Which song is regarded as the unofficial national anthem of Korea?

Q: Which song is regarded as the unofficial national anthem of Korea?

A: Arirang (아리랑).

Significance of Arirang to Koreans

Arirang is a very popular traditional folk song among Koreans – virtually all Koreans, whether in South Korea, North Korea or abroad, can sing at least part of this song.  As a result, it has the power to unite all Koreans.  Throughout history, Koreans has sung it in both times of happiness and sorrow and this song is deeply rooted in the emotions of Koreans.   Continue reading

Let’s have a drink! – A look at the Korean drinking culture

A scene often appearing in the Korean TV dramas is people drinking alcoholic beverages and getting drunk. When you travel to South Korea, you can often see people drinking alcoholic beverages in green bottles called soju. According to a survey by the Korea Alcohol and Liquor Industry Association, in 2010, 93.8% of men and 83.8% of women said they regularly consumed alcohol. Alcohol is indeed an integral part of the Korean life.  Let’s talk about the Korean drinking culture in this blog post. Continue reading

Korean martial arts culture – Taekwondo

Before talking about taekwondo, I wish you a happy White Day as tomorrow (14 March 2015) is White Day in South Korea. What is White Day? On Valentine’s Day (i.e. 14 February), the females give chocolate as gifts to their lovers and on White Day (i.e. 14 March), the males reciprocate by giving candies to their lovers.  Actually, to the South Koreans, there is always something to celebrate on the 14th of every month – for more detail, you may refer to my blog post dated 14 January 2015.

In this blog post, I will talk about one of Koreans’ national sports – taekwondo (태권도).  In fact, taekwondo has a long history and is a kind of sports which most, if not all, Korean males have learnt.  Koreans in their 30’s and 40’s may still remember a popular cartoon robot character called Taekwon V which was good at taekwondo. Nowadays, taekwondo is a form of martial arts practised by more than 70 million people in 188 countries.  Continue reading

Korean pop culture – Webcomics or Webtoons

With the widespread internet network in South Korea, it comes as no surprise that Koreans like to read comics or cartoons distributed through internet portals like Naver and Daum, which are known as webcomics or webtoons. A survey shows that about one in three Koreans are regular readers of webtoons. Continue reading

How is the famous Korean Admiral Yi Sun-shin like David who defeated Goliath?

Question: How is the famous Korean Admiral Yi Sun-shin (이순신) like David, the shepherd boy who defeated Goliath?

Answer: Like David, Admiral Yi Sun-shin confronted and defeated a giant.

The story about the defeat of the giant, Goliath, by David is well-known.  In South Korea, this summer, the blockbuster movie ‘The Admiral: Roaring Currents’ has reminded people of a similar story about the Korean national hero, Admiral Yi Sun-shin. Continue reading