Sunday, December 30, 2012

Top Domestic News of 2012

The Year 2012 was a year of contradictions for Korea. It saw young voters galvanized by a rejection of traditional politics, while older voters proved even more fervent in embracing it. Economically, the country notched up new records in trade, yet ordinary people felt increasingly pinched. Big business boomed, but small businesses are more pessimistic than ever about the future. Only one thing was for sure: "Gangnam Style" was the biggest global hit the country, and indeed the world, has ever seen.

◆ Park Geun-hye Elected President

Saenuri Party candidate Park Geun-hye was elected as Korea's first female president in December. Park returns to Cheong Wa Dae, where she already lived when her father Park Chung-hee was president from 1962 until his assassination in 1979. She faces tough tasks such as uniting a public that is ideologically divided, narrowing the widening gap between the rich and poor and dealing with North Korea.

Park Geun-hye waves to supporters. Park Geun-hye waves to supporters. 
At the beginning of this year, the Saenuri Party was extremely unpopular and feared it would see the number of its seats in the National Assembly fall below 100. But it managed to win 152 seats in the April 11 general election, defeating of the main opposition Democratic United Party and leftwing United Progressive Party.

Park, who headed an emergency task force in the Saenuri Party to steer it out of its doldrums, proved her political skills and succeeded in her presidential bid despite controversy over illegal campaigning and her tacit approval of her father's oppressive policies. Only late in the campaign did Park venture a reluctant apology.
◆ Ahn Cheol-soo Galvanizes Young Voters

The popularity of software tycoon Ahn Cheol-soo soared all year, countering predictions by pundits that the phenomenon would be short-lived.

Ahn pitched reforms to end tired old traditional politics, galvanizing especially young voters. In September he announced his presidential bid, threatening the lead of ruling Saenuri Party candidate Park Geun-hye.

But Ahn suddenly withdrew from the race in late November amid friction with Democratic United Party hopeful Moon Jae-in in fielding a single candidate for the opposition.

Former presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo waves to supporters. Former presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo waves to supporters.
◆ N.Korea Launches Rocket

On Dec. 12, North Korea attempted its second rocket launch since young leader Kim Jong-un stepped into power and succeeded in putting a rudimentary satellite into earth orbit.

The successful launch gave North Korea the technology to deliver a 500 kg warhead on a target more than 10,000 km away. But Kim failed to revive the economy of the impoverished North, where people are still starving to death.

North Korea also ceased to boast that this year would mark its emergence as a "powerful and prosperous nation." Instead, it has begun using the term "self-rehabilitation."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visits a rocket control center in Cholsan, North Pyongan Province. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visits a rocket control center in Cholsan, North Pyongan Province.
◆ Economy Marks Int'l Milestones

Korea became the seventh country in the world to register a per-capita gross national income of US$20,000 with a population of 50 million. In September, global rating agency Fitch upgraded Korea's sovereign credit rating by one notch from A+ to AA-, placing Korea one notch above Japan's A+ for the first time.

In October, Songdo in the western port city of Incheon edged out Bonn, Germany to host the headquarters of the UN Green Climate Fund. With 190 member countries, the GCF is the largest international organization based in Asia.

Government officials including the Incheon city mayor celebrate after Songdo in the western port city was chosen as the headquarters of the UN Green Climate Fund. Government officials including the Incheon city mayor celebrate after Songdo in the western port city was chosen as the headquarters of the UN Green Climate Fund.
◆ Psy Becomes Global Star

Rapper Psy became a global sensation with his song "Gangnam Style." His horse-riding dance and the addictive rhythms not only catapulted the song to the top of the domestic music charts but also attracted hordes of fans from around the world via YouTube.

In spite of its Korean lyrics, "Gangnam Style" remained at No. 2 for seven weeks in the U.S. Billboard charts and racked up a record 1 billion views on YouTube.

"Gangnam Style" also ranked at No. 1 in the British Official Singles Chart, while becoming the most-downloaded song on iTunes in 41 countries, including Canada, Chile and the U.S.

Rapper Psy performs in Seoul Plaza in October. Rapper Psy performs in Seoul Plaza in October.

Kim Jong-il 'Died in Fit of Rage Over Construction Project'

Former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died in a fit of rage on Dec. 17, 2011 after being briefed about a serious leak at a hydro-electric power plant, a source claims. The plant in Huichon, Jagang Province was built to supply about half of the power needs of the capital Pyongyang.

"After being briefed about the leak, Kim Jong-il lambasted officials and ordered them to repair it," said the source, who asked to remain anonymous. "He rushed to make an on-site inspection of the facility unable to contain his anger and died suddenly."

North Korea announced on Dec. 19 last year that Kim died of a heart attack caused by stress and overwork while on a train on his way to a field inspection.

Former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il visits a hydro-electric dam in Huichon, Jagang Province, in this undated photo from the [North] Korean Central News Agency. /KCNA-Yonhap 
Former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il visits a hydro-electric dam in Huichon, Jagang Province, in this undated photo from the [North] Korean Central News Agency. /KCNA-Yonhap 
The Huichon power plant was one of the poster projects of the reclusive state's hopes to become a "powerful and prosperous nation." Construction began in March 2009, with Pyongyang boasting that it would resolve the chronic power shortage of the capital. Kim visited the site twice in 2009, four times in 2010 and twice in 2011. His son, incumbent leader Kim Jong-un, has already been four times.

Due to their incessant pressure, construction was completed on April 5 this year, just three years after groundbreaking and around seven years ahead of schedule. But the rush led to faulty construction, and cracks appeared on parts of the dam, which is 100 m high and 555 m long and capable of storing 850 million cubic meters of water.

"It wasn't just a crack. The safety of the entire dam was in question," the source said.

Stress about the trouble at Huichon was apparently the last straw after Kim learned that steel and textile manufacturing plants, also touted as key projects, had serious defects as well.

Marks from water leaks are clearly visible in the Huichon hydro-electric dam in July 2011. 
Marks from water leaks are clearly visible in the Huichon hydro-electric dam in July 2011. 
A report on Dec. 22 in the official Rodong Sinmun daily, four days after Kim's sudden death, supports the story. "Once again our general quietly boarded a train headed to the northern part of the nation," it said. The northern part includes Hamgyong, Ryanggang and Jagang provinces.

Kim Jong-il apparently ordered those responsible to be severely punished.

Kim Jong-un did not attend a ceremony on April 5 marking the completion of the Huichon power plant, apparently to show he was still aggrieved over the project which led to his father's death.

But other questions about Kim senior's death remain. For instance, it took North Korea over 51 hours to announce Kim's death, twice as long than it took to announce his father and nation founder Kim Il-sung's in 1994. This raises suspicions that the North was trying to hide something.

At the time, intelligence officials said satellite images showed Kim's personal train never left Pyongyang on Dec. 17, raising suspicions that the official story that he died aboard the train was a lie.

Also, Kim Jong-il was famous for his nocturnal lifestyle and normally got up around noon, so at the time pundits speculated that it was unlikely he was on a train in the freezing morning, which is bad for patients with a weak heart.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Arirang, a song of joy and sorrow in modern times

Arirang, UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The critically acclaimed director Kim Ki-duk sang the Korean folk song Arirang while accepting the 2012 Korea Pop Culture Artist Award, something he had frequently done in the past including the time when he won the Golden Lion award for Best Film for Pieta at the 69th Venice Film Festival. Asked what the song means to him, Kim said, "It is an expression of Koreans' joy and sorrow."

Like Kim said, Arirang has shared the pleasures and pains of life in Korea. For the director, Arirang seems to have meant sorrow rather than joy. In 2011, he released a film titled Arirang, a self-portrait drama and documentary in which Kim himself appears and narrates his agony and inner conflicts over his life and filmmaking.

Musical notes for Arirang by Homer B. Hulbert, an American missionary (photo courtesy of Jeongseon Arirang Research Institute) Musical notes for Arirang by Homer B. Hulbert, an American missionary (photo courtesy of Jeongseon Arirang Research Institute)

As is the case with Kim's film, the song Arirang has been the subject of many films, stories, songs, and arts since the early 20th century. According to the Jeongseon Arirang Research Institute, there are as many as 1,063 Arirang-related works of literature in the forms of fiction, poetry, and essays from 1900 to 2012.

The version of Arirang now known by most people was composed by film director Na Un-gyu for his film Arirang, a silent black-and-white movie released in 1926. Upon its release, the film created a sensation at Dansungsa, one of Korea's first commercial movie theaters.

Vinyl records and books related to Arirang (photo courtesy of Jeongseon Arirang Research Institute)Vinyl records and books related to Arirang (photo courtesy of Jeongseon Arirang Research Institute)

In The Culture of Arirang, a book by Kim Yeon-gap, the theme song and the movie suffered under the oppression of the Japanese colonial government, which ordered the omission of certain lyrics due to what was seen as seditiousness and confiscated 10,000 advertisement flyers. The deleted verse was "if we fail after battle after battle, we shall set a fire and the world will shatter."

However, the confiscation stirred so much interest among the public that the mounted police had to be mobilized to restore the order. The theater was so packed with viewers that windows were shattered and doors were broken down.

By this stage, Arirang, which was orally passed down from generation to generation, became a modern folk song and a symbol of resistance. Then, the song started spreading across the country. "I composed the song," wrote Na in a memoir. "My hometown was Hoeryeong on the border of Korea and China and when I was a child, they started building a railroad from Cheongjin to Hoeryeong. Laborers from the south sang a sad song with refrains 'arirang, arirang, arariyo.'

Olympic champion Kim Yuna skates to Arirang at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships (photo: Yonhap News). Olympic champion Kim Yuna skates to Arirang at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships (photo: Yonhap News).

"After moving to Seoul, I started searching for people who knew the kind of Arirang I heard but my effort was in vain. But I could only find Gangwon Arirang from time to time... Even folk music masters did not sing it. So I recalled the melodies and created the lyrics and asked a Dansungsa band to set the song to music."

Since then, Arirang has appeared in various cultural formats, though maybe less often as an expression of sorrow. Large groups of cheerleaders for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan sang a version of Arirang by the Yoon Do-hyun Band, regaining heated interest in the song from the general public, especially young people. Olympic champion Kim Yuna skated to the Arirang theme at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships.

The New York Philharmonic plays Arirang at a concert in Pyongyang, North Korea in February 2008 (photo: Yonhap News). The New York Philharmonic plays Arirang at a concert in Pyongyang, North Korea in February 2008 (photo: Yonhap News).

Arirang also became a symbol of harmony. North and South Korean athletes marched to Arirang together during the opening ceremonies of the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympic Games. In February 2008, the New York Philharmonic played Arirang at the end of their concert in Pyongyang, North Korea, as well. It was the first time an American cultural organization held a concert there, and the largest contingent of U.S. citizens to appear since the Korean War (1950-1953).


Thursday, December 20, 2012

To relax tired eyes and To help blood circulation

To relax tired eyes, press the temple slightly with a warm towel dampened with salt water. 

To help blood circulation, put a net bag of slightly roasted garlic in a bathtub when taking a bath.

Korea's 1st Sunrise of 2013 at 7:26 a.m. in Dokdo

Korea's first sunrise of the new year is expected at 7:26 a.m. over the easternmost islets of Dokdo, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute said Wednesday.

People on the mainland will see it about five minutes later, starting in the southeastern port city of Ulsan.

The sun will rise over Seoul at 7:46 a.m. and over the southern port city of Busan at 7:31 a.m.

Jeongdongjin Beach in the northeastern port city of Gangneung will see the first sunrise of 2013 at 7:39 a.m., and Jeju Island's Seongsan Sunrise Peak at 7:36 a.m. Jeju is further west than Gangneung, but the dawn comes earlier since sun rises from the southeast rather than directly from the east in winter.

Each time of the sunrise was calculated on the assumption that the places are 0 m above sea level. On higher ground, it can be spotted a little earlier.

Photographer Marks Decade of Holding Exhibition for Babies Up for Adoption

It has become a tradition for photographer Cho Sei-hon to hold an exhibition just before Christmas featuring pictures of celebrities posing with babies who have been put up for adoption.

Now in its 10th year, the show aims to promote awareness of the issue, and this year it features celebrity couples including Kim Seung-woo and Kim Nam-joo, Sean and Jung Hye-young, and Yoo Joon-sang and Hong Eun-hee.

Photos of the families who adopt the babies are also added to the display. Prior to the opening of the exhibition on Thursday at Insa Art Gallery in Seoul, Cho said he hopes to soon see the day when there is no longer any need for it.

"It's better for this kind of exhibition to disappear as soon as possible. In a way, it's sad and also embarrassing that this has been held every year," he said, lamenting the high number of children given up for adoption in Korea each year.

Clockwise from top left, photographer Cho Sei-hon; A mother and son living in North Carolina, the U.S. show a photo of the boy with actress Ko So-young, taken before he was adopted by the family in 2005; celebrity couple Sean and Jung Hye-young pose with a baby put up for adoption. /Courtesy of Cho Sei-hon 
Clockwise from top left, photographer Cho Sei-hon; A mother and son living in North Carolina, the U.S. show a photo of the boy with actress Ko So-young, taken before he was adopted by the family in 2005; celebrity couple Sean and Jung Hye-young pose with a baby put up for adoption. /Courtesy of Cho Sei-hon
Cho began taking an interest in the issue in 2003 when a social worker at the Social Welfare Society sent him an email asking him whether he could "take pictures of these babies celebrating their 100-day birthdays, as they usually get adopted when they are three or four months old."

Cho said he felt as though it was his destiny to reach out and help. "I felt that this was something I had to do -- that I had been waiting for -- and that it had finally arrived on my doorstep," he recalled.

Initially thinking it would be a one-time affair, he happily snapped photos of 22 babies waiting to find new parents, and 30 children with disabilities who would mostly end up living in state-sponsored welfare facilities as few were willing to adopt them. However, Cho said he was unable to walk away after the first year when he saw how much joy it gave the kids to see their photos. He has since recruited many celebrities to help them find new homes by posing in photos together, including Rain, Lee Byung-hun, Kim Hye-soo, Ko So-young, Big Bang, Yoon Eun-hye and Yoo Seung-ho.

In 2006, three years after Cho began his crusade, the government designated May 11 as Adoption Day. Cho said he feels proud of having helped improve public sentiment about adoption, which was formerly considered a taboo subject and source of acute embarrassment in polite social circles.

"I will take more pictures of unmarried single mothers from next year in the hope that more women are brave enough to [deal with the negative stigma and] keep caring for their kids themselves rather than put them up for adoption overseas," he said.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Booklets on Korean sports, fashion published

Above photo shows the cover of “K-SPORTS: A New Breed of Rising Champions” by the Korea Culture and Information Service as part of series of books on introducing Korea and Korean culture.
Shows cover for “K-FASHION: Wearing a New Future.”
/ Courtesy of Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism

A state-run overseas promotional agency has published two booklets to introduce Korea’s sports and fashion, two areas that are increasingly playing an important part in promoting the nation abroad.

“K-FASHION: Wearing a New Future” and “K-SPORTS: A New Breed of Rising Champions” are the latest in a series of booklets on Korea published by the Korea Culture and Information Service (KOCIS), an affiliate of the culture ministry.

As part of the “K-CULTURE” series, KOCIS formerly published booklets on Korean movies, classical music stars, TV dramas and pop music.

“Through the ‘K-CULTURE’ series, we hope to spread the energy and charm of Korean culture worldwide,” KOCIS director Woo Jin-yung said in a statement.

“K-SPORTS” contains information on traditional Korean sports like taekwondo and some major sports venues and facilities around the country.

It also introduces where to enjoy some of the most popular sports in Korea, such as baseball, mountain climbing and football.

The booklet contains stories of some of Korea’s most renowned sports stars, including reigning Olympic figure skating champion Kim Yu-na.

The K-FASHION series covers some of the most important designers from Korea today, like Lie Sang-bong. He is recognized for integrating modernity and traditional Korean elements into his designs. He also held a show during the 2012 London Olympic Games. Another designer Lee Young-hee,  one of the most renowned designers of “hanbok,” or traditional Korean attire, is also featured in the book.

The book also introduces how fashion has changed with the times in Korea since the Japanese occupation (1910-1945) and provides information on some of the fashion meccas of Korea, such as Myeong-dong, Dongdaemun and Cheongdam-dong.

As with previous “K-CULTURE” booklets, they will be distributed at 170 Korean diplomatic missions as well as to foreign media and universities.

The rising popularity of “hallyu” or Korean wave has fueled the demand of these booklets as well.

KOCIS has produced other publications introducing Korea to foreign readers such as “Facts About Korea” in 2004. The pocket-sized book containing 70 color photos and maps examines the history, people, culture, customs, economy, sports and other aspects of Korea. The English-language book is currently available from online stores like Amazon and a PDF version is available from the KOCIS website.

KOCIS was formerly in charge of operating Korean cultural centers abroad. But after a reshuffle in February, the culture ministry has taken over this task so that KOCIS can focus more on creating quality content and methods for online and offline promotions of Korea.

New Korean cultural centers opened in countries like Thailand, Belgium, Brazil and Egypt this year, bringing the total to 28. 

Last princess revived in exhibition

Princess Deokhye’s “dangui” (Korean traditional royal garment) is on display at the National Palace Museum through Jan. 27.
A photo shows Princess Deokhye of the Joseon Kingdom in her teens.
/ Courtesy of National Palace Museum

Deokhye (1912-1989), the fateful last princess of the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910), has almost been forgotten.

Her life reflected the ups and downs of her country’s fate and is shown at a special exhibition of the National Palace Museum in Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul, that opened Tuesday and continues through Jan. 27.

Marking the 100th anniversary of Deokhye’s birth, it displays her belongings such as her clothing and accessories as well as items from her wedding and photos along with relevant documents are on show to the public for the first time in collaboration with the Kyushu National Museum and the Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum.

She was born in 1912 at Changdeok Palace in Seoul as the youngest daughter of King Gojong. She was particularly loved by her father who was in his 60s when she was born. But under Japanese colonial rule, the princess was forcibly sent to Japan in 1925 at the age of 14 and married Count So Takeyuki, the heir to the So clan whose ancestors had ruled Tsushima Island for a long time when 20.

The marriage was part of the Japanization of the Korean royal family as the colonial government was afraid that they could become a focus for the independence movement.

While living in Japan, she suffered from mental illness and homesickness, becoming a miserable, forgotten woman nobody cared about or recognized.

Thirty-seven years after leaving Korea, she returned home by the invitation of the Korean government in 1962. She lived in Nakseon Hall at Changdeok Palace and died at the age of 76 in the palace’s Sugang Hall on April 21, 1989.

The costumes on exhibit include “dangui,” traditional royal garments for women, mostly those Deokhye wore in childhood and adolescence. A green piece which is assumed she wore in her teens is adorned with embroidered dragons on the chest, shoulders and back. A long scarlet skirt worn when she was a girl at a formal event features flamboyant gilding patterned with Chinese letters and flowers.

After she divorced her husband, he sent her clothes and other items to King Yeongchin, the seventh son of King Gojong, in 1955 but he donated them to Yoshichika Tokugawa (1886-1976), the then president of Bunka Gakuen.

Her belongings include items sent to the So family when Deokhye married such as a silver tea spoon and other metal kitchenware. The pieces were obtained by a Japanese collector and donated to the Kyushu National Museum.

A silver bowl is on display, embellished with a landscape depicting mountains and boats floating on the ocean. Also, silver decorations on a rice chest and a caldron are marked “suneun” (pure silver) and “mi” (beauty).

The exhibition is an opportunity to understand the royal lifestyle and the miserable life of Deokhye, a symbol of the waning state.

For more information, call (02) 3701-7631. 

First consumer-oriented fashion fair to open in Jan.

“Korea Style Week” will run from Jan. 17-20 at COEX in southern Seoul.
       / Courtesy of Korea Style Week
The fashion industry has grown into an important cultural export around the world and for Korea this is also no exception.

Amid a growing number of international specialty store retailers of private label apparel (SPA) brands and business-to-business/buyer (B2B) fashion shows in the country, “Korea Style Week,” the country’s first business-to-consumer (B2C) fashion fair, is to be held for the first time in the heart of trendy spot of southern Seoul next month. SPA brands are those that produce their own clothing, distribute and sell it exclusively. Names such as Gap and Uniqlo are classified as SPA brands.

The event is organized by the committee of Korea Style Week and sponsored by Fashionbiz, a Korean fashion business content provider.

“We aim to introduce talented Korean designers and brands to the public and help them to grow further not only on the domestic market but also globally,” said Bang Eun-mi, an organizer of the event, Tuesday, in a telephone interview. Bang is the CEO of a local management agency, Onu Communication.

“We also aim to differentiate from the usual B2B events here and position it as a consumer-oriented fashion fair in the future. Interaction between consumers and the fashion industry is vital.”

The biggest B2B fashion fair in Korea so far is the Daegu Fashion Fair, an international fashion exhibition that covers all Asian fashion held in North Gyeongsang Province. It has annually attracted around 15,000 visitors including designers and marketers since it began in 2006. This year’s event held last month attracted 140 businesses.

At the fashion event, selected participants will have a chance to promote their creations by showcasing them on runways. “We will provide hair and make-up service to all participants for free,” Bang added.

And the event will also offer styling classes and a flea market.

“We hope to suggest the right future plans for all the participating companies. In order to do that, we will strive to build our own exchange system and strengthen our global network with other countries, especially China and Japan,” said the organizer.

“Korea Style Week” is to open on Jan. 17, 2013 at COEX in Samsung-dong, southern Seoul and runs through Jan. 20.

For free tickets, book in advance through its website by Jan. 16. For more information, visit

Samsung tablet market share doubles in 3rd quarter

Samsung Electronics Co. saw its market share in the tablet PC market nearly double in the third quarter from three months earlier as it moved to catch up with rival Apple Inc., data showed Sunday.

The Korean tech giant's global market share reached 18.1 percent in the July-September period, compared with 9.2 percent in the previous quarter, according to the data by research firm Strategy Analytics.

 Meanwhile, Apple's market share fell to 52.9 percent from 68.4 percent, narrowing the gap between the two companies to 34.8 percentage points.

Samsung's increased market share was attributed to a surge in the company's Latin American market stake. In the third quarter, Samsung claimed 43.6 percent of the Latin American market to surpass Apple.

The quarterly result was also attributed to Apple's slipping market share in some regional markets. The U.S. tablet maker saw its market share in North America, Asia and the Middle East and Africa slump roughly 20 percent.

Market watchers forecast the two tech giants to ramp up competition against each other in the tablet market. Samsung and Apple, the world's two biggest smartphone makers, have been competing to gain supremacy in the global smartphone market.

In April 2011, the two launched a landmark patent battle that stretches four continents.

How fare it is true ? Acupuncture reduces wrinkles

Will acupuncture be able to substitute Botox someday? A study found that acupuncture can reduce wrinkles and blushing on the face.

The research team led by Cho Jin-hyong, a Korean traditional medicine doctor at Kwangdong Oriental Hospital in Seoul, said that plastic acupuncture, or acupuncture used for skin therapy, is effective for reducing such symptoms. The thesis was presented in the “International Congress of Oriental Medicine.”

Some traditional medical clinics in the country have been using the automated micro-needle therapy system (AMTS), where a very thin needle makes multiple holes on the skin. “In these holes, skin cells are replaced by new ones during the recovery period. It is reported that skin condition such as flush and melanin becomes better by this procedure,” the thesis explains. Plastic acupuncture helps the circulation of blood and vitalizes collagen and elastin.

The research team applied plastic acupuncture to 18 patients who had deep wrinkles from the nose to the tip of lips, or flush. After a month, they found that the pigment on their cheeks that exceeds the person’s average level of melanin decreased by 16.88 percent on average — which means the skin color has become brighter. The facial blush also decreased by 18.61 percent on average.

It also improved moisture content of the skin and wrinkle problems. The level of moisture in the skin increased by 16.82 percent, and the extent of the deep wrinkle between the nose and the tip of the lips narrowed by 3.45 percent.

“The research proved that plastic acupuncture is effective in treating facial blushing and wrinkles. It is estimated that the fibroblast is activated and the synthesis of collagen is induced by diverse growth factors during the recovery from acupuncture,” Cho said.

“We will continue researches and clinical tests to improve scientific verification of the Korean traditional medicine,” she added.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Endless festival this December at KOREA

Event Date Location Description Information
Seoul Photo Festival 2012 11/21(Wed)~12/30(Sun) Main Building of Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul City Hall, Seoul Museum of History
  • Main exhibition based on memories of Seoul, special exhibitions, workshops, seminars, photo month, etc.
120 Dasan Call
“Jeongdong in 1900” as a Commemoration of 10th Anniversary of Seoul Museum of History 11/9(Fri) ~
Seoul Museum of History Planning Exhibition
  • Exhibition of Jeongdong, which was and is the center of South Korea before and after 1900, a place for foreigners, origin of newspapers, and a venue of international exchange
724- 0274 ~6
A Winter Tour to Warm Seoul Zoo Dec.22(Sat.)~
Feb.11, 2013(Mon.)
Seoul Zoo
  • A small music concert in the warm botanical garden.
  • Magic and ventriloquism in an animal land
  • A world mask exhibition.
  • A winter expedition contest at the warm animal zoo.
  • A winter scenery photo exhibition at the warm animal zoo.
  • Adults 3,000 won/Youth 2,000 won/Children 1,000 won
A Special Exhibition on the Wintering Strategies of Butterflies and Insects Dec. 1(Sat.)~
Mondays closed
On the 2nd floor of the Insect Garden at Seoul Forest
  • A hands-on experience exhibition for exploring over-wintering insects in the cold winter season. (A diorama exhibition of the wintering methods of insects, such as oriental moths and mantis’.)
Making a Christmas Family Doorplate 24 (Mon.) 25 (Tue.)
Dream Forest
  • Make a family doorplate in celebration of Christmas.
A Revisit to Hongdae Dec.21 (Fri.)~
Dec.22 (Sat.)
Seoul Art Center_Seogyo
  • Enjoy a special Christmas party with indie music and a movie.
Ice Garden Dec. 7, 2012 (Fri.)~Feb 17, 2013 (Sun.) Central Plaza of Garden Five
  • The ice rink of the Garden Five.
  • Children 1,000 won/Students 1,500 won/Adults 2,000 won
An Open Educational Program, ‘Our Friend, Cheonggyecheon Culture Center’ Dec. 3~24
Every week (Mon.)
An education room of Cheong Gye Cheon Museum
  • An educational program that is offered in a self-guided style.
    (block, puzzle, stamp play, natural-soap making)
  • ※ Morning (group) 10:00 - 12:00 Afternoon (individual) 13:30 - 17:00
2286-3402/ 3452
Joseon, a Nation of Maps Dec.14, 2012 (Fri.)
~Feb. 28, 2013 (Thu.)
Donated Relic Exhibition Room 3 at the Seoul Museum of History
  • This exhibition is for examining the history of maps, which were made from the Joseon Dynasty Period to the present, through a showing of 40 maps that were donated by Mr. Lee Chan and Heo Yeong-hwan. It will help to increase people’s awareness about geography.
724-0274 ~6
Musical: “A Poet Cooking Rice, Scooping Out Love” Dec.18 (Tue.) ~ Dec.29 (Sat.)
Weekdays 19:30
(Wed, Fri, 24, 25 Performance available at 3 pm)
Sat. 15:00, 19:30
Sun. 15:00
Sejong Grand Theater
  • A bestseller autobiography book, titled A Poet Cooking Rice, Scooping Out Love, which sold some 1.2 million copies, has been re-created as a musical. This musical will stage a dramatic re-telling of true love story between a pastor and a Catholic nun who is 5 years older than the pastor. Their love is sublimated to sharing activities at a poor and rough place called Cheongnyangni 588.
  • *Rice-Serving Seat 120,000 won/ R Seat 90,000 won/ S Seat 70,000 won/ A Seat 50,000 won/ B Seat 30,000 won

Thee word 'Omnishambles' Named Word of the Year

The Oxford English Dictionary has chosen "omnishambles" as the word of the year 2012, it said Monday. The word, defined as "a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations," was chosen for its "linguistic productivity" in describing the crisis facing the British media and the government as well as its popularity.

Each year the publisher tracks how the English language is changing and chooses a word that best reflects the mood of the year.

"Omnishambles" was coined by the BBC political satire "The Thick of It" and has been used to describe the British government's mishaps from PR blunders to the crisis-ridden preparations or the London Olympics. The U.K. media experienced its share of omnishambles this year ranging from a botched cover-up of phone-hacking to the resignations of the BBC's chief and head of programming following revelations that a popular broadcaster was a pedophile.

The word has already generated offspring such as "Romneyshambles" to describe the U.S. presidential candidate's frequent gaffes. In July Romnney said he doubted if London could host the Olympics successfully.

U.S. Paper Puts Spotlight on Samsung's Power in Korea

The seemingly unstoppable growth of the Samsung Group in Korean society has attracted the attention most people of the world as well as  the Washington Post.

 "So sprawling is Samsung's modern-day empire that some Koreans say it has become possible to live a Samsung-only life: you can use a Samsung credit card to buy a Samsung TV for the living room of your Samsung-made apartment on which you'll watch the Samsung-owned pro baseball team," the paper said Monday.

It added that debate over how to curb the size and power of powerful, family-run conglomerates or chaebol has become a key issue in this year's presidential election.

Three out of four Korean voters have negative views of the chaebol, while all presidential candidates are promising to curb their power, according to the paper.

As a chief example, the daily cited tighter curbs on "cross-shareholding," whereby the owner families ostensibly have only a small amount of shares in some core companies, but these in turn own a vast network of subsidiaries. This enables the owners to control a broad range of businesses without holding stakes in all of the affiliates.

The Washington Post said Samsung "acts more as a do-everything monolith, building roads and oil rigs, operating hotels and amusement parks, selling insurance. Critics say Samsung elbows into new industries, knocking out smaller businesses, limiting choices for Korean consumers."

But the big business lobby, the Federation of Korean Industries, defended Samsung's role in Korea's economic landscape. "Samsung is a survivor of competition," Lee Cheong-haeng at the FKI told the paper. "Many Koreans right now have dual minds about chaebols. They say, I hate chaebols, but I want my son to work for one."he he he !

Foreign Students Succumb to Charms of Temple Stay in Ganghwa Island

Upon arriving at the Lotus Lantern International Buddhist Meditation Center in Ganghwa Island near Incheon, Uzbek Kban Igori and his Vietnamese friend Aing were given comfortable clothes and instructed in temple etiquette ahead of their stay.

During the two-day program, participants have three communal meals known as "baru gongyang" that are prepared and eaten in a ritualistic way in line with Buddhist tenets.

Kban said getting used to a strict vegetarian diet was a struggle at first but ultimately refreshing. As Buddhists take special care to avoid killing any living being, meat is not provided in temples, a monk explained.

Kban came to Korea in August to study and became interested in its long-running temple stay program, which has steadily grown in popularity since the 2002 Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup. During the global sports event, the nation's temples were promoted as fun forms of accommodation in a bid to help make up for the shortage of temporary lodgings in the country.

With bell sounds resonating throughout the temple compound after dinner on the first day, the two foreign students kneeled before a statue of Buddha and recited some phrases from the sutras. Next they were guided to a mediation room, where a monk signaled the start of the session with a bamboo clapper.

"I found it hard to concentrate in complete silence," Aing said. "The monk asked us not to think about the future or the past. But all kinds of thoughts raced through my head and it was hard for me to sit with my legs crossed for so long."

At 4 .a.m the next day a bell rang to wake the temporary guests from their slumber and signal a morning service and another round of meditation. After an hour-long break they were served rice porridge for breakfast and then asked to sweep the temple grounds to remove fallen leaves.

After completing this communal work, known as "ulryeok," they took a rejuvenating stroll to enjoy the local scenery before receiving instruction in the art of calligraphy and the finer points of the tea ceremony, another ritualistic practice.

"This is my first time to join a temple stay program, and the most impressive or memorable parts of my stay were the lesson in calligraphy, the vegetarian meals and the morning walks," Kban said.

For more information about the program, please visit the center's website at or call (032) 937-7033. The fees vary from W20,000 to W50,000. Inquiries can also be made to the Incheon Center for International Cooperation and Exchange by visiting its website ( or calling (032) 451-1800.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lack of Male Hormone Means Eunuchs Lived Longer

During the Chosun Dynasty, poor young men often chose to castrate themselves to live within the relative comfort of the palace walls.

Most of the eunuchs seen in Korean costume dramas are elderly, and the question is whether eunuchs typically lived longer than other men. Scientists have found that the average life span of a eunach during the period was 70 years, while men from noble families had an average lifespan of just 51 to 56 years.

Even more surprisingly three out of the 81 eunuchs studied actually lived past 100.

This is the first time Korean researchers have used historical data to prove that male hormone reduces men's life span.

"Scientists were aware that castration of mammals increased their life span, but we were not able to relate the findings to humans until now. This research proves that male hormones do cause an earlier death," a researcher said.

The scientists say they hope to use the data to figure out ways to increase the human lifespan. The research paper titled “The lifespan of Korean eunuchs” is available on the website of Current Biology (


Information for Foreigners in Seoul Now in Thai

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has added Thai to the linguistic repertoire of its foreign language information service, increasing the number of foreign languages to nine.

The service helps foreign nationals in Seoul with all aspects of their daily lives through the Seoul Global Center to reduce inconvenience and difficulties they can experience.

Counseling and information is offered in English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Mongolian, Russian, Tagalog, Uzbek and Thai.

Kim Jong-il Personality Cult 'Cost $40 Million'

North Korea has spent at least US$40 million on the personality cult surrounding ex-leader Kim Jong-il since he died in December last year. With yet more statues to be built, the figure is likely to keep growing.

The money would buy the impoverished country 130,000 tons of maize, which could feed the entire population of 24 million for 13 days.

According to an informed source, the North Korean government started repair work on the Towers of Eternal Life that are found at all major crossroads nationwide after Kim's death. It was to change the slogan "Our great leader Kim Il-sung is eternally with us" to "Our great leader Kim Il-sung and dear leader Kim Jong-il are eternally with us."

There are over 3,000 such towers across North Korea. The one in Pyongyang's Kumsong Street stands 92.5 m tall. The source said the cost of removing the towers' granite stone tablets and replacing them is $25 million, or an average of W9.3 million per tower (US$1=W1,131).

A 23-m-tall statue of Kim Jong-il erected in Mansudae on April 13 is estimated to have cost $10 million, which includes the repair cost of the statue of Kim Il-sung which already stood there, the source said. Kim Il-sung is now dressed in a suit, not in party uniform, and sports glasses.
Statues of Kim Il-sung (left) and Kim Jong-il /[North] Korean Central News Agency Statues of Kim Il-sung (left) and Kim Jong-il /[North] Korean Central News Agency

A Unification Ministry official said the aim was to depict age difference between father and son. Such work is being carried out across the nation. There are some 80 large statues of Kim Il-sung and over 20,000 smaller ones nationwide.

The source said the regime spent more than $1 million embalming Kim Jong-il’s body because it had to fly in embalmers from Russia and import a special glass casket. Regular maintenance -- the body needs to be retrieved every two weeks to apply antiseptic -- is expected to cost $2.5 million a year.

New leader Kim Jong-un also ordered massive renovation work on the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun when he changed its name from Kumsusan Memorial Palace, where the bodies of the older two Kims lie in state. A new marble floor was laid and grass was planted in the square in front of the palace, which cost $4.5 million, according to the source.

The Worker Party Politburo on Jan. 12, two weeks after Kim Jong-il's funeral, announced four major measures to commemorate Kim Jong-il: preserve his body, erect statues, re-name his birthday "Kwangmyongsong Day," and build more towers of eternal life across the country.

North Korea has reportedly spent another $500,000 on new badges with the faces of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, and is creating mosaic murals portraying the first two leaders throughout the country.

Byun Young-joo Picked as Director of the Year by Female Film Critics

Byun Young-joo

Women in Film, a Korean group of women film critics and producers, named Byun Young-joo, who directed the film "Helpless," as its director of the year on Tuesday. 

Lim Soo-jung, who won best actress at this year's Blue Dragon Film Awards for her role in "All About My Wife," received the same award from the group, while Ahn Soo-hyun of "The Thieves" was recognized as the year's best producer.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Korea’s restless dead

By Robert Neff

The dead in Korea’s past did not always rest peacefully — occasionally they were disturbed by the living.

King Bongsan, who reigned over the Goguryeo Kingdom from 292-300 A.D., was most likely not a popular ruler. He was arrogant and even worse he was suspicious of everyone — including his family. He had his uncle, a popular war hero, executed for treason and forced his own younger brother to commit suicide. In 296, Goguryeo was invaded by a Chinese army that was fairly successful in the beginning until, according to legend, their disrespect for the dead helped lead to their defeat.

Chinese soldiers dug up the tomb of Bongsan’s father, Seocheon. Apparently, as they were digging up the tomb, a number of the Chinese troops literally died from terror. Then, the sounds of music began to emanate from the tomb convincing the Chinese general that the spirit of Seocheon would not suffer their disrespect. Wisely, he and his forces retreated back to their own country and Goguryeo was saved. Bongsan, however, was not. Just four years later the people rose up in revolt and Bongsan and his two sons committed suicide.

During the Imjin War (1592-1598), invading Japanese forces were said to have dug up some of the royal tombs in the vicinity of Seoul and scattered the remains about the ground or burned them. They then filled the tombs with rubble.

A notorious attempt of grave robbery occurred in the spring of 1868. Ernst Jacob Oppert with a band of mercenaries tried to dig up Korean regent Heungseon Daewongun’s father’s tomb and hold the remains hostage until Korea agreed to open its doors to the West. He failed miserably and was forced to flee Korea. Despite Oppert’s horrendous act, Korea did eventually open in 1882 but even then, Korean graves were not safe.

At least one European employee of the Korean Customs Department in Jemulpo (modern Incheon) dug up Korean graves so that he could sell the skeletons to universities and museums in Europe.

But Korean graves weren’t only robbed by foreigners. According to William E. Griffis, an early Western expert on Korean affairs, Korea was “governed out of the graveyard” and that families and clans often fought over choice gravesite locations and often desecrated each other’s tombs. He explained:

“No country is more famous for its skilled grave thieves and expert desecrators of tombs than is Korea, for no custom is more common, than that of seeking revenge on the living by molesting the resting places of the dead.”

It is not clear just how common this was but The Independent — Korea’s first English-language newspaper — does provide us with a couple of examples.

In December 1896, a lone Korean policeman managed to apprehend a gang of grave robbers near the West Gate and Pekin Pass where they had been preying upon the graves, digging them up and removing valuables. Sometimes, however, the bodies themselves were stolen and held as ransom.

“A band of robbers entered the ancestral grave of Pak Ki-yang, a former governor of Chungcheong, and dug up Pak’s father’s body and cut away the head of the corpse. They left a letter on the grave saying that if Pak wants to recover his father’s head he must send $2,000 in silver or paper money to them at a certain point in the grave yard within three days. This was not done, hence the head is still in the hands of the robbers.”

While a lot of these stories may be explained as mere superstitious nonsense of the past, it is interesting to note that the occasional story manages to make its way into the press. Not too long ago, there were stories that the National Assembly was haunted by the restless spirits of palace women. Supposedly measures were taken but were they successful? Only the members of the National Assembly know.

Robert Neff is a contributing writer for The Korea Times. 

Scholars to discuss globalizing folklore

Books focusing on folk culture of North Chungcheong Province
/ Courtesy of National Folk Museum of Korea

Jecheon  host Korean Folklorist Conference last Oct. 26-27

Globalization is a modern mantra in almost every field and folklore is no exception.

In the 21st century, the world is facing a polarized phenomenon between globalization and localization. To narrow that gap, Korean folklorists who keep track of traditions and past cultures are trying to confront globalization, albeit belatedly, as their main agenda in the “2012 Korean Folklorist Conference.”

Organized by the National Folk Museum of Korea, the conference  held on Oct. 26 and 27 in Jecheon, North Chungcheong Province, to mark the “Year of North Chungcheong Province’s Folklore.”

It is nothing new that various international cultures are seen in Korea while Korean culture can be found in other parts of the world.

However, for a long time folklorists have failed to respond swiftly to the era of globalization as they have been bent on only collecting and documenting resources within their own boundaries. Although their collections and records have been highly appreciated, a lack of explanation and analysis has limited their studies.

On this occasion, Korean folklorists will discuss the challenges and prospects of their studies in terms of globalization.

Im Jae-hae, a professor at Andong University, said in a press release that the future of folklore in the era of globalization lies in the efforts of scholars to break the boundaries of their studies and inspire more creative spirits.

Among others, Lee Joung-jae, a professor at Kyung Hee University, will focus on the role of Korean shamans who are venturing abroad.

“Currently, there are many Korean shamans who are now serving in other countries. Through their experiences, we should look at their status as modern society is complicated and the future is becoming murkier, particularly in these financially-difficult times,” Lee wrote in his research.

“Encountering the neo-shamanism of Western culture is very important for the globalization of Korean shamanism. Korean shamanism is hardly known in Western countries where people mostly associate shamanism with Siberians and Native Americans. To remove the bias against superstitious behavior, Korean shamanism should focus on the healing of spirits.”

Korea University professor Lee Tae-hwa will deal with “pansori” (traditional Korean vocal and percussional music) in the multimedia era. “To boost the popularity of pansori, we should utilize multimedia to connect modern audiences with traditional genres,”said Lee.

Kim Hee-sun, a professor at Kookmin University, raised the issue of diversification to better communicate with people outside Korea, demanding both the globalization and localization of Korean folk music.

Gwangju National University of Education professor Choi Won-oh pointed out that the range of research of oral literature should be extended to wider fields instead of sticking to the region, nationality and its people.

Along with the main theme, the convention will also feature the folk life of North Chungcheong Province, particularly its food culture. Documents called “Banchan Deungsok,” which describes the food culture of people living in Cheongju around 1910 will be introduced. The records include recipes of local dishes and the use of ingredients that invariably reflect the region’s natural environment and socioeconomic factors.

Research by Koo Mee-rae will also highlight the economic and religious life of Saha-chon near Beopju Temple in the region where village residents live under Buddhist influences. 

Restored Seokjojeon Hall to serve as museum for Korean Empire

This 1918 photo shows an audience chamber on the second floor of the Seokjojeon Hall built in a Western style at Deoksu Palace during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910). It was built in 1910 as part of modernization efforts by King Gojong. The Cultural Heritage Administration plans to transform it into a history museum on the Korean Empire by the end of next year following the restoration of the hall.                                                                                                 / Yonhap

The Seokjojeon Hall of Deoksu Palace will be reborn as the History Museum of the Korean Empire after a restoration project is finished by the end of next year, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration.

The Seokjojeon Hall, a stone house built in the Western style during the time of King Gojong (1852-1919), has been under restoration to its original state since 2009.

Costing more than 13 billion won, the project is focusing on rebuilding the interior and exterior structures mostly damaged during the Japanese colonial period (1910-45) and the Korean War (1950-53)

“The structure will be used to restore the historical value of the ill-fated Korean Empire which sought to be a modern, autonomous state,” Park Yeong-geun, an official of the administration, said.

The structure will be turned into an exhibition hall connected to Jungmyeongjeon Hall at the palace.

John McLeavy Brown, an accountant of the empire, first suggested the construction of the building in 1897 and then British architect John Reginald Harding designed the structure and it was completed in 1910.
This photo shows the three-story Seokjojeon Hall built at Deoksu Palace during the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910)                                                         / Korea Times file
King Gojong moved his main residence from Gyeongbok Palace to Deoksu Palace in 1897 and changed the name of the state from Joseon to the Korean Empire.

To uplift the dignity of the throne, he extended the palace, having more Western-style structures built. Thus the palace has a mixture of traditional and Western-style architecture.

The building was misused and transformed during the Japanese occupation and the Korean War. Seokjojeon Hall was used as a royal museum in 1933 undergoing interior changes with its chimney being removed. In 1938, its gilt decoration on the walls was ruined in the process of transforming it into an art gallery. In 1950, exterior structures of the building were partially destroyed during the Korean War.

Kokdu Museum opens branch in Bukchon

The Kokdu Museum

“Kokdu,” traditional wooden figurines which were used to adorn a bier to drive out evil spirits for the deceased, can now be seen in Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul.
The Kokdu Museum, which is based in Dongsoong Art Center in Daehangno, opened a new branch in a “hanok” (traditional Korean house) there last week, showing some 60 pieces of the antique figurines dating back to the Joseon Kingdom (1392-1910).
The Bukchon annex named “Kokdurang Hanok” (Kokdu with Hanok) is designed to show how kokdu can be exhibited in harmony with the traditional house and attract more foreign tourists who are interested in traditional Korean culture. The new museum offers not only the antique figurines but also hands-on experiences to visitors in hanok.
“In this area, many hanok close the doors as they are private residences and tourists can only see the exterior view of the hanok. But our museum is open to visitors so that they can look around inside the house and even touch and feel every corner of the house. The museum will be a new cultural complex and tourist spot in Bukchon,” Kim Ock-rang, director of the museum, said.

Ppened a new branch in Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul last week. Some 60 pieces of antique figurines are on show in the traditional Korean house at the Bukchon annex of the Kokdu Museum. / Courtesy of Kokdu Museum

The antique figurines from the museum’s collection are on show — some on the shelves and others hanging on the wall and the ceiling to break the conventional display style which puts artifacts behind glass.
Kokdu takes various forms of human beings, animals or plants used as a means of decoration on the funeral bier. In the museum’s collection, the oldest extant kokdu dates back to the early 18th century. Human-shaped kokdu are designed to guide, protect, support and entertain the dead. Dragons and phoenix are the main motifs of the animal-shaped figurines as the mythical animals symbolize water and fire, wishing immortality and power.
The funeral bier was used to transport the coffin to the burial site and was traditionally believed to be a temporary dwelling place for the deceased. Ancient people believed that the dead are grieved while leaving this world for the other world.
The figurines with various facial expressions and gestures were made to protect the deceased during their long journey. Also, kokdu is comparable with angels in the West as it is believed to be a guardian for the dead during the long sojourn from Heaven to Earth.
The museum said that it will enhance the understanding of foreigners, who often tour the area, about the afterlife in ancient Korean society.
The museum holds some 20,000 kokdu, which have been collected over a period of more than 30 years by the director. It is located on the second floor of the Dongsoong Art Center with two exhibition halls, an education area and an art shop.
The Bukchon branch is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is 3,000 won for adults and 1,000 won for children. For more information, call (02) 766-3351 or visit

Sunday, November 25, 2012

35,000 Lanterns Brighten Cheonggye Stream

A lantern festival is being held in the Cheonggye Stream area until Nov. 18.

The annual festival features a dazzling array of 35,000 lanterns along a 1.5 km stretch of the stream. They are lit daily from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. The lanterns are presented according to four major themes including Seoul Fortress.

Singapore, the Philippines and Japan are participating in this year's festival to showcase their unique and exotic lanterns.

For the first time, the festival is displaying 200 promotional lanterns emblazoned with the names of stores situated near the stream, as well as messages wishing for the revitalization of the local economy.

Visitors can buy traditional Korean lanterns at discounts of between 20 and 50 percent compared to regular market prices.

Weight Watchers Should Avoid Too Much Dried Fruit

Demand for easy-to-store dried fruit is growing as single households proliferate in Korea. Supermarket chain E-Mart said sales of dried fruit rose 1.9 percent between January and October to occupy 9.8 percent of all fruit sales.

But experts warn that nibbling dried bananas, persimmons, cherries, mangos and raisins all day can lead to excessive calorie intake.

Dried fruits have high sugar and calorie levels as the water dries out and nutrition, fiber and vitamins increase. A fresh persimmon weighs about 160 grams and has 70 kcal, but a dried persimmon weighs just one-fifth of a fresh one at 32 grams but has 76 kcal. Much the same is true for other dried fruit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


 21 November 2012 9:00 am - 30 November 2012 9:00 pm at Hapta Kanjeibung, Imphal

The Manipur Sangai Festival is an annual calendar mega-event of the Government of Manipur spearheaded by the Tourism Department that seeks to showcase and promote the finest of Manipur’s arts & culture, adventure sports, indigenous cuisines, handloom & handicrafts, fine arts, indigenous games & music and various other niche products to a regional, national and global audience. This Tourism Festiva
l is held from 21st to 30th of November every year with the main event at Hapta Kangjeibung/Palace Ground, Imphal.

Although many editions of the Festival have been celebrated over the past few years, the Tourism Festival has been renamed as the Manipur Sangai Festival since the 2010 edition. This has been done to showcase the uniqueness of the Sangai or Brow-Antlered Deer found only in Manipur at the Keibul Lamjao Floating National Park in Loktak Lake and to further promote Manipur as a world class tourism destination.

During the Festival, the rich culture and mystique dances of Manipur are showcased at the fully air-conditioned Culture Auditorium. Indigenous Fashion Show, Rock Show and Traditional Musical Night are held at the Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT). Adventure Sports activities like trekking, caving and Para-sailing all over Manipur are promoted through various agencies most importantly Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association. More than 300 Stalls and a Food Court showcasing and marketing the indigenous arts & culture and various native cuisines are promoted at the Palace Ground. Indigenous Games like Mukna (Wrestling), Yubi Lakpi (Rugby), Arambai, Kang, etc. are promoted at the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex. The modern game of Polo (Sagol Kangjei), which owes its origin to this small State, is also vigorously promoted during the Festival. Moreover, over the years stalls and cultural troupes from other States of India and various other foreign countries especially from the ASEAN countries have been perpetually encouraged to participate in this grand Festival.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

E-Pao Picture Gallery Manipur Sangai Festival 2012 Awareness Campaign

Manipur Sangai Festival 2012 Promotional and Awareness Campaign Programme by Royal Riders, Manipur at Imphal Hotel, North AOC.
 Coutresy: gallery

Manipur Sangai Festival 2012 Awareness Campaign Programme by Royal Riders at Imphal Hotel :: 03 November 2012