Friday, October 25, 2013

Hanbok Day, SFS Style

Starting on a cool, fall morning, the entire elementary school gathered in the courtyard in front of the Korean Gate, posing in their hanboks (traditional Korean costume) and taekwando uniforms for the annual Hanbok photo. Although there was a sea of colors, pink was one of the more dominant colors, for boys and girls alike. 

 Sponsored by the PTA, each grade level had a chance to play a few traditional instruments, twirl the nongak hat with ribbon, and sample some Korean treats. 
Some students and teachers took their hanboks off after the photos, while others kept them on the entire day. Shifting a few art projects for the day to "less mess" ones enabled me to bravely keep on my hanbok for the entire day. Pictured here is my volunteer assistant Hae Jung next to me. Being a lot taller than the average Korean woman, I had to have my hanbok tailor made. The colors I selected look a lot different than that of the typical one (Hae Jung's is her wedding hanbok and is the pink color normally associated with weddings), but I feel the colors suit me well. Although I wouldn't want to wear it that often, at least I could dress myself - unlike trying to tie a sari :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Backpackin' Scarecrow

Like any respectable field or larger garden, this plot of land at the Korean Folk Village in Suwon contains a scarecrow. A more unusual feature on this skinny understuffed figure is the backpack. Perhaps it's in reference to the typical hiker in Korea (young and old alike), all decked out with special hiking pants, shoes, breathable jacket, hat/visor, walking sticks, and a backpack. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Haegeum Player

Haegeum Player, originally uploaded by melissaenderle.

I always enjoy attending traditional music concerts. Last May, performers wearing clothing of the period played a few selections in different parts of the Secret Garden located at the Changdeok Palace in Seoul. A pleasure to watch - and later paint!


His & Her Luggage - Traditional Korean Style

Bringing up the rear to the traditional Korean wedding at the Folk Village in Suwon were two men, each with a large bundle strapped to his back. Matching the colors I saw of the fabric wrapped around the wooden ducks at the wedding ceremony, the wrapped bundles looked like his & her luggage.What was contained within the packages - belongings of the new couple? wedding gifts?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hyangwonjeong Pavilion, Spring

Pastel Painting of the Hyangwonjeong Pavilion at Gyeongbukgung Palace at springtime.
This pavilion, located on a small island within the palace walls of Gyeongbukgung Palace in Seoul, is one of the favorite destinations for visitors, regardless of the seasons. This pastel painting depicts its beauty in springtime.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Just Married

Following the reenactment of the traditional Korean wedding ceremony at Suwon's Korean Folk Village, the groom proudly pranced away on a tall, white horse. 
Behind him, several males carried his new wife in a palanquin. The bride's female attendants were close beside her. I wonder how much of a display a wedding procession commanded when parading through a village. Were there musicians accompanying the group? People to cheer the newlyweds on?  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Traditional Korean Wedding, Suwon

On my visit to the Korean Folk Village in Suwon, I attended a reenactment of a traditional Korean wedding ceremony. Similar to the table set at the Chuseok Thanksgiving festival, food (particularly fruits) were carefully arranged in the center of the happenings. Also on the table was a stuffed hen and rooster - a change to the last time my friend came, when live poultry was used. On a low table, a wooden pair of ducks, symbolizing the idea of mates for life, was carefully enveloped in cloth. The groom and other males stood on one side of the table, while the bride and two attendants stood at the other. 

Two cups (I presume rice wine) were poured by a man and offered up by the bride - one in a wooden-looking container (above) and another that appeared to be made out of a gourd. Following the ceremony, the bride was escorted into a palanquin while the groom rode on a horse. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Egg Papoose

When visiting the traditional homes inside the Korean Folk Village in Suwon, woven goods of many sorts could be seen - some for sifting rice, storing goods, mats, ropes, etc. This home had something I had never seen before - a papoose-type device especially made for storing and protecting eggs. Clever indeed.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Suwon Korean Folk Village

Dynamic nongak perforer.jpgBuilding near entrance.jpgBuilding with lantern.jpgjangseung figures_.jpgOrange tree and lg pots.jpgPainted fans.jpg
Golds and Browns.jpgDried corn.jpgShed storage.jpgPots on Chest.jpgThatched roof and turning trees.jpgDynamic nongak performer.jpg
Nongak ensemble in action.jpgTraditional Korean costumes.jpgPlaying metal drum.jpgBlue smock looking down.jpgTall black hats.jpgElderly gentleman with orange vest.jpg
Costumes and clapping.jpgGisaeng women.jpgElderly man faded.jpgGisaeng frontal.jpgMusicians of farmer dance.jpgBugler.jpg

Suwon Korean Folk Village, a set on Flickr.

Saturday was a gorgeous day to travel down to Suwon to visit the Korean Folk village there. This is my second time visiting the village and I know there are many more photos just waiting to be taken.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Worn Signs of Yesteryear

The grocery stores of Korea tend to look much like those found in any Western country. I've visited a few markets in Seoul, but really didn't find the traditional "look" that I'd seen in markets of other places in which I've lived and/or traveled. At the Tongin Market located near Gyeongbukgung Palace, I found this beautiful display which depicted how I envisioned a traditional Korean market might look like. I loved the old wooden signs for each food item. How long had those signs been used, with the price changes now indicated on the smaller attached paper? What stories those signs could tell, with their worn edges, slightly faded calligraphy, and growing cracks? 

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Umbrellas all Above Me

While waiting for the new HomePlus grocery store to open for the day, I walked around the new mall Mecanatpolis. It amazed me at how many American (and other) chain stores were here, both food and clothing. At 8:30 AM, the workers were busy washing the flooring around the large fountain of one several openings in the mall. The only other action happening was at the Krispy Kreme store, a few bakeries, the obligatory coffee shops, Dunkin' Doughnuts, and some young people hanging in front of TGIFridays. Some people emerged from the Hapjeong subway station connected to the mall - very convenient indeed.
Particularly true in Korea, I made it a point to "look up" and wasn't disappointed. Strung like a canopy were neon-colored umbrellas, contrasting with the bright blue morning sky. Tall apartment buildings added a bit of contrast to the curvilinear designs of the mall's curved opening with exposed levels. A cheery scene early on a Saturday.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Shadow Mask

The slightly more dramatic dance, reinforced by the darker colored hanbok, contrasted with the more graceful slower dance performed by the women. The brushwork of the bamboo leaves on the fan seemed to be repeated in the calligraphic eye makeup. Even the hat shadow across his face seemed to add to the drama, as if it was a translucent eye mask.