Keeping up with Korea (VI)

Oh hey, it’s been a while! I’m guessing that this will be the second-to-last post here, as I have one more big project scheduled (check back around NYE), and after that, it’s probably finally time to let this semester go and focus on my life again (or, more accurately, for the first time?). Anyway. Lots of interesting stuff has happened, here are some links:

 

-> Unfortunately, misogyny is a major societal problem in South Korea (not that there seem to be any places where it isn’t). This came to the forefront in a major way earlier this year with the ‘Gangnam Murder’ and the ensuing protests and societal debates around it. This was still pretty early into my stay in Korea, so I wasn’t exactly plugged in and aware of the big topics of the day, but even for me the topic was pretty inescapable. Korea Exposé has a comic strip/graphic novel looking at these events in great detail.

-> In a somewhat similar, but much more amusing vein: Guidelines for a Beautiful Penis. A real head-scratcher.

 

The political scandal sorrounding president Park Geun-Hye has become mainstream news all over the world, so I won’t go into day-to-day coverage, but here are some more background pieces that I found pretty fascinating. They are all a bit older, but still worthwhile reads if you’re interested in this truly fascinating scandal.

-> Religion and Politics in South Korea: Very Comfortable Bedfellows

-> South Korea’s Candlelight Revolution in Pictures

-> The Ultimate Choi Soon-sil-gate Explainer (Part 2) . Ask A Korean is must-read regarding this scandal, and this longread goes into all the corruption allegations leveled against PGH. The list is absolutely staggering, bizarre, hilarious, and enfuriating.

-> Also by Ask a Korean: The Lessons of Choi Soon-sil Scandal. Fascinating comparison of US and Korean politics, pondering whether the past years of Korean turmoil can predict the US’ future.

-> I’m still amazed that all of this started with a college admission to prestigious Ewha Women’s university. Even weirder is that I almost applied to Ewha a year ago. Even weirder again is when I randomly stumbled across this engraved swarovski Ewha pen in the office this week.

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-> I cannot recommend Colin Marshall’s writing enough. He’s been writing about Korea for the LA Review of Books for about a year now, and compiled a post of some of his favorite essays from that time. As a big fan, I particularly enjoyed his attempts to read Korean translations of Calvin & Hobbes.

 

 

Finally, I tried my hands at Korean cooking once more. I  made twisted doughnuts, known as Kkwabaegi (꽈배기). I’ve really struggled with Korean bakerys and their complete focus on incredibly sweet treats, but kkwabaegi rules. I followed this recipe, and it’s really good. It is somewhat labor-intensive, and ideally you would fry them to achieve their typical even golden brown exterior. However, it works in a pan too – they won’t look as pretty and evenly-colored and they’ll get flattened and lose their typical round shape, but they taste just like out of a Korean bakery.

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Now I have to cook it for my family at christmas. If I can get my grandpa to enjoy Korean treats, then we’ll really have a christmas miracle on our hands.

 

Tune back around NYE for my Seoul project to drop!

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