Korea

South Korea occupies the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula, which extends some 1,100 km (680 mi) from the Asian mainland. This mountainous peninsula is flanked by the Yellow Sea to the west, and Sea of Japan (East Sea) to the east. Its southern tip lies on the Korea Strait and the East China Sea.

The country, including all its islands, lies between latitudes 33° and 39°N, and longitudes 124° and 130°E. Its total area is 100,032 square kilometres (38,622.57 sq mi).

  058.png

South Korea's terrain is mostly mountainous, most of which is not arable. Lowlands, located primarily in the west and southeast, make up only 30% of the total land area.

South Korea has a market economy which ranks 14th in the world by nominal GDP and 12th by purchasing power parity (PPP), identifying it as one of the G-20 major economies. It is a high-income developed country and is a member of OECD. South Korea is one of the Asian Tigers, and is the only developed country so far to have been included in the group of Next Eleven countries. South Korea had one of the world's fastest growing economies from the early 1960s to the late 1990s, and South Korea is still one of the fastest growing developed countries in the 2000s, along with Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, the other three members of Asian Tigers.South Koreans refer to this growth as the Miracle on the Han River. The South Korean economy is heavily dependent on international trade, and in 2010, South Korea was the sixth largest exporter and tenth largest importer in the world.

South Korea hosted the fifth G20 summit in its capital city Seoul, from November 11, 2010 to November 12, 2010. The two-day summit is expected to boost Korea's economy by 31 trillion won, or 4% of Korea's 2010 GDP, in economic effects, and create over 160,000 jobs in Korea. It may also help improve the country's sovereign credit rating.

  2.png
     

Korean Culture

   

South Korea shares its traditional culture with North Korea, but the two Koreas have developed distinct contemporary forms of culture since the peninsula was divided in 1945. Historically, while the culture of Korea has been heavily influenced by that of neighbouring China, it has nevertheless managed to develop a unique and distinct cultural identity from its larger neighbour. The South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism actively encourages the traditional arts, as well as modern forms, through funding and education programs. The industrialization and urbanization of South Korea have brought many changes to the way Korean people live. Changing economics and lifestyles have led to a concentration of population in major cities, especially the capital Seoul, with multi-generational households separating into nuclear family living arrangements.

 

Art 

Korean art has been highly influenced by Buddhism and Confucianism, which can be seen in the many traditional paintings, sculptures, ceramics and the performing arts. Korean pottery and porcelain, such as Joseon's baekja and buncheong, and Goryeo's celadon are well known throughout the world. The Korean tea ceremony, pansori, talchum and buchaechum are also notable Korean performing arts.

Post-war modern Korean art started to flourish in the 1960s and 1970s, when South Korean Artists took interest in geometrical shapes and intangible subjects. Establishing a harmony between man and nature was also a favorite of this time. Due to social instability, social issues appeared as main subjects in the 1980s. Art was influenced by various international events and exhibits in Korea, and with it brought more diversity. The Olympic Sculpture Garden in 1988, the transposition of the 1993 edition of the Whitney Biennial to Seoul, the creation of the Gwangju Biennale and the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1995 were notable events.

  3.png
   
  a4.png

 

Korean Cuisine

   

Korean temple cuisine at Sanchon, a restaurant located in Insadong, Seoul.

Korean cuisine, hanguk yori (한국요리; 韓國料理), or hansik (한식; 韓食), has evolved through centuries of social and political change. Ingredients and dishes vary by province. There are many significant regional dishes that have proliferated in different variations across the country in the present day.

The Korean royal court cuisine once brought all of the unique regional specialties together for the royal family. Meals consumed both by the royal family and ordinary Korean citizens have been regulated by a unique culture of etiquette.

  a5.png

Korean cuisine is largely based on rice, noodles, tofu, vegetables, fish and meats. Traditional Korean meals are noted for the number of side dishes, banchan (반찬), which accompany steam-cooked short-grain rice. Every meal is accompanied by numerous banchan. Kimchi(김치), a fermented, usually spicy vegetable dish is commonly served at every meal and is one of the best known Korean dishes. Korean cuisine usually involves heavy seasoning with sesame oil, doenjang (된장), a type of fermented soybean paste, soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, and gochujang (고추장), a hot pepper paste. Soups are also a common part of a Korean meal and are served as part of the main course rather than at the beginning or the end of the meal. Soups known as guk (국) are often made with meats, shellfish and vegetables. Similar to guk, tang (탕; 湯) has less water, and is more often served in restaurants. Another type is jjigae (찌개), a stew that is typically heavily seasoned with chili pepper and served boiling hot.

Contemporary music, film and television

In addition to domestic consumption, South Korean mainstream culture, including televised drama, films, and popular music, also generates significant exports to various parts of the world. This phenomenon, often called "Hallyu" or the "Korean Wave", has swept many countries in Asia and other parts of the world.

Until the 1990s, trot and ballads dominated Korean popular music. The emergence of the rap group Seo Taiji and Boys in 1992 marked a turning point for Korean popular music, also known as K-Pop, as the group incorporated elements of popular musical genres of rap, rock, and techno into its music. Hip hop, dance and ballad oriented acts have become dominant in the Korean popular music scene, though trot is still popular among older Koreans. Many K-Pop stars and groups are also well known abroad, especially in Asia.

Since the success of the film Shiri in 1999, Korean film has begun to gain recognition internationally. Domestic film has a dominant share of the market, partly due to the existence of screen quotas requiring cinemas to show Korean films at least 73 days a year. Korean television shows, especially the short form dramatic mini-series called "dramas", have also become popular outside of Korea, becoming another driving trend for wider recognition. The trend has caused some Korean actors to become better known abroad. The dramas are popular mostly in Asia. The stories have tended to have a romance focus, such as You're Beautiful, My Name is Kim Sam Soon, Boys over Flowers, Winter Sonata, Autumn Fairy Tale, Full House, All About Eve. Historical/fantasy dramas have included Dae Jang Geum, The Legend, Goong, and Sungkyunkwan Scandal

 

Sports

The martial art taekwondo originated in Korea. In the 1950s and 1960s, modern rules were standardised and taekwondo became an official Olympic sport in 2000. Other Korean martial arts include taekkyeon, hapkido, tang soo do, kuk sool won, kumdo and subak.

Football has traditionally been regarded as the most popular spectator sport in Korea. The national football team became the first team in the Asian Football Confederation to reach the World Cup semi-finals in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which was jointly hosted by South Korea and Japan. The Korean Republic team (as it is known) has qualified for every World Cup since Mexico 1986, and has broken out of the group stage twice: first in 2002, and again in 2010, when it was defeated by Uruguay in the Round of 16.

  a6.png

Baseball was first introduced to Korea in 1905 and has since become an increasingly popular spectator sport, with some sources claiming it has surpassed football as the most popular sport in the country. The South Korean national team finished third in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and second in the 2009 tournament. The team's 2009 final game against Japan was widely watched in Korea, with a large screen at Gwanghwamun crossing in Seoul broadcasting the game live. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, South Korea won the gold medal in baseball. Also in 1982, at the Baseball Worldcup, Korea won the gold medal. At the Guangzhou Asian Games, the Korean National Baseball team won the gold medal.

South Korea hosted the Asian Games in 1986 (Seoul), 2002 (Busan), and will host again in 2014 (Incheon). It also hosted the Winter Universiade in 1997, the Asian Winter Games in 1999 and the Summer Universiade in 2003. In 1988, South Korea hosted the Summer Olympics in Seoul, coming fourth with 12 gold medals, 10 silver medals and 11 bronze medals. On July 6, 2011 Pyeongchang was chosen by the IOC to host the 2018 Winter Olympics.

 

a7.jpga8.jpg a9.jpg a10.jpg

a11.jpg a12.jpg a13.jpg