My Korean Husband

Intercultural Life

Month: March 2017 (page 1 of 3)

We talk about the rubbish man comic! Just because you know how to translate something doesn’t mean it sounds good in the Korean language!

Let us know what other comics you’d like us to revisit and talk about. They don’t have to be recent ones, we can dig up some older ones. We actually don’t remember all the comics so it’s fun to go back and have a look.

I have to be honest and say that I did know it sounded bad in Korean when I first said this to Hugh (before I made the comic). But I was being a bit naughty and seeing if he would react. He did.

The original comic is here!

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Nicholalala Webtoon Episode: Onions

READ FULL EPISODE HERE!

Nicholalala is a mostly fictional webtoon on webtoons.com. New episode every week!

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Yellow Dust Ruins Everything

Update on Hugh’s progress! He was very diligent at running regularly but the past few days have hindered that because of the yellow dust. Part of the problem with yellow dust is that unless you check religiously, you can get caught out and be exposed to it and then feel really sick for days.

Yellow dust is dust/dirt/sand from the deserts in China and Mongolia that mixes with pollution in China and then comes down to Korea and mixes with Korean pollution. It can be really bad in Spring and affects some people more than others. It brings on flu or cold like symptoms like a sore throat, headache, aches etc. Hugh usually gets sicker than I do. For example my throat is slightly sore but that’s it. He has been very sick and has difficulty talking because of his throat. I do wonder if his childhood where he was exposed to a lot of cigarette smoke affects how his throat handles the yellow dust now. I was hardly ever exposed to cigarette smoke as a child and grew up in the fresh countryside Australian air. But besides from the obvious problems someone might have, I’m not sure what other factors there are in how someone reacts to it. I just know it messes Hugh up a lot.

So that has been very frustrating for his exercise plan because he was been really enjoying running outside a lot. Hopefully it clears soon.

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This is just one of the mistakes I’ve made in Korean! It’s hard learning a second language and not knowing how words are related or not related at all. At least Hugh got a good laugh out of my dumb assumption.

Our audience can be quite fragmented. We have people who only read the comics, people who only watch our videos and some who only follow the Nicholalala webtoon. This new series is a way of showing the comics to the YouTube audience and to discuss them further as a couple.

When I posted this comic there were people who said they thought the same thing, so I felt a little less dumb! Let us know what other comics you’d like us to revisit in a video!

Original comic is here.

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Raw Fish

I really did think this for a while because I’ve never been to one! I’ve never worked in a Korean company. Luckily it isn’t compulsorily to eat hwe at hweshiks because it seems to be a food that divides people. I’m not really a fan of Korean raw fish. A lot of Korean seafood can be quite chewy and some people do love it being chewy. We don’t though! I’m also glad that we work from home and don’t need to go to hweshiks because a lot of people seem frustrated when they have to attend and they go for such a long time. In Korea it’s very hard to bail and leave early. It’s actually one of the big problems facing Korean families and I’m sure the Korean government could raise the declining birth rate (which they are so desperate to do) if they just had a better work life environment for working parents. It’s hard to have children when work expects so much of your time outside of work hours, especially when it requires heavy drinking.

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Nicholalala Webtoon Episode : Watching

READ FULL EPISODE HERE!

Nicholalala is a fictional webtoon with elements of Korean folklore on WEBTOONS.

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Why do Koreans love mukbangs?

We talk about the popularity of mukbangs in Korea and how that plays out in real life. Often western journalists want to reduce the idea of mukbangs to a simple sentence when they write articles about them but in reality there are many cultural reasons why Koreans love them.

Western journalists also have this idea that all mukbangs are about eating SO much food. While some people do that, it’s not what mukbangs have to be. It’s literally just someone eating while being broadcast, usually through livestreaming. Someone can even just be drinking as the Korean word it derives from means both to eat or drink. Often articles will say that mukbangs are popular because more and more Koreans live alone and are eating alone so if they are watching someone eat they feel less alone.

It can be part of it for some people, but that type of explanation ignores the fact that Koreans just love to watch others eat. It’s not surprising when you look at South Korea’s history of rapidly becoming a developed country. Even within Hugh’s lifetime he remembers not that much food when he was young and there not being much meat. His parents only had meat a few times a year when they were young because it was so expensive back then. Food is something still very special and in living memory there were times where there was not that much food. If a mother is able to cook well for her children she wants to see them enjoy it and gets enjoyment herself from watching them eat.

Hugh has a story from his grandparents that when people had a dried fish, they wouldn’t eat it right away, but would hang it from the ceiling and look at it while just eating rice and imagine they were tasting fish instead of rice. These days there are copious amounts of food in Korea, and it’s very cheap. There are many TV shows that show close ups of people eating food and food sounds are accentuated for the camera. Often in western cooking shows the eating part is just a small section at the end of the show, but Korean shows will show a much longer time of people eating and enjoying the food. For me as a nonKorean I really don’t like the sounds of someone eating or seeing a closeup of their mouth as they eat, but it’s very common on TV here. Korea’s relationship with food now has been shaped by their hard times in the past.

So now with food so easily accessible people tend to be more worried about gaining weight. People on diets like to watch mukbangs because they get satisfaction watching someone else eat. This plays out in real life too. Many times I’ve been with a Korean friend and at a restaurant and cafe and they will buy me food and when I ask them what they are eating they will say, “Oh nothing, I’m on a diet. I just want to watch you eat.” That would be very strange in Australia! When Hugh is sick he wants me to do a personal mukbang for him. So because he can’t eat he will watch me eating closely and even tell me what food to eat so he can feel satisfaction from what I’m eating.

People who do mukbangs, and are very popular, don’t necessarily speak a lot while doing them. They will answer some questions but often people are just telling them “eat this thing now” or “eat these together”. It’s not necessarily about the social aspect as much but the enjoyment of watching someone else eat.

What about in your country? Do you like to watch people eat?

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