korean life

K-Pop Book Giveaway Winner! (K-Pop Now!)

It was a lot of fun reading through the 130+ entries for the free K-Pop book, “K-Pop Now!”, which is offered by the folks over at Tuttle Publishing. Many great answers from people who are clearly K-Pop fans.
I enjoyed reading through the answers and getting down to the best was quite difficult. Without further adieu, here is the winner.

Also, here are some of the great answers I received.

Has Plastic Surgery Become an Insatiable Desire?

I have lived in South Korea working as an ESL Instructor for three years (at the time of writing this). One of the benefits of living in another country long-term is that you get to experience things first hand, not just reading about them through media outlets.

I’ve had the chance to learn about many aspects of Korean culture since arriving; from martial arts, to cultural nuances and expectations, and pop culture fads. It’s the last of these that made vivid the whole phenomenon of plastic surgery in South Korea.

The more I interacted with students (particularly middle school girls), saw advertisements on the streets, watched Korean movies, and everything in between, I began to realize that plastic surgery is an integral part of Korean society.

Free K-Pop Book Giveaway Contest (Tuttle Publishing)

Everyone loves the word “FREE”.  I do.

The great folks over at Tuttle Publishing know this and recently contacted me about giving away some great new books that would be of interest to those who love all things Korea and also follow my blog and YouTube channel.

Since the topics I write and vlog about always have to do with Korea in one form or another, giving away books related to Korea seemed like a logical idea.

What better topic for people interested in Korea than K-Pop?! 

The book up for grabs is “K-Pop Now” by Mark James Russell.  Check out the details here.

Here’s how the contest works:

The DMZ Tour

One of the places in Korea that I had wanted to visit more than any other attraction was the DMZ. Korea’s Demilitarized Zone.

It’s not an easy thing to see if you don’t live in Seoul because the tours that are allowed to take you there do not run on Sundays and Mondays, as well as holidays.

So hopping a train is not too easy, especially for me as I’m in Busan on the very opposite end of the country.

IMG 1504 1024x682 The DMZ Tour There are two different tour packages in general: the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel portion, and the Joint Security Area (JSA) portion.

Winning Gold at the Seoul Olympic Park

I’m finally making my way into Seoul more frequently now. I know, after almost 3 year…what took me so long?!

This time around I made several stops, and one was to the Seoul Olympic Park. The Seoul Olympic Park was where the 1988 Summer Olympic Games was held.

It is not crowded at all, though the roadway around the park seems popular among bikers, walkers, and families picnicking.

The main gate of the park was very massive and equally impressive to see it in person. I vaguely remember images of it on TV way back when the games were actually taking place. It’s an amazing site in person.

A Korean Elementary School Tour

I’m currently in my third year teaching in the EPIK program. Due to cutbacks, I was reallocated from a girl’s middle school to an elementary school in a nearby district. My current school, Guduk Elementary (구덕초등학교), is a moderate to smaller sized school.

The English Department is one Korean teacher…and me! There’s your org chart.

I really enjoy working with these little ones. A very different experience than teaching middle schoolers who just want K-Pop. That’s it. K-Pop.

I thought I would take some time to shoot a video of the innards of the school to share with you all. The narrative in the video will explain the rest. Enjoy!

Ties that Bind — Weighing the Sewol Tragedy


Originally Publish on TheThreeWiseMonkeys.com

By Donald Kirk

Seeing Yellow: The Aftermath of the Sewol and its Political Implications


Originally Publish on TheThreeWiseMonkeys.com

By Jenny Choi

Writing from Wreckage: Korean LGBT Literature, Activism and the First Literary Award


Originally published on TheThreeWiseMonkeys.com

By Finn

My Video Covered on “Korea Today: Arirang Issue” Viral Video T.V. Show

It never seems to amaze me – the power of social networking.

Back in 2012 a brief video I did of my judo instructor eventually spread throughout Korea and landed him on a national cable TV variety show.

Though still one of the most memorable highlights of my time in Korea thus far, I was still super surprised and grateful for having one of my videos covered on an English version of a Korean TV show called “Korea Today: Arirang Issue”.  On this show they showcase videos from foreigners either in Korea or elsewhere, that are viral or of great interest to the general Korean public.

I recently did a video of this very unique flea market that operates on weekends right near my apartment and at my bus stop. I initially noticed it blew up on some Korean social media sites, but then I was alerted by a subscriber that it also landed on this very TV show.

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