Tag Archives: Korea

Bittersweet North and South Korean reunions

The last time Lee Hye-gyong saw her mom was when she was 16, almost six decades ago.  Now 75, she was given the chance to reunite with her family after the 1950-53 Korean war.  Her mom is 100.

Last month, 200 families from North and South Korea, 100 from each side, were randomly selected for a rare opportunity to reunite with long-lost loved ones.  But the briefness of it all made the meetings exceptionally emotional.

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“We had five reunion sessions in total, spending two hours with my sister each time, in addition to a one-hour farewell meeting,” younger sister, 62-year-old Lee Kyong-hee, said in her reunification story.  “The moment Hye-gyong entered the reunion hall, I recognized her immediately even though she looks very different from what I remember about her appearance.”

While some critics say these reunification programs are cruel because the meetings are so short and communication after the reunion is still banned, others insist that it’s a step towards reconciliation between the two countries.

Click here to watch a video of the reunions. Be warned, you need tissues for this.

Suzie

Lookin’ fobulous this fall: Suwha Hong

Fall season might be a sad goodbye to warm weather, but snag a gorgeous new coat by Korean designer Suwha Hong and you’ll look hot no matter how cold it gets outside.  Born in Korea, Suwha’s childhood pastimes included “drawing princess gowns, raiding her mother’s pajama drawer for dress options and concocting imaginary tales in her head.”

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Still, it was after six years of pursuing a career as a corporate attorney that Suwha decided to quit her desk job and follow her true dream as a fashion designer.  In 2007, she launched her debut collection with incredible success, and it was featured in top fashion mags including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and Marie Claire.

Shop her fobulous new fall collection at suwha.com.

Suzie

P.S. Enter 110408 at online checkout for 20% discount!  Courtesy of Daily Candy.

South Koreans show off new infiltration techniques

Don’t worry, we try to keep things rated PG on this site.  These tanned and chiseled hunks are actually just the South Korean special warfare command soldiers participating in a sea infiltration drill.KOREA/

I wonder if they’ve considered modeling as a side job.  Check out more photos of these soliders in training here.

Amy

First Asian PGA champion brings down Tiger

PGA Championship GolfBig news for Asians around the world yesterday as South Korea’s Yang Yong-eun, 37, became the first Asian player to win a PGA major title.  Yang, who learned golf in South Korea before coming to America, made a stunning victory against Tiger Woods this weekend.

According to AP, “Woods was 14-0 when he was atop the leaderboard going into the final round of a major. He had never lost any tournament on American soil when leading by more than one shot.”

Never say never, huh.  Go Yang!

Suzie

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Wonderbaby, a new member to The Wonder Girls?

What do you get when you combine a group of cute girls, cute outfits, cute dance moves, and a catchy song?  The Wonder Girls!

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This Korean pop group originally established fame in Korea and has recently gained popularity in America as the opening act for the Jonas Brothers.  The infamous Perez Hilton has also declared his obsession with this group on his celebrity gossip site.

I always catch myself singing along to their number one hit, Nobody, and wonder how I managed to learn Korean overnight.  It seems like The Wonder Girls attract and influence music lovers of all cultures and ages, including this adorable “Wonderbaby.”

Amy

(Thanks to my 9-year old cousin, Elaine, for sharing this video with me!)

The Vietnamese Numa Numa: Fail

The Numa Numa phenomenon began when internet celebrity, Gary Brolsma, a.k.a. The Numa Numa Guy, decided to make a YouTube video of himself lip syncing and contorting his face to the lyrics of “Ma-ia hii! Ma-ia huu!  Ma-ia hoo!  Ma-ia haha!”  Since then, this catchy chorus has come back to haunt us in remakes by popular artists like Rihanna in the song “Live Your Life.” I came across a cute school girl Chinese version, as well as a schoolgirl-turned-seductress Korean version.

Then, to my dismay, I came across the Vietnamese version:

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Now let’s get this straight, I am Vietnamese and I am proud to be Vietnamese.  We have delicious food, beautiful people and renowned poker champions.  However, when it comes to Vietnamese attempts to recreate Western songs, I have to admit, it is definitely not our forte.  I am a huge fan of Vietnamese music and artists but every time I see a Vietnamese music video of an artist singing a “hip” song, I usually come across artists who look like they hired Derek Zoolander’s stylist and decided to use Adobe flash to create the so-called stunning visual effects.  Let’s not forget the choreography, which is probably inspired by the original Numa Numa Guy himself.

While I will never understand the original appeal of the Numa Numa song, I will never quite make out whether this video scares me (see minute 3:17) or mildly entertains me.

Numa Numa-1, Vietnamese Numa Numa-0

Amy Nguyen, guest fobber