[WSK] Secret Garden, the TV Drama is not to end

Secret Garden, a Korean TV drama that won favorable attention from the audience for the actors’ excellent performance and its famous lines, has just come to end. As the TV drama of the moment generating a lot of talks, not only its storyline but also the fashion, props and even NG takes became a great interest among the fans.


In particular, the location sites of the TV drama where the main characters’ scenes have been taken were what aroused the audiences’ curiosity the most. Let us have a closer look to the places Secret Garden invited their fans; the workshop location where Joo Won (Male leading charater) and Lime (female leading character) looked through the eyes of love of each other, Jeju hotel site where the two souls were switched and Petite France where the couple has first met.




Petite France, Joo Won first meets Lime


Do you remember the place where Joo Won first meets Lime, mistaking her as Park Chae Rin who Oscar asked to find for him? The romantic and fairytale village that often appears on TV or movie screen is from Petite France, a French village located in Gapyeong-gun Cheongpyeong-myeon, Korea.


The place combined with Goseong Youth Training Center, has sixteen French-style architectures and provides various activities to experience French culture during the stay. The site has a gift shop themed on Little Prince, a representative novel of a renowned French writer Antoine Marie Roger de Saint-Exupéry and a gallery where an exhibition on the theme cock – the symbol of France is on show. Every month they have various events offered, so it would be worth to check out the website at www.pfcamp.com for more information before your visit.


<Petite France where tourists can experience French culture>


The Seaes hotel in Jeju, the two souls switch their bodies


At the beautiful blue seashore, Joo Won and Lime confronts their destiny that inevitably ties their relationship; their souls switch bodies of each other. This happened right at the Seaes hotel in Jeju, a place of traditional and sophisticated aesthetic where Joo Won frequently visited for his stay. Later the switched souls returned back to their bodies with a kiss, and the bench on which they sat on at that moment as well can be found at this hotel site. The hotel located by Jungmun seashore, Seogwipo-si is a special resort hotel which embraces the beautiful scenery and taste of traditions of Jeju.



The Seaes hotel is unique for keeping the regional features of the traditional housing culture of Jeju i.e. Doldam (traditional gates built with stones) and traditional straw-roofed houses. The guest rooms have private terraces where sunrises and sunsets can be seen and facilities such as open gardens and outdoor pools are offered for the guests. Even Traditional Han Room, a private villa house is offered as a guest house for those who want more privacy during the stay while two types, Ko-dang and Cho-dang is available.


In addition, eight Jeju Olle courses that pass by the hotel is another benefit. This well shows how much the hotel harmonizes with the natural environment. For the excellent scenery, besides Secret Garden, it has a number of TV dramas that took location at the site; Boys Before Flowers, The Snow Queen, and Sorry I Love You. It surely is one of top attractions of Jeju.



Visit the Shelter of nature



Lime and her action training academy, for a workshop, visit the villa the top 1% rich man, Kim Joo Won owns. During the stay, Joo Won stares at Lime with love while she is sleeping; this moment was appreciated as one of the best scenes that excited many fans of the couple.


The scene where the two had a walk with beautiful fallen leaves the following day and the starry nights they spend together was shot at the newly opened Resom Forest at Jecheon city, Chung-buk. As Joo Won has explained to the investors inside the TV drama, the resort aims a resort of nature itself. The site shall cure the exhausted minds and bodies of the tired city people being full of dozens of trees and wild flowers, including a 150 year-old pine tree.


<Resom Forest>


Resom Forest has a number of beautifully named paths; Sosori Baram-gil, Poreureu Solrae-gil, Gajaegineun Goljjack-gil, and Sanbaragi Neungseon-gil and so on. Especially the path the two main characters had a walk together is now entitled as ‘Secret Road,’ sending best wishes to all loving couples who walk the path together. There are also health programs through a walk in the forest such as ‘walking meditation’ and ‘walking the Resom Dule-gil path’ inviting everyone, men and women of all ages to the forest.



Secret Garden made the romantic comedy TV genre, after a six-year period, to win back the top TV audience rating, but would not the real location sites be even more romantic than the TV drama? The healthy, beautiful places with interesting narratives located in every corners of Korea are in fact the secret locations for us. Secret Garden, the TV drama is over but why not visit one of the celebrated sites and enjoy or own secret gardens instead?




Source: http://blog.naver.com/korea_brand/10102280726 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 34, February 8, 2011)

[WSK] K-Pop growth into the States, the heart of pop music

In the 70s and 80s young Koreans listened to American pop music admiring the American pop stars, however in 2010 the picture seems to have changed. Hanlyu (the Korean wave) in Japan and Thailand is now moving on to the Northern America; Korea is now receiving fair attention from their American fans enjoying Korean pop music. The fandom of Korean pop music (K-pop) is growing beyond its region reaching to America and Europe, the heart of pop music.


Hip hop, R&B, electronic dance and etc. has originated from the Western cultures, yet these genres have been interpreted by Asian sentiments in Korea and developed a unique style of pop music. It then has been introduced back to the global market; it is pop music but from Korea. A recent research on K-pop video views statistics on YouTube, a global video-sharing website, well illustrates this phenomenon.

Hanlyu in America
The Korea Daily (Korea Joongang Daily USA) totaled the views of K-pop video clips on YouTube of year 2010, which counts those of netizens from 229 nations. 923 video clips of Korean pop-stars who belong to Korea’s top three major entertainment management agencies were analyzed and 793,570,000 was its total hits; by continents, views from Asia was 566,270,000, Northern America 123,470,000 and Europe 55,370,000. While Asia showed the largest number of views yet an increase of those in the US is shown: the number, 94,870,000 views in total, ranked third following Japan (113,540,000 views) and Thailand (99,510,000 views).


<K-pop video views on Youtube and Hanlyu> (reference: Joongang Daily)
In fact, this is not that surprising if we take a look to rising K-pop starts receiving attention overseas. Recently Wonder Girls, a representative K-pop girl group success example in the overseas market, performed on the legendary funk band – Earth Wind & Fire’s 40th debut anniversary opening stage receiving favorable response from the audience.
Wonder Girls earlier performed the opening stage of a mega concert of which top musicians of America including Stevie Wonder had participated; there they received enthusiastic response for their songs Nobody and Tell Me while some fans following their song and dances. With their hit song Nobody, Wonder Girls became the first K-pop start to have their song ranked on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2009 and as well had been introduced by Chicago Tribune, one of the 10 major newspapers in the US, on their daily paper and online site.


<Wonder Girls> (photo: Naver Blog)
After the success of Wonder Girls other K-pop singers has been active to enter the overseas music market. JYJ a boy group of three members separated from the previous Dong Bang Shin Ki is planning to release their first regular album in the US. In fact they are the first Korean singer to make a contract with Warner Music, one of the top three major recording labels in the world; Warner will produce and distribute JYJ’s first US album and Kanye West, a renowned musician and producer will be participating. For such reasons even before its release this album received great attention introduced on the main page of Billboard magazine online.
In addition, BoA, who already has a bigger fandom in overseas as a singer will this time  play the main role in Duane Adler’s – a renowned screenwriter of ‘Step up’ and ‘Save the Last Dance’ – new film as an actress.

Why K-pop?
Actually America has much more variety of popular culture; then what makes it possible for K-pop seem to do quite well while American pop world has been dominant? We hear from one American fan, Savannah Daniel who visited Korea to meet her favorite K-pop star G-dragon (a member of Big Bang, a K-pop boy group). She explains her fondness for K-pop is the powerful rhythm and the passion of dances compared to American pop. Last December 26, she finally met her favorite K-pop star happily leaving back to America.


<K-pop fan Savannah Daniel (middle) with G-dragon (right)

and Top, members of Big Bang>

Song Gi-chul, a pop music critic explains the rising popularity of K-pop overseas due to its matching musicality to American pop while discovering more talented singers. According to Song, for such reasons K-pop was able to attain positive attentions from overseas.
K-pop video hits on YouTube is increasing not only in America but also other countries, which it fact indicates possibilities of K-pop to be successfully introduced to other parts of the globe, besides Korea and besides the States this time. For example, people from Middle East countries e.g. Egypt (630,000 views), Kuwait (414,000 views) and other relatively exotic countries e.g. Montenegro (220,000 views), New Caledonia (140,000 views) and Guadeloupe (10,000 views) were even watching some K-pop videos on YouTube.
With a more organized and helpful support we hope to see more K-pop and K-pop singers to be enjoyed by many fans overseas this year.



Source: http://blog.daum.net/korea_brand/987 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 34, February 8, 2011)

[WSK] Would you like a bowl of Ttukbaegi?

Onggi, a traditional Korean pottery has a significant role as a container preserving food in Korean food culture. In fact, among this time is when we remind of the rows of kimchi and doenjang (soybean paste) jars that used to be stored in the house yard. Nowadays as plastic and stainless containers became popular and the housing environment has changed Onggi lost its popularity in daily life of Koreans. However, recently the cultural value and identity of Onggi has been acknowledged. Books written in English to promote a global use of Onggi have been published followed by attempts of contemporary interpretation on the traditional pot. Let’s take a closer look.




Onggi, traditional Korean pottery of daily life

Onggi, in Korean means earthenware or pottery with a dark brown glaze, which is a native Korean pottery of daily life. Often used as a kimchi jar, for its cheap price and long-durability has been generally used by Koreans. Onggi Folk Museum in Ssangmun dong, Seoul, possesses a variety of Onggi; the big ones mostly used for preserving soy sauce, doenjang, kimchi and water and others used in a more wide range of use e.g. chimneys, candle bottles, lamp-oil containers, Gi-wa(roof tile) and tea pots.


<The biggest Onggi made in Oe-gosan Onggi Village, height 229cm, girth 520cm>


The common use of Onggi can be explained with the characteristics of the Korean food culture. Onggi perfectly suits to preserve fermented food. Made from coarse sand-mud, its breathing holes allows air to enter but block water out that helps the preservation of the food for a longer duration. It also removes toxic substance of foods and reduces the smell. By enabling effective flow of air that helps the fermentation and preservation of the food, Onggi is perfect to store doenjang, soy sauce, kimchi and Jeotgal (salted seafood) keeping it fresh until the following year.


Especially, Onggi is a ‘pot from nature,’ that when cracked or broken to be thrown away it is simply back to earth as soil. The pot is made of soil, water, fire and wind that are harmless to our body. It is eco-friendly but also has traditional Korean scientific logics embedded, no surprise it was selected as one of ‘100 Cultural Symbols of Korea.’ Last year ‘Onggi Expo Ulsan Korea, 2010’ was hosted by Ulsan Oe-gosan Onggi village, the biggest Onggi trading center of Korea.



‘Onggi Expo Ulsan Korea, 2010’ under its theme ‘Onggi the Mirror of the Future’ introduced Onggi featuring the meanings found in its materials and decoration technology and also offering events to experience the difference between Onggi and other potteries from the world. It was the first international expo on traditional Onggi and especially its event for visitors to make their own Onggi was a great success.



CHA publishes an English edition book on Onggi

The National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage (NRICH), Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea published a book entitled as ‘Onggi’ written in English to introduce the Onggi culture to the world. In order to help the orientation of foreigners lots of visual images are included for explaining the production process of Onggi. The process is introduced by three themes – earth, fire and spirit, which are the essential elements for making the pot throughout the history. Among the three, spirit is the most critical that contains the heart of the artisan who made the pot.



This book will be distributed overseas through Korean Culture and Information Services and other related organizations. Also the PDF version will be available at the (NRICH) homepage (www.nrich.go.kr). In addition, NRICH based on their research on intangible cultural heritage of Korea, will continue to publish other English books for foreigners.


Due to the change of housing environments and industrial progress, there are less people who use Onggi in daily life, especially with the invention of kimchi refrigerator in Korea. A significant effort to establish the identity of Onggi culture inheriting its excellence as a traditional container for fermented food, and its historic and cultural value as deriving from the early pottery of human history, should be continued. To develop Onggi suitable for practical use in contemporary life or application to interior design can be one idea. Through a long-term and specific plan, a spread of traditional Onggi culture of Korea across the world is hopefully to be expected.


Source: http://blog.naver.com/korea_brand/10101087100 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 33, January 14, 2011)

[WSK] Sharing Intangible Heritage of Korea with the World

Cultural Heritage can be divided into tangible and intangible heritage. Cultural assets with forms e.g. a palace or ceramics would belong to the former category, while formless assets such as music, dance, drama, and recreations would belong to the latter one. Especially the legacy of intangible cultural assets has been continued by the people throughout history until now, being re-created by time contributing to the diversity of culture.


UNESCO has well acknowledged the importance of intangible cultural heritage. In 1997, at the 29th UNESCO general assembly it has adopted ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ in order to protect intangible heritage which has been under threat to cease to exist by industrialization and globalization.


In 2003 ‘Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage’ was adopted by UNECO and it designated an ‘Urgent Safeguarding List’ and ‘Representative List’ of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. In 2001, 19 assets have been assigned as intangible cultural heritage and the list of it is on increase since then. Last October the food culture of France and Mexico was added to the list receiving lots of attention.



CHA produces DVD on Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Half of cultural assets inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List are those of Korea, China and Japan; Kabuki theater of Japan, the Dragon boat festival and Acupuncture and moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine of China. Korea has eleven assets on the list; the Royal Ancestral Ritual in the Jongmyo Shrine and its Music, the Pansori Epic Chant, the Gangneung Danoje Festival, Cheoyongmu, Ganggangsullae, Jeju Chilmeoridang Yeongdeunggut, Namsadang Nori, Yeongsanjae, as well as Daemokjang (traditional wooden architecture), Gagok (lyric song cycles accompanied by an orchestra), and Falconry the last three recently added to the list.


The National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage (NRICH), Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea produced contents with foreign language services introducing the eleven assets distributed by this month. A video clip on five assets inscribed on 2009 (Cheoyongmu, Ganggangsullae, Jeju Chilmeoridang Yeongdeunggut, Namsadang Nori, Yeongsanjae) is as well produced in three language editions with Korean, English and French. The clip includes a brief introduction on each relevant item that will be a useful resource for foreigners interested in Korean culture.


To promote active use of it, NRICH will distribute those video clips to relevant organizations and researchers in Korea and overseas, as well as providing online access to the material at NRICH homepage. High-quality contents on the intangible cultural heritage of Korea acknowledged by UNESCO is planned to be developed, produced and distributed every year. Such attempts is expected to improve a worldwide recognition on those heritages of Korea that has been under-promoted, despite of its value and significance representing the history, culture and identity of Korea.



The Intangible Cultural Heritage, the dwelling place for the Korean Spirit

<Namsadang Nori, No.3 Important Intangible Cultural Properties of South Korea>


Let’s take a closer look to the five cultural assets featured on the DVD produced by NRICH.
Namsadang Nori is the no.3 important intangible cultural properties of South Korea. Literally meaning ‘all-male vagabond clown theatre,’ it is a traveling entertaining theater troupe consisted of forty to fifty men enjoyed by the common people.


Kkokdusoe (the head of the group) leads the group followed by gombaengisoe, tteunsoe, gayeol, ppiri, and jeoseungpae performing the six sessions of nori (recreation) that are Pungmul, Beona, Salpan, Eoreum, Deotboegi, and Deolmi. Its origin derives from late Joseon. It was to wish peace and wealth for the villages and deliver joy to the common people through various music and performance.


Ganggangsullae, the no.8 important intangible cultural properties of South Korea, is a more familiar traditional recreation of Korea. The tradition comes from the South-western area of Korea performed to wish good harvest and fecundity.


Especially a grand Ganggangsullae used to be performed on the night of Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving), which origins back from the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592. Admiral Yi Sun-shin lighted up torches on the hill and gathered women to play Ganggangsullae to fake the size of the army to the enemy and later the play continued to sing joys and sorrows of life.


<Ganggangsullae, No.8 Important Intangible Cultural Properties of South Korea>


Cheoyongmu is the final dance of Narye and Yeonre, successive national royal events of Korea. It is the only royal dance performed with human face masks. The narrative of the dance is about getting rid of misfortune based on the principle of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements. Through its dazzling and confident movements the dance delivers great energy and vigor to the audiences.


Yeongsanjae is a kind of 49 jae (a Buddhist memorial ceremony held on the 49th day of one’s death). It is a ceremony for spirits to attain eternality based on the Buddhist faiths. It cultural value is recognized for reproducing Young-san Hwe-sang, reminiscences of preach Sakyamuni has performed on Vulture Peak Mountain; also called as Young-san jak Bup, a representative providence ceremony of Buddhism.


Jeju Chilmeoridang Yeongdeunggut is a kind of haenyeo gut (haenyeo means female diver, gut is a type of exorcism) that is part of the unique cultural heritage of Jeju along with haenyeo and folk religion. It has a cultural meaning as a cultural festival embracing the local community and encouraging mutual understanding between the people living on Jeju Island.


To preserve these inherited cultural assets of Korea an active promotion on the international stage should be continued. An active support and participation from the Korean people preserving and promoting their cultural heritage should be followed as well.


Source: http://blog.naver.com/korea_brand/10101088018 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 33, January 14, 2011)

[WSK] Korea’s Ancient Capitals

The present is an accumulative total of the past. So, if you want to really know about the present of a country, you need to delve deep into its age-long history.

And learning about its past capitals – the central locations for the country’s politics and culture – will be a very helpful and significant approach.

The cities of Gyeongju, Gongju, Buyeo and Iksan were designated as the ancient capitals of Korea in accordance with the Special Act on the Preservation of Ancient Capitals decree enacted in March 2005.

For a city to become a capital, it must be some place that is well-suited for residence; a strategic location against foreign invasions; and an all-around convenient spot for overseeing the country. That’s why capitals are usually located near a big river, surrounded by mountains, and furnished with a broad expanse of fertile planes.

Gyeongju, Gongju, Buyeo and Iksan

<Jeonglim Saji 5 Floor Tower in Buyeo>

The Baekje Kingdom (18 BCE – 660 CE), one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla, controlled some colonies in China and most of the western Korean Peninsula at its peak in the 4th century and was a significant regional sea power.

In the 5th century, Baekje retreated under the southward military threat of Goguryeo, and in 475 its capital moved to Ungjin (present-day Gongju). Gongju is home to numerous historic sites including Gongsanseong Fortress, Magoksa Five-story Stone Pagoda, and Seokjang-ri Old Stone Age Ruins.

In 538, King Seong moved the capital to Sabi (present-day Buyeo County), home to significant relics such as the five-storied stone pagoda of Jeongnimsa Temple site and Banwollu Tower.

<Seokguram Grotto in Gyeongju, a UNESCO World Heritage>

Gyeongju was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla (57 BC-935 AD) which ruled most of the Korean Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries. A vast number of archaeological sites and cultural properties from this period remain in the city. Among such historical treasures, Seokguram grotto, Bulguksa temple, Gyeongju Historic Areas and Yangdong Folk Village are designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. The many major historical sites have helped Gyeongju to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Korea.

A Map of Korea’s Ancient Capitals

The Cultural Heritage Administration recently published a map of Korea’s ancient capitals in English as a tourist guide to important historical sites in Korea.

The “Ancient Capitals Tour” map is designed to be easy to carry and use. The map provides information on the history, geography, folklore, and contemporary situation of the four ancient capitals in South Korea: Gyeongju, Gongju, Buyeo and Iksan.

<Ancient Capitals Tour Map in English>

The map also provides useful tourist information, including guides to accommodations and public transportation. Maps will be distributed free of charge at cultural centers and tourism agencies.


Source: http://blog.daum.net/korea_brand/927 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 32, January 1, 2011)

[WSK] Growing Coffee on Jeju Island

Love for coffee is getting pandemic these days. You can find a coffee shop in every block of a sizable office district. Some people go so far as buying espresso machines and other coffee gadgets to furnish in their own homes. (Well, being one of those crazy coffee lovers myself, I am just being envious.)

Coffee is a highly sensitive plant, requiring specific growing conditions. It grows in subtropical regions where the temperature stays above 10 degrees Celsius even during winter. That’s why farming coffee has been mostly considered out of the question in Korea.

Well, Ms. Roh Jin-Yi doesn’t accept that.

<Most of the world’s coffee is grown in a band around the equator from 25 degrees

north to 25 degrees south of the equator>
Korea’s First Coffee Farmer

The first coffee farmer in Korea, Ms. Roh has invested all her money and energy in farming coffee in a 400-pyeong (1 pyeong equals 3.3 square meters) green house in Jeju City since early 2008.

Despite the unfavorable conditions, even Jeju being too cold, Ms. Roh has been persistent in realizing her dream of cultivating coffee. And she has succeeded to reap enough coffee for about 10% of Jeju citizens to sample taste.

And last October, Ms. Roh even held the first Jeju Coffee Festival in her own coffee plantation. At the festival, there was coffee tasting, coffee drinking competitions, hands-on experience of roasting coffee beans and hand-dripping.

<The first coffee farmer in Korea, Ms. Roh Jin-Yi>
Hard Work, But I Love It

Ms. Roh is currently growing some 25,000 coffee trees in a 5,600 square meters plantation. And it is no easy job looking after those highly sensitive plants. They have to be watered twice a day (at the break of dawn and around sunset) for 3, 4 hours. A storm hits, and the fragile plants get all knocked out of their pots, and Ms. Roh has to spend many sleepless days harnessing them back in. They also need to get nutrition shots at regular, designated times.

Roh says she does not expect coffee farming to become a profitable business.

“It’s costly to keep the green house warm and it takes 3 to 5 years from germination to harvest. But I’m doing this not because I want to make money, but because I like it,” says the coffee farmer. And adds, “If I make money later, I would like to build a coffee museum,” expressing her ultimate ambition.

Many cheers and well wishes to her dream!


Source: http://blog.daum.net/korea_brand/926 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 32, January 1, 2011)

[WSK] Foreign Journalists Visit Jeju Olle Road

Twenty Seoul-based foreign journalists on last November 19 and 20 visited the Jeju Olle Road as part of their Jeju Press Tour program sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Traditional Jeju Culture and Haenyeo (sea women)

The twenty foreign journalists, though still somewhat fatigued from the intense reporting they had for the G20 Seoul Summit, participated in the Jeju tour with great zeal and curiosity, especially for the much talked about Olle Road and Jeju haenyeo.

On the first day of their tour, Jeju greeted the journalists with an unusually clear, azure sky and a picture-perfect coast line.

At the center of attention in the tour was, of course, the haenyeo – Jeju’s sea women. A journalist for Tokyo Newspaper expressed his special interest for Jeju haenyeo, saying although Japan also has something like sea women he had never seen the Jeju haenyeo. As four, five haenyeo dove into the sea and began their “sea-picking” routine, the group of visitors all flocked to the water in excitement to take photos.

<The group of foreign journalists all flocked to the water in excitement to take photos.>

Haenyeo dive into 20m deep into the ocean and collect sea products, holding their breath for as long as two minutes. Holding breath is hard enough; but doing that in the middle of cold sea water, swimming AND collecting things? What an amazing feat!

As one of the haenyeo, a 76-year-old sea veteran, pulled out of the water and showed a “domchi” which is a very rare catch, a big applause erupted among the journalists. The elderly haenyeo has been sea-picking since the age of 15.

But sadly, what used to amount to 15,000 Jeju haenyeo has now plummeted to a mere 5,600. And most of them are in their sixties and seventies. Those in their thirties are just a handful now, less than a dozen.

<As one of the haenyeo, a 76-year-old sea veteran, pulled out of the water and showed a ‘domchi’>

Perfect Harmony of the Sea and the Cliffs

The foreign journalists were once again amazed and awed by the beauty of Seongsan Ilchulbong, a peak that rose from under the sea in a volcanic eruption over 100,000 years ago.

Seongsan Ilchulbong is located on the eastern end of Jeju Island and there is a huge crater at its top. With the 99 sharp rocks surrounding the crater, it looks like a gigantic crown. While the southeast and north sides are cliffs, the northwest side is a grassy hill, forming a truly distinctive ambience.

The journalists concluded their first day with a visit to Chyeonjiyeon Waterfall, and their second day was finally the much anticipated Olle Road.

The Olle walking path opened its first route in 2007 and is now furnished with 22 routes of 357km. In the local Jeju dialect, “Olle” was originally used to refer to the narrow path between the street and one’s doorstep. The hiking trail was founded by Myung-Sook Suh who was inspired upon hearing from a certain English tourist that he had healed his hurt soul walking the Jeju roads.

The route the journalists trod that day was Route 10 which is a course a little more taxing than a leisurely walk. You will be able to enjoy a scenic view of cliffs and the ocean. This particular route was declared as “Jeju Olle-Switzerland Friendship Road” last April upon establishing an MOU with the Swiss tourism administration. After the good amount of exercise followed, of course, a sumptuous meal composed of just-caught Jeju sea food and makgeolli.

At the end of the delightful tour, the journalists expressed their wish for having more nature-oriented tourist spots like the Jeju Olle Road. Although they may be somewhat less convenient than those equipped with first-rate technology and amenities, sometimes what we want these days are places that are preserved as they originally were – somewhere we can rest and heal our jaded souls.

Source: http://blog.naver.com/korea_brand/10099192681 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 31, December 15, 2010)

[WSK] The Times 50 Best Inventions of 2010

The Paris Motor Show, one of the world’s four major auto shows, was held from October 2 to 17, 2010 at the Paris Expo. If the Geneva Motor Show in March introduces newly launched cars of the year, then the Paris Motor Show in the autumn showcases models that are to be launched the year after.

The theme of the Paris Motors Show 2010 was “eco-friendly.” Eco-friendly has now become such a preval!ent trend worldwide, especially with the EU’s reinforcement of regulations regarding carbon emissions control.

Eco-friendly vehicle invented by KAIST

The Online Electric Vehicle (dubbed OLEV) manufactured by the Korea Advanced Institute of Technology (KAIST) was included in the 50 Best Inventions of 2010 published by The Times, along with Apple’s iPad, Google’s Driverless Car, Sony’s Alpha A55 Camera and others. Also included was the English-Teaching Robot invented by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).

In the OLEV are embedded electric power strips that provide electromagnetic power to the vehicle, wirelessly, charging an onboard battery and powering the bus’s electric motor.

The Times introduced the OLEV as an advanced green growth technology that could speed up the commercialization of electric cars and also as the world’s one and only online electric vehicle.

The system’s creators at the KAIST say, “The technology not only eliminates pollution, but also alleviates the problems usually associated with hybrid vehicles such as heavy batteries, lengthy charging and limited range.”

Korean technology opens up a new horizon

The OLEV has been on a test operation since last March at the Seoul Amusement Park. It was also presented during the G20 Seoul Summit in November in front of COEX, garnering outstanding reviews. Furthermore, the vehicle is scheduled to be featured next month in the TV program “Into the Future” of Discovery channel.

The OLEV received mixed reviews in the early stage of its development. Although it is an innovative technology that was meant to pursue both green growth and economic profit, some voiced the car’s low practicality as the cost of planting electric power strips under the pavements would be quite steep. Nonetheless, its inclusion in The Times list is without a doubt a distinct acknowledgement of its potential.

The English-Teaching Robot

The other Korean item that made in the Times list is the English-Teaching Robot nick-named “Mero,” developed by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).

The robots can move in any direction and can follow human facial expression!s. They are not only effective teachers, but the students also enjoy interacting with their new, fun, and cool school “staff.”

While the robots are used primarily in support roles for real human teachers, the Time Magazine called them a “job terminator,” saying they could potentially replace the native speakers currently employed in Korean schools.

Although there remain issues of economic feasibility as well as ethics, both inventions indicate excellent capacity of Korean universities as future leaders of world science and technology.

Source: http://blog.naver.com/korea_brand/10099191717 (World Students In Korea Newspaper No. 31, December 15, 2010)

[WSK] Korean Grafted Cactus Fascinates the World

Let us pay some attention to the newly developed Korean grafted cactus that comes under such sweet names as “seolhong,” “hoohong,” and “saekdong.”

The usual association with cactus is some thorny, misshapen, rough-looking plant standing under the scorching sun in the desert.

Well, time to shatter that association.

<Researchers at Rural Development Administration reviewing the quality of the grafted cactus>


The grafted cactus of Korea comes in numerous splash colors (red, pink, yellow, orange….) and sizes (a cute little cauliflower-like thing the size of your fist!).

The Rural Development Administration(RDA) exhibited its newly developed grated cactus at the horticulture fair held last November 11. The Korean grafted cactus has been garnering excellent reviews from the worldwide horticulture market with its annual volume of export exceeding USD 2 million to over 30 countries including the U.S. and the Netherlands, the leading floriculture nation.

At the flower fair, a series of rigorous eval!uation was conducted on the presented cactuses including how vivid the color is, how firm it is, its capacity to produce “baby” plant, its commercial potential and so on.

After passing through a set of meticulous tests and screening, 4 qualified cactuses will be selected to be distributed to the farms. Then they will first undergo a test production to be followed by mass cultivation. The RDA aims at USD 3 million annual export by 2012.

Well, at this rate, not reaching for stars!


Source: http://blog.daum.net/korea_brand/873 (World Student In Korea Newspaper No. 30, December 1, 2010)

[WSK] Korea on the Road to First Class

Chairwoman Lee Bae-Yong of the Presidential Council on Nation Branding on November 15 gave a lecture for the KBS program “The Road to First Class.”

<Web site of the KBS program “The Road to First Class”>


The lecture was on the subject of Korea’s nation brand and the impact of the G20 Seoul Summit.


“Made in Korea” Impact

“Despite the increasing sales of Korean products globally nowadays,” Chairwoman Lee explained, “they still get about a 30% discount compared to similar products made by some other nations because of Korea’s undervalued nation brand.”

Giving examples of French perfume and wine which are products backed up by the country’s strong nation brand, Lee emphasized the importance of nation brand in generating economic profits.

“We need to work on increasing trust and preference for so-called “Made in Korea.” Also, it is getting more and more important nowadays to have strong “software” such as cultural content, human resources and spiritual values as well as hardware.”

Lee also touched upon Korea’s numerous timeless cultural heritages, saying, “I wish to share Korean values and spirits that are imbued in those historic and cultural legacies with the world. Korea’s astounding growth in the 20th century was made possible only because it was backed up by such virtues as harmony, sharing, communication, regards for life and nature.”

“To raise Korea’s nation brand, it is important to have active civic participation. The Council will make best efforts to achieve the goal with 5 major areas of work that we designated which include contributing to the international community, cultivating global citizenship, promoting multiculturalism, developing attractive culture and tourism, and showcasing advanced technology.”


<Tripitaka Koreana woodblock at Haeinsa temple (designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site)>

“Korea, as seen in its age-long history and countless cultural relics, has admirable spirits – perseverance, cooperative and pacifist inclination, modesty, warmhearted regards for others. It is important that we remember these timeless virtues of ours,” Lee stressed.

* Chairwoman Lee Bae Yong’s lecture on the program “The Road to First Class” (aired on November 20) can be viewed at the following web page:


Source: http://blog.naver.com/korea_brand/10098366295 (World Student In Korea Newspaper No. 30, December 1, 2010)