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When we speak of Korean traditions we have to take into account the
unified Korean peninsula. However, since the breakup of the country into
North and South, over the last seven decades the traditions have evolved
and have taken their separate paths. However, having said that, Korean
traditions both north and south of the border, have many similarities.


Rice still remains the staple of most Koreans, but among the younger
generations, many prefer Western-style food. Rice has been usually
accompanied by various side dishes, mostly seasoned vegetables, soup,
pot stew and meat.
A Korean traditional meal is not complete without kimchi, a mixture of
various pickled vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, radish, green onion
and cucumber. Certain types of kimchi are made spicy with the addition of
red chili pepper powder, while others are prepared without red chili
peppers or are soaked in a tasty liquid. However, garlic is always used in
kimchi to add to its flavor.


2011 is the Year of the Rabbit and to welcome the New Year the Korean
Cultural Centre UK (KCC UK) invites you to explore Koreas traditional
customs at our Centre throughout February. These fun events will
introduce The Great Full Moon Festival, which recalls national unity as
well as planning for a successful year. We look forward to sharing Koreas
traditional culture through a full programme of film screenings, concerts,
traditional arts and crafts and games.


Also captivating was a skillful dance named Apache Chum by a troupe of

Korean women, dressed in flowing, colouful costumes named Hanbok and
sporting crowns. The women held large floral fans in their hands, opening
and closing them gracefully to a soft rhythm, complimented by beautiful
smiles. It was a sheer delight to see the women sway and flow and create
exuberant symmetrical patterns with fans such as a flower in full bloom
and butterfly. I later found out that this dance was traditionally performed
in the royal courts of Korea and that the fans find space in a number of
rituals and dances in the land, and are used widely for decorative


Hollyebok () is the hanbok (Korean clothing) for Korean wedding ceremony

and it is very bright in color. Hwarot is the gown for Korean brides.
On wedding day the bride wears a green chima, a yellow jeogori (; short
jacket with long sleeves) with two long ribbons which are tied to form the
otgoreum (), A chima (), a full-length, high-waisted, wrap-around skirt, a
Boat-shaped shoes made of silk, a white sash with significant symbols or flowers,
the norigae (), the knot on the top is called the Maedeup () and a
wonsam. Her hair is prepared using a jokduri (a special head ornament).
The bridegroom wears the baji, the jeogori, the joggi, the magoja, and the
The red circles on the forehead and the cheeks of the bride are called yonji and
gonji to drive away evil spirits and give purity and lot of love to the bride.


Lee Myung-bak (Hangul: ; /li mj

bk/; Korean: [i mjbak]; born December 19, 1941) was

the 10th President of South Korea from February 25, 2008,

to February 25, 2013. Before his election as president, he
was the CEO of Hyundai Engineering and Construction, as
well as the mayor of Seoul from July 1, 2002, to June 30,
2006. He is married to Kim Yoon-ok and has three
daughters and one son. His older brother, Lee Sang-deuk,
is a South Korean politician. He attends the Somang
Presbyterian Church.[2] Lee is a graduate of Korea
University and received an honorary degree from Paris
Diderot University on May 13, 2011.[3]
Lee altered the Japanese-South Korean government's
approach to North Korea, preferring a more hardline
strategy in the wake of increased provocation from the
North, though he was supportive of regional dialogue with
Russia, China and Japan. Under Lee, South Korea
increased its visibility and influence in the global scene,
resulting in the hosting of the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit.[4]
[5][6] However, significant controversy remains in Korea
regarding high-profile government initiatives which have
caused some factions to engage in civil opposition and
protest against the incumbent government and President
Lee's Saenuri Party (formerly the Grand National Party).
[7][8] The reformist faction within the Saenuri Party is at
odds against Lee.[9] He ended his five-year term on
February 25, 2013, and was succeeded by Park Geun-hye.