Life of an ESL Teacher in Saudi Arabia during Covid - Korea Podcast 73
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Without a doubt, Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju is the most famous Korean Buddhist temple both in Korea and internationally. Not only is it a UNESCO World Heritage Site from 1995, but it also houses seven National Treasures, six Treasures, and Bulguksa Temple itself is considered a Historic Site by the Korean government.
Bulguksa Temple was first constructed in 528 A.D., which was also the first year that Buddhism was officially accepted by the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C – 935 A.D.) during the reign of King Beopheung (r.514-540 A.D.). The temple was built to appease the wishes of King Beopheung’s mother, Lady Yeongje, and his wife, Queen Gi Yun. Originally, the temple was named Beopryusa Temple or Hwaeom Bulguksa Temple. Later, the temple was rebuilt by King Jinheung’s mother, Lady Jiso.
Then nearly two hundred years later, Minister Kim Daeseong started to rebuild Bulguksa Temple. According to the Samguk Yusa (“Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms,” in English), Kim Daeseong built the temple to help pacify the spirits of his parents. However, before it could be completed in 774 A.D., Kim Daeseong died and the temple was completed by the Silla royal court. It was at this time that Bulguksa Temple was given its current name, which means “Buddha Land Temple,” in English.
Bulguksa Temple was expanded and renovated during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) up until the early Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), until all the wooden buildings at Bulguksa Temple were destroyed by fire by the invading Japanese during the Imjin War (1592-98). Bulguksa Temple was re-constructed in 1604. And in 1700, the original layout of the temple was completely restored. In about 200 years, over 40 renovations took place up until 1805. It was at this point that the temple fell into disrepair and was looted by robbers. Finally, from 1963-73, over a ten year period, the temple was restored to its former glory with twenty-four buildings being reconstructed.
The first structure to greet you, besides the Iljumun Gate at the entry, is the Cheonwangmun Gate just beyond the temple pond. The Cheonwangmun Gate houses four masterful statues of the Four Heavenly Kings.
Having passed through the Cheonwangmun Gate, you’ll come to the most recognizable part of the temple: the temple’s front facade. What makes this part of the temple so unique are the pair of stairs that once led up to the temple grounds but are now off-limits for preservation purposes. The set of stairs to the right is known as Cheongun-gyo (“Blue Cloud Bridge”) and Baekun-gyo (“White Cloud Bridge”). These dual bridge structures were originally built in 751 A.D., and they’re National Treasure #23. The bridges once led up to the Daeung-jeon Hall and are symbolic of passing from the earthly world to the spiritual world of the Buddha.
To the left are the Yeonhwa-gyo (“Lotus Bridge”) and Chilbo-gyo (“Seven Treasures Bridge”). These bridges are National Treasure #22. While smaller in size than the bridges to the east, these bridges were also built in 751 A.D. and are priceless because they are collectively the only known bridges to have survived fully intact from the Silla Kingdom.
Since you can’t climb these stairs anymore, you’ll need to pass to the right up a stone pathway. Once you enter the courtyard that houses the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll instantly notice two towering pagodas. The first of the two, and the one closer to you on the right, is Dabo-tap Pagoda, or “The Pagoda of Many Treasures,” which is National Treasure #20. Probably the most famous pagoda in all of Korea was first built in around 751 A.D. during the construction of the temple. And to the left of Dabo-tap Pagoda is Seokga-tap Pagoda, which also dates back to 751 A.D., and means “Seokgamoni-bul Pagoda,” in English. This simplistic pagoda is National Treasure #21.
Behind these two stone pagodas is the temple’s main hall: the Daeung-jeon Hall. The hall was reconstructed in 1765 after it was destroyed by fire in 1593 by the Japanese during the Imjin War (1592-98). The shrine hall is Treasure #1744, and it houses a large statue of the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul, inside. To the rear of the main hall is the Museol-jeon Hall. The word “museol” means “non-lecturing” in English, while “jeon” means hall. The name of the temple highlights how language sometimes fails and the Buddha’s teachings are beyond words. Rebuilt in 1910, and then later restored in 1973, there’s a beautifully crowned Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) inside with a staff in his hand.
To the rear of the Museol-jeon Hall, and up a steep set of stairs, is the Gwaneum-jeon Hall. Inside is housed a slender statue of the Bodhisattva of Compassion with a mural of the Bodhisattva with a thousand hands. These hands are symbolic of Gwanseeum-bosal reaching out to those in need. It’s also from this vantage point that you get an amazing view of the lower courtyard that houses the Daeung-jeon Hall below.
Through a doorway to the left, and down an equally steep set of stairs that gained you admittance to the courtyard where the Gwaneum-jeon Hall is housed, is the Biro-jeon Hall. Housed inside this shrine hall is Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). The statue of Birojana-bul dates back to the 9th century and is National Treasure #26. Seated 1.77 metres in height, Birojana-bul is making the mudra of the Diamond Fist. Still in the same courtyard, but to the far left, is a Sari-tap. This beautiful stone structure is believed to date back to the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). While damaged by the Japanese, the Sari-tap was eventually returned to the Korean peninsula in the 1930s. The stupa is Korean Treasure #61, and it purportedly houses either the remains of eight monks or the remains of King Heongang’s Queen (the king’s reign was from 875-886 A.D.).
The final building in the upper courtyard is the Nahan-jeon Hall. Housed inside this hall are sixteen wooden statues of the Nahan who were the Disciples of the Historical Buddha). Surrounding the hall are hundreds of stone cairns of all sizes that visitors have left behind for good luck.
Descending down an easier set of stairs than the former two, you’ll be greeted by the Geukrak-jeon Hall, which rests parallel, and to the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall, in a courtyard of its own. Out in front of the hall is a golden pig that you can rub for good luck. Housed inside this hall is a statue of Amita-bul that’s National Treasure #27. If you look close enough inside this hall, you’ll see an older style Dragon Ship of Wisdom, as well as a wooden relief of a golden pig, as well.
Admission to the temple for adults is 6,000 won and for children, ages 8 to 12, it’s 3,000 won. For teenagers, ages 13 to 18, it’s 4,000 won. And if you drive, parking at Bulguksa Temple costs 1,000 won.
HOW TO GET THERE: From the Gyeongju Intercity Bus Terminal, you can take either Bus #10 or #11 that goes directly to Bulguksa Temple. The ride takes about one hour in length to get to the temple.
OVERALL RATING: 10/10. Bulguksa Temple, alongside Tongdosa Temple and Haeinsa Temple, are the top three temples in all of Korea to visit. Like the two former temples, Bulguksa Temple is also a UNESCO Heritage Site. It has an amazing seven national treasures like Dabo-tap Pagoda, Seokga-tap Pagoda, the pair of bridges along the front facade of the temple, and shrine hall statues dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) and Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). There is so much to see and enjoy at this amazing temple in Gyeongju, so take your time and soak it all in. Enjoy all this majestic temple has to offer. It truly is a one-off.
Outside the main courtyard.Dabo-tap Pagoda.Seokga-tap Pagoda.The Daeung-jeon Hall.The steep stairs that lead up to the Gwaneum-jeon Hall.The amazing view from the Gwaneum-jeon Hall courtyard.A look at Birojana-bul (National Treasure #26)Just in front of the Nahan-jeon Hall during Buddha’s Birthday celebrations.The highly photogenic front facade at Bulguksa Temple.
PARK Won-soon, the mayor of Seoul and the 2nd most influential person after President Moon Jae-in, took his own life on July 9 after a sexual harassment complaint by his ex-secretary was filed a day earlier. First elected mayor of Korea's capital in 2011 in a by-election, Park was reelected in 2014 and 2016, with two years left in his term. Park was also expected to run for presidency in 2022 for the current ruling Democratic Party of Korea.
An irony is that long time civic activist Park gained his reputation after winning Korea's first sexual harassment case in 1998 as a lawyer for a female assistant professor , which led to Female Rights Activist of the Year award for Park. Another blck eye for the ruling party whose Mayor of Busan, Korea's 2nd largest city, resigned three months ago over sexual offense against his secretary, and whose Governor of Chungnam Province is currently serving in jail on sexual assaults against, again, his secretary. A controversy arose over an extravagant mortuary set up by the City of Seoul for use until the funeral on July 13 . "Why tax payer's money for sex offender? vs. "Why not for Park's 10 year dedication for Seoul ?"
Seoul became the capital of Korea 626 years ago after a military coup in 1388 by General Lee Sung-gye who defied his king's order to attack the emerging Ming dynasty in China. Gen Lee changed the country name from Koryo to Chosun, and moved the capital from Kaesong, just above DMZ where Kim Jong-un recently blew up the N-S Liaison Office, to Seoul in 1394 because Lee valued the advantage of a big river around Seoul. Lee built his palace where it still stands in the center of Seoul. The name Chosun is still alive as North Korea calls its country Democratic Republic of Chosun People. Yep. North Korea is a democratic nation just like a mosquito is a bird.
70th Anniversary of the Korean War: North Korea isn’t Going Anywhere; It’s Pretty Stable (Unfortunately)
My argument, in brief, is that North Korea is actually quite stable. Hence the answer to the symposium question – would Korea be re-unified by 2025 – is a resounding ‘no.’ Here is a brief Twitter thread which summarizes my argument.
North Korea faces little pressure internally – Kim has consolidated power quite nicely; elites are quiescent; there’s never been a popular revolt – and externally – China is unwilling to cut NK off; nukes give NK deterrence against regime change. The sanctions are tough, but Northern elites have been pushing the costs of them onto their population for decades. They won’t bring down or substantially change the DRPK system.
So we are stuck. We can try to negotiate, and we should, but the last few years’ flailing shows how hard that is. The stalemate is quite persistent.
The full essay follows the jump:
On this 70th anniversary of the Korean War, I believe the division of the Korean peninsula will persist through 2025. North Korea’s elite opposes unification – they would lose their privileges and likely face harsh retribution – and they face little pressure to change:
1. Internal Pressure?: Supreme leader Kim Jong Un has successfully entrenched himself as monarch.
Autocracies are most susceptible to change during leadership transitions. Most of have no clear rules for succession. Even classical monarchies routinely suffered from jockeying among various bloodline claimants.
North Korea most recently went through such a transition in 2011-2012, when Kim’s father passed. Kim was, at the time, young and inexperienced. He lacked the cronyist relations which bolstered his grandfather and (less so) father’s rule. He had no direct experience in the two most important institutions of the regime – the party and the army. Nonetheless, he was not eliminated or made a figurehead.
Any challengers by this point have likely been killed or removed. His father’s pallbearers, it has been widely noted, are all out of power now. Also, there has never been an internal popular revolt akin to Arab Spring or the Velvet Revolution.
So Kim likely faces little internal challenge, and he has behaved ruthlessly, much as his father and grandfather before him, on the core issues of family control and regime survival.
2. External Pressure?: China can increasingly afford to ‘carry’ North Korea.
In the late 1980s, Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev ‘sold’ East Germany to the United States, because the Soviet Union was declining and Gorbachev was looking to retrench from Europe to save the Soviet system. China’s relationship with North Korea today is the opposite. China is rising; it can increasingly afford to carry North Korea and its dysfunctional economy as a part of its larger regional ambitions.
China is the only external actor with any real influence over North Korea, and it opposes Korean unification. A united Korea would likely be led by the more functional South and therefore tilt toward the democratic world. Hence Beijing’s economic ability and political desire to keep North Korea intact mean little external pressure on the regime to change.
3. Coercion?: Not with a Nuclear Missile Shield
At home, Kim has disciplined and bought off the party and the military. Abroad, so long as he grooms the China relationship properly, he will not face a regime-threatening quarantine of his economy. But regime change by force has always been another, however frightening, possibility. US President George Bush put North Korea on the ‘axis of evil,’ and President Donald Trump threatened fire and fury.
But this possibility is now nearly foreclosed too. The North has successfully developed a basic nuclear warhead and an intercontinental ballistic missile. It can now directly deter the United States via nuclear weapons. This all but precludes offensive US military action. So long as Kim exercises a minimum of caution – not stumbling into an accidental war with the Americans – the North is safe on this front too.
Other scenarios are even more far-fetched than the above discussion. For example, all the above scenarios assume North Korea pressured, or otherwise collapsing, into South Korean-led unification. But could North Korea lead a unity project? Almost certainly not. Southern citizens would fight the loss of their freedoms, and the North probably could not even absorb the South without bringing down its own highly stylized internal system.
The only remaining possibility for regime crisis is the premature death of Kim, which would immediately raise the issues of power transition and change discussed in point 1 above. Kim’s health is poor; his father died suddenly of a heart attack; and there is no obvious successor at the moment, as Kim’s children are too young. But assuming that Kim does the minimum necessary to stay alive and cogent, North Korea appears quite stable right now.Robert E Kelly
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
In this free lesson, we will cover the full list of countries in Korean.
This list of country names will be extremely valuable when learning the Korean language. If you plan to have conversations in Korean or just learn the language for fun, you will for sure be asked about where you are from.How to Use this List of Country Names
We’ve already learned how to introduce yourself in Korean. And as you may know through that lesson, as well as your other international experiences, where you come from is often part of the introduction process.
The next time you get asked, you will easily be able to tell your new Korean friends where you’re from. And you’ll also be able to understand when your other international friends tell you in Korean where they’re from!
We’ve divided the countries into categories based on the continent. They are listed in alphabetical order in English, with the Korean words next to them.Languages in Korean
In many cases, you can express the languages of these countries by adding an 어 (eo) to the end of the country names. For example, the word for Japan is 일본 (ilbon). If you are learning the Japanese language, you are learning 일본어 (ilboneo).
Similarly, Korea is 한국 (hanguk). If you are learning the Korean language, you’re learning 한국어 (hangugeo)!Europe (유럽)
Here are the European country names in Korean. Some of the words in Korean may sound like the country name, and others may not.EnglishKoreanAlbania알바니아 (albania)Andorra안도라 (andora)Armenia아르메니아 (areumenia)Austria오스트리아 (oseuteuria)Azerbaijan아제르바이잔 (ajereubaijan)Belarus벨라루스 (bellaruseu)Belgium벨기에 (belgie)Bosnia and Herzegovina보스니아 헤르체고비나 (boseunia hereuchegobina)Bulgaria불가리아 (bulgaria)Croatia크로아티아 (keuroatia)Cyprus키프로스 (kipeuroseu)Czech Republic체코 (cheko)Denmark덴마크 (denmakeu)Estonia에스토니아 (eseutonia)Finland핀란드 (pillandeu)France프랑스 (peurangseu)Georgia그루지아 (geurujia)Germany독일 (dogil)Greece그리스 (geuriseu)Hungary헝가리 (heonggari)Iceland아이스란드 (aiseurandeu)Ireland아일랜드 (aillaendeu)Italy이탈리아 (itallia)Kazakhstan카자흐스탄 (kajaheuseutan)Latvia라트비아 (rateubia)Liechtenstein리히텐슈타인 (rihitensyutain)Lithuania리투아니아 (rituania)Luxembourg룩셈부르크 (ruksembureukeu)Malta몰타 (molta)Moldova몰도바 (moldoba)Monaco모나코 (monako)Montenegro몬테네그로 (montenegeuro)Netherlands네덜란드 (nedeollandeu)North Macedonia마케도니아 공화국 (makedonia gonghwaguk)Norway노르웨이 (noreuwei)Poland폴란드 (pollandeu)Portugal포르투갈 (poreutugal)Romania루마니아 (rumania)Russia러시아 (reosia)San Marino산마리노 (sanmarino)Serbia세르비아 (sereubia)Slovakia슬로바키아 (seullobakia)Slovenia슬로베니아 (seullobenia)Spain스페인 (seupein)Sweden스웨덴 (seuweden)Switzerland스위스 (seuwiseu)Turkey터키 (teoki)Ukraine우크라이나 (ukeuraina)United Kingdom영국 (yeongguk)Asia (아시아)
Here is a list of the Asian country names in Korean.EnglishKoreanAfghanistan아프가니스탄 (apeuganiseutan)Bahrain바레인 (barein)Bangladesh방글라데시 (banggeulladesi)Bhutan부탄 (butan)Brunei브루나이 (beurunai)Cambodia캄보디아 (kambodia)China중국 (jungguk)India인도 (indo)Indonesia인도네시아 (indonesia)Iran이란 (iran)Iraq이라크 (irakeu)Israel이스라엘 (iseurael)Jordan요르단 (yoreudan)Japan일본 (ilbon)Kuwait쿠웨이트 (kuweiteu)Kyrgyzstan키르기스스탄 (kireugiseuseutan)Laos라오스 (raoseu)Lebanon레바논 (rebanon)Malaysia말레시아 (mallesia)Maldives몰디브 (moldibeu)Mongolia몽골 (monggol)Myanmar미얀마 (miyanma)Nepal네팔 (nepal)North Korea북한 (bukan)Oman오만 (oman)Pakistan파키스탄 (pakiseutan)Palestine팔레스타인 (palleseutain)Philippines필리핀 (pillipin)Qatar카타르 (katareu)Saudi Arabia사우디아라비아 (saudiarabia)Singapore싱가포르 (singgaporeu)South Korea대한민국 (daehanminguk)Sri Lanka스리랑카 (seurirangka)Syria시리아 (siria)Taiwan대만 (daeman)Tajikistan타지키스탄 (tajikiseutan)Thailand태국 (taeguk)Turkmenistan투르크메니스탄 (tureukeumeniseutan)United Arab Emirates (UAE)아랍에미리트 (arabemiriteu)Uzbekistan우즈베키스탄 (ujeubekiseutan)Vietnam베트남 (beteunam)Yemen예멘 (yemen)
Here are the African country names in Korean.
Algeria → 알제리 (aljeri)
Angola → 앙골라 (anggolla)
Benin → 베냉 (benaeng)
Botswana → 보츠와나 (bocheuwana)
Burkina Faso → 부르키나파소 (bureukinapaso)
Burundi → 부룬디 (burundi)
Cabo Verde → 카보베르데 (kabobereude)
Cameroon → 카메룬 (kamerun)
Central African Republic → 중앙아프리카 공화국 (jungangapeurika gonghwaguk)
Chad → 차드 (chadeu)
Comoros → 코모로 (komoro)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the → 콩고 민주 공화국 (konggo minju gonghwaguk)
Congo, Republic of the → 콩고 공화국 (konggo gonghwaguk)
Cote d’Ivoire → 코트디부아르 (koteudibuareu)
Djibouti → 지부티 (jibuti)
Egypt → 이집트 (ijipteu)
Equatorial Guinea → 적도 기니 (jeokdo gini)
Eritrea → 에리트레아 (eriteurea)
Ethiopia → 에티오피아 (etiopia)
Gabon → 가봉 (gabong)
Gambia → 감비아 (gambia)
Ghana → 가나 (gana)
Guinea → 기니 (gini)
Guinea-Bissau → 기니비사우 (ginibisau)
Kenya → 케냐 (kenya)
Lesotho → 레소토 (resoto)
Liberia → 라이베리아 (raiberia)
Libya → 리비아 (ribia)
Madagascar → 마다가스카르 (madagaseukareu)
Malawi → 말라위 (mallawi)
Mali → 말리 (malli)
Mauritania → 모리타니 (moritani)
Mauritius → 모리셔스 (morisyeoseu)
Morocco → 모로코 (moroko)
Mozambique → 모잠비크 (mojambikeu)
Namibia → 나미비아 (namibia)
Niger → 니제르 (nijereu)
Nigeria → 나이지리아 (naijiria)
Rwanda → 르완다 (reuwanda)
Sao Tome and Principe → 상투메프린시페 (sangtumepeurinsipe)
Senegal → 세네갈 (senegal)
Seychelles → 세이셸 (seisyel)
Sierra Leone → 시에라레온 (sierareon)
Somalia → 소말리아 (somallia)
South Africa → 남아프리카 공화국 (namapeurika gonghwaguk)
South Sudan → 남수단 (namsudan)
Sudan → 수단 (sudan)
Tanzania → 탄자니아 (tanjania)
Togo → 토고 (togo)
Tunisia → 튀니지 (twiniji)
Uganda → 우간다 (uganda)
Zambia → 잠비아 (jambia)
Zimbabwe → 짐바브웨 (jimbabeuwe)Americas (아메리카)
Here is how you say the country names of North, Central, and South America in Korean.
Antigua and Barbuda → 앤티가바부다 (aentigababuda)
Argentina → 아르헨티나 (areuhentina)
Bahamas → 바하마 (bahama)
Barbados → 바베이도스 (babeidoseu)
Belize → 벨리즈 (bellijeu)
Bolivia → 볼리비아 (bollibia)
Brazil → 브라질 (beurajil)
Canada → 캐나다 (kaenada)
Chile → 칠레 (chille)
Colombia → 콜롬비아 (kollombia)
Costa Rica → 코스타리카 (koseutarika)
Cuba → 쿠바 (kuba)
Dominica → 도미니카 (dominika)
Dominican Republic → 도미니카 공화국 (dominika gonghwaguk)
Ecuador → 에콰도르 (ekwadoreu)
El Salvador → 엘살바도르 (elsalbadoreu)
Grenada → 그레나다 (geurenada)
Guatemala → 과테말라 (gwatemalla)
Guyana → 가이아나 (gaiana)
Haiti → 아이티 (aiti)
Honduras → 온두라스 (onduraseu)
Jamaica → 자메이카 (jameika)
Mexico → 멕시코 (meksiko)
Nicaragua → 니카라과 (nikaragwa)
Panama → 파나마 (panama)
Paraguay → 파라과이 (paragwai)
Peru → 페루 (peru)
Saint Kitts and Nevis → 세인트키츠네비스 (seinteukicheunebiseu)
Saint Lucia → 세인트루시아 (seinteurusia)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines → 세인트빈센트그레나딘 (seinteubinsenteugeurenadin)
Suriname → 수리남 (surinam)
Trinidad and Tobago → 트리니다드토바고 (teurinidadeutobago)
Uruguay → 우루과이 (urugwai)
United States → 미국 (miguk)
Venezuela → 베네수엘라 (benesuella)Oceania (오세아니아)
Here are the country names of Oceania in Korean. Note that some names may be said in two different ways. For example, Australia can be 호주 (hoju) or 오스트레일리아 (oseuteureillia).
The former is the original Korean version, which is used most of the time. The latter is the spelling of the English version in Korean letters. You are free to use either one.
Australia → 호주 (hoju)
Fiji → 피지 (piji)
Kiribati → 키리바시 (kiribasi)
Marshall Islands → 마셜제도 (masyeoljedo)
Micronesia → 미크로네시아 (mikeuronesia)
Nauru → 나우루 (nauru)
New Zealand → 뉴질랜드 (nyujillaendeu)
Palau → 팔라우 (pallau)
Papua New Guinea → 파푸아뉴기니 (papuanyugini)
Samoa → 사모아 (samoa)
Solomon Islands → 솔로몬제도 (sollomonjedo)
Tonga → 통가 (tongga)
Tuvalu → 투발루 (tuballu)
Vanuatu → 바누아투 (banuatu)
Now you know the correct vocabulary for the various country names in Korean. These words are a foundational part of the language, so get used to hearing and speaking them. Studying country names is a great way to learn Korean.
If your country is missing us from this list, let us know and we will help you. Otherwise, tell us in the comments where you’re from – in Korean! We’d love to know where on the globe you are at.
The post Countries in Korean – The Complete List of Country Names appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.
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Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, which means “Korean Dragon Palace Temple,” in English is a reference to Yongwang (The Dragon King) and the Yonggung (Dragon Palace) that he lives in under the sea. Located in coastal Gijang, Busan, Haedong Yonggungsa Temple has perhaps the most beautiful location for any temple in all of Korea.
The temple was first constructed in 1376 by the monk Naong Hyegeun (1320-1376). The temple was built after Naong Hyegeun had a dream. The dream was about the Divine Sea god of the East Sea. During this dream, the Divine Sea god told Naong Hyegeun to build a temple on top of Mt. Bongrae. If Naong Hyegeun did this, the nation would become larger and more stable. So after looking around the peninsula for a place to build a temple, Naong Hyegeun found the perfect place to build this temple. Initially, the temple was called Bomunsa Temple. However, in 1592, during the Imjin War (1592-98) with the invading Japanese, the temple was destroyed. It wasn’t until the 1930s, over three hundred years after its destruction, that the temple was rebuilt. It was rebuilt by the monk Ungang, from Tongdosa Temple, and renamed Haedong Yonggungsa around this time. Large parts of the present temple were constructed over the past twenty years; including the main hall, which was built in 2005. Haedong Yonggungsa Temple belongs to the third largest Buddhist Order in Korea: Cheontae-jong.
You first approach the temple grounds along the coastal waters of the East Sea. The road that leads up to the temple is long and winding until you come to a narrow corridor filled with vendors selling anything and everything. At the entry to this vendor bonanza is a large slender statue dedicated to the Bodhidharma. Having finally passed through the cacophony of vendors, you’ll come out on the other side to be greeted by the twelve zodiac generals that stand three metres in height. It’s a perfect time to take a picture, and people often are.
Next, just before you descend down the 108 stairs that leads to the main temple courtyard at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, you’ll pass by a seven tier stone pagoda with a tire at its base. This tire shrine is for people to pray to so they can avoid car accidents! Yes, seriously: car accidents!
Through the gate with two golden dragons on either pillar, and down some of the stairs, you’ll next come to a statue of Podae-hwasang. This incarnation of Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha) is meant to grant a future son if you rub either its belly or nose. And judging from how worn down both the nose and belly are, it would seem like a lot of people want sons.
It’s after passing through an artificial cave that you get the first amazing views of the East Sea off in the distance past the twisted red pines and the stone lanterns that line the 108 stairs. These 108 stairs are meant to symbolize the 108 delusions of the mind in Buddhism. But before heading straight towards the main temple courtyard, hang a left. It’s along this pathway that you’ll come to an outdoor shrine dedicated to Yaksayeorae-bul (The Future Buddha). And continuing, you’ll come to a rock outcropping with a golden Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) sitting all alone on the shoreline. It’s also from this rock outcropping that you can get some amazing pictures of the sea and the temple.
Back on the stairs, and heading straight, you’ll cross over a bridge that allows entry to the main temple courtyard. Along the way, you can toss a coin for good luck. Just past the entry gate, and just to your left, you’ll see a three story stone pagoda with four lions at its base. These four lions are mean to symbolize the four basic human emotions: love, sorrow, anger, and joy.
Now with the main hall to your right, this beautifully built Daeung-jeon Hall is large and ornate. Surrounding the exterior walls to this hall are Palsang-do murals (The Eight Scenes from the Buddha’s Life) and a painting dedicated to Naong Hyegeun and the Divine Sea god of the East Sea, hearkening back to the origin myth of the temple. As for the interior of the main hall, you’ll find a triad of statues under a large red canopy (datjib). In the centre sits Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This statue is joined on either side by Yaksayeorae-bul (The Medicine Buddha) and Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). To the right of this main altar is a mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars) and a Vulture Peak (Yeongsan Hoesang-do) mural.
To the immediate left of the main hall is a large, jovial, golden statue dedicated to Podae-hwasang, again. Next to this statue, for obvious reasons, there’s a Yongwang-dang dedicated to the Dragon King (Yongwang). The Dragon King looks out towards the sea, perhaps longingly looking towards his Dragon Palace (Yonggung). Also in the main courtyard are a set of subterranean stairs that leads into a cavernous shrine hall with a statue of Yaksayeorae-bul inside.
The final thing a visitor can explore, besides the giant golden good luck twin pigs next to the opening to the subterranean cave, is the elevated statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). The serenely smiling Bodhisattva is situated up a set of uneven stairs. This towering statue is known as the Haesu Gwaneeum Daebo, which means “Sea Water Bodhisattva of Compassion Statue,” in English. On all sides, the Bodhisattva is surrounded by shrubbery and slender monk statues. It’s also from these heights that you get a breath-taking view of both the temple and the sea. So take your time and enjoy the view, you’ve earned it!
HOW TO GET THERE: There are two ways that you can get to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. One is to simply get off at Jangsan subway station, stop #201, on the second line. From there, you can catch a taxi that will take about 25 minutes and set you back around 10,000 won.
You can take a taxi, which is quicker, or you can take the bus. From the Haeundae subway stop, stop #203 on the second line, you’ll need to exit out exit #7. From there, catch Bus #181 to get to Haedong Yonggungsa Temple. The ride takes about 45 minutes, and you’ll need to walk the five minutes up hill from where the bus lets you off.
OVERALL RATING: 9/10. While not as historically significant as Beomeosa Temple, it more than makes up for it with its natural beauty. While Haedong Yonggungsa Temple can get quite busy, especially on weekends or holidays, it’s well worth the effort to see one of Korea’s most unique temples.
The twelve zodiac generals at the entry of the temple.The seven story stone pagoda with the tire shrine at its base.The amazing view of the East Sea as you make your descent down the 108 stairs.The view of the main temple courtyard at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple.The beautiful dragon sculpture in front of the Daeung-jeon Hall.One of the murals that adorns the main hall.A look inside the Daeung-jeon Hall.The golden Podae Hwasang next to the main hall.The beautiful view of the temple and the East Sea from the statue of Gwanseeum-bosal.And the beautiful statue of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).
This is a local repost of an essay I wrote for The National Interest. Like everyone else, watching the brutality of the US police in the last few weeks has been genuinely shocking. So this essay discusses how a police force with a reputation for brutality during a previous dictatorship came a long way.
This is based on this original tweet thread.
The short version is that the South Korean police haven’t gone through the militarization the US police has. And South Korean police don’t face a heavily armed citizenry, so they don’t need to engage in an arms race against their own people. The result is a disarmed, de-escalatory police culture, which, as an American accustomed to the stormtrooper look and pose of US cops, I find just fantastic. Interactions with the police here are far less fraught and intimidating.
The full essay follows the jump:
The protests in the United States over George Floyd’s death have been gone global. The debate over racism and policing has spilled into other countries, as has a corollary debate about police tactics. Polling consistently shows greater concern about American police behavior than the actions of the protestors, and the list of incidents of police brutality is growing. As police behavior appears unchanged after two weeks of harsh tactics, the demands against the police are now spilling into full-blown efforts to defund departments altogether. A large debate about policing will grip the US in the coming months.
As an American residing in South Korea, the difference in police behavior has long struck me as one of the largest institutional differences and one almost never remarked upon. The following points stem from this sprawling tweet thread on this issue. As Americans look for new models of policing short of the extreme choice of closing departments altogether, South Korea is a nice example of what humane, community policing can be.
During its period of dictatorship, South Korea’s police were quite harsh. (Check this valuable thread for the long take, and this superb movie.) In the 1990s, as democracy enrooted itself, police reform followed. The South Korean police now practice a low-intensity, de-escalatory fashion of community policing I daresay would stun – and delight – most Americans.
For starters, the police are here far more approachable and less intimidating. Wearing regular uniforms and usually disarmed, the sense of anxiety common in American interactions with the police is far lower. There is a conscious effort to avoid the ‘stormtrooper’ look – heavy kit, jackboots, body armor, and so on – so in fashion in US police departments now.
Similarly the macho, ‘warrior-cop’ ethos which has characterized American post-9/11 policing is almost nonexistent here. The kind of domineering arrogance of the police officer in Sandra Bland’s minor traffic stop, and terrifying physical confrontation into which it quickly spiraled, would provoke national soul-searching if it happened here.
This community policing approach is facilitated by the total lack of militarization. As is now well-known, the US Defense Department has donated military-grade kit, weapons, and vehicles to US police departments for several decades. As with shift toward the warrior-cop mentality, 9/11 and notion that police were now the frontline of homeland security against imminent terrorist threats appear to have driven the military bulking up of US departments. Nothing like this has happened here despite the seemingly better militarization rationale of living right next to North Korea. I simply cannot imagine the public outcry here if the police had armored vehicles or routinely carried long guns.
That raises the next big difference – that the South Korean police are usually unarmed. Obviously in dire circumstances, the necessary weaponry is available; South Korea, like most countries, has SWAT-style specialized police units. But the average cop on the beat does carry a weapon, and even the riot police are usually unarmed. This is more feasible than in the US, because gun control is very strict here. The South Korean police are not in an arms-race with their own citizens, as American police are, nor do South Koreans form anything like the armed paramilitaries we saw during the ‘liberate’ protests last month.
Because an unarmed police face an unarmed population, riot squads need not pursue the aggressive tactics widely seen in the US in the last two weeks. The riot police here pursue a de-escalation strategy colloquially known as the ‘lipstick line‘. So when hundreds of thousands of South Koreans protested for months against their corrupt president a few years back, nothing remotely like what is happening in the US now happened here. As in the US today, the entire country was in ferment; huge numbers of people hit the streets week after week for months; and everyone had cellphones. But it all went down peacefully, with almost no injuries; police excess was never even in an issue in the media debate around the marches
Importantly, all these elements flow together to create a healthier, less militant, less domineering police culture and protest experience. Strict restraints on gun ownership mean the police do not need to kit up like Darth Vader. Disarmed police, less nervous about gun violence against them, can then pursues less aggressive street tactics. Moderate, restrained police tactics then signal to protestors that the cops are not a repressive opposition force in a street clash, but facilitators of the protestors’ constitutional right to assemble. Less provoked by the police, the protestors then behave better too, and any troublemakers, looters, and so on are much easier to identify.
The US, by contrast, has seen the opposite: harsh tactics inciting angry protesting and encouraging even larger protests the next day. The Koreans’ gentler tactics also dramatically reduce the likelihood of these disturbing videos of police brutality leaking out for weeks now.
How to get there in the US is a tough question. Breaking down police praetorianism and restoring civilian – i.e., mayoral – control over departments strikes me as the first step. But the larger point is that modern policing does not have to look like US police departments today – military gear, aggressive tactics, rogue behavior, choke-holds, and so on. These are US policy choices which can be changed, and there are other models out there.Robert E Kelly
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
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It has been nearly 3months since I’ve become a mother. I have thought about writing a blog about it a million times, but life gets really busy with a baby!
After 4 years of being married, we realized it is time to bring someone else in the family. How the realization came, that is a crazy story. Few months ago, before I got pregnant, suddenly I was not feeling well for days. That is when it occurred to me, “am I pregnant?”! The thing is, I was not supposed to be at all, but just to calm my worrying self, we decided to have a home test. Like I said, it was supposed to be negative, and we both thought we want it to be negative, but the moment I was holding the ” test stick” on my hand hoping for “one line to appear”, we both realized we’d actually be happy if there are two lines! That was the moment we knew “this is the sign” and that the universe is telling us what we both failed to realize- “we are ready to be parents!”. That night we decided we should go see a doctor very soon to know if we should take any extra preparations.
The next week we went to “Soon Women Hospital”, close to Jangjeon station in Busan. We saw a doctor there and she did a thorough check-up of me. That was the first time I heard about the most important thing about pregnancy, “OVALUATION”. In any Korean hospital, you can check if you are ovaluating in any month by ultrasound scan. In other words, it is actually a way of determining your fertility. Anyways, the doctor asked me to start taking folic acid supplements and encouraged us to try for the baby.
When you try for a baby you probably start googling all the symptoms to see if you are pregnant even before the actual symptoms appears, lol. But truth is, when you are really pregnant, you’d see the unique symptoms yourself and trust me, you will not need google for that. Last year, during the first week of July, I knew something was off. I was getting hungry for absolutely no reason at all, I had high temperature without any cold. After 4days of these, I realized I need to take the test. I took two tests, one that evening and one in the next morning. And there they were, “two lines” we’ve been waiting for!
After 38 long weeks, we finally met our precious, our little sunshine, our baby girl! The journey was never easy. Being a PhD student, everything was even more difficult. I still remember the first few months, when everything used to smell, when all the delicious food tasted like trash, lol. During the 6months, I had tendon inflammation in my left hand which made me unable to use my hand for almost a month. I had to go on full bed rest due to placenta previa during the 7months. Luckily, my placenta moved upward in 2weeks, so I got back to work again and worked till the last day before my delivery. I completed one full semester with coursework with her inside me and hopefully I will complete four more with her beside me.
At 37 weeks 5 days, something was not right from the evening. I thought at first, I was leaking urine, as it was very common when the baby weight puts pressure on the bladder. I could not sleep whole night due to cramping and felt even worse the night after. So, in the morning, when I went to the doctor, she confirmed that actually my water broke! Before the test, she was checking the amniotic fluid level with the ultrasound scan, and it was very low. Ultrasound scans are pretty common in here, they’d make a scan every time you go for prenatal checkups. Anyways, that’s when my doctor decided to induce labor. Later it was found that my water broke anyways, so that was just one more reason to induce labor lol.
I had almost 24 hours of labor. But it was not enough to dilate my cervix fully, and with the low fluid level, the duty doctor decided to go for c-section. I wish there were words to describe the moment when I first saw her. Gosh, it was so magical!
However, our magical moment turned into a disaster. Around that time, “patient 31” made Korea with the highest cases of COVID-19 after China. I remember, in the hospital bed during my recovering days, all I was praying to God, to keep my baby healthy and safe. Every second we were receiving emergency alerts from government, and I was even afraid to go home from hospital, thinking we’d catch the virus on our way. It has been 3months and the situation got just a little better, and yet we are afraid to stay out longer. We wear masks, use hand sanitizer, even I try to sanitize each of our stuffs separately. We did not meet any of our community people on the fear of spreading yet. Sometimes I wish if she could come at a better time! The world is having a hard time right now and for new mothers this is even harder. Yeah, I know, all the parents want their children to be safe. But the new parents are always insecure about if they are taking care of their baby right. And these whole situation puts a lot pressure on them.
I usually take her with me at work. She is still not used to with staying in her stroller. Sometimes she starts crying in her stroller on the way, and the only thing that comforts her then is to hold her. My husband and I both feel helpless then, as her stroller has a curtain, we feel she is a bit safer there than out in the open. Also, she sees us with masks while we are out, and I think our masked faces are unfamiliar to her, so she becomes even more uncomfortable.
But with all the worrying and disturbing thoughts, it’s not like we are not enjoying parenting. For me, parenting is something in between exhausting and amazing, lol. It’s like, I’m dying for some rest all day, and yet I don’t want to miss a moment. Just looking at her tiny feet and her tiny fingers, my heart melts a million times. Or the time, when she’s crying out loud but the moment I hold her, she’d stop crying. She wants to communicate these days by making noises and smiles when we talk or sing to her. She’s the only person in earth, who enjoys my singing and whistling, lol. Your child can make you feel special in uncountable ways, trust me!
Life goes on and I know there are a lot of new mothers and to be mothers out there. I pray that god makes things easier for you, just hang in there mamas! I really hope that these dark days will pass soon, and this world will again be a bit safer for our children.
-Munira Chowdhury, 19/05/2020
It's important to make mistakes when learning any language. You can't learn how to speak properly without first trying to speak.
But there are some mistakes you don't have to make, and should avoid making - mistakes that can sound rude.
I cover some of the most common rude mistakes that Korean learners make, such as using the 자 form, saying 너 or 당신, and more.
The post Innocent Korean Mistakes That Sound Rude | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.
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Bored at home?
Looking for some new k-dramas to watch?
Check out these binge-worthy dramas on Netflix approved by a Korean!
1. HOSPITAL PLAYLIST (슬기로운 의사생활) + PRISON PLAYBOOK (슬기로운 감빵생활)
A TV series about 5 friends and how their lives intertwine since undergraduate medical school.
For the first time in 20 years, these 5 doctors work together, and restarted a band to relieve stress and have fun during their crazy busy schedule.
It also shows different stories of patients who spend ordinary, yet special moments in a hospital, which is a miniature version of life from cradle to grave.
I love this TV series because it’s all about empathy and good characters.
Unlike most Korean TV shows, it’s pretty calm and puts a smile on my face.
No, they don’t slap each other with Kimchi. (Although, there’s a little naughtiness involving filthy water and a rag thrown at someone’s face.)
It’s the second show in the “Wise Life (슬기로운 생활)” series, following Prison Playbook (슬기로운 감빵생활). (FYI, 슬기로운 생활 has been a textbook since the 80s.)
If you watch them both, you’ll find a lot of the same actors.
최선을 다하겠습니다. (choi-seon-eul da-ha-get-seub-ni-da) = I will do my best.
정신 차려 (jeong-sin cha-ryeo) = Wake up, Pull yourself together or Get ahold of yourself
실세 (sil-se) = Influential person or big shot
2. CRASH LANDING ON YOU (사랑의 불시착)
A romantic TV show that depicts the top-secret love story of a Jaebeol heiress.
She accidentally lands in North Korea after a paragliding mishap and meets a hot army officer.
Just like the quote, “sometimes the wrong train takes you to the right destination”.
As a Korean, I’ve never really cared too much about North Korea.
But it shows the life of North Koreans (I doubt that it’s realistic, but it was still interesting to watch.)
Another fun part was North Korean language and their slang.
After watching, I realized once again that Hyun Bin is so handsome and Son Ye-jin is so beautiful.
후라이까지 말라우 (hu-ra-i-kka-ji mal-la-u) = Don’t lie in North Korean slang. It’s 뻥치지마 (bbeong-chi-ji-ma) in South Korea.
에미나이 (eminai) = North Korean way to call a “girl or woman”.
3. SKY CASTLE (스카이캐슬)
Want to take a peek at how competitive and fierce student life is in Korea?
This show perfectly captures how passionate Korean parents are when it comes to their children’s education and success.
The story seems a bit exaggerated, but felt very realistic.
It made me glad I was born in the countryside.
It’s a lot more intense than the previous shows, so it’s a good idea to be in the right frame of mind.
저를 전적으로 믿으셔야 합니다. (jeo-reul jeon-jeok-eu-ro mid-eu-sheo-ya hab-ni-da) = You have to trust me completely.
4. KINGDOM (킹덤)
A historical Korean zombie show that features awesome hats.
It’s perfect viewing given the global situation.
I haven’t gotten into it much, because it’s a little too scary.
But people keep asking me what “bakkatyangban” means.
바깥양반 (bakkatyangban) = Husband
This word is derived from the traditional Korean house (Hanok).
Its structure is divided into Anchae (안채 or inside building) where women spent most of their time and Bakkatchae (바깥채 or outside building) where men spent more time.
So, “Ansaram (안사람 or inside person)” means a wife, and “Bakkatyangban (바깥양반 or outside yangban)” means a husband.
In this case, “yangban” doesn’t necessarily mean any class.
Just like when Koreans sometimes say “이 양반아! (ee-yangban-ah)” to call “you” in a slightly rude way or someone pathetic in a light, frustrated way.
It also refers to a traditional lifestyle where the wife was responsible for housework whereas the husband was responsible for outside work.
These terms aren’t relevant anymore, but you’re still judged in Korea by your job title.
5. REPLY series (응답하라 시리즈)
Reply 1997, 1994 and 1988
Looking for some sweet sweet nostalgia?
If you’re curious about Korean life in the 80s and 90s, this might be the perfect TV series for you.
While airing, Korean viewers were so focused on finding out who the main female character marries.
They even created a competition between “어남류 VS. 어남택 (eo-nam-ryu VS. eo-nam-taek)”.
They’re abbreviations for 어차피 남편은 류준열 (eo-cha-pi nam-pyeon-eun Ryu Jun-yeol, meaning “in any case, husband is Ryu Jun-yeol”), and 어쩌면 남편은 택이 (eo-jjeo-myeon nam-pyeon-eun Taek-ee, meaning “perhaps, her husband is Taek”).
And yes, we love abbreviations.
Even the show titles were abbreviated from 응답하라 1997, 응답하라 1994 and 응답하라 1988 to 응칠(R7), 응사(R4), 응팔(R8).
추억 여행 (chu-eok yeo-haeng) = A trip down memory lane, literally a memory trip
쓰레기 (sseuregi) = Trash or jerk
I hope you enjoyed our article.
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This year was the first year in a long time that I didn’t head out to any temples for Buddha’s Birthday. This is by far one of my favorite times of the year but with the COVID-19 still lingering in Korea, many temples put special restrictions in place. I felt that because I am not a Buddhist, I would not complicate things by attending. I would let people worship in peace.
I also heard that many celebrations would be postponed until the end of May. I think with the drop in the amount of cases in Korea, this might be a better option for everyone. Recently, Korea had 0 local cases and only 4 quarantined at the airport. That is a huge milestone.
With that being said, I decided to stay away from the temples this year and just look back through the years to find some shots to share with you anyway. These may not be the best shots in world but the temples themselves have a unique place in my mind, anyway.Junggwansa
This was one of the first temples that I visited. My late friend Dave Harvey took me there when I first came to Korea. I was blown away by the spectacle of lights that I saw. This wasn’t for tourists and it wasn’t garish in anyway. It was just a beautiful calm place that people went to worship. Especially, during the evenings.One of my first pictures of Buddha’s
Over the years, I have met the head of the temple and even was lucky enough to get a private tour. Ieven taught English to a group of very scared and very bald kindergarten kids here. This is also a local temple, so it usually only gets people from the area. Unlike other temples in post, Junggwangsa is not on the tourist map, that I know of. Which makes it a little more quiet during this time of year.
Another thing that sticks out for me with this temple is are some of the lanterns themselves. Usually, around the front doors, they have these beautiful chicken lanterns. Not sure why I like them so much but they just sort of fit here. I have to to capture them from different angles over the years and they can be tricky little chickens.TongDosa
I remember clearly that before I came, I read up on this temple. I marked it in my Lonely Planet book on Korea and even bragged to my family about how close I would be living to one of the largest working temples in Korea or something like that. Of course, at that time I had no idea what Tongdosa was and to be honest, no one in my family really did either.
It wasn’t until years later that I started capturing images here and my parents were really intrigued by this place. So much so that when they came over for my wedding they really wanted to check out this temple. It really impressed them with not only the design but the heritage as well.
For me, this temple has only gotten better over the years. Recently, with the addition of the parade and crane lanterns along the walk up to the temple, it makes for a wonder place to photograph.
A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to get permission to shoot the parade as I just sort of stumbled into it and asked if it would be ok. One of the volunteers showed me where to go and it was a great moment. Not to mention a very beautiful parade.Bulguksa
This place is one that I usually stayed away from to be honest. Bulguksa is a great place to visit if you come to Korea for the first time. For me, I have been here so many times that it just lacks personality.
However, I went there last year around Buddha’s birthday it was great. Sadly, I had battery issues and whatnot but the experience was amazing. It felt like something special was going on and not something done just for the tourists or school trips.
What was great about this experience was the fact that it started just around dusk. This is a perfect time for lantern shots as the sky still has detail and you are not just shooting into a black abyss. This is something that I have been trying to perfect over the years. To get the colour from the lanterns against the blue hour sky.Haedong Yonggunsa
This places has exploded in popularity over the years. It used to be fairly quiet with the odd tour showing up. However, now it is a major Busan tourist attraction. Truth be told, the area outside the temple has been developed 1000 times over now.Buddha’s Birthday 2019
The quiet fishing village is now a bustling tourism centre. Just a short walk from the temple is a major outlet mall, an IKEA, the freeway toll gate and the massive Hilton hotel. All of which has been built in the last 5 years or so. So it is understandable that this temple would get overrun with people.Buddha’s Birthday 2019
It does impact on the accessibility of the temple with regards to places to shoot and the amount of people that come to see the lanterns. It still is one of the better temples to visit in the area especially if you are not in Seoul.Samgwangsa
Arguably the biggest and most impressive temple that I have visited is Samgwangsa. Every year they put up a staggering amount of lanterns. It is truly an impressive site and draws a lot of people every year.
Despite the crowds, it is something that you just have to see. I hate crowds, but I will suck it up to get a few shots of this impressive display of hard work and devotion. If you are traveling to Korea during this time, I would implore you to take the time and visit this temple at dusk. You will not be disappoint in the least.
What makes this temple so amazing is that there is a sea of lanterns between two major buildings and multiple vantage points for you to see them from. Surrounding this, you are see a multi-storied pagoda and a few dragons as well! Now that sounds impressing, right?Beomosa
This final temple is one that I used to visit almost every week. I used to work down the road from it and I had lots of downtime. So I would grab the camera and wander around this large temple. I was trying to find the perfect angle and one that would capture how amazing this place is.
Over the years, I have shot for magazines here, lead workshops, and lead photowalks here. It is always a welcoming place for everyone. I also like the fact that there is some great coffee just down the road from this temple as well.
The bottomline here is that while events likes these are great to see, during this outbreak, we do have to take certain precautions and make adjustments to our schedules. It is just how it is right now.
These temples typically see thousands of people during this time of the year and social distancing is an issue in some of these temples.
With that being said, we should take the time to visit these places with the time comes. They are a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of life in Korea.
This is a local repost of an essay I wrote last week for The National Interest.
I wrote it in response to growing interest in the US in ‘re-opening.’ South Korea is further along the corona timeline than the West, and it dealt with corona very well. So if there is any economy ready to re-open, you would think that it is South Korea’s. Except that that is not really happening.
It’s true that restaurants are re-opened, that you can eat in them in proximity without a mask, and that masking generally is declining a bit. But not much. And most things are still closed – schools, concerts, museums, aquariums, marathons, whatever. And the government here is not talking about mass opening at all like the US discussion, especially on the right. In fact, it’s the opposite. The South Korean government keeps saying this will be a long slog, at least for the rest of the year.
The full essay follows the jump:
South Korea has been widely praised for its handling of the corona virus. As a democracy, it labors under constraints a dictatorship like China, for example, does not. South Korea nevertheless managed to beat down the virus’ spread to under ten new cases a day this week, and without the kind of social revolt brewing in the United States now.
As everywhere else, there is pressure to re-open. Everyone is bored and frustrated at home. Businesses are struggling. Families are frazzled at having the kids at home all day every day. People are putting on weight, because they are watching too much TV and over-eating. All the same sort of complaints accumulating on social media in Western countries exist here too. It’s exhausting.
Indeed, ‘corona fatigue’ set in earlier here. Korea’s clampdown began in mid-March, and one can already see the edges fraying. I see fewer masks on the subways. The lines to pick up government-distributed masks are shorter. Bars and restaurants are filling, where people are sitting in proximity and not wearing masks. Panic buying has stopped (although to be fair, there was never really much). The economic costs of the lockdown are now discussed more frequently on TV (although not nearly as vociferously as on Trumpist media in the US).
All this – the apparent success of the anti-virus campaign, the spiraling economic costs, the social unhappiness at being locked indoors all day – has brought the government to experiment with some loosening. Religious buildings have re-opened, although the government has insisted on strict distancing which will likely be hard for the Christian churches particularly given their design. Schools have also been given leeway to re-open, although the implementation of that varies widely. For example, my son’s kindergarten has re-opened almost completely; my daughter’s elementary school is closed completely; and my university is open for staff and required exams. Food establishments seem to be pushing hardest. Restaurants and bars particularly seem to be operating in a pre-corona fashion, probably as much out of desperation for business as belief that the worst has passed.
It is important for Western readers hoping for a return to normalcy not to overrate these moves. South Korea is indeed a useful canary in the coal mine for other democracies in this struggle. It too is a democracy whose anti-viral moves constrained by civil liberties; it has handled the virus very well; and it has struggled with it longer than the West. So it is further along than many other countries and is certainly a better model than non-democracies like Singapore.
But South Korea’s corona ‘re-opening’ is still quite limited. The South Korean government, for example, does not even use such language, as that suggests a far greater return to pre-corona times than it is permitting. There were also warnings almost immediately from South Korean health officials that any re-opening would permit a resurgence of the virus. The Korean CDC is talking about a lock-down of varying intensity for a year – with re-clamp-downs possible if clusters pop up – until a vaccine is found.
This is very different from the American discourse, particularly on the Trumpist right where sympathetic media such as Fox News are hinting that normality could return within in a month or less. Republican governors are now even admitting that their states could see a spike of fatalities as they re-open. The US conservative debate is now increasingly blunt that the economic costs, and the consequent human costs, of the lock-down are exceeding the direct human costs of the virus.
There is nothing like this in South Korea. The response here is far more technocratic. The South Korean president does not give daily briefings. He has given a few pep talks now and then, but nothing with the level of politics and sensationalism characteristic of the US President Donald Trump’s daily briefings. Instead the prime minister speaks a few times a week in a fairly bland tone. But mostly scientists and bureaucrats, such as the head of the KCDC, have been the public face of the South Korean government regarding corona.
Nor has the government contradicted the epidemiologists or sought to dispute their expertise or suggestions. No politician is arguing that the lock-down should be relieved for political reasons, and in the legislative election last week, a re-opening of the economy was not an issue. The South Korean public seems resigned to a fairly long slog and a re-opening in very small steps.
There will be much future discussion about why the stark contrast in the US and South Korean responses, given the plaudits South Korean has received. Some of it will inevitably redound on Trump himself. Trump is up for re-election, and he is itching, for fairly obvious reasons, to restart the economy. An economy racked by plague, contraction, and unemployment will likely cost him the election.
But there is another issue too – cultural memory. South Koreans have been through these sorts of lockdowns before – for SARS and MERS. There is a reservoir of collective patience which does not exist in the West which has not seen something like this since the Spanish Flu of 1918. Trump is not just channeling his own desire to ‘re-open’ but that of a large chunk of the American population in disbelief that the world changed so rapidly.Robert E Kelly
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
Are you curious about Korean? Or maybe you want to know the difference between the South Korean and North Korean languages?
You’ve come to the right place!
We’re going to cover everything you need to know about the Korean language. We’ll also include some resources you can use if you decide you want to learn the Korean language, or just know how to speak Korean for a trip out to the Korean Peninsula.
Here we go!Korean Language Overview
The Korean language is spoken by more than 75 million people worldwide. The majority of the speakers live in South or North Korea, where it is the official language. It has its own language family with no other known modern languages in it.
The Korean taught in classrooms and spoken by Koreans today was formed a few hundred years ago. Before that, older versions of Korean were spoken.Korean Language Dialects
Korean language has nine different dialects. Both South and North Korea have their own standard Korean dialects, which are used in an official setting. In the South, it is Seoul’s dialect. In the North, it is Seoul’s dialect mixed with Pyeongyang’s region’s dialect.
Additionally, there are two more dialects spoken in North Korea and five more dialects spoken in South Korea. Of these, the most different with standard Korean is the dialect spoken on Jeju Island. Because of all of the time apart after Korean War, the Korean spoken in North Korea has become quite different from Korean spoken in South Korea. This is because both Korean languages were influenced by the other countries involved in the Korean War.
South Korea’s Korean was influenced by English and North Korea’s was influenced by Russian. Not only have their vocabularies changed but pronunciation as well.
Besides the two Koreas, there are many native Korean speakers living abroad. The regions with biggest Korean populations are in United States, China, Japan, Canada, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Russia, Australia and Kazakhstan.What is the history of Korean language?
Earliest forms of Korean language has likely existed since the Stone Age although the specific history of Korean language remains a mystery. Chinese characters were introduced to Korea in the first century BC. They were adapted to Korean language and became known as Hanja.
These characters were officially used in Korea until just 100 years ago, when Hangul, the Korean alphabet, finally became popular as the writing system. Even today, you can still see Hanja in some use in South Korea, especially in official documents.
In North Korea, however, they have officially not been used since 1949. Many words borrowed from Chinese been replaced with native Korean words in North Korea. The Chinese loan words still used in North Korea are written in Hangul now. You can find Hanja in special situations, such as in North Korean dictionaries.
Hangul, the Korean alphabet, was created by King Sejong in 1443. In North Korea, it’s called Joseongul. It finally became the most important writing system in both North and South Korea after World War 2 and Korean War. There are 14 consonants and 10 vowels in Hangul. These are then combined into blocks to form words. Hangul (also spelled “Hangeul”) can be learned in about 1 hour.Does the Korean language have tones?
No, Korean doesn’t have tones. If you can read Hangul, it’s easy to pronounce Korean words. That’s because most of them are written the same way as they are pronounced.
There are some exceptions, but overall the pronunciation rules are very simple and clear. You will also not find tones in standard Korean so getting started with speaking Korean is quite effortless.
Korean can be written in English letters following an official romanization system. It’s useful for approximating Korean words into English, but it’s not good for pronunciation.What is Korean grammar like?
The basic word order for Korean sentences is subject-object-verb. However, the word order for Korean is also flexible and the verb is often the only word you need for the sentence to make sense. Like this, it’s easy to start creating sentences right away for beginners in Korean. If you wish to start learning Korean grammar today, start with our guide on Korean grammar for beginners.
There are nine parts of speech in Korean language. These parts are nouns, pronouns, numbers, action verbs, adverbs, descriptive verbs and adjectives, interjections and exclamations, particles and postpositions and, lastly, determiners, pronouns and indeclinable adjectives.What are Korean honorifics?
The Korean language uses honorifics and speech levels to show the relationship between the speaker and who they’re speaking to or speaking of. Honorifics are important to use when talking of someone with higher status or older age. For example, you would use honorifics if you are talking about or to your parents.
Different speech levels are used depending on who you are talking to. If they are older and have a higher status than you, then you should use 존댓말 (jondaetmal) which is the polite speech level. With friends and people younger than you, it’s okay to use 반말 (banmal) which is the informal speech level. There is also a neutral speech level which you can use in general situations, like with people who are similar age and status to you but not a close friend.Does the Korean language have genders?
Technically there is no gender in Korean grammar. This means words are not categorized separately, like in French, for example. And because you only need the verb in your sentence, you might not also clearly use “he” or “she” in your sentence like you would in English.
However, by using 그 (geu) and 그남 (geunam) for a man and 그녀 (geunyeo) for a woman in your speech or text, you can make it clear whether you are talking about a man or a woman. Additionally, Korean vocabulary also owns a lot of words that are specific to a gender like 오빠 (oppa) for men, meaning big brother, and 언니 (eonni) for women, meaning big sister, or other familial titles that are specific to a gender.What is Korean vocabulary like?
Korean vocabulary consists of native Korean words at its core. However, a lot of the vocabulary consists of words that were directly borrowed from the Chinese language.
There are also many words that were adapted to Korean language from Chinese characters. The exact amount of these words in Korean vocabulary is not known, but estimations vary from as low as 30% to as high as 65%.
In addition to these words, as well as the previously mentioned loan words from English and Russian, the Korean language has also borrowed from other languages. For example, there are some parts of Korean vocabulary which come from Mongolian. And then there are some words which were adapted from Japanese, which in turn originated from German.
This has also led to additional differences in vocabularies in use in South and in the North, as North Korea has tried to implement as many native Korean words into daily use as possible, decreasing the amount of words taken from Chinese. Thus, there are some popular vocabulary in use in North Korea that does not exist in South Korea, and vice versa. Over the years the two main dialects of Korean have also developed differences in pronunciation, spelling and grammar.Korean language and literature
One of the parts of Korean culture that have been the most impacted by the evolution of Korean language is literature. While some form of literature, such as oral literature, has existed since the discovery of the earliest form of Korean, its current form of literature is newer.
Initially, when the Chinese characters were introduced to Koreans, all of the literature, poetry and so on were written in Chinese characters. So technically most of Korean literature before the 20th century was written in Chinese, even after Hangul was created.
The first form of poetry was discovered during Silla Dynasty (57 BC – 935 AD). However, the form of poetry that has best lasted until nearly the modern days, called sijo, was created during Joseon Dynasty (1392–1897). The first written historical records, and thus the birth of prose in Korea, date back to Goryo Dynasty (918–1392). All in all, Korean literature’s origins can be traced all the way back to Old Stone Age.
The first modern Korean novel was published in 1917. A lot of the early period for modern Korean literature was influenced by Western poetry which were translated into Korean. By the 1930s, modern Korean literature reached maturity and has continued evolving ever since to what literature in the two Koreas looks like today.
That’s wraps it up for our writeup on Korean. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this and know a bit more about Korean language and culture. If you’d like to learn more we’ve got some fantastic resources on things like Korean slang, Korean phrases, and Korean numbers that you can put into action right away.
We also have a structured online Korean course that will teach you how to have a 3 minute conversation in the first 90 days.
Is there anything else that you’re curious about? Please let us know in the comments below!
Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series: http://www.90DayKorean.com/learn
Please share, help Korean spread!
Thinking about doing business in Korea?
Need to learn about Korean business etiquette?
Navigating the murky waters of Korean Business Culture can be challenging.
There's much to be gained through a successful partnership, but many ways to lose 정 (Jeong), or the unspoken bond that holds the country together.
With the hidden rules that can make or break a business relationship in Korea, it’s important to be prepared.
These simple tips will help you avoid major mistakes when doing business in Korea.
Before You MeetBackground Information
- Korean Business Etiquette is influenced by Confucianism and Military Hierarchy.
- There's a lot of similarity with Japanese Business Culture as both use job titles derived from Chinese characters.
- Your age and job title relative to others determines how you communicate and behave. A higher age/job title will give you more credibility.
- Most Koreans have been exposed to Western culture through movies and TV shows, and will often have their favorites.
- Many have studied abroad or interacted with native English speakers at private academies.
- Regardless of the amount of exposure to the West, Koreans will most likely follow local business protocol.
- A close relationship is the key to doing business in Korea, while planning takes a backseat. Since most businesses operate this way, it’s especially difficult to predict the future, so things are often decided on the fly.
- The concept of “face” also applies. So make sure never to correct/criticize someone in public. You might be met with a lot of resistance in the future.
- Flexibility is also very important when doing business in Korea. Don’t be surprised if you end up performing tasks well outside your scope of expertise.
- Although becoming less important, gender is still a factor. Married males over 40, or “ajosshis”, are perceived as having a higher position in society. Women still handle domestic duties, even when they have their own careers. It’s not uncommon for female managers to serve tea in business meetings.
You will be judged by your appearance and grooming (clean shaven and clean cut are a plus).
Dress shoes, slacks, a button up shirt and tie are recommended.
If you are meeting an ajosshi, or married man over 40, it’s a good idea to wear a jacket and tie.
Your watch will also be judged. Tag Heuer grants instant credibility. Citizen and Tissot are the bare minimum. Anything cheaper than 200 USD is better left at home.
Bring a wallet and a business card holder (full of your business cards), preferably a brand name like Mont Blanc or Gucci.
During the MeetingGreetings
Bow slightly and shake with a loose grip using two hands (a firm grip is a sign of aggression) after the oldest/highest ranking person reaches out.
Business cards are exchanged at the same time while standing, even if you have their contact info.
Don’t make small talk at this stage, just follow our formula unless a question is asked.
Present your business card with two hands when the oldest/highest ranking person presents theirs.
Make sure your info is facing the person accepting the card, so they can read it.
Look at their card for 3 seconds, then say their name and title (add a “nim” at the end of the title for extra points).
Place their card on the table so you can see it during the meeting (don’t put it in your pocket as this is uncommon).
The older person by more than two years usually makes eye contact while the younger person will look away slightly as a sign of respect.
As a non-Korean, you can simply use soft eye contact.
The main topics in order of importance are:
1. Price Negotiation (they will want a discount)
2. Quality Assurance (especially for ongoing projects)
3. Their Company History and Process (during the first meeting)
You will hear a full presentation on their company history and milestones. Prepare yours as well.
Koreans are vague by Western standards, especially during the first meeting. They will not settle on numbers, dates and specifics.
They will minimize the time spent on details and will mostly be feeling out the situation.
Don’t expect them to present the information you need. Prepare specific questions.
When they respond that “they aren’t sure” or “don’t know yet”, ask politely when you can receive the information.
Koreans will answer your questions after providing context.
Whereas in English, questions are answered first, then an explanation is provided.
If someone goes off on a tangent when asked a question, ask again for a rough estimate.
It’s ok to ask for a discount or an adjustment.
Asking for a final and best offer is considered a bit aggressive.
Koreans won’t say “no”, instead they will say, “it will be a little difficult”.
Expect there to be multiple rounds of negotiations.
It takes at least a week to finalize details.
The decision maker doesn’t usually attend the meeting, and their approval is necessary to proceed.
You will most likely receive a gift near the end of the meeting.
Accept the gift with two hands and thank them. Do not open it in their presence.What to Buy as a Gift
You are not required to give a gift unless you are a seller, but something small would be appreciated.
Company gifts (pens, umbrellas, calendars, etc.) are safe choices.
For women, Yankee Candle or L’Occitane Hand Cream.
For men, alcohol (Ballentines or Chivas Regal if you really want to make an impression) or golf equipment including golf balls as they cost double in Korea.
After the MeetingGoodbyes
Goodbyes are short. Repeat the same steps in the Greetings section minus the business card exchange.
Thank them for their time.
If your deal is important to them, you will probably be invited to a meal.
Expect alcohol to be involved.
Most Korean restaurants serve a few main dishes with a variety of side dishes that you can get refilled.
The main dishes sometimes come in a large pot for everyone to share.
So, people in groups tend to order the same thing.
Feel free to order what you want at a western restaurant.
The youngest staff member in each group will set up the utensils and pour the water.
You can gauge how progressive the company is if the oldest/highest ranking person helps out.
When the oldest/highest ranking person lifts their utensils, you can begin eating.
Tips at a Korean Restaurant
Do not lift plates or bowls while eating.
Do not use chopsticks and a spoon at the same time.
Close your mouth when chewing and try not to make noise.
When you’re done eating, put your spoon and chopsticks in their original position.
Koreans normally share side dishes, so don’t repeatedly touch them with your chopsticks.
Small talk during meals is uncommon, especially with middle-aged people.
Seoulites tend to eat quickly by western standards.
The oldest person or the person inviting usually pays for the entire meal.
You might find yourself fighting for the check.
If you are the seller, regardless of age, make sure to fight extra hard for the check.
접대 (Jeopdae, wining and dining) is a very important part of business.
This is sometimes where the deal gets made.
A night out with Koreans will involve bar hopping and possibly 노래방 (Noraebang) or Karaoke.
You can be more informal (semi-formal would be the operative word with basic etiquette still followed) and get to know each other better.
Don’t say no to the first shot of alcohol and make sure you finish it in one gulp (Koreans call this 원샷, one shot).
When an older/higher ranking person pours liquor for you, hold your shot glass in your right hand and touch the bottom of your right elbow or the bottom of the glass with your left hand.
This same principle applies when you pour for others.
If things get really relaxed, you might find yourself playing some drinking games.
Even if you are reaching your limit, do the 건배 (geonbae) or “cheers” motion and lightly touch the glass to your lips and put it back on the table.
If you don’t drink at all, make sure you fill your shot glass with soft drinks and go through the motions.
The most important seat is the center furthest from the entrance.
The second most prestigious is next to the most important seat, where the two can converse.
The least important seat is near the entrance.
If you see that an older/higher ranking person’s glass is empty, pick up the bottle with your right hand as to cover the label.
Touch the bottom of your right elbow or the bottom of the bottle with your left hand.
Pour liquor (usually soju) until it fills 3/4 of the glass.
When you drink, turn your head slightly away from the older/higher ranking person and drink.
Koreans have a variety of drinking games, some involving math.
I advise you not to play them, unless you want to drink a lot.
Make sure to follow up in two days.
Request the information you didn’t receive during the meeting.
If you do not receive it by the date promised, call them on the phone.
Expect to follow up in a week or two.
Contracts should be in both Korean and English.
It’s possible for a Korean court to invalidate a contract if the counter party didn’t understand the terms.
Avoid ambiguous and inconsistent language.
Always proceed with caution and use your best judgement.
I learned these rules the hard way while working in Korea for over a decade.
After starting a translation company, I follow these guidelines whenever I interact with Korean clients.
I hope these tips get the results you need.
I hope you enjoyed our article.
For more fun and useful info on Korea, check out our blog.
Get flawless Korean translation at https://linguasia.com by a team of native Korean and English speakers. Find out more below:
Joe McPhearson, the creator of Zen Kimchi is joining me on tonight's podcast. He has owned and run overseas businesses, including two restaurants and an award-winning tour company. He has hosted, produced, and directed TV and radio, designed websites, led marketing campaigns, and written for multiple publications. He has traveled globally for speaking engagements and even received personal coaching from TED's Chris Anderson.
These experiences have converted this natural introvert into a person comfortable with audiences and energizing teams.
As founder of ZenKimchi International, he promotes Korean food worldwide through food tours, events, education, communications, and consulting.
He runs ZenKimchi.com, the longest running Korean food blog. He has written for publications, including
- The Wall Street Journal
- Roads & Kingdoms
- Vogue Korea
- Newsweek Korea
- Groove Magazine (Dining Editor)
- 10 Magazine (Dining Editor)
His media consultation achievements include
- CNN's "Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain"
- National Geographic Channel's "Chef on the Road" (on-camera appearance)
- The Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern"
- UK Lifestyle FOOD's "Discovering Korean Food with Gizzi" (on-camera appearance)
- PBS documentary "The Kimchi Chronicles"
- Australian TV's "Far Flung with Gary Mehigan" (on-camera appearance)
- British TV program "John Torode's Korean Food Tour" (on-camera appearance)
- Documentary "Savouring Korea" (on-camera appearance)
- Conde Nast Traveler
- Lonely Planet
- The New York Times
- The Washington Post
- The Los Angeles Times
- Apple Media (Hong Kong)
- Public Radio International
As to myself.
I am an Expat with close to a decade and a half of ESL experience. I operate a private language school franchise in the city of Ulsan, South Korea and know a thing or two about starting and operating an ESL business in South Korea. In this podcast I share some of my ideas and knowledge with a wider audience and also hope to learn new things along the way. I hope to provide our viewers with insights on how to start a Hagwon in South Korea, discuss some pitfalls and success stories, and bring an overall awareness to the beginning and running of innovative companies.
Teaching English in Korea comes with a lot of challenges for both the teachers and owners. In discussions with our guests I try to cover as many topics related to Hagwon Startups and teaching English in Korea as well as globally as our combined experience of this field allows.
As the Living Korea channel matures, and the Hagwon Startup Podcast chugs along, my goal is to include more episodes, in which I get to talk to interesting people doing exciting things in South Korea, outside of their regular teaching professions.
Do expect the unexpected though, as we do not shy away from off-
Check out Zen Kimchi online:
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A talk with creator of Zen Kimchi, Joe McPherson - The Korea Podcast #