Archive for December, 2010

Fashion sun dress

Loving this black and white patterned dress from Cutie Code.

vCute sexy asian girls

Share

Hot item in North Korea

According to the the Daily Mail, about 2000 North Korean defectors were recently interviewed in South Korea to learn about the current state of the country. It turns out that there are some unusual trends going on in the North. Of items that are a hot commodity are things such as skinny jeans, blue crabs and human feces (poo) because there is a lack of fertilizer.

I can only imagine what hipsters look like in North Korea…

Share

Cute Korean earrings

We really like these handmade earrings, and pretty much everything else over at www.okitokki.com. Look at the cute little flower fox spirits, called kumiho (구미호) in Korea. According to the maker, Aein, “they’re believed to gain an extra tail for every 100 years they live, the wisest and most powerful being nine tails.”

Here are some related links.

Korean mythology

A Fox Woman Tale of Korea by Heinz Insu Fenkl

Share

Christmas in Korea

Author: Jamie

Korean Girls Sexy Santa

In case you were wondering, Christmas is a very festive time of year in South Korea. It is the only East Asian country that recognizes Christmas as a national holiday and every year there seems to be more decorations in shopping malls and festivities in the streets.

winter korea christmas

Seoul really gets into the Christmas spirit

Christians now make up more than half of all religious Koreans. That said, not all Korean’s celebrate to the same extent. There are still many Buddhists in Korea who don’t actively celebrate Christmas. However, much like in the West, there’s really no escaping the fun and feeling of the season. As such, Christian and non-Christian Koreans engage in some holiday customs such as gift-giving, sending Christmas cards, and setting up decorated trees in their homes.

Korean Christmas

Children, especially, appear to have embraced Santa Claus, whom they call Santa Halabuji (Grandfather Santa) in Korean. Local radio stations play holiday music on Christmas Day and a few days before, while television stations are known to air Christmas films and cartoon specials popular in the Western countries.

Korean singers

As in the West, churches in Korea hold Christmas pageants and conduct special services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Young people especially enjoy the fellowship these observances provide; after the Christmas Eve services, for example, they go caroling to the homes of older church members, where they are usually treated to hot drinks and snacks.

Kpop artists are really beginning to understand the economic benefits of Christmas as well as more and more have begun releasing Christmas tracks and albums as well as holding special Christmas concerts.

SG Wonderfuls Christmas

SG Wonderfuls are a Kpop group that definitely get the appeal of Christmas! (via http://kimyoobin.wordpress.com)

Happy Xmas from Wonder AM

Kpop band Wonder AM send their greetings to fans for Christmas (via http://cutegiurl.wordpress.com)

kpop Christmas

JYP Entertainers together for Christmas (via http://livekpop.com)

This is a cute Christmas music video from point of view to make it feel like you are part of the Christmas fun with all your favorite kpop stars from JYP.

See some fun links here

Photos from Santa Claus School

Christmas tree as propaganda tool against North Korea

Merry Christmas from Rory and Jamie. May your New Year be happy and most of all, peaceful.

Share
Etihad

Etihad is now flying daily between Seoul and Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways, the airline that Rory works for, has officially begun flying between Abu Dhabi and Seoul, Korea. Rory was part of the crew that flew out before the launch and took part in the press conference as well as events with high-level Korean officials.

This is great news for Rory, as she can now visit her mom whenever she has to work on a flight to Korea and it is good for me also, because now I will be able to see my in-laws as it makes going to Korea a lot easier.

I think that this new service route was a long-time coming. Recently, there has been a lot of big business deals between the UAE (particularly Abu Dhabi) and large Korean businesses (Chaebol 재벌).

I want to do another post that explores the huge Korean conglomerates in more depth. But I think this shows how there are many ties between Korea and the UAE.

For anyone interested, I have put together a map of Korean restaurants, groceries and entertainment venues in the UAE. If you know or find somewhere that isn’t on this map, please feel free to suggest it in the comments and I will add it.

UPDATE - I just saw in the National newspaper today that there will be a Korean film showcase in Abu Dhabi hosted by the Korean Embassy. The free, three-day Korean Film Series will be held at Abu Dhabi Theater starting on Saturday, December 18, marking 30 years of diplomatic relations between Korea and the UAE. A Korean chef will prepare food during the screening and free flights to Seoul will be given away. Abu Dhabi Week did a good article on it too.

Apparently, the event is co-organized by the Embassy and King Sejong Institute, which was founded at Zayed University this past October and is the the first organization to teach Korean language and culture in the UAE.

You can see the schedule here.

Korea in the Middle East

Korea and Middle East countries, particularly the UAE, are benefitting from a strengthening relationship

See Etihad’s commercial here. The site also has some tourist suggestions.

Share

Wedding Day

Author: Jamie

I know it has been soooo long since May 2nd. It really shouldn’t have taken us this long to get our photos from the wedding up, but here they are. While there were thousands actually taken, these are the choice shots taken from our hired photographer, as well as good friends @ayhoom, Tai and Stephen.  I will use the photos to also explain the different elements of the wedding ceremony. If you would like to see the whole set, please visit the photos page. Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have in the comments section. Enjoy!

my brother's hanbok

This is my brother during the practice. I think he looks awesome in his hanbok. His job in the ceremony is really important. As was his role as the Ham Carrier during the Crazy Squid Face Night. Now he has to carry the duck.

Dates, rice cakes and nuts

The main part of the wedding ceremony took place around this table that was full of food made as an offering to our ancestors.

Fan Dancers

Before the wedding we had traditional Korean fan dancers. I couldn't see them because I was busy hiding but apparently they were beautiful.

Traditional Music

The traditional music was great too. It really helped to create an atmosphere as though it was 1000 years ago.

Groom coming downt the stairs

Wearing the emperor's robe and headdress, I proceeded from up the stone stairs down to the main courtyard. I am covering my face because traditionally marriages are arranged and so no one should see the groom's face. My brother was behind, carrying the symbolic duck.

big bow little bow

Once we reached the courtyard, my brother and I bow to each other and he hands me the duck.

wooden duck in a traditional Korean wedding

In traditional Korean culture, ducks represent commitment because they mate for life. This duck represents my love and commitment for Rory and must be presented to her parents.

Giving the duck in a traditional korean marriage

I must present the duck to Rory's mother by placing it on a table in front of a traditional house that is representing her family's home. I then bow a few times and wait for her mom to come out.

Low bow

Here I am bowing for the bride's mother to accept me

The wedding is sealed

Once Rory's mom accepts the duck, the marriage is technically complete. The rest is just for show. This demonstrates the ultimate power Korean families have in who their children marry.

Korean bride

After, Rory is allowed to exit the house. However, she must hold her robe up to hide her face, because traditionally marriages were arranged and so we are not allowed to see each others face until the ceremony begins.

Emperor's robe

Waiting for Rory to show me her face

Traditional Korean House Courtyard

The courtyard was quite large and could accommodate the over 200 people that came from across Korea. They came mostly because they wanted to see the white guy that was joining their family. Afterward though, many of them thanked us because they had never seen a traditional Korean wedding before.

See the bride

Now the bride and groom can finally see each other for the first time. Phew! I got lucky.

Drink for the anscestors

Food and drink are such an important part of Korean culture. Both the bride and groom must take one bite of a date and one drink of wine from the gourd. What is interesting though is that we have to first place one date on a plate and pour wine for our ancestors. So much of the ceremony revolves around respecting our elders.

Bowing low

Rory had to bow to me, then I bowed to her and then she bowed again to me. Then we bowed to our parents.

Family photograph

After the ceremony we took a formal photo with our parents and new parents-in-law

Group photo with friends

Then one with all of our friends who traveled around the world to join us. We sealed the deal with a kiss.

bowing

After the ceremony, the guests all go and eat and the families and extended families enter one of the houses. Here they perform many small ceremonies, mainly just having the bride and groom bow to the family members to show respect and to accept their gifts.

After the wedding

One of the main parts though is when our parents through dates and nuts and we have to catch them in the brides scarf.

catching dates in the scarf

The number of dates and nuts we catch represent how many boys and girls we will have. As you can see we caught nine!!!

I then threw Rory on my back and ran around the room. Our head dresses then managed to get stuck to each other and we had a humorous moment while we tried to disconnect. It really was fated I suppose.

If you want to see the rest of the pics from the ceremony, please see the photos sections of the blog.

I look forward to finally getting the video and editing it down so that we can share it as well. The music, the dancing, the outfits and the bowing. It really was quite a magical day. If you have any questions about the ceremony, please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks.

Share

KPOP music awards

Korean pop music is HUGE!!!!!! and not even just in Korea.

According to Wikipedia, in addition to music, K-pop has grown into a popular subculture among teenagers and young adults throughout Southeast and Central Asia, resulting in widespread interest in the fashion and style of top Korean idol groups and singers.[9] Through the presence of Facebook fan pages, availability on iTunes, Twitter profiles, and music videos on YouTube, the ability of K-pop to reach a previously inaccessible audience via the Internet is driving a paradigm shift in the exposure and popularity of the genre.

Kpop korean pop music

There are so many bands and groups that it is hard to keep track. There are even a lot of popular KPop artists who are actually from Thailand and China that were groomed, taught to speak Korean and made into international sensations. It is a really interesting industry actually.

I am going to do more research on the subject but I would love if anyone wanted to comment and explain who their favorite artist(s) are and why.

The 25th Golden Disk Awards

Not coincidentally, the major KPop awards are happening now at Hwajeong Gym in Koryeo University in Korea. The awards show first began in 1986, and since then, it’s become Korea’s most prestigious awards ceremony for music.  They are nicknamed the ‘Korean Grammy Awards.

Today’s winners are:

Disk Daesang
Winner: SNSD

Samsung YEPP Digital Daesang
Winner: 2AM

Disk Bonsang
Winners:
1. DJ DOC
2. SHINee
3. SNSD
4. Super Junior
5. BoA

Digital Bonsang
Winners:
1. 2AM
2. IU
3. Miss A
4. CN Blue
5. Lee Seunggi

Samsung YEPP Newcomers’ Awards
Winners:
1. BEAST
2. Secret
3. Sistar

Ceci Popularity Awards
Winners:
1. SNSD
2. SHINee

MSN Asian Popularity Award
Winner: Super Junior

COSMOPOLITAN Rock Award
Winner: F.T Island

Hip Hop Award
Winner:  Supreme Team

Production Award
Winner: Hong Seungsong

Achievement Award
Winner: Park Choonsuk

Here’s the winning speech by SNSD!

To see more photos from the event, check out www.allkpop.com

Share