Last week, I’ve been quiet lucky enough to have a chance to join the first tour of Real Touch Korea organized by Korean Tourism Organization (KTO). This tour was about three main themes among many others in Real Touch Korea Application (Samulnori, Ssam, Bukchon Hanok Village). With other iBuzz member bloggers, together we enjoyed the tour program, and come back to buzz about the activities we actually experienced.
First, I was totally amazed to find out about this tour because it was like dream coming true to me! Since I only wish to experience them after reading it on Real Touch Korea web, but now I can truly experience it.
And KTO made it true for me, even more amazing they made it even more wonderful with their Travel Passport book feature. Again and again I want to scream out, I love it, it is my favorite thing on earth!!! Traveling and documenting the memory, that what make life beautiful! Here I am going to introduce about each theme of the tour and if you have time, do not forget to experience it yourself, it quite easy since the location are in Seoul (and never ever forget to bring your camera).
In the morning, we all gathered up at KTO office, bloggers from iBuzzKorea with different nationalities came and introduced themselves. Those included from US, India, Pakistan, The Philippines, and Cambodia ( Chinese and Japanese bloggers are held on different schedule). We all were given the Passport book, my favorite thing. It is like the diary of the tour around 16 pages. The content include briefly describe of the program, spaces for instax pics to document the progress of our activities, and the funny idea on how to pose a photo (ex. Copy scene from CF.lolz. Laughing, but it’s my favorite thing). So here let’s me introduce the program.
1~ Samulnori (사물놀이) ~ A Short Lesson on Korean Traditional Music
When I first arrived Korea, we were brought to our Scholarship orientation and at that time we watched the Korean traditional performance. Of course, not only me, but many other foreign students as well know nothing about Korean traditional music. Definitely, do not ask me what was the most popular Korean pop song or which Korean pop group just released their new song. I knew it all! That time, it was Girls’ Generation has their new “Run Devil Run” . Correct me if I am wrong. But, what was that music and what is “Samulnori”? and Arrirang? Puzzled!! zZZZ
However, the more I stayed in Korea, the more I started to know other things . The uniqueness of Korean culture. Like other countries, each culture has their own and unique special meaning. It is like to me, a Cambodian girl, “Apsara dance” will be the most precious moment if I have a chance to see the real performance. While in fact, 23 years already, I have never had such chance. Just by TV ㅠ.ㅠ. However, to foreigners who visit Cambodia with many schedule and has just spare time to watch Apsara, I do think they were like me, once I saw Samulnori at the first time. Since the value of one thing depend on how people give their expectation to it, it will never be able to measure or to judge. And of course, words will not be able to describe as well.
I started to like Samulnori once I studies in Korean language level 3 class when my teacher showed us the performance of Kim Duk So who is former Namsadang star performer. The energetic genre and how performer put their effort into making music, very much appreciative!
So, we went to learn to play Samulnori and Korean traditional mask dance. There I can know more about Samulnori and we were introduced about how unique is the Samulnori. The word Samul means the 4 objects and Nori means play. Since Samulnori usually play together by the 4 instruments, it gives such energetic sound and beat. There are names and unique sound for each objects
~ kkwaenggwari (small flat gong) represents the sound of “Thunder”
~ the buk (barrel drum) represents the sound of “Cloud”
~ the jing (large gong) represents the sound of “Wind”
~ the janggu (traditional drum with hourglass-shaped body) represents the sound of “Rain”
The sound different
I think, when The fours played together it made the sound of calling for rain to pour down to earth. Some ducument says Samulnori has its roots in Nongak (farmers’ music). It has been performed for religious purposes in village gut (shamanistic rite), and as martial music in times of war. However, recently with its accented rhythms, vibrant body movements, and an energetic spirit, it gains lots of international popularity . Now it’s also performed with an orchestra and jazz band.
Our Samulnori teacher just back from performing in India and he clarify the different beat between Korea Samulnori and Indian traditional music. We had so little time, therefore we learned to play only Janggu. However, at least some puzzle in my brain got the answer and the most important thing I know how to use my hand correctly. Crazily, after I got back whenever I saw Samulnori performers I secretly keening for their hands whether they hold it right or not and told it to my friend. Then, they just started to notice that as well.
I used to wonder how can they hit both side of the Janggu by the stick,
now I know if you hold the stick like you see in the pic,
you will can hit both side of it and it will generate the strong and weak sound of Gung (궁).
The note and space for instax pic to document our fun moment.
Korean Traditional Mask Dance.
These long sleeves are for hands, not arms. keke
Move your bottom part, but do not shake your body. Follow the beat.
2 ~ Ssam (쌈) ~ Korean Wrapping Food, the culture of sharing
I always notice Korean middle age women whenever they made Kimchi or Radish, they always hold a big piece of it and put into the adult mouth to taste. I found much love and sharing with this action. It make me feel I can not only taste the food but also feel the heart of the giver. In Cambodia, we ate meat and vegetable separately by using spoon. You might have experienced and of course to many foreigners, enjoyed having Samkyobsal (Korean pork BBQ), but Ssam just a bit different. Ssam is rice and condiments wrapped in leaves of lettuce, cabbage, sesame, or other greens. When things mixed together Korean call it Ssam. So, since their are many vegetable and other tasty things make Ssam recognized as a healthy or diet food. So once you taste Ssam it seems like you can know Korean people’s generous hearts as they covered a table with many things to eat. Therefore, during our tour, we have been to a Ssam restaurant near Insadong. Enjoying our lunch while sharing our generous heart by wrapping the biggest Ssam and give it to our new friends to taste.
Wrap everything you like and give them to those you care.
Enjoy the moment together with Ssam.
It looks a bit different from the one shown in Real Touch Korea Application. We got different menu though, but it’s still a tasty Ssam. Ah.. I want to have it again! Can’t wait!! >.<. We had meat, rice, different kind of green to wrap, of course unforgettable Kimchi, fried egg, radish, onion, garlic, chilly, sauces, and others that I do not know what it is called.
In side a small comfy Korean style restaurant, our newly met friends enjoying Ssam with our tour organizer. Everyone busy wrapping tasty Ssam. I think we can do the same thing to Kalbi or Samkyeobsal by mixing together and wrap inside the lettuce for fun with friends and family.
Korean Culture of sharing! Say “Ahh….”
Yummy! 맛있다!! ^________^
I made my friend this “not so big” but “one bite”-Ssam, and we won the prize! Aigoo! he likes it so much! Since it is mixed all the taste, I was at that time put away the weight scale and 즐겨 먹었어요! I think you also can make Ssam and enjoy it at home with your love one as well and the tip is “Make a big and one-bite same for each other”!! You are going to love it!
Sorry I can only find the vdo in Japanese language.
3 ~ Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을) ~ Best Dating Spot in Seoul
My beloved grands! They are making me jealous now! ㅠㅠ
If you watch Korean drama you might spotted some romantic scene that captured at the traditional Korean house. It look dramatically romantic, doesn’t it? If you want to make yourself a best memories in Korea with your special one, please do miss a visit to Bukchon Hanok Village, there are lots of best photo shoot landscape are waiting for you. Example, the scene from the school in the drama “Winter Sonata” or the scene from the house in “Personal Taste” ,etc. Please make sure you check on the weather forecast before going there. Below is the romantic video from the commercial. I really love it! Bukchon Hanok Village is also in there. Check out how beautiful it is! ^^
Have you check out these places yet? It is highly recommended! ^^
How to get there:
Getting off from Anguk Station (안국역) exit #2 and walk straight, you will find yourself walking in place where traditional houses from Joseon dynasty and modern art galleries and cafes are surrounding you.
It really was a great and enjoying experience ever! It was sad that there was only one couple on the tour that why I have only one pic to post here. They are really sweet, right? Oh! I’m getting jealous with our grands right now! They are just so wonderful in the photo. When can I have such moment? Secretly, I plan to go to Bukchon Hanok Village again someday~ You know what I mean, right? ^^
Thanks a lot to Korean Tourism Organization for this wonderful tour.
Additional Source: For more picture about the tour click here.
For more info about special program I introduced above, please click on the name below:
Korean Tourism Organization, Buzz Korea, Touch Korea.
Hopefully I can have such chance with the team again! And that time I’m gonna………….. 비밀!:)