Monday, April 23, 2012

Let's go back to Korea, okay?

There is a certain glamour factor in living overseas.  That makes up for some of the really hard and aggravating times.  We have well stamped passports and a multitude of visas.  I have money from three different countries in my wallet right now.  Honestly, it never ceases to be amazing to me.  I can wake up in one country and go to sleep in other.  What a privilege!
People have asked me if Korea is at all like China.  In a  word, no.  There are some architectural similarities in ancient building and for formal Korean (Hanja), Chinese characters are used.  But the culture, the appearance of the cities, the people..very, very different.
Chinese culture has been strongly  influenced by the Cultural Revolution, the one child policy and Communism. Korea is influenced by Buddhism, Confucianism and Christianity.  Cleanliness and politeness are high values.  Seoul was amazingly clean.  The subways were crowded but there was little pushing or noise.  There is very little of the absolute chaos that is China.  Korea is just a very different place.
On our third day, we went to the Gyeongbokgung Palace.  We had gone to one of the smaller palaces on our first day and not been super impressed.  But Gyeongbokgung Palace was beautiful.


Storage pots for rice and other things.

Elisabeth among the kimchi and alcohol storage pots.

One of the exquisite ceilings.

These creatures and roofs are similar to China.  I love them.

We also went to the Folk Museum which was seriously my favorite museum.  It showed artifacts that showed how people really lived-that is my kind of history.

An ancient back strap loom.

Another loom.

                                                                     Ball winder

Fabric made of many different things-hemp, linen etc.

It was fascinating.  One of my life goals is to learn how to weave and seeing these ancient looms and tools made me want to even more.

Below are some scenes of life and death passages.

A wedding.

There was also some old ceremonial clothing that children apparently gave their parents in preparation for their death.  Elisabeth suggested this as a gift for my next birthday.  I suggested she get me a loom.


Angie said...

It's so easy for us Westerners to group the Asians together. What a wonderful opportunity to see the true cultural differences among Asian countries. I sure hope we get the chance to do the same!

Monica said...! Mine remind me they will choose my nursing home. Beautiful photos...sounds like a neat trip.