Posted by: aventa | March 11, 2010

Korean school

This week i’ll talk about korean school because i want to work in Korea and i think it’s interesting to know the school system if we have to teach them (there are many Koreans who learn in France so may be you will teach them too !)

In their system there is 5 levels :

– Nursery school (before 6 years old, normally during one year). It’s not compulsory.

–  Primary school : between 6  and 12 years old. It’s compulsory. They haven’t to pass an examen each year and the repeating doesn’t exist.

– Secondary school : during 6 years (3 + 3 years)

During the secondary school, they have to wear a uniform and there is a special hair crop (the choice of this crop depends of school).

– University : The admission depends of the secondary school final test marks. There is a classification of university which is really important for the korean. During the secondary school they work very much (during holiday, during night  etc.) to enter a good university. It’s really stressful for them.

For example, the secondary schools organize “permanent lesson” (translation of korean) after the normal lessons. This lessons are between 9~11.00pm. Officially they are not compulsory but in fact schools force the teenagers to go on.

University means freedom for the koreans. They can choose want they want to do and when.

The normal diploma is given after 4 years. There is too an education during 2 years but it’s less attractive for koreans (in fact it’s for the teenagers who had bad marks in secondary schoot test).

In university there isn’t uniform anymore. First year is often the year of entertainement, freedom. After the competition start again but less than on secondary school. For the korean there is a strong link between social success and school.

All the universities are really expensive.

It’s all for this week !

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Posted by: aventa | March 2, 2010

Daegu

Today i’ll talk about Daegu.  What’s Daegu ?

Daegu is the third largest town in South Korea with around 2.5 millions people. This town is placed in southeast of the country but it’s not near the sea.

Just a touch of history : Daegu is located in the ancient kingdom of Silla, kingdom which unified the Korea first in history. At that time (between 57 BC and 668, year when the Silla won) there were three important kingdoms : Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla)

But why am i talking about the third largest town on Korea and not about Seoul ? Just because i lived in for one month 2 years ago and i love this city ! (more than Seoul in fact ^-^)

Daegu is known as a conservative city. Before i went to this town, i heard there weren’t any  foreigners (almost) in this city so i was a little bit affraid about that. But in fact, even if there isn’t many  foreigner , Daegu people are really nice, welcoming and smiling. It’s true that they look at you but they don’t glare you, they are just curious  ! Sometimes they even try to speak with you in a mix of korean and english ! 🙂

About entertainment, for people who know this part of Asia, there is, of course, Karaoke ! For people who don’t know, Karaoke is different in Asia, it’s not the big room with an old Tv where you sing the Johnny Halliday’s song in front of drunk guys. In asia you can rent a room (during 1,2hours or for the night) just for you and your friends and in this room there is material (big tv, some music instrument) and a waiter bring you your commission (often alcohol and some of food). It’s really good !

Other entertainment are rumpus room, concert, pocketball room, cinema etc…

The town is really big and it’s amusing because it’s encircled by moutains. So you have nature and urbanism in the same place !

In my point of view it’s a good thing to live in Daegu because by train you are not far from Seoul and you are near Busan (the most famous (i don’t know if you can say that in English ^-^)seaside town, particulary the Haeundae beach ( if you like korean movies there is a movie called Haeundae about Tsunami, it’s a good film ! )

Amandine



Posted by: aventa | February 15, 2010

Korean movies i like

In the futur posts i’ll try to introduce some Korean or/and Japanese movies.

This week i wanna introduce you a trilogy. The theme of it is vengeance. This is the only common thing between the three movies so you can watch just one or two of them it’s not a problem. The stories are independant.

The name of the three movies are :

– Sympathy for Mr Vengeance

– Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

– Old boy

The three movies was directed by Park Chan Wook between 2002 and 2005. Personally i love this trilogy. It’s a little bit special, sometimes violent but really fascinating.

Many peoples prefer Old boy but in my point of view Sympathy for Lady vengeance is the best of them.

I advise against watching first Sympathy for Mister Vengeance because (always in my point of view) the first 40 minutes are really boring and it’s the worst movie of the trilogy.

Just a little synopsis of them :

Sympathy for Mr Vengeance : A young factory worker has recently quit art school in order to look after his sister, who is dying because she needs a kidney. When a doctor tells him that he is an unsuitable donor and that the chances of finding one is slim, he turns to the black market. But he will be abused… (www.rottentomatoes.com)

About this one, i tried three times to watch it before succeed in watching it completly. The beggining is really boring. The only thing why i wanted to finish it it’s because i like the acting of this actors (and because it’s Park Chan Wook’s movie for sure !). But after the 30/40 first minutes this movie is really interesting.

About actors : if you want to watch more korean movies, you can watch “The game” (it’s the same leading actor). I have seen it last week, and for sure it isn’t a great film, but i think it’s quite funny !

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance : Geum-jae is released from prison after serving 13 1/2 years for kidnapping and killing a child. Known in prison as “Kindly Miss Geum-jae” (the film’s original Korean title), she begins executing her plan for exacting vengeance on the man responsible for the child’s death and her own conviction for the crime.…(www.heroic-cinema.com)

Lady vengeance is really the best of the trilogy. The story is really fascinating, the actors are really good (and the leading role is the only woman i know who can wear red makeup on the eyes and be pretty !! ^-^). I think that on this movie there is less visible violence than in Old boy but we can feel more the effects of the hate of the leading role. I think it’s more artistic too. But it just my point of view. And the soundtrack is really good !

Old boy : Oh Dae-su has been kidnapped during 15 years. The only link with the world he had was a TV. Released, he has only 5 days to discover the truth about his kidnapping…

Some of you know Old boy. So in my point of view it’s the second best movie of the trilogy (not so far of Lady vengeance !). The story is really surprising for a korean movie and i think it’s for that it had success (but it’s the case for the three movies). I think this one is the more violent movie of the trilogy but it isn’tjust violence or the show it’s more artistic i think. But if there is  too sensitive don’t watch it !

It’s all for today ! I wish you will like this trilogy !

Amandine

Posted by: aventa | February 9, 2010

Valentine’s day

This week i’ll talk about Valentine’s day in Korea and in Japan (it’s almost the same in fact ^_^)

In the last post i said that Seollal will take place on 14th of February this year. By a curious coincidence it takes place the same day as…Valentine’s day !

Everybody know Valentine’s day here so you can think « why will she explain us this day of celebration ? ». Just because it’s different in Asia ! (particulary in Japan and Korea)

In fact Valentine’s period is cut on 2 (or 3) days in those countries. So let’s begin the explanation !

The 14th of February : Valentine’s day.

In Japan and in Korea, it’s the woman who presents chocolate gifts (called girichoco in japanese, often in a beautiful box or handmade) to the man/men she loves (it’s possible to present chocolate to one or more men ^_^) and sometimes to her friends. But in general the aim is to announce her love.

But women don’t worry the men have to return the favor !

The 14th of March : White day.

On White Day, the converse happens: men who received chocolate gifts on Valentine’s Day are expected to return the favor by giving gifts.

Here is the first difference between Japan and Korea.

In Japan, the return gifts are often white chocoloate, cookies, or more expensive gifts.

In Korea the trandition is to offer candy in return. (Often more candy or special gift to the woman they choose XD)

And the last and the funniest : The 14th of April : Black day !

I love this last one, it’s so ironic !

Black day takes place only in Korea. It’s a informal tradition.

This day is especially for the single people who didn’t give or receive any presents on Valentine’s day and on White day.

On this day, the single people go together to eat Jajangmyeon (it’s delicious noodle with black sauce) to celebrate their lonliness ! ^_^

It’s all for this week !

In the next post i’ll try to not talk about day of celebration ! ^_^ But i don’t know what it will be about yet !

Amandine

Posted by: aventa | January 30, 2010

Seollal

Hello ^_^

Just for information, now i will manage this blog alone because my colleague has stopped this Master. So i will try to continue to talk about Korea and sometimes i’ll try to write about Japan if i find interesting subjects ! ^_^

So let’s go !

Today i’ll talk about Seollal ! But what’s seollal ? As you can imagine (or not ^_^) it’s a korean day of celebration, it’s the Korean new year.

At the beginning i want to say that Korean celebrate our New year too but it’s less important than Seollal. They just celebrate it with their friends but it isn’t a traditional day of celebration.

In fact Seollal is originally a Chinese day of celebration (everybody know Chinese New Year). It’s the first day of lunar calendar (remember it was the same calendar as Chuseok). For this day of celebration there is the same problem as Chuseok, every year the date changes ! This year it’s on 14th of February (next year it will be on 3rd).

This holidays (3 days ) are the most important in Korea. Like during Chuseok, Korean people return to their home towns to visit their parents (and family) during this holidays to do Sebae.

But what’s Sebae ?

Children do a deep tranditional bow and say “새해 복 많이 받으세요” (saehae bok manhi badeuseyo) (in fact we can say the same sentence for our new year ^_^) (i don’t know the translation in English but it’s to say “i whish you a good year !”). The parents give them some money in return.

During this holiday, Koreans play folk games, wear the traditional Hanbok (i talked about it in Chuseok post) and eat tteokguk (soup with rice cakes) (i hate that XD).

Just for information, Koreans use Chinese horoscope and this year it’s tiger year !

Amandine

Posted by: inukoi | November 19, 2009

J’irai dormir chez vous

Like Deborah, I post a video from the programme “J’irai dormir chez vous”.
Japan is the Antoine de Maximy’s fifth travel. He went to Japan knowing nothing of the country.
He doesn’t speak any word of japanese and japanese people do not speak english so it’s hard to communicate.
Plus, they don’t invite people to sleep, it’s not usual in their culture.

It’s a full video and it lasts almost one hour, so it’s a little bit long but very interesting and funny.

(I’m sorry, I found the video but it’s split into 12 parts :/.)

Fanny

Posted by: aventa | November 11, 2009

Chuseok

Today i was looking at pictures i took in Korea when i thought “Oh my god ! This year i didn’t celebrate Chuseok !” (<=I know,  it’s a little bit exaggerated ! ^_^)

But what is Chuseok ?

As you can imagine, Chuseok is a Korean day of celebration. More precisly it’s the harvest festival.

This traditional festival is one of the most popular festivals in Korea. For this one, Korean people have three days of holiday to celebrate it.

chuseok fête

When is it ?

In fact, it’s a little bit complicated because it isn’t a fixed date. It’s on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar (around the Autumn equinox). Last year it’s was on 14th of september, this year on 3rd of october, and next year on 2nd of september !

What do they do during this holiday ?

On Chuseok, Koreans returning to their hometowns to pay respects to the spirits of the ancestors (the first day and the day before Chuseok it’s not worth taking your car, especially into city, all day it’s rush hour ! ^_^).

They often visit the tombs of their ancestors to clean them, and offer food, drink… Because they think that it’s the blessing of ancestors who gives good harvest.

chuseok

The day of Chuseok, all the family eat together. There are special dishes which are prepared for this day on an altar. Men say one’s prayers in front of the altar (traditionally because of Confusianism) and after we can eat all this good dishes !!! ^_^  But it isn’t the same way in each family, it depends of the faith, the mordernaty of the family. For example, in some families the men and the women cannot eat together, in other families it’s possible…

hanbok

An other detail, traditionally, Koreans wear traditionnal piece of clothing called Hanbok (on the picture). But now almost people don’t wear it but it isn’t comfy ! When i was in Korea i din’t know that, and on Chuseok i was the one and only person in my boyfriend’s family who wears a Hanbok ! It’s was ashamed because i was the only foreigner and the only person who wears the traditionnal korean clothe ! (exepect a child XD) ^_^

During this holiday too,  young people takes advantage of meeting their old (often school) friends.  And in the cities there are some activities.

I think Chuseok is a really beautiful and important festival because even in France, Korean people celebrate Chuseok (for sur less heavily).

Amandine

Posted by: aventa | October 22, 2009

South Korea vs. North Korea

In this post i will try (just try because it’s a little bit complicated) to talk you about the conflict between South (Republic of Korea, ROK) and North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK).

coree-du-sud drapeau-coree-du-nord

I know that in my last post i said that i won’t talk about politic but to understand the situation (and the culture) of the South Korea now, it’s important to know its past, and specially this part of its history.

Between 1905 and 1945, Korea was colonized by Japan. After the second world war, the Allies decided that the North of Korea will be managed by Sovietics and the South by the Americans (border line was the 38° parallel line).

The beginning of the conflict was the korean war (1950-1953).  This war was politic and ideologic because North Korea is a communist country and South Korea a democracy. In fact Korea was the ground of a bigger war : the war between USSR (and China) and the USA called Cold War.

On 25th of June 1950 North Korea invaded the South with the help of Sovietics and after the help of China. The USA entered in war to protect South Korea. On 27th of July 1953 the armistice was signed.

guerrecorée2guerrecorée

Now the diplomatic relations between this countries is difficult. As the North Korea is a dictatorship, they don’t want to receive international help. The South Korea often try to hold a dialogue with its neighbour. Last year they have restored first railway between the two countries (only for goods).

A big problem now between this two countries is the nuclear. The international community has forbiden North Korea to product nuclear but they don’t accept it. In 2006 and in 2009 they did nuclear test.

This year North Korea sent missiles on the Japan sea to express its discontent about the forbidding of nuclear production. The relationship between South and North has been damaged a little bit more because of that.

Some peoples think that the death of Kim Jong Il (the current leader who succeed to his father Kim Il Sung- leader between 1948 and 1994-) can help to restore a good relationship between the two countries but it’s not probable because his son Jon-un (1983-) will probably succeed him.

kim-jong-il-

I have talked with some Koreans about this subject. All of them said to me that they want a reunification between this two countries but they know that it’s really difficult and that it probably will be just a dream.

Now in South Korea we can feel the pressure of this conflict in the society. For exemple, in South Korea each man have to do a military service for 2 years. After the service for 1 years they don’t have to do anything for the army. After that during 5 years one time per year they have to do 1 day ( for the students) or 1 week (for the others) of military exercices. Afterward, if there is a war they have to protect their military base during 5 years, and when this time is finished, if there is a war they have to protect their city.

korean army

Last year too a South Korean woman was killed by the North Korean army. This news really shocked South Korean people.

Still now the border line between this two countries is probably the most protected border line in the world !

It’s all for today !  I hope i have helped you to understand the conflict between this two countries. I am not a specialist of this subject but i think i gave you the most important lines ! ^_^

In the next post i’ll try to talk about more amusing things !

Posted by: inukoi | October 20, 2009

Manga

The manga 漫画 or まんが appeared in the Nara’s Era (8th century). In Japan reading manga isn’t reserved to marginal, everybody read manga.
After Japan, France is the first manga market place in the world.
Most of the time manga are pre-published in dedicated magazines (like Shônen Jump the most famous which targets young boys and Cookie which on the contrary targets young girls). In manga, there is no taboo, they deal with every kind of social aspect but some of them would not be accepted in our societies especially those illustrating rape, pedophilia, etc.

There are many types of manga (I’ll only list the popular ones):

seinen : for adults : Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue, Berserk by Kentaro Miura, Battle Royale by Masayuki Taguchi and Koushun Takami, …
shônen : for boys : Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto, Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama, Full Metal Alchemist (FMA) by Hiromu Arakawa, GTO by Tôru Fujisawa, Nicky Larson (City Hunter) by Tsukasa Hôjo,…
shôjo : for girls : Nana by Ai Yazawa, Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya, Sakura by Clamp, …
There are also others manga which treat pornography (Hentai), homosexual love stories with men/women characters (Yaoi/Yuri) and ecchi for erotic stories.

Popular manga often are adapted to other formats like televison anime, movies or dramas but the other way works too.

Of course, this article can’t relate all aspects of manga culture but I think I’ve provided to you readers important keys which will help you understand the basics.

I think I’ll talk, in other posts, about my favorites manga (FMA, Nana or Ai Yazawa’s manga, …).

To illustrate :

Fanny

Posted by: inukoi | October 20, 2009

Japanese writing

The most important syllabary is hiragana :
Hiragana

Notes :
“u” is to be read “ou” in French [u]
“e” =>“é” [e]
“r” (ra, ri…) is pronounced like a “l”

If you add “tenten” (it’s “””) to “ka” かit becomes “ga” が
“ sa” さ=> “ za”» ざ
« ta » た => « da » だ etc.
If you add “°” at “ha” はit becomes “pa” ぱ etc.

ki + ya = “kya” => きゃ
shi + ya = « sha » しゃ etc.

There are many other constructions but I won’t detail them here.

The katakana is used for foreign words (example : Fanny can be written ファニ). It works like hiragana.
Katakana

It seems to be complicated but it’s not (really !).
If you want, I can transcript your name ^^ (If your name is complicated, I can’t guarantee you my transcription will be correct.).

Fanny

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