The Koreans

Them and their cultures

Who are they?

The Koreans are descendants of the people of the Korean Peninsula-located between China, Japan and Russia. The Korean people are one of most homogeneous nationalities. There are no visible ethnic minorities in South Korea. The Korean language is thought to belong to the Altaic language family. Until the year 1446, Korean was written using Chinese characters until the Korean alphabet, Han'gul was developed.

Their traditional cultures


This refers to the shared cultural heritage of the Korean peninsula
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Their traditional attire

Hanbok is the traditional outfit of the Korean people. Koreans nowadays wear this outfit only on festive days or special anniversaries, however it was worn daily up until just 100 years ago. It is a kind of traditional formal dress and most Koreans keep a hanbok for these special times.Koreans have long worn white clothing made of hemp or cotton regardless of their status. The case of formal dress was different, however. Color and design were typically luxurious and the hanbok was particularly highly valued for its gracious and subtle colors. Modern designers have presented the traditional Korean costume at renowned cities of fashion such as Paris and New York.The hanbok is colored using natural dyes. The colors of nature are imbued in the cloth. For example, red dye is obtained from the petals of red flowers. The color pigment is extracted by grounding the petals in a mortar, putting them in a jar and rinsing them with hot caustic soda. It is a very slow, complicated, precise process. The colors obtained in this way differ greatly from artificial dyes in their color and depth. The Hanbok is creative and emotional in its design. One Korean phrase regarding the shape of the outfit is the 'upper is narrow, lower is wide'. The jacket must be tightened and the skirt relaxed, as was the silhouette of the women's hanbok in Joseon times. The tightly fitting jacket attractively reflects the shape of the upper body. The wide sleeves and flexible skirts enhance the wearer's gracefulness by hiding the physical features of the lower body. Although hanbok have become the ritual dress of choice worn only on traditional holidays, Koreans' love for hanbok is tremendous. The popularity of Korean classic dramas is causing many foreigners to take a keener interest in traditional Korean attire as well.
Drum Korea! Korean Beat "Samulnori 사물놀이"

Their musics

The gayageum is a traditional Korean zither-like string instrument, with 12 strings. Pansori is a Korean genre of musical storytelling performed by a vocalist(Sorikkun) and a drummer(Gosu). The term pansori is derived from pan (meaning "a place where many people gather"), and sori (meaning "sound"). Samul nori is a genre of traditional percussion music originating in Korea. The word samul means "four objects" and nori means "play".

four objects is Kkwaenggwari, Jing, Janggu and Buk.

The delicious Korean cuisines

Korean traditional food is Hangwa made with yeot, grain flour and fruit, Gochujang made with red pepper, Doenjang and chunggukjang made with been paste(meju), hwajun made with dough and flower, Tteokguk, Bulgogi, and Bibimbab. Songpyeon is a traditional Korean food made of glutinous rice. It is a type of tteok, consisting of small rice cakes traditionally eaten during the Korean autumn harvest festival,Chuseok.

The exciting games

Juldarigi is a traditional Korean sport similar to tug of war. It has a ritual and divinatory significance to many agricultural communities in the country, and is performed at festivals and community gatherings. Jwibulnori is a popular Korean game. It's a play to make a fire on paddies and fields to exterminate harmful insects and rats during the first full moon of a year in the lunar calendar, which is the national holiday in Korea. People make a torchlight on a basket or a container tied with a strong string, going out, playing with, twirling it. After enjoying this game, they make a fire on the farmland. Yut Nori is a traditional board game played in Korea, especially during Korean New Year. One stick over (flat side up) and three sticks up (round side up) is called "do"(pig). Two sticks up and two sticks over is called "gae" (dog). One stick up and three sticks over is called "geol"(sheep). All sticks over is called "yut"(cow), whereas all sticks up is called "mo"(horse).