Want to know some facts about Korea or refresh your memory?
Have a look at my Korea from A to Z!
A – Aegukga
Aegukga is the National Anthem of Korea. It can be translated as "Patriotic Song".
Originally sung to the tune of the Scottish folk song "Auld Lang Syne" (introduced by western missionaries) it received an original melody in 1935 composed by the musician Ahn Eak-tai.
B – Banchan
Banchan means "side dish" in Korean and these include Kimchi (fermented vegetables), Namul (steamed, marinated, or stir-fried vegetables), Bokkeum (fried, with sauce), Jorim (simmered in a seasoned broth), Jjim (steamed), Jeon (pan fried). Each one of these have many variations!
C – C Visas
There are four types of C Visas, every one of them covers short term stay in Korea, such as short term news coverage, short term business, general or employment.
Having a C Visa during your employment (short term only) is essential.
D – Daemul
It is a word to describe "a great person", also used as a sort of a nickname.
There was also a very popular tv drama called "Daemul - Big Thing", which described the life of the fictional first female president of South Korea.
E – E-mart
E-mart is the largest retail store in South Korea and even expanded to China.
It was established in 1993 and became one of the largest discount store, in 2009 their sales volume exceeded over US$ 9.4 billion!
F – Fanclubs
If you are interested in KDrama and KPop or are just getting into it you will come across fanclubs.
Famous actors and actresses as well as idols and idol groups have fanclubs (with an own name) where membership gives you access to special websites, goodies and up to date information.
They are the most important source for info, supporting the idol and meeting fellow fans.
G – Gugak
Gugak is the general term for Korean Traditional Music, played on traditional instruments or traditional singing style.
In South Korea you can find Gugak as a major in almost every university and various centers and museums focused on it.
H – Haetae
Haetae is a mythical figure, it can be found outside of Korean traditional Houses and palaces. It resembles a dog with a lion's mane and is the master of fire, is able to travel through time and bite the moon. The symbol and mascot of Seoul is named "Haechi", inspired by the original Haetae.
I – Idols
The term idol differs from the western "pop star". Idols are most commonly signed up by an agency (they might call it "family") and prior to their debut they train in dance, vocals, acting – sometimes for years before they have their first stage as a group or solo artists.
They show a variety of skills and contrary to western pop musicians Korean Idols show their versatileness through different concepts in styling and music with each different stage.
J – Jimjil bang
Jimjil bang means "heated bath (or room)" and is a large, gender-segregated public bathhouse in Korea, furnished with hot tubs, showers, Finnish-style saunas, ice rooms and much more.
Some Jimjil bangs even have an entertainment section where you can play arcade games or dine in a restaurant!
While smaller Jimjil bangs concentrate on saunas and health, bigger Jimjil bangs resemble a refined Spa!
K – K-League
The K-League is Korea's only professional Soccer association.
It is the highest level of football/soccer in South Korea with 16 clubs.
L – Lotte
Lotte is an East Asian industrial conglomerate based in Korea with additional businesses in Japan, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, USA, Russia, Philippines, Pakistan and Poland.
In Korea you can find Lotte owned stores as: Lotte Capital (Finances), Lotte Card (credit cards), Lotte Chilsung (Food), Lotte Confectionery (Sweets), Lotte Department Store (one of the biggest retail stores), Lotte Giants (Professional Baseball Team in Busan)
M – Motto
South Korea's Motto : "홍익인간" can be translated as "Benefit the human world".
N – National Theater of Korea
The National Theater of Korea is the first federally managed theater in Asia and was established in 1950.
It shows traditional music as well as contemporary works.
O – Ondol
Ondol means underfloor heating which -in traditional architecture- uses direct heat transfer from wood smoke to the underside of a thick masonry floor.
Nowadays it refers to underfloor heating and most of Korean appartments and houses, even hotel rooms (traditional style) use it.
P – Pyeong
Pyeong is a unit of measurement in Korea equal to the european measurement 3.3058 m2).
R – ROK
ROK means Republic of Korea and is the official term for South Korea.
S – Sejong the Great
King Sejong the Great (May 7, 1397 – May 18, 1450) ruled between 1418–1450 and was the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty. He is most known for developing the Korean Alphabet Hangul and was a refined statesman.
He is also one of the two Kings who received the title "the Great".
Taekwondo is Korea's signature sport and spread world wide.
Tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do "way", "method", or "path".
Today you should distinguish between two types:
1. Traditional Taekwondo, referring to the type established in the 50s by the South Korean military and where symbolism, culture and philosophy plays the main role.
2. Sports Taekwondo, with the main focus on speed and competition (such as the Olympic Games).
U – University Exam
The University Exam in Korea is knows as one of the harshest periods in the life of a student.
It is also known as Suneung (수능) is a type of standardized test accepted by all South Korean universities, until now the questions were never leaked as the professors and scholars who are responsible for the test are locked in a hotel during the time of the test (while the students are taking the exam).
The exam is held on second Thursday of November and determines the future of the student, as high results will open the chance to get accepted by one of the top universities.
V – Variety Shows
Variety Shows display variety arts or variety entertainment, it is an entertainment made up of a variety of acts, especially musical performances and sketch comedy, led by a host.
Variety Shows can also be the rise or fall of a rookie idol or star!
W – Won
The Korean currency is called Won (₩) (KRW).
X – X-Games
X-Games were developed in 1995 and include Aggressive Inline Skating, Skateboarding, Bicycle Stunt, Sport Climbing, Moto X. In 2005 Korea was the host of the Asian X-Games!
Y -Yi Seong-gye
Yi Seong-gye (October 11, 1335 – May 24, 1408), also called Taejo of Joseon, was the first ruler of the Joseon Dynasty (July 1392 – October 1897) and main figure in the rebellion against the Goryo Dynasty (918–1392).
He ruled between 1392–1398.
Z – ZE:A
ZE:A - Children of Empire is a 9-member boy band from South Korea and they debuted on January 15, 2010.
They also debuted in Japan during their Asian tour 2010-2011 and are also known for appearing in popular TV dramas.
Fun Fact: One of their members was born and raised in Australia!
I hope my A to Z list helped you in discovering new sides of Korea and gave you something about Korea to talk and think about
* This post is written by Dorothea Suh, one of the Korea Blog's Worldwide Korea Bloggers.
[HanCinema's Film Review] Korean Weekend Box Office 2012.04.06 ~ 2012.04.08
HanCinema's Korean Box Office Review (2012.04.06 ~ 2012.04.08) The runaway success enjoyed by ,...More
[Spoiler] "My Husband Got a Family" Jo Yoon-hee is shocked that she misunderstood Kim Nam-joo
Jo Yoon-hee was shocked to realize she misunderstood Kim Nam-joo. On the 14th episode of KBS week,...More
[Spoiler] "Feast of the Gods" Lee Sang-woo tells Seong Yoo-ri, "Run away with me!"
On the April 8th episode of the MBC weekend drama "Feast of the Gods" (written by Jo Eun-jeong, di,...More
Korean movies & dramas
The first step is to sign up as a member, please click here : Sign up, then a subscribe button will show.