CategoriesHallyu Series

MODERN KOREAN CULTURE

MODERN KOREAN CULTURE

By: Temiloluwa Bella

Korean society is fascinating and full of great traditions. It is a magical spot where there is both ideal peace and harmony, but unfortunately, with wars and disasters. Korean society seldom falls short of amazing.

RELIGION

Religion in Korea embraces Confucianism, Christianity, Taoism, and Shamanism as practiced traditionally in Korea, and also in modern North Korea and South Korea. 

Shamanism represents Korea’s first religion, from the belief of Dangun; the mythological father of Korea in 2333 B.C. shamanism remained the only religion of Korea until the arrival of Buddhism and Confucianism into Korea. After, Buddhism had the upper hand in Korean religion. Nowadays, many Koreans do not practice shamanism. Korean culture is influenced by Confucian principles which believe in ancestor worship and human-centered values for a peaceful life. 

FASHION

Hanbok is the traditional attire of the Korean people. Nowadays it is only worn on special occasions or anniversaries. It is formal wear and many Koreans keep a hanbok for these occasions. 

While the traditional hanbok is beautiful, the design has slowly changed over the generations. The main point of the hanbok is its graceful, bell-like shape and vibrant colors, which have had a major impact on the fashion industry. Now, it is gradually being revolutionized through the changing of fabrics, colors and features, reflecting the latest trend.

Many aspiring hanbok designers have altered hanbok for everyday wear, keeping the traditional base but having a distinctively modern feel. You can now see modern designs of hanbok being used in modern wear, most especially by Kpop idols during performances. You can tell Koreans are proud of their traditional fashion as they do not waste time proudly showing them off.

LANGUAGE

The Korean language is spoken by about 81.8 million people mainly in South and North Korea. The relationship between Korean and other languages is not known for sure. 

About 70% of its vocabulary comes from the Chinese language. The Koreans borrowed a huge number of Chinese words, gave Korean readings and meanings to some of the Chinese characters and also invented about 150 new characters. Hangul is the name of the Korean writing system.

While there are ways of studying Chinese and Japanese rapidly, the Korean alphabet is nothing like Chinese characters. It is far easier to read. The cause for that goes back centuries and lies in its ancestry.

CategoriesHallyu Series

HOW THE HALLYU WAVE REACHED NIGERIA

BY: TEMILOLUWA BELLA

It is no surprise that everyone has heard of the Hallyu wave, a popular term for the Korean wave. But is even more surprising that the Hallyu wave has taken over Nigeria. From Drama to Music to even cuisine, the Hallyu wave has taken the country by storm.

Though people aren’t familiar with the term in general, they are aware of one or two things. Today, we are going to talk about what has made the Hallyu wave so popular in Nigeria.

HOW IT STARTED

It all started when famous series like Jumong stole the hearts of Nigerian youths, especially the female population. The main reason for this was because of the exquisite beauty of the male actors. The way they could pull such masculine and soft looks at the same time. It was at this point that most females tagged actor Lee Min Ho as their husbands. 

NOW…

Recently, over 80% of Nigeria’s population has said that they have watched K-Dramas at some point in their life, whether they watched it only once or they watch it continuously. The different genres portrayed have their own way of capturing the hearts of any viewer that decides to watch it for the first time. If not for the actors, people become interested in k-dramas of their food and dressing, both traditional and modern. It is not only K-Dramas that have captured the hearts of viewers, but Kpop also. People become interested in Kpop from the OSTs of different Kdramas. From there, they started to look into these songs and have therefore become fans of the artists. Many of these artists have made a name for themselves as you won’t find a Nigerian-Korean fan that won’t tell you that Kpop is one of the main reasons why they became interested in Korean culture. 

OTHER INFLUENCES

As stated earlier, Kpop and Kdramas aren’t the only reasons, people are into Korean culture. The food, dressing, and skincare have a lot of influences. Just by watching the Kdramas, the food they portray is enough to make you salivate from your seat. How they make their food so appetizing, no one knows. Personally, I can’t watch a food scene without eating something myself. They have a way of making you hungry, though it just never hits the spot.

Their dressing is also one of a kind. As Korea has become one of the major inspirations for the fashion revolution. Their fashion styles have a way of making you feel either cute, sexy or elegant, depending on whatever you wear and we are here for that. 

As for skincare, they also top the charts. How else do you think those ethereal faces came to be? They have a very simple and extensive routine as they don’t take their skincare lightly. Most Korean stars have mentioned that they visit dermatologists at least twice a week.

No wonder all that hard work paid off. Anyone can follow their routine if they just know what products work best for them.

So, what was your reason for becoming a Nigerian-Korean fan? And how did the Hallyu wave influence you? Share your thoughts.

CategoriesHallyu Series

Hallyu Wave Tourism

Tourism is one of the major ways for people, either local or visiting, to get familiarized with a country or state. You get to truly understand their way of life, know their history, get in touch with their people, eat their food, listen to their music and basically experience what makes those places special. There are many tourist attractions in every country, both known and unknown. The Korean Hallyu wave has done a tremendous job of properly exposing some of the tourist attractions in South Korea. A few of the top tourist attractions include; 

  1. Changdeokgung Palace

  1. Busan 

  1. Jeonju

  1. N Seoul Tower

  1. Bukchon Hanok Village

  1. Seoraksan National Park

  1. The DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)

  1. National Museum of Korea

  1. Lotte world

  1. Gyeongbokgung Palace

Many people visit these places and more. They are little pieces of South Korea with their very own histories about what makes them special enough to be labeled tourist attractions. 

They are large sources of income to the country, contributing up to 4.2% of the annual National GDP.

Countries around the world have different tourist attractions that pull in many people from far and wide. Some with similar (but never the same)experiences but others with experiences unique to its environs and worth a lifetime. Some of these places are; Grand Canyon in USA, Big Ben in Britain, The Eiffel tower in Paris, Great Wall of China in China, Taj Mahal in Agra, Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Colosseum in Rome, Manchu in Piccu, Acropolis of Athens in Athens and Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

CategoriesHallyu Series

Hallyu Beauty Wave

Beauty is subjective. This simply means beauty is seen and interpreted differently by different people.

There are different beauty standards in every country, and even in those countries, the different cultures have their own diverse beauty standards. For instance, the Korean beauty standard for women is to be petite, thin, 90-degree shoulders, double eyelids, and many more. For the men, it’s to be masculine but with a cute face, tall, broad shoulders, double eyelids, and others. Obviously, not everyone fits into these and they are still beautiful. We see Korean idols breaking these stereotypes and still having the support of their fans because they are beautiful in their own ways. Min Yoongi from BTS is not as tall as the Korean beauty standard demands, Park Jimin from BTS has a lot of feminine features also, but we can all agree that these men have set standards of their own because beauty is subjective.

Western beauty standards are more popularly known as having a full chest, plump lips, petite, and other women. Women in these categories would be Zendaya, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, Gigi Hadid, and many more. The men would be masculine, tall, with sharp jaws, and others. We can see these features in men like Johnny Depp, Hozier, Timothée Chalamet, Chris Hemsworth, and other men alike.

The world has a lot of beauty standards and no single person can meet each and every one of them. So always remember to be yourself because there is no one as beautiful as you.

CategoriesHallyu Series

Hallyu Movies

We can all agree that movies are a great way to spend time. Be it alone or with friends, movies are a great source of entertainment. There are many genres that the movies are based on. These movies are a great way to see the evolution of actors, technology, and also imagination. 

For instance, we can make a movie that is constantly remade; Spider-Man. The first Spider-Man was made in 2002 and has been remade a number of times to date. The next Spider-Man is a few weeks from being released and we can all agree that the graphics, the plot, cinematography, and many other things have greatly improved. 

The Hallyu wave further exposes the Korean movie industry. We see dramas like Jumong as far back as 2006 and My girlfriend is a nine-tailed fox as far back as 2010, which are still being streamed to date. The more recent dramas such as Squid game(2021) and Sweet home (2021) topped the charts on streaming sites like Netflix.

We get to see these actors evolve in front of us. Actors like Gong Yoo who has been acting since 2007 are still one of the most popular actors, starring in the recent drama ‘Squid Game’.

Other actors like Zendaya Coleman who started as a young teenage actor still stars in Hollywood to date. Currently, she stars in the popular series ‘Euphoria’.

These people encourage other aspiring actors and non-actors to follow their dreams. They send great messages on and off-screen to their fans to always do their best in everything and to chase their dreams.

CategoriesHallyu Series

Hallyu Fashion

There are so many trends going around the world. The fashion trends are off the hook. We can see cultures merging to bring out a new style, or simply switching up an old fashion trend and making it new, call that new old school. The Hallyu wave brings us the type of fashion going on in Korea, and the rest of the world is catching on fast.

We see popular Korean idols breaking fashion stereotypes like Hwasa from Mamamoo wearing a men’s suit and still looking very stylish. We also see Park Jimin from BTS wearing a skater skirt. Lisa from BLACKPINK showed off her culture as a proud Thai woman in her music video ‘LALISA’. These are very few examples of how the fashion industry is evolving. Musical artists are beginning to use their fame to show the world that it is okay to step outside the box. 

There are many dramas where we see the stars dressing very stylish. Ko Mun-Yeong in the series ‘It’s okay not to be okay’ shows off a lot of high end dresses. Another person would be Jang Man-Wol in the series Hotel Del Luna. She actively shows off elaborate outfits that would be labeled as a fashion fantasy.

Popular celebrities with fashion statements like Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala, or Zendaya who got awarded as a fashion icon at the CDFA awards. Another person who has gone down in history for her fashion looks would be none other than Lady Gaga who set us up with look after look after look. 

Fashion is forever evolving and everyone has a style. Even a no-style is a style, so embrace your true person and show the world who you are through your style. 

Author: Laura

CategoriesHallyu Series

The Hallyu Skincare

This single topic has a lot of misconceptions surrounding it. A lot of people do not know their skin type, neither do they know how to truly and properly take care of it. The hallyu wave has done a very impressive job on enlightening a lot of people on how to get their skin to the very best it can be. 

If you take a look at the Korean skincare, you will find out that their primary goal is to hydrate the skin before anything else.

This simple fact is what gives the illusion of a glass skin and aids in looking ageless.

Having great skin is something you need to work for. You don’t end up with Park Jimin’s flawless skin overnight. There are certain facts you need to know and steps to follow. Maintaining a healthy diet with regular exercise and following a skincare regimen for your specific skin type are the most important things you need to know. Everyone is different and has different skin, so accepting and understanding your skin type is the first step to a healthy and glowing skin.

A simple regimen that includes a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer and sunscreen would be the great starter into skincare. Hydrating products always have water/aqua listed in the ingredients so it would do good to check before purchasing.

It is important to note that flawless skin is a process and it will take some time to achieve. So with a lot of patience and consistency, you will achieve the skin of your dreams, #nofilter.

Above all, we need to remember that a healthy mind reflects a healthy skin, so stay positive and always remember to hydrate. 

CategoriesHallyu Series

The Hallyu Wave

The Hallyu Wave, otherwise known as the Korean wave, refers to the popularity of Korean food, music, entertainment, and culture in general. Due to this widespread, a lot of people have taken interest in the Korean Hallyu wave for reasons like health, entertainment, fame, and many more.

Let’s take a look at one of the reasons why the movement is so strong, everyone’s favorite topic; Food.

A vast majority of people that haven’t been to Korea have only ever seen Korean food in Korean dramas (K dramas) or social media. There is a reason why the viewers’ favorite thing to see, apart from Lee Min Ho, of course, is the food they eat. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing Yangnyeom tongdak (Korean fried chicken) and a bottle of soju on the table. 

The food is rich in nutrients, it is colorful and very pleasing to the eye, it has loads of side dishes that complement the main food, and let’s not forget how amazing the food tastes.

Koreans pride themselves in the ability to create healthy yet delicious meals. A few of the most popular Korean dishes are;

  1. Kimchi
  2. Bibimbap
  3. Tteokbokki (Red rice cakes)
  4. Bulgogi
  5. Jjigae (Korean stew)
  6. Jajangmyeon
  7. Samgyeopsal
  8. Korean fried rice
  9. Bibim Nengmyun (Spicy cold noodle)
  10. Samgyetang (Ginseng chicken soup)

Food is very important in Korean culture. They believe that food and medicine share the same origin, and therefore perform the same objectives. This simple fact has been able to trick and treat everyone who eats the food. This is one of the many reasons that the Koreans are able to look a lot younger than they are. I don’t know about you, but I would very much like to look half my age at 60. 

In the popular K drama ‘Squid Game’, we see a popular caramel treat called ‘Dalgona’. This little snack game shows that they make food very interesting to eat. They totally disregarded the phrase ‘don’t play with your food’ and made a very fun game out of the treat.

Written by Laura