Korean People

Korea has changed so much 1

We visited this museum a few years ago but wanted to show my mum while she is visited because it’s so interesting to get a glimpse into Korea’s recent past, especially while in modern Seoul.

Korea’s modern history of development is actually pretty amazing. It is one of the only countries in the world to go from a war-torn, poverty stricken country, to a developed, technologically driven, modern country in such a short amount of time. South Korea had to receive foreign aid after the Korean war, it was poorer than North Korea at one point, but is now a country that gives aid to countries in need. It’s a pretty big deal that they were able to change and develop so quickly. This is one of the reasons why looking back into recent history is so fascinating. Hugh’s childhood differs a lot to mine. My mother is visiting and came with us and we talked about how Hugh’s childhood is actually more similar to hers in the 1960’s in Australia, than mine in the 1980’s/1990’s in Australia (because Korea was behind in so many developments compared to Australia). Many of the things from the 1960’s and 1970’s were still like that, especially in the rural areas, during a lot of Hugh’s childhood, so he could reminisce while in the museum. When people are interested in South Korea now, they see the Kpop and the Kdramas and the glamour and technology, but not that long ago things were very different. While this museum focuses mostly on how people lived, there are displays about Korea’s traumatic history last century: of course Japanese occupation and the Korean war. It’s worth the trip up to Paju to see this museum. Tourist brochures explain how to get there and their website is here.

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Weird things we do in Australia because of Korea 5

We filmed this last year with Sara (SeoulSarang) and have only just been able to edit it because we have SO many videos to edit. Slowly working through so many videos. This was a really fun chat! I really enjoy hanging out with other Aussies, especially after I haven’t seen any for a while. I think both of our Australian accents became stronger in this video (there are English captions on the video for those that need help understanding the accent).

This was very much just a casual conversation without much preparation, so it’s just our thoughts and feelings at this time. Opinions can change! Don’t take the video too seriously.

What ‘weird’ things have you done in your own country after living in another country?

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Being Korean American? 2

We talk with our friends Kirstin and Jerrold about what it’s like to be Korean American. What’s it like coming back to Korea? Also, what cultural aspects they keep in the USA and how different both their experiences are. You can check out their YouTube channel here.

We were hanging out with them while they had some wedding photos taken. We showed you the accommodation in this video:

 

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KOREAN PET NAMES 2

We talk about Korean pet names! We cover the most basic ones (and some new funny ones) but there are more talked about on this blog here.

What are the most common pet names in your country?

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Boarding Pass 3

Boarding Pass

This is a redo of a very very early comic, before I even had a tablet. Sometimes flight attendants can have trouble with Korean names, but it seems they have some tactics to avoid having to say the name. Fantastic!

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Chuseok Food 6

Chuseok Food

Like in most other countries, the preparation of holiday food is done by women in Korean culture. Even in Australia there tends to be more traditional roles in a lot of families on holidays but it’s more obviously defined in Korea. With my mother-in-law and sister-in-law I helped prepare all the fried food for Chuseok. Koreans don’t mind eating fried food cold so it’s food that is supposed to last for a while. Because so much has to be prepared, it takes hours and hours and my body does not enjoy sitting on the floor for that long. So I had to roll my eyes at Hugh exclaiming his difficulty of not being able to choose what to eat.

Since we have an intercultural relationship I expressed some of my Australianess and told him that if he is not helping with the cooking and is just lazing around, he should clean up outside and make the front of the house look nice for Chuseok, which he did.

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Trend in Korea 9

Trend in Korea

Haha… I thought there was room for some lighthearted fun at the expense of some of these sites… I still follow them and check what they report on, but I love making fun of ridiculous clickbait titles and articles.

So watch out… the next “trend in Korea” they report on, it might have been created by me!

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Highschool Boys 7

Highschool boys

So while I was thinking that those boys shouldn’t be drinking like that (must have forgotten I was in Korea! haha) Hugh had only thought about bribing them so they wouldn’t call him ahjussi. He doesn’t like to be faced with the reality of his age and how the younger generation now view him. I understand it, I hate being called ahjumma…. but he’s going a lot further to still feel young!

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Do Korean Guys wear makeup? 1

We wanted to correct any misconceptions that all guys in Korea are walking around wearing Kpop makeup all the time. As we said in the video, a lot of the time people may not even be aware if a guy is wearing some makeup. The times it’s obvious is when it’s badly applied, or it’s the wrong shade. That happens with girls as well, you’ll see girls with these super pale faces that don’t match their neck.

We are both of the opinion that it’s a good thing for guys to be able to wear makeup if they want to. I’m glad to see society changing here and making it more acceptable and that it’s a fast growing market.

While Hugh wears BB cream for filming, he never wears eye makeup but has been accused of wearing eyeliner or mascara several times! He just has long dark eyelashes that makes it look like that sometimes.

We also wanted to show some opinions that are not Seoul centered. I think often when people are talking about “Korean guys” it can be mostly be talking about young guys in Seoul, because they are in Seoul and that’s what they see. Since we live in the countryside we want to show more of Korea and that Seoul does not equal all of Korea, as well as talking about different generations.

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Why do Koreans use toilet paper like this? 9

This is definitely something that doesn’t bother me while I’m in Korea, but if we were living in Australia in our own place I’d have all the paper in the “right places”. Since my parents usually have Koreans boarding with them my mother has made a rule of no toilet paper in the kitchen. While it’s natural for Koreans to have it with them while cooking, it’s too odd for Australians to be using it as much a multipurpose thing.

We do have kitchen towel in the kitchen at my inlaws house here, but I think I use it more than anyone. I use it when cooking and as a serviette/napkin while everyone else is using the toilet paper. Having meals in Korea is vastly different to what I grew up with as well because the style of eating is so different. I would definitely fold the napkins into nice shapes and place them on the plates for nice dinners or when we had guests in Australia.

What Hugh said about sometimes using newspaper for toilet paper as a child was surprising for me. It is interesting to see how different our childhoods were.

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Will a Korean’s parents accept me? 3

We get asked a lot about how Hugh’s parents reacted to him bringing home an Australian girlfriend. We also get asked whether Korean parents are likely to accept a foreigner son or daughter in law and what can be done to make things go smoothly. We talk about the stereotype of Korean parents refusing to accept foreigners, hypothetical situations versus reality and some warning signs.

As with any video, there are many things we can’t cover. For example, we didn’t talk about incidences of Korean parents completely refusing to accept a foreigner (of course that can happen but we just don’t know anyone who has had that experience personally). We also didn’t comment on Korean American situations or Koreans who grew up in countries other than Korea. The stigma of single mothers is another serious topic and how that will affect acceptance from Korean parents is another topic that we weren’t able to cover this time.

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Punishment in Korea games 2

In this Ask Us video we talk about games and living with my family in Australia.

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Belgium 30

BELGIUM

What is your country known for? And do people always ask the same questions? While Belgium is known for waffles, Koreans can tend to get particularly stuck on this fact because “Belgium Waffles” or a brand claiming to be, are available in convenience stores and that’s all people associate with Belgium.

I saw a clip of JYP asking an Australian contestant on one of those audition shows how the kangaroos are in Australia or something. *Groan*.

And we have a new vlog up!

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Why Koreans don’t smell 11

If you read all the comics and blog posts, you already probably know about this. We made a video about it though!

We tried to keep it light-hearted so we are really sorry if we offend anyone. There are also many other things we could have talked about but just didn’t have time for. For example, what gene are children likely to get when one parent is Korean? Do pheromones in sweat cause some Koreans to be more attracted to someone who is very genetically different to them? Just because you have the more sweat glands and bacteria/sticky ear wax gene doesn’t automatically mean you smell bad- body odour varies a lot from person to person. Don’t be too paranoid, just be conscious of it.

Just last night we asked a Korean friend why they thought foreigners tended to smell more than Koreans and they said because Koreans go to the public baths and scrub their bodies there but foreigners don’t. Hehe.. a lot of misinformation around.

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Change Name 22

 

Change Name

Just a very quick comic today!

For those that can’t read Korean, the funny thing is that the first syllable of Mr Gwon’s Korean name and the blood sausage dish are the same, so not only does he want to call himself something that he likes to eat, but it already sounds really similar.

Lots of our Korean friends have changed their names, it seems to be more common here than it is in Australia. What about in your country? Do many people legally change their name?

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