Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Korean Children Song (동요)

I love to teach children song to my baby. I usually sing for him nursery song in English or Indonesian which I know very well. But since I sent JoSH to daycare (orini jib ~ 어린이 집), I tought that he must have learnt some Korean Children song in the daycare. 

Previously I just knew 'The Three Bears' song which is very popular since it was also sung in Korean drama 'Full House'. It is the first children song I learnt in Korea. Knowing only this song and sings it every time to the baby made me curious to know and learn other Korean children songs.

I came across this video in youtube and listened to the songs. Three of the songs are popular song in Korea. The rhythm and melodies are so easy to follow. It didn't take me a long time to memorized the easy-to-sing songs and the simple movements. The lyrics also has simple meaning but suitable for children. We feel happy whenever we sing these children songs.

Here is the lyrics and the translation if you want to sing together with your kids:

옹달샘 ~ Mata Air/Sumur Kecil

깊은 산속 옹달샘, 누가 와서 먹나요?
Small deep spring in the forest, who will come and drink?
맑고 맑은 옹달샘, 누가 와서 먹나요?
Small clear spring in the forest, who will come and drink?
새벽에 토끼가 눈 비비고 일어나
In the dawn, rabbit rubbed its eyes and woke up
세수하러 왔다가 물만 먹고 가지요.
She came to wash her eyes, drank the water and went away.
깊은 산 속 옹달샘, 누가 와서 먹나요?
Small deep spring in the forest, who will come and drink?
맑고 맑은 옹달샘, 누가 와서 먹나요?
Small clear spring in the forest, who will come and drink?
달밤에 노루가 숨바꼭질 하다가
In moonlight, when deer play hide and seek
목마르면 달려와 얼른 먹고 가지요.
If she feels thirsthy, run and drink quickly, and then go away.

퐁당퐁당 ~ Plop plop

퐁당퐁당 돌을 던지자, 누나 몰래 돌을 던지자 
Plop plop throw the stone, when sister doesn't know, throw the stone
냇물에 퍼져라 멀리 멀리 퍼져라 

The ripples are spread away, spread far-far away
건너편에 앉아서 나물을 씻는 

Sister is sitting on the other side, washing sprout
우리 누나 손등을 간지러 주어라. 
Let's tickle our sister's hand with the gentle waves.

퐁당퐁당 돌을 던지자 , 누나 몰래 돌을 던지자 

Plop plop throw the stone, when sister doesn't know, throw the stone 
냇물아 퍼져라 퍼질대로 퍼져라 

The ripples are spread away, ruffle to the other side 
고운노래 한마디 들려달라고 

Making you plop, plopping sounds into a beautiful song
우리 누나 손등을 간지러 주어라. 

Let's tickle our sister's hand with the gentle waves.

둥글게 둥글게 ~ Round Round

둥글게 둥글게  둥글게 둥글게
Round, round, round, round
빙글 빙글 돌아가며 춤을 춥시다
Follow the music, move around and let's dance
손뼉을 치면서 노래를 부르며
While clapping hands, sing the song
라라라라 즐거웁게 춤추자
Lalalala, let's dance happily

링가링가링~가 링가링가 링
Ring ga ring ga ring ~ ga ring ga ring ga ring
링가링가링~가 링가링가 링
Ring ga ring ga ring ~ ga ring ga ring ga ring

손에 손을 잡고 모두 다 함께
Come together, hand in hand
즐거웁게 뛰어봅시다
Let's jump happily

둥글게 둥글게 둥글게 둥글게
Round, round, round, round
빌글 빙글 돌아가며 춤을 춥시다
Follow the music, move around and let's dance
손뼉을 치면서 노래를 부르며
While clapping hands, sing the song
라라라라 즐거웁게 춤추자 .
Lalalala, let's dance happily

비/ Bi (Rain) Singing 3 bears ~ (Full House): uploaded by Arygato1
[HD] 20100711 SS501 with children: uploaded by suangs
퐁당퐁당 picture: http://cafe.daum.net/snulaw17

Monday, January 30, 2012

[Korea] Tips for TOPIK Exam Preparation ~ Flashback

Yesterday was a very important day for some people who have studied Korean Language and wanted to pass the language exam. Last Sunday, January 29th, 2012 was the date for the 25th TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) Exam. Some of the participants need to pass the exam for job; some need that for starting their study in university, or as a compulsory exam for graduation; others perhaps need that for their competency.

TOPIK is held four times in a year. Twice is held for foreigners only in Korea (usually in January and July). Since it is only held in Korea, the result comes out faster than the other two exams that are held in Korea as well as in other countries (usually in April and September).

The exam is divided into two types, S-TOPIK (standard) and B-TOPIK (business); and three levels, beginner, intermediate and advanced. Beginner level is for those who want to get grade 1 or 2, Intermediate for grade 3 or 4, and Advanced for grade 5 or 6. Each level has its criteria depends on the section and score as a standard for grading system. The exam has four sections: vocabulary, writing, listening and reading, For example: for Beginner level, you will get grade 1 if your score for every section is more than 40 points and average of all sections is 50 or more. You will get grade 2 if your score for every section is more than 50 and average of all sections is 70 or more.

I needed to pass this exam last January 2011. I must pass grade 3 for university enrollment in fall semester. I just had less than four months to prepare the exam besides my busyness at home for my family. Fortunately, the Korean Language Center where I studied Korean opened TOPIK preparation classes for its students. Therefore, for about 2 months, from Monday to Friday, I joined the preparation classes after the regular classes in the morning. 

Here are the tips for TOPIK Exam Preparation:
  1. Last TOPIK Exam Problems.
    • I download the last problems from TOPIK official website: www.topik.go.kr, 기출문제다운로드, and choose which problems you want (mp3 file is also downloadable).
    • I printed the problems out. It costed me money but I could feel the real exam situation, made notes on the paper, and easy to bring everywhere. You can find your own method depend on your style of study. 
  2. Practice Doing the Older TOPIK Exam
    • See through the whole paper, make yourself understand the instructions so you know what to do with the problems. 
    • Make yourself in a exam situation, set the timer and practice doing it as if you are in the exam room. Don't look at the answer, just keep doing it. 
    • It will give you sense of time during exam. We can't  just focus on one problem and ruin the rest because we don't manage our time well. Each section has its difficulties, for example: the difficulty in listening is different with those in writing. We have to get used in doing it. (I will write more detail about it in separate post).
  3. Evaluate your score and study difficult problems
    • It is important to check your answer and analyze the problem you could not solve. The exam answer is also provided in the TOPIK website but there is no explanation provided. It is suggested that you ask your Korean language teacher to discuss about it. Or if you don't have anybody to discuss with, check it in the dictionary or grammar book. Do not ignore it, it may appear in the next exam.
    • I kept my score and after re-did the test, I compared the scores and also the parts which I could not do in the 1st chance and still made mistake in the 2nd time. 
  4. Find your weak and strong points, and make strategy
    • After you finish evaluate your score for each section and re-study the problem, you will see your strong point or weak point, whether it is in vocabulary, or speed of reading, or grammar understanding. But don't give up if you found that all you have is the weak point. You just start the process. Study your weakness and make strategy. For example, if you need to memorize vocabulary, start with making vocabulary list.  
I do hope the best for all friends who have tried their best for TOPIK Exam. Wish you have a happy result!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Year in Korea - Seollal (설날)

Korean New Year is typically known as Seollal (설날). It is the first day in lunar calendar. Of course, people also celebrate solar new year in January 1 each year, but Seollal is more important than solar new year. Usually, there is three days holiday for Seollal (there is only one day holiday for solar new year), one day before, the new year day, and the day after. 

The video below will give you general idea about Seollal and the traditions.

In Seollal, people will go home to meet their family and relatives, especially visiting the older people (parents and or grandparents). They will take many hours to go to visit their loved one despite the heavy traffic. Also, Koreans will wear their traditional clothes on new year day, which is hanbok. However, some families choose not to wear hanbok anymore, because they become less formal and due to the expensive price of hanbok, kids who grew up don't have any hanbok perfect for their size anymore. Women are busy at home cleaning houses and cooking. They prepare so many food to eat on Seollal, no wonder the activities in market few weeks before Seollal is always so high and crowded. 

Other than tteokguk (떡국) - soup with sliced rice cakes, which is a custom food in New Year, ritual ceremony and folk games played in New Year, the important one to do is 'Sebae', which is a deep traditional bow.  Children or younger person shall bow to older ones and say '새해 복 많이 받으세요' which can be translated as 'Receive many blessings in New Year'. Then, older people will give pocket money for children.

The video below showing the tradition and method of giving Sebae to older people:

Also, this video is so cute, showing children with their colorful hanbok doing sebae and receive their pocket money from their grandparents.

I remembered that my Korean Language teacher has taught me to do Sebae and followed with the tea ceremony. We were in Korean Culture Class at that time, so we wore hanbok and practiced the culture together.Here are the pictures. 

You can notice that men and women have different method of Sebae. Men bow so deep until their head touch the floor, but women do not do the same. Besides that, hand position and sitting position after doing Sebae are also different.  The class was so interesting for me. Even though in Indonesia, there is celebration for lunar new year which we called Imlek or Chinese New Year, but the traditions are not the same. 

Happy New Year to all of you.

With love from Busan,
Dita ^^

Sunday, January 15, 2012

World Korean Blogger 2nd Batch

In the end of 2011, apparently I was chosen as one of World Korean Bloggers 2nd batch. I was busy with the little man since he was sick right on the first day of school vacation till end of the year. I almost forgot if I have applied for it and the announcement date of the selected bloggers.

Few days after new year celebration, I opened the website and surprisingly found my name and the blog address written on the list! My new year's gift!

Therefore, this year I am officially a blogger for Korea Blog. I am enthusiastically awaiting for any invitation for any kind of special events in Korea, and continuously will post things about Korean and its beauty.

The Korea Blog is an English-language blog run by Korea. net (www.korea.net) - the official webpage of the Republic of Korea, operated by the Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS).

Some posts about the WKB could be read here:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rock, Scissor, Paper

Yesterday night while San was having his dinner, JoSH was standing in front of him and saying many words which I was trying to understand.

He moved his hands up and down while saying something repeatedly. He did it in excitement and loud voice.

Suddenly, I heard he said "Bawee!" among some words that he said.

I got it now!

He was saying 'Rock, Scissors, Paper' in Korean language.
In Korean, the pronunciation is "Gawee, Bawee, Bo"

When I said that words to him, his laughed loudly and happily!

Oh...my smart little toddler :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

A beautiful reminder

"Segala perkara 
dapat kutanggung di dalam Dia 
yang memberi kekuatan kepadaku"
(Filipi 4:13)

[WSK 5th] Korea as a Good Model of Women Policy

As the number of Korean women who entered the main stream of society increases, other countries in Asia started to have interest in women policy of Korea. Recently, there was a meaningful workshop where the other Asian countries can learn about Korean policy on women. Let’s take a look.

Gathering to Learn Korean Language
30 people including Cambodian and Indonesian government officials and Ngo members attended workshop on Capacity Building for Women's Policy sponsored by Korean Women's Development Institute to learn women policy from Sept. 18th to Oct.1st. They participated at lectures, discussions and site visit under the three themes on capacity building on; policy, economy, women rights and violence.
The Buddhist country, Cambodia and the Muslim country, Indonesia have different cultural background, however, since 2000s they are actively working on the policy on gender equality. But women's social status is still low due to the poverty, poor education, and conventional man chauvinism. What were the impressions that the experts from these two countries got from Korea?

for justice democracy are speakers today.this is the first time  to korea for both of them and they were very impressed by women's liberation movement history and women's policy.mukti apprciated hospitality saying"it is the first time for me to be herebut seoul is wellknown city in indonesia.korea is emerging as an economic superpower in the world.i'm looking forward to be here".pakpahan was interested in korean women's policy and she said korea abolished the head of the family system and korean women's liberation movements are even if it is a small result.

What is the Most Important Issue in Women’s policy in Tow Countries?
 Mukti: “As Malaysia and Indonesia share the same language and religion, Indonesians are very popular in Malaysian labor market. Currently, about 1.2million are working in Malaysia. However, since the exploitation and fraud got worse, Indonesian government banned the export of labor force until the Malaysian government guarantees of proper working conditions.”
Pakpahan: “The biggest issues among Indonesian women are health, finance and education. Indonesia has the highest maternal mortality rate in Southeast Asia, which is very urgent matter to be fixed. Most of women are working as maids in Indonesia or in other countries. Their working conditions and payments are very poor because the domestic law cannot protect them. It was all resulted from the gender inequality in education. While the percentage of the female students in primary school is quite high, in higher educational institutions the percentage gets pretty low.”

Bring Know-how to Their Countries

(Source: Korean Women’s Development Institute)

Mukti: “In Indonesia we also do the research on women but most of them depends on Ngos or university laboratories, so we need a professional institutes managed by the government. The most impressive thing of Korea was the statistics of adult magazines. When I go back to Indonesia I’ll strongly suggest the same one to the senate.”

Pakpahan: “I agree with the importance of the statistics and want to develop many indicators to apply to the policies for women. Also when I visited to one of the Korean Women's Hotline center, I got an idea about establishing the one-stop service centers that connects the sexual violence victims to consultants for supporting. I will suggest it when going back.”

There is an expression like this, “The women-friendly country is indeed a developed country.” Now, Korea is becoming a good model of high techniques and advanced policies. A good and comfortable society is not built by a specific person but by every single one of us. Isn't it the first step of world peace to make the weak including women happy?

[WSK 5th] Accessories for Women in Joseon Dynasty Era

People want to have a better look and show off their charms by wearing new clothes and trying a new hairstyle. Well, there is nothing like accessories to complete the ‘better’ look. Every decorative itemsitem, such as hats and mufflers, can be called accessories.
Today, we will go through the favorite accessories of Korean women in the Joseon Dynasty era. Hair ornaments, bracelets, rings and necklaces. They wore different ornaments by season, occasion and age. In addition, each accessory has its own story. For example, when family gets separated, they share each ring from a pair of rings, garakji. When husband died early, wife buried a ring of the pair with him and she kept the other to commemorate him. For that reason, garakji used to be made as a pair and actually bigger than present one.
Let’s take a look at the accessories of women in the Joseon Dynasty era.

Earring: The Symbol of Class

Rings were the first ornament in history. In certain countries of Asia, people considered it like a charm and kept it very carefully. They were also called eesik, eedang or eehwan. Many gold crowns and delicately made-ornaments were excavated from many graves of the Three Kingdoms period. We can guess the metalwork technique of the era was very sophisticated and detailed. There are three types of earrings; simple, dangling and showy. The earrings of old times were made of gold, silver and bronze, but unfortunately the number of the earrings from Goryeo dynasty are very few.

Did you know that men used to put on earrings in the past? The typical example is Hwarang in the Silla kingdom. They used to wear earrings as a symbol of youth and ability. According to the Annals of the Joseon dynasty, prince Yangpyeong put on big earrings when he was nine (in 1513) and it was common for prince to put on earrings back then. However, the earrings became unpopular since the Confucianism pervaded the whole country in the Joseon Dynasty era. Even the King Seonjo officially announced that it is the most undutiful thing to put on earrings because piercing is hurting the ancestrally inherited body. According to some recent studies on the era, scholars insist that the regulation was resulted from the economic crisis caused by importing too much gold and silver for earrings from China. 
Eventually, the men’s earrings were disappeared after King Seonjo era and women only put on earrings in wedding ceremony. For this reasons, the design of the earrings in Joseon dynasty became very simple.

Garakji: A Pair of Rings of Engagement

Garakji means a pair of big rings. It was also called “Jihwan”. Garakji appeared from the Joseon Dynasty era. It was only for married women. If a woman put on only one ring in her finger, it means she was a single. Only married women could put on a pair of rings, which means harmony with her husband. The idea came from the Confucianism

The history of exchanging rings went back 4800 years ago. In 16th century, the Tudor dynasty believed that the blood vessel of the 4th finger of left hand is connected to heart, and they put on wedding ring on 4th finger. Since then, it became customary in most countries. 
Garakji was mainly made of gold and silver but other materials were also used, such as lacquer, jade, quartz, green jadeite, amber, pearl, and copper. 
In Joseon dynasty, noblewomen and royal family put on different materials of rings by season and occasion. Gold rings from Oct. to Jan., silver lacquer rings from Feb. to Apr., jade or quartz rings were for Dano festival and regular lacquer rings were from dog days, boknal, to Sep. All of them were for having a natural and harmonious look, which are influenced by the formality of clothing and four seasons.
Garakji was not only a love token but loyalty to the country as well. During Japanese invasion of 1592, a gisaeng, cultured women entertainers in the Joseon Dynasty era, called Nongae, hugged Japanese general and jumped down to the river, wearing 10 rings. Jinjoo local government designated Aug. 8th as the “Nongae Day” and has hosted many special events and donated hundreds of silver rings engraved "euiam", which is the name of the rock she stepped on before jumping into the river, to supporting center.

Norigae: Accessory for Every Class

Norigae is a perfect accessory for women’s Hanbok. It is widely loved by all classes, from royal family to common people. Norigae was the most popular ornament during the Joseon Dynasty era, while the other accessories like necklaces and earrings became unpopular. 
There is no historical record on norigae. For your information, the Hanbok during the Silla kingdom and the Goryeo dynasty era doesn’t look like the one in these days. Instead of norigae, it was customary to hang pocket filled with gold bell or scent in the belt. Later in Joseon, they were replaced into the new born accessory, norigae. During the era, norigae was hung in the breast-tie of Hanbok. People wore more gorgeous norigae for royal functions and big festivities. Noblewomen used to inherit it to generation after generation.
Norigae is consisted of ttidon, string, but also paemul(jewel), knot and sool(tassel). Ttidon is a tie to connect jewels and it is supposed to be hung in the breast-tie. Gold, silver, white jade, green jadeite and coral were used to make norigae. There are square, rectangular, round, flower and butterfly shaped ttidon. According to the number of jewels of it, it was called oijul-norigae or danjak-norigae(single jewel) and samjak-norigae(three jewel). 
Red, blue, yellow, pink, green, light purple and deep purple colors were used to make sool(tassels). Besides, some of norigaes were embroidered with a rhino horn, lotus flower, and herb that was belived to bring an eternal youth. Norigae represented not only the social status but also the wishes of women and ideologies for abundance, longevity and good luck.

Binyeo: A Traditional Hairpin for fixing ladies’ chignons

Binyeo is an ornamental hairpin used to hold a hair bun in place. We can still see old ladies wearing binyeo in countryside. Binyeo is classified into two kinds; a Jam and a Chae. Jam is a normal stick-shaped binyeo and Chae is a tong-shaped binyeo with decorations. Binyeo was allowed only for married women. The jewels, woods, animal horns and bones were used to make binyeos.