Fenomena “Yellow Dust” yang Menyelimuti Korea Selatan

credit :koreaherald.com

credit :koreaherald.com

Annyeong!

*As this article contains a lot of technical words, I will write it both in Indonesian and English!*

As winter is almost over and Spring is on its way, South Korea has encountered the Yellow Dust Storm all over again. Originating from the deserts in southern Mongolia and northern China, the dusty air flew into the Korean Peninsula on a northwesterly wind over the weekend, the city government said. The weather office issued this year’s first advisory against yellow dust particles in the city on Sunday (22/02/2015), the Seoul metropolitan government said, asking citizens to stay indoors. South Korean meteorologists expect this year’s yellow dust season to be milder than recent years, despite an early coating during the past two days that spurred health advisories across the country.

The dust typically comes from the Chinese and Mongolian deserts, potentially bringing along with it bacteria and industrial pollutants.This week’s heavy dusting falls slightly out of the usual March to May season; however,the Korea Meteorological Administration expects a lower level of yellow dust than the country averaged between 1981 and 2010.

The prevailing winds in central and southern China are likely to undergo a cyclical change this year. As a result, South Korea won’t experience the northwesterly winds that have worsened yellow dust levels in recent years.

The dust prompted the Korea Meteorological Administration to issue warnings in Seoul and several other surrounding cities Sunday, along with yellow dust advisories from Incheon in the north to Gwangju in the south.High concentrations of the yellow dust particulates, which can cause respiratory illness, remained in the air through Monday afternoon.Yongsan Garrison measured a high of 1,044 micrograms per cubic meter of air as of 4 a.m. Monday, according to the 65th Medical Brigade website.

On Monday (22/02/2015), the dust concentration in Seoul reached 1,044 micro grams per cubic meter, the fourth-highest since 2002, when the government started to collect such measurements. Ganghwado Island in Incheon coast recorded 707 micro grams per cubic meter, followed by Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, with 696 micro grams per cubic meter, the weather agency said.

Yellow dust advisories are issued when an hour average dust concentration of more than 400 micro grams per cubic meter is expected to continue for more than two hours. More than 800 micro grams per cubic meter for over two hours triggers a warning. At 800 micro grams or greater, Korea Meteorological Administration officials recommend that all outdoor activities be canceled during yellow dust warnings, and that the young, old and infirm stay indoors.

Yellow Dust could bring many illness such as respiratory and other health problems. So to minimize those negative effects , here are some of the things that you should do during the Yellow Dust Storm:

  • Avoid outdoor activities, this applies especially to the elderly, young children and persons with heart disease, diabetes and lung diseases or respiratory problems, such as asthma.
  • Keep windows and doors closed.
  • Remove contact lenses and wear your glasses instead, the dust can scratch your lenses and damage your eyes
  • Brush your teeth and wash your hands, face and eyes with warm water when returning indoors.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your tears flowing well and prevent skin dehydration.
  • Use air filters to keep air clear and a humidifier to increase the humidity level inside your home/office.
  • Wear long sleeves as often as possible when outside.
  •  Wash your hands carefully before handling food.
  • Eat vitamin-rich and high-protein foods to help stabilize your immune system.
  • Even after the storm passes, be careful since the dust has settled and can easily be stirred by movement, wind, etc.

 

Korea Selatan, khususnya Seoul dan Incheon, sedang diliputi oleh badai Yellow Dust atau lebih dikenal dengan kata “Yellow Dust Storm” beberapa hari ini.

Yellow Dust, atau yang secara harafiah diartikan sebagai badai debu bewarna kuning, berasal dari padang gurun di Mongolia dan Cina. Udara yang mengandung debu ini bergerak menuju area Korea Selatan sejak Minggu (22/02/2014). Pemerintah Korea pun menghimbau bagi penduduk untuk tetap berada didalam ruangan dan mengurangi aktivitas di luar ruangan.Angin yang berhembus di Cina mengalami perubahan siklikal tahun ini sehingga Korea Selatan tidak akan mengalami fenomena “Yellow Dust” yang makin parah. Badan Meteorologi Korea Selatan memperkirakan bahwa Yellow Dust kali ini lebih sedikit dibanding tahun-tahun sebelumnya.

Akibat badai debu yang terjadi, Pihak Administrasi Meteorologi Korea mengeluarkan tanda peringatan di kota Seoul dan beberapa kota sekitarnya seperti Incheon dan Gwangju pada hari Minggu lalu.  Konsentrat yang tinggi didalam partikel  “Yellow Dust”ini bisa menyebabkan gangguan pernapasan dan sejumlah gangguan lainnya. Pada hari Senin (23/02/2015) lalu, di kota Seoul terdapat 1.044 mikrogram debu per meter kubik udara. Kandungan debu ini adalah keempat tertinggi sejak tahun 2002. Udara di Pulau Ganghwado di Incheon mengandung 707 mikrogram debu per kubik meter udara, sementara di Chuncheon-Provinsi Gangwon mempunyai 696 mikrogram debu per meter kubik.

Peringatan pertama akan dikeluarkan bila rata-rata konsentrat debu per meter kubik mencapai lebih dari 400 mikrogram, dan diperkirakan berlangsung selama lebih dari dua jam. Apabila mencapai angka lebih 800 mikrogram debu per meter kubik selama dua jam, maka pihak Administrasi Meteorologi Korea akan menyuruh semua penduduk untuk menghentikan aktivitas diluar ruangan (outdoor activities) dan menghimbau agar anak-anak, orang yang lanjut usia, serta orang yang memiliki kelemahan tubuh untuk tetap didalam ruangan.

Karena debu yang dibawa berakibat buruk bagi pernapasan dan gangguan kesehatan lainnya, berikut adalah beberapa hal yang penting untuk dilakukan selama fenomena “Yellow Dust” ini berlangsung:

  • Hindari kegiatan yang dilakukan di udara terbuka/ luar ruangan; terlebih lagi bagi orang lanjut usia, anak-anak, dan orang berpenyakit jantung dan gangguan pernapasan lainnya seperti asma.
  • Tutuplah jendela- jendela dan pintu-pintu untuk mencegah debu masuk kedalam ruangan tertutup.
  • Hindari pemakaian lensa kontak dan pakailah kacamata yang nyaman. Debu yang berterbangan bisa menggores lensa anda dan melukai mata anda.
  • Gosok gigi dan cuci tangan, muka, dan mata dengan air hangat setelah beraktivitas di luar.
  • Minum banyak air putih untuk menjaga kelembaban tubuh dan mencegah dehidrasi kulit.
  • Gunakan air filteres (mesin filter udara) untuk menjaga udara didalam ruangan tetap bersih dan menjaga tingkat kelembaban didalam ruangan/ kantor anda.
  • Sebisa mungkin pakailah baju berlengan panjang selama berada di luar.
  • Cucilah tangan sampai bersih sebelum memegang makanan.
  • Konsumsi makanan-makanan bervitamin dan berprotein tinggi untuk memperkuat sistem kekebalan tubuh.
  • Setelah “Yellow Dust” berlalu pun, tetaplah berhati-hati karena debu yang tersisa bisa dengan mudah terbawa angin.

(information taken from http://www.koreaherald.com)

Keep safe and be healthy during this “Yellow Dust” Storm!

Best regards,

koreanmate

Places You Don’t Wanna Miss During Seollal Holidays!

credit: gwangjublog.com

credit: gwangjublog.com

Annyeonghaseyo!

The Seollal (Lunar New Year) celebration is only one day away and everyone in Korea is now having their holiday! Most places will be closed during the Seollal holiday but these attractive places will especially hold some special Seollal events for families to enjoy and celebrate this Lunar New Year!

SEOL GRAND FESTIVAL

  1. Seoul Grand Festival in National Folk Museum of Korea

Date: 18th February until 22nd February 2015

Location: 37, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Official website: www.nfm.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, German, French, Spanish)

1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

The National Folk Museum of Korea, located in Gyeongbokgung Palace, will hold a special exhibition titled ‘Seoul Grand Festival with National Folk Museum of Korea’. In celebrating the year of the sheep, many sheep-related cultural programs are to be offered at the event. Museum visitors can join arts and crafts classes, making a tray with hanji (traditional Korean paper), a sheep doll or a bokjori (a lucky bag). Also, the festival aims to spread holiday cheer through fun folk games like paengichigi (top-spinning game), jegichagi (Korean hacky sack game) and Yutnori (Korean board game).

ROYAL RESIDENCE

  1. Celebration of New Year in Unhyeongung Royal Residence

Date: 18th February (Wednesday) – 20th February (Friday) 2015

Location: Unni-dong 464, Samil-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul.

Official Website : http://www.unhyeongung.or.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Unhyeongung Royal Residence will hold a special exhibition of Charyesang (ancestor memorial service table) that will offer a great opportunity to learn about Korean customs and the folk games set to welcome visitors.

KOREAN FOLK VILLGAE

  1. Good Luck Feast in Korean Folk Village

Date: February 7 (Saturday) – 22 (Sunday), 2015

Location: Bora-dong 90, Minsokchon-ro, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do

Official Website: http://www.koreanfolk.co.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

In celebration of Seollal, the Korean Folk Village will host Seollal events for all family members to enjoy from February 7 to February 22, 2015. Special events to welcome the New Year include daljiptaeugi (sheaf burning), jisinbalgi (praying for abundance through music), sharing tteokguk (sliced rice cake soup) and fortune telling. Also, participants can get their faces painted or exchange words of blessing, called ‘deokdam’ at the deokdam photo zone. A traditional Korean dance will be performed on February 19 (Seollal day) and a gugak b-boy dance performance will take place on February 20 and 21. The Korean Folk Village offers visitors dressed in hanbok a ‘day pass’ at a 50% discounted rate.

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  1. Five Nobleman’s Seollal Feast in Namsangol Hanok Village

Date: February 19 (Thursday) – 21 (Saturday), 2015

Location: The area of Pil-dong 2(i)-ga, 28, Toegye-ro 34-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul

Official Website: hanokmaeul.seoul.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Namsangol Hanok Village in Seoul will hold a variety of events, such as traditional performances, folk games, and traditional experience programs from February 19 to 21, 2015. Visitors can take part in traditional Seollal customs like sharing tteokguk (sliced rice cake soup), pounding steamed rice into cake, and writing wishes for the New Year. Fun folk games such as jegichagi (Korean hacky sack game), paengichigi (top-spinning game) and tuhonori (arrow-throwing game) are also prepared for visitors to enjoy.

HOWEVER,If you want to have some fun with families and friends after going to those traditional events, you could also release your stress and become a happy kid in Amusement Parks!

EVERLAND

  1. Everland Theme Park

Everland is the go-to theme park in Korea. It’s a fairy tale, magical wonderland for the kids, and it also has the most fun rides of all the theme parks. It’s the perfect getaway for this Lunar New Year (Seollal) Holiday as there will be less people, and there are cultural specific events for the holiday as well.

Admission:
Adults 46,000 won / Children 36,000 won

How to get to Everland:
[Subway] Jeondae-Everland Station (Yongin Ever Line), Exit 3 – then take shuttle
[Bus 5002] – Sinnonhyeon Station, Gangnam Station, Yangjae Station
[Bus 5700] Pangyo, Segok-dong, Suseo Station, Songpa Station, Jamsil Station, Gangbyeon Station
[Bus 1500-2] Sadang Station, Nambu Terminal
[Bus 1113] Gangbyeon Station, Gangdong Station

SEOUL LAND

  1. Seoul Land

Seoul Land has a theme park, zoo, sledding and a wide open park with plenty of space to play. It’s the perfect place to take the kids or to go on a short fun date during the holidays. The rides are very reasonable for those that don’t like to be thrown out of their wits. In addition, you’ll get a parade along with cultural experiences setup specifically for the holiday.

Admission:
Adult 20,000 won / Youth 17,000 won / Children 15,000 won

How to get to Seoul Land:
Seoul Grand Park Station (Line 4), Exit 2

After playing the whole day, you may want to relax and shop with your beloved ones. If you are still staying in Seoul, these market places will keep you awake all night!

credit: redbubble.net

credit: redbubble.net

  1. Coex Mall

Coex, Asia’s largest underground shopping mall, has been recently renovated and filled with high quality shopping, excellent eats and plenty of activities. Although the openings and closings will vary according to each store, there is enough to see and do to fill out your day.

How to get to Coex:
Samseong Station (Line 2), Exit 5

Insadong121

  1. Insadong

Insadong is Seoul’s mecca for tourists, and luckily for you it’s wide open for the Lunar New Year. The many arts and crafts and traditional Korean goods can be bought from the numerous stores that stay open for lost travelers. There’s also a few traditional Korean dances and musical performances as well.

How to get to Insadong:
Anguk Station (Line 3), Exit 6

dongdaemun-night

  1. Dongdaemun

Dongdaemun, one of Korea’s hottest shopping districts for domestically produced Korean designs, is also another area that stays open during the Lunar New Year. While there will be some spotty closures in regards to vendors and malls, there will definitely be some available for all your Korean shopping needs.

How to get to Dongdaemun:
Dongdaemun History and Culture Park (Line 2, 4, 5), Exit 14
Dongdaemun Station (Line 1, 4), Exit 8, 9

itaewon

  1. Itaewon

Itaewon is Seoul’s foreigner district and the newest hotspot for nightlife in Seoul. And while many of bars and clubs will be closed, there will be definitely be plenty open for all the foreigners who don’t have anywhere to go. Also, there’s plenty of shopping to do during the day, even during this Lunar New Year holiday.

How to get to Itaewon:
Itaewon Station (Line 6), Any exit

myeongond

  1. Myeongdong

Myeongdong is one of the largest downtown areas of Seoul, and one of the few places that will be bustling with people during the typically quiet holidays. Nearly all of the stores will be open and there will be plenty of street food, shopping and activities. Fair warning, however: it may be too crowded for some!

How to get to Myeongdong:
Myeongdong Station (Line 4), Exit 6
Euljiro-1-ga Station (Line 2), Exit 6

kimchi-hongdae-hostel

  1. Hongdae

Hongdae, Seoul’s heartbeat of subculture and cool kids, is filled with shopping, bars, restaurants, clubs, street performers, and anything else. And while there are plenty of places that will close, Hongdae is so massive and draws such crowds that there will undoubtedly be plenty for you to do.

How to get to Hongdae:
Hongik University Station (Line 2), Exit 9
Sangsu Station (Line 6), Exit 1 or 2

Well, hope all that information could help you imagine what Lunar New Year is like in South Korea! And if someday you get the chance to spend Seollal in Korea, don’t forget to visit these places!

Once again, happy Lunar New Year everyone!

(and because I am currently addicted to these super cute Song Triplets, ….tadaaa!)

song-il-kook_1420085032_af_org

새해복 많이 받으세요! (Sae-hae-bok-mani-ba-de-se-yo!)

(Thankyou to Seoulistic.com and visitkorea.or.kr for these informations)

Best regards,

koreanmate

Celebrating Seollal- The Lunar New Year in South Korea

credit:rsgiars.blogspot.com

credit:rsgiars.blogspot.com

Annyeonghaseyo!

Not even a week passed by after Valentine’s Day but we are already going to celebrate another big occasion: The Lunar New Year!

Lunar, or Chinese New Year in common, will be on the 19th of January this year. If you live in Asia, you must have seen all the Chinese ornaments, Lanterns, lion dances, and of course the Red Envelopes or “HongBao” in many places such as malls and streets.

Korea is also one of the country that celebrates Lunar New Year. They call it Seollal (설날).Seollal is the traditional Korean calendar’s most important holiday, along with the autumn harvest festival, Chuseok. More than just a holiday to mark the beginning of a new year, Seollal is truly a special occasion for Korean people. Not only is it a time for paying respect to ancestors, but it is also an opportunity to catch up with distant family members who will go back to their original home to get together for this special occasion. During Seollal, Koreans traditionally wear hanbok (traditional clothes), perform ancestral rites, play folk games, eat traditional foods, listen to stories, and catch up with one another.

credit:koreaculturedc.org

credit:koreaculturedc.org

As is custom, the preceding and following days are combined to create a three-day holiday. In Korea, Seollal is when extended families often gather at the eldest brother’s home and food, games, conversation and ancestral rites figure prominently. On the morning of the second day, family members will perform Jesa (제사), a ceremonial rite to honor one’s deceased ancestors. To one’s living elders, deep bows, called sebae (세배), are made. Most children look forward to the cash rewards they receive for their bows.

The days before Seollal Celebrations are chaotic and busy as Seollal demands a lot of preparation,-especially in terms of gifts, traveling, and also the feast. Department stores and markets are usually very crowded during the days leading up to Seollal because people would buy many ancestral gifts with great attention paid to the quality of their shape, color, and freshness. Seollal gifts vary each year depending on economic situations and gift trends, but the most popular ones are department store gift cards and cash. Popular gifts for parents include ginseng, honey, health products, and massage chairs. Other common gifts include toiletries such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc., and gift baskets/sets composed of Spam, tuna, hangwa (traditional sweets and cookies), dried fish, and fruit.

Another important thing to be concerned about during Seollal is travel arrangements. Many people live away from their family because of work, marriage, or study, and therefore must travel to celebrate Seollal with their families. So, you need to hurry to buy buses, trains, or plane tickets before they are all sold out. Traveling by your personal car during the holiday can take over two to four times the normal travel time due to heavy traffic. During the Seollal holiday, the crowded city of Seoul becomes relatively quiet and peaceful, as most people leave the city to return home or travel abroad. Streets become empty and many restaurants and shops close. However, recreational and cultural facilities such as amusement parks, national parks, and major palaces stay open to the public to present various events and traditional games for families.

credit:visitkorea.or.kr

credit:visitkorea.or.kr

The morning of Seollal begins with an ancestral ceremony. Family members, each dressed in Hanbok (Korean traditional clothes), gather in front of the ritual table and set on it an ancestral table and dishes of ritual foods, which are according to the laws of ancestral ceremony. Once set, the ceremony begins with deep bows as greetings to the ancestor spirits, and proceeds with offerings and prayers before ending with bidding farewell to the spirits. The ritual is conducted to express respect and gratitude to one’s ancestors and to pray for the family’s well-being throughout the year.

Tteokguk

Next, everyone gathers together and eats the ritual food. The main dish of the day is tteokguk, a traditional soup made with sliced rice cakes, beef, egg, vegetables, and other ingredients. In Korea, eating tteokguk on New Year’s Day is believed to add a year to one’s age.

credit:hancinema.net

credit:hancinema.net

After the meal, the younger generations of the family pay respect to their elders by taking a deep bow called sebae, and by presenting them with gifts. Then, the elders offer their blessings and wishes for a prosperous year. Children often receive sebaetdon (New Year’s money) as a Seollal gift. For the rest of the day, family members play traditional folk games, eat food, and share stories. The most common activity is yutnori, a board game that involves throwing four wooden sticks. This game is so easy to learn that all family members, regardless of age, can enjoy playing in teams and making fun bets. Besides yutnori, traditional games such as jegi-chagi (footbag-like game), neol-twiggi (see-saw), tuho (arrow toss), and yeon-naligi (kite flying) are widely played at places like parks or open areas at palaces and shrines. Lastly, families wind down by going to see a movie or watching Seollal specials on TV.

Let us learn how to say the Lunar New Year’s greeting!

새해 복 많이 받으세요! (Sae-hae- bok- mani- ba- doo- se- yo!)

It means “Please receive lots of good luck in the coming year!”

song-il-kook_1420085032_af_org

 

Best regards,

koreanmate

Celebrating Valentine’s Day in Korea! (발렌타인 데이)

credit: dramafever.com

Annyeonghaseyo!

February is a month full of love. You may see hearts, chocolates, and flowers colored in pink everywhere this month as it is Valentine’s Day tomorrow! As you know, South Korea may be one of the most romantic and “lovey-dovey” country in the world so you probably wonder.. how is Valentine’s Day celebrated in Korea?

Valentine’s Day in Korea is a bit different from Valentine’s Day elsewhere in world. If we take Indonesia as an example, Valentine’s Day is the only day that celebrates love in a year. Guys give their beloved ones chocolates and flowers and ask them out for romantic dinners. But in Korea, there are a lot of “love” celebrations in a year. In fact, Valentine’s Day is one of 12 “love days” celebrated on the 14th of every month in Korea. These days range from the popular “White Day” or depressing “Black Day” for singles, to the unusual “Hug Day”.

couple-holidays

Originating from this date, the 14th of every month is designated as the special day for events. Most special days target young couples, but some special days target single people. One exception to the 14th of every month-rule is the month of November, which has two special days — the 11th and the 14th. On November 11, people usually exchange peppero sticks on this day because these peppero sticks resemble the date (11/11).

These are the list of every 14th of each month,starting from January :

01월14일: 다이어리데이 (Diary Day). Couples exchange yearly planners in which they mark their plans, anniversaries, birthdays and other important dates.

02월14일: 밸런타인데이 (Valentine’s Day)

03월14일: 화이트데이 (White Day). Men’s turn to confess and express his love and affection for that special someone by giving her candies and gifts.

04월14일: 블랙데이 (Black Day). Black Day is designated especially for singles. They eat black noodles (jajangmyeon) together to express their singleness.

05월14일: 로즈데이 (Rose Day). On this day, couples exchange roses.

06월14일: 키스데이 (Kiss Day). Kiss everyone you meet on this day.

07월14일: 실버데이 (Silver Day). People exchange silver accessories.

08월14일: 그린데이 (Green Day). Couples seek nature and relax while singles drink Soju to drown their loneliness.

09월14일: 포토데이 (Photo Day).Take a picture together with your significant other in a romantic place and put it in a special place to look at.

10월14일: 와인데이 (Wine Day). Enjoy wine with someone special.

11월14일: 무비&오렌지데이 (Movie & Orange Day).Couples go to watch a movie at the cinema and eat oranges.

12월14일: 허그데이 (Hug Day). Couples hug each other in the winter to chase away the cold.

credit: cuteinkorea.com

credit:cuteinkorea.com

As stated before, Valentine’s Day in Korea is a bit different from Valentine’s Day elsewhere in world. In many parts of the world, it is the guy who usually gives his beloved one chocolate or flowers or candies. But in Korea, it is the other way around. It’s the girls who give chocolates to the guys. If a woman wants to confess her love for a man, or express her feelings for him, this is the day to give that special someone some chocolate. Traditionally, men that receive these gifts will give a gift in return the following month on White Day. This has been changing in recent years, as retailers have begun targeting Men and Women on both days. The streets of Korea begin to line itself with chocolate-filled lace baskets about a week prior to Valentine’s Day. This day particularly makes a large profit in department stores, hotels, chocolate stores, bakeries, jewelry stores, and doll stores.

There are two types of chocolates that girls usually give their beloved ones in Korea:

Type one: The “cheap” one.

Valentinestag_Seoul_2012

These chocolates are the ones that you could buy in any convenience store. It’s usually mass produced and the price is relatively cheap. These chocolates are seen as “effortless” because you don’t spend much time and effort in giving those, so the “cheap” chocolate types are usually given as a courtesy goes to all the men in their life (father, boy-friends, best friends, etc)

Type two : The “expensive” one.

amedei5034

The “expensive” ones are either handmade chocolates or the special chocolates sold in luxurious bakeries and cafes. These chocolates are given when a girl has someone she likes/ loves. She may decide to show her feelings by taking the time to create handmade chocolates. Around Valentine’s Day, bookshops and convenience stores in Korea begin to sell lots more of the equipment required to make chocolates. If you have ever seen the popular drama ‘Boy Over Flowers’, you may remember the lead character Geum Jan Di making chocolates for her love interest Goo Jun Pyo.

For those who doesn’t have time to make their own chocolate, then buying luxury handmade chocolates is also an option and many of the more upscale chocolate brands and European style bakeries (such as Paris Baguette) have special ranges and designs for Valentine’s day.

For couples that are already officially dating, they will spend Valentine’s day by having a dinner in a romantic café or restaurant, or have a date in the amusement park. They will use couple things such as couple tees, couple shoes, or couple rings. There are a lot of special prices and discounts for couples in this special day such as a “buy one get two” promotions for ice creams or movie tickets.

Vday_poster

Talking about South Korea, you will never forget the K-stars. In Valentine’s days, many Kpop idols and movie actors share their love via SNS( Social medias) by uploading their picture holding chocolates and other Valentine “thingy”. They would say their gratitude and love for their families, friends, and also the loyal fans.

It is interesting to see how different holidays are celebrated in different parts of the world and these celebrations say a lot about Korea’s couple culture!

So…how are you going to celebrate your Valentine’s day?

해피발렌타인 데이! Happy Valentine’s day! May you share your love to your loved ones in this special day!

cropped-tumblr_l5yirkbuox1qb4jw0o1_500.jpg

Best regards,

koreanmate

K-Tips : How To Make Yourself Warm Even Though It Is Freeeeezing Cold! (Spring Semester Preparation)

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If you are travelling/ going to Korea these upcoming months, be prepared as the weather would be quite tricky. But don’t worry, because Koreanmate would give you some tips and tricks in this following K-Tips Post!

Unlike Indonesia, Korea has 4 different seasons every year. In general, spring is from March to May, summer from June to August, autumn from September to November, and winter from December to February. The weather in spring and autumn is clear and dry due to the influence of anticyclones; summer is hot and humid due to Korea’s location on the North Pacific Edge; and in winter, continental high pressure brings cold and dry weather.

So if you are going to Korea either to travel or to start the Spring Semester( which would usually begin at the end of February), the weather would be tricky because it is still between winter and spring.

I went to South Korea at the end of February 2014 and to be honest, it shocked me so much because of the temperature difference. I flew from Soekarno Hatta Intl Airport where the temperature is around

23-28°C. Well, Indonesia is a tropical country and it’s quite hot, even at night. But remember, it’s NOT hot when you arrive in Korea so make sure you wear long-sleeved, long pants and shoes. Put your thick winter jacket, gloves and other winter equipment in your backpack, NOT in your luggage!

I arrived in Korea the next morning around 8 am Korean Time. Inside the airport, it’s not cold. But don’t be tricked by this “warm” weather because remember, they have heater installed inside the airport! So after you go through the immigration and take all your luggage, please wear your super thick winter jackets and gloves because once you step outside the airport, it would be freezing cold!

It was -10°C outside and as a tropical person, I was shivering. I once thought that that was strange because when I see the people there, they didn’t seem too cold. Of course, if they were in Korea the whole year, their bodies would be prepared for this cold weather because the temperature would drop little by little every day since Autumn. But for me, my body was shocked because of the drastic temperature change, from 28°C to -10°C in just a short time.

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The temperature would still be cold until the end of March. To make yourself comfortable, you can wear these every time you go out: Long Johns+ Long sleeved shirt + Warm Jacket+ Long Pants+ Wool Socks+ Boots+ Gloves. These equipment should have made you feel warm enough to fight the freezing weather. And for girls, you might want to apply a lot of moisturizer (it is better to buy it there) to your face before you wear make-up because your skin would be so dry and all chapped because of the cold weather. Use the liquid/gel/cream ones if possible to make them stay longer rather than the powdery ones!

Drink a lot of water every day. You might not feel thirsty because it is cold, but remember that your body still needs a certain amount of water!

This freezing weather would slowly get warmer from middle March. You can say goodbye to your thick jackets, longjohns, and gloves now! Spring season in Korea is usually between March and May. The warmer weather causes trees and grass to bud, but the temperature can also vary greatly, causing seasonal occurrences like spring colds. The daily temperature range varies greatly in the spring and the weather can be dry. Various flowers bloom in the mild and warm spring weather; azaleas, forsythias, and royal azaleas are the forerunners of spring in Korea. In April and May, the flowers are in full bloom, attracting people to mountains and parks. In rural areas, spring is the time to start planting rice and potatoes, sow vegetable seeds, and to prune the branches of fruit trees.

cherry-blossoms

There are many festivals held in Spring! For further information, check their official website here: http:/english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=957144

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And if you don’t wanna miss the Cherry Blossoms,check out this website :http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=706450

Hope these tips could make you stay warm during your stay there!

Best regards,

Koreanmate

KHow To’s : Applying D-2 Indonesian Student Visa to South Korea

There will always be a mixed feeling whenever you are going to study abroad: Happy and excited at one side- but also nervous and anxious in the other side. Yes, studying abroad requires a lot of preparations that need a lot of time and effort as well. After finishing all the university administration requirements, the D-Day of your departure is approaching. But there’s one thing that you must do before you could let out a sigh of relief : Visa Application.

Applying for visa could be a difficult and long process for some people, but once you know what you are required to fulfill, it’s actually could be short and easy! In this KHowTo’s  post, I will share the application process of a D-2 Student Visa to South Korea!

The Korean Embassy in Indonesia is located in The Plaza Office Tower, Lt. 30 Jl. H.M. Thamrin Kav.28-30, Jakarta Pusat 10350. You could apply all kind of visas here, including the student visa which is the D-2 Visa. D-2 Visa is the visa you should apply when you’re going as either an exchange student, undergraduate student (S1), master student (S2) or even a doctoral student (S3). The requirements are all listed at the Korean Embassy’s official website :http://idn.mofa.go.kr

Don’t panic if all you see after you opened the website is Hangeul! Just click the “Bahasa Indonesia” button in the top of the page. Go to the Konsulat/Visa page and search for the requirements!

Here are the requirements as stated :

  1. Formulir Aplikasi Permohonan Visa ( you could download this from their website too)
  2. Foto Berwarna 1 lembar (4×6 cm) . Attach this to you completed application form.
  3. Paspor asli dan fotokopi (halaman identitas dan visa/cap negara-negara yang telah dikunjungi)
  4. Certificate of Admission (surat keterangan telah diterima dan terdaftar di Universitas Korea yang dituju)
  5. Ijazah terakhir (fotocopy dan asli)
  6. Bukti keuangan (dapat dipilih salah satu): Surat Referensi Bank terbaru atas nama pribadi atau orang tua dengan saldo minimum USD 10.000 atau Surat Referensi Bank dari Sponsor di Korea terbaru dengan saldo minimum USD 10.000

Based on my experience last year, you should also bring:

  1.  Fotokopi Kartu Keluarga, KTP, Akte Kelahiran
  2. Surat Keterangan dari Universitas Asal. (Your home university in Indonesia. Usually you could  issue this letter from the International Office in your university)
  3. Surat sponsor. (This letter states who pays for your expenses in Korea. Could be from your parents, office, or the institution that gives you scholarship)
  4. Your airplane tickets, if you already buy them (but this is optional)

The cost of making a D-2 Visa is Rp.490.000,-

Please be aware that the Korean Embassy has a strict rule on their time schedule. If you are applying ,the office is open only from Monday to Friday,09.00-12.00.

The visa will be done after 4 days (4 hari kerja) and could only be taken from Monday to Friday 14.00-16.00. You could call them to check first before you go there.

Anyways, be prepared and have a good luck in applying your Visa!

Best Regards,

koreanmate