Published on March 4, 2014
Republic of Korea South Korea has been recognized as an industrialized, developed economy country with some of the world's leading high technology corporations such as Samsung and LG. In recent years, a phenomenon known as the "Korean Wave" (or Hallyu) in which the popularity of South Korean film, television, music, food and other culture aspects has swept most of Asia and many other parts of the world has brought increased attention to the country.
Having been under the cultural sphere of China for much of its history, substantial Chinese influences are evident in traditional Korean culture. Koreans believe that the things that set them the most apart from other Asian cultures are their cuisine, their language and their hangeul script. Korea has a significant number of Christians (26%) and Buddhists (26%). And some 46% of the country profess to follow no particular religion.
Baseball was brought to Korea by American missionaries in 1905. The Korean national baseball team is regarded as one of the strongest in the world. Korean martial arts such as taekwondo are also popular.
Holidays Korea's traditional holidays follow the lunar calendar, so they fall on different days each year. The two biggest, Seollal and Chuseok, are family holidays. Seollal (설날), on the 1st day of the 1st month in the lunar calendar, is also known as "Korean New Year". Families gather together, eat traditional foods-especially Ddugguk (떡국). Chuseok (추석), often dubbed "Korean Thanksgiving", is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the year (usually September-October). Koreans celebrate it by eating traditional foods, notably a rice cake called songpyeon (송편) and playing folk games. Buchonnim osinnal or sawolchopa-il : means Buddha's birthday, 8th, 4th month in the lunar calendar.
Korean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular outside of Korea, especially in other parts of East Asia. A Korean meal is centered around rice and soup and likely a fish or meat dish, invariably served with a vast assortment of side dishes known as banchan (반찬). The kimchi (김치 gimchi), made from fermented cabbage and chili, accompanies nearly every meal. Many different dishes are made using kimchi for flavoring, and kimchi is served as a side dish
KOREANS USE CHOPSTICKS WITH A TWIST:THEY PREFER CHOPSTICKS OF METAL. Some etiquette pointers: Do not leave chopsticks sticking upright in a dish, especially rice. Do not start eating unless the eldest at the table has begun to eat. Do not lift any plates or bowls off the table while eating, because Koreans consider that it is rude.
Sights Kyongbokkung is also called Northern Palace, because it is located in the northern part of Seoul, South Korea. Kyongbokkung was the main residence of the Joseon Dinasty and it was built in 1394, following the design of the Korean architect Jeong Dojeon.
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