The architecture of ancient Korea

 

Laerke Andersen editor (Denmark)

 

If you’ve ever wandered the streets of South Korea, you may have come across some of their traditional buildings. A place where you can experience the architecture of ancient Korea is at the Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul. The first time I travelled to Korea, I visited the village along with a few temples and I was immediately stunned by the details and the hard work there’s been put into the buildings. If you’re like me and think that the traditional Korean architecture is interesting, and you want to know more - then this article is for you.

 

First of all, if you aren’t familiar with the term: “Hanok”, it’s simply a traditional Korean house. They were first designed and build in the 14th century, and the architecture is based on a combination of wood and stone. These days, most of the Hanoks that are still used for housing have modern facilities installed within. Originally a Hanok was used to refer to all traditional Korean buildings - such as Buddhist temples and royal palaces but today its generally limited to private houses.

 

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A contact-free society in South Korea

Laerke Andersen editor

(Denmark)

 

As many may know - South Korea is a very technological society with impressive high-speed internet. During the COVID-19 outbreak, the internet usage has increased and has helped many cope with the pandemic. This isolated life has become normal for a lot of people since the lockdowns but for the Koreans, it’s been on its way since before the outbreak hit and there’s even a word for it. “Untact” has been a popular term in marketing in South Korea since 2017. The term describes doing things without any direct contact with others ex online shopping or self-service kiosks.

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Growth of Hallyu

Sabrina Gradolf  editorSwitzerland)

Hallyu has consistently and exponentially grown since 1999, when it surfaced as a major cultural phenomenon. But the growth of this wave has not been totally spontaneous and unplanned. The five major factors discussed above shaped the cultural environment of Korea, which led to the birth of the Korean wave. Five important factors have been crucial for maintaining the popularity of Hallyu and further boosting its potential to expand into other markets: Growing popularity of Korean brands: The Korean brands are doing the exact same thing to Japanese brands now, what the Japanese brands did to US brands during the 1960s and 1970s. Samsung and LG have been the forerunners in creating world class brands in the consumer electronics industry. LG has transformed itself from a manufacturer of cheap products to a brand of repute. Hyundai and Kia brands are creating a similar revolution in the car industry. Hyundai, which was once the source of jokes in the US industry due to its horrible quality, is now touted as one of best quality cars on the market and is competing head on with the Japanese giants Toyota and Nissan. AmorePacific is South Korea’s largest beauty company and ranks 7th on Women Wear’s Daily list of top 10 global beauty companies. On a collective level, the acceptance of these brands in the international market has improved the overall perception of its country of origin – South Korea. Gradually the world is associating Korea with Samsung and Hyundai instead of the Korean War. This new interest in Korea has been a great driver of Hallyu.

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South Korea: How a country has been able to see through the eyes of their customers

Laura Vega editor(Colombia)

South Korea is one of the most powerful and influencing countries within the IT and metalworking industries. But further to this we can highlight the incredible growth most of their cultural industries have been gaining over the past few years.

Nowadays we can consider South Korea a pioneer within this industry, especially because of covid, we can say that South Korea shined the most in here. To explain how they have achieved this great success, we should start by defining some examples:

First is how SM entertainment was able to take advantage of the country's technological development to create a platform for virtual concerts streaming. So here we have a project built to satisfy and promote the entertainment industry in the country, plus the use of the current IT advantages, followed by an incredible marketing plan and execution that lead to an enormous and incredible movement of online concerts, not only in South Korea but in many places worldwide.

The second example is the fact that many entertainment firms are getting innovative with their business lines. They are getting into more different products to promote and expand the whole entertainment spectrum, so it is normal to see a whole company focused on music production also launching incredible IT resources, videogames, books, and even go as far as to get in totally unrelated business units within the agribusiness, and fashion and apparel. 

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Gyeongbokgung Palace

Sabrina Gradolf  editorSwitzerland)

My colleague and I were able to visit the Gyeonbokgung Palace and the small museum. How we felt, we can’t put into words. It was as if we traveled back in time. Exciting, very impressive and beautiful can describe this historical place - A MUST SEE when you’re in Seoul. Here we’ve summarized the most important things about the palace but also check out our photos and our Youtube-Video.

It was in 1395, three years after the Joseon Dynasty was founded by King Taejo, when the construction of the main royal Palace was completed after the capital of the newly founded dynasty moved from Gaeseong to Seoul. The Palace was named Gyeongbokgung Palace, the "Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven”, with Mount Bugaksan to its rear and Mount Namsan in the foreground.
In front of Gwanghwamun Gate, the main entrance to the Palace, Yukjogeori-ran (Street of Six Ministries, today's Sejongno), home to major government offices. Along the central axis upon which Gwanghwamun Gate stood was the nucleus of the Palace, including the throne hall, council hall and king's residence. The government ministry district and main buildings of Gyeongbokgung Palace formed the heart of the capital city of Seoul and represented the sovereignty of the Joseon Dynasty. After all the Palaces in the capital were razed by the Japanese during the Hideyoshi invasions of 1592-'98, the second palace Changdeokgung, was rebuilt and served as the main Palace.
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Brutally competition in Korean Education

Zuzia editor(Poland)

 

The Suneung – an eight-hour Korean ability exam

 

Education system in South Korea is consider to have the most mercilles education system in the world; is described as: „stressful, authoritarian, brutally competitive and meritocratic’’. Not only in Korea, but along with other „Asian Tigers” named: Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapour education is a solid economic foundation of the country and they have became global education centers.

The more successful country is, the more competitive students are.

South Korea is declared to be the best educated country and is consider to have the most educated young people in the entire world. Parents are spending large amount of they income to provide their children the best private tutoring, which is called the education arms race. This country is consider to have the largest private tutoring industry in the world.

It is not just about to admission into best universities in Korea, but to get into best universities in the entire world. That is why today’s korean students are envy of many people worldwide.

Avarage student in Korea spends from 13 hours to 16 hours of studying every single day, believing to get into the top universities and be at the top in the class. They are taking classes after classes, tutor after tutor, paying thousands of dollars to get the best education they can have. Not only students put pressure on themselves but also their parents and family members to get the best position is social hierarchy as they canxday, believing to get into the top universities and be at the top in the class. They are taking classes after classes, tutor after tutor, paying thousands of dollars to get the best education they can have. Not only students put pressure on themselves but also their parents and family members to get the best position is social hierarchy as they can.

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An overview of one of the finest and most cultural entertainment places in Seoul: The coffee shops (다방)

 Laura Vega editor(Colombia)

Let's take a sip of coffee and talk about the Dabang culture in South Korea!

One of the things that I love the most about South Korea is its coffee culture (다방), and let's be honest, most of us need a daily dose of coffee every day, and if not, you must have more than the average amount of stamina in your body. I love coffee regardless of my actual lack of stamina thought! If you ever found yourself walking through the beautiful streets of Seoul or any other city in South Korea, you are going to notice many bars, coffee shops (다방) , restaurants (식당), and teahouses (찻집). But did you know there is a traditional explanation for this?

Well, let me share some great things about this: This culture was born of the need to have entertainment places a few decades ago. Do you recall those times when people would use Hanbok (한복)? This was active even during those times - that's why Koreans follow a "Drink out" culture! 

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Culture industries in Korea and how they seem to go beyond the barriers

 Laura Vega editor(Colombia)

The Korean wave is a concept that has become more popular every day.

When we talk about the Korean wave, we have to know a little about the  cultural industries  in Korea and their history. Mainly, in Korea within the majority of prominent industries such as ship technology and production, we find an industry that has had immense growth for a couple of decades and that is the culture industry. Long ago it could be said that not everyone had extensive knowledge about the various products and services belonging to this industry but recently we have realized that it has become one of the main focuses of audience attention.

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