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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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“Man to Man” First K-drama on Netflix

Get your screens ready guys, tomorrow JTBC’s new drama Man To Man will kick off at 11 p.m. KST. Why am I telling you this as you don’t live in Korea? IT WILL BE ALSO BROADCASTED VIA NETFLIX!  It’s a first time! Yes, Netflix obtained the exclusive televising rights and this means it will be available in 190 foreign Netflix-countries. Man to Man will be released in two 8-episode installments in the U.S., but also comes with subtitles in other languages.

Main leads will be: Continue reading

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Lotte World Tower Scrapes The Sky

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It’s finally done – Lotte World Tower in Jamsil (southeast of Seoul) shines bright as Seoul’s newly opened land mark! Back in 2014 when I visited Korea, the skeleton of Lotte World Tower was already built – only some stories missing – and last year, it almost seemed Lotte World Tower only missed out details. On Monday (April, 3) Lotte World Tower was presented as the world’s 5th highest building and Korea’s highest skyscraper (leaving Incheon’s Northeast Asia Trade Tower and Buran’s residential tower Haeundae Doosan Zenith Tower A now behind) to the public with a bombastic firework. And boy, was that a fire work! Articles say about 30,000 fireworks were lit for the opening ceremony and pyrotechnics worked for days to compose this fantastic sight.

 

Lotte World Tower is 555 meters high, counts 123 stories and took six years for construction. If you’re in Seoul and Continue reading

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K-Pop Fandoms Unite for BTS Comeback

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Nowadays we have to stand together more to overcome differences and build bridges for better understanding and community. To my surprise, K-pop fandoms are showing this side at BTS’ latest comeback. At midnight BTS dropped their new single #SpringDay and it immediately hit the charts and swept to success. Spring Day managed an all-kill on Korean charts (at the top of all Korean music charts), crushed Melon, swept straight into worldwide iTunes and the Top 10 US iTunes (as the first K-pop band) and successfully made the MV count on YouTube stuck several times within one day (Read more on Korean Herald and Soompi). ARMY is trying hard now to gain their boys 10 million clicks in 24 hours. The count has gone up by 2 Million in the last hours. Just a couple of minutes left and we see the results.

Several other K-pop fandoms are helping BTS‘ fandom ARMY out to achieve this success, such as Seventeen‘s Carat, EXO‘s EXO-L or Black Pink‘s (unofficial) BLINK. The rooting for the K-pop under-dog BTS is going on until one day, BTS will not be considered part of this category anymore. Continue reading

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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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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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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

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Actor Lee Byunghun is first Korean at the Oscars

This years Oscars had quite the racial bashing from every side. So the 88th Academy decided to polish up their image by at least making minor changes. Most people are complaining about Afro-American actors not being nominated, but what about Latin-American, Middle Eastern-American or Asian-American actors? Other minorities and countries are so seldom respected that only this year the first Korean actor ever presented an Oscar (not nominated for one – this will still take a while): actor Lee Byunghun. Continue reading

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Alohomora – New Harry Potter Themed Café in Korea

About 10 years ago you could hardly find a cup of coffee in Korea, yet a coffee shop. A weird picture if you look at Korea nowadays as every major city owns tons of coffee shops. About every 10th building in Seoul is a café and they are a crucial part of the student and dating culture. You can just hang out in a regular café drinking green tea chai latte or enjoying honeybread, but there are also some unique themed cafés, such as Continue reading

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Winners of MAMA Awards 2015

The Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) 2015 in Hong Kong have just ended and the results are in. BIGBANG rocked the show with winning three major awards: “Song of the Year”, “Artist of the Year” and “Worldwide Favorite Artist” – this makes them winning “Artist of the Year” the third time (2008 and 2012). EXO took home four awards: “Best Male Group”, “Album of the Year”, “Best Asian Style” and “Global Fans’ Choice Male”. It is the third year in a row EXO managed to win the title of “Album fo the Year” and they just debuted in 2012. Find the complete list of winners below. The online K-pop news channel Soompi offers you to watch all MAMA 2015 performances.

mama_2015_bigbang_win2

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If Your Food Makes Faces

fuji_san_bento

Although I myself am not a passionate cook, I like to watch others make food and enjoy seeing their creativity. So I came over this food trend from East Asia which is called character bento or kawaii bento. It’s about adding cute little faces on your food – especially in your lunch box. And it doesn’t really surprise me that this trend supposedly originated in the country of cuteness: Japan! Continue reading

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“Veteran” in Top 10 of Korean Movies

I have to admit I have not been into Korean movies yet which is really a shame. I enjoy watching TV shows, but I just can’t get into K-dramas because I have difficulties adapting to the plot, narrative style and dramatic composition – and in all I am just not into romance on screen. So I guess I should maybe try watching Korean movies which are also largely successful internationally.
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Off they go – Super Junior and TVXQ enlist to army

Though we cried a little at first when our members left for the army, we’ve gotten used to it by now. Now we just think ‘I guess he’s leaving too.’ Of course we will miss them. (Super Junior’s Eunhyuk at Press Conference March 6, 2015)

D-day is there, there is no way back. The core of Super Junior is off to serve their military duty. The almost 2-year service is mandatory for all Korean males and there is not exception for idols. I always wondered how Super Junior is going to manage this major blow as enlistment usually means the end to any male idol band.
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