The A – Z of Korea


A is for anjou … anjou, oh anjou, I don’t really want to eat you because I’ve just had dinner and the idea of having to eat more really doesn’t make me want to stay drinking here. To add insult to injury, eating is cheating.

B is for booze … booze, yes booze. Korea is infamous for its alcohol consumption rate. Korea has one of the highest alcohol consumption rates in the OECD. You won’t here too many over in KNTO towers (or whatever the Korean tourism crowd is called now) sharing such interesting facts with you. What’s interesting about drink culture here is, even though there is so much alcohol consumed, drinking has so many social rules, it’s a wonder that anyone bothers with it at all.

C is for Corea … Korea gets its name from the Goryeo Dynasty apparently. The use of Korea or Corea is a relatively modern phenomenon though and is linked to the colonial period. However, before the Japanese ruled Korea, Korea was commonly referred to as Chosun after the dynastic rule at the time. Corea and Korea were used regularly before the turn of the twentieth century, but the ‘K’ apparently became standardised the more around the time that Japanese rule was enforced. The theory behind is so that Korea would appear behind Japan in international ordering. To some this might sound bizzare, but this is Asia folks and stuff like that matters, especially when you are supposed to be ruling them. However, the evidence to support an official Japanese dictate enforcing this is merely circumstantial for now. You’ll come across Corea quite a bit at international football games, and often you will hear some school students repeating what their primary school teacher has been preaching. You can read a good article about the Corea/Korea history here.

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Letter from Korea, January 2012


Suwon
January 10, 2012

Dear Ireland,

For starters, Happy New Year.

Another year of my life in Korea has passed. This March will mark the seven year anniversary of my first arrival in Korea. It seems like that long. That’s neither good nor bad; it’s just how I feel. If I look back on 2011 I can say that it has been a good year. As well as passing some milestones, it has been productive, it has been exciting, it has been tragic, and it has definitely strengthened my resolve to see things through in the future. But, I don’t really want to go on about how 2011 was when 2012 is here and happening now.

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