KOREA 2015 #4: Hangul Day, Kimchi Making, Cooking Competition and Performances.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

 Click to Read Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.

Hello Everyone, I'm about halfway there in telling you the tales of what I got upto whilst in Korea. Because of these blogposts, the past few days have been filled with bittersweet moments of reminiscing. It is the last day of the year and that means I have had a lot of random moments where I think of the things I got up to, I guess it should come as no surprise that my biggest highlight this year was the trip. I have wanted it for so long and when it finally happened it took me weeks to actually believe it was real. Thank you to everyone who has supported my dreams and those who have encouraged me to keep studying Korean, and you lovely people from all over the world who have read my posts and checked up on me. Thank You.

Now on with it,  Day 4 was one of the most important days.
One of the main reason we were in Korea was in celebration of 569 years since the creation of the Hangeul charactersKorean Alphabetsby King Sejong. As such there were a lot of celebrations around the country on this day and it was a national holiday. We were invited to the official ceremony held at the Sejong Institute and so it was a formal event with dignitaries in attendance.

L-R: Performances at the event. Foreign students wearing their national costumes.

The event started with an award ceremony and then performances from a group of kids. I wish I had a video of it because it was very interesting and it sort of reminded me of the sound of music. There was also performances by musical actors and they had these huge screens behind them with images in cinema context that looked lifelike. We also enjoyed a concert by a complete traditional orchestra which looked close to a 100 or more people. Magnificent I tell ya.

I realized that at this very formal events, I find the Korean language a bit harder to understand, so I was a  bit clueless as to what they were saying in the speeches but nevertheless it wasn't too long so I was not bored. The event was hosted by a female KBS announcer and she was wearing the most beautiful Hanbok I have ever seen.

When it was time to sing the national anthem and the 한글날~Hangul Nal song, we had the lyrics in the programme of events booklet to sing along to. It was nice to be able to do that, I realized for the first time how the Korean anthem has the same 2 line in every verse at the end.

L-R: They had this mini toilets for kids and it was the cutest thing with the pig head, there was also had a family cubicle in the toilet, odd! Group photo of us at the University hall and the bottom picture is during the cooking demonstration. The Right photo is my lunch tray, another yummy and balanced meal and a snap of the palace we went to the day before.

After the ceremony we went back to Hyundai greenfood for lunch and then we headed to the 숙명여자대학교 Sookmyung Women’s University for the activities of the Day.

Before we went on the trip, we were asked to send in photos of our national food and I thought we were going to prepare it, so I sent in jollof rice, chicken and plantain cos well, it's easy to make. But we later found out that it was for a video project the students at the university prepared for us. The video displayed food from our different countries and our pictures as well.

After the introductions and all that, we got a lecture on Korean food and then we also got introduced to the students that are going to be helping our teams with the food competition and kimchi making. We then took pictures and headed outside to make kimchi.

L-R: The Ahjumma Songsaengnim giving us a demonstration on how to make Kimchi and introducing us to ddeok (Rice cake)

Ahjumma sonsaengnim had a cooking display to tell us a bit about kimchi and how to make it. It was fun seasoning the kimchi and wrapping it up as seen in my picture. it sure is messy though but delicious as you may or may not know!

Ya'll know I got love for Kimchi and I've been saying how much I want to partake in a kimjang, the process of making Kimchi, well I finally did and in Korea at that.

L-R: Me holding my first ever Kimchi. My team seasoning our kimchi. Trying out the kimchi we made: Ahjumma Sonsaengnim and her assistant demonstrating to us.

After that Ahjumma and her assistant, we had a different ahjumma show us how to make fusion Korean/Mexican dish and the cooking competition was officially started. There was seventeen teams and we were all given the same ingredients to cook a meal, give it a name and say why we choose the name.

My team had Oleg as the head chefHe's Ok Taecyeon from 2PM's doppelgangerHe cooked us a winning meal which scored us 3rd position. The concept of our meal is a meal to thank King Sejong for creating the Hangeul which brought us all together in Korea. We had a few laughs coming up with a name cos we wanted something to show our thankful heart. We came up with an idiom that showed that in the end. It was fun all in all. Thank You Oleg 요리사님—Cook. Also Akgul made this yummy apple and egg french toast. I need to make that again

L-R: Ingredients and Utensils for our cooking competition. Presenting the food to the judges. My team mates with our main chefs on my left and right. We did a few activities of decorating fans and face masks.

After each team had introduced their food and explained their concept, we were judged by some of the guests present. After the fun-filled and jam-packed afternoon we had, it was dark out and the hunger pangs were starting to kick in. We had a buffet set outside for dinner and most of my favourite Korean food and new favourites were amongst it.

L-R: My Team's dish is the one on the top left. We were asked to bring utensils and decorations from our countries, so we used it to display all the food.

After dinner, we had a few performances from our fellow students and video messages from our teachers. And then the traditional performers from the university performed Samulnori and other dances for us. Finally it was time for a play dance known as 강강술래~Ganggansullaea 5,000 years old dance you may remember me mentioning it in one of the Kpop Academy posts which all of us joined in. I had so much fun that night and it felt like we were on a camping trip having a good time under the stars and the moonlight.

L-R: The University students performing for us. We all formed a circle and did the gangangsullae dance with two of the girls singing the song. One of my teammates played a few violin poeces including Arirang which we all sang along to. Two students from Latvia I think doing a dance.

We called it a night from there and headed to the hotel. But it was the end of the official night. When we got to the hotel it was the start of our favourite 자유 시간~Free time. So we got ready and headed out to gangnam. Yes the one from the famous Gangnam Style! We went to the underground shopping centre at the train station which had so much from clothes to cosmetics and so much more. I went crazy buying skin care because well, I had a long list of things I wanted to buy for when I got to Korea. I'm going to do a separate post for that. Seriously the rest of the  world needs to get on this bandwagon of late night shopping, where it doesn't already exist that is.

Because it was late already, we only got to go to a few stores and then we headed to a local snack store for some drinks and snacks. We didn't stay long and headed home to rest for our road trip to Jeonju the next day.

Hope you enjoyed reading this one too and don't forget to read the previous days HERE

See you on my next adventures! 

Search for me around the web by clicking the following links:

On KOREAN TWITTER disseminating real time views on dramas & music etc

On FACEBOOK sharing  interesting links

On INSTAGRAM sharing pictures 

and on TUMBLR just doing what people do on there



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