Page 1

December 2016 / January 2017


issue 122


Season � � �

christmas is coming

how to celebrate your holidays in the capital

the nutcracker

bringing some christmas magic to seoul

the dmz

the ultimate day trip

Editorial Vol. 122 December 2016 · January 2017

Editorial December 2016 january 2017

When the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan became the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature this past October, many Korean broadcasting stations played his songs repeatedly for days. I never had a chance to listen to his songs or pay attention to the lyrics before, merely passing them off as too deep. And yet, there was one song in particular I heard for the first time and it lingered in my ears for days. I later learned it was “Blowing in the Wind.” I googled the lyrics but still thought it was too deep to grasp. After nearly two months, I started listening to the song again. This time, though the song was not meant to fit in the current circumstances, I believe because of the events today I understand it better than before. Recently the news has been like a downpour of terrible and provocative

O n ct ohv ee r December 2016

4 December 2016 · January 2017

january 2017

For the most magical experience this Christmas, the Universal Ballet Company bring The Nutcracker back to the stage. For a two week run only, capture this glorious performance while on in the capital. Cover Photo by Kyoungjin Kim

revelations, as reporters compete for the next scoop in the Presidential scandal. At this point it would hardly be news if some paper reported that President Park was really a man. The impeachment motion was carried by a wider-than-expect 234-56 margin in a secret ballot in parliament and nearly 70% of the public demands the President’s immediate resignation. And Park, whose approval rating stands at just 5 percent, still resists demands that she step down immediately. Korea’s confronting an unprecedented event. This is probably the most shameful time for the country. But ironically, this scandal has sprouted some signs of hope for my country. The protesters stay behind to clean up garbage and offer hugs to police in riot gear. When violence seems on the verge

of breaking out, it’s immediately subsided by protesters yelling, “Don’t attack police!” Witnessing this unexpected good side of the people, I decided to reclaim my pride in my country and its people instead of feeling ashamed. And I ask expats in Korea to keep an objective perspective when judging my country, and remember that Korea’s democracy is only 60+ years old and is still maturing. It will take years of trial and error to achieve the democracy we want, much like the growing pains other western democracies experienced in the past. And I am certain we’ll get there very soon. As for the Bob Dylan song: “How many ears must one man have/Before he can hear people cry?” Is it just me, or does that sound like it’s speaking to us now?

What's in this issue Vol. 122 December 2016 · January 2017


Sarah Watson Baik shares her two loves: Fashion and her baby

we create balance

Just Imagine...




Key People Meet Groove’s editorial team and a few of our talented contributors F o r e h e ad



Miley Cyrus

What's on Festivals, concerts, happy hours, networking and events for every day of the month

Reece Witherspoon

E y e br o w s


Jennifer Lopez

Angelina Jolie


National News National news with Korea JoongAng Daily



A Family Dental Clinic for Expats Boston Dental Clinc: A family dental clinic for expats December 2016 · January 2017







The Holidays Are Coming Get into the Christmas spirit with a list of things to do this season


The Fashionable Mom Sarah Watson Baik shares her two loves: Fashion and her baby


Duchess Of Cambridge

Moon Won Clinic This month's hairy installment Sewum Urology Clinic Reaches Out to the Community Sewum Urology Clinic Reaches Out to the Community

Penelope Cruz


Your Kids Are Scared To Speak english Getting your students to speak properly with small talk



Keira Knightley


Want to Meet People in Your Area? Join a Meet-up Group! Meeting up just became a whole lot easier


How to... Embody Korean Culture: Wear a hanbok In our new column, find out how to do things the traditional way. This month, we start with the Hanbok.

Selina Gomez

Entertainment 44

Three By… Three by blockbusters gets the big screen warmed up this winter


Looking back at music Chronicling the major events in music in 2016


Seoul National University College of Medicine graduate doctors and Foreigners friendly staff

Makin’ it to the big 2-0 Veteran punk band talks about life, changes and what keeps them rocking.


Krys Lee, finding truth on the road with North Korean refugees Speaking to the newly published author, Krys Lee


Filler, Botox, Thread Lifting, Face Lifting, Neck Lifting

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What's in this issue Vol. 122 December 2016 · January 2017


Steve Smith writes about the high mountains and villages of Kyrgystan


Enjoying The Ride New York rapper Koncept falls in love with the Korean hip-hop scene.


motor city revs up in Itaewon A Detroit pizza revolution from the Manimal folks.





Creating the snowball effect Rock and hip-hop come together for unique collaboration project.

Stacked corned beef reubens at Leo’s The reuben you've been missing is here.



Season Greetings from The Universal Ballet Company Time for magic with The Nutcracker


8 December 2016 · January 2017

Concert at the dmz Hang Joon Won talks about the recent North and South Korea peace concert


Footy Inside takes to the Internet Korea's latest Footy show hits the Internet

Food & Drink 64

The Neighborhood Sandwich Spot A restaurant you thought you knew with sandwiches you wish you did.

One Man’s mexican Artisinal Mexican food from the hands of an East LA native.


Winter Holiday Craft Beer Preview A preview of Korea's best winter holiday beers.


Game Changer in Korean craft beer Seoul beer geeks try 36 Korean beers at Can Maker


Makgeolli, Why You So sweet? A look into the makgeolli's sweet side.

Foodie Files : Chef Matthew Chung, The Beastro Chef Matthew Chung spills his food secrets.


Your World Means nothing Steve Smith writes about the high mountains and villages of Kyrgystan


All Eyes Facing North: A Day in Korea’s Demilitarized Zone Explore one of the world's most dangerous and militarized zones


You need to stop complaining and start appreciating Korea Getting to grips with the Morning Calm


place to go Plan ahead with some outdoor activities this winter


Photographer's Spotlight Bryan Watkins and Cristian-Cemeliu Bucur

세카이 노 오와리 첫 단독 내한공연 2017. 02. 18. I 토 I 오후 6시 블루스퀘어 삼성카드홀 주최







Key people Vol. 122 December 2016 · January 2017

Jordan Redmond A born-and-bred South Carolinian, Jordan has a deep appreciation for all things porcine and fierce opinions about mustard-based BBQ sauce. Other perennial palate-based pursuits include all things Mexican and Japanese as well as the perfect preparation of various types of caffeinated beverages. On Instagram @ dwaegukin

Naheen Madarbakus-Ring Naheen is the head honcho at Groove Korea. With interests in travel, Naheen also enjoys finding out about the local community in Korea. Experimenting with different styles of writing, the Brit is always looking for a new story to publish. When not behind a computer, she likes to take walks down by the stream, beachy holidays and the odd brew.

Andy Hume Andy Hume comes from Glasgow in Scotland. He has been living in Korea since 2009, mostly using the opportunity to eat and drink his way around Asia from beef rendang in Indonesia to Taedonggang beer in North Korea, and getting very fat into the bargain. When not eating or drinking beer, Andy teaches in Seoul, as well as coaching debate at Ewha University and for the Korean national team, and likes to introduce Korean friends to the best foreign food in Seoul – and vice versa – at his blog,

The most personal care for life’s most personal issues confidentality guaranteed | STD Testing

Hadrien Diez Hadrien Diez is a free-lance cultural journalist with a special interest in visual arts and literature. He focuses on questions of identity and culture, and likes artists who challenge his perspectives. Hadrien has lived in different places in Europe, Africa and Asia before settling in Seoul. His articles have appeared in various publications on these three continents.

Julia Mellor Julia Mellor is a Korean traditional alcohol specialist who has been studying brewing techniques, tasting, history and everything there is to know about the modern makgeolli industry since 2012. She founded 'Makgeolli Mamas & Papas Korea' as a means to communicate the intricacies of Korean alcohol to a wider audience. MMPK offers tasting tour experiences, brewery tours, brewing education, and industry consulting for anyone looking to expand and deepen their knowledge of makgeolli, soju and all the other highlights of Korean alcohol.

Comprehensive urology services STI related exam & treatment Voiding dysfunction Sexual dysfunction General urology LGBT friendly Dr. Sean, Sung Hun, Park, M. D.

10 December 2016 · January 2017

Steve Smith

Clinical Associate Professor of Urology A¡ou Universjty, School of Medicine

From the -30 degree days of Northern Greenland, to +52 degree days of the Middle East, and now in mild and beautiful Korea, Steve Smith has been an expat for over 12 years. His spare time is dedicated to photography, and adventure motorcycling, and loves to share his experiences with friends both new and old.

US Trained Urologist

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Heather Allman Heather Allman comes from the United States and currently resides in Jeonju. With a background in International Relations and Spanish, she has a dexterity for language and a passion for world travel. Heather’s ambition is to combine her loves of writing and globe trotting into one big, multilingual, career fantástico. Mon - Fri 10:00am - 6:00pm / sat 10:00am - 3:00pm

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Do-shik Kim D.M.D. University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine Periodontics(Gum disease) American Academy of Periodontics Periodontal Prosthesis American Academy of Osseointegration Dental Implant American Dental Association

Community ENTERTAINMENT TRAVEL music FOOD & DRINK PHOTO editor-at-large

naheen Madarbakus-Ring emma KALKA jordan Redmond steve smith rob SHELLEY Co py Editors

gil Coombe, rob Shelley W RITERS & CONTRIBUTORS

Dental Implant Crowns (caps) & Fixed Bridges Teeth Whitening Esthetic dentistry (Veneers & Bonding) Periodontal Scaling & Surgery

Jack Baer, Ali Saleh, Steve Lemlek, Naheen Madarbakus-Ring Liam Ring, David Murphy, Emma Kalka, Simon McEnteggart Rob Shelley, Barbara Bierbrauer, Jason Newland Yoo Jin Oh, Casey Mann, Andy Hume, Julia Mellor Naomi Blenkinsop, Jordan Redmond, Iztok Fister Dusan Fister, Dianne Pineda, Steve Smith, Kiwi Chamber BCCK, IAK, Irish Embassy, Hancinema, BIFF, Peter Kim Robert Evans, Lorenzo Corti, Anuj Madan,Clayton Jones

Kaegan Saenz, Giovanni Tamburrini, El Pino 323 Dukhwa, Heather Allman, Clayton Jones Hyung-joon Won, Lindenbaum Music Company, Catherine Lee ART & DESIGN


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To contribute to Groove Korea, email or the appropriate editor. To have Groove Korea delivered to your home or business, email To contribute to groovekorea, promote an event or share your opinions, please email or the appropriate editor. The articles are the sole property of GROOVE MEDIA CO. Ltd. No reproduction is permitted without the express written consent of GROOVE MEDIA CO. Ltd. The opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.


All rights reserved Groove Korea Magazine 2016


CALENDAR Dec 2016-jan 2017

What's on MON









Passenger live in Seoul Jan 7 | Blue Square, Yongsan-gu Seoul The Garden of Morning Calm Lighting Festival Dec 2-March | Gapyeong, Gyeonggi-do

Happy Holidays!

DIEGO & FRIDA; a smile half way Dec 6-17 | Korean Foundation Gallery at Jongro Seoul



Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival Jan 7-19

ALPHONSE MUCHA; The Pioneer of Modern Graphic Design Dec 3 until March 2017 | Seoul Arts Center

LE CORBUSIER special exhibition Dec 6 until March 2017

THE NUTCRACKER performed by Universal Ballet Dec 16-31 | Universal Art Center | Gwangjin-gu, Seoul

13 Clean Bandit live in Seoul Jan 8 | YES24 LIVEHALL, Gwangjin-gu Seoul

LOOK SMITHSONIAN photo exhibition Dec 10 until March 2017 | DDP | The first overseas exhibition by Smithsonian

Egyptian Treasures; To live forever Dec 20 until April 2017 | National Museum of Korea


14 December 2016 · January 2017

Gangwon province


Gyeongbuk province

HOMIGOT Sunrise / Pohang

ULSAN Ganjeolgot Sunrise

METALLICA Worldwired Tour Jan 11 | Gochuck Skydome, Guro-gu Seoul

RONN BRANTON Jazz concer Sejong Center TYCHO live in Seoul Jan 14 | Hyundai Card Understage, Yongsan-gu Seoul


Jeonbuk province

Jeonnam province

YEOSU Hyangriam Sunrise

Chungnam province


JEFF BECK live in Seoul Jan 22 | Olympic Park

15 December 2016 · January 2017

THE NUTCRACKER performed by Universal Ballet Dec 16-31 | Universal Art Center | Gwangjin-gu, Seoul


There is a specific characteristic of Lee Moon Won Clinic that the treatment is focused on 2 steps. Successful progress of treatment following these 2 steps minimizes the possibility of recurrent hairloss. It is the same as reconstruction after war; the damage can be quickly restored, and the possibility of starting the war again is eliminated.

Story and Photos by Lee Moon Won Clinic

December, as the last month of each year, is always associated with holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s. There is a saying, “How you celebrate New Year’s Eve is how your entire next year will be.” So the importance of looking great and feeling healthy and happy on that day is crucial for many people.

Scalp & Regeneration


here are so many things we can wish for: family bliss, health, education, travel opportunities, money, weight loss, and even social network popularity. But for some the wish could be so simple; that their only worry and hope for the next year is to look better, to look prettier with a new hair style. To make sure your hair and scalp are healthy next year, check for the presence of redness and inflammation, especially during seasonal climate changes.

In his experience, Dr. Lee Moon Won has examined lots of patients with scalp redness and partly thinning hair during seasonal changes.

Useful tips to prevent hair loss in the cold seasons Get Enough Sleep

Eat fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Exercise Your heart And lungs

The treatment of the scalp dermatitis can be largely divided into two steps. STEP 1 Blocking the inflammation from occurring or stopping its development.

The regeneration from hair loss can be also divided into two steps. STEP 1 Preventing the progression of hair loss and regenerating the thickening hair from thinning hair. STEP 2 Stimulating new hair growth from empty follicles.

STEP 2 Regenerating the damaged due to the inflammation of skin tissues and vascular our body malfunctioning or its ability to handle daily stress or tension.

Why is the regenaration of the scalp and hair so important in winter? Redness of the scalp indicates that there is inflammation. The more severe the inflammatory reactions become, the more red and itchy the scalp becomes, often with accompanying dandruff. Even if there are no other symptoms, having your hair designer or people around you note the redness of your scalp is generally a sign that your hair is gradually thinning. If you could observe

your scalp using a microscope with a magnification of 60 times, I'm sure you could distinguish between thinner and thicker hair. Fortunately thinner hair can become thicker again through treatment. In contrast, if we continue to let hair thin without treatment, then the thinning will continue to occur, become worse, and empty pores will begin replacing the weak thinning hair.

The important functions of prescribed medication and natural herbs used in step 2 treatment 1 Stimulating secretion for better recovery of original skin tissue; 2 Reducing the substances causing inflammation; 4 Stimulating secretion of substances involved in the growth of the hair, helping the hair grow back better; Healthy Scalp

The regeneration process of follicles with new hair grow

It's possible to treat scalp redness through the treatment of the inflammation. However, getting rid of the inflammation is not simply all you need to do in this case. It is always critically important that, after removing the inflammation, the new skin (scalp) begins regeneration. It’s the same story with your hair. In addition to eliminating the causes of hair loss, it is also very important to start the regeneration the process so your thinning hair can become thick and bold back again.

Inflamed scalp with redness

Like reconstruction in the aftermath of war Let’s compare redness on the scalp and thinning hair with the aftermath of war. The state when we start the reconstruction of cities destroyed by the war is similar to how one needs hair treatment have the inflammation of the scalp and hair thinning.

5 Promoting generation of blood vessels and a smooth circulation of the blood supply.

During this treatment it is recommended 1 Reduce drinking coffee and alcohol 2 Avoid eating fried food and consume less food 3 Daily intake of Vitamins C and B 4 7-8 hours of sleep a day 5 Drink lots of water

17 December 2016 · January 2017

16 December 2016 · January 2017

3 Increasing immunity to help to better endure the irritation from external infection;

Medicinal herbs based regeneration for scalp and hair • Treatment on distance • Safety and organic ingredients

Scalp & Hair Medical Care program

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Scalp & hair Examination Program

Examination program

The most important in the treatment of hair loss is to clarify the causes of hair loss, and then the selection of individual treatment for each patient based on the state of the scalp and hair.

Computer examination and diagnosis Check condition and get consultation from specialist, treatment program matching, medicine prescription.

Treatment program

Time 2 hours / Examination fee 50.000 KRW

The professionalism and tireless work on the improvement of methods and products for the treatment of alopecia gave many answers to solving hair and scalp problems. Dr. Lee Moon Won provides you only the best achievements of the laboratory experiments to reach safe and long lasting result of the treatment.

BEAUTY HAIR OR SCALP CARE All hair types to optimize scalp conditions for healthy, manageable hair, more radiance, vitality and suppleness.

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Hair Lab Hair Beauty and style

Professional hair designer will provide you with any type of professional hair- style service based on your individual hair and scalp condition; tips how to cover hair imperfections and bald areas.

Advanced recovery treatment for scalp and hair including hair styling to add shine, volume and texture. Time 3 hours / Price 295,000 KRW

LEE MOON WON Homecare product

High quality natural care for professional and home use, developed by Dr.Lee Moon Won for his patients. Easy in use and suitable for all types of hair and skin. Prevent your hair through everyday care.

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FREE GIFT COUPON LMW SHAMPOO - 59,000KRW Applicable for Scalp & Hair Medical Care program • Reservation only • Valid untill Dec 31, 2016 Please present it to the reception desk when you visit our clinic at first place.

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3F, Lee&Yu b/d, 69-5 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea 070-7492-5258 010-4249-3889 / 010-2966-3839

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Nati onal Ne ws

In association with December · January 2016 / All stories are culled with consent from Korea JoongAng Daily’s website and edited by Groove Korea for length and clarity. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Groove Korea. — Ed.

Park impeached T

20 December 2016 · January 2017

he National Assembly impeached President Park Geun-hye Dec. 9, suspending a second-generation Korean president brought low by a bizarre scandal over the influence she gave a friend in state affairs. Lawmakers approved the impeachment motion 234-56 in a secret ballot vote. Of the 300 members of the National Assembly, 299 lawmakers cast votes and 234 supported the impeachment, 56 opposed it, while two abstained. Seven votes were invalid. Saenuri Rep. Choi Kyung-hwan did not participate in the voting. The motion to oust the president was sponsored by 171 lawmakers from three opposition parties and independents, and it passed with hefty support from representatives belonging to Park’s own ruling Saenuri Party. The overwhelming support for the motion was an indication that many ruling party lawmakers - even the so-called Park loyalists - turned against the president. If all 172 opposition and independent lawmakers are assumed to have supported the motion, 62 out of the 128 Saenuri lawmakers also voted for it. “I am truly regretful that the country has to go through this enormous turmoil amid the security and economic hardships due to my

lack of virtue and carelessness,” Park said at a meeting with the cabinet following her impeachment. She summoned the prime minister and ministers to the Blue House following the vote. “I take the voices of the National Assembly and the people seriously and I sincerely hope that the current confusion will conclude smoothly,” Park said. “I will respond calmly to the Constitutional Court’s trial and the independent counsel’s investigation, following the procedures defined by the Constitution and laws.” Park urged the people to trust and rely on public servants working diligently and faithfully. She requested the prime minister and the rest of her cabinet to do their best to minimize the administrative vacuum. Park’s presidential powers were suspended immediately after the impeachment motion was delivered to the Blue House. Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn became acting president and will oversee state affairs as the Constitutional Court deliberates the legitimacy of the impeachment. The court has 180 days to decide whether to remove Park permanently. Six of its nine judges have to confirm the legislature’s action. Park was impeached over alleged viola-

tions of the constitution and criminal laws. The opposition Minjoo Party of Korea, the People’s Party and the Justice Party as well as independent lawmakers who sponsored the motion said Park committed a grave violation of the constitution by allowing her secret inner circle, including longtime friend Choi Soon-sil, to interfere in state affairs. The motion also accused Park of failing to properly respond to the sinking of the Sewol ferry in April 2014, in which 304 passengers died after a delayed government response. The motion said Park violated Article 10 of the Constitution, which demands she protect the lives of citizens. Last month, prosecutors indicted Choi on charges of abusing her ties with the president to influence state affairs and coerce conglomerates to donate about 80 billion won ($69 million) to two foundations she controlled. They accused the president of being a co-conspirator in those crimes. Prosecutors could not press charges against Park because of her presidential immunity from criminal indictment. She can be indicted after she leaves the presidency. Based on the indictments, the three opposition parties laid out a wide range of alleged constitutional and criminal violations committed by Park as grounds for impeachment. Park became the second Korean president to be impeached by the National Assembly. In 2004, the legislature voted to impeach President Roh Moo-hyun for alleged breach of political neutrality - Roh asked voters to support his party - but the Constitutional Court overturned the decision two months later. Park is the daughter of the late Park Chung Hee, the military strongman who took power in a coup in 1961 and governed Korea until his assassination in 1979. If the Constitutional Court decides to uphold the impeachment, Park will become the first Korean president to be dismissed before

the end of her term. A presidential election for a successor will take place in two months. The ruling party, which has taken a large share of blame for the crisis, vowed that it will completely reform itself. “With a determination that one who has tied a knot must untie it,” said Rep. Kim Sung-won, spokesman of the Saenuri Party, “we will turn over a new leaf to meet the people’s expectations.” The main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea said the impeachment was a victory for the people. “Impeachment is the new beginning,” Rep. Yoon Kwan-seok, spokesman of the Minjoo Party, said. “We will make sure that state affairs will be normalized.” The National Assembly opened a plenary session at 3:02 p.m. on Friday, and Speaker Chung Sye-kyun tabled the impeachment motion immediately. Rep. Kim Kwan-young, deputy floor leader of the People’s Party, took the stand and explained the intention of the motion to lawmakers. “President Park has neglected her duty as the head of the state and the leader of the administration and violated the Constitution and laws in the line of performing her duty,” he said. “From the perspective of protecting the Constitution, this is a grave, unacceptable violation. She fundamentally abandoned the people’s confidence in the president.” The voting began at 3:24 p.m. and ended at 3:53 p.m. Speaker Chung announced the outcome of the vote at 4:09 p.m. “The National Assembly passed the motion to impeach President Park Geun-hye,” he said, adding that the tragedy of presidential impeachment should never have to be repeated. Following the passage, Prime Minister Hwang telephoned Defense Minister Han Min-koo to increase military readiness against a possible North Korean provocation. Han issued the order and summoned a meeting of the major commanders from around the country. While there is no specific law governing the scope of authority of the acting president, the presidential impeachment in 2004 is expected to serve as a precedent. After Roh was impeached, Prime Minister Goh Kun served as acting president but he exercised power in a limited way. Presidential powers include the right command the nation’s armed forces, diplomatic power, veto power and authority to appoint and fire public servants. The president also has the right to declare martial law and the right to issue pardons. Experts say that Hwang, as acting president, must refrain from exercising presidential powers that could have far-reaching consequences. “Appointing a constitutional court chief justice or a Supreme Court justice, whose tenures are six years, or signing a treaty with another country must not be done by the acting president,” said Lee Jong-soo, a public administration professor of Yonsei University. Hwang, however, is expected to perform presidential duties that are crucial for national security and operate the administration. He will host cabinet meetings, chair the National Security Council and perform diplomatic activities as acting head of the state, such as receiving foreign dignitaries. While her powers are suspended, Park will maintain her title as president. She will also receive security protection and treatment as the head of state. The Blue House secretariat will also be maintained, but will assist the acting president. Park will be allowed to live in her residence inside the Blue House compound during the Constitutional Court’s deliberation on the impeachment. She will also receive the presidential salary for the time being, but not special operations expenses.

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22 December 2016 · January 2017


scandal dragging down the Park Geun-hye number of provincial education administration. chiefs declared Oct. 27 they will The drafts unveiled by the Education not accept state-authored histoMinistry recognized President Park Chung ry textbooks in their schools, a Hee, the late father of the current president, day after the Ministry of Education revealed drafts of the texts. “We cannot use a state his- as a dictator, which was considered a positive tory textbook that has not garnered the con- sign by scholars. But the high school textbook spent more time describing his positive sensus of the people,” Jang Man-chae, head of the South Jeolla Provincial Office of Education, said. “The government’s plan to write middle and high school history textbooks was a retrogressive action in terms of history education.” The Ministry of Education Monday revealed draft versions of state-authored history textbooks for Korean middle and high school students. Jang said the National Council of Governors of Education requested the scrapping of state-produced textbooks on Nov. 24, and expressed regret that the government chose to unveil its drafts and ignore the education chiefs’ demand. “Revealing the textbook drafts nonetheless is regretful because it is damaging historic legitimaThe incorrectly drawn and publicized Taegukgi by the Education Ministry cy,” he said. “In order to minimize chaos in the educational arena in achievements than his faults. It also said the 2017, education chiefs nationwide will respond Republic of Korea was formally established on together.” Aug. 15, 1948, three years after Japan ended its The final versions of the state-produced 35 years of colonialism rule over the Korean textbooks are set to be released in late January Peninsula. Liberal scholars see 1919 as the of2017 and distributed to middle and high school ficial founding of the Republic of Korea, when students across the nation in March 2017. The drafts, authored by teachers, profes- a provisional government was founded in Shanghai by independence activists. sors, researchers and retired scholars, were Opposition councilmen in the Gyeongrevealed in the middle of an abuse of power

gi Provincial Council’s education committee also demanded the scrapping of state-issued textbooks, declaring in a statement they constituted a “government monopoly of history.” Members of the Gyeonggi education committee from the Minjoo Party of Korea said in a press conference, “Some 80 percent of history professors nationwide refused to take part in the writing [of the textbooks] and some 90 percent of middle and high school history teachers are opposed to the state-authoring of textbooks. State-written textbooks, another monopoly in state affairs, need to be scrapped and the chaos in schools and education must be ended.” The Jeju branch of the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union also released a statement denouncing the textbooks. It said they deny the April 3, 1948 uprising on the island, which led to a government massacre of tens of thousands of people. The union’s North Chungcheong chapter also staged a rally in Cheongju demanding the scrapping of textbooks that are “pro-Japanese, glamorizing of dictatorship and unconstitutional.” In just one day since the state-written drafts were revealed, the Education Ministry received over 340 suggestions on its website on the issue. The Education Ministry faced ridicule for getting its drawing of the Taegukgi, the Korean flag, wrong in an online cartoon on its Facebook page that was supposed to publicize the textbook drafts. The ministry was forced to issue an apology on the same day

SNU professor addresses man who accosted her


female foreign professor at Seoul National University wrote an open letter to a man on campus who allegedly accosted her in October 2016 and became hostile after she refused to help him pronounce the word “coincidence.” Olga Fedorenko, an assistant professor at the Department of Anthropology, whose nationality is Russian, wrote in a 1,402-word open letter that she was walking alone on a “dark, isolated street” at the school in Gwanak District, southwestern Seoul, at 9 p.m. on Oct. 5, when a man approached her, held out his cell phone and asked her how to pronounce the English word. “I wondered if it was a really awkward pickup line,” Fedorenko recalled. “I told you that I don’t want to talk to you. It was a weird request, the street was poorly illuminated, and there was no one around.” When she turned to walk away, the man

allegedly began to shout at her and use “aggressive” body language, evidently because she had used the word “weird.” Fedorenko reportedly called security and walked to a main street, but the young man followed, lurking behind her and swearing in Korean, until three Korean women approached to help and try to reason with him. “I was astonished to hear that this whole situation was actually my fault,” wrote the professor. “I apparently embarrassed you by refusing to engage with you.” She also wrote, “To my utter disbelief, I think the three women even apologized to you on my behalf.” According to the letter, the altercation came to an end when a security guard appeared, at which point the man claimed he was a computer science student at the school. Fedorenko wrote that the security guard walked her home because she feared the man

would follow her and take revenge for his “embarrassment.” On Oct. 22, Fedorenko did not respond to the Korea JoongAng Daily’s multiple requests for comment. Another professor at the College of Social Sciences told the paper in a telephone interview that Fedorenko was “baffled” that her letter was spreading across social media. She was “very upset,” the professor said, that it got onto Facebook and is refusing all media inquiries. The professor explained that Fedorenko had uploaded her letter to an exclusive website accessible only by herself and the students taking her “Globalizing Korea” course. “The letter was meant to start a debate on stereotypes among class members,” the professor said, adding that a student seemed to have uploaded it to Facebook without Fedorenko’s permission. The school said it did not know whether the man was actually their student.

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School chiefs, teachers say no to history books

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Pirates’ Kang charged with driving while intoxicated


ittsburgh Pirates infielder Kang Jung-ho was booked by the Gangnam Police Precinct in southern Seoul for drunken driving on Dec. 2. The 29-year-old Major League Baseball player drove his car under the influence of alcohol and jumped the curb near Samseong Station in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, at 2:45 a.m. on Dec. 2, according to police. A subsequent investigation found Kang was drinking at a friend’s house in nearby Samseong-dong and was on his way to the hotel where he was staying. Police said he fled the scene but later admitted to the charges and returned home at around 6 a.m. Kang’s blood alcohol level when police apprehended him was 0.084 percent, the level at which one’s driver’s license can be revoked. Police said it will toss the case to prosecutors. This is not the first time Kang has run

afoul of the law. In July, he was investigated by police in Chicago for alleged sexual assault. A woman filed a complaint with police saying Kang, whom she had met through a dating app, took her to his hotel and served her an alcoholic drink that caused her to black out for 15 to 20 minutes. No charges were filed, and Kang’s status with the team remained unchanged. But this time, there is a high chance the team will mete out penalties to Kang, who has been charged with drunken driving. “We are extremely disappointed in Jung-ho in his decision process during this matter,” Kang Jung-ho said the Pirates’ president,

Frank Coonelly. “I know firsthand how foolish and dangerous it is to drive under the influence and am most thankful that, as we understand it, no one was injured.”

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24 December 2016 · January 2017

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& Before









서울시 강남구 신사동 584-2번지, JK성형외과 584-2, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea Multinational Staff

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do is give a small urine and blood sample. Most ost of us feel uncomfortable tests are covered by the national health insurtalking with a doctor about ance and the results come back within a day the possibility of having a or two. Other doctors might do unnecessary sexually transmitted infectests or treatments, or charge extra for English tion (STI) and answering questions about sexconsultations, which Dr. Park thinks is monual history and symptoms. That discomfort strous. "I thought that should be stopped. Each is magnified when the doctor doesn’t underof us are an ambassador of our country. I don't stand our language and comes from a culture want [South Korea] to be blamed with more conservative values for that kind of absurdity." than our own. For those unUrology Although most of Dr. Park's comfortable discussing their problems are revenue, like most clinics in upsexual health with Korean docpretty sensitive scale neighborhoods like Gangtors, there’s the Sewum Urology and confidential, nam, come from specialized surCenter of Excellence. and foreign geries—and Dr. Park is a world Dr. Sean Park is a Clinical patients want leader in what he does—he beAssociate Professor of Urology someone who lieves that providing this form of at Ajou University and a world understands community health service is the expert in prosthetic procedures. that highest calling to which a doctor But that’s not all Dr. Park focuscan ascribe. As such, about half es on. He had his residency in or more of all outpatients at Sewum are forSuwon, near the Pyeongtaek military base, as eign-born because that’s one of the commua member of the international clinic staff. "I nities that need non-discriminatory health do know how hard it is when you can't have services the most. a proper conversation with the physicians,” As hard as it is to feel comfortable as a explains Dr. Park. “I wanted to help. Urology male or female expat, it’s even harder for problems are pretty sensitive and confidential, someone with a unique sexual or gender idenand foreign patients want someone who untity. The idea of approaching a doctor, espederstands that." cially as a gay male, and having to be honest For the standard STI check, all you need to

Add Dong-il Bd. 10th fl. 429 Gangnam-daero Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea 06612 Directions Between Gangnam and Sinnonhyeon stations, on the 10th floor of the building with the Kakao Friends store. Website Email tel +82-70-7704-9207 Hours Mon - Fri 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Sat 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Comfortable and confidential sexual health care for foreigners and the LGBTQ community Story by Rob Shelley Photos by Dukhwa

27 December 2016 · January 2017

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26 December 2016 · January 2017

Sewum Urology Clinic Reaches Out to the Community

about your sexual activity must be daunting in conservative South Korea. Yet, if one upholds the charade then they might not get as thorough or inclusive of a medical check than they would if they were honest. "Gay patients are really undertreated and neglected in this society,” Dr. Park asserts. “Not just foreign people, but Korean patients as well." In London, Dr. Park was Gay patients a guest physician at a clinic are really that performed transgender undertreated procedures. It was the first and neglected time he saw anything like it in this society,” and, as with many of us, he Dr. Park asserts. initially thought it was odd. “Not just foreign But the experience changed people, but him and he soon saw the Korean patients universality in all people as well who seek medical help. "They are a patient, regardless of their age, thier sex, their sexual orientation or gender. They're a patient and we treat patients. That's all." That's Dr. Park's philosophy as a doctor. "We serve humans." And then there’s the Korean taboo of HIV and AIDS. Dr. Park firmly believes that all patients have a right to human dignity, including their medical privacy and full range of medical options. That’s why he prescribes PrEP, a medication that reduces the risk of contracting HIV for people in high-risk situations. And, as many of us know, while Koreans with HIV/ AIDS get their treatment paid for, most foreigners simply get deported. Dr. Park disagrees with this policy and so provides complete confidentiality for his patients. Despite the success of his surgical expertise, Dr. Sean Park values helping foreigners and those discriminated against because of their sexual or gender identities. “A lot of [foreign or gay] patients here have travelled around to university hospitals and private practices but couldn't find the proper treatment," Dr Park explains, having seen seen this exact situation many times in the past. So, unable to advertise in Korean magazine for fear of blowback, this is how Dr. Park is reaching out to people who are looking for dignified, comfortable, and confidential sexual health care at an affordable price. His message: "My job to is help the patient's health, not to judge them."

Story by Rob Shelley Photos by Dukhwa


uffering from a terrible toothache, one CEO of a foreign company visited the Boston Dental Clinic, in Seoul’s picturesque French Village of Seorae-maeul, sorely in need of a root canal. He was only in the country for a short, busy stay. After the initial procedure, the clinic’s Dr. Lee tried her best to work around his busy schedule for a follow-up appointment, feeling terrible when they ultimately couldn’t make it work. Not wanting to give up on her patient’s care, she did the next best thing she could think of: found a dentist she trusted at his next destination, Australia. Finding a dental clinic in Korea that cares this much about patients, especially expat patients, can be a pain. Korea has very modern dental care, but it can be ruthless. Oftentimes, expats find themselves treated like automobiles on an assembly line. Some suspect certain dental clinics of pushing unnecessary or excessive treatment options to boost revenues. “You don't cram multiple people into one timeslot to do Although they factory dentistry,” said Dr. Kim, do specialize “where [patients] give their in aesthetic name and registration number procedures like and get seated in chair number teeth whitening, one to chair number ten and smile makeover, then the hygienist looks at you and dental prosthetics from and they formulate the treatthe best dental lab ment plan [instead of the denin the country - and tist]. Clinics where [dentists] don't really talk to patients or their customers get personal with the patient. It's include local celebrities, foreign like you get the procedure done dignitaries, and and go. I don't want that to hapdental tourists pen here.” they remain The dentists at Boston Dena family practice tal Clinic want to offer the same at heart. comfort and trust that expats have with their family doctors back home. Although they do specialize in aesthetic procedures like teeth whitening, smile makeover, and dental prosthetics from the best dental lab in the country — and their customers include local celebrities, foreign

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The madam exchanged a few words with my hyeong, quickly departed and returned almost immediately leading a procession of girls.

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Seorae Village’s Boston Dental Clinic offers high quality dental care in a friendly way

29 December 2016 · January 2017

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28 December 2016 · January 2017

A Family Dental Clinic for Expats

dignitaries, and dental tourists — they remain a family practice at heart. This family practice is familiar with the unique concerns of expat clients. They have experience processing all different kinds of medical insurance. And both dentists, as well as the hygienist, speak fluent English. Between them they’ve spent years studying in the US, Canada, and Australia. In fact, Dr. Lee and Dr. Kim first met at a Massachusetts high school they both attended and have been friends ever since. After they both went off to dentistry schools, they kept in touch and joked about one day opening a practice together. Years later, the two young dentists now run a cozy clinic in the French-influenced Seorae Village, treating local Korean and French families. Dr. Lee and Dr. Kim both genuinely care about their patients and those patients’ families, and promised themselves that they would never simply push patients through the grind. They want to build trust and loyalty by getting to know their clients through genuine human interaction. Unlike other dentists, they will gladly take the time to slowly and thoughtfully walk you through all of your options, pursue minimally invasive treatment, and try to build a comfortable rapport. Even if you just need dental advice, hygienic tips, or a second opinion: their doors are open. In the competitive jungle of Seoul, they don’t want to succeed by extracting the most value out of their clients, but by offering something that most dental clinics in this city cannot: a long-lasting relationship built on trust. “One thing I'm very proud of” says Dr. Lee, “is to have seen a patient when they were very little, and now they go to college.” Dr. Lee has many stories of the kinds of trusting relationships the Boston Dental Clinic has built since 2003. Patients who visit the clinic appreciate the quality and care they receive and frequently recommend it to their families and friends, like most of us recommend the newest HBO drama. Sometime later they’ll move away to another country; but they’ll still book appoints at the clinic. Even on vacation they’ll prioritize a stop to see their family dentist. Lately, the clinic has been reaching out to expats from outside Seorae-maeul. If you would like a chance to get an examination, mention this Groove article and get a bonus cleaning for free.

The Holidays g n i Are Com

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Korean Style Story by Naomi Blenkinsop Photos by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring

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ly indulged in on Christmas, so if you want to veer away from the typical Christmas fare you will have plenty to choose from. On the other hand, if you can’t imagine Christmas without turkey, mashed potatoes, or gravy, many highend hotels offer a gourmet Christmas dinner that is more on the pricy side. Craftworks in Haebongchon, and Wolfhound Pub in Itaewon, along with several other restaurants, will also be selling advance tickets for their annual Christmas dinners soon. Christmas may not be the most important holiday on the Korean calendar but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find fun ways to celebrate this special holiday. It might not be the same as what you are accustomed to back home, but it is sure to be an experience you won’t soon forget. Merry Christmas!.

31 December 2016 · January 2017

30 December 2016 · January 2017

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he Christmas holiday season celebrations start as early as November in South Korea. Several stores and cafés have already started decorating for Christmas and selling holiday merchandise. Christmas is a very popular holiday and South Korea is one of the only Asian countries where it is recognized as an official holiday. Despite its commercial and religious value around the country, many new SK residents are surprised to find that Christmas does not hold the same significance as it does in the West. Christmas is commonly celebrated as a holiday for couples or as an opportunity to go out with friends. Many Koreans flock to department stores, go to amusement Even though parks, or eat out at restaurants Christmas does on the actual day. Even though not hold the same Christmas does not hold the sway as it does in same sway as it does in the West, the West, there there are still many ways to get are still plenty of your Christmas on in South Koways to get your rea. Whether you want to join Christmas on in the crowds and have a uniquely South Korea. spirit with jazzy rearrangeKorean Xmas experience or enments of classic Christmas joy a more traditional one, Seoul carols and jingles. Branton will has your Christmas taken care of. also be playing at the Seeding Arts Center on For those of you on a budget, South Korea December 24. If you’re a jazz aficionado, this is has plenty on offer during the Christmas holone show you won’t want to miss. idays. If you are a sucker for fairy lights and Ice skating is a Christmas tradition for decorations, many department stores spare no many families around the world on Christexpense in their holiday displays. These are mas. Continue this tradition in high style at perfect for a moonlit walk with your signifithe Grand Hyatt Seoul, which has an indoor cant other, or with friends and family. Shinseskating rink that is definitely for those with gae Department Store, Lotte Department more luxurious tastes. For those who are low Store, and The Galleria have lavish annual on cash after doing all their Christmas shopdisplays with different themes. Don’t miss ping, head on over to Seoul Plaza Outdoor out on Seoul Plaza’s incredible Christmas tree Rink, which only costs KRW 1,000 to enter right next to City Hall either. For those of you and which also has free skate rentals. If you craving a more traditional Christmas experihave a few days off over the Christmas break, ence, head on over to Myeongdong Cathedral, you might even opt to go skiing. There is no which has a nativity scene and more religious shortage of ski resorts in South Korea and it’s Christmas decorations. a great way to have fun with a large group of If you’re celebrating with children this friends or with family. year, amusement parks are another extremely Another staple of the Seoul holiday seapopular way to spend your Christmas. All the son is the French Christmas Market, which major parks hold annual Christmas festivals, does not actually happen on the day but is running from November to early January. This considered by many to be a fun way to get year, Lotte World will host the “Happy Christinto the holiday spirit. It is also a great place mas Festival” with a White Christmas theme. to buy gifts for coworkers and friends. They Visitors can expect to see the entire theme commonly sell several French favorites such park loaded with Christmas decorations along as mulled wine, French cheeses, and foie gras. with a snowman photo zone at Santa Village. You can also listen to your favorite Christmas The newly added Christmas Character Parade songs in French and, of course, Santa Claus will also take place alongside a musical, ice will be there. rink band show, and other performances. Eating out at a fancy restaurant is also a For those with jazzier tastes, American common Christmas pastime in South Korea. jazz pianist Ronn Branton will be playing Many popular fine dining restaurants will be his annual Christmas concert at Seoul Arts fully booked during the holiday season so be Center on December 25. This special concert sure to book far in advance. Turkey, mashed also promises to deliver some of the Christmas potatoes and all the fixings are not common-

TV host Sarah Watson-Baik has made maternity style more chic and modern than ever Story by Dianne Pineda Photos by Sarah Watson-Baik

Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (


ashi F m o M


e h T e l b a on


f all her stylish moments, having a baby bump is TV host Sarah Watson-Baik’s best look yet. Aside from being the star of her YouTube channel Urbanwit and also various TV segments focusing on Korean and Asian fashion trends (#Joahgram for CJ E&M’s digital platforms K-StyleTV and KConTV as well as Fox’s The Hip List on Starworld Asia), Sarah has a new role to fill – motherhood. In between shuffling around Asia’s fashion meccas and sitting in the front row seats for several of Korea’s hippest fashion shows, Sarah didn’t let pregnancy slow her down. She shares, “I really enjoy fashion events so I kept going out, even when shooting. I was even travelling to a new city in Asia every three days. I really had an active pregnancy but I think I was able to do that because I was so excited and kept a positive outlook.”


A lot of the people in the industry have been encouraging, but some of the more traditional Koreans give her curious looks whenever she passes by.

Having been a strong advocate of Asian fashion, Sarah has worn outfits made by top designers (with Korea’s most sought-after designer Lie Sang Bong being her close friend), so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her strutting around in style in her baby-bump glory. “I find typical pregnancy clothes, especially in Korea, tend to be so casual and baggy, which is not flattering and ends up making you look even bigger,” she says. “It’s like people are trying to hide the fact there are pregnant or feel like that once they are pregnant they need to check out from fashion.” Not one to give up her style staples, she attended fashion events in form-fitting, jersey bodycon dresses, heels (comfortable and safe, of course), statement bags, and eyewear. For Sarah, it’s more than just looking fabulous and made up: it’s all about being proud of her baby bump and showing the world that pregnant moms can look even more beautiful with it. “I think it’s important to keep enjoying fashion and dressing for your silhouette, so I tried to work with my curves and show off the bump! Be proud of such a wonderful time in your life!”

33 December 2016 · January 2017

Not your ordinary mom

C OMMU NITY Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

C OMMU NITY Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

Another one of Luna’s firsts will be this coming Christmas, which also happens to be close to her 100th day, and is celebrated in Korean culture (백일). Almost at the end of 2016, Sarah and her family were given such a dear blessing, and in the New Year, she only wishes one thing: “I wish for a safe and loving world for my daughter. You know, the future is female!”

35 December 2016 · January 2017

34 December 2016 · January 2017

named her Luna, which is both meaningful A lot of the people in the industry have and fitting for her day of birth. Luna is a Latbeen encouraging and complimented Sarah, in name and the Roman goddess of the moon, but some of the more traditional Koreans give which, for the baby’s father, holds a symbolher curious looks whenever she passes by. In ic meaning. Sarah explains, “He has always a way, she’s breaking away from the norms of had the philosophical goal of building on the maternity wear and shows that indeed, moms moon. Even before our pregnancy, he always know best – even in fashion. Some of her best imagined his daughter to be tips when it comes to dressing part of a generation that would up your bump include, “Play be able travel to space for leiwith fitted items to show the Luna is a Latin sure. Additionally, she arrived bump paired with flowing items name and the the day before Chuseok, Korea’s to cover the bits you don’t want Roman goddess of full moon Thanksgiving.” to show. Also, don't be afraid of the moon, which, Ever since she gave birth, color!” And more importantfor the baby’s Sarah has kept every little ly, “Try not to think differently father, holds memorable first in mind – from about your style and continue to a symbolic the moment Luna opened her have fun with fashion!” meaning. eyes, to every new movement, to her first smile. And if there’s A little bundle of joy one thing Sarah believes and practices as Having a child is a gift both to Sarah and a mom, it’s keeping the baby close to her as her husband, Jiwon Baik, architect and CEO much as possible. “I’m a big fan of babywearof Urbantainer, known for shipping container ing and co-sleeping and can’t imagine how I architecture (most notably Common Ground could get by (or sleep!) without it. Just as with and Club Octagon), so the couple wanted to fashion, I don’t think being a mom has to be give their child a precious name. After all, a limiting to what you are able to do nor do you name will be one of the first things people will have to leave your child at home. I think it’s learn about a child and it will be a key part of great to include your children in your normal their identity. So, when Sarah gave birth to lifestyle and not separate them from it.” a baby girl after four years of marriage, they

onday. 2pm. A handful of elementary school students have just finished a full day of learning at their public school. As soon as they’re let out, they run to the local bus stop to catch a tiny rural 10-seater to my hagwon. They bust through my front door, bowing to the Korean employees, and awkwardly half-waving half-bowing to me. With barely a few minutes to spare between public school and my English class, each of these adolescent monsters has managed to cram as many snacks into their hands as they can from the local convenience store. Jenny, my star student in my 3pm class, usually pounds down a cup of buldalk bokkeum myun (“spicy fire noodles”) next to the small trashcan near the door. No food is allowed in any of the classrooms, and all the rugrats know it. So they’ll devour whatever they can get in their mitts at the threshold of the hagwon. Jenny’s four other classmates mimic her. Between gummy worms, chocolate, and ramen… by the time these kids get ready to learn in my class, they’ll be in that weird dichotomous place between physical exhaustion and a sugar-fueled high.

Perfect. This is my part-time job. I’ve transitioned

into teaching adults at my main school, but I moonlight here to support my restaurant addiction (yashik is my vice, for those of you who know it). And, if I’m being completely honest, I enjoy teaching children.

In moderation. I burned myself out on the full-time elementary and middle school gigs a long, long time ago. Children are vacuums. They require a lot of energy and a lot of patience. After all those years, I’m all but drained. But if I can get away with teaching them just a few hours a week… well, that’s the perfect dose. After binging on their convenience store snacks, Jenny and her friends will hurry into class. They all take a seat. I ask Jenny to stand up. Today’s her turn. “Jenny, what are my rules?”. She hastily writes onto the whiteboard “No Korean, No Touching, No Shouting”. “Jenny, please ask everyone’s names.” Jenny looks at her classmates, and one-byone prompts them with “What’s your name?” Anytime I start a new job, with new kids, they’re deathly afraid to speak to me. They avoid conversations. If I dare to ask them a question, they’ll look at me with a blank face and say “Molla”, terrified of answering in front of their judging peers. They retreat into speaking in their native language.

But they’ll change. This group of kids only took two weeks to convert to English conversation. When I first started, they couldn’t even answer “What’s your name?” without sheepishly looking at their friends for support. Of course they understood me, but their confidence was in the dumps. Now that they’re used to me, and my program, they’re killing it. Often times, these small interactions at the beginning of class will evolve into short conversations, playful banter, and sometimes arguments. But I don’t care. As long as they’re speaking in English, I wouldn’t care if they’re knocking over a liquor store in Albuquerque. They’re speaking English! And that’s my goal. “Jenny, it’s time for small talk. Can you make one big table out of the small ones?” Like a construction yard foreman, she orders her friends to rearrange the classroom. Jenny’s been a great pupil so far. I’ve only been teaching this group for a few short months, but Jenny’s managed to become a leader in her class. Although she’s not beyond reproach. She frequently sneaks Jell-O cups to her classmates when I’m not looking. She has a little prison-yard racket in our academy, but since she’s such a passionate student, I’ve decided to allow her little Shawshank-esque business continue as long as she supports our goal: speaking English Every day, before we begin our lessons,

Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

Story and Photos by Steve Lemlek


36 December 2016 · January 2017


Using small talk to transform your students

regarding the topic, but if that’s too difficult, my kids have 10 minutes of small talk. I’m then they have my small talk book. convinced that the best English experience When time’s up, I ask each of these rathat Korean students can have with their namen-eating machines what they’ve learned tive English instructor isn’t from a book, but about their partner. from holding real conversations in the class“Jenny, what did you learn about Steve?” room. That’s hard to do with the mass-pro“I learned that Steve Teacher loves to duced and downright mediocre curriculum eat gopchang, makchang, and many of us are forced to instruct chicken feet! But he hates from. So I’ve made a book with 20 different topics, touching I’m convinced that odeng” Once I’ve finished this upon weekend plans, food, muthe best English round of feedback, I reassign sic, movies, and a few more. For experience partners, and we start again. each topic, I’ve written down 10that Korean Rinse and repeat until 10 min20 questions and I’ve gone ahead students can utes has passed. And time passand translated them into Korean. have with their es quickly, which is an added You don’t need to get as crazy as I native English perk for those of you who strugdid with it, but set aside 20 mininstructor isn’t gle with filling up class time. utes before class to make some from a book, but I know this might sound creative topics with some interfrom holding real esting questions. If you want conversations in simple. It is. But it’s amazing. I’ve taught in Seoul. I’ve to translate it, you could always the classroom taught at public schools in the bribe a Korean co-worker with Paju countryside. I’ve taught at free lunch. universities along Line 1, where my students I ask Jenny, “Which topic should we dishave been too shy to answer “Hi, what are cuss?” “Food.” Of course Jenny would say that. your plans this weekend?” So when I see my So, I separate them into pairs. If I have an 12-year-old girls asking questions like “Why odd number of folks, then one lucky member don’t you like spicy food? Aren’t you Korean?”, gets Steve Teacher. I use my smartphone to I feel so invigorated. That’s a question more set a timer for 2 minutes. We then have a discomplex than a lot of my university learners cussion about food for 2 minutes. I encourage can ask. And all of my girls can do that. the students to make up their own questions

Small talk is essential for Korean students. It’s an easy, barrier-free form of English that a participant of any level can freely discuss. It’s not concerned with grammar or rote memorization. It’s conversation in its truest form. And secretly, while we teach small talk to improve their English ability, we’re also teaching them about Western culture. In order to be successful in a Western environment, they must confidently have small conversations with new people ALL THE TIME. It’s a core cultural trait that we possess that Korean people don’t. Their own manners and etiquette are so ingrained in their culture, but native English teachers never inform them about Western ones. I’ve surprised many students by criticizing their interaction with foreigners. They were shocked to learn that it’s downright rude to meekly say “Hi, how are you?” and then retreat back into your shell because you’re shy. That demure disposition is part of Korean culture during introductions but is completely unacceptable in the West. After learning small talk, my students will talk your ears off.

Steve Lemlek is the handsome (and beautifully bearded) half of “Hal & Steve English,” an English education startup trying to change how English is taught in Korea.

37 December 2016 · January 2017

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Your Kids Are Scared To h Speak Englis

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38 December 2016 · January 2017

Nonhyun serviced apartment

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We make sure you are home at the end of your day

Story by Naomi Blenkinsop Photos by Kevin O'Doherty, Michael Karczewski, Thomas Etherington, Seungjae Choi, and Linette Morgan


oreigners who move to South Korea can initially find it challenging to adapt to their new surroundings. Although a lot of useful information like subway signs, menus, and street names are displayed in English, South Korea can still be a very difficult country to navigate for non-Korean speakers. Many foreigners also feel lonely when they first arrive because it’s not so easy to meet new people. Social media in the form of Facebook groups and meetup groups have helped ease the challenging transition period that usually comes when relocating to a new country. Fortunately in the last few years, many

the other members better. meet up groups have been forming all over When the founders of the Daegu group left the country that help people find friends with the city, Etherington took over running the similar interests or just to help newcomers meet-up until he left the city himself for a new make new contacts. There has also been a sigopportunity. Etherington relocated to Seoul nificant influx of Facebook pages dedicated to in 2016 and moved into the Sindorim district. helping foreign residents access services, sell When Etherington moved to Sindorim, their goods or provide information that may he thought a similar meet-up would also be have not been previously available to non-Kouseful for people living there. “The motivarean speakers. tion to set up the crew was to help people meet Thomas Etherington, an English teacher and explore around Sindorim.” working in Seoul, has become a Inspired by the success of the part of the meet-up movement in Daegu group, Etherington deSouth Korea. Etherington origiI think a lot of cided to form his own meet-up nally hails from outside of Lonpeople arrive group on Facebook called the don and has been living in South here and don’t Sindorim Crew. Korea for three years. know anyone. The Sindorim Crew is a He started out his KoreKorea is far from Facebook group that provides an adventure in Daegu, a home for them. information in English about all city located in the southIt’s a way to come kinds of things going on in Sineast of the peninsula. out and meet new dorim. Etherington also posts Soon after his arrivpeople and feel al he joined a meet-up comfortable with dinner meet-ups at restaurants every 2 or 3 weeks on the page. group in Daegu that had your life here Unlike the Daegu group, which a large membership and was mostly made up of Enghelped him make many lish teachers, the Sindorim Crew has become new friends. This meet-up group was much more diverse. People from all over the mostly composed of English teachers. world attend the meet-up with a mish mash of While many meet-up groups are tarworking professionals, students, and visitors. geted towards those with a mutual inSince the meet-ups are advertised in English, terest such as hiking, language learnmost people who attend can speak English. ing, and cuisine, the Daegu meet-up Meet-ups usually take place on week-day group stood out because of its more evenings to accommodate those with full time laid back approach. Anyone was weljobs. Etherington has hosted six events so far come to join and its sole purpose was with around four to twelve people joining. to help members meet new people Etherington would like the meet-up to in their local community. Meet-ups grow because he thinks it could help new reswould usually consist of going out for idents in Sindorim explore their new neighdinner or to a café and getting to know

borhood and also help those who are new to South Korea settle in more quickly. “I know there are a lot of people in Sindorim and around Seoul who want to meet new people and make new friends.” Each meet-up allows members to explore their local community and see what their neighborhood has to offer. So far there has been a chimaek night, samgyeopsal night and a mart night. In the coming year Etherington intends to expand the meet-up group to include different kinds of activities such as hiking, noraebang, and bowling. Dinner meet-ups will also allow participants to sample some traditional Korean favorites and will also branch out to include international quintessential favorites such as Mexican food or pizza. The Sindorim Crew Facebook page is more than a meet-up group though and has become a very useful resource for English speakers living in Sindorim. Members are allowed to post anything they want on the page as long as it relevant to Sindorim. You can find recommendations to restaurants in Sindorim, people selling things, or recommendations for good doctors in the area. The Sindorim Crew Facebook group and others similar to it have really helped non-Korean speakers living in South Korea to adapt more easily and quickly than they normally would. “I think a lot of people arrive here and don’t know anyone. Korea is far from home for them. It’s a way to come out and meet new people and feel comfortable with your life here.” The Sindorim Crew and other similar meet-up groups and Facebook pages have really helped make life easier for new arrivals to South Korea. If you have just arrived to South Korea or will move here in the near future and want to meet new people, it is definitely worth your while to check out what’s available for you on Facebook or on the meet-up app. If you are new to Sindorim or just want to meet new people living in South Korea, check out what the Sindorim Crew has on offer. “If people come to this group, whether they lived here for a long time or short time, they can come and enjoy Korean culture with people who want to enjoy their time here.” facebook

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40 December 2016 · January 2017


he hanbok(한복), the most wellknown form of traditional Korean clothing, is one of the most idolized and well-preserved elements of Korean culture. Known for its elegance, definitive lines, full curves, and dynamic color schemes, the culturally rich and aesthetically pleasing elements of the hanbok reflect the true beauty and structure of Korean tradition. With a history over 1,600 years old, the hanbok has undergone numerous changes in style over time. Ancient mural paintings dating back to the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 BC-668 AD) provide the earliest evidence of this style of clothing, but it is the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) that is responsible for influencing the shape and style of the hanbok we are familiar with today. A little over 100 years ago, Koreans citizens wore the hanbok on a daily basis. Today, it is reserved for special events, holidays, and celebrations, though it continues to influence modern fashion from high end to street wear, and the popularity of hanbok rental shops continues to grow. The vibrant colors, illustrious fabrics, and intricate designs of the hanbok leave both Korean nationals and visitors from around the globe desiring a chance to try one on.

chon Hanok Village are the perfect settings Throughout Korea, commonly situated to wear a hanbok. There are an estimated 70 near or around palaces and traditional Hanok rental shops in these areas alone. In Jeonju, Villages, hanbok rental stores provide visitors rental shops are strewn throughout the city’s and residents with the unique opportunity Hanok Village, lining the streets to wear Korean culture. Hanof the main entrance and scatbok rental shops do not simply The vibrant tered throughout. In both cities, want patrons to try the clothes colors, some rental stores display hanon. They take pride in allowillustrious boks in their windows and othing their customers to embody fabrics, and ers on mannequins in the street, their appreciation for tradition, intricate designs making identifying them fairly while experiencing everyday of the hanbok effortless. life. There is no limit to what one leave both While renting a hanbok is can do while wearing a hanbok. Korean nationals easy, choosing one is a very Whether looking for a way to and visitors from difficult task. The rental shops create memorable photos, dressaround the globe seem to offer every design and ing up for a trip to a street vendesiring a chance color imaginable. The top of both dor, or making a bibimbap lunch to try one on. the traditional men and women’s feel even more authentic, donstyle hanbok is called a jeogori, ning a hanbok allows customers while the woman’s skirt is called a chima and to simultaneously honor a timeworn tradition the man’s pants are called baji. When selectand modern Korean culture. ing a hanbok to wear, you may mix and match If you’re interested in partaking in this the pieces. If you so choose, men can sport a age-old Korean tradition, here’s how to get chima and women are more than welcome to dressed up. The best places for renting hansport baji, however, this may result in a few boks lie within Seoul and further south in laughs from people on the street. Jeonju in the North Jeolla Province. If you’re From dark colored militaristic school uniin Seoul, Insadong, Samcheondong and Buk-

C OMMU NITY Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

Reflect the beauty of Korean culture by wearing a hanbok in the streets Story and Photos by Heather Allman

forms to a strikingly royal hanbok, it is important to choose an outfit which expresses your personality. Don’t be afraid to pick something bold; the clothing is a reflection of Korean tradition, not your own style. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, do not despair! Those working in the hanbok rental shops are always willing to assist a customer in choosing which hanbok best suits them. They’ll also ensure that you don the outfit in the correct order. For those wearing a chima, the process is not complete until the otkorum (bow) on the jeogori is tied, and the skirt is pinned properly. Once you’ve chosen your hanbok, it’s time to accessorize. Hanbok rental stores carry handbags, shoes, hats and hair accessories to complete the ensemble. After choosing a hair accessory, the employees will appropriately style your hair to respect tradition. The cost of the rental is specific to each hanbok shop and varies with the amount of time desired. Hourly rates tend to cost about KRW 10,00015,000 per hour, while some shops offer daily rentals for KRW 25,000 and up. Hanboks of different styles may carry different prices, and accessories cost anywhere from KRW 2,00010,000 extra.

So what should you do once you’re dressed? First, make sure to take a lot of pictures. There’s something undeniably special about a mix of modernity and tradition, and Hanok buildings provide the perfect backdrop for photos that will last a lifetime. Aside from taking photos, make sure to eat food, shop, wander the city, and enjoy the rich culture that lies around you. As an additional perk, Gyeongbokgung, Changgyeonggung, Changdeokgung and Deoksugung Palaces in Seoul grant free admission to any visitors wearing a hanbok. Why rent a hanbok? Wearing a hanbok is an expression of appreciation for a preserved part of Korean culture which has survived both turmoil and victory. Jordan Ostas of New Orleans rented a hanbok while visiting Jeonju’s Hanok Village. When asked why she chose to rent a hanbok and whether she would recommend it, Ostas said that, “Renting a hanbok sounded like another cool way to connect to Korean culture on my first visit. I would absolutely recommend this! It’s a fun, exciting way to enjoy new sights, sounds, and flavors. The combination of wearing a hanbok and the visual stimulation of the Hanok Village was a

very special experience.” Hanboks are available for anyone to rent, yet it is much less common to see foreigners wearing them, so if you’re not a native Korean, be ready for a little extra attention. When asked how Koreans reacted seeing Ostas in a hanbok, she said, “It brought them great joy, it seemed! I was greeted with many smiles, and one couple even asked to take a photo with me.” Lee Eun Jung, a native of Jeonju, said that, “It is really great to see foreigners in hanbok, and it makes me feel really happy. I think it’s part of sharing our culture with other countries. Visitors can feel how our ancestors lived, and while they wear them, it reflects a kind of beauty we sometimes can’t feel in ourselves.” Hanbok Rental Shop 3355(Gyeongbokgung) Add 45 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. tel +82-2-720-1255 cost KRW 30,000-50,000 Yu Hyun Hwa Hanbok(Samcheondong) cost KRW 10,000 per hour Add 5 Samcheong-ro 9-gil, Jungno-gu, Seoul tel +82-02-547-4440 Hanbok Rental(Jeonju’s Hanok Village) cost KRW 10,000 per hour Add 39 Eunhaeng-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea tel +82-063-282-1330

41 December 2016 · January 2017

C OMMU NITY Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

How to... Embody Korean Culture : k o b n a Wear a H


Story by Hadrien Diez Photos by Matt Douma (portraits), Nancy Resnick (covers) , Krys Lee


idely praised for her snappy style and poignant candour, writer Krys Lee gives a voice to outsiders and digs into the cracks of the Korean national psyche. The author's début Drifting House (2012), a collection of short stories, depicted embattled characters struggling with estrangement and the trauma of exile. How I Became a North Korean, her first novel, takes these themes further, something which came as a surprise to the author herself. But this dark, violent and ultimately uplifting account of the ordeal of North Korean refugees has ultimately shown Lee that “the writing never lies about a writer's obsession.”

Making Space for Genuine Stories The plot of How I Became a North Korean begins classically, with accounts of escape and of hopes for a new life. The novel's originality lies in the background of its characters. North Koreans are often represented as a faceless, uniform group in media reports and fiction, both of which typically keep the grotesque nature of the political regime as the sole point


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Meet the author of the newly published How I became a North Korean

caught and horribly exploited, the protagonists of focus. Between an apparatchik's son whose see their dreams of a new life evaporate. “Evfortunes have shifted and a poor peasant girl erything about North Korea is permeated by forced to risk it all because of an illegitimate fear,” Lee states. “I wanted to capture that”. pregnancy, Lee chooses to depict refugees The young refugees’ hopes who have nothing in common. “I shoot up when they meet a wanted to rise above usual simseemingly debonair Christian plistic images of North Korea,” To the author, missionary who heads a peoshe says. “It was important to the influence ple-smuggling network. Lured by give a space to genuine stories.” that reality and the promise of a safe passage to Lee got to know these stories fiction bear on the South, they find themselves first hand while assisting claneach other goes destine networks in China in much deeper than trapped instead. The churchman bringing North Korean refugees the transposition insists that they learn the Bible by heart in a grim hideaway beto safety in the South. (As an of anecdotes, fore continuing their journey. ally of Pyongyang, China disas vivid as they might be. “Someday you'll understand that courages attempts to help North though the body might be safe Korean refugees and often sends in South Korea, we're keeping them back to their country.) “I you here to save your soul,” he spits out at one happen to know people who are engaged in point. This improbable situation was directly that cause,” she tempers when explaining her inspired by real events; during her time on the involvement, “but I would rather describe myborder, Lee encountered a North Korean refuself as an accidental activist.” gee kept in perpetual hiding by a missionary The plot of Lee's novel is anchored in the as a poster boy for Christian conversion. Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, a Chinese territory adjacent to North Korea. Destitute, crippled by the terror of being Claiming reality through fiction To the author, the influence reality and fiction have on each other goes much deeper than the transposition of anecdotes, as vivid as they might be. The experience of being uprooted that she shared with the refugees that she encountered acted as a catalyst. “At first, I did not mean to write about North Korean refugees myself. Instead, I was encouraging some of them to pen their stories,” she confesses. “But I came to realise that their world was the closest to me at the time. It slowly imposed itself on me.” Born in South Korea, Lee emigrated to the US with her parents at the age of 4 and kept moving from city to city all her childhood. “The longing feeling was a constant companion,” the author recalls, to such an extent that she stills permanently feels in between plac-

es today. Indeed, Lee's stories may vary but distinct patterns emerge in her oeuvre. The refugees of How I Became a North Korean share the same longing for the memories they have left behind as several of the protagonists in Drifting House. Once they reach a position of security, they develop the same uneasiness with their new, supposedly better lives. “My characters are often outsiders. They masquerade as people who belong, but they do not.” Violence and religion are other themes that haunt Lee's writing. Although the character is inspired by real events, the boorish missionary in How I Became a North Korean reminds the reader of the tyrannical churchman in Drifting House. The warped use of Christianity, with its emphasis on sin, guilt and having one’s soul saved, permeates the collection of short stories. “I grew up in a very religious environment. And my father could be very violent,” Lee says simply. The author came back to Korea after her studies were completed, and an initially intended short visit unexpectedly turned permanent. “I needed to understand the other self in me. I wanted to become a Korean.” Writing came as a natural way of confronting the multiple issues that arose upon her return. “Georgia O'Keefe once said that there were things in herself she could only clarify in paint,” she quotes. “I clarify myself in words.” Now a professor of creative writing at Yonsei University in Seoul, Lee ponders how her writing has been dependent on specific moments in her life. “I always remind my students of the urgency to write a story,” she explains. “If you wait too long, it will not fit with who you are any more”. As for now, the writer seems to have entered a more peaceful phase. The novel she is currently working on, a story of people who live underground and believe that the world has ended, will give space to different themes. “Grace and love are becoming important in my writing,” she reckons.

Lee got to know these stories first hand while assisting clandestine networks in China in bringing North Korean refugees to safety in the South.

43 December 2016 · January 2017

C OMMU NITY Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

Krys Lee, finding truth on the road with North Korean refugees

his December, rather than spreading typical festive cheer, the K-film industry is releasing a bevy of highoctane blockbusters exploring corruption and political intrigue. The timing couldn’t be better with the political landscape of Korea and much of the Western world in a state of turmoil, these big-budget films tap into the fears, anxieties, and anger of people from all backgrounds, exploring the ties between big business, political leaders, and shadowy figures who attempt to defy accountability. Politically engaged audiences and thriller fans have much to look forward to this December.



The King

Release date December Directed by Park Jeong-woo Starring Kim Nam-gil, Kim Yeong-ae, Moon Jeong-hee Distributed by Next World Entertainment

Release date December Directed by Jo Eui-seok Starring Lee Byung-hun, Gang Dong-won, Kim Woo-bin Distributed by CJ Entertainment

Release date December Directed by Han Jae-rim Starring Jo In-seong, Jeong Woo-seong, Kim Ah-joong Distributed by Next World Entertainment

When an earthquake hits the south-east region of Korea, a nuclear power plant become unstable and explodes, leaving devastation in its wake. With panic escalating as the populace desperately tries to escape the area and emergency teams work around the clock to contain the situation, a power plant worker finds himself in the center of the disaster. Thanks to some incredibly fortuitous timing, Pandora is likely to resonate strongly with Korean audiences due to a series of earthquakes that occurred in Korea during early autumn, while poor construction and nuclear anxieties have long been a concern throughout the peninsula. Director Park Jeong-woo previously tapped into similar fears of contamination and sickness, as well as the collusion between big business and the government, in Deranged (2012) and looks set to take his themes to the next level in this big budget disaster epic.

The Won Network is at the center of an enormous fraud case involving billions, yet despite their illegal activities the conglomerate are untouchable. That is, until the head of an intellectual crime division picks up the case, setting him on a dangerous path that sees him collide with gangsters, spin doctors, and a villainous company president. Master explores corporate corruption and fraud, themes that have long been an issue in Korea yet have arguably become even greater during the past six months due to the controversies surrounding certain political leaders. Director Jo Eui-seok has gathered a very impressive all-star cast for his thrilling tale of deceit and intrigue that, judging from the trailer, appears to be one of the more high-octane and suspense-building K-films to emerge in December.

After experiencing an extremely difficult childhood, an ambitious man works desperately to achieve his dream of becoming a prosecutor. Yet in doing so, he tastes the desire for power and begins exploiting his connections in order to gain even greater wealth and status, striving to position himself as “The King.” While little has currently been released regarding The King, it is still one of the year’s most anticipated titles due to an absolutely stellar cast - particularly the combination of leads Jo In-seong and Jeong Woo-song - and the exploration of political corruption and corporate greed. Helming the action is director Han Jaerim, previously responsible for the highly successful period drama The Face Reader (2013), which all but guarantees the web of intrigue and extortion is going to be a riveting one.

Did you know? Media giant Netflix has acquired the international distribution rights to Pandora. Following the release of the film in Korea, Netflix will distribute the film to 190 countries in a deal which paves the way for future agreements and further global recognition of K-film.

Did you know? Director Jo Eui-seok previously helmed Cold Eyes in 2013, a crime-thriller that was praised for its stylized rendition of Seoul and thrilling sequences involving an elite criminal investigation team determined to catch bank thieves.

Did you know? Director Han Jae-rim has written and helmed The Face Reader and gangster drama The Show Must Go On (2007), as well as producing media-corruption thriller The Exclusive: Beat the Devil’s Tattoo (2015), highlighting his fascination with abuses of power.

Film fans - remember to check The Korean Film Council (KOFIC) website regularly for updates on English subtitled screenings of Korean films occurring in Seoul.

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Story by Simon McEnteggart Photos by HanCinema

45 December 2016 · January 2017

Rekindling the romance and rediscovering family ties this December

T 44 December 2016 · January 2017


Winter Blockbusters

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Three by

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Story by Emma Kalka


Beyoncé breaks the internet with visual album Lemonade

Following the success of her self-titled album that she dropped without a word in 2013, singer Beyoncé followed up in the same unexpected fashion in April with Lemonade, which created waves in the music industry not only for its stunning visuals – each track had its own music video – but for its raw openness as the lyrics dealt with Beyoncé’s personal life experiences. The videos empowered black women everywhere. At the same time, many wondered for months exactly who Becky with the good hair was. Prior to the album’s release, Beyoncé stole the spotlight from Coldplay at the Super Bowl half-time show, when she took the field to perform “Formation” with her backup dancers donning Black Panther-inspired outfits.

1 46 December 2016 · January 2017


Highlights of the international and Korean music scenes in 2016


Summer of major artists and festivals

This summer, Korea was graced by the appearance of many top artists as the number of music festivals grew and attendances swelled. June brought the first-ever three-day Ultra Music Festival, while on July 22-24, Valley Rock Festival moved back to its original home, Jisan Valley Ski Resort, and brought in top band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Following that was WaterBomb on July 29 featuring major Korean hip-hop artists such as Gray, Simon Dominic and Jessie. On the weekend of August 12-14, two festivals competed, each bringing in major artists from different genres. Pentaport Rock Festival brought the crowds to Incheon to see Panic! At the Disco while the Seoul Soul Festival attracted R&B fans with the likes of Maxwell and Musiq Soulchild.


Continuation of East-meets-West collaborations

Following 2015, which brought a large number of collaborations between Korean and Western artists, 2016 brought even more, with some U.S. artists specifically seeking out K-pop artists for new projects. The year started with now-disbanded 4Minute’s “Hate” produced by Skrillex in January, followed by the release of the solo project by SHINee’s Taemin which included ‘Press Your Number,” written by U.S. singer Bruno Mars. Idol rapper G-Dragon was a featured artist on Baauer’s “Temple,” released in March. In April, Lee Hi released Seoulite, which included the track “Fxxk Wit Us,” which came out of a song camp between YG sub-label HIGHGRND and Kanye West’s label G.O.O.D. Music. The year rounded out with U.S. electro hip-hop group Far East Movement starting out on a new project collaborating with Korean artists, which included the release of “Freal Luv,” featuring Chanyeol from EXO, and “Fighter,” featuring rapper-singer Yoonmirae.

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c i s Mu

A year of tragic losses

This year the music industry lost some of its most legendary artists, as well as those just starting out but full of potential. It seemed as though the world lost too many greats this year but they will be remembered for their many contributions. The year started out with news of David Bowie’s death on January 10, which stunned the world as he had kept the extent of his battle with cancer largely secret. Tribute after tribute followed, including a stunning performance by Lady Gaga at the Grammys. The Eagles’ founding member Glenn Frey passed away just eight days later. Then the hip-hop world reeled from the loss of A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg on March 22. County music lost a legend when Merle Haggard, the Okie from Muskogee, died from complications with pneumonia on April 6. Yet another legend passed away almost out of the blue on April 21 when Prince died from an accidental overdose. His sudden death sent shockwaves through the music world as many artists, both young and old, were influenced by his work throughout his career and quickly paid tribute to his many contributions to music. Following his death came the tragic shooting of young singer Christina Grimmie in Orlando on June 10 who was a contestant on The Voice and garnered a large following through YouTube. Finally, as 2016 was nearing its close, legend Leonard Cohen, known for many hits including “Hallelujah,” passed away on Nov. 7.


Hip-hop wins big at the KMAs

The year started out on a strong note for both independent artists and the hip-hop scene in South Korea when the top honors at the Korea Music Awards, the Korean equivalent to the Grammys, in February were given to two hip-hop artists. Rapper E-sens, who was imprisoned at the time serving a sentence for drug possession, won Album of the Year for Anecdote, which receive accolades from fans and critics alike. Rapper Deepflow from crew/ label Vismajor won Artist of the Year and Rap Song of the Year.


Hamilton takes Broadway and Tonys by storm

Upon its debut in 2015, Hamilton took Broadway by storm with its diverse cast and story highlighting through hip-hop the achievements of immigrant Alexander Hamilton in the founding of the United States. The show went on to be nominated for a record-breaking 16 awards at the 2016 Tony Awards, and then won 11 on June 12, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. Writer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also starred in the show as Alexander Hamilton, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama a few months prior to the Tonys on April 18.


Musicians protest the government

The ongoing scandal involving President Park and long-time confidante Choi Soon-sil has brought thousands of citizens to the streets calling for her resignation. More than that, it has sparked a movement among South Korean musicians to make their voices heard. Hip-hop artists such as Jerry.K, Owen Ovadoz and Insane Deegie have released protest tracks, sharing their thoughts and opinions on the current scandal. Legendary punk bands No Brain and Crying Nut not only performed at one protest, but also participated in demonstrations, standing alongside everyday citizens.

47 December 2016 · January 2017


Looking back at

Lazybone still going strong 20 years later Story by Emma Kalka Photos by Robert Evans


heir youthful exuberance may betray their ages. But Lazybone has been around for a while. And if they could come back from a seven-year breakup, they can survive anything. The band started in 1997. They count other veteran bands like No Brain and Crying Nut as friends. And after just a few minutes of sitting with the group – Jundoy, Jinu, Junkyu, Avail, DJ Suck and Juan Anthony -- and hearing them crack jokes, repeat each other and at times finish each other's’ sentences, it’s no wonder they’ve been together this long. The year 2002 is one that the band immediately claims is the biggest year of their career so far. They performed in front of millions during a World Cup rally and saw one of their songs – “Go West” – become a rally song for the South Korean national team. They performed at Fuji Rock Festival in Japan - easily the biggest rock festival in Asia. And, they opened for Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) during their first concert in Korea. A feat that landed them on the front page of Korean newspapers, but not for the reasons you might think. At the time, they didn’t know that RHCP – of whom member Flea is known for occasionally stripping on stage – had signed an agreement with the Korean government that there would be no on-stage nudity so that they could perform. It was the last performance for their trumpet player at the time, a fellow from Japan. So when he said he was going to strip during their performance, the band just laughed it off. “He said it, but we didn’t believe it,” said frontman Jundoy. “But we were playing and there was some white meat that was jumping around and it was ‘Wha!’” The entire band dissolved into raucous laughter at the recollection of the story. They left after the show to go play Fuji and it wasn’t until they were in Japan that they got a call saying they were in all the newspapers. “I’m going to do that my last show here,” newest member Juan – the current trumpet player – joked. “No! I don’t want to see!” shouted guitarist Jinu in response. Outside of that eventful year, Jundoy said the most important moment for the band was 2013, when they got back together. Initially it was just supposed to be a one-time event. Jinu had returned from graduate school in the US. The original members met up for coffee and the idea of doing a show for old times’ sake was floated. They agreed and did the show, but something happened that they weren’t expecting. “After the show, we felt lots of things. Like, funny – funny was the most important thing than the other things,” Jundoy said. He added that half the crowd was made up of original fans of the band, who had aged with them. Some of them brought their kids to the show and some had changed in looks since the band’s early days.

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Makin’ it to the big

49 December 2016 · January 2017


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Some guys were crying while singing along. And some guys were smiling. So, we felt something very strange and, it feels very good. So we thought, why not? Let’s do it. Let’s do Lazybone again.

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50 December 2016 · January 2017

definitely not slowed Lazybone. “Some guys were crying while singing They do shows nearly every weekend and along. And some guys were smiling. So, we last month performed in a music festival in felt something very strange and, it feels very Taiwan. “We never been to Taiwan and we did good,” Jundoy continued. “So we thought, new experiences with these members. We did why not? Let’s do it. Let’s do Lazybone again. lots of crazy things that night,” Jundoy said as “Many things and many experiences in 2002. the band once again dissolves into laughter. But as a band individually, we say our rejoinThe most noticeable change ing show. It was lots of touching is the addition of trumpet player on our heart.” We move more. Juan Anthony, the lone foreignAt first, the band said the We sing more. er in the band. Whom guitarist only ways that they’ve changed We jump more… Junkyu met by chance one cold after the break is that they’ve gotthat part will winter night last year. ten older. “Um, I lost some hair,” never change or “He was drinking,” Jine said, Jundoy admitted cheekishly. we’re getting pointing to Junkyu while laughing. But upon further recollecbetter. Better “So, two guys were very drunken. tion, he adds that they’ve gotten and better And one guy was playing trum“hotter” and they’ve in some on stage. pet with bare hands in the winter ways gotten more energetic on -Jundoy, Lazybone season. And one guy saw the crastage. They say that compared to vocalist zy guy. ‘Hey, your trumpet is very other bands in the scene today, good,’” Jundoy added. they have more power. “He was… very high pitch. High pitch,” “I think the audience or some other guys, Junkyu continued before attempting to imitate some guys want us to… (have) less power. Less the trumpet. They exchanged contact informapower than earlier days. But we don’t think tion, and Junkyu promised to get in touch soon so,” said Jundoy. “We move more. We sing so they could play together. However, another more. We jump more… that part will never six months passed before Junkyu suddenly rechange or we’re getting better. Better and betmembered Juan. ter on stage.” The first night they met, Junkyu had told And they prove this ever time they set foot the band he was good, but they didn’t believe on stage. Jundoy leaps on stage, almost pulling him. That changed when Juan walked into the toe-touches. Occasionally, he leaps into the studio for the first rehearsal. crowd and dances alongside them. Age has

“When he showed up, we were like, ‘Oh, okay. That’s the guy.’ Because he’s got lots of good tattoos. So everything was okay from the start,” Jundoy said. “From that rehearsal, he was already part of Lazybone,” Jinu added. And even with their long, colorful career, the band says they still have more to do, namely they hope to play in South by Southwest. It’s a matter of filling out the right paper work, but every year the band says they are going to do it and every year they forget until it’s after the deadline. “Because we are lazy,” Jundoy jokes. And at the moment they are preparing their sixth full-length album while floating ideas over what they want to do in 2017 for their 20th anniversary. They’ve thought about doing 20 live shows, or playing 20 songs, or giving tickets to 20 fans. Or maybe doing nothing. “We’re going to break up. Again,” Jinu joked. “Yea, 20th anniversary. It’s very good news: we broke up again! See you after 20 years!” Jundoy added. But whatever they end up doing, one thing is certain. They will continue to have fun and perform on every stage like it’s their last. They are close friends and honest with each other, which sometimes can lead to fights. So they never know when another break-up could happen. “So, everything can be the last stage for us, so we can enjoy every stage,” Jundoy said.

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Korea opens doors, opportunities for U.S. rapper Story by Emma Kalka Photos by Clayton Jones

in Europe. It’s the people here that have really made the trip fulfilling so far for the rapper. “People are really, just really into music and really supportive of artists. And are really about the culture. I’ve just been meeting a ton of people and everyone is super friendly and super supportive.” Already he is making plans to put some of his previous releases out through distribution companies here and in Japan, including his latest EP “Fuel,” and is in touch with producers in Seoul and has plans to record with them in their studios. He’s done photo shoots, music video shoots, and appeared on Seoul Community Radio where he shared some tracks from his soon-to-be-released album “Flight.” Before coming to Seoul, Koncept had spent the last three years shuttling between LA and New York. While technically living in New York, he shipped his studio to LA where he recorded “Flight” at Red Bull Studio. Once that was finished, he was back in New York for a few months to promote “Fuel” before making the decision to settle in LA for the time being. But he admitted that he plans to keep his options open. “In all honesty, who knows where the f**k


I’m going to live. I travel often and I love different places. And, I’m here in Seoul right now and like I said, I don’t know when I’m leaving,” he confessed. “It’s good. I have my clothes with me. And I have my computer and my phone, which I work off of. And there are music studios to use everywhere.” Performing in Seoul was a long time coming for the rapper. He did a radio interview here four years back, where the idea of bringing him over was originally broached. And while he said he would have loved coming then, now was the right time. He had a friend based here who was supportive of his music and introduced it to Part Time Cooks member Saul Goode. The North Carolina rapper liked what he heard and after Koncept listened to Part Time Cooks’ music, a connection was made. From there, things began falling in place to bring Koncept over. “Just with what I’ve been doing and where I’m at in my career – it just made sense for it to happen now and not then. But it’s definitely been something that’s been in discussion for a bit. It’s been a dream of mine,” he said. And he plans to fill every minute with work in some fashion, whether it’s recording, filming music videos or performing – something that folks should check out if they get the chance. Koncept’s live shows involve a level of energy that permeates the room and everyone in it. He rapped to a massive crowd at Secret Society for Stove Top Sessions, a show that has been called the biggest since Part Time Cooks started them a year ago. “No matter how big the room, how big the stage, how many people, no matter what, I always put absolutely everything of me into my performance,” he vowed. “I love what I do and that comes through every single time I get onto a stage.” He continued that he puts a lot of energy into his shows and makes it a real performance – not just playing music. And that the crowd has to feel his energy. “I like to give them energy from my show and have them basically participate with me in the show. I make sure everybody is in the room together and we are basically a big family in that moment, in that night.”

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ew York rapper Koncept had no clue that when he came to Seoul for the first time in November, he would want to stay longer than a week and a half. But almost a week in, he had already cancelled his return ticket. “I don’t know when I’m leaving,” he admitted with a laugh. “So I’m going to be here for a little bit longer.” While he will have to be in Canada for a tour that starts at the end of January, for the time being he’s settled in Seoul and thinking about hitting up a few other countries while in Asia. He originally came to do two shows – one at Vinyl City on November 26 and another with Stove Top Sessions at Secret Society on December 3 – but has indefinitely postponed his return date to do more work around the country. So far, he’s added one more show at Living Room in Haebongcheon and is working to book more dates. What’s more, he’s currently recording an EP with local duo Part Time Cooks and should be finished within a few weeks. “We’re trying to come in here every day and force two hours. And it was like, why don’t I just stay and then we have… there’s no rush and we can really create good stuff, and not be on a time schedule with it,” he said. For Koncept, it’s been non-stop action since he landed, which is mostly why he wanted to extend his trip. So that he could experience more of Korea. He left LA around midnight on a Thursday, Thanksgiving actually, and it didn’t hit him until his layover in China that it was Saturday and he would be performing that night. He said that he arrived in Seoul, was picked up at the airport and then taken for barbeque before he hit the stage at Vinyl City. “The crowd was awesome. The room was full and everybody had a great time. First time out here and it was just really cool. Meeting people who already knew the music and had been anticipating the show. Super excited and super fun,” he said. Being in Seoul has opened up more opportunities for the currently LA-based rapper. He said in the short time he’s been here, he’s met new fans, producers, other rappers and even a booking agent who hopes to get him on stage

53 December 2016 · January 2017

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The crowd was awesome. The room was full and everybody had a great time. First time out here and it was just really cool. Meeting people who already knew the music and had been anticipating the show. Super excited and super fun.

Creating ll the Snowba effect


ollaborations are certainly nothing new in music, even in the Korean music industry. But in a scene dominated by K-pop, some of the most influential members of the indie rock and underground hip-hop scenes have decided to work together to create something new and unique. And to change any preconceived notions the public may have about rock and hip-hop. Rock and hip-hop have been considered an unusual combination in Korea, according to rapper MC Meta, one half of duo Garion and one of the leaders of the Snowball Project. He said that though he himself was a fan of rock, often in the indie music scene, people were either rock or hip-hop and there wasn’t much overlap. “A lot of people were thinking that a long time ago, and we want to change that thought and make a new vibe and new songs. Like a snowball, we want to bring in many other artists and make this project big so a lot of people will listen,” he emphasized. The seed for the idea was planted about four years ago when Garion performed in the same concert with band Harry Big Button. Band leader Lee Sung-soo met with MC Meta and the two began mulling over the idea for a rock and hip-hop collaboration similar to the soundtrack for movie Judgment Night from the 90s. But it wasn’t until last year that the two started making concrete plans. They named it the Snowball Project with the idea that it would be ongoing and they would pick up more and more artists as time passed. Garion is considered first generation hiphop and Lee has “been around here a long time,” which he said helped push the two to start the project. They have a responsibility as artists, Lee said, to create something different and unique. “We are creating every day, not only our

own project or individual project,” he said. “But we want to expand things together. Like a snowball - we are just rolling small snowballs off the top of the mountain and it just gets bigger and bigger.” So far there are three teams officially on board – Garion and Harry Big Button, Choi Sam and Danpyunsan and the Sailors, and finally P-Type and Crying Nut. Lee said they plan to add another two teams by the end of the year and more following that. Lee recruits the bands while MC Meta recruits the rappers. The first track released was Garion and Harry Big Button called “Make My Day.” It featured a heavy rock sound with Garion rapping the verses and Lee singing the chorus. The two are planning to release a second track soon called “Dope Days,” which will feature more hip-hop elements, with MC Meta joking that it may be trap. The second track released was “Hasta” by Choi Sam and Danpyunsan and the Sailors. The rapper and Jang Do-hyuk, percussionist for the band, said they were honored to take part and work with artists they have long respected. Choi said she didn’t hesitate when MC Meta asked her, looking forward to collaborating with artists that she had only even seen on TV or the internet. Jang said, after Lee suggested the band collaborate with Choi, he checked out her music and immediately thought it would be a good pairing. “It turns out it was a much more spectacular grouping than we anticipated. Again, it’s an honor and I’m grateful that we were able to put such a great track together,” he added. Choi said the process was very much a collaboration, with the band creating music that reflected her feelings at the time – anger – and her writing the lyrics. They then came together and discussed the track, and recorded it once everyone was happy with the result. Jang continued that he studied hip-hop

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Story by Emma Kalka Photos by Blair Kitchner and Bryan Watkins

and really thought about how to compose music that would blend well with rapping. He put in a lot of looping, but kept a lot of the band’s color. Choi said that it was a completely different experience then what she had expected. “Hip-hop and rock, it’s not a common collaboration in Korea, but especially with a woman rapper collaborating in the project, it’s more extraordinary,” she said. The next track to be released is “Outsider” featuring legendary rapper P-Type with equally legendary punk band Crying Nut. The band provided instrumentals for Mighty Mouth in the past, but this is the first true collaboration

with a hip-hop artist that they’ve done. “P-Type is very heavy,” bassist Han Kyung-rok admitted. “When we meet together to discuss the track we want to… while beatmaking and playing with our instruments, we want to make the collaboration together so we have a higher quality song.” Accordion player and keyboardist Kim Insoo said so far they have been able to collaborate quite well. “While discussing everything with P-Type, it was a relief that he had some similar ideas as us. We were thinking about the lyrics while composing, so going back to writing everything, there is a good bond,” Kim said.

Lee said next they hope to bring rapper NUCK on board. He added that any rapper or band is welcomed to join, “Anyone that’s good,” he said with a smile. He continued that Harry Big Button hopes to make tracks with other hip-hop artists within the project, as do the other bands. At the moment, he and MC Meta are already thinking ahead to a third track together – one that hopefully blends hip-hop and rock into something new that transcends any particular genre. As for what comes next, anything is possible. They plan to release a Snowball Project album and eventually hold a concert.

On December 1, they will perform on KBS Chuncheon’s “All That Music” program, which will be their first official performance. MC Meta joked that perhaps if they do a festival in the future, they could convince some of the groups on “Judgment Night” to come perform as well. And as MC Meta and Lee said, they only hope that as the project continues, like a snowball, it will only get bigger. “We want to continuously make more tracks,” Crying Nut bassist Han added. “Keep going! Rock and roll!” facebook snowballprojects/posts/?ref=page_internal

55 December 2016 · January 2017

54 December 2016 · January 2017

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Hip-hop artists come together to create something new

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The Nutcracker Brings Some Christmas Magic to Seoul Story by Naheen Madarbakus Photos by Universal Ballet

56 December 2016 · January 2017


he Universal Ballet Company (UBC)

Established in 1984, the Universal Ballet Company (UBC) has continued to entertain the capital with their spectacular performances spanning over 30 years. With a dedicated 70-strong dancing team of performers, the troupe have continued to hone their contemporary choreography into their classical performances, years after year at the capital’s central theater stage and beyond. UBC, although based in Seoul, has also been on the road and toured more than a dozen countries across the continents of Europe, North America and Asia. Adding a touch of Asian thought and culture to some of the more renowned productions, enjoy a graceful and harmonic addition to some of the best Western classical ballet productions available on the stage today.

Bringing together

UBC has also seen a host of UBC is renowned for their the strength and talent, and is at the forefront beauty of western creative and talented directors classical ballet take to the helm, most notably of ballet in Korea. Bringing towith traditional four American directors in the gether the strength and beauty European founding artistic director Adriof western classical ballet with components, enne Dellas, and then Daniel traditional European compothe UBC performers Levins, Roy Tobias and Bruce nents, the UBC performers has have presented Steival. UBC was also largely inpresented classic favorites year classic favorites fluenced by the ballet traditions after year. year after year. from St Petersburg, while under Full length classics to have the direction of Oleg Vinogradov hit the stage have included Swan (the former artistic director of the Kirov Ballet) Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Don Quixote as between 1998 and 2007. well as more contemporary offerings includNow, general director Julia Moon and aring William Forsythe’s In The Middle, Hans tistic director Brian Yoo work alongside VonoVan Manen’s Black Cake and Heinz Spoerli’s gradov in presenting some of this year’s finest All Shall Be. productions. After a successful 2016 which Since the 25th anniversary in 2009, adsaw production runs including Romeo and Juditional productions such as John Cranko’s liet and Swan Lake, December sees the annual Onegin and Kenneth Macmillans’s Romeo Yuletide return of the traditional ballet classic, and Juliet have been added to the show list to The Nutcracker. vary the annual ballet selection.

57 December 2016 · January 2017

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Season Greetings from l a s r e v i n U e h T y n a p m o C t e l Bal

ENTERTAINMENT 58 December 2016 · January 2017

The Nutcracker returns to Seoul for their 30th anniversary performance at the Universal Arts Center this winter. First appearing on the capital’s stage in 1984, general director Julia Moon together with choreographers Marius Petipa, Lev Ivanov and Vasily Vainonen prepare to bring the magical Christmas show to life once again this December. The tale of The Nutcracker is always a holiday favorites. And with a host of life-sized dolls, a Mouse King and toy soldiers gracing the stage, what is there not to like? The children on stage bring together audiences as they

travel to their Fairy World. Let the charm and the magic take over the evening and set the Christmas scene – for the next couple of hours at least. The story starts as the guests are running late to the annual Christmas party, held at the prestigious Judge Siberhaus’ house. Families have been invited to the gathering to celebrate the holiday season as the children are dressed up in their Sunday best and the parents attending bear gifts for all the younger guests. Judge Siberhaus’ daughter, Clara, is popular with all the other children as her godfather, Uncle Drosselmeyer, is known for his magic.

However, he (alongside many others), are running late for the gathering which worries the hosts. Soon, everyone arrives at the house, as greetings are given, gifts are shared and the games begin. However, Clara notices that an unclaimed – and unwanted – Nutcracker doll rests alone under the tree and claims the toy for herself. Her brother Fritz notices this, and wanting to be mischievous toward his sibling, grabs (and breaks) the doll from Clara. Uncle Drosselmeyer quickly steps in and fixes the doll. Little known to Clara, he has also added a little Christmas magic to the night that awaits her. The Nutcracker is a delightful tale that brings all those magical Christmas dreams to life, right on to the stage in front of you. Full of fantasy, living toys and adventure, share Clara’s journey into the magical and fantastic world of The Nutcracker. When Friday 16 December, 2016- Sunday 31 December, 2016 Where Universal Arts Center, 664, Cheonho-daero, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul tel 1544-1555 Cost KRW 10,000 – KRW 100,000

59 December 2016

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The Nutcracker

60 December 2016 · January 2017

North and South Korea agree to a joint peace concert

Story by Ali Saleh Photos by Hyung-joon Won, Lindenbaum Music Company, Catherine Lee


yung-joon Won, a Julliard-educated violinist, took a bus of 14 musicians and a film crew to the 38th parallel on August 15, 2015—the 70th anniversary of Korean liberation from Japanese rule. The musicians, most of whom were South Korean, were to meet a group of 70 North Korean choir singers in Panmunjom for an inter-Korean peace concert.

Won and his team were stopped, however, at a DMZ checkpoint just before Tongil Bridge. The border control soldiers kept Won and his musicians at the mercy of their walkie-talkies, unable to let them pass before receiving confirmation from their superiors. “Earlier that month a mine exploded,” Won says. “It left two South Korean soldiers injured. The same week of the concert, the

Won admits that he has received criticism for his efforts, criticism from those who find his vision futile and obsolete. Those who wonder what his motives are on a personal level. “For me,” Won says, “music is harmony, and harmony is peace. In order for two musicians to achieve harmony, they must first listen to each other. Even if they can't speak the same language, or they're from different countries or whatever, when they start to play they have to listen. Only after listening to one-another can they begin to achieve harmony. I think the same is true between the North and

tional committees. Lee hopes to release 9 at 38 later in 2017 and continues to communicate with Won. continues to communicate with Won. Both artists are confident that the North and South will, with both the concert and the greater regional conflict, eventually come together, listen to one-another, and begin to harmonize towards a vision of peace along the peninsula. more info about Hyung-joon Won and the Lindenbaum project more info about 9 at 38

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South, and that's the greater meaning of this of the documentary refers to Beethoven's 9th project.” symphony, which was the song choice—along For Lee, her idea of the real “story” behind with the Korean folk song, Arirang— and the her documentary has transformed throughout 38th parallel, the location of the concert. the filming process. “We filmed for two weeks,” Lee says. “Ten “Of course the story attracted me on a days of footage. It was just the right amount number of levels. But somewhere along the of time. Beginning and the end. Things were way I realized it was also about self-deterhappening in real time, including events that mination and drive. This one man trying to affected the outcome of the concert.” achieve something in this long, Lee was with the bus at the tiring process. In some ways the DMZ on August 15th and, destory is more about that than the spite their best efforts, she was Why am I doing this? I know it's outcome of this event.” with them to see the orchestra only one song. Lee observed Won in his efand crew be turned away due to I know there's forts to communicate with the escalating tensions between the a good chance various government ministries, two governments. it won't change foreign intermediaries, United “After two hours of waiting,” anything. But, just Nations council, and other offiWon says. “Regardless of the letthis one little cial representatives in achieving ter of support we received from thing. We have been the concert. the Ministry of Unification, the separated seventy She says: “We see in the soldiers turned us away at the years and we can't film how the governments and border. The North Korea singers even do this one bureaucrats – and this is such were waiting for us, and we had song. How will a small thing to do – how they to be turned away because of the we ever achieve seem so powerless to initiate. incident that occurred earlier unification if we that week. It was crushing.” can't do something So risk averse. So I don't feel “Sometimes I wonder,” Won as simple as this? bad in saying that I hope this film shames them into action continues, “why am I doing because if they can't do it, who this? I know it's only one song. can?” I know there's a good chance it won't change Won is still working with the Lindenbaum anything. But, just this one little thing. We Music Company with hopes to one day make have been separated seventy years and we his concert a reality. He is sharing his story as can't even do this one song. How will we ever he travels the world, performs his music, and achieve unification if we can't do something as gives lectures across universities and internasimple as this?”

61 December 2016 · January 2017

ENTERTAINMENT Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

Concert at theD MZ

South Korean government accused North Korea of planting the mine, which obviously complicated things for our purpose. It couldn't have been worse timing.” Since 2009 Won and his organization, the Lindenbaum Music Company, have been trying to realize a joint North and South Korean concert. In that time, with the help of the world renowned Swiss conductor Charlie Dutoit, Won has launched a number of apolitical campaigns to push for the concert. “In 2010 we tried to invite young North Korean musicians to play with us, but this was very quickly halted. It was the first obstacle in what would turn out to be the long and exhausting process that is inter-peninsula dialogue.” Won explains that in order for a South Korean to communicate with anyone in North Korea, they need special authorization from the South Korean Ministry of Unification. “That authorization,” Won says, “is very, very difficult to get. Almost impossible. Which is why I had to depend on foreign intermedi-

aries to communicate with the North Korean government.” And Won wasn't shy of help. He received support from Dutoit—who made a visit to Pyongyang in 2011—German intermediaries, and individuals who read of his project and reached out to him. “I was very lucky,” Won says. “To have met a Korean American who taught music and singing in Pyongyang. He had a contact in the North Korean Ministry of Culture, and they were able to invite our organization to begin discussions for a joint concert.” The Lindenbaum project had attempted to hold concerts in Pyongyang, Switzerland, and Germany, all of which failed for various reasons leading up to the 2015 border concert. Won says his original inspiration for the project came by observing the Argentine-born conductor Daniel Barenboim. “I was very impressed with Barenboim's work,” Won says. “His orchestra brought musicians from Israel, Palestine, and other areas in the Middle East for a joint-peace concert. Our duty [as musicians] is to perform for an audience. Beyond that—this guy Barenboim, he's doing something very fantastic in the Middle East. He's bringing the conflict between Israel and Palestine and making harmony between them. His work showed me the other possibilities that music can have beyond the concert hall.” “So last year,” Won continues, “2015, same project. I was thinking it's the 70th anniversary for liberation day... how about we meet in the middle? Pyongyang, Seoul, in the middle. We will get the orchestra and they can bring a choir. Seventy members from each country. We'll go up, we'll meet at the border, and play seven meters apart.” It was around that time that Won met Catherine Lee, a Korean-American film maker with a background in international aid work. “It was July 2015,” Lee says. “I was quitting my full-time job at the World Bank to pursue documentary film-making when I read an article about Hyung-joon. I was able to a get a small crew together and flew them out to Korea within two weeks. It was probably the craziest thing I've ever done.” Lee worked closely with Won for the two weeks leading up to the concert for her documentary, 9 at 38, which is still in post-production and is seeking completion funds. The title

Footy Inside

takes to the Internet The Football Video-Cast with a Fresh Look at the Sport

62 December 2016 · January 2017

Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (


Story by Steve Price Photos by Footy Inside


ootball, or soccer as it’s known in some countries, is truly “the Global Game,” but accessing the world of English football news can be a daunting task for some Koreans. The cultural and linguistic divide means that getting the inside scoop on stories from the other side of the globe can be a challenge for the average Korean fan of the game. A new video-cast aims to change all that. Footy Inside, more commonly known by its Korean name Waeshinnam ( 외신남, short for 외 국 신문을 읽어주는 남자, which roughly translates to “foreign news-reading guy”), gives Koreans a unique insight into the hot issues that affect football. It burst onto the Korean video-cast scene in November, getting over 50,000 hits when it debuted on Naver. Rather than being wholly in one language, Footy Inside’s format involves presenter Park Jong-yoon asking questions in Korean, with me answering them in English. Dual language subtitles help viewers understand what each presenter is saying. The weekly topics involve hard-to-find news from the English Premier League, discussions on issues affecting Asian football, along with more light-hearted topics like the top five most handsome players (not an Englishman in sight!) and weekly predictions (I shocked audiences in the first week by correctly guessing that Liverpool would beat Crystal Palace by four goals to two). The brainchild behind the show is top Korean football agent Lee Dong-jun. Lee’s clients include many of the foreign players in the K-league, as well as Korean players in other

Asian leagues, so naturally, he has a rather international outlook. When interviewed by Groove Magazine, he said that the reasons for creating Waeshinnam were twofold. First, despite not being religious, he went to English church as a child in order to have a chance to listen to spoken English. He hopes that Waeshinnam can help make Korean football more popular by attracting people who are interested in learning English. The second reason for the show’s creation was to give a fresh outlook on football. Korean media websites, by their very nature, don’t have detailed news about foreign sports leagues like the English Premier League. They have plenty of analysis of Korean players within those leagues, but only general news outside of that. Lee claims that Korean football fans want to get a more in-depth look into the English football leagues, and he hopes that Waeshinnam can provide such insight. Lee also hopes that the show can help improve the popularity of the K-League, Korea’s national football league. Despite the popularity of the English Premier League in Korea, many K-League games are played to half-empty stadiums, and domestic football is a distant second to baseball when it comes to TV coverage. Lee feels that the star appeal of the EPL, where many big-name players and managers like Jose Mourinho ply their trade, makes it popular with Koreans who want to watch football at the highest level. In the long term, Lee hopes that the show can help spark an interest in the K-League and get regular fans talking about

their own league as well as the EPL. In order to achieve these dreams, Lee created Bigfoot TV (short for Biggest Football TV) and is creating a portfolio of shows including football skills show 90 Secs Football, among others. For Waeshinnam, Lee found SPO TV newscaster Park Jong-yoon to be the show’s Korean host. Park’s own podcast, Hidden Football, is one of the most popular sports podcasts in Korea. He goes by the English name Nick, and runs Korea’s Arsenal fan club. Due to my experience as a reporter for FIFA, and owner of the site www.kleaguefootball. com, Lee chose me as the English host. Much of the show’s banter comes from the differences in opinion between me and Nick, for example, when trying to decide which footballer is the best-looking. The show’s other unique point is that it is willing to say what many other Korean football shows are afraid of saying, with both Nick and me giving strong opinions on issues such as the future of the Korean national team. As well as talking about football in English, the show briefly teaches fans some English phrases, often football related, with Nick having to learn the phrases each week in order to avoid a forfeit. The show usually airs on Friday night or Saturday morning, just in time for the weekend’s Premier League games. It will also contain plenty of K-League analysis and inside scoops once the Korean football season restarts in March. Footy fans can watch the show on Bigfoot TV’s YouTube channel by searching for “외신남.”

The Neighborhood

t o p S h c i w Sand

64 December 2016 · January 2017

FOOD & DRINK Edited by Jordan Redmond (


andwiches, soups, salads, wraps, and baked goods — the foundations of American college town cafes and restaurants are unsurprisingly scarce here in Seoul. It's a lamentable fact that there are few truly neighborhood sandwich spots where everyone knows your name: the kinds of places with fantastic, recurring daily specials that keep you coming back. Fat Cat is one of the few neighborhood shops that can fill this hummus wrap-shaped hole the expat's heart. Located in Haebangchon (HBC), Fat Cat stands out as an institution that has stuck around even after having gone through ownership and menu changes. Throughout it all, the restaurant has stuck to its core concept: great sandwiches that don’t decimate your bank account. Lately, the concept is at its ze-

nith with some really excellent and hard-tofind sandwiches and salads. The menu is split into two main sections: salads and sandwiches. No surprises there. Nevertheless, the salad menu rotates with the seasons to assure the freshest produce, which means by the time this article prints the salads could be different. Sandwiches don’t change with the seasons, so let’s talk about them. The sandwich menu is interesting. It includes a range of sandwiches from standard to downright uncommon — it may be the only shop in Seoul selling a torta ahogada. Plus, they have their tiger beef, a roast beef sandwich with a kicking horseradish sauce. There is also the Fat Cat staple, a chicken pesto sandwich; because Fat Cat, in all of its incarnations, has served a chicken pesto sandwich. For the vegetarians, there is hummus and avocado

and then a chicken and avocado number for the meateater craving avocados. Last but not least, the humble meatball sub. There are also special sandwiches that come and go when inspiration strikes. Fat Cat is most likely the only restaurant in Seoul making a pulled pork ahogada. It is possible, but not confirmed, that they are the only place in Asia making it. A torta ahogada is a Mexican sandwich originating from the city of Guadalajara which is submerged or drowned in spicy tomato sauce — think a cross between hot sauce, salsa, and BBQ sauces. Luckily, eaters who’d prefer not to have their pulled pork drowned in spicy salsa can have the sauce on the side. The ahogada at Fat Cat comes out on a large plate and it is knee-deep in a pool of tangy red sauce — yes, it is actually only media ahogada, or half-drowned. The

pickles, and onions. It’s topped part of the sandwich dunked in off with horseradish sauce that sauce literally melts in mouths. Throughout it all, punches like wasabi. It’s not the The dry part of the sandwich the restaurant has sweet Ottogi horseradish sauce is composed of crisp, perfectly stuck to its core that is sold at Korean marts as an baked bread, seasoned meat, concept: great to insult horseradish admirers. It’s pico de gallo, and Mexican sandwiches that the real horseradish that takes a cheeses. This is a sandwich don’t decimate worth travelling for, especially your bank account. sandwich from OK to “I want to for those who miss ahogadas Lately, the concept eat two of these.” The sandwiches at Fat Cat from their hometowns. is at its zenith are some of the best in the city Another sandwich that with some really and are worth travelling for. has to be tried is Fat Cat’s Tiger excellent and When you go, make sure to couBeef. It is a roast beef sandwich hard-to-find ple them with their natural brethon the same crispy Maybell sandwiches and ren — soups and salads. Also not Bakery bread as the ahogasalads. to be missed are the desserts. da, but its taste profile is less Fat Cat has a bakery, too, and it's Mexico and more Philadelproducing some of the best desserts in Seoul. phia-meets-Southeast Asia. The sandwich is Desserts that are very Instagramable, which is stuffed with succulent marinated beef, cheese,

important in today’s social world. At the moment there is a collection of pumpkin spiced goods and, this winter, there is talk of ginger-based desserts. So, check out Fat Cat. It’s not the same place it was a year ago. It was good then but nowadays has some near impossible-to-find sandwiches that should not be neglected. Prices Salads KRW 9800, Sandwiches KRW 80009000, Soup KRW 5000 Recommended dishes The Pulled Pork Ahogado Drinks Beer KRW 3000-7000, coffee KRW 3000 and up, kombucha KRW 6000, and an assortment of seasonal speciality drinks for KRW 5000-6000 Add Yongsan-gu Shinheung-ro 28 tel 02-797-2970 Hours 11am to 3pm and 5pm to 10pm Monday through Friday; 11am to 10pm Saturday; and 11am to 9pm on Sunday

65 December 2016 · January 2017

Edited by Jordan Redmond (


Fat Cat's new menu features old favorites, sandwich rarities Story by Jason Newland photos by Robert Evans

66 December 2016 · January 2017

Edited by Jordan Redmond (


Yeoksam business hotel

y t i C r o t o M revs up

Detroit-style pizza joint offers high quality food and drinks

in Itaewon D etroit. A place that inspires strong, almost fanatical loyalty from some, and indifference verging on hostility from others. Maybe that’s why Motor City is such a perfect fit for the main street of Itaewon, another somewhat-beloved national landmark whose best days either lie behind it or ahead, depending on who you ask. The latest venture from Team Manimal, who have been bringing American BBQ to hungry Seoulites since 2015, Motor City trades in the smoker for the pizza oven and offers a menu centered on deep dish Detroit-style pizza, which has hitherto been harder to find in Korea than a supporter of Park Geun-Hye. Co-owner John Kim learned from world champion pizza maker Shawn Randazzo and ate his way around the city’s famous pizza joints, including the legendary Buddy’s, where it all began after the war. Having noticed the vogue for Chicago and New York pizza styles in recent years, Detroit pizza seemed a natural way for the Manimal team to try to stay ahead of Seoul’s notoriously trend-driven foodies.

Legend has it that the pizza makers of Detroit, looking for something cheap and abundant in which to bake their deep dish pies, hit upon the idea of using steel pans from the city’s many automobile factories, thus giving rise to the signature Detroit “square” pizza. Whether or not this origin story is strictly true, what is undeniable is that the pan shapes the pie in more than just a geometrical sense. A well-seasoned and oiled pan will give the crust a crunchy, almost deep-fried texture quite unlike that of its Chicago counterpart. Add to that the unique layering of toppings on a Detroit square — the tomato sauce is the last thing to be ladled over the pizza, not the first, thus giving rise to the “red top” so beloved of aficionados — and the result is something quite different to anything else most Seoul residents will ever have tried, your reviewer very much included. [Note: this, or a condensed version of it, could be a sidebar] The restaurant has a nice, unobtrusive, industrial chic motif going on, from the ceiling right down to the tables and chairs. As expect-

Story by Andy Hume photos by Peter Kim

ed, the main items of interest on the menu are the pizzas. There are about a dozen of these on offer, from the basic “Detroit Red Top” cheese and tomato sauce through to variations boasting more esoteric ingredients like feta cheese, andouille sausage, and onion marmalade. Unusually, though, there’s also a pretty big selection of starters, sides, and non-pizza dishes on offer, including vegetable dishes — like fried eggplant or a beet salad — some tempting meat-based options, and three varieties of chicken wings. On the day I visited, I got the La Mafia pizza. It’s a blend of sausage, ham, roasted peppers, honey, and parmesan — a salty-sweet mix of toppings that seems to work just right. The crust tastes almost like it’s been fried, as it should, and the thickness of the pie helps it stay hot longer in the unlikely event that it sits around on the table very long. If the list of fancy ingredients puts you off, you can’t really beat the pepperoni “Classic” or the “Motown Supreme,” which comes topped with sausage, pepperoni, green pepper, and olive.

The latest venture from Team Manimal, who have been bringing American BBQ to hungry Seoulites since 2015, Motor City trades in the smoker for the pizza oven and offers a menu centered on deep dish Detroit-style pizza, which has hitherto been harder to find in Korea than a supporter of Park Geun-Hye.

The Manimal group’s stamp of quality extends to the non-pizza choices, as well. The pork belly queso should really come with a voucher for a free cardiologist visit, such is its calorific punch, but we defy you not to love a pan full of melted cheese with chunks of pork hidden inside like some gloriously decadent fusion spin on fondue. Grilled broccoli with basil pesto was almost enough to convert this reviewer to green vegetables, an accolade worth as much to a kitchen as any number of Michelin stars. The chicken wings are perhaps less of a standout, tending towards the small; nothing to write home about. On the other hand, Motor City offers something which most Itaewon restaurants don’t in the shape of a full bar program: half a dozen quality vodkas, bourbons, and tequilas; over twenty single malts; and a number of specially-designed cocktails which you can knock back with your pizza, or at a bar stool; as well as some good quality wines and draft beers. It’s an unusual offering for a casual dining restaurant in the area, and it’ll be interesting to see if it catches on. If there’s one criticism of Motor City’s pizza selection as a whole, most of which Groove has sampled on several enthusiastic visits, it’s that after a while the different flavors tend to taste pretty similar, and Detroit natives in particular may quibble with some of the more adventurous varieties. Prices are reasonable but in line with the rising costs of Itaewon; and starters, sides, and drinks will all add to your bill. In a city full of forgettable pizza, there’s no doubt that the Manimal tribe’s newest venture is a innovative and thoroughly delicious alternative which is well worth a visit, and you’re highly unlikely to leave disappointed. Motor City is on the move again. Prices Pizzas are between KRW 16,800 -and 25,900won. Starters and sides mostly range from KRW 6,500 -to 20,000won and draft beers are available from KRW 8,500won. Recommended dishes Motown Supreme pizza (KRW 22,000), La Mafia pizza (KRW 25,900) Add Seoul Yongsan-gu Itaewon-ro 140-1 tel 0507-1437-8877 Hours Lunch and dinner 6 days a week (Mondays dinner only) with last orders at 10pm. Closed Tuesdays.

reasonable stay

at the perfect location

FREE Wi-Fi | FREE parking 8 mins from COEX 5 mins from Gangnam subway station T +82 2 554 8342 F +82 2 557 6190

Teheranro 37-gil 13-8 Gangnam-gu, Seoul Yeoksam subway station (Line no. 2) Exit #8 (150m) Gangnam stn

Yeoksam stn

Sunryeung stn

Samsung stn (COEX)

Stacked corned beef reubens at Leo’s Story by Jason Newland photos by Robert Evans

The iconic Jewish deli sandwich finally done right

68 December 2016 · January 2017

Edited by Jordan Redmond (



selves in Seoul, a Reuben that’d likely get a seal he Reuben, a sandwich that exof approval from Katz Deli is currently being ists outside the scope of other made at Leo’s in Haebangchon. It’s that good. sandwiches by having meat that's For the uninitiated, a Reuben is on rye brined and cured over many hours bread, a denser bread than wheat bread with until it’s fork tender, is not commonly found that distinct slightly sour rye flavor. The bread outside of Jewish delis in the Northeast Unitis stacked with thick cut corn beef or pastrami, ed States. Those delis often keep their menus which is the tradition of deli’s such as Katz or simple. They’ll include a Reuben and a corned the Carnegie, probably New York’s beef sandwich; perhaps they’ll two best delis for Reubens. Makoffer pastrami, too. They’re not ing corned beef is a process that Well, there’s necessarily places to pick up a good news for requires time and attention to deham sandwich or a bologna and the reuben tail. The meat is brined and cured cheese. They seem to exist to connoisseurs in salt, and it’s called corned beef fulfil some quintessential need who’ve found because of the small and someto feast our eyes on mile-high themselves in times hard leftover bits of spice sandwiches, meaty monsters Seoul, a Reuben used in the brining process. with tiny little bread hats. A that’d likely get Leo’s corned beef is brined few would go as far as to say the a seal of approval and cured for eight to nine hours reuben is the pinnacle of sandfrom Katz Deli is with his distinct pickling seasonwiches and if a deli is serving currently being ings until it’s almost butter tender. them, why would they bother made at Leo’s in The pickling spice taste simply serving lesser sandwiches? At Haebangchon pops after the amount of time he Leo’s, the Reuben sandwich spends on the brisket. The corn reigns supreme. beef is topped with German sauerkraut, the Sadly, a quality reuben is something Seoul kimchi of the west, and the sauerkraut’s dishas lacked. Sure, Seoul’s had its Reubens here tinct tangy flavor is cut with a slice of swiss and there, but much like the classic Wendy’s cheese and Leo’s handmade Russian dressing. commercials, diners were often left thinking, It’s a meaty combination worth busting a gut “Where’s the meat?” Well, there’s good news for for and a calorie-filled way to get those healthy the Reuben connoisseurs who’ve found them-

probiotics sauerkraut has to offer. Leo Jehn has been in and out of the Seoul food scene for a long time. He is connected with the music scene, too. Leo’s is his newest offering. He wanted a place to serve nice cocktails and on point corned beef and pastrami sandwiches. A place for bands to play and for people to drink and eat. A place worth visiting. Almost everything about his corned beef and pastrami sandwiches is handmade. The amount of time he puts into his meat is an example of how much he cares to make the best possible sandwiches he can serve. He runs daily specials at Leo’s, too. They rotate, so they’re never going to be exactly the same, but the beef ribs and mashed potatoes he occasionally has as a special are so tender they melt in mouths and leave behind only a quality hint of peppery spice. There isn’t a better place serving reubens in Seoul and, for someone looking for other quality food, there’s no reason not to go to Leo’s to try the Reuben or one of his great specials. Rejoice, Seoul has worthwhile Reubens. Finally. Prices Corn beef or pastrami reuben 17,500 won, corn beef or pastrami sandwich 15,000 won, specials vary daily Add Yongsan-gu, Yongsan-dong 2ga 46, 2F Hours Weekdays 6pm to 12am, Tuesdays off, Weekends 6pm to 2am

n a One c i x e Man’s M El Pino 323’s Chef D Showcases His Individual Touch at New Mapo Restaurant


tree in East LA, opened up earlier this year as mostly a take-out concept. However, the restaurant soon added seating and a sushi bar-style counter where diners have a front row seat to D's food preparation. When asked about the problem of "benchmarking," essentially a euphemism for recipe theft, D had a "let them try" attitude because his food is mostly about technique learned through years of practice, something you can't just walk away with after one or even ten visits. The restaurant space is humble to say the least, set up in a location which was formerly occupied by a nail salon, but the food which comes out of the small kitchen is as spectacular and unique as a strand of DNA. Diners would do well to start with the tacos. D prides himself on his tortillas and the ones he churns out are uncannily soft but still firm enough to hold their load. In retaining the taste

of corn and the grit of the masa flour, one can understand how tortillas are the pillars of Mexican cuisine. The carne asada mole tacos are an odd combination, but work well together; the smokiness and sweetness of D's mole, more chocolatey than most, ensconce the chunks of steak which sit on a bed of creamy guacamole. Mexican purists may not recognize this taco but, made by the hands of Chef D, somehow it all comes together. Another staple of the menu is the rice bowls. Made with sturdy, longer grain Mexican rice flavored with cumin and lime, these dishes will be revelatory to those who have only eaten shorter-grained varieties of rice. For those more familiar with long grain rice, the firm, resilient texture of this rice will still be eye-opening. The chicken tinga rice bowl is as deep as it is wide and can sate a

massive hunger. The rice comes smothered with a version of chicken tinga that is a kind of shredded, slow-cooked melange, almost gravy-like, the form of which might not be recognizable as tinga to some, but retains tinga's signature acidic bite. Other menu items are not to be missed, such as the jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon. They’ll warm your ears and make you reach for a cold Tecate. The enchiladas verdes have always been the star of D’s pop-ups and a point of pride for the chef — those signature tortillas providing a base for piquant tomatillo-based salsa. Also don't neglect the habanero brownies with ice cream and make sure to pick up a jar of the housemade jalapeno jam. Rest assured, a visit to El Pino 323 will give you a dining experience unlike anywhere else. Prices Tacos KRW 10,800-14,000 for three, rice bowls KRW 8,800-11,800, enchiladas verdes 16,800 Recommended dishes Carne asada mole tacos, chicken tinga rice bowl, enchiladas verdes, jalapeno poppers Add Mapo-gu, Ahyeon-dong 437-3 tel 070-8987-6248 Hours12pm-10pm (3-5pm break)

Edited by Jordan Redmond (


own an ordinary staircase in the basement of a nondescript office building lies the most distinctive Mexican food in Seoul. Like the kind of strip-mall gems that Jonathan Gold has written about, El Pino 323's modest surroundings betray the quality and complexity of the food on offer. It is Mexican food to be sure, but filtered through the sensibilities and experiences of owner D. Christian Kim. Chef D, as he is known to friends and patrons, came to Korea in 2002. Adopted into a Mexican family in East Los Angeles, he grew up learning the practices of the cuisine from his grandmother, a former chef in Mexico, who taught him to the necessity of doing things the right way: never taking shortcuts as the way to extract the best flavor out of Mexican ingredients. After moving to Korea, D continued honing his style of Mexican food in the kitchens of Vatos Tacos, The Warehouse, and Volstead Bar. But it was by doing countless pop-ups over the past two years that D was able to perfect his current menu items while building a devoted following. El Pino 323, named after a famous pine

Chef D, as he is known to friends and patrons, came to Korea in 2002. Adopted into a Mexican family in East Los Angeles, he grew up learning the practices of the cuisine from his grandmother, a former chef in Mexico, who taught him to the necessity of doing things the right way: never taking shortcuts as the way to extract the best flavor out of Mexican ingredients

71 December 2016 · January 2017

70 December 2016 · January 2017

Edited by Jordan Redmond (


Story by Jordan Redmond photos by Peter Kim

Edited by Jordan Redmond (


Story by Rob Shelley photos by Peter Kim


Sweet, Spicy, and Strong from Gorilla Brewing

If you like spicy chocolate treats, you’ll love Gorilla’s new Chocolate Chili Extra Stout. Gorilla got a head-start on the season by releasing this one last month, but it will be truly appreciated during the colder months of December and January. Brewed in London, England at Crate Brewery, this 7.7% stout promises to be the first in a series of “extra stouts” that Gorilla will offer. Brewed with Korean-grown hops and spicy green peppers, as well as cocoa nibs, it’s a smooth, easy-to-sip chocolate stout with just a hint of spicy warmth at the end.


Pints of Hoppy Joe from Hand and Malt

In early November, Brandon Fenner poured me a glass of his then not-quite-finished Black Coffee IPAa, straight from the tank at the brewery. A relatively new beer tradition, the emergence of So this holiday coffee beers offer the comfort of season when a hot cup of joe on a chilly winyou’re tempted ter evening. Most coffee beers to exclaim “Chootend to be dark stouts, a beer wha!” from the style with its own roasty flavor, frigid Korean but Brandon has harnessed the winter, head inside roasted malt and coffee flavors in a nearby craft a well-balanced IPA. The version beer pub and find I tried tilted a little more towards comfort in one of the roasted malt side, but Branthese upcoming don promised the final version seasonal ales. will be even more hop-forward.

03 72 December 2016 · January 2017


Where to find this season’s best local craft beer

The Booth Goes Balinese

On a recent trip with his family to Ubud, on the island of Bali, Chris Shelton fell in love with a spicy ginger tea. He brewed a small test batch upon return and loved that as well. Now he calls this spicy ginger and lemongrass infusion “No Rain”. The ginger and lemongrass give this light-bodied 5.8% beer a surprising copper color. Brewing has just begun and the No Rain should be available just before Christmas Eve.


Staying Warm Baltic-Style with Magpie

My pick for 2015’s best beer, the Last Train Baltic Porter, will be making another stop in Seoul this winter. With Magpie’s brand new

Edited by Jordan Redmond (

w e i v e r P r e e B Craft


Jeju Island brewery fully operational, I expect a new and improved edition. Around the middle of this month, Magpie will also offer a one-off batch of a yet unnamed barleywine, weighing in around 9.5%, and spiced with local figs, cinnamon, and tangerine. At the end of the month, The White Deer (백록) Belgian Wit, brewed with seasonal Korean oranges and ginger, will be released in time for the holidays.


Get Naughty with Hop Mori

Garosu-gil’s Hop Mori brewpub had a Korean record three different pumpkin beers made in-house this past Halloween. That holiday spirit continues later this month with Hop Mori’s Hot Cocoa and Hoppy Holiday releases. The Hot Cocoa is a 6.3% winter seasonal that’s “lightly spiced vanilla

bean creme brûlée on the nose followed by chocolate fudge brownies and toasted marshmallows.” The Hoppy Holiday will combine the holiday flavors of “chocolate pound cake, pumpernickel bread, and chai spiced pumpkin pie [in] a double, dry hopped, centennial IPA: creating a multi-layered, flavor splurge.” Brewer Troy Zitzelsberger will also continue his annual tradition: the Seoul Brew Club Festivus Christmas Party. Local homebrewers will be invited to share their best holiday homebrews, while Hop Mori’s excellent food and beer menu will still be available for, you know, the rest of us. So this holiday season when you’re tempted to exclaim “Choo-wha!” from the frigid Korean winter, head inside a nearby craft beer pub and find comfort in one of these upcoming seasonal ales.

73 December 2016 · January 2017

Winter Holiday

inter and Christmas beers have a long, long history. The latest chapter has seen a trend for high alcohol (abv), dark malt beverages to warm you up: often with spices and other traditional Christmas flavors. With Seoul recently being added to Santa’s craft beer “nice” list, you can now “sleigh” your thirst with an unprecedented selection of local holiday beer.

Story by Rob Shelley photos by Robert Evans


itting next to my Christmas tree, I cracked open a can of Craftbros’ Gangnam Pale Ale, and poured myself a glass. The dark golden color, stimulating bitterness, citrus aroma, and dense white head were all little Christmas miracles. Because for the first time in the history of Korean craft beer, I could drink one inside my own home. I’d be amiss not to point out that 7Brau and Ark have brewed and bottled Korean craft beers for a while now. Yet 7Brau never seemed to really penetrate the market and Ark is much more familiar as bottled than draft beer. But now for the first time there are dozens of beers, from 23 different breweries, you can take out. All this is made possible by a brand new pub in the French district of Seorae-maeul called Can Maker. Can Maker opened in mid-December and will surely shake-up the Korean craft beer market for good. Owner Kimoon Kang, also owner of Craftbros and formerly of The Beer

36 taps serving beers from Korean brewing Post magazine, thinks the time is right to open companies like Craftbros (which is Can Maka pub with 40 different beer taps, all serving er’s big brother, just next door), Ark, Weizenlocally brewed beer. "Now there are new brewhaus, Goodman, September, Kabrew, The eries in Korea and the quality is incredible." Table, Wild Waves, Playground, Can Maker is the first pub in Hop Mori, Pong Dang, GorilKorea to put beer in “crowlers.” Now, for the la, Pyrus, Galmegi, Amazing Crowlers are empty cans that first time in Brewing Company, Magpie, can be filled with draft beer for Korean craft beer and more. They also served pretake out. The name comes from history, you can canned Hand and Malt, and the take-out bottle version, called bring some locally bottles of Ark and Goodman. growlers. Crowlers are getting made holiday beer Kimoon says he’s in talks with quite popular in the US, but until to your parties, a few other local breweries, will a regulation change in July 2016 gatherings, or rotate his tap selection, and is they weren’t reasonable in Korea. Netflix holiday already planning tap takeovers. Until then, only pubs that brewed binges. This gift of Can Maker their beer on sight could sell cushas come at the perfect time. tomers their beer to take home. It opened just before the Christmas season, The Hand and Malt started canning beer and this year’s Lunar New Year's will treats earlier this year but, until the law changed, us with another holiday season at the end of you could only buy them to take home if you January. Now, for the first time in Korean craft bought them at their brewery. Otherwise, you beer history, you can bring some locally made had to open them on the premise. holiday beer to your parties, gatherings, or For Can Maker’s soft opening they had

Add 17, Sapyeong-daero, 22-gil, Seocho-gu Hours 6pm-1am; closed on Mondays tel 070-8888-4605 Website



bad and ask your server for another one. But don’t write that beer off forever. Even with my favorite imports like North Coast’s Old Rasputin, a world-renowned beer, I’ve had a bad bottle. With locally brewed draft beer the probability of an off-batch is increased, but that’s the growing pains of going from a country with only bad industrial lagers to one of the best Asian countries for craft beer in the span of half a decade. Overall, Goodman Brewery was the big winner on the night, followed by Craftbros. A relatively new and still mostly unknown brewery, all of Goodman's beers were solid at worst and really tasty at best. Their quality also surprised owner Kimoon Kang, who now carries all of Goodman's bottles and planned a tap takeover for Goodman at the end of December. In the meantime, I look forward to trying lots of new Korean beer and seeing what rotates through Can Maker’s lineup over the next few months. And with their beer in cans, I also look forward to enjoying many more of those delicious beers in the comfort of my home.

Edited by Jordan Redmond (

Can Maker offers up to 40 cans of locally made brew to take home

lection of Korean craft beer — so I invited some savvy beer geeks to join me in sampling every single one of them. Bill Miller, known as “The Beerfather,” is an influential homebrewer and the recipe master behind some of Korea’s signature beers including the Maloney’s Combat Zone IPA. As a hop-head, he tasted all nine IPAs on the menu. Standing out above the rest was, first and foremost, Goodman IPA (6.2% / KRW 4,900 take out). Next was the Craftbros Cosmos IPA (6.3% / KRW 6,900). And the third favorite was the Budnamu Double IPA (8.5% / KRW 4,900). Nicky Lee, owner of The Bottle Shop, was responsible for covering the eight pale ales. His favorite of the night was the oddly named Goodman Table Beer Pale (3.1% / KRW4,900). Next was Craftbros Gangnam Pale Ale (5.9% / KRW4,900) and Hidden Track’s Elysse Pale Ale (5.3% / KRW4,500). Our photographer, Robert Evans, tried the porters, stouts, honey brown, and amber ales. He really liked Amazing Brewing Company’s Shocking Stout (8.5% / KRW4,500), the Magpie Porter (5.5% / KRW4,500), and the Goodman Table Beer Amber (3.3% / KRW4,900). Finally, I tried all five wheat beers (Weizens and Wits), as well as their two sours and two saisons. Although hard to admit with my undeniable masculinity, I really enjoyed Craftbros Snow White Ale (5.0% / KRW5,500) and Princess Weizen from Weizenhaus (5.0% / KRW3,900). I also enjoyed the sour Surleim Plus from WIld Waves (6.0% / KRW4,500) and the Goodman Garden Saison (5.5% / KRW4,900). Some of the beers had off-flavors, which is sadly still normal for craft beer in Korea. The industry is very young and immature. Whether it’s a problem of brewers not being consistent with their batches, or troubles with transporting beer while maintaining freshness, or pub standards for cleaning taps and proper storage, you’re bound to come across some bad beers. In this case, I don’t think Can Maker is at fault as many of the beers were delicious and Craftbros always serves delicious beer. The main thing to do if you come across a flawed beer is politely explain that it’s

75 December 2016 · January 2017

FOOD & DRINK Edited by Jordan Redmond (

74 December 2016 · January 2017

Game Changer in Korean ft Beer

Netflix holiday binges. The steep discount for taking cans to go caught me off guard. Many were as low as KRW3,900, while the most expensive beer, Craftbros’ Cosmos IPA, cost KRW6,900. Having a glass in-house cost KRW2,000 extra per drink. The craft beer culture in Korea has set a reasonable price for beer at about KRW8,000 a glass, with some menus offering glasses for over KRW20,000, while anything around KRW6,000 a glass is a steal. The prices are so low in part because the price of canning is negligible. The cans, the same ones used by Coca-cola, hold roughly 355ml of beer and cost the business less than KRW100 per unit. The cans at the soft opening followed the minimalistic metallic and analog design. Kimoon plans soon adorn the cans with multiple designs and has already invested in a computer program that prints Starbucks-style labels on each can so you’ll know what you’re drinking. Another thing Can Maker does, which should be standard with every pub but is frustratingly absent, is include the name, style, and brewing company of each beer. The canning process itself is pretty fascinating. The device looks kind of like a sewing machine. Upon first seeing it I asked Kimoon how easy was it to use? "It's very easy,” he replied. “Just five seconds." The bartender simply pours the draft beer into the can, puts on a lid, and the device spins it around. Can Maker advises customers to drink the beer as soon as possible to ensure maximum freshness, but I’ve opened a can days later and it was perfect. Online, people recommend drinking them within three days, or two weeks, or even several months later. Can Maker is now the premier spot, not just for take-out, but for sampling a wide se-

Makgeolli, Why You So Sweet? On the use of artificial sweeteners in makgeolli and how to avoid them

76 December 2016 · January 2017

Edited by Jordan Redmond (


Story and photo by Julia Mellor


hen it comes to Korean alcohol, there is no denying that there is a tendency for it to be on the sweet side. For the most part, makgeolli, cheongju, and even our familiar green-bottled friend, soju, swing to the tunes of sugary. In the booze pantheons of beer and wine, there is an array of flavor profiles that can satisfy the thirsts of even the pickiest of palates, but makgeolli inevitably gets labeled as the ‘sweet’ drink. But why is makgeolli consistently sweet, and is there a way to navigate through the maze of plastic bottles to find a rogue dry gem? If you’re someone on the quest for the latter, stay tuned for the coveted roadmap. First of all, we need to put something out on the table. The vast majority of makgeolli is artificially sweetened, predominantly with aspartame or alternative sweeteners such as stevia or erythritol. Now before you spit out your drink and cry makgeolli foul, it’s equally important to understand why sweeteners dominate the current market. Makgeolli is a watered-down product of rice fermentation that can reach alcohol percentages of between 12 and 19% upon filtration. In its diluted state, makgeolli has the much more quaffable friendly ABV of around the 6% mark, satisfying the consumer demographic looking for light-bodied refreshment. But this low alcohol percentage is precisely what puts makgeolli in its sweetener predicament. Due to the nature of its live fermentation, the taste of makgeolli will continue to change over the course of its short shelf life. If there are high temperatures that might occur during transport as bottles travel from brewery to bar, makgeolli is then prone to spoilage, and nobody likes the taste of an off-brew. And of course, adding water doesn’t just dilute the ABV, but it also compromises the flavor. So how do breweries sidestep these landmines of commercial production? The use of sweeteners is an inexpensive solution to

producing a consistent taste for their loyal consumers. Artificial sweeteners were originally introduced during the post-Korean war period when a ban on using rice for brewing was in place and access to quality starches was restricted. Fast-forward to current times and not only is quality rice once again available but so too is high tech refrigeration and cold storage transport. Yet for the most part, commercial makgeolli breweries continue to use aspartame and other additives to keep their brews sweet. The reason for them doing so is more complex than you might think. For one, the consumers are hooked. After decades of drinking alcohol with a predominantly sweet profile, the association sweetness and makgeolli has become expected. The current makgeolli market is so completely saturated with sweetener use that finding brews that do not contain them is considered rare. Not only that, many makgeolli drinkers are long time loyalists to their favorite brands, and as such they expect a certain consistency when ordering a bottle. For a brewery to change their recipe to no longer contain sweeteners, the change in flavor would be so dramatic that they risk losing their long-running consumer bases in an already small market. Not using sweeteners would also likely mean a longer fermentation time with higher volumes of rice, which would set off financial alarm bells for the brewery accountant. Most breweries are not large money making machines, makgeolli only making roughly 4-5% of total alcohol sales in Korea yearly, so such a decision would be a costly one. Yet there is hope. Five years ago, finding makgeolli without aspartame was usually limited to two or three brands. Yet now we are seeing a growing awareness and breweries are taking on the challenge of returning a sense of quality to the fermentation process by creating all-natural makgeolli. Perhaps one of the most inspiring stories is of a relatively small operation, Hyechang Brewery, that has consciously made the

For a brewery to change their recipe to no longer contain sweeteners, the change in flavor would be so dramatic that they risk losing their long-running consumer bases in an already small market.

choice to convert a recipe previously dependent on sweeteners to a completely sweetener-free brew. Not without struggles, the brewery continued to experiment, test, and tweak its flagship makgeolli, and is now is currently one of the more popular brews around. And of course we should not forget one of the pioneers of artificial sweetener-free makgeolli, Baesangmyeon Brewery’s Neurin Maeul. A mainstay of accessible makgeolli, found in many bars and larger supermarkets, Neurin Maeul doesn’t just acknowledge the fact that makgeolli changes its taste throughout the shelf-life, they embrace it. Choosing to refer to those progressive changes as ‘seasons,’ the brewery educates its drinkers by describing what to expect depending on what day you might be drinking it. Whether you like the sweeter banana notes of freshly filtered spring, or the more mature and more carbonated winter, a visit to one of their brew pubs means you can get a pitcher of your favorite 'season.’ So now we know why most makgeolli errs on the sweet side, but what of the aforementioned key to the promised land of non-sweet brews? They are small in number, but their following is growing. The aforementioned Hyechang makgeolli is certainly making its name as a reliably balanced brew without the heavy sweet notes. Also one of the longest running and well-known dry-style brews is Song Myeong Sub makgeolli. Even more easily found in bars than Neurin Maeul, Song Myeong Sub boasts an ingredients list of purely rice, water, and the wheat based fermentation starter called nuruk. Korean traditional alcohol certainly has roots in sweetness, but there is a broad range of dry, sour, tangy, fruity, and floral flavor profiles possible simply from the fermentation process. The tide of artificial sweeteners is slowly turning and that can only mean more depth, variety and quality on the horizon for our favorite rainy day brew. Tips To find out if a brew contains sweeteners, check the label for the following : Aspartame(아스파탐), Stevia(스티비아사이드), Erythritol(에리스리톨)

Foodie Files : Chef Matthew Chung, The Beastro

78 December 2016 · January 2017

If you could have dinner with any three well-known people, living or dead, who would they be and why? Hm. Let's make it a double date. I'd invite over the Obamas and Tilda Swinton. My only concern is that I am not nearly cool enough to be at that table.

What would be on the table for your last Tell us a little about your restaurant. meal? Our restaurant is The Beastro in Hongdae, Even though I've seared off tens of thouand we've been open since May 2014. We sands of steaks in my lifetime, no one can do New American cuisine, which is just ancook a steak like my mom. A nice hanger other way to say fancy-pants fried chicken. steak, fluffy white rice, kimchi, I take the techniques from my and a sunny egg. A bottle of classic French training and My current Buffalo Trace bourbon. That's fine dining background, and obsession is my perfect meal, and that's we use them to create familRimgagi in Hongdae. what I want my last meal to be. iar American flavors with a Szechwan mung twist. Everything is made from bean noodle What foods or restaurants scratch, and our team is hands soup. Thick glass are on your food bucket list? down the best I've ever worked noodles, intense I still haven't been to those oldwith. My chef-de-cuisine, Stechili broth, fried school temples of French gasve Park, keeps the kitchen runtofu skin. Hands tronomy: Taillevent, La Pyrning along smoothly. Our head down the most amide, et cetera. I would have bartender, Kiwon Ryu, has legit noodle soup loved to have gone to Le Cirque worked at some pretty legendin town. or The Quilted Giraffe back in ary bars in the New York bar its heyday, ridiculous towers of scene, and his pedigree shows food and all. But if I had to choose one resin his drinks. And of course, my sister and taurant, it would have to be Osteria Francesgeneral manager, Cat, is the face of our rescana. I've had Massimo's food several times taurant… which is good because it's a much but never at the restaurant. nicer face than mine. We've always approached our restaurants What was your favorite food when you from the point of view of being American were a kid? immigrants. How we eat in the US is a prodBeing a FFK (former fat kid), I loved just uct of hundreds of cultures coming together about everything. More so than anything from all over the world, each of them trying else though, I loved Thanksgiving dinner. to figure out how to cook their own food. My mom is as Korean as they come, but she We're trying to do the same here in Korea. can roast a mean turkey. And her stuffing is amazing—her secret is chicken livers and How did you come to run a restaurant chestnuts. So good. in Seoul?

Where do you go for late night eats after the restaurant closes? I eat a ridiculous amount of convenience store food. But when I don't hate myself, I like going to La Cave du Cochon. Very nice pates, sausages, cheeses, wines. Best part is, they're open until 1 AM six days a week. But most of the time, I usually head straight for the bar. And for that, the crews over at Honeyhole, D.Still, Southside Parlor, and Alice kill it each and every time.

What are some of your favourite restaurants in Seoul? Lately, I haven't had to leave the Hongdae/ Sangsu/Yeonnam/Mangwon area at all to have the best mid-range dining in the city. Casa di Noa, Ciuri Ciuri, Berabo Ramen, Khaosan Road, Hyangmi, I Am a Burger, Sukkara Cafe, the entire Tuk Tuk restaurant group. There are a couple of other spots, but I'm not telling anyone about those. Buy me a drink, and I might spill some local secrets.

My current obsession is Rimgagi in Hongdae. Szechwan mung bean noodle soup. Thick glass noodles, intense chili broth, fried tofu skin. Hands down the most legit noodle soup in town. As a bonus, hop next door to pick up croissants at Old Croissant Factory for dessert, and some of the tofu bread over at Aoitori for breakfast the next day. What's the best thing your mom made for you growing up?

My mom makes legendary sandwiches. Thick, stacked high with roast beef, bacon, or a good ham. Always a decent mustard. Toasted bread. My school friends would literally fight with each other to get a bite. Do you cook for yourself at home? If so, what's your go-to dish(es) to cook up? At home, I pretty much live off of yogurt, granola, eggs, and club soda. Which sounds really depressing when I say it out loud.


I come from a third generation restaurant family, and Seoul is deep in my bones. It's the closest thing to home I'll ever have, and it's an exciting place to be running a restaurant. It has its frustrations, its limitations—but if you know what you're doing, you can use them to push you forward instead of holding you back.

photo by Christopher St. Germain

Edited by Jordan Redmond (

Edited by Jordan Redmond (



an you tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up, etc.? Sure. I was born in upstate New York, moved to Korea when I was 5, Japan when I was 13, then back to the US for university. I studied at a little liberal arts school in Portland, OR, and it was there where I decided to drop out of my English lit program and pursue cooking full-time. I moved down to Arizona to attend Le Cordon Bleu and have been cooking ever since. This year marks my 12th year in the industry, and I've loved every moment of it (well, not really—just like any other job, there was a lot about it that sucked).

Story by Jordan Redmond

We've always approached our restaurants from the point of view of being American immigrants.

79 December 2016 · January 2017

Picking the Brains behind Your Favorite Restaurants

g n Your World Means othi N

A local experience in rural Kyrgyzstan

Story and Photos by Steve Smith

try but also the feeling of ownership of the land. The ethnic Russians, however, are a displaced people, and it shows in every interaction.  Two kilometers away from the capital city Bishkek and you’ll need to know how to speak Kyrgyz, not Russian, to communicate without being treated like a foreigner.  On this trip, I planned to spend most of my time away from the city and effectively visit 70 or 80 years in the past; to live in a Kyrgyz village is to live the way that our great-grandparents may have lived.  In a way, that’s as beautiful, authentic, and simple as the day is long. Dawn breaks and the sound of the family cow awakens us.   Near the small village of Tokmok, Mairam, the young wife of the youngest son, milks the cow just outside my bedroom window. Later, her tasks will include preparing an outdoor fire and brewing tea, laying out bread and homemade jam for the family’s breakfast,

The Coldest of Cold In the high-altitude lands of At-Bashi, near the border with China, lies a land of dreams, even for the Kyrgyz. Spoken of in reverent tones, this mountainous area is known as the most beautiful, majestic, and most bitterly cold part of Kyrgyzstan. Living a true nomad lifestyle, they are the ne plus ultra of the Kyrgyz. Here on the Djailoo (a high-altitude valley between mountains), they brave the freezing wind year-round, living in yurts just as their forefathers did. Burning a mix of coal and dried sheep dung, the ex-Soviet stoves in the yurts provide a surprising amount of heat. Children play with the sheep when the weather is calm, and are always employed to assist in household chores. The face of every Kyrgyz here shows the daily battle waged with sun and wind, and they are all the prouder for it.  Living here in the Djailoo is the essence of

TRAVEL Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

and butchering and processing the meat from the sheep that was slain the day before. The Time stops. No.  It stopped a long family members slowly emerge from their time ago here.  As if clocks simhouse and wash their faces outside with waply had no more reason to tick. ter carried from the neighborhood well earlier Years ago, while living in Bishkek, Kyrin the week. Mairam’s child, Taalai-bek, waits gyzstan, I tried to describe to a friend there patiently for her to call the family to breakfast how the rate of development in the modern and watches from the “summer kitchen,” which world was so exponential that the rate of is an outbuilding meant to keep the heat of daily Kyrgyzstan’s development was effectively in cooking away from the primary living space. recession in comparison.  After Soviet RusImmediately after breakfast, the daughsia collapsed, the outer USSR states were left ter-in-law begins preparing lunch and dinner on their own to sink or swim, and here I was - there’s never time to relax.  Again tending in little Kyrgyzstan, watching it tread water a fire outdoors, meals are cooked in nearly a as the rest of the world swam away with the campfire style - open flame with a pot resting speed of Michael Phelps doing the butterfly. on a grate above.  It’s been this way for the noThe city government buildings clearly showed mad people for a thousand years, and a thoua lack of maintenance, what you’d expect after sand more before that.  Food is the roughly 20-odd years followtypically simple.  Freshly killed ing the fall of the Soviet Union. Barely able to sheep, boiled with a few seasonPaint fell off the buildings, sideget the right words ings, and sides of noodles and walks were bent out of shape by out, she finally vegetables. The family eats comthe cold winters, and the public explains that munally, and for some dishes, transportation stopped more the family cow it’s imperative to eat with your than it ran; still, there was an aphas swallowed a hands, in honor and remempeal that I could not explain. whole pear from brance of the brave nomadic anGetting to know the Kyrgyz the orchard and is cestors long ago.  Wash it down people and their fellow counchoking. with kumis, a strongly flavored, trymen, the ethnic Russians, is partially fermented horse milk, basically learning two completeand you’ve had the makings of a high calorie ly separate cultures simultaneously. Though meal meant to be eaten along the great Silk both cultures now call Kyrgyzstan home, the Road that will get you through the day withKyrgyz people were there much longer.  They out another bite. carry with them not only pride in their coun-


80 December 2016 · January 2017

Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (



ime Stops


Not a waking moment goes by in the village without work being done caring for farm animals. In every home, in every village, at any daylight hour, families cut, bale, store, and distribute grass for their cows and sheep, tend to their wounds with home remedy medicines, select mating pairs from the herd, help them give birth – the list goes on. During the summer, the families near Issyk-kul give their herds over to nearby shepherds. These men spend their entire summers on horseback caring for up to 500 sheep in the high mountains where the grass grows sweet and green. In payment, they receive a percentage share of the herd.  He constantly watches the sheep for

sun, and the hunger in their bellies at lunchtime. This job ends only when all the grass is cut and stored, and then it will be time for winter, and to bring the herds into the lowlands for greater warmth.

Village Tragedy With the importance placed on animals in this Central Asian lifestyle, needless to say a serious injury to an animal is likewise an injury to the family as well. As night falls on a village near Tokmok, the family settles into the home after a large family gathering and watches the Nomad Games occurring near Cholpon-Ata on a small TV. The oldest daughter labors into the night, preparing bread for the next morning and checking on the livestock. Suddenly, she rushes into the house screaming for help. Barely able to get the right words

As the men look on, trying to think of anothout, she finally explains that the family cow er way to save the cow, she stumbles to her has swallowed a whole pear from the orchard knees, half unconscious. The oldest man grabs and is choking. The only men in the house, the a sharp blade and, with a few words of prayer, young son of 25 and his foreign brother-in-law, puts the cow out of her misery in rush out to help. Working quickthe dark light of a single glowing ly, they try to dislodge the pear light bulb. Now the family has with a long stick, trying to gently Not a waking coax the pear out of the cow’s moment goes by in an entirely different dilemma. esophagus. Though the men are the village without Weighing around 600 kilograms, the cow needs to be butchered as gentle as can be, the cow has work being done and sold. The young daughtermoments of panic and nearly caring for farm in-law bursts into tears. Not only breaks one of the men’s legs in animals. is the loss tragic on its own, she a jolt of fear. Finally, the family knows this was the family’s only patriarch arrives from the neighsource of milk for the family and the cow’s bor’s home and the three men work together to young calf. The men settle in for a long night’s help save the cow. Now very concerned, anworth of work. Taking great care to not cut the other neighbor is called who has veterinary exskin, or cause any damage to the meat, they perience. He tries to clear the pear by reaching slowly butcher their family cow, heartbroken. deep into the cow’s throat, but is unsuccessful.

Night temperatures are cool, and allow for overnight storage in open air, but the next day, the carcass is taken into the city for sale, at 35 cents a pound, adding insult to injury. Life on the Djailoo and in the Kyrgyz village is inexorably tied to the land, to agriculture, to the earth. Some would consider this living to be poverty, but these people have all that they want, and all they need.  They have a life that is rich without money, and the knowledge that they are rich is evident on every face and in every conversation. Life with such purity of purpose and closeness with the natural surroundings makes your heart ache. Your desk seems so far away, and so unnecessary at times like this.  It makes you want to throw your laptop in the trash, follow the shepherd’s whispered call of “Gyel,” and leave it all behind.

Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

Husbandry is Life

their safety, wary that a wolf pack could easily sneak into his camp and steal away with several sheep while he sleeps in his small ramshackle tent. Perhaps the happiest man in the world, he oversees his sheep while taking in the cool, clean air high in the mountains, near the snow-capped Tien Shan. He whispers, “Gyel,” which is Kyrgyz for “Come” and smiles, knowing your 9-5 desk job holds not a candle to the glory of his office. Down the road, men load enormous bales of hay by hand into a desperately aging ZIL truck. The truck, likely a relic from the 1950’s, knows these fields and mountains as well as the young men who live here. All across the land, young men hop in and out of these trucks, lifting the bales on 10- or 15-foot-long pitchforks as the trucks slowly amble along. Time is marked by the rising and falling of the

83 December 2016 · January 2017

TRAVEL Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

82 December 2016 · January 2017

human living. No luxuries; just a pure agricultural livelihood.

84 December 2016 · January 2017

Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (



ying not too far to the north of Seoul is one of the intriguing destinations in South Korean tourism, the result of a highly dangerous and controversial military disconnect. The 248 kilometer long, 4 kilometer wide Demilitarized Zone, known as the DMZ, serves as a buffer between South and North Korea, the two nations that make up the divided Korean peninsula. Many of the visitors to South Korea each year crave a glimpse of the highly elusive yet tantalizingly appealing North Korean countryside that the border provides. Despite its name, the DMZ is still one of the most heavily militarized areas in the world, more than 60 years after the Armistice Agreement was signed. Steeped in history from the Korean War, the DMZ offers visitors both an informative and thrilling expedition. Just after 7am, travelers from around the globe board a large bus, not long after the sun has risen. It takes just over an hour driving north from Seoul to reach the entrance to the DMZ. As the bus approaches the gated entrance, the highway becomes surrounded by towering fences lined with rolling barbed wire. The first stop is Camp Bonifas, where civilians are briefed by a member of the U.S. Army who will chaperone this portion of the tour. After passports are checked, it is made implicitly clear that photographs cannot be taken until instructed.  The bus, headed for the Joint Security Area (JSA), winds through roads surrounded by tank traps and millions of landmines. Cloudy grey skies set a felicitous backdrop for a very tense and up close encounter at the contentious boundary line. The JSA at Panmujeon is the only area in the DMZ where soldiers from the North and South meet face to face. The area offers an eerie silence as a single North Korean soldier stands atop the steps of the building just meters away. Together, U.S. Army and ROK soldiers guard the southern side of the border, defined only by a single concrete slab. While visitors are invited to take

photographs, all cameras have to face north, and communication of any kind, even simple hand gestures, is prohibited. The group is then ushered into the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) Conference Room. The site of the signing of the ceasefire between the U.N. and North Korea in 1953, the conference room houses meetings between the North and South today. Two ROK soldiers wait, completely motionless, near a large, wooden table, situated in the center of the room.  As civilians circle the table, they are informed that they are officially entering North Korea, and are able to take a picture with a South Korean guard in unchartered territory.  Throughout the trip, the US Army chaperone offers visitors the opportunity to ask questions, and gives insight into the daily life of DMZ soldiers. He tells stories of unending competition between the North and the South; rebuilding buildings to stand taller, erecting flags to fly higher, and even posting guards to tower over their adversaries. While one may expect the mood within the DMZ to be somber and tense, the US Army chaperone and tour guide consistently provide a lighthearted take on this weighty situation.  The next stop on the tour is Dorasan Station, originally built to connect Dorasan and Pyongyang by train. The modern building, complete with security entrance checkpoints and a large waiting room for nonexistent travelers, feels vacant and idle. Signs pointing to Pyongyang line empty tracks, while guests walking up and down the platform can imagine the hustle and bustle that may arise if the peninsula were someday able to mend its combative divide.  Following Dorasan Station, the tour visits Dora Observatory in Paju-si, situated at the northernmost point of the Military Demarcation line. From the observation platform, coin-operated binoculars are available to allow a closer view of what lies north. A large banner identifies locations that can be seen


Catch a glimpse of the highly elusive yet tantalizingly appealing North Korean countryside at the DMZ Story and photos by Heather Allman

Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

A Day in Korea’s Demilitarized Zone

85 December 2016 · January 2017

All Eyes Facing North:

week in advance. All guests must submit valid (some only on a good day), including a Kim passport information and present their passIl-Sung statue, Taesesong-dong, which housport while on the tour. A strict dress code is es the impressively tall South Korean flag, enforced, requiring all civilians to dress in caand Kijong-dong, or the propaganda village, sual, semi-formal or formal attire. Shoes must which boasts an even taller North Korean be closed toed. Backpacks, purses and camera flag. Dora Observatory is the ideal location bags are permitted, but must be left on the bus to take in a panoramic view of North Korea’s at all times. Shorts or skirts above knee length, natural terrain. sports uniforms, oversized/baggy clothing, The tour ends at the Third Infiltration sheer clothing, or clothing with military-style Tunnel, discovered in 1978, which is believed camouflage are prohibited. Security escorts to have been designed for a surprise attack on reserve the right to refuse admission to any Seoul. Travelers laden with yellow hard hats person refusing to follow the trek through the tunnel by way dress code. Additionally, photoof a very steep incline, ending only 170 meters from North KoSteeped in history graphs are only permitted at certain times. rean territory. The dark, humid from the Korean channel, said to be able to hold War, the DMZ offers Tour Information Tours are visitors both over 30,000 soldiers, reeks of available year round, and are run an informative stale air, and echoes of hard hats by various companies. Tours are not and thrilling hitting the rocky ceiling ring out. operated on Mondays and National expedition. Holidays. Recommended tour groups The trenches provide a glimpse are as follows: into the gloomy reality of the Koridoor Tours operates a full day visit desperation of the North. to the DMZ & 3rd Tunnel/JSA, Dora Observatory & Despite the hostile atmosphere associated Dorasan Station from Yongsan for KRW 96,000, and a with a trip to the DMZ, it serves as common half day DMZ & 3rd tunnel tour from Yongsan for KRW 40,000. ground for unification. The soil where ROK Cosmojin Tours operates a tour to the JSA, 3rd soldiers and U.S. military members work toObservatory and Bridge of No Return for KRW 137,000, gether to defend peace and uphold justice not and a tour to the DMZ, 3rd Tunnel, Dora Observatory & only unites the two nations, but also offers Dorasan Station for KRW 46,000. visitors from around the world the unique Seoul City Tour Co. operates a tour to the DMZ/JSA and Dora Observatory or Imjingak Park for KRW 85,000opportunity to experience a unique destina95,000 (depending on departure location) and a tour tion where unity meets division. The DMZ is to the DMZ, 3rd Tunnel and Imjingak Park for KRW highly recommended for those who wish to 40,000-50,000. see how two nations can build a united front All tours listed may attend additional sites dependent during such a menacing time. upon current military tensions and accessibility on any given day. Several companies have joined together Where Tours begin in downtown Seoul, departing with the U.S. Army to offer various half- and from various U.S. military bases and locations designated full-day tours to the DMZ. Guests can choose by each tour company. a tour based on price and desired visitation Cost Ticket prices vary per tour length and destinations sites, and most are sold out weeks in advance. visited  Transport Shuttle buses transport guests to and from Those wishing to attend tours visiting the Joint the DMZ Security Area must book their tour at least one

You need to stop complaining and start appreciating Korea Story and photos by Steve Lemlek

86 December 2016 · January 2017

Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (


Why do foreigners love to complain so much?


hat was the first thing you loved about Korea? Did you immediately become enamored when you hopped off the airplane at Incheon airport? Or was it on the bus ride into town? Or when you were staring out of those limousine bus windows, gawking at the high rise apartments and the small communal gardens that were scattered around their feet? Maybe your neighborhood did it for you. The exotic signs, sparkling with neon Hangeul characters. Street vendors hustling their steaming mounds of exotic food. How about the neighborhood halabeoji and halmeoni? When I first arrived, it was a bit of a shock to witness my neighborhood’s elderly population congregate on the sidewalks. They would crack open bottles of makgeolli and bags of small Jeju tangerines as they dried their red peppers in the sun. A seemingly regular, seasonal ritual here in Korea, but one that really struck me. Especially because they took over the entire sidewalk of an otherwise bustling city corner. That’s what got me hooked. The look. The feel. Old & new together. And the fact that this country offered something wholly different than my home (which was most recently a cowboy metropolis called Wichita in the Unit-

tainly weren’t paid by Oyu Middle School (our ed States). school) for the excursion. The days and weeks that followed were No. They were just good folks. filled with bright eyed wonder. I know that That seems to be the standard in Korea. might seem trite to say, but it’s true. I loved And that’s why I love it so much. And that’s meeting all these new people. Each person why I appreciate this opportunity. The culwas filled to the brim with knowledge about ture. The people. The opportunities. And lest their home country that they wanted to share. I forget… the food. They’re all so My co-teacher, Mrs. Moon, was amazing. And I think some of my first friend in this country. you forget that sometimes. She showed me some tips and That’s what got Somewhere between tricks about our little town. me hooked. The Incheon airport and whichevShe introduced me to my new look. The er day of the week it happens to first true Korean meal. Only feel. Old & new be when you read this, you’ve five hours after arriving at together forgotten why you love Korea. Incheon, and 28 hours into my Whether your traveler’s high sleepless international journey, has worn off, or you’ve found it she and her husband brought easier to focus on the negative aspects of life, me to a quaint pork restaurant. Assuming I you’ve just become jaded. Someone who’s less hadn’t eaten a real meal in a very long time enamored with this country, and more in love (I didn’t have the heart to tell them that I ate with partying with other foreigners in Seoul. a KFC mini-slider immediately after touchOr maybe you just want your paycheck. Or down), they ordered five servings of pork for maybe you just want to be a voyeur, and expeour small three-person table. rience this country at your own convenience, They were generous. More than I was acwithout actually having to immerse yourself customed to in the United States. I didn’t rewith the people and the customs. alize it at the time, but Ms. Moon and her husWhatever the case may be, I’m just really band lived in Seoul, around the Gimpo area. tired of “Man, my school sucks” or “ This fuTo travel to my new home in Dongducheon sion food is terrible” or “I hate when people try was a five hour round trip. They were under to speak to me in English.” no obligation to take care of me. They cer-

Sure, an occasional conversation about the annoyances of Korea is only natural. You’re a foreigner. You’ll experience some growing pains in a different country, especially one that’s so removed from Western mores. But complaining can’t consume your life. When the topic of Korea arises around the dinner table, it shouldn’t be met with a sigh and a tirade. It should be met with appreciation. I know, in years to come, when you move back home, you’ll look back at your time in Korea as one of the best periods of your life. You won’t realize it now, but this country, this culture, will be the topic of conversation for you for years to come. “You know, I lived in Korea for 2 years in my 20’s”... you’re gonna say that a lot. Like an annoying travel-abroad student who’s just returned from his summer in Paris, you’ll recount tales of Seoul or Gwangju or Busan to any willing (and unwilling) soul who happens to be in your general vicinity. It’s going to be an integral part of your life. So remember to appreciate it. Cherish that first time you jumped off the airplane, ran to the bus, and met Ms. Moon in Gimpo. Cherish that car ride north to Dongducheon, two and half hours away. Cherish your first pork belly feast and the time you discovered that there was more than just cabbage kimchi. And cherish every day after that. Life’s too short to complain about your co-workers messing up your daily teaching schedule. Or the loud halabeoji shouting into their small red flip phones on Line 4. If your co-workers want to spend time with you at the local bar, and order a round of chicken, go with them. Don’t feel sour because this country, this culture, and this lifestyle doesn’t perfectly align to your desires. Be happy that you’re actually here.

A long-time tradition in Korea is to stay up all night on Dec. 31 to watch the first sunrise of the new year on Jan. 1. Some towns even hold their own sunrise festivals. If you are lost on where to go, check out some of the following locations.

Ulsan Ganjeolgot Cape

From Ulsan | Intercity Express Bus Terminal, take local bus No. 715 to Ganjeolgot Cape *Intervals : 35min

Yeongdeok Samsa Marine Park

Take an intercity bus from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Yeongdeok Intercity Bus Terminal. Take a local bus bound for Samsa Marine Park.

박하사탕 (Peppermint Candy, 1999)

526-1 Aeryeon-ri, Baekun-myeon, Jecheon-si, Chungcheongbuk-do Bakdaljae – Jayangyoungdang – Bareron Holy Ground – Taksajung – Uirimji reservoir

*Local bus schedule: 9 times a day/Travel time : 20min

Eden Valley Resort

8월의 크리스마스 (Christmas in August, 1998)

High1 Resort

211 Palma-ro, Gunsan-si, Jeollabuk-do [Gubulgil 6-1 course / 6km / 1hr 30min] Gunsan Modern History Museum – Old Gunsan Customs – Haemanggul – Sinheungdong old Japanese residence – Chowon photo studio – Gowoodang Guesthouse – Dongguksa – Gaebokdong Artists Street – Binhyewon – Old Chosun Bank

Visit for the transportation details.


Gettin’ action

YongPyong Resort

From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal | Take a bus to Hoenggye Intercity Bus Terminal. From Hoenggye Intercity Bus Terminal, take a taxi to Yongpyong Resort (travel time: approx. 13 min). Visit for the shuttle bus details

G y e o n gg i - d o

If winter sports are more your thing, here are several resorts on offer where you can hit the slopes as much as you’d like.

TRAVEL Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

Gangneung Jeongdongjin Sunrise Park

From Gangneung Intercity Bus Terminal, take bus 109 or 112. Get off at Jeongdongjin Railway Station or Take a train from Cheongnyangni Station to Jeongdongjin. Gangneung Gyeonpodae Pavilion

Bus from Seoul | Take a bus to Gangneung from Seoul Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. From Gangneung Bus Terminal, take Bus No. 202 at the bus stop in front of the bus terminal, and get off at Gyeongpodae/ Charmsori Museum Bus Stop. Alternatively, take a taxi (about 10 min).

88 December 2016 · January 2017

G y e o n gs a n g - d o

Yeosu Hyangiram Hermitage

Across from Yeosu Intercity Bus Terminal, take local bus No. 111 or No. 113 to Hyangiram Hermitage

밀양 (Secret Sunshine, 2007)

Gagok-dong, Milyang-si, Gyeongsangnam-do Recommend hiking course [Milyang Ariranggil course 1 / 6.2km / 3 hr] Eupsung – Gwana – Sculpture Park – Sammunsongrim – Aranggak- Mubongsa – Cheonjingung - Yeongnamru

서편제 (Seopyonje, 1993)

[Chungsando Slowgil course 1 / 5.7 km / 1hr 30min] Dochungri Port Visitor Center – Dochungri – Gallerygil – Dorakriangil - Donggujung, Hwarangpogaetdolbat - Yeonae Bawi

J e j u Sungsan Ilchulbong Peak Pohang Homigot Sunrise Square

Bus from Seoul | From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal or Seoul Express Bus Terminal, take a bus to Pohang (Approx 4hr 40min). Take Bus No. 200 to Guryongpo Bus Stop. Transfer to Bus No. 203 and get off at Homigot Sunrise Square Bus Stop

*Travel time: about 2hr 30min

From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (Gangbyeon Station, Seoul Subway Line 2) | take an intercity bus to Vivaldi Park.* Bus schedule: 08:05, 09:15, 14:25, 17:05 (subject to change) or Take an intercity bus to Hongcheon Terminal. From Hongcheon Terminal | Take a local bus bound for Vivaldi Park. * Local Bus schedule: 06:00-21:00, runs 12 times a day

Welli Hilli Park

Dangjin Waemok Village

From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal | Take a Direct Bus (Dongilju bus bound for Seongsan) and get off at Seongsalliipgu Bus Stop. *Travel time : about 2hr From Seogwipo Intercity Bus Terminal] Take a Direct Bus (Dongilju bus bound for Seongsan) and get off at Seongsalliipgu Bus Stop

Dogo Paradise Spa

Icheon Termeden Spa & Resort Daemyung Resort Vivaldi Park

Ch u n g c h e o n g - d o

Bus from Seoul | From Seoul Nambu Terminal, take an intercity bus bound for Dangjin Bus Terminal. (First bus 06:40, last bus 19:30/ Travel time: 1 hr and 30 min) Transfer to Bus 104 at the terminal and get off at the Gyoro 2-ri Waemok Village Entrance Bus Stop. From the bus stop, walk toward the port for about 270m (4 min). or Take a taxi to the village from the bus terminal. (About 40 km away / The taxi fare will cost around 21,000 won.)

For those who wish to soak and relax, have no fear – there are several spas to choose from around the country. Find the one that’s just right for you.

G a n g w o n - d o

Ttangkkeut Maeul

(Songji-myeon, Haenam-gum, Jeollanam-do) Bus from Seoul | From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal or Seoul Central City Bus Terminal. Take an intercity bus to Haenam Bus Terminal. From Haenam Bus Terminal, take a taxi to the village. (39 km away / the taxi fare will cost around 32,000 won / Travel time: 60 min)


Hot Springs & Waterpark

176 Dogo Oncheon-ro, Dogo-myeon, Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do Mon-Thurs 9am-7pm / Fri-Sun & Holidays 9am-10pm Adult 35,000-40,000KRW / Children (36-month ~ 13yr) 29,000-34,000KRW

G a n g w o n - d o J e o l l a - d o

From Seoul | From Seoul Nambu Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take an intercity bus bound for Yangsan Intercity Bus Terminal. From the bus terminal, go to Yangsang Station (Busan Subway Line 2), Exit 1. to take a shuttle bus. Visit for the transportation details. From Busan | Yangsang Station (Busan Subway Line 2), Exit 1. Take a shuttle bus at E-Mart located in front of Exit 1.

Dong Seoul Bus Terminal › Dunnae Intercity Bus Terminal (Take Yellow Bus or taxi) › Wellli Hilli Park (3 hours) From Seoul | (Jamsil Station. 16 routes) / Gyeonggi-do (8 routes) › Welli Hilli Park (2 hours) From Wonju| (Wonju Intercity Bus Terminal and 16 other stops) › Welli Hilli Park (1 hour, 20 minutes) Visit for the transportation details. Phoenix Park

From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal | Take an intercity bus to Jangpyeong.From Jangpyeong Bus Terminal, take the shuttle bus or a taxi to Phoenix Park. From Cheongpyeong Bus Terminal | Take the shuttle bus to Phoenix Park. Visit for the shuttle bus details. Alpensia Resort

JSA (Joint Security Area, 2000)

125-1 Sinsung-ri, Hansan-myeon, Seocheon-gun, Chungcheongnam-do [Geumgang 2 Kyeong course / 15km / 3hr 40min] Geumgang Visitor Center – Sinsungri reeds field

From Seoul Express Terminal | Take an intercity bus to Hoenggye at Intercity Bus Terminal. From Hoenggye Bus Terminal | Take a taxi to Alpensia Resort (20min). Visit for the shuttle bus details.

Konjiam Resort

Gangbyeon Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 1. Take Bus 1113-1. Jamsil Station (Seoul Subway Line 2 & 8), Exit 6. Take Bus 500-1 Gangnam Station (Seoul Subway Line 2 & Shinbundang Line), Exit 7. Take Bus No. 500-2. Get off at Gonjiam Terminal and take a taxi to Konjiam Resort (10~15 mins, about 8,000 to 10,000 won) or a suttle bus. Visit for the transportation details. Bears Town Ski Resort

Gangbyeon Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 4. Upon exiting the station, cross the street and walk to the right. Cross the street again to find the bus stop. Take Bus No. 11 and get off at Bears Town Bus Stop (Travel Time: about 1hr 38min). Visit for the shuttle bus details.

372-1 Singal-ri, Moga-myeon, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do Mon-Thurs 9am-8pm / Sun & Holidays 8am-8pm / Fri 9am-9:40pm / Sat 8am-9:40pm Adult 34,000-42,000KRW / Children (36-month ~ 13yr) 27,000-32,000KRW Asan Spavis

157 Beongil 67, Asan Oncheon-ro, Eumbong-myeon, Asan-si, Chungcheongnam-do Weekdays 9am-6pm / Weekends & Holidays 8am-6pm Adult 37,000-44,000KRW / Children (36-month ~ 13yr) 28,000-33,000KRW Resom Spa Castle

45-7 Oncheondanji 3-ro, Duksan-myeon, Yesan-gun, Chungcheongnam-do Weekdays 9am-6pm / Weekends & Holidays 9am-9pm Adult 48,000 KRW / Children (36-month ~ 13yr) 30,000 KRW



Sunrise-viewing spots

The Korean Wave has spread far and wide with many a K-drama fan making their way to the country to visit. Some of the film sets from these shows have been converted into tourist spots so that fans can visit and relive their favorite scenes.

Edited by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring (

As the winter chill settles in around South Korea, some may be dreaming of a quick getaway. Whether for a weekend or a week, the options around Asia are endless depending on what you’d like to do. It could be snorkeling in Thailand or shopping in Hong Kong. Or maybe even eating your weight in ramen in Japan. However, not everyone can afford to leave the country. It’s good to remember that Korea has much to offer as well. Rather than escaping to the warm beaches of Southeast Asia or visiting any other country, embrace the cold weather of South Korea and check out some of these interesting places to visit around the country.


G y e o n gs a n g - d o

Like a movie star

Yangji Pine Resort Ski Valley

Visit for the transportation details.

J e o l l a - d o Muju Deogyusan Resort

Take an intercity bus from Seoul Nambu Bus Terminal to Muju Intercity Bus Terminal. * Seoul to Muju bus schedule: 07:40, 09:20, 10:40, 13:40, 14:35

From the backgate of Muju Terminal (in front of Jeil Uiwon Hospital) | Take the free shuttle bus to Deogyusan Resort. Visit for the transportation details.

Aquafield (waterpark and Jimjilbang) at Hanam Starfield

750 Misa-daero, Hanam-si, Gyeonggi-do 10am-7pm Adult 20,000-22,000KRW / Children (36-month ~ 13yr) 16,000-18,000KRW

89 December 2016 · January 2017

o G o t Place

Ph o togr a p h e r ' s S p o t l i g h t Photographer Cristian-Corneliu Bucur

Spotlight Cristian Bucur showcases one of his favorite genres in these selections: portrait photography. He believes that every single photograph comes with a story. One of his favorite quotes is, "a photograph is half about the photographer and half about the subject."

Shot Critique

Photographer Bryan Watkins


Shot Critique

A while ago I was invited to be a part of the celebration of this wonderful child’s christening. I tend to have a camera around all the time, since I never know when I may get to shoot some interesting shots; so this was a great opportunity to put my skills and passion in action. Shall I say I’m totally amazed to photograph children? They’ll always be themselves, express what they are, and never fake anything. What’s not to like?


Bryan Watkins showcases one of his favorite backstage shots of Velveteen while supporting "WhiteLies Burlesque Revue."

An artist is preparing to take the stage only minutes until the curtain call. The performer, Miss Velveteen, was so focused on the minutes ahead that my presence went unnoticed; and with the press of the shutter her emotion was captured.

Edited by Steve Smith (

Edited by Steve Smith (

Ph o togr a p h e r ' s S p o t l i g h t

Groove Korea welcomes Photographer's Spotlight. This section brings some of those special shots from our very own GK photographers to give you a snapshot into their world…



American Embassy (02) 397-4114 • 188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Novotel Ambassador Gangnam (02) 567-1101 • 603 Yeoksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Seoul Samsung Hospital 1599-3114 • 50 Irwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul


Canadian Embassy (02) 3783-6000 • (613) 996-8885 (Emergency Operations Center) Jeongdonggil (Jeong-dong) 21, Jung-gu, Seoul

Grand Hilton Seoul (02) 3216-5656 • 353 Yeonhui-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

Asan Medical Center 1688-7575 • 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul

Somerset Palace Seoul (02) 6730-8888 • 85 Susong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center (053) 250-7167 (7177 / 7187) • 56 Dalseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu

British Embassy (02) 3210-5500 • Sejong-daero 19-gil 24, Jung-gu, Seoul Australian Embassy (02) 2003-0100 • 19th fl, Kyobo bldg., 1 Jongno 1-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul Philippine Embassy (02) 796-7387~9 • 5-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Spanish Embassy (02) 794-3581 • 726-52 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul French Embassy (02) 3149-4300 • 30 Hap-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

HOTELS & RESORTS Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul (02) 2250-8080 • San 5-5, Jangchung-dong 2-ga Jung-gu, Seoul

Park Hyatt Seoul (02) 2016-1234 • 606 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Lotte Hotel Busan (051) 810-1000 • 772 Gaya-daero, Busanjin-gu, Busan Park Hyatt Busan (051) 990-1234 • 51, Marine City 1-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan 612-824, Korea

Airlines Korean Air 1588-2001 Asiana Airlines 1588-8000 Lufthansa (02) 2019-0180 Garuda Indonesia (02) 773-2092 •

EMERGENCY MEDICAL CENTERS Jeju Air 1599-1500 Gangnam St-Mary’s Hospital 1588-1511 • 222 Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul

T’way Air 1688-8686

Yonsei Severance Hospital (Sinchon) (02) 2227-7777 • 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

British Airways (02) 774-5511

Seoul National University Hospital 1339 • 28-2 Yeongeon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Delta Airlines (02) 754-1921

Jin Air 1600-6200


Yongsan Intl. School (02) 797-5104 • San 10-213 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Seoul Intl. School (031) 750-1200 • 388-14 Bokjeong-dong, Sujeong-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do Branksome Hall Asia (02) 6456-8405 • Daejung-eup, Seogipo-si, Jeju Island Daegu Intl. School (053) 980-2100 • 1555 Bongmu-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu

Dulwich College Seoul Dulwich College Seoul offers an exemplary British-style international education (including IGCSE and IBDP) for over 600 expatriate students aged 2 to 18 from over 40 different countries. 6 Sinbanpo-ro 15-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea. 02-3015-8500

Cathay Pacific Airways (02) 311-2700

Emirates Airlines (02) 2022-8400




Eton House Prep (02) 749-8011 • 68-3 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul A unique British-style Prep School for children of all nationalities from 2-13 years of age. A broad, challenging and innovative curriculum preparing pupils for senior school and life beyond. /

Animal hospitals


National Museum of Korea (02) 2077-9000 • 168-6 Yongsandong 6-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul The NMK offers educational programs on Korean history and culture in English and Korean.

Everland Resort (031) 320-5000 • 310 Jeondae-ri, Pogok-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do Lotte World (02) 411-2000 0 • 240 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul Pororo Park (D-Cube city) 1661-6340 • 360-51 Sindorim-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul Children’s Grand Park (zoo) (02) 450-9311 • 216 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul Seoul Zoo (02) 500-7338 • 159-1 Makgye-dong, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do BOOKSTORES What the Book? (02) 797-2342 • 176-2, Itaewon 1-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul • Located in Itaewon, this English bookstore has new books, used books and children’s books. Kim & Johnson 1566-0549 • B2 fl-1317-20 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

HEALTH ORIENTAL MEDICINE Lee Moon Won Korean Medicine Clinic (02) 511-1079 • 3rd fl., Lee&You bldg. 69-5 Chungdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Specializes in hair loss and scalp problems and offers comprehensive treatments and services including aesthetic and hair care products. Soseng Clinic (02) 2253-8051 • 368-90 Sindang 3-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul FITNESS

92 December 2016 · January 2017

Exxl Fitness Gangnam Finance Center, 737 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul • UROLOGY & OB Sewum Urology (02) 3482-8575 • 10th fl., Dongil bldg., 429 Gangnam-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul Tower Urology (02) 2277-6699 • 5th fl. 119 Jongno 3-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul DENTAL CLINIC Boston Dental Clinic General dentistry / Periodontics / Orthodontics (02) 3482-0028 • 92-12 5F, Banpo 4-dong (Seorae French Village), Seocho-gu, Seoul

Chunghwa Animal Hospital / Korea Animal Transport (02) 792-7602 • 21-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul /


National Palace Museum of Korea (02) 3701-7500 • 12 Hyoja-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul This museum has a program called Experiencing Royal Culture designed for English teachers to help learn about Joseon royal culture. Seodaemun Museum of Natural History (02) 330-8899 • 141-52 Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul Don’t know where to take your kids on weekends? This museum exhibits a snapshot of the world and animals. National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea (02) 2188-6000 • 313 Gwangmyeong-ro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do Leeum Samsung Museum of Art (02) 2014-6901• 747-18 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays. Kumho Museum (02) 720-5114 • 78 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed on Mondays. Gallery Hyundai (02) 734-6111~3 • 22 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul The first specialized art gallery in Korea and accommodates contemporary art. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays. Plateau (02) 1577-7595 • 50 Taepyung-ro 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul 10 a.m.-6 p. m. Closed on Mondays. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (MMCA SEOUL) (02) 3701-9500 • 30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Daegu Art Museum (053) 790-3000 • 374 Samdeok-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu Art space for local culture presenting Daegu’s contemporary fine arts and internationally renowned artists.

Hair & Joy Trained at Toni & Guy and Vidal Sassoon Academy in UK Color, Perm, Magic Straight, Treatment and more English Spoken For more info, call Johnny Tel 02.363.4253 Mobile 010.5586.0243 3rd fl. 168-3 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu Hair & Joy

Lotte Cinema Samsung Plaza

Qunohair Gangnam / Apgujeong Branch Tel 02.549.0335 10-6, Dosan-daero 45-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul


93 December 2016 · January 2017

LISTIN G S Edited by Sean Choi (



Hongik Univ. Station

Line #2

94 December 2016 · January 2017

Groove Korea 2016 December  

Christmas in Seoul, Sarah Watson Baik:The fashionable mom, Hagwon life, The Nutcracker, Meet-up groups in Korea, Wear a Hanbok, Krys Lee, K-...

Groove Korea 2016 December  

Christmas in Seoul, Sarah Watson Baik:The fashionable mom, Hagwon life, The Nutcracker, Meet-up groups in Korea, Wear a Hanbok, Krys Lee, K-...