Monday, January 7, 2013

Pororo: the Little Penguin, The friend of every child

I wrote about my new boyfriend named Pororo several days ago. Many people have been curious who this mysterical figure is, burying me in questions! So, ladies & gents, meet the guy: Pororo - the best friend of all Korean kids!!!

This little guy only seems little, but when you see him in action, how adorably cute he is, how funny he is, you will definitely fall in love with him :)

As you can see he is not alone. He has wonderful friends who are ready to have fun with Pororo and they are very caring about each other. Meet my boyfriend's friends:

They are a baby dinosaur Crong, big white polar bear Poby, cute beaver girl Loopy, and inventor fox Eddy. Petty and Harry are newly added characters and become friends with Pororo and the gang :)

The cartoon series revolves around the adventures of Pororo and his friends who live in the snowy village of Porong Porong Forest, who often encounter challenges and learn practical and moral lessons in each episode.

The story of the little penguin and his friends have been a huge hit all around the world. The computer-generated animated cartoon series created by Cho Jong and produced by Korean animation firm ADV Films were produced in 2002 and the program began airing in South Korea on EBS-TV in 2003. Internationally, the program currently airs on Australian, French, Taiwanese, Indian,Scandinavian, Italian, Singaporean, British and Vietnamese channels. The adventures of Pororo and his friends can now be seen in 80 nations.

The TV animation series for children Porong Porong Pororo was embraced by children around the world, bringing them to the television to watch their favorite show.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Paik Nam June: father of video art

Paik Nam June (source)
One of the many people I admire is the father of video art - Paik Nam June. Media art, embodying video art and other forms of contemporary art can dazzle a person. Some may not understand the essence of the various motions, that resembles a new version of avant garde, but there are a few of us who do appreciate the weird and craziness and all the imagination that many of these artworks push to.

The beginning of video art is said to be when Paik Nam June used his new Sony Portapak to shoot a footage of Pope Paul VI's procession through New York CIty in autumn of 1965. That same day, across town in a Greenwich Village cafe, Nam June played the tapes and video art was born. Other video artists, who followed Paik Nam June are Fred Forest, Andy Warhol, Wolf Vostell and many others.

Many of Paik Nam June's works are now displayed at the Paik Nam June art center, which I highly recommend to visit. The center contains a collection of his art works and also archives of the videos in the past. Paik Nam June's contributions to the development of contemporary art are uncountable. Nam June Paik's unique usage of visual images represented an awareness of the merging of technology and human spirit. He is credited with an early usage (1974) of the term "super highway" in application to telecommunications. His art works decorate many capitals and cities in the world.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Uzbeks are experts in Korean history!

Sounds shocking, right?
It is truth, though.

Recently I caught myself discussing Korean history with an Uzbek person who has never been to Korea, or studied Korean history at school, or has no relations with the country or whatsoever (except for a friend who is living in Korea, i.e. me =). But you know what? He really seemed to know it all - we were arguing about the Joseon dynasty, about Japan's invasion and the relationships in South East Asia, and why Korean women wear hanbok... I was pretty amazed by all the knowledge. What is the secret, you ask?

Watch Korean dramas!

For the past several years, the Uzbek national TV has been showing various historical dramas which depict interesting episodes of Korean history.

Many teachers at school say that Uzbek students know Korean history better than Uzbekistan's history. Although, that is a joke, but proves a point that history can indeed be fascinating in the form of movies and dramas. Finding out what happens in the next episode is a great motivation of learning the actual events in the past.

One of such historical dramas is  The Queen Seondeok of Silla (or "The emperor woman"), "선덕여왕."
Poster of Queen Seondeok of Silla (source)
The drama is, as the title says, about the Queen Seondeok of Silla, who reigned from 632 to 647 as Queen of Silla, which at the time was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. She was the first queen in the history. The story in the drama goes as following. Deokman (Queen Seondeok’s childhood name) was born as Princess Cheonmyeong's twin and a member of the Silla royal family, but a prophecy leads to her abandonment as a baby. She was later brought back to the Silla palace, where she joined forces with her twin sister to oppose Mi-shil, a royal concubine who wanted to seize power. Mi-shil devised sinister plans to have the two Silla princesses exiled from the kingdom, and in a secretive battle, she assassinated Princess Cheonmyeong. But Princess Deokman shrewdly enlisted the help of General Kim Yusin and eliminated, Mi-shil, becoming the first female ruler of the Silla kingdom.

Another historical drama that is popular in Uzbekistan is Jumong ("주몽").
Poster of Jumong (source)
The drama is about the time of Goguryeo dynasty. The drama portrays the life of Jumong Taewang, the third prince of Buyeo and founder of Goguryeo. As he is born, he does not know that he is the son of General Hae Mo Su, a hero who fought against the Han to save the refugees. When Jumong learns the truth, he vows to fullfill his father's dream and fights to become the first king of Goguryeo dynasty. Many of the myths in the drama coincide with real events in the history, although some of the original myths surrounding Jumong have been replaced with more down-to-earth storylines, such as that concerning his birth.

Jumong's name means legendary archer. It is interesting to observe how his character develops into a hero throughout the drama and how he obtains the love of his life :)

A fun fact about the cast is that the character who plays Jumong's mom is the same age as the character who plays Jumong in real life, both born in 1971! ;)

Another great example of a Korean historical drama is Dae Jang Geum, aka Jewel in the Palace (대장금). This drama is based on the historical figure during the reign of King Jungjong of Joseon Dynasty. Jang-geum, the main character of the drama is the first female royal physician of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. You can observe authentic Korean cuisine, traditional medicine and other items of cultural significances.
Jewel in the palace (source)

All of these great historical dramas extend the Korean wave into the world, including my country Uzbekistan. I believe this kind of cultural exchanges contribute to the improvement of understanding of the world and will reduce any possible conflicts. It is great that we can learn so much about a country's culture, history and people by watching an episode of the drama or a movie. I would recommend all of you, if you have a chance, watch these amazing history pieces!

And, how about you?


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Traditional Costumes of Koreans, Uzbeks and Karakalpaks

Many of my Korean friends have been asking me whether we have a hanbok in Uzbekistan. Definitely, we do. Some of my Uzbek friends also ask me what people wear in Korea. I put together pictures of traditional clothes of Korean, Uzbek and Karakalpak people. 
Male traditional costumes in Korea, Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan (respectively)
Korean traditional costume, 'hanbok', can be of various colors as shown above. For Uzbek and Karakalpak cases the costumes are a bit similar and called 'shapan'. The official clothes, such as for weddings are embroided with gold as in the second column pictures. Common people wore shapan, that is made from simple fabric. Men wear 'taqiya' the hat on their heads.
Female traditional costumes in Korea, Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan (respectively)
Women in Uzbekistan and Karakalpakstan are also supposed to cover their heads. They wear 'oramal' (rumol).

You have to note that these clothes are NOT worn in daily life these days. People dress up in these during special ceremonies (like weddings and national holidays). Although, historically, in all countries people wore them in everyday life.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Koreans victims of foreigners?

This documentary video by MBC went viraaaal on internet, and foreign residents in Korea, are, and I am being very easy with the word, ANGRY!

What do you think? Is this all the fault of foreigners? Or those Korean girls are the ones to blame?

I personally think any kind of generalization is an extremely dangerous and useless thing. Not that all foreigners are like the ones in the video, or that all Korean girls are as described. Let's just hope MBC does apologize for this huge arrogance, that is spreading all over the internet now.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cherry blossoms!

It is that time of the year again when the country is covered with a blanket of beautiful cherry blossoms. For those, who havent yet, I highly recommend revisiting my last year's post about gorgeous places around Korea where you can enjoy this beautiful gift from the mother nature.
Here is the link.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Чудесный блог, aka "An awesome blog award"

Everyone of my dear people knows how much effort I have been putting into this blog trying to share the information about Korea and related topics to all the people for whom it might be useful. As much pleasant this hobby has been, it also has been taking lots of my spare time. Lots of events have happened in my life in the past few months, leaving me no time for my writing: I've graduated (finally!), got an awesome job that I am in love with, moved to another city (sooo close to Seoul now!!Yahooo party on weekends!!) and so on. Now that I have stabilized my life - I am happy to say I am back on track into writing again. Although I have been gone for some time, it was a lovely surprise to be greeted back with this awesome Чудесный блог, aka "An awesome blog award" from my new blog-colleague - Gulnoz, who runs this very interesting blog "Блог о странах" about Korea. I have come across her blog a while ago - and for the many similarities (she is also from Uzbekistan and is also currently living in Korea) - I have been very fond of her blog and revisited a whole lot of times.

For English-Korean language blogs
Для русскоязычных блогов
Thank you, Gulnoz for the award!~ It's a great honor! And, since it is the International Women's Day (March, 8th), following the example of my predecessor, I will grant this award to our lovely blogger-ladies! Here we come: 

I would like to give this award to my dearest ladies from our Worldwide Korea Bloggers program Suzy of A Seoulful Life, Alex of The Adventure Blog about Korea and Anne of KimchiSoul. We've been to great programs together with them and had our awesome trip to Jeju island last October. It's very nice to have an array of friends, who are so different in what they do, personalities and interests - but all have a passion for blogging. When we go for dinner together, it's like a ritual to take out your camera and photograph every single dish on the table before you even touch it to eat. Try doing that among your non-blogger friends - you will get scolded right away for keeping them from the food!

Next, I would like to give the award to Lidiya of "Есть только миг между прошлым и будущим". She runs a lovely blog about the daily life, about her family, and I just love her poems on the site, as they say in Russian - "о тонком" (about fragile matters). 

I would also like to congratulate Elena of "Книжкин Дом" with this award. I find so many useful things and interesting readings from her blog. I especially recommend the blog to those who needs links to the works of Russian classic and modern literature.

Elle from InsideOutElle has a lovely blog about beauty and fashion. I love the quote of her saying that as "true beauty comes from inside", at the same time it can be reflected through means of make up and personal style. You can get lots of tips about how to style on her blog, that I found extremely useful.

Speaking about fashion blogs, an awesome blog of Peach from my almamater (Go KAIST!) at AsianBeautyBlog. Now imagine, that this fragile beautiful girl is studying... wait for it: Aerospace Engineering! And if you are living in Korea - she has very useful tips using Korean make up and also great outfits of local stores. 

And of course, this awesome beauty & fashion blog by Jen. I just looove her Kpop tutorials!

Tammy of KoreafornianCooking just makes my mouth water. All that great food , that not only you can eat at a local place - but also make yourself! An interesting fact about the blog is that the posts are not usually the 'I went there, I ate this'. The blog contains so much information about history and other related contents of the food. Yummy!!

Last, but not least, Daria from Russia has another interesting blog about Korea. Her topics vary from the Kmovies to tours around the cities of Korea. She as well is a member of WKB program, and although I have not gotten a chance to meet her in life - it is always a pleasure to read her blogs.

And now,,,
it is your turn to get this awesome award of yours and celebrate!

 So, the rules go as following:

1. To thank the person who granted you this award
2. In your blog post, place a link to the person who gave you the award
3. Place the logo of the award in your blogpost
4. Give this award to 10 fellow bloggers and add the links to their blogs
5. Send comments to the nominated people about their awards
6. Write 7 facts about yourself

Правила получения награды:
1. Поблагодарить назначившего награду.
2. Разместить в своем блоге ссылку на блог лица, назначившего награду.
3. Разместить в своем блоге логотип награды.
4. Назначить награду 10 блогам  и добавить ссылки на них.
5. Отправить комментарии номинантам об их награде.
6. Написать 7 вещей о себе. 

Here are the 7 facts about me:
- I am born in the year of dragon! So, this 2012 year is my year!
- I love 2NE1!
- I have many times been mistaken for a Korean, but I AM NOT KOREAN :)
- My bed sheets are blue! (It is a common concept in Korea for girls to have everything in pink and boys everything in blue. I refuse to follow that, as my favorite color since the time I remember myself - has always been blue!)
- I have never believed in the idea of diet... But... for the past several weeks, I am only eating fruits or vegetable for dinner and it has been showing results :) Getting ready for Philippines in a couple of weeks!
- I absolutely adore cute post-its and have a huge collection of them.
- My favorite place in Korea is Nami island.

Congratulations to all the award-winners!! I am looking forward to your posts!!! And finally, Happy Women's Day!