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Transcript of South Korea
How was South Korea created?
Republic of South Korea
what is the Korean flag
The South Korean flag in called Tae-guk-gi in Korean and consists of a blue and red yin-yang symbol in the center. In each corner there is a different black trigram symbol taken from the ancient I Ching (Book of Changes).
Location, Geography and Population
The people of South Korea have a proud 5,000 year history.
The most famous dynasties are the Gorygeo and Joseon dynasties.
The most famous king of the Joseon dynasty is King Sejong the Great.
The Joseon dynasty lasted for over 700 years and was the longest lasting dynasty on the planet up until the Empire of Japan violently annexed the Korean peninsula in 1910.
Most modern Korean customs originate from the Joseon dynasty.
The Korean peninsula, and South Korea, have suffered through invasion many times during the last 1,500 years, by the Mongol Empire, and the countries of France, Japan, China and North Korea.
What do Koreans eat?
Consists of seaweed soup mixed with turnips and fish. It is then served with rice and kimchi. Western breakfast cereals are also popular.
Lunch: Various foods.
It can be quick service food served from a side street cart called a ‘pojangmacha’. Kimbab, noodles and deep fried squid are also popular.
Dinner: Various foods.
Traditional dinner consists of either galbi (chicken), bulgogi (grilled marinated beef), or samgyupsal (three-layered pork meat) with lettuce leaves, banchan (various side dishes), various shellfish and seafood, various soups, tofu, kimchi, and soju.
The country of South Korea is located on the Korean Peninsula, which extends southward from the northeast part of the Asian continent.
Roughly the same size as the state of Illinois.
The land is mainly mountainous but the surrounding seas provide moisture to the fertile soil needed to grow rice and grains.
The capital Seoul is both the 'modern' capital of the Republic of South Korea and the ancestral capital of Korea. It was founded more
than 2,000 years ago in the year 18BCE.
Population of South Korea: 50,000,000 (as of 2012)
Population of Seoul: 11,000,000 (as of 2012)
Classified as part of the Ural-Altaic language family, which includes Finnish, Hungarian, and Mongolian.
The writing script Hangul (meaning ‘the one script’) was invented by King Sejong the Great, the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, in 1443, to replace the use of Hanja (Chinese script writing).
It was specifically suited to fit the spoken Korean language.
Four vowels have since fallen out of use.
The vowels are associated with elements from the I Ching, Book of Changes.
There are 5 different dialects scattered around the country.
South Korea has a 97.9% literacy rate.
The Republic of Korea was officially created
on August 15, 1948.
Split from North Korea at the 38° parallel by a heavily-guarded fence.
North and South Korea are still at war because no peace treaty was signed in 1953.
Beginning in the 1990's both governments began staging reunions between family members, which continue to the present day.
South Korea has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons.
The winters usually are long, cold and dry while summers are short, hot and humid.
Spring and autumn are often pleasant but are often short in their duration.
Yearly temperatures range from -5° C to 25° C.
During the Spring season, yellow dust storms of sand and pollution from Chinese factories are common.
In any given year, rainfall is over 100 centimeters.
One to three typhoons passing over the peninsula in late summer, bringing torrential rains with them.
South Korea was a country with a poor economy in the 1950's and 1960's.
Over the course of four decades, modernization and industrialization transformed the economic and physical outlook of the country.
Per-capita income grew 100-fold during this time.
About sixty years ago South Korea was an isolated nation of poor farmers.
South Korea is now a nation with the highest rate of internet access, is a leading producer of semiconductors, and is an innovator in producing electronic products for the global market.
Religion is very important to modern South Korea although less than 75% of the population currently worship on a daily basis.
The current figures are:
1% Cheondogyo (the Religion of Heavenly Way)
South Korea is also home to various breakaway religious 'cult' sects such as the World Mission Society Church of God.
The country was ruled by presidents and dictators from 1948 until 1988 with support from Western leaders.
It became a democracy, with a republican form of government, in 1988.
The first president of South Korea was Syngman Rhee.
The ‘most infamous’ dictator, Chung Hee Park, ruled from 1963-1979. He was assassinated in 1979. He is famous, however, for modernizing and 'Westernizing' the capital of Seoul. His effort was termed 'The Miracle on the Han River'.
The recent election of Guen-Hye Park, his daughter, has brought a female president to power for the first time.
Education was not widely available until after the Korean War.
Most children attend either public or private institutions.
Compulsory education of children begins as young as two years of age.
About 85% of Korean children attend a hagwon, which are cram-school businesses that focus on teaching using an English curriculum.
Parents usually spend $420 to $720 dollars a month on hagwon tuition for their children.
Koreans spend 2% of their GPD on tutoring per year.
It is not unusual for children to leave these language academies at 10 or 11pm.
All high school students must know English to enter the one out of the five very-competitive South Korean government funded universities.
Solar New Year – January 2
New Year’s (Seollal) - late January
Independence Movement Day – March 1
Arbor Day – April 5
Children’s Day – May 5
Buddha’s Birthday – May 21
Memorial Day – June 6
Constitution Day – July 17 (celebrates the creation of South Korea as a country in 1953)
Liberation Day – August 15
Harvest Moon Festival – (Chuseok) September 30
Foundation Day – October 3 (founding of Korea by Dangun)
Christmas Day – December 25 (not a very popular holiday)
New Year's Eve - December 31
Home of the martial art of Tae-Kwon-Do, which developed over a period of 20 centuries.
Home to Hapkido, a traditional, self-defense martial art.
Baseball is a very popular sport. Nine professional baseball teams and a national Olympic team call the country ‘their’ home.
Soccer (football) is the most popular sport among South Koreans teenagers. The most famous soccer player from South Korea is Ji-Sung Park.
Figure skating and golf are equal to soccer in popularity. The most famous South Korea figure skater is Yuna Kim and K.J. Choi is the most famous pro-golfer.
South Korean baseball and soccer teams use their games against Japan to protest against the Japanese treatment of the Korean people during their 1915-1945 occupation of the peninsula. They also protest against Japan over the occupation of the Lioncourt Rocks (Dokdo Island) in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
K-pop began in the year 1996 but until 2008 the industry was male dominated.
In 2010, more than 50 new groups debuted.
In the past three years 52% of the groups that debuted were female.
24 girl groups debuted in the first quarter of
Musicians undergo grueling many grueling years of training by their agencies before they record their first song.
The worldwide spread of K-pop music has become known as the ‘Hallyu Wave’.
Samulnori is traditional Korean instrumental music performed during festivals and holidays throughout the year.
Dongnaeyaryu is a mask dance drama from the Dongnae area of South Korea, that prays for peace within a village and the spreading of wealth during a new year.
Gayageum is a twelve-stringed instrument created 1,800 years ago and is based on a Chinese instrument. There are two kinds of gayageum; one used for classical music and the other used for folk music
Korean Fan Dance is performed by dancers dressed in royal formal dress while using a decorated fan to depict the opening and closing of a peony flower
The Grand Concert of Drums is a dynamic female drum ensemble that performs expressive beats using a wide variety of hourglass-shaped Korean drums.
Pansori are orally-transmitted stories sung by a singer performed to the rhythmic beat of a drummer
Ethnicity, gender roles, and family:
•The country is 99% ethnically Korean.
•South Korea is the most homogenous nation in the world.
•Historically, the first born male of every household is the most important child in the family. The male also assumes all leadership duties of the family after his marriage.
•Korean women are often docile, submissive, and deferential to the wishes of their husbands and public assertions for power are generally frowned upon.
•The traditional role of married South Korean women is to manage both the finances of the family and the education of her children.
•The role of women is very slowly changing; many now work outside the home. However, a majority only work until marriage .
•South Korea is a traditional male-dominated society.