South Korea My classmate Sook’s country By Huang Hsin Cheng Hello^^
Interesting(1) Korean wave • Korean pop culture has become popular in Asia and beyond, earning the name Hallyu or "Korean wave". In Japan and other Asian countries, Korean boyband TVXQ and television drama like Winter Sonata have found success., while Rain is widely acknowledged in Asia and begins to set his foot on American market. Recent Korean films such as Oldboy and Oasis have also received international acclaim.
Interesting(2) Taekwondo • Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea.In Korean, tae means "foot"; kwon means "fist"; and do means "way"; so taekwondo is loosely translated as "the way of the foot and fist". • Taekwondo's popularity has resulted in the varied evolution of the martial art into several domains. • Traditional taekwondo is typically not competition-oriented but stems from military roots with great emphasis on offense. Modern Taekwondo, on the other hand, tends to emphasize control and self-defense. Formally, there are two main styles of taekwondo. One comes from the Kukkiwon, the source of the sparring system shihap kyeorugi which is now an event at the summer Olympic Games and which is governed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), the other comes from the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF).
Language • Korean is the official languageof North Koreaand South Korea. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecturein China. There are about 80 million Korean speakers, with large groups in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, the United States, CIS(post-Soviet states), and more recently the Philippines. Much vocabulary has been borrowed from Chinese, especially words that denote abstract ideas, in the same way European languages borrow from Latin and Greek. It was formerly written using hanja, borrowed Chinese characterspronounced in the Korean way. In the 15th century a national writing system was developed, nowadays called hangul.
Religion • Religion in South Koreais dominated by the traditional Buddhistfaith and a large and growingChristianpopulation. • According to 2005 statistics compiled by the South Koreangovernment, approximately 46.5% of the South Korean population express no religious preference.Of the religious people, 29.3% are Christian(of which 18.3% (on total) profess to be Protestantsand 10.9% to be Catholics), 22.8% are Buddhist, and the rest adheres to various new religious movementsincluding Jeungism, Daesunism, Cheondoism, Taoism, Confucianismand Wonbuddhism.
History(1) Ancient history of Korea • As the Chinese pressed for expansion, the tribe of central and northern Asia found their way into the Korean peninsula. It was then that the Goguryeo kingdom was formed in the 1st century AD. For the next four centuries the kingdom of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla ruled the peninsula. Indigenous art, architecture and literature developed during this period. The Koreans suffered under the Mongols and after their collapse the Choson Dynasty took over. The Japanese invasion at the end of the 16th century was a turning point in the Korean history as she shut herself off from any kind of outside influence completely. • In spite of an uneasy relationship with North Korea and two threateningly powerful neighbors in both the flanks in the form of Japan and China, South Korea has managed to hold its own in the face of separated odds. With its own unique culture that originates from its history, South Korea has something exotic about it and continues to impress millions of tourists who visit the land.
History(2) Modern history • The division of the Korean peninsula roughly along the 38th parallel and the creation of South Korea in the process under the protection of U.S.A. mark the beginning of modern history of the country. Neither the end of the war nor the creation of a demilitarized zone could solve South Korea.s escalating problems. In the political turmoil that followed, South Korea experienced years of autocratic rule followed by military dictatorship. Notwithstanding the military rule South Korea made stunning economic progress. The protest among civil society and student movement ultimately resulted in the first election in 1987. South Korea is also recovering from sever financial scare that it suffered in 1997.
Government • The government of South Korea is divided into three branches: executive, judicial, and legislative. The executive and legislative branches operate primarily at the national level, although various ministries in the executive branch also carry out local functions. Local governments are semi-autonomous, and contain executive and legislative bodies of their own. The judicial branch operates at both the national and local levels. South Korea is a constitutional democracy.
Food • A typical Korean meal called "pekpan" consists of rice, the staple of every Korean meal, soup and a great many side dishes, one of which is "kimch'i". The sweet sticky rice accompanies every meal and may be plain or seasoned. Soup is also served a lot. Other dishes include seafood, meat or poultry,vegetables, herbs and roots. • KIMCH'I
The End Bye ><“