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Korean Language Coordinator

by garry.liemertha on 

December 3, 2018
아리랑 아리랑 아라리요 (Arirang, Arirang, Arariyo) (Culture & Language: Korean) - The Story
PIKorea.jpg

안녕하세요 자카르타 언어 애호가들~
Annyeonghaseyo Jakareuta eoneo aehogadeul~
Hello, Jakarta Language Enthusiast~

On Sunday, 4 November 2018, Polyglot Indonesia Jakarta Chapter held a meetup with Korean culture and language as the theme. The Korean Language Coordinator and Contributor team has prepared a presentation about Korean culture and language to 74 meetup participants of the day. Our special guest, Seo Jae-Kyu (JK), who is a native Korean, happily helped us by sharing stories about his homeland, lifestyle and language. In accordance to the theme, the five Korean language table presenters wore Korean national costume – Hanbok (한복) – in which two were dressed in traditional wedding hanbok, two in formal hanbok, and another one in modern male hanbok.

Garry and Keisha introduced the reason behind the theme and the costume worn by the presenter team followed by a general infographic session about Korea presented by Eva. Next, came the presentation about Korean culture (대한민국의 문화) by Keisha & JK. Keisha talked not only about traditional Korean folk music & dance such as pansori (판소리), pungmul (풍물), hyangak (향악) and Korean fan dance – buchaechum (부채춤), but also about Korean modern music “K-Pop”. Afterwards, she explained about six traditional games (전통놀이) which are popular in Korea such as baduk (바둑), janggi (장기), ssireum (씨름), yunnori (윷놀이), jegichagi (제기차기) and ddakji (딱지). Keisha also brought up Korean habits in her last part of presentation. She explained why Koreans like to drink iced americano, wear mouth mask, put on shoes outside and inside the house, are known for 빨리빨리 (Ppalli Ppalli) culture or hurry/fast-paced, eat hot spicy foods, and how Koreans have developed a good habit of recycling their waste (재활용).

After Keisha’s presentation, JK shared about the three new major celebration days in Korea: Valentine’s Day, Pepero Day, and Christmas Day. He stressed that these special days are intended for those who have signifant others, because the norm in these three days are that someone gives his/her special person a gift. JK also explained about drinking manners in Korea since the country and its citizens are known for their love of soju (소주). There are two things to remember; first, do not fill up a glass before it’s empty; second, if an elder gives you a drink, take the glass with both hands. JK then taught the participants a Korean drinking game called ttalki geim (딸기게임). CHEERS! 짠 (jjan)! 건배 (geonbae)!

The next part is about Korean tourist destinations presented by Garry. Due to the innumerable recommended sites, Garry had had to summarized several famous and distinct ones and divided it by regions. Starting with Seoul, there are modern and traditional destinations options such as Lotte World Tower, Bukcheon Hanok Village, Gwanghwamun, Han River, etc. Next is Busan with its famous Gwangalli Bridge, Gamcheon Cultural Village, and Haeundae Beach. Gyeonggi-do has a DMZ (demilitarized) zone between North and South Korea, Everland Theme Park (Korean Disneyland), etc. Gangwon-do has extraordinary beach and mountain. Jeolla-do has amazing national parks and Jeonju Hanok Village. Gyeongsang-do is well-known for its historical town, Gyeongju, and the city of Daegu which is popular due to its well preserved historical street. Jeju-do, situated in southern part of Korea, is an island with distinct culture, landmark and even language. At the end of this session, JK pointed out some tips for foreigners who plan to travel in Korea such as tourist information website, transportation info apps, Kakao map, etc.

The last part was about Korean festivals and foods. Fitra mentioned about three major holidays/festivals in Korea: Seollal (설날/Korean New Year), Chuseok (추석/Harvest Festival), and Dano (단오) Festival. Beside those three, each region has its own annual festivals in which tourist can visit in certain period, for example, Pyeongchang Trout Festival in Gangwon-do during winter, Boryeong Mud Festival in Chungcheong-do during the second week of July, Gwangju Kimchi Festival during Autumn, Jeju Fire Festival in spring season, Busan Fireworks Festival in Gwangalli Bridge in 27th of October, etc. As Korean foods are now gaining popularity, Fitra informed the audience about them such as bansang (반상/rice set consisting of cooked rice, soup, condiments, stew, and side dishes), samgyetang (삼계탕), various types of kimchi (김치), naengmyeon (냉면/cold noodle), songpyeon (송편/rice cakes), chimaek (치맥/chicken & beer), hongeo-hoe (홍어회/fermented fish with strong ammonia-like odor), and san-nakji (산낙지/live small octopus sprinkled with sesame oils and seeds to be eaten as a whole to avoid the danger of choking). Following the presentation is a simple Korean language class led by Eva and JK. The audiences were introduced to hangeul (한글), how to read it, Korean numerals, and several basic greetings and expressions.

As Korea is well-known for its music, drama, and movies, the presenter team decided to ask each language table to do a reenactment of a famous/viral/cool clip from a film/drama/ad from the country where the language is used within 5 minutes duration at max. Presenters then judged the performance and picked two best table. The performances were: Japanese Table (Doraemon: Stand by Me), English Table I & III (Harry Potter), Spanish Table (Dora the Explorer), Chinese Table (Mulan), Dutch Table (Frog & Stork), Deutsch Table (The Sound of Music), French Table (Mr. Bean’s Holiday), Italian Table (Italian version of The Prayer), and Korean Table (Aegyo Song). The best performances came from the Arabic Table, who reenacted a scene in Aladdin in which Jasmine and Aladdin sang A Whole New World, and the English Table III, who performed a clip from Avengers. They received a travel tag and tourism map from KTO (Korean Tourism Organization) for each table member.

To close the meetup, Korean language coordinator and contributor team popped up a quiz in which participants must guess the names of the famous Korean actress, singer and athletes shown on screen,  the tourist destinations and respond to several Korean basic questions. Three participants who guessed correctly received a traveler guide book, maps, leaflets, and travel tags from KTO. They also did a trivia quiz in which the highest scored table will receive souvenirs.

Special thanks to Hoshino Tea Time for the great venue! We would also like to thank the Korean Tourism Organization for providing us with souvenirs and letting us borrow two sets of hanbok! Hope to see you again on another Polyglot Indonesia Jakarta Chapter’s meetup! (For the photo documentation, please check our Facebook fanpage album)

참여해주셔서 감사합니다~
Cham-yeohaejusyeoseo kamsahamnida~

About the author

Garry completed his Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and currently works at Posco Daewoo Corp., a Korean company mainly engaging in trade, resources development, project organization, and steel processing services. He enjoys restaurant hopping, travelling, listening to music, watching films, browsing the net, and learning language. Born and raised in a small city in East Java, Garry can speak fluent Indonesian and colloquial Javanese. In sophomore year of college, Garry had a strong will to learn in profound at least one of East Asian language and he chose to study Korean by himself. So, now he can speak Indonesian, Javanese, English, and Korean (intermediate).

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