Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Heritage: Korean Chopsticks @ Jeokkarak!!

I believe most of my foreigner blog readers have taste Korean cuisine at least once right?? These days even if you stay outside of South Korea, you still can find Korean restaurant at your country isn't it?? However eating at Korean restaurant in your country definitely bring different feeling compare to eating at motherhood (South Korea) country itself. 

Some of you might think why is that? First of course the ingredients, followed by its utensil! Well, today I am not talking about Korean cuisine though, Hahhaha!! What I wanna tell about is Korean Chopsticks!!^^ Any of you seen or used Korean chopsticks before?? In Korea they call it as Jeokkarak (젓가락).

If you see, Korean chopsticks were different from any other Asian countries. Korean chopsticks were flat and made by metal or stainless steel. While in China or Japan, their chopsticks were made by wood or bamboo.  

Why Korean chopsticks were made by metal?? I asked some Korean about it. The answer I got from them is, during ancient time it was believe that King using metal chopstick to avoid themselves being poisonous.Metal or silver chopsticks will change its color if there is poison on it. Apart from that,  they use it for sanitary purpose. Metal chopsticks were practically and easy to wash. :)

Next differences is the length of chopsticks! Chinese chopsticks were longer, Japanese chopsticks is shorter while Korean chopsticks were in between of that. What else is the different about Korean chopsticks??The huge differences???O_o Compare to Chinese, Japanese and Vietnamese chopsticks, Korean chopsticks set came along with a spoon!! 

Seems like they mix with westerner culture is it?? I try to search the reason behind it but I failed to get the answer. ㅠㅠ However, one of my Korean friends told me this "Korean table manner never allowed people to hold their rice bowl so that's may be one of the reason there is spoon and chopsticks".Another logic explanation from my friends is Korean having rice and soup everyday, as their rice is very sticky so its more convenient to use spoon along. While chopsticks were used to eat solid side dishes.

Since Korean chopsticks were made by metal, its quite difficult to use it for the first time. I still remember how struggling I am, using it for the first time!! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ I wonder what age did Korean learn to use their chopsticks??? so I asked around. ^^ 

Some of my Korean friends told me that during 1 to 3 years old, Korean kids will use spoonfork. Hearing it for the first time makes me very curious about it. I asked them to show me what is spoonfork. At a first glance, I was like @_@!! what is that???Spoonfork? Seeing it makes me blank for a while! LOL!! I never seen that before! ㅋㅋㅋ

Then when Korean kids starts their preschool, normally they will slowly learn using chopsticks. However their chopsticks will have a hole on it upper holder as it will make them easy to pick up their food. At age of 8-10 years old, normally Korean kids will master using their chopstick!! 

Anyone plan to visit South Korea soon? Perhaps you can try to learn how to eat using chopsticks so that you won't be laugh at when you are there!! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Make sure to buy some Korean chopsticks as souvenir to bring back home because you won't find any unless at Korea! ^^ 

Korean Chopsticks

Kids Chopsticks


p/s: Even if I tried it so hard, I still can't use my Korean chopsticks properly compare to my 7 years old niece! She use chopsticks very well!! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Life: Islam Review at South Korea

Have you ever heard about Ramadhan before??? Ramadhan is a holy month for Muslim. During this month, Muslim will fasting from dawn to sunset for 29 or 30 days. Since I'm living at Muslim country there is no problem at all for me to perform this practice and its easy for us to look for halal food. ^^

However I've wonder how Korean Muslim facing Ramadhan at South Korea?? O_o  As well  what is the reaction of non-Muslim native regarding this practice and about Islam in general .O_o While looking for information about this topic, I found out a very nice video about Korean Muslim prepared for Ramadhan! This video shows what is Islam in South Korea, and how Korean Muslim facing their new phase of life after became Muslim. ^^ This video were post in YouTube as well been aired in one of their broadcasting channel! ^^ 대박!!

As Muslim population were gradually increased in South Korea, we can see that Korean government and some private sector were trying to concern more about this. ^^ This concern is not only benefited to Korean Muslim, its for Muslim travelers too! ^^  Nowadays, Muslim travelers can look for halal restaurants when visiting Korea, no need to bring can food from home anymore!! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ ^^~

How about the mosque??? Well don't expect there is a mosque at every 20km while you are at non Muslim country!! You won't see that. LOL, However there is a good news for Muslim traveler!! ^^  There are about 11 mosques or Islamic center all across South Korea!! I've been to Seoul Central Mosque before ^^. Looking forward to go to Busan , Jeonju mosque and Islamic center at Jeju soon!! ^^* For mosques list at South Korea, you may check it here.

How about some university facilities for Muslim student?? Well as we knew,its' quite difficult to look for halal food at Korea. However there is one university that provide Halal menu for Muslim students and Muslim community as well. Its' Hanyang University.  They didn't provide it everyday though, they only provide it for few times in a week. For more information, check it here. Recently, I heard that Sungkyungkwan University Suwon campus finally provide some space/rooms for Muslim student to perform their prayer. ^^ That's good!! ^^ If only I can take a look! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Another remarkable sign about Islam in Korea during this fasting month is Korean government had organized An Islamic Art Exhibition at National Museum of Korea. The purpose of this exhibition is to let Korean know and understand more about Islam. :) Hope this exhibition will bring positive impact to Korean and not having a misunderstanding about Islam. ^^

Last but not least, yesterday I watched one program at KBS  which is Screening Humanity. As its was Ramadhan, they aired about a Korean man married to a Morocco wife. This episode shows how their life at Korea, the multicultural between them and there is not so many changes even though the guy had became Muslim. He still living like any other Korean, its just he must leave things that contradict with Islamic law . ^^

Seoul Central Mosque

Busan Mosque

Jeonju Mosque


P/s: Even though South Korea is a non-Muslim country, I am so happy to see this video been made by Korean without any bias or racist towards Muslim! 대박!! ^^ Long way to go! 감사합니다 ^^* Ramadhan Kareem to all Muslim around the world!! ^^

Photo Credits:

Video Credit: Arirangtoday 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Culture: Kai bai bo?? ^^

Do you guys still remember what kind of games we played when we were young?? For me one of the most popular games when I was young is paper, rock and scissors games. May be some of you never heard about this game before and curious what this game all about? >_<  Following are some fact about the games.

This game were originally come from China and been spread all over Asia. Different countries have different name for this game. In South Korea, they called this game as "kai bai bo".  Normally this game be played by two person however in South Korea they played it with more than two people!!! 

What is kai, bai,bo?? Anyone knows and wanna try to guess what is it?? At Korea they order this game by "kai bai bo", kai(가위)  is scissors , bai(바위) is rock and bo () is paper. If a person shows "kai" and the other shows "bai","bai" win as it defeat "kai", if someone show "bai", while other person show "bo", "bo" would win the game. For "kai" and "bo", definitely "kai" win as scissors cut paper. Hehe ^^

Another surprisingly fact that I wanna highlight here is, may be some of you think that this game is only suitable for kids isn't it? However in South Korea, this game were so famous and become kind of national games?? @_@ It's not that they play this game at Olympic!! ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ but this games been played by all generation!! ^^ From old citizen to the kids!!If you watch Korean games shows, they always use this game to set whose going to be first or to divide members into two groups. Some shows that always play this game is Running Man, or 1 Night 2 days.

p/s: Don't think that you are old enough to play this game! Age is just a number!!^^ so lets play this game and laugh together!! ^^

Photo Sources:

Video Credit: kurarawr


Friday, July 5, 2013

Places: Refreshing in downtown Seoul??

As you knew, Korean have a very super hectic schedule everyday, be as a worker or even as a student, they always run out of their time!ㅠㅠ Sometimes, I wonder how they overcome their level of stress especially living in busy city?? I asked to some of my friends and heard that some of them going to Jeju on weekend, but what about weekdays?? o_O

When I strolled around Seoul while looking for a Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) building, I found out a creek peacefully flowing downtown. Then I swipe on my phone for information and found out that it was Cheonggyecheon Stream! Seeing it for a first time really makes me wanna jump into it!! :P What a very lovely stream in hectic bustling city!!

As I reach KTO building, I just take some photos of Cheoggyecheon stream from across the road as I need to focus on my master plan. Deep down, I told myself "I'm gonna come there tomorrow or next day! I MUST come at least once before I'm leaving.." Day by days, I didn't get a chance to go there as my trip was too packed!! ㅠㅠ 

Then out of blue, my boyfriend (Ex) text me. He told me to go around Seoul with him after he finish his classes. Yay!! ^^ On my mind was "I wanna go strolling around Cheonggyecheon stream with him!" That night we strolling around here and there and find a nice place for us to chat. As we were busy talking, we didn't realize that it almost dawn!!Hahhah!! Then I told him "why don't we go to Cheonggyecheon stream to see a sunrise???

He agreed!! Yay!!! ^^ so we make a move to Cheonggyecheon stream! Seeing a fog together at Cheonggyecheon stream was the BEST moment for my entire trip! It was awesome!! While we strolling along the stream, he explain to me about Cheonggyecheon stream, the history about it, costing and everything! Its like I should make a thesis or report after that!! LOL

After take a nice walk there, come to my conclusion that Cheonggyecheon stream is a place for Korean to clear their mind after having tough day or simply the BEST place to go when life hits them! For young couple, its' feel good to go around this relaxing place together and create sweet moment with their love one! ^^

For more information about Cheonggyecheon stream, check these out! :)

Cheonggyecheon Stream Wikipedia
KTO: Cheonggyecheon stream
Discovering Korea

During Night




p/s: There are some special event around Cheonggyecheon stream every year. Check it out with your love one!^^


Photo Sources:

Video Credit: LeeClaxton