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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

돌 하르방 Dol Harubang

돌 하르방 Dol Harubang means stone grandfather is carved from the porous basalt or volcanic rock in Jeju island and in many different size from the small one to up to 3 meters high. It looks like a big mushroom statues.
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The statue's face feature grinning expressions and bulging eyes without pupils, a long, broad nose, and slight smile and it hands rest on its bellies, one slightly above the other. In sets of two, one will have a higher left hand and the other a higher right hand. The hat is commonly referred to as phallic or mushroom-like.
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Dol Harubang considered to be the protection and fertility gods. Therefore, it is placed outside of gates for protection against demons travelling between realities. Also, it is widely known for its power of birthing son if the woman touches its nose. Many honeymooning couples can be seen lining up to do just so, each standing to either side to have their pictures taken with their hands on its nose. Dolharubang has become a symbol of Jeju island. If you come to Jeju-do, you will find so many Dol Harubangs ^^
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 Picture credit : Jeju-do (제주도) ~ One the 7 New Wonder

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The beauty of Korean embroidery Exhibition

The beauty of Korean embroidery Exhibition
Thu, 22 Sep. 2011 - Sun, 25,Sep.2011
Venue : National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta.

Photo by Maria Margareta
Photo by Maria Margareta
Photo by Maria Margareta

Photo by Maria Margareta
Photo by Maria Margareta
Photo by Maria Margareta
Photo by Maria Margareta
Ornament Pouch. Photo by Maria Margareta
Photo by Maria Margareta
Photo by Maria Margareta
Photo by Maria Margareta
Photo by Maria Margareta
Ceremonial Robe for Crown Princess. Photo by Maria Margareta
Bridal Gown of Princess Bokon. Photo by Maria Margareta
Hello everyone,
This day, I went to The Korean Embroidery Exhibition. It was a great time I had. Here I want to share some pictures I'd taken, I hope you like it. The embroidery is very beautiful ~^^

This event is supported by Korea - Indonesia Friendship Association / Indonesia - Korea Friendship Association.
Korea - Indonesia Week 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chuseok Folk Games : 강강술래 Ganggangsullae

강강술래 Ganggangsullae

is a 5,000-year-old traditional Korean dance. It was first used to bring a good harvest and has become a cultural symbol for Korea and mostly played in Chuseok event (Korean Thanksgiving).
The dance is thought to have come from about 5,000 years ago when the Koreans believed that the Sun, Moon, and Earth controlled the world. The people (almost always girls in hanboks) would dance under the brightest full moon of the year in order to bring a good harvest.
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Traditionally, this dance not done with any instruments. Young and old women dance in a circle at night under the moonlight. They go outside in hanbok, traditional Korean clothing, hold hands, make a circle, and start rotating clockwise. The lead singer sings a line. Then, the rest of the people all sing, 'ganggangsullae'. Then the lead singer sings another line, and the rest of the people reply, 'ganggangsullae'. This is probably where the name of the song came from. As the dance continues, the tempo of the song can get faster. They sing about their personal hardships, relationships, and wants. During the dance, the women also play some games. The ganggangsullae can last until dawn.

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Chuseok Morning Ritual

Womens are preparing foods and table for Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) ritual for the accentors. The table is full of various food and we have to put them in some rules.

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◆ Direct the ritual table to the north.

◆ Put better food closer to the soul of the dead.

Put rice and soup first. Then, arrange food in the order of quality and price from the perspective of the past. Put more expensive and better food closer to the souls of the ancestors -- that is, the back of the table. So, a ritual table should be set with fruit, the least expensive and valued food, in the front row; seasoned vegetables and fried dishes (jeon) in the next row; and boiled food in the last row. However, in some regions, the positions of fried and boiled dishes are interchanged. When there are too many dishes crammed in a row, you may move some to another row.

◆ Put better food to the right of the soul of the dead.

There are two reasons for putting better food on the right. One is that most people are right-handed and the other is that when we worship our ancestors, we place more senior ancestors on the right. Place meat on the right (west) of the souls of ancestors and fish on the left (east) because meat is more expensive than fish. Put the tail of fish on the right and the head on the left because the tail is the better part to eat.

Among fruit, red ones should be put in the east and white ones in the west. It is also worth remembering to place jujubes, chestnuts, persimmons, and pears in that order from left.

◆ The number of food should be odd.

◆ All food offered on a ritual table should be in odd numbers.
* Food to Avoid

Peppers and garlic cannot be used; thus, kimchi is not offered on a ritual table. (In some regions, white kimchi made without using any peppers or garlic is used.) Among fish, those without scales like mackerel or those whose sound ends with "chi" like myeolchi (anchovy) and galchi (scabbard fish) are not permitted.

It was believed in the past that peach trees had the power to drive evil spirits away, so they are still not planted inside the house and peaches are not used for ancestral rites. But there is no restriction to imported fruit like bananas.

Credit : How to Set Out the Chuseok Ritual Table

Chuseok Food : 송편 Songpyeon

송편 Songpyeon
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Glutinous rice Korean traditional food. Small Korean traditional rice cakes usually eat as Chuseok (Autumn Harvest). Songpyeon are half-moon-shaped steemed rice cakes that contain different kinds of sweet or semi-sweet fillings, such as sesame seeds and honey, sweet red bean paste or chestnuts. Chuseok will not complete without songpyeon ^^

How to make 송편 Songpyeon

Ingredients :
Frozen rice flour, salt, water, sesame seeds, sesame oil, dried and skinned mung beans, brown sugar, white sugar, pine needles, mugwort powder (ssook garu in Korean), strawberry Jell-o powder.

Make the dough:
  1. Prepare a package of rice powder (2 lbs) usually sold frozen at a Korean grocery store. Just before using it, you must thaw it until the powder is at room temperature.
  2. Put rice powder through a sifter to make the powder fine.Tip: If your rice powder is very fine, you can skip sifting. If your rice powder is coarse, you may have to grind it with a food processor or coffee grinder before sifting.
  3. Prepare 3 stainless bowls and put 1 cup of finely sifted rice powder into the each bowl. (Bowl A, B, and C)
  4. Boil 2 cups of water for your rice dough.
  5. Bowl A (white songpyeon): add a pinch of salt and 3 tbs of boiling water and mix it with a wooden spoon. (it’ll be too hot if you use your hands at first) Knead the rice dough for about 5 minutes. Put the dough into a plastic bag and set it aside.
  6. Bowl B (pink songpyeon): add a pinch of salt, a pinch of strawberry Jell-o powder, and 3 tbs of boiling water. Mix it with a wooden spoon and knead the rice dough for about 5 minutes. Put the dough into a plastic bag and set it aside.
  7. Bowl C (green songpyeon): add a pinch of salt, 1 ts of ssookgaru (mugwort power) and 3.5 tbs boiling water. Mix it with a wooden spoon and knead the rice dough for about 5 minutes. Put the dough into a plastic bag and set it aside.Tip: You will need to add 3.5 tbs of water because of  the 1 ts of ssookgaru.
Make the filling: Roasted sesame seeds powder filling:
  1. Grind ¼ cup of roasted sesame seeds using a coffee grinder for 15-20 seconds.
  2. Transfer the ground sesame powder into a small bowl and mix it with ¼ cup of brown sugar and a pinch of salt.Tip: if you grind too long, the powder will become sticky from the oil in the seeds.  
 Mung bean powder filling:
  1. Wash and drain ¼ cup of dried and skinned mung beans and put them in a pot with a thick bottom.
  2. Add ¼ cup of water and a pinch of salt to the pot and simmer it for 30 minutes.Tip: Be sure not to burn it – simmer over the lowest heat.
  3. Open the pot and use your wooden spoon to crush the beans into fine powder.Tip: if you make more than ¼ cup of mung bean powder, you may have to use your grinder or food processor to grind it finely.
  4. Transfer the crushed mung bean powder into a small bowl or container and wait until it cools down.
  5. Add ¼ cup of white sugar and mix it. That’s it!
Let’s make songpyeon now!
  1. Break off a piece of rice dough about 1 inch in diameter and roll it between your palms to make a rice ball. Then press your thumb in the center of the ball to make it shaped like a cup.
  2. Fill the cup with either sesame filling or mung bean filling using a small spoon, and seal it using your thumb and index fingers.
  3. Place all the raw rice cakes (songpyeon) on a plate.
  4. Wash your pine needles thoroughly with a little dish soap. Towel dry them.
  5. Put some water (4 cups) into a steamer and boil it. When it starts boiling, place a damp cotton cloth on the bottom of the steamer tray.
  6. Make a bed of pine needles on the wet cloth and put the raw songpyeon on top. Put more pine needles on top of the songpyeon, too.Tip: Pine needles stop the songpyeon from sticking together and give them a good flavor.
  7. Steam it for 25 minutes over medium high heat.
  8. Prepare some cold water in a large bowl, and drop in a little sesame oil.
  9. Dump your steamed songpyeon into to the cold water and quickly remove pine needles. Take them out, put them on a plate to serve.
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추석 Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving

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추석 Chuseok originally known as Hangawi 한가위 is celebrate in the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. This event is one of the most widely celebrated holidays and a major harvest festival on Korea.
Chuseok is celebrated within 3 days, starting from 11th to13th of September 2011.
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In this harvest day people in Korea visit their hometowns, pay respects to their ancestors with newly harvested food and gathered together with their families.
People eat Songpyeon 송편 (traditional rice cakes) with their families and play a variety folk games.
For those who are still single, who make the best looking of songpyeon, they will meet a good-looking spouse in the future or for those who are already married or pregnant, they will get a good-looking child.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

불국사 Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju South Korea

Bulguksa 불국사 means Temple of The Buddha Land is located in Gyeongju The capital of Silla from 57 BC - 935 AD. This temple now is the one of UNESCO the World Heritage, together with Seokguram Grotto.

This temple was founded by king Pob-hung in 535 for his queen to pray for the welfare of the kingdom, it was completed in year 774, by the Silla royal court and given the name "Bulguksa".
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This temple has great panoramic view mixed with historical and natural scenes. Autumn (if you want to get warm tone of nature with orange and yellow leaves) or winter is a best time to visit this temple.

Bulguksa tourist information center : 054 - 746 - 4747

Directions :
From Seoul Train Station, take a Saemaeulho train to Gyeong-ju (4 hrs, 30 min).
From Seoul Express Bus Terminal, take a Gyeongbuseon Line bus to Gyeongju (leaves every 30 min) (4 hrs, 30 min). From Gyeoungju Express Bus Terminal, take bus No. 10 or 11 to Bulguksa Temple.

Daegu, South Korea

Daegu is located in the south-eastern part of the Korean peninsula, Daegu is a vibrant city with an all-embacing transportation system. Every major Korean city is easily accessible within two hours. The city has for centuries served as the administrative and cultural centre of the region. Daegu has a sub-tropical climate, and one is known for it’s beautiful parks, abundant trees, clean rivers and it’s energy conservation.

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The blending of Daegu’s reverberating history, culture and art allows one to experience an oriental sophistication unlike any other city. Such harmonization of tradition and modernity cements Daegu’s growing stature as the heart of Korea.

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‘Sarbi” the official mascot was launched on April 14th 2010, on the occation of the ’500Days to Go’ event. It is derived from the Sapgal-gae, an indigenous canine breed that originated from Daegu and its regions, which is recognized as ‘Natural Monument No. 368′ in Korea. The mascot symbolises good fortune, and its warm and happy features represent a warm welcome to the host city.

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“Sprint Together for Tomorrow” was chosen to capture the competitive spirit and sense of solidarity within the IAAF Family.
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The Opening Ceremony is a celebration of the opening of the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011. The exciting performances and multimedia show will bring to life the themes of overcoming challenges and achieving dreams through athletics. The performances will also showcase Korea’s harmony of advanced technology and traditional cultures. Tickets for the first evening session on 27 August include the Opening Ceremony. More information is available on the LOC’s Web-site and mobile site.
  • Date : 27 August 2011
  • Time : 18:30 ~ 19:45
  • Venue : Daegu Stadium
credit : IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011, 27 Aug – 4 Sep 2011.
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A Walk through Ssamziegil

Very nice view with snow on the winter season. I was there in spring time, and I hope I can feel the snow time in Ssamzigiel someday ^^

Ssamzigeil market, Insa-dong Seoul South Korea
Directions to Insa-dong :
The north end of Insa-dong : Exit 6 of Anguk station, line 3.
The South end of Insa-dong : Exit 1 of Jongno 3-ga station, line 1, 3 or 5.