Friday, 6 June 2014


We all went to the Korean Folk Village (한국민속촌) just the other day to have a look at how it was like to live in Korea a long long time ago. We met at the school around 8am, and as usual some people just have no respect of time and arrived like 15~30 minutes after appointed meeting time. We got on the bus and then slept (for waking up so early haha) all the way to Suwon (수원) where the Folk Village is located at.

The first stop we made was at the pottery (옹기성형) making station. Here we were taught how to make a cup/stationery holder (whichever you preferred) and then we'll get it within 1-2 weeks after it's been baked. I didn't really know what to make so I made a face :\

I tried to make it look like my teacher so I'll study hard everytime I looked at it.

Hard at work

Albert with his Pinocchio lol

Fernanda with her Yesung heart-shaped mug

Kiyo :o


The scenery was amazing and it seemed like living in the past was very peaceful, calming and serene. However with the age now, it's pretty hard to live without the internet and I really doubt I can live there for more than 30 days at one go. But then again, ignorance truly is bliss if you never actually know what you're missing out. The houses were all built beautifully and simply and there wasn't much you could miss because everything you might probably ever need was within reach. Food, lodging, playgrounds etc.

The next station we went to was where we learnt how to make these dolls (닥종이 공예) (probably what they used to make in the olden days to sell or to play with). You start off with a plastic bottle with a styrofoam ball on top as a head.

We used this type of glue that's actually also edible. Apparently it's made from natural stuff, so eating it wouldn't kill you. (Don't eat too much, though..) Then you just glue paper on it and then cut the eyes and nose and then glue it on too. It was really fun and quite an experience.

Me sitting at a table with 5 other girls from my class

Almost there...

Smile! (웃어 주세요!)

Some cheeky monkey behind me

Tadahhhh! Finished product (He has a mohawk)

The next stop we went to was lunch! It was at this huge restaurant nearby and everyone had the same meal except those who couldn't have meat: Bulgogi (불고기) translated literally as fire meat. But it's beef in a sweet sauce that mixes well with rice. If you ever are in a dilemma about what to eat being unable to understand the language, always go with Bulgogi, because you can't go wrong with that.

*drool* D:

This is my current class, but with 4 people missing.

Our teacher explaining a lot of things to us as we walked through the village.

The different rooms available in the village


Peppers (고추) used to make the famous sauce in Bibimbap, gochujang (고추장)


Olden age toilets (Imagine the smell...)

This is a machine used to grind rice (I think? Wasn't listening that well to my teacher hahaha)

The doors that were made were really interesting. If you look carefully at the picture, no nails were used in the construction of the door. It was merely wood upon wood and they made it in such a way where the grooves fit perfectly and were wedged in with each other to provide a sturdy yet natural structure. The "paper" that was used to cover the door was something really really unique. In the summer, it allowed the cool air to go in so that the room would stay cool, and in the winter it allowed the heat to stay in and the cold air not to come out.

Everything that was used to make the houses were from nature (Wheat, Soil, Wood, Grass) and they believed that if they stayed in a house from nature, it was good for their health and their body. My teacher also shared a very funny and interesting thing whereby people who wanted to see the lady who was getting married during a ceremony would use their fingers and poke holes through the paper and look in.

옛날 부엌 (olden age kitchen)

Early sandals that they used to wear

This guy here was selling some kind of sweet that was eaten in the olden times. The candy was hard and can be cracked easily but the moment you put it in your mouth and it comes in contact with water/saliva it turns into some sticky substance that tastes a lot like nougat. It's hard to eat but pretty tasty.

After exploring around and all, we sat down and watched a number of performances that was and is still really popular in Korean culture. The sun was shining but the weather was cool and windy and there were trees also around, covering us with shade.


The performance above (농악놀이) is pretty amazing, the amount of coordination you need to have for the walking around, jumping, hitting on your instrument and also if you can see on their hats, they have this ribbon-like thing that they need to rotate via the swinging of their heads. It seems really difficult.

The next one was of an old man walking on the string and he could do jumps and tricks whilst on the rope. The balance he has is beyond amazing. Thereafter we had a horse show? Sort of. My teacher said that in the past, Koreans used to do that, but now Koreans no longer do that and the people who were performing the show were Mongolians. 

The horsemen/women could do so many amazing tricks, jumping off and on again on the horse WHILST the horse was running. They also could shoot arrows and throw spears whilst on horses. Goes to show that in the past these types of methods were used for hunting for food.

Next up over here we went to the olden age Police Stations. (옛날 경찰서) where criminals were brought for punishment for their crimes. The cross-like things that you see is where they were tied to and then spanked with oar-like paddles.

My evil teacher asked me to sit down and had the other guys torture me D: It was pretty painful as you can see the veins popping out on my head. And over to the left you can see my teacher grinning and laughing so gleefully.

Next up was a traditional wedding ceremony (전통혼례). There're a lot of steps that need to be taken during a wedding ceremony and it was really complicated, from what I saw D:

Oink oink, black pigs

These were how all the olden days villages and houses looked like. And some of them were used for filming Korean dramas that took place in the past. It's pretty amazing to be able to take a look at how life was like in the past. 

The photo below is a gate of the villages in Jeju in the past. Well technically a gate then and a gate now has its big differences whereby nowadays the gates HAVE to cover your territory or else people will trespass, however in the past people know the meanings via the sticks you see below.

All 3 sticks in: Nobody is home, please do not enter.
Only 2 sticks in: We have gone out for a while, please come back later.
Only 1 stick in: A few of us are here, but a few aren't.
No sticks in: Please come in, we are home.

The statue below is what the villagers used to rub when they are about to have kids. The nose, that's frequently rubbed, is if you want a baby boy. For a baby girl, you have to rub the ears. Apparently in the photo below, Bibek wants both, so he's rubbing both the nose and ears. We also made a joke that if you wanted money, you can rub its belly.

It was a great experience, fun and interesting. Understanding the history and culture of the country you're in, and especially living in for a few years, we ought not to be ignorant but acceptive and curious about it. I believe it's utterly bullshit to go to another country and expect them to speak the language you know and to adjust to suit your needs. If you're stuck up enough to feel like that, you should be rich enough to pay for an expensive place where people are willing to cater to you.

If not, you're in another place, in another land, then you should follow suit their rules and their customs. It's been a great journey so far, and there's always more to learn each day, even if it is a little. This trip has been pretty enriching and it's always better to know more, than to know less, even if the information doesn't matter that much to you.

다음에 다시 써요~

No comments:

Post a Comment