Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tteok (Rice cake) Museum: (떡박물관)

Visited Tteok Museum with the VISION KOREA team members and got to prepare our own rice cake. In order to popularize and globalize traditional Korean food through education, an auxiliary teaching institution offers various professional learning programs. 
"Tteok" is a Korean name for "Rice cake" which is one of the food that represents Korean dish. Tteok Museum gives the visitors an opportunity to experience living history of the lifestyle and wisdom of Korea's ancestors.                                    

The Tteok Museum at the Institute of Traditional Korean Food is dedicated to preserving traditional kitchen equipment used by Korean ancestors for many generations. The museum exhibit various types of rice cakes and the different methods used to make these delicacies.

The most exciting thing was they provide the participants with a certificate stating that you have participated and completed the food and culture learning program which is signed by the Director of Institute of Traditional Korean Food. The museum comprises of 2 floors. Floor 1 displays various rice cakes, Tteok, which are enjoyed during the major holidays and festivities in Korea. Other seasonal rice cakes are displayed along with the utensils which are required to make them.

 In this way, visitors can learn about Korean rice cakes and their preparation. Floor 2 shows good used in traditional rituals. Also displayed in this room, theme-wise, are relics worn shiny with age by our forefathers. In a man's life, from life to death, there are at least four major sequential rituals. The paraphernalia. especially food and dress, is on vie to help visitors understand their significance.

The Story of King Sejong

Visited The Story of King Sejong museum with the VISION KOREA 2011 participants on the 22nd of December, 2011The Story of King Sejong is a place where visitors can learn about and experience the beauty of Hangeul (Korean alphabets) invented by King Sejong.  King Sejong, the 4th king of the Joseon Dynasty (1397-1450, reigning from 1418-1450) was responsible for some of the most brilliant achievements in the history of Korea, including the creation of Hangeul (Korean alphabet) and great advancements in the areas of science, culture, art and politics. The passage behind the Statue of King Sejong in Gwanghwamun Square is home to The Story of King Sejong Exhibition Hall, which describes some of the king’s most astounding contributions to the development of Korea as a nation.

The Story of King Sejong Exhibition Hall comprises of 9 different sections with a total area of 3,200㎡.
1. King Sejong as a Human: An introduction to King Sejong's birthplace, family background, personality, and hobbies. Visitors are given a comprehensive view of King Sejong's life.
2. Ideology Focused on the People: A site featuring composite videos that highlight King Sejong;s philosophy of love for his people. 
3. Creation of Hangeul (Korean Alphabets): This site details, in plain language, the creation of Hangeul and its principle lucidly and features various ancient literature written in Hangeul.
4. Science and Art: This site introduces King Sejong's scientific and artistic achievements and provides detailed explanations abut the sundial and an astronomical chart. Visitors can take closer look at various traditional Korean musical instruments that were created during King Sejong's reign, such as Pyeongjong and Pyeongyeong, and listen to music performed with these instruments. 

5. Military policy: This site showcases King Sejong's military achievements, such as the repossession of Tsushima, the suppression of the Jurchen tribes and the establishment of four ports and six posts on the northern border.Here, visitors can also see a multi-launch rocket, which was created during King Sejong's reign, being fired. 
6. Hangeul Gallery: The gallery that features the work of modern artists, across diverse genres, who use Hangeul as an inspiration. 
7. Hangeul Library: Visitors can sit back and read various publications not only on King Sejong and Admiral Yi Sunshin but also on various other topics.  

Throughout the museum are a variety of displays detailing Sejong’s invention of Hangeul, and his scientific, artistic, military, and political contributions (including the theory of Minbon, which recognized the people as the base of politics). Visitors can also enjoy films, museum shops and calligraphy writing.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Korean Musical: Bibap

Bibap (which is an acronym of "Bibimbab", Korean mixed-rice) is a musical performance which was introduced in summer, 2011. The performance consists of 8 chefs, 2 main chefs, the sexy chef, the cute chef, the iron chef, 2 beat boxing chefs and one break dancer. The structure of the story is: a battle between the 2 main chefs as they prepare Japanese Sushi, Italian Pizza, Chinese chicken noodles and finally their own Bibambab.
The ingredients of this musical are beat-boxing, break dance, musical, comedy and getting the audience involved with the show. The performance can be compared to the Korean traditional dish itself which is a mixture of various vegetable, meat, egg, chili sauce and omni-present rice.

The performance lasts for 70 minutes straight without any break for the performers which makes this musical amazing. In between the audience also gets to participate (are also given gifts). The selected audience also gets to taste the food, Bibimbab which makes the show very unique.