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How to Survive Winter in Korea
Yes, these are in celsius but also that means ITS TWENTY EIGHT DEGREES TODAY! In Seoul, its been getting down to about 15 degrees fahrenheit at night :( Here are a few popular ways to keep warm in Korea! Face Masks These do a lot of things that can help you out in winter. 1. They keep you warm! It catches the heat from your breath and heats/steams your face to keep you really warm when outside. 2. They keep you safe from germs! People cough and sneeze a lot in Korea without covering their mouths so keeping yourself away from germs is tough, but these do the job! 3. They protect against air pollution! This year the air has been really bad in Korea so an extra layer will protect you from the bad stuff floating around. Pick up the one Chanyeol is wearing: HERE Heat Packs In Korea, you can buy hot packs or hand warmers everywhere! You just shake them up and they can keep you warm for up to 14 hours! Actually, one of my friends accidentally fell asleep holding one and she got a slight burn, so its best to put them in a cute little pouch like the ones below~ Cute Reusable Ones: Owl Shape! Heart Shape! Classic Korean Hand Warmers :) Here! Warm Drinks Obviously you could just go for coffee, but in order to fight colds and get your vitamins and energy, Koreans often drink Yuja Tea and Ginger Tea. They come in a jelly/jam consistency and you have to add two scoops into a mug and fill it up with hot water. It's super healthy for you! You can find them here: Yuja Tea Ginger Tea How do YOU stay warm in winter?!
6 Korean Olympians To Watch!
You know I can't WAIT for the Olympics so let's look at a few awesome Olympians representing South Korea :D PS: 올림픽 - oh-lim-pik! Ki Bo Bae - Archery A South Korean archer who was ranked the world’s number one archer in August 2015. She is the current World Championship and the defending Olympic champion in archery. An Chang Rim - Judo South Korea’s premier lightweight Judo champion and the nation’s representative in the 2016 summer olympics. He is currently ranked first in the world and seeded first in the Olympics. Kim Ji Yeon - Fencing A South Korean sabre fencer and the 2012 Olympic champion. Having started foil fencing at the age of 13, she is the first South Korean woman to win a gold medal in fencing in the Olympic games. Shin A Lam - Fencing A fencer whose 2012 duel sparked a huge controversy in the Olympic games after a timekeeping error gave her opponent a timing advantage. When South Korea immediately appealed the decision, Shin waited for over an hour on the duelling ground, in accordance to the fencing bylaws, while judges deliberated and eventually gave the win to Shin’s opponent. Son Yeon Jae - Rhythmic Gymnastics An individual rhythmic gymnast, dubbed the “National Fairy” of South Korea. She has won titles in the 2014 Asian Games, 2010 Asian Games, and 2014 World Championships. Calling it now: she's going to be the next Kim Yuna and have her face on EVERY advertisement lol! Park Tae Hwan - Swimming An Olympic swimmer who is the first South Korean to win an Olympic medal in swimming. He has competed and won medals in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, and is to compete once more in the upcoming 2016 games. Who else is PUUUUUMPED for the Olympics?!
Kpop is Actually Born from Korean Protest Songs
Alright so I'm a total history nerd, I majored in East Asian Studies and eat stuff like this up. Read the full (long!) article here - I will try to explain it basically, but its really worth the read. Here we go: It all started with Japan. As you might know, Japan colonized Korea eventually trying to erase Korean culture all together on the peninsula. In the very beginning though, that wasn't the case. Japan was willing to share Korean and Japanese culture, and the Japanese and Korean elite often spoke together and traded pop culture. Japanese elite brought over Western-influenced music because of their connections with the Western world (which Korea didn't interact with other than missionaries at the time) The Korean elite wanted to be modern and successful like Japan, so they adopted this music (called Changga) as their new favorite genre. (You can hear a lot of European influences in early Korean music...) This is where it gets interesting. The Korean elite wanted to be independent of Japan. They wanted Korea to stand alone as a strong nation, not pushed around by China or Japan anymore. They stared the pro-independence movement. Now, most revolutions like this would turn to traditional music, traditional culture to strengthen the country (for example, Korea would use ancient Korean songs to protest the Japanese occupation) but the Korean elite didn't! They wanted Korea to be strong, and to be strong they felt like they needed to modernize - ie be like the West. They used this Changga music (ironically brought to them by Japan) to protest Japanese rule! To this day Korea is always trying to "keep up with" the Western world so that they can be considered modern and powerful. Most things that they do is to modernize and stay trendy because that is how the country has always defined strength. But then, Japan decided to make money off of that... Japan had seen its first real pop music hit in 1914. People were buying records, following tabloids, and really getting into pop culture. That was really the birth of the Japanese music industry. In 1926, Korea had a similar experience. A song called the "Death Song" appeared, sung by Yun Shim-Deok. The singer committed suicide with her lover right after the song was released and the story made HUGE headlines. It was chilling, 'romantic,' and dramatic. Korea ate it up. Japanese record companies came in and started selling the record, selling over 50,000 copies! (In 1926 that number is totally insane!) You can listen to the death song here: The record industry after that was run mainly by the Japanese yakuza and their partnered Korean gangsters. The industry was set up very similar to how it is now, with entertainment industries doing everything in-house (SM has specific song writers that only work for SM, and their artists are actors, singers, models, etc) This is also why so many Kpop artists become actors...because even back in the 1920s musicians couldn't make enough money so the real way to make a living was through acting. That still stands today. So, today's Kpop is based off of this first "Korean pop" hit (the death song) AND protest songs against Japan. So when people say that Kpop is just a copy of Western music, they're sort of right but not in the way that they're thinking. Yes, its a reflection of Western culture, but the reason behind it is that Korea has been fighting to be recognized as a modern, powerful force to be reckoned with since the early 1900s. They want people to know Korea is strong, modern, and a country to look up to, not look down upon. So the next time someone tells you Kpop is a lame copy of American pop - give them this little history lesson. Again, PLEASE read the full article - its so interesting! HERE it is!