Where OLD meets NEW
Win a trip to Korea! Answer the question below, and go to
The broad canvas of Korean culture can be painted with two rich strokes — the past and the future. With a historic legacy reaching back over 5,000 years, Korea has preserved its ancient cultural roots alongside thriving urban centres, bustling with technology and commerce. Religion, language, food, song, dance and sport make up the cultural mosaic — infused with infl uences from east and west, old and new, with a distinctive Korean flair.
For the ears, Korean classical music uses 100 instruments in a tradition thousands of years old. Cultural and performing arts centres offer performances year-round in a variety of disciplines — from lengthy, epic music to a simple folk song. For those more interested in contemporary music, state-of-the-art concert venues entertain a roaring crowd. Catch one of the top-10 in Korean pop, or a stadium show with Elton John.
For the eyes, traditional dance entices viewers with elaborate costumes in fl owing, brightly coloured fabrics, adorned with swords, masks, feathers and fans. In the Buchaechum fan dance, for example, dancers carry ornate feathered fans in both hands and, together, create elaborate visual displays. Or, to sample the new generation of physical expression, swing into the urban nightlife and dance until dawn.
For the body, the Korean sport of Taekwondo has achieved worldwide popularity as a form of exercise, a bare-handed martial art, a sport and an educational tool in fi netuning both body and mind. With roots in ancient tribal ceremonies and now recognized as an Olympic sport, it is a proud Korean tradition with summer festivals celebrating the masters.
Unique to Korea, the game of Nolttwigi could best be likened to an enormous seesaw performance. Traditionally, a full bag of rice is placed beneath the middle of a long, smooth board. Two girls, robed in colourful traditional costumes, stand at each end and alternate each other’s graceful flight into the air.
For the spirit, Korean culture is infused with numerous religious traditions. Cathedrals and churches off er sights familiar to western eyes, representing the Catholic and Protestant infl uences in recent centuries.
Confucianism, Buddhism and Shamanism tap into ancient beliefs still present in daily life. Temple stays allow visitors to immerse themselves in the Buddhist tradition by living at temple for days at a time. In a “saju café,” you can order a cup of coffee and also receive a fortune telling — a popular tradition with roots in Korean Shamanism.
For the palate, the Korean culinary tradition invests equally into preparation, presentation and the ceremony of eating itself. Korean dishes are synonymous with healthy nutrition — meals are rich in wild vegetables, sometimes up to 30 different varieties in one specialty dish. Perhaps of utmost importance in Korean cuisine isn’t the main ingredient of the meal, but how it is seasoned. Koreans believe that the deliciousness of a dish depends on spices and sauces, and kitchens are filled with numerous varieties.
Perhaps two scenes in particular sum up Korea’s past and future, both found in the 600-year-old city and Korean capital, Seoul. A walking tour through the Bukchon Hanok Village exposes you to the greatest number of traditional Korean houses in the city.
Hanoks — low buildings with peaked, gently sloping roofs — were heavily influenced by the natural environment and based on the ancient art of geomancy, also known as Feng Shui. In sharp cotrast, the COEX Mall in the heart of Seoul touts itself as an integrated shopping, culture, education and leisure complex — containing everything from an aquarium to a disco in state-of-the-art facilities.
For the eyes, ears, body and soul — these are small glimpses into the Korean cultural experience, old and new.
Contest Question: Korea’s historic legacy reaches back quite a long time, how many years?
- A1: 150 years
- A2: 390 years
- A3: 3,000 years
- A4: 5,000 years
5 Days Seoul Experience
• Every Wednesday and Friday
• From: $1,688 per person sharing twin (plus taxes and surcharges) - Round airfare from Toronto/Montreal to Seoul - Return transfers - 3 nights hotel accomodations - Most meals including local Korean cuisines - Sightseeing
• To book - contact Jade Tours at: • Ph: 1-800-387-0387 • E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
• Website: www.jadetours.com