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Friday, 5 June 2015

WOW KOREA! (PART-XIII)

During the last twelve weeks,my articles on the Wow Korea series may have given you an insight on all the possible places you could explore in South Korea during your next visit there - from museums, heritage sites, beaches, universities, themed bus tours, shopping destinations,amusement parks etc. to the local cuisines and the calendar of events taking place all through the year wherein you could participate and end up having a gala time provided you have a meticulous travel itinerary in place.

In the thirteenth post of the Wow Korea series,I shall acquaint you with some lesser known facts about Korea which I bet you didn't know! In fact,it came as a pleasant surprise to me when I learned about them! I believe that it is through these precious little nuggets of information that we gradually come to learn about a nation's belief-system and discover the pulse of this vibrant nation.

Image Source: beyondhallyu.com
The Blood connection: The next time when you are in Korea and upon your interaction with the locals, if you find them taking a shine to you and begin inquiring about your blood group...do not press the panic button! Do not even for a moment think that they are pulling you out to the nearest blood donation camp or asking you to participate in a medical research or some such study etc. 

In fact, according to South Korean culture, blood doesn't merely deliver oxygen to the rest of your body but it plays a big deal in determining your personality,temperament and compatibility!Yes, you read that right!! And based on this,people in South Korea are stereotyped and classified on their blood-type. Though this belief may have originated from Japan, but it has taken a strong-hold in the South Korean culture.In fact,such is the influence of blood,that it even has a say in matrimony especially when it comes to determining on who could be your potential match too!

In the different blood types, there are both positive and negative traits assigned to them. 

People with Blood type A are believed to be conservative and punctual however on the flip-side they are obsessive, uptight, extremely loyal to their partners (no scope for cheating here!) and bit introverted too. Best match for people of this blood type is O.

A still from Korean film, My Boyfriend Is Type B
People with Blood type B are slightly the opposite. Some of their positive traits are that they are creative and passionate.However,they can be lazy,impatient and disloyal too! So you can expect them to cheat on their partners! In fact, there's even a South Korean film made on this subject,'My Boyfriend is Type B' which is a rib-tickling romantic comedy about a Type A girl who falls in love with a Type B boy and then has to deal with all his negative traits,particularly his impulsive nature! Best match for people of this blood type is AB.

People with Blood type AB are considered to be cool and have a good temperament,but on the negative side - they can be harsh,judgmental and an elitist too! Best match for people of this blood type is AB!

People with Blood type O are thought to be ambitious, athletic and loyal in their commitment towards a relationship. They have big goals and ambitions in life and nothing can come in their way of achieving it.But then they are equally egotistical and pompous too.  Best match for people of this blood type is A.

Thus at some point of time in your life if you may have heard someone in a conversation sarcastically say,"It runs in their blood..."  either knew about this practice and thus spake those words or perhaps didn't know about this belief that in some part of the world actually held true(especially in South Korea!).And perhaps,you could then take this opportunity to enlighten them with this knowledge that I just shared with you on this belief that is deeply entrenched in South Korean culture.
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The yearly calendar of Love!            Image Source: blog.korea.net
14th of every month is a holiday in South Korea!:14th February,Valentine's Day is a day that needs no formal introduction for it is universally celebrated as a day of love. However,if you are in South Korea on Valentine's Day,then don't get alarmed or surprised on how this day is observed here. 

Yes,there's a slight twist to it! Unlike the rest of the world where guys have to keep awake all night and scratch their heads in search for that perfect gift be it cards, flowers,chocolates etc. but in South Korea,guys can chill out on Valentine's Day for it is completely a guy's day! On this day,it is in fact the women who show their affection to their lovers be it husband/boy-friends by showering them with chocolates, flowers and gifts. 

And a month later i.e. March 14th, everything is reversed. March 14th also known as White Day is a day when men display their affections to their lady love by giving them chocolates, gifts and flowers.However,this is not all...there's a catch to it. On this day, a guy is suppose to spend three times the amount for the gifts he received by the girl on Valentine's Day! And of course some of you by now must have guessed,the gifts received are often in the color white too!  

Interestingly,when you are in Korea,the 14th of every month is a themed holiday celebrated in some form or the other as a day of love! 

And here's how the yearly calendar of love (as I'd call it!) goes by...

Valentine's Day in South Korea                                    Image Source: CNN
14th January, Diary Day: A day when couples and friends gift each other blank diaries (seems to me like a perfect start to the New Year!)

14th February, Valentine's Day: A day when women show their love for their husband/ boyfriends through gifts, flowers, cards, chocolates etc.

14th March, White Day: A day when men display their love for the wife/ girlfriends by giving them gifts which is three times the value they received! 

14th April, Black Day: The saddest day of all when singles mourn (sigh!) for the lack of love in their life and thus eat sticky, black noodles called “jajyangmyeon” with the hope that their relationship status would change before the next romantic holiday season.

14th May, Yellow Day/Rose Day: A day when couples dress in yellow and gift each other roses

14th June, Kiss Day: A day when you confess your feelings to a crush and seal a new relationship with a kiss!
Image Source: Google
14th July, Silver Day: A day when couples exchange silver rings and discuss future plans of matrimony

14th August, Green Day: A day when couples are dressed in green,drink Soju (an alcohol that is traditionally prepared from rice which tastes similar to vodka and comes in a 'green' bottle) and spend together some romantic moments alone with their lovers in by taking a hike or walking together in the parks or woods. 

14th September, Photo Day / Music Day: A day officially designated for taking photographs and music! Thus this day of the year is bonhomie time for bonding together as people flock portrait studios, gimmick photo booths and Noraebangs (karaoke) to have a good time!

14th October, Wine Day: A day when couples toast to a glass of wine over a romantic dinner while singles drink away their sorrows.

14th November, Movie Day: A day when couples flock movie theaters,rent a flick, gift each other DVDs or even hangout together in a “DVD Bang” (DVD/ Movie room)

14th December, Hug Day: A day that wraps up the year is dedicated to hugs. It is on Hug day where you'd find couples spending the day cuddling with each other whereas for singles there are polls conducted on the subject - which Korean celebrity is cuddle-worthy that gives them a good reason to fantasize and cheer about!

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Hope you enjoyed reading this post as you came a step closer in your quest towards uncovering yet another dimension of South Korea!


For those of you who have missed out on some of my earlier posts in the Wow Korea Series,click here to read: 
Wow Korea! Part-I
Wow Korea! Part-II
Wow Korea! Part-III
Wow Korea! Part-IV
Wow Korea! Part-V
Wow Korea Part-VI
Wow Korea! Part-VII,
Wow Korea! Part-VIII,
Wow Korea! Part-IX
Wow Korea Part-X
Wow Korea Part-XI 
Wow Korea Part-XII

Regards,
Sonaal

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