Posted in Korea, Portfolio, Uncategorized

Korea in the Metro?!

Although Korea is a popular topic in the media at the moment due to high tension between South and North Korea, today I opened up a copy of Metro and on one of the first pages, I stumbled across this article:

20130410_183710

What is it? It’s 해장국 (Haejangguk) also known as 술국 (Sulguk)!
Well… that’s the original hangover soup but American soldiers in Korea decided to alter the dish a bit. I was really shocked to see that the writer and editor at Metro decided to mention that this is a dish founded in Korea.

However, you may have your facts wrong Metro.

해장국 (Haejangguk)/ 술국 (Sulguk)
해장국 (Haejangguk)/ 술국 (Sulguk)

The original Korean Hangover soup (pictured above) is called, as mentioned above, 해장국 (Haejangguk) also known as 술국 (Sulguk). Although Americans altered this dish, the name ‘Yaka Mein’ is a Chinese dish. It is also a noodle soup but it is not Korean.

YaKa Mein

There are two points of view on the origins of Yaka Mein. One is that it originated in New Orleans when Chinese immigrants created a Chinatown (which no longer exists).

The other is that Yaka Mein was introduced to the US by African American troops who fought in the Korean War. Is the confusion caused by Americans changing the name of 술국 (Sulguk) to Yaka Mein?

Regardless, I am glad Korea was featured in a British newspaper for reasons other than tension between the South and North or Psy.

Posted in Korea, Uncategorized

Writers Block.

Just 5 weeks left until my dissertation is due and I have been suffering from writers block for more than a week. Before then it was just sheer laziness but now I want to write but my mind goes blank.

writers-block

My dissertation topic is so under-researched so I have to do three-four different fields of research. Popular culture, Fandom, Identity & Adoption. Identity among adopted people is such a sensitive subject that many people are scared to research into it.

Stupidly, in my mind I thought it was a good idea to have a unique dissertation title so it would be different. I failed to realise that in doing so it will make my dissertation so much harder to do!

Along with the pain of research, I have to do five interviews that should last between 30 minutes and an hour and a half. Also the people who I have to interview are hard to find in London.

(If there are any adopted Koreans living in London, please contact me! You will be saving my life! Even if you don’t live in London, Skype can connect us so get in touch please!)

But I know all this hard work will pay off. Once the cloud above my head has passed and I manage to start writing, I am confident that I will do well. If this dissertation goes the way I have planned, it will be a success. Not only for the grade I will get and how it will impact my degree, but as an under-researched topic. Having something I can call my own and have published is my dream.

Uniqueness is the key.02 Killer Keys Rubber Key Fobs

Posted in K-Pop, Korea, Portfolio, Uncategorized

K-Pop success in Western Countries?

Recently I have been reading blog posts which discuss K-Pop & Western success. The main thing I noticed was that there are a lot of people who think K-Pop Artists need to release songs in English, in order to get successful in Western Countries. This blog post is going to be about why I think this shouldn’t happen.

The band I am going to use as my main example is… 빅 뱅 (BigBang)!

So BigBang were in America recently and there were many blog posts about BigBang becoming successful in Western Countries. While I was glad to read about BigBangs success, I had a problem, every blog post that I read suggested that BigBang should have an English album. Now, I must state that this is purely my opinion, and I am sure people will disagree. I think, if BigBang or any other K-Pop band started singing in English rather than Korean, it would be a disaster.

I think that K-pop works so well because it is sang in Korean! There is something enticing ad attractive about listening to people talking Korean and I believe that K-Pop is the best way to show how interesting, beautiful & sexy Korean Language is! Singing or Rapping in Korean is what sets K-Pop apart from mainstream music in Western countries. I completely understand that some people won’t listen to K-Pop because it is in Korean, but people who appreciate well made music that is catchy, will listen to any kind of music, regardless what language it is sang in.

Being someone who hangs around with a lot of people who don’t listen to K-Pop, I realised that they tend to think that K-Pop is cheesy and sounds like the type of songs you hear when you play dancing stage in an arcade. So when I showed them songs such as G-Dragons ‘One of a kind’ and a few songs by Jay Park, they were shocked that they sound like songs they would hear in western countries. Some of them even liked the songs so much that they downloaded a few! The point I’m getting to here is that, if K-Pop had more coverage in the press, people will know that it does not sound like the music you hear on Dance Dance Revolution! And they might be more open to listening to K-Pop.

Recently, Psy (Park Jae-sang) has had a lot of media coverage, but as a comical music act, he does not and cannot represent the whole of Korean music. It’s like saying that Taylor Swift can represent western music as a whole. There are several different genres within Korean music, as there is in western music. There is Hip-Hop, Indie, Rock, Pop, R’n’B & Jazz to name a few, the only difference is that they are sang in Korean, by Korean artists!

Now, I was originally going to make one big blog post about K-Pop, but it might not be easy on the eyes! This post is already a bit long so I am going to do a small series of follow up blog posts. The next one is going to be posted today.

Please stay tuned for ‘Why I listen to K-Pop’…

featuring BigBang!

Posted in Portfolio, Reviews, Uncategorized

A night with Passion. Pt. 2

Hello! It’s been a while! I’ve been too busy!! =[

However, with the stress of uni deadlines and work, I managed to go to see the awesome and super talented Jeremy Passion.

If you have not read The Empty Suitcase Project and A night with Passion, please read both of them!

As my ‘A night with Passion’ post mentioned, Jeremy Passion was in Europe doing a tour, ‘the little tour that could’. London was lucky enough to have Jeremy perform twice in one month!

The first show was amazing. I enjoyed myself so much and Jeremy was such a gentleman. I really didn’t know how he was going to come back at then end of the month and top himself.

The difference in venues was amazing. Although the La Berrique was an amazing venue for an intimate show, Coronet Cinema was a truly amazing and breathe taking venue. Although it was a larger venue, the show was still very intimate, perfect for Jeremy’s last leg of the little tour that could.

Putting the venue aside, Jeremy definitely topped himself. He managed to perform some of the same songs he did in the first show, but bettered them and made them sound different without changing the song. The band that were assisting Jeremy were amazing. Although it was very hard for everyone to keep their eyes of the too-handsome Jeremy, the band did not just blend in to the background.

The only similarity between the 31st of March and the 29th of April shows was that they were both inspirational and emotional.

Jeremy performed ‘Stephanie’, a song he wrote for a girl he met after a show who suffered from Lupus. Jeremy was touched by her story and wrote a song for her. When he performed ‘Stephanie’, the whole crowd fell silent. It was the most moving performance I have ever seen. I believe that even if that was the first performance you saw of Jeremy, you would fall in love with his music. In my opinion, the song showcases his talent of song writing like no other song.

Jeremy also made me go weak at the knees when he looked at me while singing a line from Lemonade. Jeremy, if you read this, I don’t know if you did it intentionally but you looked at me at both shows, while singing the same line, you made me feel like a crazy fan-girl! It’s not good! =P (You know I enjoyed it though!)

Bluey Robinson also put on an amazing set. It was the first time I heard of Bluey, and he made me want to hear more of him! Esmée Denters also made a brief appearance!

Jeremy also stayed behind after the show once again. I can speak for everybody when I say, we appreciated that!

Altogether, an amazing show.

I mentioned in my previous post, A night with Passion, that I would be interviewing Jeremy. Unfortunately, with his busy schedule, it was not possible for me to interview him. However, although I did want to interview him face to face, since there is something special about that, I know there are other ways of interviewing him. Also, although I was a little upset, I am now more inspired and motivated to get more into the role of a Journalist! I have always dreamed of going to America after I finish uni, and by watching amazing artists such as Jeremy, AJ Rafael, Victor Kim and JR Aquino, to name a few, I am more determined to move to America and become a Journalist! So I can interview the people who inspire me!

So Jeremy, when I come to the states, I will interview you! Whether you like it or not! =P

I forgot to tell you face to face how much you actually inspire me to make a difference, through what I have a passion for (Since I don’t have a good singing voice!).

To sum it all up, Jeremy is a huge inspiration and he definitely put on a great show, twice in London, on The Little Tour That Did.