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I Spent The Weekend Exploring a Korean Island

Last weekend I took a 3 hour bus ride north of Seoul to a quiet island called Ganghwa. I spent the day taking it all in and want to bring you along for the ride!

I visited a cafe filled with flowers, a temple where I bought strange berries, and then a fortress from long ago! Come on!

Come see:

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i literally just watched that video 😂 the birds sounded beautiful
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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!
Places to Visit in Sydney at Night
Sydney is one of the most popular cities to visit in the world. It is well known for its glamorous lifestyle and many attractive places to visit. Sydney is equally grand and entertaining in the night as in the day. There are so many things you can do in Sydney at night by visiting some of the most amazing places that come alive especially during the night. If you are making plans for a Sydney vacation, then you must checkout some of the places that are just perfect for a night visit. Here are some of the places to visit in Sydney at night: 1. Sydney Harbour Bridge Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the best places you can visit during the night. While climbing the bridge can be an expensive activity, walking across it is actually free. If it sounds a little confusing, here is how it works – it has a pedestrian access to the bridge. Find the pedestrian access and enjoy a wonderful walk across the bridge and take in the beauty, and grandness of the place. The place is best explored in the night, because that is when you will see the effect it has. You can get great discount on ticket booking online using Akbar Travels coupons. The bridge is opened for 24-hours, which means you can visit it anytime you want. 2. The Art Gallery of NSW The Art Gallery of NSW is one of the places you can visit at night and enjoy the art display a leisurely pace. It is known for its beautiful collection of international and national art that happens to include the popular European old paintings by the famous painters. The services are free from the gallery entry to various events that takes place here. There is an event called Art after Hours, which is held every Wednesday and the art gallery stays open till late night. You can also sign-up for the lectures and guided walks. 3. North Head Sunset Watching Watching the sunset in Sydney seems to be one of the most popular activities that people enjoy here. Sunsets over the water is very popular as compared to others. One of the best places to enjoy the legendary sunset is the North Head in Manly. Here the Harbor provides the perfect destination to witness the sunset as the sun descends into the horizon. You can make the sunset watching a picnic event with friends and family. Pack a picnic and you can make the visit memorable. 4. Fairy Penguins in Manly There are Fairy Penguins in the North Harbour of Sydney. They have a small population here, but they make for the best Night time visit in Sydney. The penguins come here for the nesting in the Night in the Manly Wharf and they are the only breeding colony here. There are volunteers take care of them and watch over them. The visitors can watch the penguins and know more about the penguins and everything related to them via the volunteers. The best time to visit place is between July and February. This is one of the most entertaining night time activity that you can indulge in Sydney. 5. The Domain & Royal Botanic Gardens If you are into evening strolls then the Domain and Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney offers the best place for the activity. It has the most amazing waterfront that not only offers the best evening stroll, it is perfect for a picnic too. You can sign-up for free guided tours with the volunteers every morning. You can visit the place during evening and explore the flora and fauna. The best time to visit is from November to February. 6. Beach Barbecue Sydney beaches are known for the best BBQ and picnics. Bronte is one of the best places for evening BBQ and picnics. The place is simply breathtaking with its golden sands, blue waters and ocean lap pool. There is a Bronte Park where you will find barbecues and picnic tables where you can enjoy the best time with your family and friends. It is one of the best things you can do here. 7. Luna Park The historic Luna Park is one of the best places to visit in the night. There is no entry fee but you will have to pay for the rides inside. This is one of the best places to visit during the night. It has many things to offer entertainment wise. You can apply for Travel Sales Consultant Jobs to know about this field. The Bottom-Line These are some of the best things you can do in Sydney at night. You will enjoy the view, get entertained and most of all have a great time with your friends and family.