Friday, July 29, 2011

5th No Gun Ri Human Rights & Peace Camp (Event Invitation)

For Foreigners who are in Korea

        Please Join

The 5th No Gun Ri Human Rights & Peace Camp for World Univ. Students

Date: August 16th-19th, 2011

Venue: Youngdong-Gun Chungbuk Province

SBS KPOP STAR Auditions with SM, YG and JYP!

Just read an announcement this morning on allkpop.com.* It says Korea's 3 biggest entertainment companies are holding global auditions for K-pop star wannabes!  


SBS KPOP STAR Auditions 

allkpop is the official partner together with the so-called Big Three: SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment and JYP Entertainment, are looking for the

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Arirang UCC Contest (Season 2) for K-Pop Lovers!!!



Theme - My K-Pop 2!! (Imitating My awesome K-Pop stars)

Procedure - Please select No. 1 or No 2 before the main contests
(*If you select the slogan(No. 1), you can get additional scores)
1. Must start by saying the slogan made by yourself before the main content(s)
* Must insert its slogan on the registration page
ex. (1) “Korea for the World, the World for Korea” / (2) “Korea’s Global TV Arirang” / (3) “I love Korea, I love Arirang”
2. Must start by saying “I Love Arirang!” before the main content(s)

Entry Qualification - Anyone, Anywhere in the world! (No limit on nationality nor age)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More Koreans to teach English classes and Budget Cut puts Foreign English Teachers at Risk?

An article says that the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education will gradually increase the number of Korean teachers in English conversation classes at public schools while gradually reducing the number of native foreigners.

This is part of a five-year plan designed to "rationalize" English education in public schools for greater effectiveness.
Son Woong, Director of Education Policy at the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education said “We plan to increase the number of Korean teachers who are qualified in TEE (Teaching English in English). We will continue to boost programs to train more Korean teachers to conduct classes in English. Their

Travel Korea: Nakcheon ri, Jeju

Probably one of the most interesting and impressive places I've visited in Korea, Nakcheon ri. Maybe, most foreigners and even Koreans haven't heard of this place.So let me have this chance to tell a story about this artistic small village in Jeju called Nakcheon ri.

Humble Origin

According to the source I've read, more than 200 years ago, the land was named “Nakcheon,” literally meaning “happiness,” because it offered its villagers a life of Arcadian features: fertile soil, fresh water and ample space to raise a family. Now Nakcheon-ri is also known as the “Village of Nine Good Things.” Sadly, I am not sure what are these nine good things are but maybe it could be your chance to ask when you go there and don't forget to tell me what it is hahaha

Artistic Village
Nakcheon’s artistic director, Yang Gi Hoon has been promoting Nakcheon ri as a place to visit for a different cultural experience. The moment we got off the bus, the painted walls attracted my attention. It was, after all a bit different  from the other villages in Jeju. And what's more surprising were the chairs all over the area. I heard there are 1,000 chairs of various styles, shapes and sizes and chairs have a carving of a different phrase. The phrases were really funny, well, at least for Koreans and those who know Korean. haha. 


How to Get There
I don't really know since I  went there for a conference, it was a free tour for us. haha. Anyway, the information I found says like this:
 If coming from Jeju City, take the 95 toward Ishidol and pass the Spiritual Garden. Nakcheon is along the way and it should take you about 40 minutes. You can also take the 12 towards Aewol, which will take 50 minutes.

If you are coming from Seogwipo, go towards Jungmun and pass Cheong Su. Nakcheon is along the way and it should take about 40 minutes.
If you are traveling to Nakcheon by bus, take any bus to Shinchang, and transfer to a neighborhood bus to Nakcheon-ri. There are direct buses from the bus terminal in Jeju City but only three times a day.





Source: 
Village of humble roots by Melissa Trias http://www.jejuweekly.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=501

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

'NK soldiers thank Kim Jong-il for bulgogi'

I found another interesting news today about North Korea. The article says North Korean soldiers were very thankful to Kim Jong-il for the bulgogi he offered to them. In case you're not familiar with bulgogi, it's a Korean dish that usually consists of marinated barbecued beef, although chicken or pork may also be used* and this dish is VERY common here in South Korea. Meaning, you can find and eat it anywhere here and it's not even expensive. Anyway, so, probably many people in South Korea will find this news a bit "interesting" or should I say "shocking."

Here's the article:

Monday, July 25, 2011

K-pop Auditions in Asian Countries!


If you have a dream of becoming a star in Korea ^^ maybe this is your chance! As far as I know, many entertainment companies like SM and JYP have already started their auditions abroad in USA and China but this one is a bit different. It's a collaboration of entertainment companies and a support from the Seoul City government to promote hallyu through K-pop. As you can see there are already few K-pop stars who are not Koreans like Nichkhun of 2PM who is from Thailand and Chinese nationals Victoria Song of F(x) and Wang Fei Fei and Meng Jia of Miss A, are currently making scenes in the K-pop industry. This time, I guess Korea wants more diversity, so who knows you might be the next shupahstah! hehe 

Here's an article I read from Koreatimes about the audition. It's
entitled K-pop auditions to hunt for S.East Asian talent. Anyway, just a side comment, Taiwan and Hong Kong are not part of Southeast Asia politically but geographically, yes, haha anyway here's the article:


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Koreans afraid of taking long holiday


I just wanna share another article I found this morning. It has something to do with the working culture of Korean people compared to other countries. I already expected this kind of article since I personally know some Korean friends who share the same sentiments.

According to the article, most Korean workers are notoriously known  as workaholics by international norms, but they are still afraid of asking their bosses for long leave.

The article says that in the 2008 statistics, Koreans work the longest hours and take the fewest holidays among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The

Friday, July 22, 2011

Power Korean: Park Doo Won 박두원


I’ve always been impressed with how stunts in action movies are being neatly executed especially those that are done by the main actors themselves. Meaning without stuntmen’s help. I can only name few actors in Hollywood and Asia who do their own stunts, and I’m proud to say that my friend happens to be one of these few..
Born and grew up in Seoul, ever since he was younger, Park Doo Won 박두원 already dreamed of becoming an actor. Well, being naturally gifted with the looks, becoming one may not be hard. However, his interests in movies, comics and martial arts gave him the creativity and passion of making his own name in Korea's film industry.

Performing Arts
           He is currently taking Theater and Film Studies at Hanyang University. He has had numerous performances like plays, musicals and movies since he entered the university. He was also scouted for a musical in Daehangno, the so-called Broadway version of Korea, last 2009 for the musical entitled Acapella Musical: Mirror Princess Pyeonggang (거울공주평강이야기). At that time he had a hard time deciding which career to pursue. Acting and singing seems to be a perfect choice for him since he already started his career in musicals but he is also very interested in doing a movie. He thought movie fits him more than any other forms of performing arts because he got more attention and recognition from the people around him.  He said I hope people would never stop reaching for their dreams.’ I hope they would also explore and experience new things. I’ve always wanted to show people things they have never seen yet.”
.  
Actor-Producer-Choreographer
Last semester, he decided to produce an action movie with his friends. They formed their own team called Urban Nation Creative Group (UNCG), which hopefully would grow bigger in the future as a maker of quality Korean films. Making a film, especially if it’s independent is not a joke. Just being creative and knowledgeable is not even enough. You need to have the guts to pursue it till the end. They already finished filming two movies where he played as the main character. He also choreographed the stunts with the help of the athletes they gathered when they were making the movie.

Movies
These 2 movies are currently being edited. The first movie they made is entitled Raging Guy (성난사내) because of the nature of the main character who fights through martial arts every time he is triggered by the things happening around him. The other movie is called Lallapalooza, which is slang for knockout punch in boxing terminology. He got the term form a comic book called The Fighting. Both action movies show a lot of stunts. When they were making the movie, they gathered some athletes like boxers, capoeiristas, kick boxers and pro wrestlers to help them with the stunts.

Martial Arts
His interest in martial arts since he was young inspired him to produce movies related to it.  He is trained in hapkido, taekwondo, boxing, capoeira, jeet kundo and more. For him, making the 2 movies, so far, was indeed hard but at the same time it was fun. Doing two things he likes to do most in his life in one production is certainly like a jackpot for him. . He said that taking challenges and living a life with passion is a wonderful thing and he hopes that he could serve as a role model for the aspiring artists like him

When I asked him about his opinion on being an artist, this is what he said,
“I don’t want people to see me as a plain performer. For me art’s ultimate goal is for people to share each other's feelings through it. Human feels loneliness and a sense of emptiness so I want to be the kind of artist who gives joy and happiness to everyone.

Here's an unofficial video of the making of his first independent movie Raging Guy (성난사내). Enjoy!




29초세계영화제 – 세계 최초의 디지털 컨버전스 영화제

Please support my friend Park Doo Won in his future endeavors. Let’s hope that we could see more of him and his projects on big screen.  

Follow him on twitter @greatone2k

Just a brief background about the “Power Korean” entries. I try to feature my Korean friends here which I think worth sharing to the public. I believe this will give everyone a glimpse of normal Korean people’s lives as they dream and take challenges on the path they’ve chosen. Since power Korean is synonymous to potential Koreans, most friends featured here are aspiring artists.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Culture 101: Selca 셀카

For people who are into K-pop, probably you guys are already VERY familiar with the word 'Selca 셀카 ' Most Korean stars especially idol groups do a lot of selcas and post it on their twitter or me2day accounts. So what in the world is Selca?

Meaning
When I asked my Korean friend about it, who's by the way into selca too, she said it's a combination of two English words, self for sel and camera for ca so Selca = Self Camera. But when I tried to search for written blogs about selca, another blog says it's made by marrying two English words together, self and capture. Selca is one of the words that the younger generation of Koreans made. According to a study I read written by a Korean, yes believe it or not there is a study, and I am planning to study this one too, hehe, it says that the word comes from self and camera. Well, it conveys the same meaning anyway you self capture yourself through a camera.

How did it start?
Before cameras on cellphone were invented or should I say phones with camera, lol, many Korean middle and high school girls already used camera a lot and connect it to their personal computers to upload pictures of themselves on their own so called "mini-homepages." Then they also upload pictures on "special sites" where pictures that get most attention were labeled eolguljjang 얼굴짱 literally face-best). This eventually led to eoljjang (얼짱) phenomenon. Then another term, 캠 빨 kaemppal, became popular, which is use to describe people who appears aesthetically or physically attractive or appealing in pictures. It's a combination of camera and 빨 ppal.*In English we simply call it photogenic. Another term for this is 사진빨 sajinppal, (sajin- photo), which I guess is more commonly used these days.
Experts on Selca
Koreans are experts when it comes to taking pictures of themselves and making it appear like an actress or actor or a totally different person. hahahaha. In a smartphone application called Face World Match, basically it's an application where profile pictures undergo a sort of tournament of who's the prettiest and most handsome or whatever you call it. And of course Koreans always win for both categories, male and female. I don't know maybe you guys decide. hahaha. The developer of the said application happens to be a Korean company, which I expected right from the start.

Selca Strategies
Also, when they take pictures they consider different elements like lighting angle along the face and the position of the camera. In order to make your eyes bigger and in order to show a v-shape face you must consider the angle. They said 45-degree is the best angle. Of course you have to find your best angle. And the only way to know is practice after all they said practice makes perfect. ahahahaha. Plus with the new user friendly-handy photo editing technology through your smartphones, selca would definitely be easier to execute.

Two of my Korean star girlfriends ehem haha Park Han Byul and Gu Hye Sun and another actress Kim Ok Bin made their debut in the entertainment industry through the eoljjang 얼짱 trend. They were scouted by entertainment companies after posting their pics on the internet when they were high school students. That started the popularity of Selca culture. It became well known to everyone in Korea and became an ordinary habit.

Why Selca?
There could be many reasons. Let me mention some that I could think of. With the advent of SNS, blogging and many ways to express oneself through a virtual space, selca is very convenient especially to actors and actresses. That's why most Korean stars every time they update something on their twitter they take selcas. And every selcas of these stars are considered big news in the "fandom" world. If you happen to follow a K-pop website most of the news are selcas of a particular star.
But Selca is not just for actors and actresses. Even 'ordinary' people in Korea do selcas A LOT. Maybe they do it in hopes of joining the entertainment industry just like the actresses I mentioned or maybe they're just doing it for fun. For people who have Korean friends on their Facebook I guess you understand what I'm saying here. Most, if not everyone, their profile pictures are products of selcas. hehe Why? Reasons may vary for sure but let me feature it on my next entry about selca ^^


*빨ppal- is an affix which literally means force, vigor, spirit or strength. So when you attached it to other words it would mean something like strong at or vigourous at or forceful at...well I guess you already got the idea.But you can't just attach it to all other words unless you wanna start a trend.

First Picture: Three of my Facebook friends
2nd and 3rd pictures: Some of Korea's famous actors, actresses and singers.
Last Picture: Kim Chang-jo and Lee Han-kook (Winners of Face World Match)

Links
http://www.8asians.com/2009/05/21/selca-taking-photos-of-yourself-so-you-dont-look-like-a-fool-taking-someone-elses/
http://kin.naver.com/qna/detail.nhn?d1id=11&dirId=11080102&docId=116216385&qb=67mo&enc=utf8&section=kin&rank=1&search_sort=0&spq=0&pid=gAdUb35Y7vVsscunSzKssc--142085&sid=TiQXG6f4I04AAHCPJzY
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/special/2010/10/182_75305.html

Monday, July 18, 2011

'Slut Walk' protest held in Seoul

I never thought Seoul would also do the same 'Slut Walk' protest with cities like Toronto, London and Chicago.  For those who may not know what it is here's a brief information.


What is Slut Walk? 
Is a kind of protest march against explaining or excusing rape by referring to any aspect of a woman's appearance.[citation] If you are familiar with the psychological term "blaming the victim" syndrome, we could explain the protest in this nature.

How did it start and when?

It started when Constable Michael Sanguinetti, a Toronto Police officer uttered these words "I've been told I'm not supposed to say this - however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised." The remarks prompted 3,000 people to take part in the first SlutWalk protest in Toronto last April 3, 2011* roughly 4 months after Sanguinetti did his remarks. Other major cities in the world also had their Slut Walk protests.
For more information about Slut Walk just refer to the links below. 

What I'm saying is that the Slut Walk protest that happened in Seoul did not just occur because they want to follow the other major cities. The protest is connected to the recent issue of sexual assault by three male Korea University’s medical student to a fellow female student during a school trip. Please refer to the links I attached for details.

Here is the article about the Slut Walk in Seoul.


A “Slut Walk” protest took place in downtown Seoul, Saturday, with some participants dressing provocatively, arguing women should not be blamed for sexual assaults simply because of the way they dress or behave.

“There is no one who deserves any kind of sexual assault anywhere in the world,” participants at the rally said in a statement. “We have the right not only to dress freely as we want to but also to live without fear of sex crimes.”

It was the first time that such a rally has been held in Korea. Similar protests have taken place in cities such as Chicago, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London and Sydney since the first Slut Walk protest on April 3 this year in Toronto, Canada.

The Korean version of the Slut Walk protest was initiated by a woman who suggested the rally on her Twitter account after the alleged sexual assault by three male medical school students at Korea University on a female colleague during a school trip in May.

About 10 participants mostly dressed provocatively with some just wearing shorts and bras and others in skintight short skirts, first gathered at 2 p.m. in front of Korea University.

They marched on the campus, protesting the sexual assault case and calling for harsh punishment of the three students.

The protesters later moved to the Wonpyo Park in Sejong Road, downtown Seoul. They staged various performances as a protest against those who try to explain or excuse rape by referring to any aspect of a woman’s appearance.

The number of participants increased to about one hundred at around 4 p.m. despite occasional heavy downpours. They then moved to the streets near Hongik University and held performances until they dispersed later that night. The organizers said they plan to donate funds raised during the event to help the female student.

e3dward@koreatimes.co.kr
http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/07/117_91060.html

Other Links 
Regarding the medical students' sexual assault
       http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/06/117_88264.html
       http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/06/117_88918.html

Regarding Slut Walk
     *http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-13646593
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SlutWalk

Friday, July 15, 2011

14th Boryeong Mud Festival (Event Invitation)

This year will be my third time to join the festival. Thanks to my friends you know who you are guys hehe I'm sure this will be fun!!!!

14th Boryeong Mud Festival 
Period: July 16 to July 24, 2011 (9days)
Place: Daecheon Beach
Official Website: http://www.mudfestival.or.kr

The website says these are the number to contact for interpretation services. I don't know if it works though. I remember my friend tried to use it but she didn't get any answer or something. That was last year though so it might work this time. hahaha.



There are many groups organizing trips going to the festival. I am not sure if it's a good idea to go with people you don't know but some of my friends did and they said it was fun and way cheaper^^. Going to Boryeong is a bit hard during the season since everything, train, bus, hotels, motels, minbaks etc are already booked. In my case I will be going with my friends who also went there last year. Anyway, here are some groups I know organizing the trip. I don't know anyone from these groups but I just saw it posted on my Facebook wall so might as well share.

SHITY (SHITY - Sunday Hikers Interested in Trekking Yet-again)
             (SHITTY Bus Trip) Boryeong Mud festival 2011 and Camping near beach.
             Link: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=119185364831503
 
(23th July (Sat) ~ 23th July(Sun))

If you are interested in Mud festival, please sign up ASAP to book a nice accommodation.
Day 1: July 23 (Sat) Mud festival or Chilgabsan hiking
( If you want to go hiking, you can do it!!)

Day 2: July 24 (Sun) Mud festival

With the motto, ‘Maximum Fun at Minimum Cost’, SHITY will provide transportation and accommodation at very reasonable cost.


: July 23 (Sat) ~ 24 (sun)

: July 23 (Sat)), 8am, Depart from Gyo Dae Station (Seoul Nat’l Univ of Education) line 2&3, Exit 8

: .75,000 won

1. Transportation: Chartered bus 2. Accommodation: Motel - each room will be shared by 4 people.
3. Meals: Meals are not included in the cost. Pay for what you eat in SHITY style
Dinner - BBQ - 10,000 won (Meat / vegetables / shrimps / beverage / beer / soju....

4.  Insurance: SHITY is not liable for any accidents incurred during the trip. Should you wish to get insurance, please send us your name, ID or ARC number, telephone number and address. Insurance cost is 2,500 Won/person.
--------------------------​------------------
C Tour
Link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Day-Trip-to-Boryeong-Mud-Fest-2011-Provided-by-C-Tour/241793935833291

Dates:
July 23 All Day Trip
July 24 All Day Trip

Depart Seoul: 7:00am (Hongik Univ. Station)
Depart Boryeong: 8:00pm
Fee: KRW 50,000 round trip
Contact: boryeong.mud2011@gmail.com
1pm - 5pm Mon-Fri

Terms and Conditions:
Please bring spare clothes for the trip back. Muddy passengers will not board.


I hope these information will help you!  See you at Boryeong Mud Festival! 


Links
(The last 2 photos were taken from these 2 sites)


http://blogs.sacbee.com/photos/2010/07/the-boryeong-mud-festival.html 
http://blog.hostelbookers.com/travel/boryeong-mud-festival/




Please Read: 
http://jmsupercuteinkorea.blogspot.com/2009/12/travel-korea-12th-boryeong-mud-festival.html

Haejangguk (해장국)

Last night one of my friends uploaded a picture of haejangguk on his Facebook wall. Then the caption says "during rainy days, nothing beats eating haejangguk." I couldn't stop staring at the picture and after 5 minutes I just found myself waiting for a bus going to the nearest Haejangguk restaurant from my dorm, even if it was already almost midnight. hahaha. So why the h*ll did I go out late at night just to eat haejangguk?

What is Haejangguk?
 
Haejangguk is usually eaten to "cure" hangovers. It means "soup to chase a hangover"[citation] Knowing Korean culture of drinking, it's not a surprise why food specifically made to cure hangover was made in the first place.As far as I know, there are more hangover dishes besides haejangguk probably I'll write something about it next time. I understand why my friend ate haejangguk even if he wasn't drunk. For one reason it's really tasty. That's why just seeing the picture made me crave for it.

Brief History
It is assumed that haejangguk's origin is seongjutang (醒酒湯) which means "soup to get sober" during the   Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). According to the record, the soup consists of thinly sliced meat, noodles, scallions, and powder of cheoncho (천초) in a broth which are also the same basic recipe of a present day haejangguk[citation] It's not written on any cookbooks during Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910) but relevant contents can be seen in paintings and documents of the late Joseon Dynasty. The food was not only for the common people even high ranking officials loved it.

Types
According to sources, haejangguk's taste is different depending on the region of origin and how it is cooked. In general, there are three different kinds -- "sunji (cow-blood) haejangguk,’’"kongnamul (bean sprout) haejangguk,’’ and "puko (dried Pollack) haejangguks. 

For more information just visit the links I attached below. 


How is it different from kamjatang?
There's another dish called kamjatang (감자탕) , also one of my favorites, which is "exactly" the same as pyeo haejangguk. But Koreans always make a distinction between them. I can only think of 2 differences one is the quantity. Kamjatang's serving is usually good for 2 or more people but haejangguk is in a small bowl good for one serving. The second difference is the potato on the kamjatang. There's no potato in haejangguk. Although potato in Korean is kamja, the kamja in kamjatang is not the potato. I'll tell you next time what it is when I write about kamjatang. hehe
Before, when my Korean was still very basic, every time I go to a haejangguk-kamjatang restaurant I always say kamjatang to the ajumoni. I didn't know that all the time she was serving me haejangguk. Since I'm alone, I think she kept on assuming I meant pyeo haejangguk. That's why every time I go with my friends even if I wanna eat haejangguk since it's way cheaper, I always tell them we eat kamjatang. hahaha.


Links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haejangguk
http://english.donga.com/srv/srv.php3?biid=2001012678930&bicode=04t
http://kissmykimchi.com/2010/08/kmk-haejangguk.html/

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jeju Special: Haenyeo 해녀

        A lot has been written about the Jeju women divers or Haenyeo (해녀) but for some reasons many foreigners even the once who are living in Korea do not know or never heard of them. Let me have this opportunity to write brief information about these strong Jeju women divers, Haenyeo, who are considered very important living heritage in Jeju and the whole Korea.
        I visited Haenyeo Musuem the last time I went to Jeju and learned many things about them. It says haenyeos are women divers in Jeju who dives, as an occupation, for about 2 minutes at depth of approximately over 10 meters in the sea. The museum has a big banner that says they are the "Mother of the Sea."
        On the other hand, a cultural psychologist living on Jeju, Anne Hilty called them "strong woman" of Jeju. She also added that they are glorified by feminists as an example of female leadership and gender equality. In her other article, she called them “mermaid of Jeju Island." She also added that haenyeos are viewed as leaders of the Japanese resistance movement, something I also learned during the tour inside the museum.
        Another writer,  Margaret Turton said that haenyeos hold special status in the patriarchal society of Korea. They were the head of households and gained autonomy and, as the principal wage-earners, economic independence.
        I could still remember when I watched a movie that featured these women divers in my Korean class. The title of the movie is Ineo Gongju (인어공주) My Mother, the Mermaid.Maybe you should also watch it. I could guarantee it's worth it
                                       

Read more about Haenyeo

http://www.smh.com.au/travel/legend-of-the-deepsea-divers-20110629-1gpwh.html#ixzz1RoLKj76r
http://www.jejuweekly.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=1314
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haenyo
http://gwangjublog.com/465 (Ineo Kongju)
 www.haenyeo.go.kr(Korean Only)
 http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=268222

 picture from Margaret Turton's article Legend of the deep-sea divers

Monday, July 11, 2011

Join Korea Brand Expedition



Young people around the globe meet Korea.
Korea, on the road - Travel, enjoy and taste Korea!
Discover the New Korea.

Presidential Council on National Branding and Hyundai Motor Company are seeking applications for the New ThinkingNew Korea, 'Korea Brand Expedition.'

This project entails traveling a region in South Korea with an international group of friends for four days and producing creative works on the subjects that are inspired from the trip. During the trip, participants will spread their works through online tools and help international audiences discover new aspects of Korea.

1. Program Summary
○ Title : New ThinkingNew Korea; Korea, on the road - Travel, enjoy and taste Korea!
○ Host: Presidential Council on National Branding, Hyundai Motor Company
○ Size: 180 Koreans and foreigners aged 18 and older, living in and outside Korea
○ Activities
[Preparatory work] Attend orientations and workshops on content creation in August; get instructions on content production, establish travel and exploration plans within each group and create plans for the content

[Exploration] Spend three nights, four days in September or October depending on the region and explore the area according to the plan

[Content publicizing] Turn the experience of the exploration into a creative work during the travel and post the work on one's blogs, SNS as well as on the council's blog, koreabrand.net or Hyundai Motor's web site to attract wider readers

○ Regional exploration schedule
Exploring Seoul Gyeonggi region: Sept. 20 (Tue) ~ Sept. 23 (Fri)
Exploring Chungcheong region: Sept. 27 (Tue) ~ Sept. 30 (Fri)
Exploring Yeongnam region: Oct. 4 (Tue) ~ Oct. 7 (Fri)
Exploring Gangwon region: Oct. 11 (Tue) ~ Oct. 14 (Fri)
Exploring Jeju region: Oct. 18 (Tue) ~ Oct. 21 (Fri)
Exploring Honam region: Oct. 25 (Tue) ~ Oct. 28 (Fri)
○ Benefits to participants
Expenses for 3 nights, 4 days exploration including lodging, transportation and food.
Awards for selected creative works (Presidential Council on National Branding
Prize, Hyundai Motor Prize)
A certificate from Presidential Council on National Branding prooving the participation in the program
Small payment for content creation
 
2. Admission Process

1) Admission Schedule

○ Program notice and application acceptance period: July 5, 2011 (Tue) ~ July 31  (Sun)
○ Interview candidate announcement: August 4 (Thu)
○ Interview: August 9 (Tue) - 10 (Wed)
○ Successful Candidate Announcement: August 12 (Fri)
* Successful candidates will be contacted individually and results will be posted on koreabrand.net
○ Welcoming ceremony: August (Location to be announced later)

2) Qualifications

○ People who have interests in discovering the unknown aspects of Korea and have passion about publicizing them overseas.
○ People who can actively carry out online activities to promote national brand and enhance national image of Korea
○ People who can unearth stories that could fascinate global audiences and present them through creative work.
[Additional skills preferred]
- Language proficiency and the ability to communicate with foreigners
- Ability to utilize SNS tools
- Photography, video production skills

3) Participants

- 90 people each from Koreans and foreigners
(participants will form a group of four that consists of two Koreans and two foreigners)

4) How to apply

○ Applications: Email application to ntnk@koreabrand.go.kr
- Fill out application forms either in Korean or English (http://www.koreabrand.net/en/show/show_event_view.do)
- Admission details and application forms are available for download at web sites of the Council (www.koreabrand.go.kr) and Young Hyundai Motor (young.hyundai.com).

For questions about the program, please contact
New ThinkingNew Korea, 'Korea Brand Expedition' Office
Manager Chung Jun-yong, or Senior Manager Kim Ji-hyun
(Tel. 02-6009-3320, 3303)

Power Korean: Park Jaemin 박재민

Let me introduce another Korean friend I'm really proud of. If you currently live in Korea, you could have probably seen him on TV through commercials and some sitcoms. I never thought he appears on TV a lot because of his very friendly character. I mean, most "stars" tend to ignore people around or project an unreachable aura but Jaemin is very different. 
         He was born in US on the 30th of July, 1983 but his family came back to Korea after 5 years. His birthday is a month after mine but of different year. So I should call him hyeong (형)*   

Career 
     B-BOY and Hosting
         B-Boy is actually Jaemin's first love. He started this career when he was a high school student. Being fluent in Korean and English, he started hosting B-Boy shows making him one of the pioneers of B-Boy in Korea.  Until now, I think Jaemin is the only pro B-Boy host. After hosting for 7 to 8 years he got an offer from Mnet, a Korean local music channel, for a hosting career on one of company's shows, which was also a B-Boy show.  That was the start of his hosting career on TV.

     Television and Hosting
          His first appearance on TV was 2007 as the host of Mnet's B-Boy Hot Battle. Then he started hosting for MBC's sitcom called Section TV from 2010 to present. I've  seen his show many times and it's really impressive because he does not only interview local stars but also Hollywood's biggest of the biggest stars, hahaha, like Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz and more. Recently, just this year, 2011, he also got casted for the the show called Dream Team. Which is a sort of reality show. He also had minor appearances on different TV shows.
     Commercials
          The first time I saw Jaemin in a commercial I was really surprised. I was with my girlfriend at that time in a movie theater. We know how huge the screens are in a theater...so it was very overwhelming, literally, because of the size. lol. He actually has a lot of commercials. You could see him in one of Lee Min Ho's Cantata Coffee commercial. He also had commercials for KT, Aronamin C and more. 
      Bodybuilding
         Just one look at him and you'll know that he's a bodybuilder. He started when he was in college and for an undergraduate student, I think he had quite an extensive career in bodybuilding. He started joining competitions for Mr.SNU in 2006 where he won first runner up then in 2007 he bagged the title. He also joined competitions outside our school. He won 6th place for Mr.Seoul and 3rd for Mr. University both in 2008. In 2009, he also got invited to join Korea's Men's Health Cool Guy Contest where he won 4th place. Try to search his name on Google and you'll see his pictures when he joined the said contest.

Sports and becoming a Professor?
         For a person active in the entertainment industry, it may be hard to imagine Jaemin becoming a professor. Actually he's currently taking MA in Public Administration right after his BA in Physical Education and Business Administration both at Seoul National University. If he's not busy, which is very rare, haha, sometimes we eat samgyeopsal or just drink coffee inside or nearby school. Anyway, he told me that Korea has always been part of top 10 in Olympics even if it's not considered as "strong" as the other top 10 countries. So he sees a very big opportunity for Korea to excel in the field of sports. He hopes that his studies, both his BA and now MA, would help him draw some policies for the benefit of the sports industry in Korea. I also think the sports industry in Korea is growing so fast. It plays an important role in the country's image. It's not only for the sort of nationalistic fervor anymore it is becoming a big business and getting in, is getting more and more competitive. He told me that he already wanted to become a professor since he was younger, maybe because of his parents who are also professors.

I wanted to write more but I guess it's better to save it for part 2. haha. I hope you'll support him. 

You can check these links for more information about him

Follow him on twitter@snipatrol
LIKE his Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/JaySnipaPark

Hyeong or hyung (형)-  could literally be translated as "older brother" in English.  However, only males can use it as opposed to Oppa (오삐) which can only be used by females.    

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Korean Drama: Heartstrings

Watching Korean dramas has been part of my routine here in Korea. Well, not just because I have to since it's part of my research but I find it very helpful in understanding Korea in terms of its past and modern culture, trends, language, especially the sort of "phenomena" embedded on it.
Heartstrings is not just another "cute" type of drama, well maybe the "love story" but it has something that really got my attention. I'm talking about the setting. It's about the university life plus it's in an art school.I have many friends who go to these schools in Korea, especially performing arts.

Here's an article about the drama

 The life and love of university performing arts students will hit the small screen today through MBC’s new drama “Heartstrings.”
Star director Pyo Min-soo returns with “fresh green” stories set at a performing arts school.
“The word ‘youth’ reminds me of many things. I will portray the sweat and passion of artistic people in this drama,” Pyo said during a press conference last Thursday. “This drama is about people dreaming of art.”
Pyo is known for expressing the delicate world of professionals such as “Full House” (2004) and “The World That They Live in” (2008).

Heartthrob Jung Yong-hwa, CNBLUE’s singer and guitarist, plays Lee Sin, an applied music student and guitarist of a school band “The Stupid.” It’s his second time to star in a television drama, following “You’re Beautiful” (SBS, 2009).
The singer-actor’s eyes lit up when he talked about the role.
“I fell in love with my character and researched him a lot. He might seem curt and cold, but he is dedicated to music, his family and this dance professor,” he said.
“I got the idea from Kaede Rukawa in hit manga ‘Slam Dunk,’ who only knows basketball.”

Snappy actress Park Shin-hye once again performs together with Jung after “You’re Beautiful.” Park plays Lee Gyu-won, a student of Korean traditional music playing the “gayageum” (traditional 12-string instrument). She falls for Lee Shin after watching his band, but her feelings take an unexpected turn when she is chosen as the heroine of the school’s 100th anniversary show.
She actually practiced the gayageum for about a month to play the instrument in the drama herself.
“I’ve got calluses and blisters on my hand, but at least, I can play the instrument enough for it to appear authentic on screen,” Park said.

The Korean title for the drama is “You’ve Fallen for Me,” but the production came up with a totally different English title “Heartstrings,” which recalls the instruments they play — the guitar and gayageum.

Song Chang-ui plays Kim Seok-hyun, a famed director from Broadway who returns to his alma mater to direct the centennial performance. When he returns to the school, he meets ex-girlfriend Jeong Yun-su, who left him to pursue her dance career but gave up due to injury.

The drama is co-produced by the Seoul Institute of the Arts, which provided its campus for filming. Song is a graduate of this arts-specialized university and returned to the campus to shoot the drama.

“The campus was moved from downtown Seoul to the current Ansan location when I was at the school. The classrooms, library and the atmosphere made me feel nostalgic,” Song said.

Actress Soh Yi-hyun plays a tragic dance professor Jeong, who is loved by both Lee Sin and Kim. CNBLUE band member Kang Min-hyuk also joins the drama playing a timid student.

Pyo thinks the student-professor relationship is a reciprocal one.

“What I think of the relationship between a teacher and a pupil is more like the relationship between Jung and me. I learn from him, while he learns from me. It is not a unilateral relationship, but we both give and receive something from each other.”

In the drama, the characters will grow through the 16 episodes, learning from each other whether they are students or teachers, he said.

The drama has already been sold to some eight countries before airing, including Japan, China and North America.
“Jung and Park’s popularity abroad ignited overseas sales of the drama,” an official of JS Pictures, the production company, said.

The show airs at 9:55 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays on MBC.

Article by Kwon Mee-yoo "Campus romance to pull at Heartstrings" (meeyoo@koreatimes.co.kr)
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2011/06/135_89788.html

For Online Streaming
http://www.dramacrazy.net/korean-drama/heartstrings/
http://www.mysoju.com/korean-drama/heartstrings/