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It’s the Year of the Dog

Happy Seollal and Lunar New Year to Korea!

새해 복 많이 받으세요!

Happy New Year to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Singapore!

Gōngxǐ fācái!

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Have A Bite of Ruby Pink KitKat

Japan (and South Korea) is known for unique types of KitKat, and if you haven’t had the chance to come across one, WHAT ARE YOU EVEN WAITING FOR?!? I mean, c’mon: sake flavor, green tea, strawberry, pumpkin, sweet potato, red bean or wasabi KitKat (just naming a very few), would you really want to miss out on that?! Or ever heared of those KitKats you can bake in the microwave? FLAVORGASM, istg! And now, living in a country with only one or two standard KitKats (basically everywhere outside East Asia) will become even duller. Continue reading

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ICYMI: SHINee vs First Lady

So ICYMI, this video has been up and down SNS last week: SHINee‘s Minho upstaging the U.S-First Lady. First mostly shared among the K-pop community, it quickly spread and caught the attention of many news stations worldwide (e.g. BBC, Washington Post, Tagesanzeiger). During her visit in South Korea, the First Lady attended a government-sponsored sportif event to promote the Olympic Winter Games 2018 in Korea’s Pyeongchang. Continue reading

8 Korean Movies for Halloween – Part 2

If your still browsing for some movie inspiration for the evening, check out the last 4 Korean movies for Halloween. Most of them are available on Netflix or Youtube. I am aware there are a lot more Korean shockers (more disturbing, more bloody) out there, which shouldn’t be missing on any list. Mind you, I’m saving some for next year 😉 Hold your popcorn and tortillas tight, let’s get started!

*I took the plot descriptions from Wikipedia and Soompi.

A Tale of Two Sisters / 장화, 홍련 (2003)

Su-mi is being treated for shock and psychosis in a mental institution. The doctor questions her about the day that led her to the institution, but she refuses to answer. Later, Su-mi returns home to her family’s estate in the countryside with her father and her younger sister Su-yeon. There Su-mi faces disturbing events between her stepmother and the ghosts haunting their house – all of which are connected to a dark past in the family’s history. “A Tale of Two Sisters” is the top runner among Korean horror movies.

  • Running Time: 114min
  • Director: Kim Jee-won
  • Cast: Im Soo-jung (“All About My Wife”, “Happiness”), Moon Geun-young (My Little Bride”, “Innocent Steps”), Yum Jun-ah (“The Big Swindle”, “The Old Garden”), Kim Kap-soo (“Iris: The Movie”, “Mutt Boy”)
  • Tags: classic horror, ghost, drama

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8 Korean Movies for Halloween – Part 1

Are you prepared to pimp up your Halloween movie list a little? I stumbled over an article on Soompi, listing Korean thrillers, and thought of making a small sample of Korean movies for Halloween. East Asian movies are quite famous for being a shocker, however I’m a really bad horror movie watcher myself, so I tried to find something for the delicate type, the gore fans and action-thriller junkies. You’ll come across zombies, serial killers, ghosts, parasites, revenge hunters, possessed people and disappearing children. They range from Asian horror classics to internationally praised treasures – all which I hope will keep you on the edge of your seats.

Most of them are available on Netflix or Youtube.

*I took the plot descriptions from Wikipedia and Soompi.

I Saw the Devil / 악마를 보았다 (2010)

The fiancée of National Intelligence Service agent Kim Soo-hyun is brutally murdered and her body scattered to pieces. Her murderer is a psychopath and academy-bus driver Jang Kyung-chul. Soo-hyun seeks for revenge of the killing of his fiancée and tries to track down the murderer. Kyung-chul wants to find the person who is after him. The line between good and evil begins to blur.

  • Running Time: 141min
  • Director: Kim Jee-won
  • Cast: Lee Byung-hun (“The Good, the Bad, the Weird”, “Joint Security Area”, “Inside Men”), Choi Min-sik (“Oldboy”, “The Admiral: Roaring Currents”, “Lucy”)
  • Tags: action thriller, psychopath murder, revenge

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Korea’s Newest Beauty Trend: Wire Nails

I found these short articles on Koreaboo, AsiaOne and Cosmopolitan Germany on Korea’s newest nail trend and it kept me wondering. So it seems like “wire nails” or “metal nails” are becoming more and more a thing in Korean manicure studios. Inspiring nail artist Park Eunkyung is referred to as the source of new chic as she has kicked off other nail art trends before. She uses malleable wire in gold, silver, pink or black to form them onto the nail. Though the designs look pretty and dainty, I can’t help but doubt the practicability of some (see picture at the end of this post). Or maybe it’s just me who works on a daily basis or does unusual house chores like washing the dishes, cooking or laundry. And do wire nails go well with magnetic material? Just being curious! Well, you know, sometimes beauty overweighs practicability.
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8 Chicken Comics for a fun New Year

So, today is a big holiday in Korea and in many other Asian countries: it’s Seollal or Lunar Year – internationally better know as Chinese New Year. The use of the lunar calendar – which is based on the cycle of the moon phases instead of the solar based Gregorian calendar – is widely used throughout Asia (south, west and east!) and plays a large role for festivals and holidays. Korea doesn’t sport many public holidays, but Seollal is definitely in the top 2 with three whole days off work to visit family and celebrate. A well-known feature of the lunar calendar are the 12 recurring animals of the Chinese zodiac. This years’ new zodiac is the rooster (닭띠) and I found Continue reading

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It’s the Year of the Rooster

Happy Seollal and Lunar New Year to Korea!

새해 복 많이 받으세요!

Happy New Year to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Singapore!

Gōngxǐ fācái!

To be more precisely, it’s the year of the fire rooster. People born this year are said to be trustworthy, with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work. In all the rooster-born are said to have great characteristics such as being observant, communicative, frank, quick minded and multi-talented which leaves them with a certain confidence in themselves. On that point, however, they might tend to an eccentric and boastful life-style, being moody and impatient or impassive as the quickly lose interest after being overenthusiastic about something.

lunarnewyear-2017-skgoogle

lunarnewyear-2017-googleasia

I just enjoy Google Asia’s New Years banner every time :3

K-Pop History on Award Show MAMA 2016

One of the biggest end-of-the-year awarding shows and most meaningful trophy for Korean artists is MAMA (Mnet Asian Music Award). Every year the work of idol groups and soloists is honored for its outstanding musical achievement by receiving this treasured major award. In 20 fixed categories and special optional ones, awards are passed to the winning artists. The most anticipated awards are the three Grand Prizes (called Daesang) which were introduced in 2006: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Artist of the Year. The public can vote for the nominated artists in all categories except for Album of the Year – so the awards reflect the public’s opinion on an act. Find the winners list below and watch Continue reading

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Demos gegen Koreas Präsidentin auf Höhepunkt

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Find the English version

Jeder Lichtpunkt ist ein Mensch – Hunderttausende sind in Südkorea am 03. Dezember 2016 gegen Präsidentin Park auf die Straßen gegangen. Schon seit mehreren Wochen protestieren jeden Samstag tausende Koreaner gegen Präsidentin Park Geun-Hye – sowohl in Seoul auf dem Gwanghwamun Platz als auch im Ausland. Sie fordern den Rücktritt von Park nachdem diese schon seit Monaten in eine Korruptionsaffäre verwickelt ist. Trotz eine öffentlichen Entschuldigung Parks, hat sie bisher einen Rücktritt nicht in Erwägung gezogen, weswegen vor allem die Stimmen junger Koreaner laut geworden sind. Sie hoffen, die vor allem durch die ältere Generation gewählte Präsidentin Park endlich absetzen zu können. Park ist die Tochter des früheren 3. Präsidenten Koreas Park Chung-Hee. Offiziell darf dieser in Korea nicht mehr als Diktator bezeichnet werden, obwohl er durch seine Militärdiktatur Südkorea zu einem Industriestaat (Tiger-Staat) und zu Wohlstand gebracht hat.

Mehr Infos auf tagesschau.de

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Chaba crushes Korea’s Coasts

Like every country Korea has a secret (second) national capital: the wonderful port city of Busan. However, during the typhoon season the beautiful sea-side turns into a wild and violent beast. Heavy rains, powerful storms and raving floods battered the city harshly. Transport, schools, factories and Busan’s main port had to shut down. Also the industrial city of Ulsan – where Hyundai Motor’s has its main production facilities – was not spared; here too, the factory’s car plants had to close down or remain offline. Other costal cities like Yeosu, Jeju also suffered from Chaba, but luckily, Korea is well-prepared for typhoon season and so the damages are held to a minimum. Nevertheless, Chaba has yet cost six people their lives while four are missing.

A typhoon’s devastating force is never to underestimate as you can see in this video from public surveillance cameras and mobile-phone footage.

Read more: BBC Report on Chaba

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Korea’s Green Bottled Heart: Soju

If you haven’t tried this green bottled Korean national drink, you have to! Soju (소주) is a kind of Korean vodka or brandy, clear and colorless and made of sweet potato (traditionally of rice and wheat). Its alcohol content varies from about 16% to 45% alcohol by volume and you can find different flavors such as classic, fresh, blueberry, lemon, grapefruit or pomegranate.

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Happy 4939th Birthday Korea!

The 3rd of October is a meaningful date in Germany as it is German Unification Day. This holiday is mostly important in politics and in media; Germans themselves hardly celebrate the unity of East and West Germany. However, this date is not only of national importance in Germany, but also in Korea. Koreans celebrate Gaecheonjeol (개천절) which is nothing else than National Foundation Day. According to history the first nation state of Korea was founded back around this date in 2333 BC by founder King Dangun (단군왕검 /dangun wanggeom/). He named his kingdom Joseon (nowadays officially known as Gojoseon, meaning ancient Joseon) which was located at the northern part of north Korea in the area of Manchuria (now part of China).
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Korean Beauty in Time

Not sure if I agree with the 2010s – in my experience (judging by the looks of the average Korean girl on the streets) the beauty standards nowadays differs from this video. In a way I prefer the North Korean 2010 beauty – simple, yet beautiful. It is still so sad to see these two Koreas parting more and more day by day, even in subtle and everyday features. What do you think about this video? Do you agree with the development? Do you have proof?

Hoping for the Korean 100 years of beauty – male edition to come 😀

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Korea’s Top Models Rock The Fashion World

I just love the clash of tradition and modernity. Recently Vogue Korea published a pictorial collage of really stunning high-fashion pictorials which show a beautiful attempt of giving traditional Korean dressing a modern twist to make them fit for the run way. Besides swooning over these classy pictures and awesome clothes, you could actually check out the models, too. Vogue titles their article “New Korean Faces” and features five current active and successful Korean models. Maybe one day I will have the text translated to you as it is in Korean. Until then, enjoy the pictures (which you also find in the Facebook link below) while I give you a short introduction to the five models in the pictorial. Continue reading