Thursday, December 31, 2009

Korea at Glance: Movie, Clothing, Food (by: Ulvia Z.)

Part I: Korean Movies
During the last decade, Korea produced many movies and reached its success. Korean people have big interest in their own movies than Hollywood’s movies. In 2009, the amount of sold tickets of the big ten Korean movie is 42 millions, and the population of Korea is about 50 millions. Korea also has many international movie festivals:
  • Busan International Film Festival (BIFF)
  • Blue Dragon Film Awards
  • Seoul independent Film Festival
  • Golden Bell Film Festival
  • The Pucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan)
  • The Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF)
  • The Women’s Film Festival in Seoul (WFFIS)
  • The Chungmuro International Film Festival (CHIFFS)
  • Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival (SICAF)
  • The Green Film Festival in Seoul
  • Mise-en-scene’s Genre Film Festival
Those show that Korean people have big interest and actively make and help Korean movies known internationally. By holding these festivals, Korean movies can be more widely known and shows that Korean movies also have quality like Hollywood movies.
Korea also has two organizations which actively contribute in its own movies. They are KOFA (Korean Film Archive) which established in 1974 and KOFIC (Korean Film Council) which established in 1973. KOFA is an organization which assembles, improves, and shows Korean movies and supporting documents. KOFA has Korean movie database that can be access by public. KOFIC has responsibility in promoting Korean movies worldwide. The government of Korea also contributes in its success, so not only the movie makers that have contribute in that success.

Part 2: Modern Hanbok (Korean Costume)

Hanbok is Korean traditional clothe that has unique characters and patterns. Before western things had influenced Korea, Korean people wore Hanbok in their daily life. But nowadays Korean people wear Hanbok only in special events or ceremonies such as new years, thanksgiving, wedding, etc. Today Koreans wear diverse varieties of clothing such as suits, jackets, T-shirts, jeans, dress, and other items mostly from the West.
Koreans in old days wore white Hanbok. It was natural color and represented the purity of Korean way of thinking. As time passed by, Koreans began to wear the primary colors of red, blue, and yellow. In general Hanbok consist of 2 parts, it is small tops called jeogori and long skirts called chima for women and men wore jeogori and pants called baji. In Korean traditional societies, design of Hanbok reflected people’s gender, profession, and social status.
Hanbok are beautiful, but they are uncomfortable if worn in everyday live. As western influence entered Korea at the end of the Joseon Period, Hanbok began to disappear from Korean daily life and today Hanbok is worn for special occasions. However, these days, a modern version of Hanbok is gaining in popularity. This is because Koreans are beginning to realize the importance of traditions. The aesthetics of the traditional Hanbok can still be found in the modified modern Hanbok. The thing that made traditional Hanbok uncomfortable for the modern style has been modified for convenience and comfort.
Korean designers also contributed in making of modern Hanbok. Three of Korean designers that have made some design for modern Hanbok are Lee Shin-woo (Icinoo), Sol Yoon-hyong, Lee Young-hee. Lee Shin-woo designed Hanbok made from machine made cotton and make modern Hanbok in soft color that reflected color of sky. Lee Youg-hee designed modern Hanbok by combine the aesthetics of west and east, she has made Hanbok that consist of pants and vest for women. That vest refers to Korean traditional vest called baeja. Sol Yoon-hyong designed modern Hanbok by designing ‘you can see’ blouse and still maintain traditional patterns and strong colors.
Today, in traditional markets or shops in Korea, many simply and modern Hanboks are sold there. There is kind of modern Hanbok such as long dress, it’s very simple to wear. Hanbok is one of Korean prides.

Part 3: Korean Food: Kimchi Today

Among Korean life essentials, fool is where most traditions still thrive. Korean traditional food not only remains part of the modern Korean diet, but some of it is becoming internationally known. The basic of Korean food is certain to include rice, broth, and Kimchi. We also can find various soups and pot stews.
The most Korean represented food is Kimchi, Kimchi is a fermented food made by marinating cabbage, radish or cucumber in salt. Then mixing it with red pepper, garlic, green onion, ginger, and pickled seafood. In the past, people were unable to eat vegetables in winter, so they made Kimchi to store vegetables. There are many types of Kimchi and in general, Kimchi refers to the Cabbage Kimchi.
Kimchi is used to make various foods such as Kimchi Stew, Kimchi Fried Rice, Kimchi Pancakes, Kimchi Buns and more. Recently, a hamburger with Kimchi called ‘Kimchi Burger’ was introduced and children and teenagers like it very much. There are other western foods that combine with Kimchi, they are Kimchi Pizza, Kimchi Spaghetti, Kimchi Sandwich. It shows that though Koreans enjoy the western food, they still maintain the traditional things and their own culture. Koreans like Kimchi so much that they feel emptiness when Kimchi is missing from a meal. Kimchi is now liked not only by Koreans but by foreigners, which makes it a world-wide food.


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