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Korean New Year (Seollal) is Coming!

2012/01/21 | 1451 views |  | Permalink | Source

Learn to read Korean in 90 minutes or less using visual associations

[ An image of Seollal ]

Hello, those who love AT&D Korea. Jan 23rd is indeed Seollal ! It is considered one of Korea's biggest holidays, and it can be seen as January 1st in the lunar calendar, in other words, Korea's New Year.

On this day, all the people go back to their hometowns, gather around with their families and relatives, pay respect to their ancestors , and eat Tteokguk in a sense that they grow one year older (Oh, in Korea, when the newyearcomes , everyone grows one year older all together). For Tteokguk, people chop bar rice cakes and put them in a soup. Since bar rice cake is white and long, people eat it in a sense that they begin the first day of the New Year cleanly and that they hope for longevity.

[ The memorial service table (Left) ] [ Tteokguk (Right) ]

In the Korean New Year's Day, people often enjoy various traditional games such as neolttwigi and a game of yut . To that extent, the Korean New Year's Day is a very merry day and a day to feel the beauty of Korea's unique traditions.

[ Neolttwigi (Left) ] [ Game of Yut (Right) ]

In the Korean New Year's Day, it is the traditional courtesy to wear hanbok, and you would be able to see often that people bow before their elders.

Below is the Presidential Council on Nation Branding's posting that introduces the inherent meaning of Korean greetings. How about we greet each other with "Annyeonghaseyo",or"Saehae Bok Mani Badu Seyo" on this Seollal?

Saehae Bok Mani Badu Seyo. :)

The Korean Way of Greetings

Korean greeting words convey hope for the well-being of others

"Annyeonghaseyo" is the most common greeting in Korea. Greetings are the words or phrases used to inquire after the health of people we meet or to start a relationship with someone we are meeting for the first time. It is not clear when "annyeonghaseyo" became the most common greeting of Koreans. As "annyeong" means "comfort without trouble", the greeting "annyeonghaseyo" conveys hope for the well-being of other people.

Letters are a type of written communication in which greeting words are often used. Letters written in hangeul (Korean alphabet) during the Joseon Dynasty often began with such phrases as, "I was happy to receive your letter and to hear you are getting along well", "I am writing to make sure you are well", or "I wonder if you are doing well". From these, we can estimate changes in Korean greeting words over time.

In addition to the most common greeting, "annyeong", Koreans use a variety of other greeting words according to the person addressed and the situation. People commonly say "Nice to meet you" or "How do you do?" to people they meet for the first time. The greeting words for old acquaintances also vary depending on their ages and circumstances. They include "It's been a long time Since We Met" and "How have you been doing?" When addressing parents, people say, "Have you slept well?" To a person older in age whom the speaker meets occasionally, they ask, "Have you eaten?" Farewell words also vary. In addition to the standard, "Annyeonghi gyesipsio (Please stay safe / stay in peace)", people say "Have a good sleep" or "Have a pleasant time".

Greetings vary by region

Korean greeting words vary depending on the region, with the difference observed in the expression and nuance between regional dialects. For example, in rural areas, people often say "gyeseyo (Is anybody home?)" when they visit a neighbor's house. The owner of the house then responds by saying, "Who is it? " They exchange these questions not to confirm the presence of the owner of the house, but to induce conversation in a natural way. The word "gyeseyo" is actually pronounced differently in different regions. People in Chungcheong Province draw out the word, making it sound like "gisyu" As well, "gyeseyo" pronounced in short length with a rising intonation is close to the dialect of the Yeongseo region in Gangwon Province. Moreover, some regions use entirely different expressions altogether. On Jeju Island, for example, people say "Otteong sarajimsukka? (How have you been getting along?)"

Greeting words reflect Koreans' care for others

Despite this diversity, Korean greeting words have one thing in common. Whatever forms they take, the words inquire after the health of the person addressed and convey the speaker's hopes for that person's comfort and well-being. By asking people how they have been getting along or whether they have had a good meal, Koreans try to confirm the welfare of others. In this way, greeting words are not a mere formality but reflect the nature of Koreans and the way they approach their relationships.

Read More ☞

[Reference List]

The memorial service table :
Tteokguk :
Neolttwigi :
Game of Yut : Ohmy News
An image of Seollal : Korea Tourism Organization

About the authorby Ja-in Huh

I am one of the main communicators of AT&D Korea. I am very excited to support you to know about Korean technology, design and culture. Also, I hope you become familiar with it. I like to communicate with people, therefore, if you want to have a conversation with Korean advanced technology, let's have a talk through SNS!

- Follow @JainHuh Twitter

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