Archive | September 2012

The Sounds of Korea: What I want to Hear

♩♬♫♪ opp-opp-opp-opp-oppan gangnam style~ ♪♫♬♩

While the whole world is fervently listening to Oppan Gangnam Style, I would like to take a moment and remove my earphones (and attempt to get rid of my current earworms of Oppan Gangnam Style and Korean drama OSTs) to listen to the rich sounds in Korea – because, after all, there’s more (so much more!) to Korea beyond K-pop and Hallyu.

Sounds.
I like how strong sounds are connected to one’s emotion. Hearing a song or someone’s voice or a familiar tune, rhythm or beat can instantly trigger an emotion and reminisce a memory. Sounds can capture some unique moments that cannot be seen or touched. I love the power of sounds that’s why I love listening to my surroundings.

The sounds of Korea.
From sounds that represents great traditions to the sounds of everyday lives; from the sounds of nature to the faintest sounds of one’s heart. Korea, being a diverse nation where rich culture and traditions meet modernity; a dynamic country where there’s harmony between nature and technology- is indeed a world of sounds!

Thus, I want to hear the different sounds of Korea… and store them in my heart forever.

I want to hear the sounds of Korea’s rich culture and tradition. I want to hear Korean music – from pansori to trots on rest stops; from samulnori to Kpop blasting from the speakers around downtowns. I also want to hear performances be it in theaters or on the streets.

I want to hear the language. With the Korean language being strikingly different from my own mother tongue I had always been curious about it and take it as an opportunity to learn more about Korean culture. After all, language and culture are tied together. I would like to explore as well the different dialects or satori in the different provinces and not to mention, the rich collection of onomatopoeias! I would love to attempt conversation with the friendly people – the strong and ever-helpful ahjummas, the warmhearted ahjussis, and the lovely little kids.

I want to hear the sounds of fun. From the thrilled screams of Gyro Drop riders in Lotte World to the late-night singing in noraebangs.

I want to hear technology. From the talking machines like the elevators announcing that the door is opening; or the T-money reloading machines; or the ATM machines; or the bus, subways and train announcements; or the T-money card readers that either thank you or nag you to swipe your T-money card again; to the different ringtones of smart phones and the 칙칙폭폭 (chikchikpokpok) of the Mugunhwa or KTX.

I want to hear nature. From the seagulls in Ganghwado to the 구구 (gugu) of the pigeons in the parks. From the sounds of water flowing in Cheonggyecheon stream to the cicadas at night. I want to hear the waves hitting the shores in Sokcho and Haeundae beaches.

I want to hear the sounds of Korean food. From the 부글부글 (bugeul-bugeul) of a hot sundae soup from an eatery to the faint 지글지글 (jireul-jireul) sizzle of dakgalbi in Chuncheon. From the sound of cracking a chestnut open, to the slight drizzling of oil while grilling samgyupsal.

I want to hear the sounds of everyday live. The call of the vegetable truck owner. The sounds from the markets. The sounds of the crowd in the shopping districts. The laughter of kids in the parks. The rustle of leaves. The 멍멍 (mongmong) of a street dog. And the 추록추록 of falling rain.

Given a chance to be in Korea again, I would love to hear all of them and keep them all in the musicbox of my heart.

But for now, what I am really dreaming to hear the most is the cheerful music of the Seoul Metro… and… hopefully it will go like this:

♫ Tan-ta-ran-ta-tan… ta-ran-ta-tan-ta-tan… ta-ran-ta-ran-ta-ran… tarararantan… ta-ra-ran-tan ♫

이번 역은 한국, 한국 역입니다. 내리실 문은 오른쪽입니디.
(ibeon yeokeun hanguk, hangukimnida. nerishin muneun oreunjjokimnida)

This stop is Korea. The doors are on your right.

==============================================

The post above is my official application to the Asian On Air Program brought to us by Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), together with Korean Air.

Photos on this post are from the personal file of the blogger. All photos are used with no intention of piracy or commercial intent.

Whew! I’ve finally submitted my entry. Have you sent yours?

More Info

< Asian on Air Program >
☞ Application Period: September 10 – 23, 2012
☞ Eligibility: Bloggers living in Asia
☞ Application Method: Buzz Korea Event Page
☞ Number of Winners: 20
☞ Winners Announcement: September 28, 2012 on Buzz Korea Homepage
☞ Homepage: www.ibuzzkorea.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ 1330 tt call center: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

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[Announcement] buzzKOREA calls Korean Culture Bloggers! Last day of submission today!

You’ve all heard of the Asian On Air Program of KTO and Korean Air, right?

If you haven’t submitted an entry yet, today’s your last chance! Don’t miss this opportunity to share what you want to do, see or hear in Korea. Who knows, this may be your chance to experience it first hand!

 

Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), together with Korean Air, is now accepting applications from bloggers in Asia for participation in the Asian On Air Program.

The Asian On Air Program is a special offer for bloggers from the region to experience and write about Korean culture. Successful applicants will be invited to visit Korea for 5 days (October 22-26, 2012), and attend a K-pop dance class, visit a traditional market, go rail-biking in Yangpyeong, etc.

In order to apply for the program, simply produce a blog entry or video clip telling what you want to do, see, or listen to in Korea, and post it on the Buzz Korea Event page by September 23rd. Winners will be selected by the KTO after a thorough evaluation of applications. Furthermore, applicants who promote the Asian On Air Program online via social networking sites and other communication platforms may receive bonus points.

More Info 

< Asian on Air Program >
☞ Application Period: September 10 – 23, 2012
☞ Eligibility: Bloggers living in Asia
☞ Application Method: Buzz Korea Event Page
☞ Number of Winners: 20
☞ Winners Announcement: September 28, 2012 on Buzz Korea Homepage
☞ Homepage: www.ibuzzkorea.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ 1330 tt call center: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

 

My Highs and Lows in Learning Korean

There are times when I feel so happy and “fulfilled” with my Korean. Like when I was able to successfully organize an event using only Korean. Or when I managed to have a decent, spontaneous and continuous conversation with Korean friends. Or when I can translate the things I read. Or when I can understand big chunks of my dramas or movies without realizing that my subtitles were turned off. Or even the simple things like recognizing a word I recently learned from something I read or heard. Just like a few days ago. I was watching a Korean movie in a cinema (during the Korean Film Fest) and I picked up 자세한 from the dialogue. 자세하다! 자세! I know that word! I just learned that from the TOPIK paper I was answering. I want to shout out loud that I know that freakin’ word!

But there are also times when I feel so frustrated it feels like (1) my efforts are going nowhere OR (2) that I will never ever improve OR (3) BOTH! And it’s usually something that will surface after a good “high”. Like last summer, just when I thought I was improving big time, I sat down in a drinking session with Korean friends and I ended up not understanding a thing they were saying. I barely talked that evening and just munched on the 안주 and drink all night but I was so tired afterwards because of my failed attempts of understanding the conversation. When will I be able to understand such kind of “free-conversation”?

And today, I am at my lowest perhaps. I spent hours each day for the past couple of weeks untangling TOPIK papers – learning new words and grammar points every day. Yet when I sat on our TOPIK review class today I barely understood anything from the 26th TOPIK paper! I highlighted words that I do not know and underlined all grammar points that are not familiar with me. Unknown words appeared one after the other until I almost highlighted the entire paragraph. As expected, I can’t understand anything. Our professor explains to us difficult words and grammar points but the thing is there are more words and grammar points on the material that I do not know so I still end up not understanding anything. I am also overwhelmed with the so many words I don’t know yet that even if words I have learned already appears, I can’t recognize them any longer. The fact that most of the members of the review class were really good since most of them have studied and stayed in Korea for at least a year doesn’t make it any better. It makes me feel all the more frustrated because they can understand more than what I can and they can express their thoughts verbally. I feel exasperated looking at my TOPIK papers. Will I’ll be able to learn all these things?

Times like this, I’d like to remind myself that a few years ago I can’t even read Hangeul; that a couple of years ago I can’t even introduce myself properly; that  last year I can’t even get more than 50 points in the vocabulary & grammar section of TOPIK.

Nonetheless, being lost in our review class and seeing my TOPIK papers almost covered in pink highlights makes me frustrated. I know I must work hard. Harder. But first, I need to get myself out of this 한국어 depression.

[Announcement] Calling for Korean Culture Bloggers!

Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), together with Korean Air, is now accepting applications from bloggers in Asia for participation in the Asian On Air Program.

The Asian On Air Program is a special offer for bloggers from the region to experience and write about Korean culture. Successful applicants will be invited to visit Korea for 5 days (October 22-26, 2012), and attend a K-pop dance class, visit a traditional market, go rail-biking in Yangpyeong, etc.

In order to apply for the program, simply produce a blog entry or video clip telling what you want to do, see, or listen to in Korea, and post it on the Buzz Korea Event page by September 23rd. Winners will be selected by the KTO after a thorough evaluation of applications. Furthermore, applicants who promote the Asian On Air Program online via social networking sites and other communication platforms may receive bonus points.

More Info

< Asian on Air Program >
☞ Application Period: September 10 – 23, 2012
☞ Eligibility: Bloggers living in Asia
☞ Application Method: Buzz Korea Event Page
☞ Number of Winners: 20
☞ Winners Announcement: September 28, 2012 on Buzz Korea Homepage
☞ Homepage: www.ibuzzkorea.com (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
☞ 1330 tt call center: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

[Announcement] Essay Contest on Korea’s National Image

What is your impression of Korea? What do you like about Korea? What do you dislike about Korea?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade seeks the input of people like you to understand how Korea is perceived by non-Koreans. Please share your impressions and opinions about Korea’s national image. The Grand Prize winner will receive a Korean brand laptop.

◇ Contest open to all foreigners without regard to age or gender.
– Those of Korean descent are not eligible.
* Please note that there is a separate contest for those of Korean nationals, in which Korean descent may participate.(please refer to www.mofat.go.kr for details)

◇ Submissions will be accepted from Sep. 3 until Oct. 19, 2012
– Please complete the attached application form and submit it with your essay(English or Korean) to culturemofat@gmail.com

 

SOURCE: MOFAT, Republic of Korea

[Announcement] Korea Post Philippines Job Vacancy

 

– Korea Post Philippines is a newspaper for Korean community in the Philippines
– KPP has supported Korea-related activities in UP Diliman, such as UPCIS AKLE, UP Korean Speech Contest, etc.
– KPP position is open for article writing assistant who is able to communicate in Korean (* You may be asked to choose local news, translate some news, assist Korean journalist outside of the office, etc.)

– Korean language fluency is not necessarily considered great, however, it is preferred who can at least understand, speak, and write Korean language

(* You may not be asked to write entire piece of article in Korean, however, KPP staff may teach or instruct further)
– Office hour 8am-5pm
– Salary and working condition will be informed upon interview or confirmation of hiring
– Someone who is COMMITTED, PASSIONATE and would like to experience in Korean company NOT JUST FOR FUN or NOT FOR A VERY SHORT PERIOD, should challenge!
– Those who are interested, please mail your CV to soulbarbers at hotmail dot com