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The Beauty Of South Korea | Top Amazing & Mesmerizing Facts About South Korea That You Must Know

Annyeonghaseyo Chingudeul!

The rise of the Hallyu and K – Industry over the past few years has swooned us in many ways. It impacted us in such a way that nowadays an ardent admirer of South Korea can be detected in every nook and corner of the city.  

High- 5 to those who believe that taking birth in South Korea (한국) would have made more sense to their ever-changing life.

Indeed, the hunger to know about the land of the morning calm would be satiated only after tracing our steps on the banks of the Han River, feasting our tongue with the exotic sea – cuisine of Jeju Island, enjoying the scenic view that Lotte World Tower offers and screaming our bias’s name standing in the front row of our favorite’s concert.

For some people even the chance to witness Bangtan Boys (BTS) performing in front of their eyes is enough for a ticket to heaven.

I belong to this category but there is also a little voice that longs to know more about the wonders of South Korean cities, the interesting culture of Korean society, the symphonies of the South Korean language, their diversified religion, high-tech Korean companies that contribute to change the face of the world and the treasures that await in the South Korean map to be discovered.

So, after channeling through multiple sources to learn about the beauty of South Korea, I thought why not gift you all a piece where you will be able to find every little detail about Korean society which can act as a hand-made guide to impress your Koreaboos.

The Birth of South Korea 

South Korea was born amidst the chaos of the forgotten war battling against the North Korean troops supported by the Chinese. During the postwar era, it transformed the rustic life of Hanguk (한국) into export-oriented industrialization by uniting forces with the U.N.

Like the phoenix rising from its ashes, South Korea prospered and repaid much of the borrowed fortune from the international financial markets through its progressive exports.

Though South Korea evolved into a high-tech country by building cities with sky-high towers, ultra-modern transports, and the architecture of the coming age, it also preserved the beauty of its heritage through places that are decked with ancient palaces, rugged mountains, serene beaches, volcanic islands, and evergreen forests.

Over the years, it has become the most condensed southern country with a population ranging around 51.6 million approx as of the latest 2023.

The Foundation of the Korean Tribe

Koreans are believed to be the direct descendants of the migratory Mongolian Tungus Tribe. About half a million years ago, the Mongolian Tungus tribe roved the Korean peninsula among which the majority belonged to the ethnically homogeneous group with its own culture, customs, and language.

Studies also suggest that Koreans are generally compared with the Northeastern Asian group to Southeast Asians due to their remarkable similarities. The genetic markers also showed a close genetic affinity with the Mongolians among East Asians.

You can also describe the genetic origin of Koreans as a mixture of a Northern Hunter-gatherer and a rice-farming agriculturalist from the Yangtze River valley, which dominated the male group mostly.

The Diversification of the Religion of South Korea

The religion of South Korea is heavily influenced by Buddhism and Confucianism, but over the years, Christianity paved its way into Korean society. The religion chart of South Korea also let Islam coexist peacefully in between the 3 dominating religions.

  • Confucianism: Confucianism was first introduced to Koreans by the great Chinese philosopher and teacher ‘Confucius’, who believed the idea of worshipping ancestors and human-centered virtues is the key to leading a prosperous and tranquil life.

The teachings of Confucianism focus on the importance of morality and ethics of a person that can help shape the surroundings of one’s life through ‘cosmic harmony’

Confucius always believed that education is one of the most important aspects in constructing a man’s character noble and thus the symbols and their meanings have been recorded in books by his disciples. The major six principles of Confucianism are:

  • benevolence or ren (仁)
  • righteousness or Yi (义)
  • propriety or li (理)
  • wisdom or Zhi (智)
  • fidelity or Xin (信)
  • Buddhism: Another religion that dominated the Korean Peninsula from ancient times is the teachings of Gautam Buddha. Originating in India between the 4th and 6th century B.C.E. Buddhism emerged throughout much of Asia via the Silk Road. 

In the early years of his life, Gautama Buddha set out on a journey to find liberation from suffering; the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The challenges he faced, the emotions he experienced, and the internal awakening he attained were later believed to be the ultimate path of liberation.

Buddhism was first established in Kogruyo, Korea in 372 C.E. by a monk named Sundo. He came from the Qian Qin Dynasty, China to spread the eternal teachings and ideologies of Budhhadharma among the Koreans. 

Kogruyo was the largest kingdom of the three based on which ancient Korea was divided until 668. During the royal age, Buddhism flourished widely as all three kingdoms accepted the idea of worshipping a higher spiritual structure Budhha as the idol just like how a king plays a role in his kingdom. 

Since then, Korean Buddhism also known as  Seon or Sŏn Buddhism (선)  maintained a steady graph on the religion chart of Korea.

The principles of Budhhadharma are karma, rebirth, and impermanence which were believed to be attained by Budhha while meditating under the Sacred fig also known as the Bodhi Tree. 

The four noble truths that Siddharta Gautama Budhha learned are

  • The truth of suffering (Dukkha)
  • The truth of the origin of suffering (Samudāya)
  • The truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha)
  • The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga)
  • Christianity: The percentage of Christians in Korea seemed to scale high during the recent age with the help of missionaries and churches like Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist. Various Pentecostal churches were also established to nurture the ideas of Jesus Christ.

Studies suggest that nowadays with the dominance of Western culture, Christianity is emerging as one of the largest religions in South Korea with individuals identifying themselves as Protestants and Roman Catholics.

  • Atheist: Hanguk (한국)  has always been a culturally diversified country with no direct strict regulations from the Government. Every kind of religion can breathe calmly and live freely. In the modern era, it is also being surveyed that the percentage of  Korean people entertaining the idea of irreligion (atheist) can also be seen to increase rapidly.

Atheist or Irreligion believes in the idea of not following any deity or set ideologies. They tend to be curious and question the discovered beliefs of religions and feel skeptical to believe in the idea of humans being ruled by a greater force. 

Also Read: Top 10 Shocking Facts About South Korea That Will Leave You Open Mouthed

The Celebrations of South Korea

There is a saying in Bengali ‘12 maase 13 parbon’ which means even if we have 12 months in a year we Bengalis love to celebrate 13 or as many as possible big festivals in a year. Always +1 irrespective of running out of months.

South Korea more or less follows the same ideology with its own unique kind of festivals and comes up with new memorable days to celebrate throughout the year.

The government of South Korea always supports the celebrations of the nation and also participates in the arrangements of even the smallest festivals to honor their country’s people. Below is a list of some of the famous Korean Festivals held throughout the year along with their essence in Korean society.

Festivals which are Weaved in Traditions: The Traditional Festivals

The Korean Traditional Festivals (한국전통축제) are mostly based on the Lunar Calendar. Koreans love to pay tribute to the country’s rich culture and history while celebrating the transitional phases of the Moon. 

Here is a list of 18 popular traditional festivals that will help you catch a glimpse of the colorful southern island.

Seolnal (설날): Seolnal is the Korean traditional festival celebrated on the first day of the month i.e. New Year’s Day in the Lunar Calendar. It is also the biggest festival in South Korea along with Chuseok. The word Seol (설) implies newness and unfamiliarity which directly indicates the unknown possibilities of the New Year. 

The origination of rituals of this festival backdate to the 6th century, and Koreans are seen to pay respect to their parents, elders, and as well as to deceased ancestors with New Year’s greetings Saebae (세배) and ancestral ceremonies Charye (차례). In return, the Korean elders offer a token of money as a gift to the person who greeted Saebae.

Seolnal is celebrated by the Koreans wearing the Korean traditional dress Hanbok (한복), playing a traditional board game Yunnori while feasting their taste buds with Tteokguk (떡국) and Yakwa (약과).

Daeboreum (정월대보름): This Doraemon alike named festival is not inspired by Doraemon’s name. It is a day that celebrates the first full moon of the New Year.

Koreans gather around a day before or on the event night to play a traditional game named Geuybulnori (쥐불놀이). The rules of the games are simple, farmers burn hays of dry grass on the edges of the rice fields while others roll over charcoal cans with enough holes so that the fire can catch the charcoal that is kept inside.

The essence of this game of blaze is to help farmers to kill harmful insects near the rice fields and fertilize the ground to pillar new year’s farming. After the completion of the ritual, people eat a five-grain rice meal; ogokbap(오곡밥) and drink ear-quickening wine kwibakisul (귀밝이술) with the hopes of hearing good news for the next new year, quickly.

They also go up to the hills in the night and pray to the full moon for their wishes to get fulfilled and crack nuts with the help of their teeth believing that it will keep their teeth healthy throughout the year.

Meoseumnal (머슴날): This forgotten tradition was celebrated in ancient Korea in 2nd month by servants or slaves. The masters of ancient Korea believed in treating their servants with a day of extra food, singing, and dancing to help them focus better on the year’s farming. They also pay their servants more than enough money to spend in the day and encouraged them not to spend their previous year’s earnings on that day.

The word Meoseum (머슴) stands for ‘servants or slaves’ and Nal (날) in Korean means ‘a day’. This festival is no longer entertained in Korean society after the abolishment of the Meoseum system. 

In ancient Korea, servants celebrated it with the traditional snack Songpyeon (송편) and Tteok which is a variation of rice cake made with the grains used in Daeboreum. They also believed in eating the grains according to their age will bring them good luck for the year. An 8-year-old servant would eat 8 Songpyeon and 10 year old would eat 10. Some parts of the country named the day as a coming-of-age day.

Yongdeungje (영등제): Yongdeungje is celebrated where the waves of Jeju meet the Yeongnam Alps of the Taebak Mountains. This traditional festival honors the 20 days stay of the god of the wind Yongdeung (영등). It is believed that on 1st February the god of the wind visited the earth and went back on the 20th Day. 

During this festival time, strong winds are believed to affect the fisheries and farms. Thus to be protected from adversity the residents of Jeju and Yeongnam perform ancestral rituals Jesa (제사) in order to gratify the god of wind. 

If the first day of February, the day when Yongdeung; the god of wind visited the earth is cloudy or rainy, it is believed to be an abundant year. 

Samjinnal (삼짇날): This Chinese festival can also be termed as the beginning of the cherry blossom season as it is celebrated to welcome spring. In Korean society, this day is celebrated on the 3rd month of the year and is considered a lucky day with a fair share of good and evil spirits.

Butterflies begin to fly, barn swallows return and snakes wake up from their deep sleep. Seeing a snake or witnessing a snake is believed to be a token of good luck at this time of the year. People indulge themselves in a variety of games like archery, cockfighting, fortune telling, and flower viewing.

They also feast on noodles and rice pancakes with flower toppings named Hwajeon (화전) and drink up Dugyeonju (두견주), a wine made with the essence of Azalea flowers.

Hansik ( 한식): Hansik is a festival of visiting the deceased ancestors at their grave, cleaning and maintaining their grave, offering ritual prayers, and traditional food, and wishing them a peaceful rest in their grave.

This festival is celebrated during the winter solstice when the days become short and the nights are the longest. It also marks the beginning of the farming season and people eat cold foods only.

Though in modern times, the idea of consuming cold food is not much entertained yet people enjoy eating mugwort cakes Ssutteok ( 쑥떡), mugwort dumplings Ssukdanja (쑥단자) and mugwort soup Ssuktang ( 쑥탕).

Chopail (Budhha’s B-day): The month of April also brings the happiness and joy of the birth of Buddha. Koreans love to celebrate the day Buddha was born and devotes their time to crafting paper lanterns of different shapes and sizes for each family member. 

They participate in the lotus lantern Buddha parade holding onto their lighted lamps and hanging them outside of their home as a sign of merry-making.

Each lantern is customized to the individual’s preferred taste in shape, size, and color like flowers, turtles, fishes, fruits, etc. Tteok and dumplings, and cuisine made of fish are some of the highlights of the birthday meal.

Dano (단오): Dano is a major traditional festival originating from the Northern parts of Korea and is also considered an official holiday by the government. The celebrations of Dano were initiated to pay honor to the creatures that wake up from sleep during the 5th Day of the 5th month in the lunar calendar and also to welcome spring and the season of farming. People are often seen dressed in red and blue clothes and indulge themselves in traditional folk games like Sssireum (Korean men wrestling match), Stone battle, and Swing played by women mostly.

On the day of the celebration, Korean women wash their hair in water boiled with a sweet flag also known as Changpo  (창포) to make their hair lustrous and decorate it with  Angelica polymorpha flowers (  궁궁이) with red hairpins dyed in Iris roots out of the belief that the smell of it will ward off evil spirits.

Korean men are often seen to tie iris roots around their waist believing that it will keep their body healthy and protect them from bad luck and demonic presence. Herbs wet in the morning dew of this day are believed to cure stomachaches and heal wounds. Surichitteok, different traditional tteok, herb rice cakes, and ssuk are some of the famous food items of this festival.

Yudu (유두): This traditional festival is celebrated with the hopes of chasing away ghosts and evil spirits. On this day people bathe and wash their hair with stream water that flows towards the East. After the ritual cleansing, people offer seasonal fruits and harvest to the farming god wishing for a  year of a fruitful harvest and feast on noodles believing that it will help them to live a prosperous and long life.

Sambok ( 삼복): This traditional festival is all about feasting your tastebuds with a variety of seasonal fruits, liquor, and specially prepared chicken soup. Sambok marks the hottest day in Korea when people prepare and eat Samgyetang (삼계탕) i.e. chicken soup made with young chicken and Korean ginseng; Insam (인삼) to beat the fire with fire. During this time of the year, Koreans are often seen escaping to hills and water streams to beat the heat.

Chilseok (칠석): Chilseok Festival originated to celebrate the love between the famous Chinese folktale characters Jicknyeo (직녀; Weaver Girl) and Gyeonwoo ( 견우, Cowherder). Separated by the King for not taking their responsibilities seriously, these two lovers used to wait for a year to meet each other. On the day of their meeting crows and magpies formed a bridge to help them cross the milky way and it is believed that crows and magpies with featherless heads are the ones on which the couple stepped to cross the bridge.

This festival is celebrated by the ladies of Korea as it is related to the weaving activities of Korean women. They perform rituals to Jicknyeo offering cucumbers and pickled fruits. People also eat wheat-based products like wheat noodles; mil guksu (밀국수)  and wheat pancakes; miljeonbyeong (밀전병) since the rainy season ruins the scent of wheat.

If it rains on the day of celebration it is believed to be the tears of the lovers who were separated after their marriage.

Baekjung (백중): The word baek in Korean means 100 and Jung means kinds or types. This festival is celebrated to offer 100 kinds of fruits and vegetable seeds to the farming god for a harvest full year. In ancient Korea servants and peasants are often paid money to spend on food, buy goods, and also get married on the day of celebration

Dishes prepared with potatoes, flour, and wheat with a variety of wild vegetables are being served as celebratory food items

Chuseok (추석): One of the biggest festivals in Korea like Seolnal. Chuseok is the Korean Thanksgiving day on which the government announced 3 days of an official holiday in South Korea. Since Chuseok is an ancient celebration held before the division, North Korea also celebrates Chuseok, however, they get only one official holiday. 

People celebrate Chuseok by adorning up in korean traditional hanbok, wearing traditional masks, and dressing up as sacred animals to visit each other homes playing music. Varied kinds of folk games like tug of war, ssireum, and chicken fights are played and traditional dishes with drinks like baekju, hangwa, and songpyeon are made to offer to the ancestral ceremony. People often visit the ancestral grave site to clean out weeds and make the place habitable for the deceased. Women also perform the traditional ritual dance ganggangsullae.

Jungu (중구): The celebration of this festival credits back to the Silla Dynasty. The name ‘Jungu’ or ‘Jungyang’ stands for a square positive number, a date on which two 9 numbers (month and date) are interlinked. It is considered to be a lucky day in Korea and people often celebrate it by enjoying the changing colors of the maple trees, visiting mountains, and eating items like chrysanthemum pancakes, honey citron tea, and a variety more.

Sangdalgosa (상달고사): This is a family festival done with the hopes that a family and its generation stay healthy, prosperous, and protected from evil spirits for the upcoming months. Each family chooses a day, which is then termed as their family rites day where they offer traditionally prepared foods like rice cakes to the house gods for stability and peace over the family and its upcoming generations. During October after the harvest season, this festival is celebrated. People tie a golden rope around their houses and spread red clay on the floor to keep their houses protected from negative energies. Doenjang jjigae (된장찌개) is the new food item preferred by Gen Z over rice cakes.

Sondolpoong (손돌풍) or Sonseokpong (손석풍): Celebrated to remember the injustice done to a boatman who was killed under a false accusation. Korean people believe that on October 20th specifically strong winds occur to remind them about the unfairness that happened to boatman Sondol (손돌). Fishermen perform rituals on this day and offer traditionally prepared food to appease the soul of the dead, wishing to stay protected from the strong currents of the wind and the sea.

Dongzhi (동지): This Korean festival takes place on the last longest night and shortest day. From this day onwards the 270-degree angle of the ecliptic longitude gifts Korea with long days and short nights with the message that Spring will be coming again. 

People prepare red bean porridge called Patjuk (팥죽) to drive away evil spirits and hope for a prosperous next year.

Seotdal Geumeum (섣달그믐):  With the year coming to an end, Korea takes a full round in their festival chart by celebrating the last day of the year. People wear traditional masks and play drums to chase away evil spirits of the past and welcome the new prosperous energy of the upcoming year. Most of the population indulges in cleaning and preparing food for the new year celebrations.

Apart from the traditional festivals in Korea, there are an ample amount of modern-day festivals that are celebrated by Koreans. Cherry Blossom Festival, Mountain Snow Festival, Black Day, White Day, BTS Anniversary, and the list never cease.

I’ll try to come up with a blog solely dedicated to the Gen Z festivals soon enough, till then you can go and check out the blog linked below.

Click Here: The Lantern Festival: Celebrating the End of Lunar New Year with Style

The Secret of Achieving The K-Pop Figure – Korean Cuisine

The key to their godly slender figure and near-to-perfect body proportions lies in the relish of sharp, savory, and richly flavored cuisine.

With rice as their staple ingredient, Korean Cuisine is set up deliciously with 8 to 10 side dishes widely recognized as banchan (반찬). All the Banchan dishes are served in the same course with each meal containing fermented foods, pickles, meat, veggies, and seafood. The list further stretches on with a variety of stews. The national dish kimchi (김치) plays a mandatory role in the setup of Korean Cuisine.

Also Read: Top 15 Amazing Facts About Korean Table Etiquettes That You Should Know Before Going To Korea

The Meal History of Koreans

South Koreans consume two meals a day during the cold season and three meals during the warm season. It is believed that in ancient times the three kingdoms Goguryeo ( 고구려 dated 37 B.C.E to 668 C.E ), Baekje ( 백제 dated 18 B.C.E to 660 C.E ) and Silla ( 신라 dated 57 B.C.E to  935 C.E ) have its own distinct food preferences and cultural practices which combinedly influenced the Korean Cuisine. 

Check Out: Bibimbap: Know The Recipe & Back Story | Korean Diet Recipe

CHEERS TO GUT HEALTH!

Apart from their delicious food set, South Koreans are also ranked as one of the heaviest drinkers in Asian Countries. They take an interest in feasting their tastebuds with alcohol and a wide variety of colorful drinks, often.

The legal age for drinking in Korea is 19 as per the Westernized age system. Id proof for age recognition can be overlooked in local shops but clubs and high-end bars have a mandatory policy to validate age proofs. The outskirts of South Korea also doesn’t always entertain a strict document for validation of age if you look old enough. However, it is best to carry it in case of unexpected verifications.

The alcoholic drinks of South Korea are a playfield of good bacteria. The composition of each alcoholic drink is fermented in a way that helps maintain good gut health without ruining enjoyment.

Soju (소주, meaning welcoming spring) is a South Korean burned liquor that comprises twenty to twenty-four percent alcohol with pre-defined drinking etiquette. Somaek (소맥) is a korean cocktail made with 3 variations combining soju and Maekju (beer).

Another drink that contains age-old ancient stories is their national drink Makgeolli ( 막걸리 ) which is also known as the ‘farmer’s drink’ made by fermenting rice.

Learn more about the composition and rise of Makgeolli in the link below.

Check Out: Makgeolli 막걸리: A Pot Full of Clouds | All about Makgeolli

The Weathers in Korea

The weathers in Korea are as pleasant as the feeling of being in love. With a set of quartet seasons (계절); spring(봄), summer (여름), autumn (가을), winter (겨울),  Korean weathers have a brand new backdrop for each and every season.

Summer is the brightest and hottest with a cerulean sky, cotton clouds, and a sun following you around with the sparkliest rays while winter is all frozen gifting a winter wonderland for your inner Elsa.

The best season to swoon for is the hanami, the cherry blossom time which occurs in the middle of March till the end of May; when the city dressed up like a bride walking down the altar.

Autumn paints the picture of a bright clear sky with a palate of earthy tones while Monsoon lasts for half a month to a month, recharging Korea for a refreshing time ahead. 

The Seasons of South Korea
Pic Credit: Various

Here is a story of the four royal seasons of Korea: The Korean Seasons | A Different Perspective on the Four Seasons

The Beauty Standards Of Korea

Korean hearts are as large as their budding population count. With social media nitpicking the darker side of the Korean mentality, it is dilemmatic to choose whether to take sides in favor or against. In reality, Koreans are not at all that unfriendly and off limits, sure they are obsessed with sky-high beauty standards but let’s admit who doesn’t like the sight of a beautiful view?

It is believed that Korean parents in fact encourage giving their daughters a makeover under the doctor’s needle on their 16th birthday to enhance their prettiness and boost the sweet 16 confidence. Koreans fascinate American style and culture a lot and at times found to adore and learn from the different ethnicities around the world.

The most sought-after facial features looked for in Koreans are a small face, big eyes, plump lips, pale or translucent skin, monolid or double eyelids, and well-defined jawlines in men. Their skincare regime typically consists of 10 steps to repair and heal the skin through subtle nonirritable products over time.

Korean men are believed to wear more makeup on a regular basis than women as they love the idea of keeping themselves presentable at all costs. In fact, it is said that Korean male beauty products are one of the major contributors to the enlarging one-of-a-kind K – Beauty market.

Here are the top tips to get you glamorous in your own skin: Top 10 Amazing Skincare Hacks Of Korean Celebrities For Glass Skin 2022

The Language Barrier

The only reason Koreans seem unapproachable is due to the language limitation as the majority of them do not speak English. However, in recent times the growth chart of English language learners and K-pop stars being multilingual is increasing rapidly which further helps in smooth interactions and friendly interactions around the world.

Kickstart your hangul journey with these Top 17 Beautiful and Cutest Korean Words of All Time.

Gender Roles of Korean Society

Gender cultures are heretical and tradition-oriented in South Korea the father is considered to be the monarch of the family and the eldest son plays the role of the breadwinner.

Males are considered to be the providers and decision-makers of the family. At the same time, women take the role of nurturing and taking care of the health of the family which includes household chores, cooking, and cleaning.

However, with the growing westernization of Korean society (sahoe;사회), the boundaries of gender lines are getting blurred day by day, and even after having a history of preferring sons over daughters, South Korea has remarkably reduced its sex ratios and shifted towards providing gender-neutral educational opportunities.

The Military Rule of South Korea: Conscription

On 17th July 1948 based on the Constitution of the Republic of Korea, conscription was formulated which states that all Korean men between the age of 18 to 35 must serve the country under military defense.

All able-bodied men need to go through a health examination in their 19 or 20’s to be able to get categorized into active duty or second citizen service list. Only males who are severely impaired or unstable are exempted from the mandatory service.

Women can also participate in serving the country though they can perform only active service or reserve service through volunteering. Serving months can vary depending on the type of service one is chosen for and if they are profiting the country’s economy through other arts and sports.

Celebrities can get granted a delay in their act of service as it may affect the prime time of their career but eventually needed to contribute to the military. The recent talk that created wild attention in the celebrity town was from the commencement of the serving days of seven ordinary boys from Korea.

Also Read: All You Need To Know About BTS | Let’s Get Purple!

The Rise Of Hallyu

The Korean Wave or the K Pop Wave, termed as Hallyu or Hanryu ( 한류, meaning wave or flow) refers to the rise of South Korean culture through movies, series, dramas, music, food palate, manhwas, and Korean language.

The term Hallyu is coined by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 1999 when the CD titled in Chinese “Song from Korea” was produced, Hallyu took over the world like a raging storm, building the country into a living heaven.

Be it getting swooned by the charms of Lee Min Ho or making our wild hearts dance to the beats of Bangtan Boys. Hallyu and K – POP impressed the world in unimaginable ways.

Also Read: Top 5 BTS Versatile Songs & Their Surprising Meanings That Every BTS Army Can Relate

The National Sport of South Korea

Another biggest contributor to South Korea’s profit and reputation other than the lens and the export-oriented world is their national sport Tae Kwon Do (태권도). Noted as one of the most recognizable sports, Tae Kwon Do emits elegance in the world of martial arts because of its grit and graceful moves. Other than this, bullfighting and wrestling are also enjoyed by South Koreans traditionally with the recent interest involved in football, baseball, and basketball.

Crafting of the National Flag of South Korea

The National flag of South Korea named ‘Taegukgi’ (태극기) was adopted by the country on 15th August 1945 when it became independent from Japan. ‘Taegukgi’ or ‘Taeguek flag’ comprises three parts; a white rectangular background representing peace and purity. The color white (hayan;하얀) is considered to be a traditional color in Korean culture and is infused in 19th-century Korean attires or traditional Korean garments like Hanbok (한복).

The red and blue ‘Taeguk’ (태극; meaning supreme ultimate) in the shape of yin yang placed in the center of the South Korean flag symbolizes balance in the world. The color blue (paran; 파란) represents the sky whereas the color red (ppalgan; 빨간) represents the land each carrying the energy of individual forces.

The four black trigrams on four sides of each corner symbolize the movement and harmony of the fundamental forces each specifying unique classical elements; Sky, Water, Land, and Fire. The South Korean government imposes serious charges and criminal act punishment against any dishonorment to the flag.

Currency of Korea and the Symbolism of the Nation

The currency of South Korea is ‘Won’ (원) featuring early Yi (Chosŏn) dynasty figures including writers and a portrait of King Sejong. 1 KRW = 0.063 INR / 0.001 USD

The country’s national emblem is inspired by ‘Taegukgi’ (태극기) and the national flower ‘Mugunghwa’ (목근화) termed as Gukja ( 국자), Munjang (문장) or Gukjang (국장) and the national seal is known as Guksae or Oksae (국새 / 옥새) which is used as an acknowledgment or authorship of South Korea during vital paperwork.

The national anthem of South Korea is ‘Aegukga’ (애국) constructed with four verses that symbolize the country as “the song to awaken the mind to love the country”. It describes building a person’s character based on the forces of nature and how one should always act brave and stay devoted to one’s nation.

The national motto of South Korea is Hongik Ingan (홍익인간) which means “to broadly benefit the human world” and the national instrument is called kayagum (가야금) which comes in three variants each played with a distinct music type and often partnered with the Changgo Drum  (장구).

Geography and Wildlife of Korea: DMZ Zone

Bounded by the salty waters of the Yellow Sea, the Sea of Japan (East Sea), and the East China Sea, Korea is a hub of rare species around the world.

Home to the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins and other oceanic creatures, South Korea holds records of treasuring rich habitats, rare creatures, and untouched clusters of hidden wilderness despite the rise of highly equipped and tech-fast metropolitan cities like Seoul, Busan, Daegu, etc.

Sculpted beautifully by the collision of tectonic plates, South Korea offers a splendid landscape of jagged mountains and active volcanoes coupled with a series of uncommon species of flora and fauna.

Red-crowned cranes, Golden Eagles, Siberian Musk Deers, Hodgson’s Bats, and Asian Black Bears are some of the endangered species spotted thriving in the Korean peninsula, especially in the Demilitarized Zone that sets South Korea apart from North Korea since the armistice.

The DMZ is enclosed with landmines which benefits the ecosystem of that zone to flourish without the interference of mankind.

The Korean Red Pine trees (sonamu;소나무) are considered to be the national tree of the nation and the ‘Rose of Sharon’ (mugunghwa;무궁화) is considered to be the national flower. Among the species of winged creatures, the swallow is considered to be a lucky bird whereas the ‘Korean Magpie’ (hangug kkachi;한국 까치) symbolizes the national bird of the country.

Tigers and Wolves were extinct during the Japanese Colonial Era and the Siberian tiger (Sibelia holang-i;시베리아 호랑이) is considered to be the national animal of the country. South Korea also has a national insect of the species of longhorn beetles named Callipogon Relictus which lives in the Gwangneung Forest cut by the streams of Bongseonsacheon.

The Capital City of South Korea

The capital of South Korea is Seoul which also acts as the treasure case for historical sites and the vibrant lifestyle of the city. It offers an array of excellent tourism, infrastructure, travel facilities, and the fastest internet connectivity attracting outsiders to an unexpected one-of-a-kind paradise.

From mouth-drooling street foods to fashion blended in age-old periods, South Korea’s nightlife is an unskippable time to experience. The Incheon Airport is rated as the fourth best and cleanest airport in the world by Skytrax situated in Jung Gu, Incheon. It acts as the primary airport for Seoul Capital Area and is considered to be one of the busiest airports in the world.

There is more to South Korea than what meets the eye and even in this digital box where practically the whole universe and beyond universe data inhabitant. South Korea is a place that cannot be summed up with the words and phrases of literature.

It can only be lived through embracing the silence of the Han River between the indistinct chatters of the lively population, hearing the stories that the vintage palaces tell, imagining endless possibilities that the high tech brings, and treating the tastebuds with flavourful feasts.

Fun Fact: South Korea can be termed as the robots hub too as it has the highest density of robots catering to human needs from airports and factories to restaurants and high-tech industries.

Also Read: Top 10 Things To Do In South Korea Right After You Land There