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  • jhboisselle 3:05 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , korea,   

    The Fight for Dokdo 

    This posting is from Chelsea Gannon:

    While doing some “touristy” shopping in Insadong, one of the interesting but most heavily tourist-trodden locations in Seoul, the group I was walking with and I were stopped by a group of school girls collecting a “survey” for an assignment of public opinion of the rightful ownership of Dokdo. Dokdo, a small seemingly insignificant rock island between Japan and South Korea has long been the subject of territorial dispute between the two nations. The girls carried around signs reading “Dokdo is our country” in Korean and “Our Dokdo” in English, as well as handed out candy to all who were willing to put a checkmark next to South Korea as the rightful owner of the island rather than Japan.

    I found this appearance particularly interesting because it showed the prevalence such territorial land disputes plays in contemporary Korean politics and relations.  Additionally, one member of my group jested with the girls in Korean about sharing the island with Japan, to which he was met with absolute disgust. While it is true these girls were only as small subset of the population, it struck me as immensely interesting the power education can play in youth’s perception of current issues, particularly in a situation founded on such a tumultuous history between Japan and Korea.

  • jhboisselle 3:03 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , korea, ,   

    Couple Clothing 

    This posting is from Chelsea Gannon:

    One “culture shocking” aspect of South Korean life I encountered was couples. Not only are there immense numbers of couples, but large cultural supports for the prevalence of these pairs. In Korean dramas and movies, love and dating is an incredibly popular subject.  Additionally, gender roles within these relationships are rather strictly defined with girls often acting cutesy and innocent, a trait known as “aegyo”, and the boys acting authoritative, strong, and as the caretaker of their girlfriends. With such a prominent role of couples, a culture has developed where each engages in “normal” activities such as the men carrying their girlfriend’s purses or most interestingly wearing matching accessories or clothing. More often than not, couple items are shoes or shirts, but it was not uncommon to see couples decked out in matching gear including shoes, full outfits, and bags. In extreme cases, couples would wear even matching nail polish. While this phenomenon was highly prevalent throughout Seoul, we witnessed extensive numbers of couple items due to the sheer number of Koreans we encountered on a daily basis. Couples, both dating and married, even purchased matching “USA Pavilion” cowboy hats and t shirts from our gift store, specifically asking if a certain item had one for the other gender so that it was “couple wear”. Although I couldn’t take photos while working, I was able to snap a few while on my breaks or off days, and I’ve posted them below:


  • jhboisselle 2:59 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: korea,   

    Yeosu Bay and Mosageum Beach 

    This posting is from Chelsea Gannon:

    Yeosu was selected as the location for the 2012 World Expo with the theme of Living Oceans and Coasts because of its tropical -like environment and picturesque coastline. However, Yeosu was also picked for its industrial and economical ties to the sea. Because of this Yeosu has been a particularly interesting place to explore; full of beautiful beaches but also indications of Yeosu’s industrial significance.
    On one of the local beaches I’ve visited often, Mosageum Beach, is famous for it’s black sand. It is a small but pleasant beach with coarse, dark grey sand nestled between a cement jetty and jagged green hillside. The water is vibrant teal on sunny days (despite the grey hue in the picture) and spotted with small fishing boats and in the distance, with oil tankers waiting to be loaded with petroleum. The picture below is of Yeosu bay, which I took from a ferry to a nearby town.

    beach1 beach2

  • jhboisselle 2:56 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , korea,   

    Yeosu’s Market 

    market1 This posting is from Chelsea Gannon:

    Fruits and vegetables are incredibly expensive (I have bought a single carrot for 3 dollars and seen watermelons priced at 30) so today  I decided to go to the local market rather than the standard grocery store in hopes of finding some lower prices. Not only did I find vegetables for reasonable prices (still pricy compared to the states- but no where near as mind blowingly high) I had a lot of fun exploring and talking with the ajumas.

    market6  market4 market3

    The meat section of the market was a little less enjoyable and I was nearly run over by an ajosshi pushing a cart of halved pig carcasses.


  • jhboisselle 2:47 pm on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , korea,   

    양념오리한마리 (Marinated Duck) 

    This posting is on behalf of Chelsea Gannon:

    My favorite style of Korean restuarant is Barbeque, which involves using the hot griddle or grill over hot coals at your table and cooking your own order of meat. Tonight for dinner, two of my friends and I went out and ordered 800g of marinated duck for 30,000 KRW, which converts to around $27 (under $10 a person!).

    While our griddle heated up, the ajuma brought out an array of side dishes: kimchi, garlic, anchovies, cucumber kimchi, pickled sesame leaves, two kinds of sauces, rice, and lettuce leaves for wrapping.

    Pretty soon she brought out the duck.


    All of the ingredients in the final product!!


  • globalkiwi 4:27 pm on November 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , korea   

    Traditional Korea and "Yummy" bugs! 

    SO while on vacation during Chusok here in Korea, I visited a small traditional village where I stated in a traditional Hanok: Korean housing with heated floors that we slept on and enjoyed the chestnut festival. I even got to try on a Hanbok (traditional Korean dress)!  Among the festivities, my friends and I decided to enjoy some of the traditional street food cuisine, one of them being silk worm pupae!

    It was crunchy and had a aroma that surrounded the entire area…

    I’ve been told it was Bee Larvae, but it in fact Silkworm Pupae. While it was exciting to try, I won’t be eating these again. 🙂 lol
  • globalkiwi 9:02 am on November 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , korea, , silk   

    Silk Art: Their Beauty and Detriment 

    Here are a few pictures of handcrafted silk artwork done by women we visited while in Dali City, Yunnan Province, China. The women there do these intricate pieces to raise money for themselves and their family. Some of them are students who, when they return home for the summer, create these masterpieces and hope they will be sold.

    We were told that the eyesight of many of the girls are severely damages as they work with such fine, thin threads and strain their eyes in attempts to be as precise as possible.

    “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction. ”

    • Pablo Picasso



    Silk Worm Cocoons, The workers harvest their own silk too.


    • DougReilly 3:11 pm on November 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Did you see the stands on the main pedestrian shopping street in Seoul selling stewed silkworm cocoons? I didn’t try any…

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