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Should become GAT Become A Unisex Apparel?

Chingu, what would a Hanbok jacket (Jeogori) and the Korean male hat (Gat) look like on everyday sneakers and jean?

Bayo Okeowo shot this when he came visiting the Korean Cultural Center

Honestly, I think urbanizing Hanbok would be one on of those groundbreaking evolution of fashion!

One of my favourite piece asides the free flowing hanbok itself is, the Gat. Even though it’s a male accessory, it has this consuming nature too attaching to ignore.

So, I decided to do some research about its history and evolution. Fam! It has gone through a lot, to look just the way it is today.

First, the Gat was developed in the Joseon period and saw the end of the origin’s era into the modern 20th – 21st Century.

The praises given to the Gat is always fallen on the fact that the Gat can be worn with any Korean outfit for any occasion. It is also known as Heukrip.

Initially, the Gat was worn by the aristocrats (upper class) but later, it became a conventional wear for ceremonial events.

Some top Korean male actors wearing hanbok. Photo for Creatrip

Basically, the Gat comprises of:
A narrow cylindrical-shaped crown with a flat top Chonmoja
a round and curved brim Yangtae
Fabric strap Gatkkeun

The circular top which meant to house the topknot hair (In those days, men kept  long hair). Before wearing the Gat, a skull cap was worn known in Korean as Tanggeon

Materials for making: Horsehair, bamboo and a black embellishing to finish off.
For the straps, each decorative adorning represented the class the person belonged to.

In general, the Gat is a statement piece I wouldn’t mind adding to my everyday wear.

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When is the next Kimjang Festival?

Kimchi

Chingu ya, I am here day dreaming about Korean festivals I will like to go to.

Covid-19 has dashed many plans as it kept and still keeping a large number of the world locked in their homes but this can’t stop us from dreaming and exploring Korea through the means of the internet, today, right???

By means of the internet, I learnt about the Kimjang festival:  Community coming together to make Kimchi.

Even though, this tradition began in the times when cabbage used for Kimchi were only planted and harvested once a year. Now, cabbage can be gotten all year round. Still the tradition continues.

Why then do Koreans celebrate Kimjang?

I’ve never heard of any food requiring the entire community joining hands to prepare. Kimjang was my first. I find it quite fascinating and I can only imagine how every November in Korea, people gather, all excited as they offload freshly harvested cabbages, wearing all kinds of work clothes, some washing, some dressing, some mixing; all participating in their given tasks to making Kimchi – that’s the Korean spirit there. I must confess. It’s beautiful.

From learning about Kimjang, I have no doubt that Kimchi has the right to be called the Ambassador of the Korean people because; everyone joins hands to make it!

I have eaten Kimchi just once and I loved it spicy taste. Nigerians love spicy food so it was only normal to enjoy its crunchiness yet savour every bit of the garlic, chili and other spices my taste bud to pick out. But the process of making I learnt about is quite fascinating especially the Kimchi paste Gochujang. Gochujang can take centuries to make (technically, not centuries .. its more like, the sauce is left to ferment and the longer it stays, the tastier it becomes). This reminds me of the saying that goes like this: “The older the wine, the stronger it gets” Apparently, the older the Gochujang, the sweeter the Kimchi.

In this festival, I am told that people share prepared Kimchi with their friends, workers, colleagues! Wow. I hope to one day in November, take a flight to Incheon International Airport and zoom off to the next Kimjang festival. I will eat Kimchi until I can no more, pay for extra luggage if need be so I bring Kimchi to Nigeria and have you, my friends snack on this healthy Korean meal while I live on with the experience of Korea; the place where everyone’s hand is needed in cooking.

Support my blog by buying your Korean skin products here

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My Wildest Korean Dream

Chingu, do you know what my wildest Korean dream is?

Its the day I’ll read and understand a book written in Korean and watch a drama without subtitles beginning to the end! Sometimes, when watching K-dramas, I feel the subtitles are not conveying the right message and probably its because of the choice in word being used.

Imagine yourself with a fine romantic novel written by a Kim or Choi or Park and flipping through those pages, you see those well written characters and you can not only, pronounce the letters, but also know their meanings by word and context!

When I get to that level, I’ll be speaking to my guardian angel in Korean only!

On a serious note, what is your wildest Korean dream?

One time, my wildest dream was having a Korean friend .. which I later did, thanks to an online language exchange site. Then, it was, to wearing Hanbok. I love hanbok! I’ve had the opportunity of wearing a few- they are all on my instagram feed.

Then, it was to work in the Korean Cultural Centre, Nigeria. Well, lets say, if you come over to the Centre, you’ll sure be seeing my happy face at the exhibition hall.

Other dreams I have accepted that will never be made possible is: I wont be marrying Gong Yoo; it isn’t a biggie anymore. Besides, lets just say, I probably would be sharing myself into a hundred minies as I also dreamed of marrying Lee Min Ho, Park Seo Jun, Nam Joo Hyuk, Kim Seon-Ho, Yoon Shi Yoon, BTS’s ‘V’ and so many others on my IG feed.

I have accepted my fate.

So chingu, whatever your wildest Korean dream is, it sure would start from you learning about Korean culture and of course, learning Korean. Start this journey with Hamkke Community they make learning Korean so much fun no matter the current level you are in.



What I’d look like, a professor in Korean literature…. ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
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Olaengmanida Chingu! Long Time No Me

오랜 친구, long time no me! I could blame the pandemic for this my long absence but, it wasn’t COVID-19’s fault 100% … probably COVID-19 would take 5% of the blame. The other 95% goes to this babe, fraternizing with procrastination and imposter syndrome! No jokes.

This is me coming out clean. I know what those two can do to your goals. They suck out all your juices leaving you dry and lost. If you want to talk about it, hey, I am here for you

Now, that that’s been cleared, lets catch up! Welcome to 2021! See my video on YouTube. First of, BBC Pigdin featured me in an article! Your girl is so humble, thank you BBC Pidgin!!

Then, work has been so exciting these days! Seollal festival is this week, 12th February 2021! Korean Cultural Center, Nigeria is up to something! You should check it out.

Other things I committed myself to:

* Watching more K-dramas! CJN ENI, TVN been bursting my brains with maddass storylines! I spoke a little about it in my video.

* Skincare goals (This, I have a lot to tell you! Chingu, K-beauty products are the bomb for all skin types including Blacks! However, can’t spill right now)

* I joined Hamkke!!! Because, my Korean language needs a community where learners and teachers meet. Its a great support system I urge you to lean on to especially if procrastination is your greatest enemy.

I have to go now…

In the meantime, I look forward to the next time not so far from now.. I am not zoning out on you, no worries! Subscribe and you’ll be notified when I return.

xoxo
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Does #EndSARS Protest Affect the Tourism Sector?

First, let’s answer the question, what is #EndSARS?

Source: Google GIF

#EndSARS is an ongoing protest in Nigeria by Nigerian Youths against a part of the Nigerian Police which is responsible for acting on crimes associated with robbery, motor vehicle theft, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and firearms.

Source: Guardian Newspaper Nigeria

SARS is an acronym of THE SPECIAL ANTI-ROBBERY SQUAD created in 1992.

SARS has been accused of wrongfully using their government authority in attacking the average Nigerian Youth especially in the metro cities of Lagos and Abuja. Many heart pacing, heart aching stories are told by victims of SARS Police brutality and some have lost their lives in the process. Many of these victims were wrongly accused because of what they wore or gadget or accessories they carried.

The Nigerian youth in their now eleven (11) days protest across the country, both online and offline have called for an end of the SARS unit and also a total reform of the Nigerian Police as even the living conditions of some Nigerian Police men are in a deplorable state.

Source: PM Express

The tourism sector of Nigeria has not been spared. Even though, the protest does not directly affect the tourism sector.

Source: Nairametrics

Major road networks in metro states like Abuja and Lagos are being occupied by the protesters. Mother of all traffic is what many people experience these days. Visiting a favorite restaurant, park, museum, galleries and beach aren’t dreamed of these days as almost the whole day is spent in traffic.

As of 20th October, 2020 some innocent protesters holding the Nigerian flag and singing the National Anthem were randomly shot at in Lekki Toll Gate Lagos, cars and some properties we also vandalized in Abuja. The security of the country is now at stake.

This directly means, the income of tourist sites are not reading positive!

Sitting at home or joining the protest is the only two options available. Make your choice.

Source: tenor

However, hold your decision a bit more and check this out. Some art galleries since covid-19, began opting for virtual tours. Which means, with a good network, charged battery and website link, one can still enjoy art to its fullest in Nigeria.
However, some do charge a few Naira and some are absolutely free!

Here is one you should add to your calendar: Home Museum to mark the 2020 LagosPhoto festival on October 24. 

Source: Google

Thank you for reading!


My name is Sharon Pwavi Babale
Let me know you better.

Instagram @sharicutty

Freedom of Expression But in Covered Faces – Korean Masks

Tal ~ A close view

This would be my second piece under “Things Korean” you can read my last article on “Tteolugli” and because you are interested in the Korean culture, I felt to dive in a bit more. I believe to understand a person, is to understand what defines his value system and ways of doing things.

About Tal

Korean mask also known by other names: Gamyeon, Gwangdae, Chorani, Talbak and Talbagaji.

Korean masks can be categorised in two: religious masks and artistic masks.

The religious masks are revered and used to ward off evil spirits. While artistic masks are mostly used for dance and dramas (Talchum)

A cross section of masks found in the exhibition hall- KCCN

Now the gist is here.

These artistic masks in the Joseon dynasty were the means in which commoners could express their dissatisfaction against the upper class without being found. Meaning, during the Mask dance, commoners wore masks that represented the person, or class they had grievance against and expressed themselves.

It was like the folk literature of the time, they appealed to the audiences by ridiculing apostate monks, decadent noblemen and others it had all forms for shades and satire.

Today, masks have become an extension of Korean traditional culture and one of the cool things we see in traditional Korean ceremonies.

I personally like this story about Korean masks because, it tells you, even in the times where commoners didn’t have freedom of speech and expression, they still found a way 😊

I have to go now,I hope you enjoyed this piece. In the meantime, do take care of yourself, till next Saturday same space.

xoxo.

Things Korean (Cultural Items of Korea)

Chingu ya, felt to share some cute Korean cultural items I dearly appreciate. This would be the first of my series titled: Things Korean.

Have you seen this before?

Heyyo!!

Ever wondered what it was? Let me tell you all about it.

First of, this butterfly-shaped head gear is known as “Tteoguli” its a wooden frame, painted to resemble hair.

Here, a bit of gist for you.

In the Joseon dynasty, women wore many hair accessories including “Gache” which is known as a wig, because they wanted their hair to look fuller.
Apparently, wearing wigs then was the in-style back then!
But there was a problem with this wig. It wasn’t as we know wigs today; they were REAL human hair, cut, tied and braided round and round the hair.
These were so heavy and too expensive, Bisanda!!

So, just the rich people could afford it.

At some point Gache was banned by King Yeongjo because, it was not only expensive but was not in line with the Confucian values of reserve and restraint.

Tteoguli was now formed as a replacement of Gache as it was now less heavier than the former.

How is Tteoguli worn?

First, the hair is packed in a sleek lower bun then the tteoguli is placed on top.

Was the tteoguli an everyday hair accessory?

Apparently it was worn on special occassions and ceremonies like, the Queen’s wedding. Though, some argue that it was an everyday wear for noble women.

So I got to wear it for a dance video. You should see it. It was hilarious, hahahhaaha!!. And for a photo shoot as well.. Here is a BTS of the look before the shoot.

Since, I am yet to get the photos, you can follow me on social so you see them for yourself… when I upload them.

P.S it is heavy. No jokes

Would you like to try it on when you visit the Exhibition Hall?

My 5 Coolest Architectural Designs in Seoul!

#Seoul #Architecture #Engineering

Seoul was known as Hayang and Gyeongseongbu at some point, and finally renamed in 1945 after being freed from Japanese occupation.

There are so many cool things about Seoul, including the fact that, it has the best internet infrastructure and connections in the world,

but,

Seoul has always! Been a home to fascinating architectural pieces that marks the pace for engineering!

Journey with me.

First on my list is the Gyeongbokgung Place.. Seoul is a home to fascinating Places including the Gyeongbokgung Place which stands as a great emblem of Korea’s rich history. Visit there and connect to richness of the Royals of Korea😍

Secondly! The Urban Hive.. This is a work space yet with an unusual honey comb exterior structure which supports the structural weight of the entire building….(I feel it looks like the building is wearing an outer jacket 🤔)

The Ewha University Campus Center is mind blowing 🤯🤯 most of the building is underground! I love the fact that, it’s actually a school building! It can accommodate up to 22,000 students including a cafeteria, theatre, libraries and much more 💪

My fourth goes to, ‘luxury at 1,800 feet!’ tallest in Seoul and fifth tallest in the world people! Built to withstand earthquakes measuring 9 on the Richter scale as well as crazy winds😏 You can live, work and shop in it except for a hospital I guess😁 (that’s on the side) ok! Enough of talking.. Meet the sun grabber!!! The Lotte World Tower🤩🤩🤩🤩

And yes! My favorite and number five, The sun dazzler! The biggest gold coloured building in the world and the occupant of an aquarium where you see mermaids 😱

Yea! The 63 Building is an ultramodern 63 story tower with an IMAX Cinema, a Marine park and a sky deck with city view…..you can see as far as Incheon on a clear day!

I want to go there 😭

#seoulfancontest #seoulfancontest2019 📸 @world_walkerz @korea-magichon @visitseoulofficial @a_glutton_like_me @unsplash @google 🎶@bts

The Korea I Fell For

Most of us love the Korean movies we watch, and the beautiful architectural masterpieces we see.
But what about looking at Korea from it’s humble beginning and appreciate the growth so far?

I think the Korean Peninsula had always experienced invasions as it was common in those days, however, it is paramount to begin from the Japanese invasions.
images

The Japanese invasions to Korea began in 1592, a brief truce in 1596 and a second invasion in 1597.

From 1910 – 1945, the Japanese colonized the Koreans which was quite harsh.
1. The Koreans were not allowed to use their names,

2. Speak their language and

3. their women were made “Comfort women”
The Japanese surrendered to the Allies on August 15, 1945 which ended World War II. Read More:(http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/main_pop/kpct/kp_koreaimperialism.htm)

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Then, Korea was partitioned after the Second World War.
The area north of a dividing line in the middle of the country – known as the 38th Parallel – fell under Soviet control, whilst the region to the south came under US influence.
Following growing tensions between the two, a North Korean army crossed the 38th Parallel on 25 June 1950 and swiftly advanced south.

The United Nations sent an international force, led by the Americans, to fight with South Korea.
After initial success, the UN forces retreated in the face of Chinese support for the north.
The situation developed into a war of attrition until an armistice was signed in July 1953.
The Korean War impacted considerably on the civilian population.

Around 2.5 million people were casualties of the violence.
It has been referred to as the ‘Forgotten War’, but substantial numbers of military personnel from 16 UN nations– including the US, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Canada – fought as part of the UN Force.

It is unknown exactly how many people lost their lives during the conflict, the first military action of the Cold War.
(https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/a-short-history-of-the-korean-war)

The War was savage and destructive. Within a year of its outbreak, Seoul had changed hands four times and was in ruins.
By the end of the War in 1953, the capital’s pre-war population of 1.5 million was down to 200,000, with people suffering from chronic and severe food shortages.

The rest of the country fared no better. Beside the unimaginable toll on human lives, whatever meager infrastructure there had been simply no longer was.

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Sixty years later, the whole country is bursting with pride, as Korea successfully wins a bid to export a nuclear power plant to the United Arab Emirates, and as we stand to chair the 2010 G20 Seoul Summit and host the Nuclear Security Summit in 2012 and much more achievements after that.

download (1)

Starting from no capital, no infrastructure, and little human resources, we have come a very long way indeed. From a per capita income of 67 U.S. dollars at the end of the War, we attained 20,000 dollars in 2007, and total GDP grew 745 times during that time. Much of this was achieved through our own efforts and sacrifices.
(From a former professor of Economics- South Korea)
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/06/29/chung.koreas/index.html

I think, South Korea stands at a Model to Nations today. Not only as a model, but as an inspiration to anyone who desires to build a meaning out of life.

I fell for this Korea because, they had plenty times of sets backs but amidst their setbacks they fought for their identity, country and their future.

Today, South Korea has earned a name in the world.

The Eco-Friendly City: Abuja

Sitting somewhere in the middle of the rich tropical and savannah country of Nigeria as it’s Federal Capital City, Abuja is one of the most constructively developing city in the country and in Africa. Abuja became the FCT on December 12 1991; taking over from Lagos. Abuja today is the centre of unity and seat of power.

National-assembly-abuja-building

Because it is well crafted, the city has beautiful green areas in forms of parks, gardens and residential attachments. Also, the city is blessed with hills, it is literally a city surrounded by hills and rocks from the Zuma rock in Suleja welcoming incoming travellers to the FCT; the Aso rock where the Presidential villa got its name from and much more. Abuja also has beautiful water bodies like the artificial Jabi Lake which is attached to the Jabi Lake Mall. Though it has a growing population using vehicles and other forms of emissions, this green zone keeps the environment very healthy.

WhatsApp Image 2019-03-04 at 11.08.29

If you are a nature lover, you could literally walk around the FCT enjoying the bliss of the environment. Of recent, I visited the Millennium Park which was designed by Architect Manfredi Nicoletti. It is the biggest park in the FCT; it was officially opened in December 2003. It has a very large green space for outdoor activities like picnics, outdoor sports, a paintball arena, a variety of restaurants and some other indoor activities and photographers to capture every moment for you.

My favourite experience in the park was the bridge where you could sit on the wooden bridge and watch the flowing water and Crocodiles in fix positions almost like they were carved. The air around this area is very much fresh and healing to your mental health.  I had a wonderful time taking beautiful pictures around the bridge.

Also, there is a retail shop for artwork at the entrance of the park including henna designers. Just opposite it is, the Hilton hotel. It is amazing to find so many white faces visiting this park to enjoy the serenity of the environment.

Personally, I think it should be a habit we should all adapt to enjoy nature. I also think a conscious effort to keep the park free from non-degradable items like plastics will help protect the healthy nature of the park.