Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Culture: Korean is "San"(산) addicted??!!

What does "san" ()" means?? I think for those who ever visit to Korea were familiar with Hallasan, Sabangsan,Jirisan, Seoraksan, Dobongsan,Namsan, Taebaeksan and etc. All have different names but with one similar word at the last which is "San" and why does it relate to Korean culture??
"San" means mountain. Why mountain is such an important in Korean culture? Does Korean living on mountain?? ㅋㅋ Well in this modern society, its hard to find people living on mountain, maybe in rural area??ㅋㅋ For Korean, hiking is one of most popular activities among them, be it a child, youth or old generation; hiking is known that something blend with their life, history.

Since autumn is on, it is a perfect time for hiking! Normally Korean will hiking during spring or autumn as the weather is lovely. ^^ During summer some will hiking but summer heat makes them prefer to throw themselves in ocean rather than sun bathing while hiking!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

During my trips to Korea, I never had a chance to hiking. Actually there is a time I can hike but I choose not to, because I felt I'm not fit enough to hiking! ㅋㅋㅋ I wish to experience it at least once in my life but not a very high mountain ㅋㅋㅋ because I'm afraid I will troubling people who go hiking with me.ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Hiking is good for body and mind. There are research showing that hiking is a powerful cardio workout as it can lower your chances of having heart disease, improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It also help build strength the muscle in your hips and lower legs.

Those whose thinking on how to control your weight, hiking is the perfect activities for you! NO wonder its hard to find OBESITY within Korean society, I didn't say there are none but its hard to find. ㅋㅋㅋ Most of them were fit!  Wonder how Korean women can wear high heel while walking all over the place even at small mountain?? It is because their environment, land structure and they were familiar with hiking activities! ㅋㅋ







p/s: Thanks to my friend for his hiking collection pictures! Can I expect more pictures after this? ㅋㅋ :P


Source: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/hiking-body-mind  

Photo Credit: My friend
                      www.mikelaagan.com 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Special Event: Songpyeon, a MUST have item during Chuseok!

Autumn comes again! Ahh it's been a year since my last autumn in Korea. Looking at my autumn trip pictures makes me wanna go there again, even though I just come back 3 months ago! ㅋㅋㅋ Anyway this is my second entry for Chuseok day occasion. ^^ Meaning its nearly 2 years since I start writing on this blog! Time really flies fast isn't it??ㅋㅋ

For 2014 Chuseok, I'm going to write about special delicacy during this special occasion. Chuseok celebration without "songpyeon" is like you held a gun without a bullet! It's felt as if something missing without this important traditional dishes!

Songpyeon is a rice cake but it isn't an ordinary rice cake because Korean says songpyeon is one of offering item during Chuseok. That is one of the reason without songpyeon, Chuseok day is incomplete.ㅋㅋ Why songpyeon mostly be eaten during Chuseok?? I ask around but most of my Korean friends says they don't know much about it, they said all they know that it is been said that its one of tradition during Chuseok day.ㅋㅋㅋ

Apart from that I also ask my friends about Songpyeon shape. They said in the beginning process, the shape will be in full moon shape but at the end it must have be in crescent moon shape. According to Korean history record, it is believe that songpyeon shape are referring for two greatest kingdom in Korean history, Bakjae and Silla Dynasty.

Bakjae Kingdom is full moon, while crescent moon shape is referring to Silla Kingdom. During King Uija sovereignty in Bakjae, turtle back was found. This special code interpret as the fall of Bakjae Kingdom and the rise of Silla Kingdom. It came true when Silla Kingdom defeated Bakjae in war. As Silla won, crescent moon been regard as bright future to Korean.

For Korean, eating crescent moon Songpyeon with family under the full moon of Chuseok is as a wish of having plenty harvest season next year as well to show their gratitude of successful harvest seasons for that particular year.

I haven't try Songpyeon because I've never been at Korea during Chuseok day, I would like to experience that someday! ^^ For those who interested to make it at home you may refer here.





P/s:  There are few types of filling inside Songpyeon like chesnut, sesame, mung bean and etc. They put "song" (pine needles) in order to prevent it stick to one another. Korean believe that whoever made a beautiful shape of songpyeon will having beautiful daughters. ^^ㅋㅋ Happy Chuseok Day to all my Korean readers! ^^ Hope you guys have a wonderful Chuseok celebration and abundant in everything!

Sources: http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/09/22/2010092200094.html
              http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=137893
              http://foodpolis.info/?p=1211&ckattempt=1
              http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2012/09/songpyeon-half-moon-shaped-rice-cake.html#.VAe7iPmSySo
             My Friends

Photo Credit: dailywt.com
                      koreataste.org
                      mymariamargareta.blogspot.com

Monday, September 1, 2014

Culture: Korean were addicted to COFFEE??!!!

As I sat alone at office suddenly my mind kept thinking about COFFEE! Coffee? What is the relation of coffee to my blog???! Actually I'm NOT a fan of coffee,wait I think I need to re-write that phrase!ㅋㅋㅋ That was long time ago before I went to Korea!ㅋㅋㅋ During my first trip to Korea on 2012, we saw lots of cafe around Seoul, but we NEVER stop by at any. I don't know why we don't though ㅋㅋㅋㅋ Then when I start to fall in love with coffee??

It happen during my 2013 trip!! I read about Korean culture, where after dinner, normally they went to cafe for coffee, dessert or they heading to noraebang (노래방) (karaoke). However I never had a chance for all these!ㅋㅋ I met few of my Korean friends for first and second day (2013 trip) but we didn't stop by at any cafeㅋㅋㅋ maybe because we were rushing to somewhere else. Ahhh rushing to get a jacket/sweater! ㅋㅋㅋ

Then when it happen? My first coffee addicted begins before I went to Gwangju! I met a Korean friend somewhere at Olympic Park. After snap a lots of pictures, we were looking for a place to have our lunch but we can't find any. ㅠㅠ At that time we were at Yongsan Station, as I need to catch my KTX to Gwangju, we don't have enough time to look for our proper lunch. Out of blue I saw Roti Boy! I guess most Malaysian known Roti Boy don't you?? It had one branch at Seoul?? Yes it is!! First time saw it I was like NO WAY! Is it the same brand? Maybe I'm dreaming??!ㅋㅋㅋ.

After I pass by the cafe, then I realized it is!!! Its our cafe chain!!As Malaysian, I'm proud seen it! ㅋㅋㅋ Without thinking much, I told my friend, lets try it! We tried Roti boy and Americano! This is how my coffee addicted begins! I also learn about Korean coffee addicted from my friend!He told me Korean went for coffee/tea for meeting a friend, studying, dating, loafing and etc ㅋㅋ, no wonder there are thousand cafe around Korea!!ㅋㅋ For that particular day, I had three time coffees! All from different coffee chain!ㅋㅋㅋ I will write about those coffee chain in different entry! :P







p/s: Anyone can guess what is my favorite coffee?? Join me for having a cup of coffee?? :P

Photo Credit: italiangoodnews.com
                     bitrebels.com
                     which.co.uk
                     candydreamland.wordpress.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Korean Food: Goguma Yanggaeng?? (고구마양갱)

While browsing for Korean food on the internet, suddenly I remember few months ago I make something but I forgot to write it down here!ㅋㅋㅋ Normally I learn to cook Korean food from the internet but this time I learn to cook it from someone.Well of course I didn't attend the class since we were living very far. I just learnt it via messenger.ㅋㅋㅋ

The ingredients for the cuisine are easy to find and the recipe is simple too!ㅋㅋ It's like a blink of eyes, jajang ready to serve!ㅋㅋ Its a dessert, the dessert name is goguma yanggaeng (고구마양갱).An original recipe for this dessert actually is made by adzuki beans but since at that time he can't find adzuki beans he decided to use sweet potato. Here are the list of ingredients and how to do it. ^^

Ingredients:

Sweet potato (고구마)
Jelly powder
Sugar
Honey/ sweet syrup
Crash Almond
Water

How to do it:

1.Boiled the sweet potato, then peel its skin.
2.Mashed the potato.
3.Boiled little of water with jelly powder.
4. Put some sugar and add sweet syrup
5.Mix it with the sweet potato that you mashed earlier.
6.Stir, simmer the mixture until it became thick
7.Put some crash almond and stir it again.
8. When the mixture become thick, turn off the fire.
9. Then put it in small container, let it clog for 2-3 hours
10. Finally you can cut it into bite size,ready to serve! 







p/s: Same dessert but different colors??ㅋㅋㅋ He used yellow sweet potato while I'm using orange/red sweet potato ^^ Which one looks yummy?? :P I didn't put how many of it because I forgot to write it down, well its up to you on how much serving you wanna make it! :P

Photo Credit: My Ex boyfriend


Monday, August 18, 2014

Guesthouse: Cheonggyecheon Stream, Seoul

It's been 3 months since my last visit to Korea, time flies so fast! It's like a blink of eyes, yet the memories still fresh on my mind. As for my last visit, I didn't plan for my trip and its happen spontaneous!ㅋㅋㅋ Most of the time me and my ex little bit struggling to find a guesthouse to stay. We went there during one of important event in Korean calendar every year, so it was so hard to find a guesthouse! 

While we in Seoul, we thought there are rooms available but we were wrong!!ㅋㅋㅋ Since this is not my first time in Seoul, so I tried to contact my previous guesthouse that I stayed during 2013 trip. With a big expectation, we wish there are rooms available but at the end there is no rooms!ㅠㅠ He had no problem because he need to go somewhere else attending event but what about me???!!! 

Well no worry, he's not a bad guy and left me alone while catching up his event.ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ He tried his best to look for my room. After so many calls (I even can't remember how many) ㅋㅋ finally we found a room! Yay!!! Its somewhere near to Cheonggyecheon Stream. I've been here on 2012 trip but I have no idea in which lane it is.ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

It's a new guesthouse. At that time they just start operating their guesthouse a few days before. Basically my 2014 trip, its like exploring new guesthouse!ㅋㅋㅋ The guesthouse name is 24 Guesthouse. The guesthouse location is very strategic, very near to subway station, near to airport bus station, near to Cheonggyecheon Stream and some other attractions in Seoul.^^ 

The rooms are very clean and there is breakfast provided. ^^  Apart from that, the owner and the staffs are very friendly too! ^^ The manager is very fluent in English and owner is fluent in Japanese. There is a room for cultural experience as well. For more information and booking you can click here. They also can be reach via kakao talk, their Kakao ID:  KKS 9428.








p/s: I left some of my stuff here before travelling to Tongyeong. They help me to keep it. ^^

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tradition: Bamboo Wives???

Have you ever heard about bamboo wives before?? At first when I heard it I was like huh??? What its all about?? Beating wife using bamboo??? No way! That can't be! Then when one of my Korean friend showing a picture of bamboo wives. That makes me laugh loud!! Owh My! This is bamboo wives??!! I thought what was it!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Bamboo wives or known as 죽부인 (jukbuin) is one of traditional method that been using by Korean men during summer. It is been said that jukbuin are cooler to touch compare to fabric pillow or sheets. Jukbuin was made of bamboo around 20 cm (wide) and 1-1.5m (long). This loosely bamboo were using during hot summer night.

I asked my friend why did Korean call it as bamboo wives?? There are so many other name but why they choose this??ㅋㅋㅋㅋ He said that Juk is bamboo, while buin is wife. This name was chosen because long time ago, bamboo is considered to be like a women, so many men embrace the bamboo pillow while sleeping during hot summer night as if they were hugging their wives. ㅋㅋㅋ Apart from that jukbuin also been said can help to regulates body temperature when its too hot.

However this tradition is no longer been practice widely during this modern era. Many youngsters even never experience it once in their life. My friend said he also never experience it, or perhaps because he is still young?ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ This tradition only been practice by old generation he told me that. While my mind says perhaps as we living in modern era, so some tradition been left behind??




p/s:  Super cute pillow?? My friend asked his mom whose that cute pillow belong to, he thought it belong to his nieces but he was wrong!ㅋㅋㅋ His dad bought it for himself! We both laughing talking about this! ㅋㅋㅋIsn't Korean men are adorable?? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Sources: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=260784
Photo Credit: My friend

Friday, August 8, 2014

Life: Eid Mubaraq Celebration in South Korea


I guess its not too late to wish Eid Mubaraq to my Muslim readers, wherever we are, I hope all of us celebrate it nice with our love one. ^^ Despite the conflict between Gaza and Israel, most of Muslims celebrate Eid Mubaraq peacefully. Due to the conflict that arise, many people have a wrong perception about Islam. On their mind Islam or Muslim is a terrorist. However I hope with the videos I attached below, all you will get a basic, correct fact about Islam. Islam is a peaceful religion. :) Sorry I can't get the new  video of Eid Mubaraq celebration in Korea, but I only get a latest picture during 2014 Eid Mubaraq in Seoul Central Mosque. so Yay! ^^ ㅋㅋㅋ


During festive seasons, lots of my relatives asked me about my trip to Korea. They asked me am I obsessed with K-pop for been to Korea, three time?? I just laughing hearing it! What? K-pop??? No way! Yes I listen to it but not as fanatic fan until spot for those artist at famous area!ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ. Then they asked me few questions.

Personally for me, those questions are ordinary questions! I've heard it thousand times!ㅋㅋㅋ As Muslim they kept asking me "is there easy to find halal food in Korea? How about a place to worship (prayer), Is there is Korean Muslim?? Well I've been wrote those in few entry before. You can get the list of halal restaurant here. ^^

How about a place for Muslim to worship. There are many mosque in Korea. However Korean address it as "Masjid"sound familiar?? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ They have big Masjid in Itaewon, Seoul, I've been there before, very nice!^^ Apart from Seoul there are many "Masjid" at other province too. For more information about this and list of Masjid or hall for Muslim prayer in Korea you may refer here.

For the third question, yes there is gradually increasing numbers of Muslim within Korean community. Not much but at least some of Korean these days were curious about it, start to search about Islam and some lead them to embrace Islam. ^^ From what I saw in the video, I'm happy with it! ^^ I just thinking how about myself celebrating it there in the future? Who knows ??ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ only Allah knows! :)





                          


p/s: For Korean who would like to know about Islam, please search it from the correct sources so that you won't confuse anymore. ^^ You can search or ask here.



Picture Credit: KBS
Video Credit: Tyan Fha
                      CymeX's vids
                      Sadik Nillay