. unlike malaysia, where the road to being an artist is as short as the time you take to cook a pack or ramyeon [hence the term ‘instant artist’]. no wonder they are so ‘forgettable’. even if they have the looks, they lack talent, or vice versa.

after getting myself immersed into the korean entertainment scene, i have witnessed quite a few debuts and i must say, almost all of them have different qualities and are unique in their own ways. among the new artists are 2AM [strong vocals!], 2PM [great dance moves], Blue Spring [love their voice!] Sori [sexy girl!] and many more. i guess all the long term trainings paid off.

seriously i can’t imagine if this were to be practiced here in malaysia. come to think of it, it’s almost impossible. lol. so i think this is what makes these korean entertainers good, and they have great stamina whenever they perform on stage. mind you, they have choreographed a specific dance routine for each song, so the dance moves really become memorable. [read: Wonder Girls’ ‘Tell Me’ dance, SNSD’s ‘Gee’ dance et cetera].

just to put us in a lighter mood, here’s Jumper‘s “Yes!”. this duo recently debuted in KBS Music Bank, and after a few times listening to this single, it quickly became my driving companion. 🙂 enjoy.

gee_-_SNSD

gee1

SNSD (SoNeoShiDae/Girls’ Generation/소녀시대) is definitely one of my favourite k-pop (girl) group. they have this kinda ‘innocent, goody-two-shoes’ image which sometimes i clinched watching them perform. unlike Wonder Girls who incorporate sexy image with cuteness, SNSD is more like the bubbly cute teenagers singing happy songs when they are on stage.

i love them since their first album, singing ‘Girl’s Generation’, ‘Baby,Baby’, ‘Kissing U’ etc. and i must say, their ‘live’ singing is way better than Wonder Girls. [this is my personal opinion, but i guess a lot of people will agree to it too]. their [bigger] number of members, 9 members to be exact, may contributed to that, but, imho, they sing really well.

so, now presenting the latest craze of SNSD; Gee,Gee,Gee,Gee…