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Culture Café: South Korea

We are sure that everybody heard about contemporary Korean culture at least once. It is becoming more and more popular each day. A lot of young boys and girls (especially girls) cannot wait to listen to a new song from their favorite K-pop bands or watch the newest K-drama series. But not everyone is familiar with the life of locals in the Land of morning calm. So, on the first Culture Café of the spring we gathered to learn about just that.

In South Korea you can find a lot of different places to go. For example, Gangnam — a popular district in Seoul. Even though, in Gangnam it is always noisy and crowdy (this area is always full of tourists), you should definitely visit it. There are plenty of cafés and shops where you can buy almost everything.  If you are into more calm and peaceful atmosphere, you can visit Yeonnam-dong or Iksun-dong. There you won’t see any tourists and will be able to take a lot of nice pictures in Asian style.  If you have a playful mood, you can attend a big amusement park ‘Everland’. It will surprise you with an amount of rollercoasters. Korean people like to celebrate different holidays there. Youngsters also like to go to coin-karaoke or boardgame cafés where they can chill 24/7.

Talking about food, it is an essential part of Korean culture. Almost all of the dishes consist of meet (mostly pork), rice, vegetables and, of course, kimchi which is made of salted and fermented vegetables.  Street food is popular not only among tourists but also among locals. Be careful, because it can be very spicy.

If you are a fan of K-pop music or want to know more about it, here are some bands that you can listen to: ‘BTS’, ‘Black Pink’, ‘EXO’, ‘Twice’, and ‘Got 7’.  Those bands are very popular not only in Korea but across the whole world. Koreans are proud to have such influential music industry. Besides, their cinema and TV productions are developing faster and faster. People all around the world consider themselves as big K-drama lovers, and some of the most interesting ones get a remake in China or even in the USA, the show ‘The Good Doctor’ on ABC, for example, was based on the South Korean drama of the same name. Even though K-drama series may seem a little bit naïve for an unprepared viewer, they are very interesting and dynamic. K-dramas are mostly about love and teenagers’ lifestyle, but there are also historical dramas that will tell you about important events that took place in the past. You will surely enjoy it!

Nevertheless, there are so many things that Korean youngsters are doing apart from listening to the K-pop songs. Korean men must complete military service before they turn 30 years old. During their service, they are not allowed to use mobile phones and other devices, they have no Internet connection. Korean people believe that in 21 months a boy can become a man there.

To sum up, as you can see, trip to Korea is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Not only will you get an unlimited portion of emotions, you’ll also get the opportunity to dive much deep into the culture and experience firsthand everything that was talked about at this Culture Café.

 
Text: Elizaveta Fyodorova