Monday, February 28, 2011

28 February 2011

Like the black blazer especially with a Bow tie. The last time I wore bow tie was when I was in kindy school. I am too round to wear one though. Just say nia..

Felt shity today, my korean still not up to standard... lots more to go but until when? Today too, saw my article on the KNU magazine (I did post the article previously, do check out for the post ^^) 오늘 맘이 넘 아파.. ㅋㅋ

School gonna start soon and I have a bad feeling that I will have to start all over again meeting new friends as most of my classmates are now in different major.

I really wish I can know what people are thinking... sometimes... :(

Saturday, February 26, 2011

KNU Korea - Graduation Day

Today is the day everyone will have lots of memories.
To some, this will be the final meetup with friends
To others, this is the day to get drunk
Happy times and sad times, part and parcel of life.

Everyone will somehow arrive at this phase in life, mortarboards will soon be worn on top of our head. My time too will come soon.

In Korea as in every countries, graduation ceremony is a big occasion. Parents, relatives and friends gathered to witness this special moments. In KNU (Kyungpook National University) roads were littered with cars parked hazardly. Along the side walks, businesses flourished from stalls selling bouquet of flowers, drinks and 오댕 (fish cake) to photography services.

No difference from Malaysian university? I think it's almost the same. Like every friends should do during his/her friend's graduation day, I tried going to each and every friends' graduation ceremony.

So on this very day, I tried to schedule who first to visit since I had appointment with friend for lunch and dinner.

I woke up late purposely that day because I am skipping workout. Usually I am always lazy to take early bath in the morning so that after breakfast and gym, it is much more convenient to bath. Imagine waking up early for shower, then breakfast, rest, then go gym, after that shower again. Get the point? Ah~ Nevermind...

In KNU, it was kinda inconvenient for the ceremony to be held in different places depending on your major. So lets say, I have a friend majoring in Finance and another one is in Biology, I could only pick one to go and see. Going to my finance-majored friend or another biology-majored friend.

After the hu hah photo taking ceremony, it was buffet lunch. The good food were all meat, and the only thing that looked tempting was still meat. So we all transformed into carnivores for a day. The restaurant was called T3 샤부 샤부 식당 (restaurant) located near E-mart in Daegu. Good service but only alcohol (pay by yourself, not included in buffet) or water for drinks.

Sitting with heavy eaters made the amount I ate felt too little so I unconsciously took more.


On March 27, It's gonna be my second year in Korea. :) Sometimes, I felt a bit nostalgic but nevertheless glad that I am still doing good. Hope everything's gonna be awesome.

These days, I am quite busy with outings and there are so many meet-ups because the new semester will start soon. I hate attending classes sometimes especially on monday morning! After a weekend of sleeping late and outings, I tend not to be able to wake up early. Oh and this semester, I have monday morning classes :(

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Timeless MV

At first, I thought this music video was for a movie. Very nice. :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I wish I can

I know I am growing old. As day passes, I felt older. I can't run as hard as I used to be last time (I couldn't run continuosly in a marathon-type exercise everyday... haiz...), I couldn't shout as loud as I want to and my sights are deteriorating (hope it's not because of computer...).

I wish I can become young without the thoughts of getting a job, getting into school, my future and many more things we do not dream of when we are grown-ups.

I wish to run in the fields as free as a bird, nobody to see me other than my mum or dad.

I wish there is no classes the next day, able to sleep all day long.

I wish I can be really good at doing things I am good at, designing houses with LEGO blocks instead of books.

I wish I can meet more friends that share the same interest as me, destroying other people's sandcastles.

I wish I can be a policeman or an army instead of a student.

"Age is just numbers" like I always say, but saying it is another thing, feeling is also another thing.

But I am all grown-up now. With lots of responsibility and lots of big dreams yet to be achieved. When I graduated, a quarter of my life will be in overseas, another quarter of it I was day-dreaming while another half, my doings that makes me into who I am today. Half of my life will be in school or university. Half of it will be at home.

This is what I think of. Wow. Time really flies.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ADV - Secret Garden, the TV Drama is not to end

Secret Garden, a Korean TV drama that won favorable attention from the audience for the actors’ excellent performance and its famous lines, has just come to end. As the TV drama of the moment generating a lot of talks, not only its storyline but also the fashion, props and even NG takes became a great interest among the fans.

In particular, the location sites of the TV drama where the main characters’ scenes have been taken were what aroused the audiences’ curiosity the most. Let us have a closer look to the places Secret Garden invited their fans; the workshop location where Joo Won (Male leading charater) and Lime (female leading character) looked through the eyes of love of each other, Jeju hotel site where the two souls were switched and Petite France where the couple has first met.

Here I am

Petite France, Joo Won first meets Lime

Do you remember the place where Joo Won first meets Lime (I DUNNO COZ I DON'T WATCH THIS DRAMA. LOL), mistaking her as Park Chae Rin who Oscar had asked to find for him? The romantic and fairytale village that often appears on TV or movie screen is from Petite France, a French village located in Gapyeong-gun Cheongpyeong-myeon, Korea.

If you are a fan of Secret Garden, continue reading here to KNOW MORE about the shooting places and some short narative on this drama :)

I did not watch this drama so I couldn't tell more but I did watch IRIS. It was superb but too bad the ending sucks. I expected it to have more action in the otherwise heart suspense I chase YOU you CHASE me scenes.

One of the place shot in the IRIS drama, a tourist spot in Korea - Gwanghwamun Plaza.

ADV - K-Pop growth into the States, the heart of pop music

Last year, erm... actually on the New Year eve, I celebrated my new year in Seoul. The weather was freezing but seeing korean girl group performing in tight pants and no warm clothing was electrifying. It was minus 12 but the band performed so well that winter seemed to be like summer.

The girl group was Nine Muses performing Ladies. This was my first time listening to the group's song, I am neither a K-pop song fan nor Korean dramas serial watcher. Up to today... the only drama I watched was the Iris... haha. For songs, I am quite into songs by ... who? lol.

All sad songs. Where is all the happy songs??? Hmmn. This one is better.

Lets get "high" in this post below okay? ^^

In the 70s and 80s young Koreans listened to American pop music admiring the American pop stars, however in 2010 the scenario seems to have changed. Hanlyu (the Korean wave) in Japan and Thailand (MALAYSIA INCLUDED. I THINK) is now moving on to the Northern America; Korea is now receiving fair attention from their American fans enjoying Korean pop music. The fandom of Korean pop music (K-pop) is growing beyond its region reaching to America and Europe, the heart of pop music.

The very famous Winter Sonata that made Korean drama so well known

Hip hop, R&B, electronic dance and etc. were originated from the Western cultures, yet these genres had been interpreted by Asian sentiments in Korea and developed into a unique style of pop music. It then has been introduced back to the global market; it is pop music but from Korea. A recent research on K-pop video views statistics on YouTube, a global video-sharing website, well illustrates this phenomenon.

Hanlyu in America

The Korea Daily (Korea Joongang Daily USA) totaled the views of K-pop video clips on YouTube of year 2010, which counts those of netizens from 229 nations. 923 video clips of Korean pop-stars who belong to Korea’s top three major entertainment management agencies were analyzed and 793,570,000 was its total hits; by continents, views from Asia was 566,270,000, Northern America 123,470,000 and Europe 55,370,000. While Asia showed the largest number of views yet an increase of those in the US is shown: the number, 94,870,000 views in total, ranked third following Japan (113,540,000 views) and Thailand (99,510,000 views).

In fact, this is not that surprising if we take a look to rising K-pop starts receiving attention overseas. Recently Wonder Girls, a representative K-pop girl group success example in the overseas market, performed on the legendary funk band - Earth Wind & Fire’s 40th debut anniversary opening stage receiving favorable response from the audience.

Wonder Girls earlier performed the opening stage of a mega concert of which top musicians of America including Stevie Wonder had participated; there they received enthusiastic response for their songs Nobody and Tell Me while some fans following their song and dances. With their hit song Nobody, Wonder Girls became the first K-pop start to have their song ranked on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2009 and as well had been introduced by Chicago Tribune, one of the 10 major newspapers in the US, on their daily paper and online site.

Wonder Girls

After the success of Wonder Girls other K-pop singers has been active to enter the overseas music market. JYJ a boy group of three members separated from the previous Dong Bang Shin Ki is planning to release their first regular album in the US. In fact they are the first Korean singer to make a contract with Warner Music, one of the top three major recording labels in the world. Warner will produce and distribute JYJ’s first US album and Kanye West, a renowned musician and producer will also be participating in this collaboration. For such reasons even before its release, this album received great attention introduced on the main page of Billboard magazine online.

In addition, BoA, who already has a bigger fandom in overseas as a singer will this time play the main role in Duane Adler’s – a renowned screenwriter of ‘Step up’ and ‘Save the Last Dance’ - new film as an actress.

Why K-pop?

Actually America has much more variety of popular culture...

Read more here

ADV - Would you like a bowl of Ttukbaegi?

Onggi, a traditional Korean pottery has a significant role as a container preserving food in Korean food culture. In fact, in the olden days when we were reminded of the rows of kimchi and doenjang (soybean paste) jars that used to be stored in the house yard. Nowadays as plastic and stainless containers became popular and the housing environment had changed, Onggi lost its popularity in daily life of Koreans. However, recently the cultural value and identity of Onggi has been acknowledged. Books written in English to promote a global use of Onggi have been published followed by attempts of contemporary interpretation on the traditional pot. Let’s take a closer look.

Onggi, traditional Korean pottery of daily life

Onggi, in Korean means earthenware or pottery with a dark brown glaze, which is a native Korean pottery of daily life. Often used as a kimchi jar, for its cheap price and long-durability has been generally used by Koreans. Onggi Folk Museum in Ssangmun dong, Seoul, possesses a variety of Onggi; the big ones mostly used for preserving soy sauce, doenjang, kimchi and water and others used in a more wide range of use e.g. chimneys, candle bottles, lamp-oil containers, Gi-wa(roof tile) and tea pots.

The common use of Onggi can be explained with the characteristics of the Korean food culture. Onggi perfectly suited to preserve fermented food. Made from coarse sand-mud, its breathing holes allows air to enter but block water out that helps the preservation of the food for a longer duration. It also removes toxic substance of foods and reduces the smell. By enabling effective flow of air that helps the fermentation and preservation of the food, Onggi is perfect to store doenjang, soy sauce, kimchi and Jeotgal (salted seafood) keeping it fresh until the following year.

Onggi is a ‘pot from nature,’ that when cracked or broken to be thrown away it simply transform back to earth as soil. The pot is made of soil, water, fire and wind that are harmless to our body. It is eco-friendly but also has traditional Korean scientific logics embedded, no surprise it was selected as one of ‘100 Cultural Symbols of Korea.’ Last year ‘Onggi Expo Ulsan Korea, 2010’ was hosted by Ulsan Oe-gosan Onggi village, the biggest Onggi trading center of Korea.

‘Onggi Expo Ulsan Korea, 2010’ under its theme ‘Onggi the Mirror of the Future’ introduced Onggi featuring the meanings found in its materials and decoration technology and also offering events to experience the difference between Onggi and other potteries from the world. It was the first international expo on traditional Onggi and event catered for visitors to make their own Onggi was a great success...

Read more here

ADV - Sharing Intangible Heritage of Korea with the World

Cultural Heritage can be divided into tangible and intangible heritage. Cultural assets with forms e.g. a palace or ceramics would belong to the former category, while formless assets such as music, dance, drama, and recreations would belong to the latter one. Especially the legacy of intangible cultural assets has been continued by the people throughout history until now, being re-created by time contributing to the diversity of culture.

UNESCO has well acknowledged the importance of intangible cultural heritage. In 1997, at the 29th UNESCO general assembly, it had adopted ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity’ in order to protect intangible heritage which has been under threat by industrialization and globalization.

In 2003 ‘Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage’ was adopted by UNESCO and was designated as an ‘Urgent Safeguarding List’ and ‘Representative List’ of intangible cultural heritage of humanity. In 2001, 19 assets have been assigned as intangible cultural heritage and the list of it was increasing since then. Last October the food culture of France and Mexico was added to the list and they received lots of attention.

CHA produces DVD on Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Half of cultural assets inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List are those of Korea, China and Japan; Kabuki theater of Japan, the Dragon boat festival and Acupuncture and moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine of China. Korea has eleven assets on the list; the Royal Ancestral Ritual in the Jongmyo Shrine and its Music, the Pansori Epic Chant, the Gangneung Danoje Festival, Cheoyongmu, Ganggangsullae, Jeju Chilmeoridang Yeongdeunggut, Namsadang Nori, Yeongsanjae, as well as Daemokjang (traditional wooden architecture), Gagok (lyric song cycles accompanied by an orchestra), and Falconry the last three recently added to the list.

The National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage (NRICH), Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea produced contents with foreign language services introducing the eleven assets distributed by this month. A video clip on five assets inscribed on 2009 (Cheoyongmu, Ganggangsullae, Jeju Chilmeoridang Yeongdeunggut, Namsadang Nori, Yeongsanjae) is as well produced in three language editions with Korean, English and French. The clip includes a brief introduction on each relevant item that will be a useful resource for foreigners interested in Korean culture.

To promote active use of it, NRICH will distribute those video clips to relevant organizations and researchers in Korea and overseas, as well as providing online access to the material at NRICH homepage. High-quality contents on the intangible cultural heritage of Korea acknowledged by UNESCO was planned to be developed, produced and distributed every year. Such attempts were expected to improve worldwide recognition on those heritages of Korea that has been under-promoted, despite its value and significance representing the history, culture and identity of Korea.

The Intangible Cultural Heritage, the dwelling place for the Korean Spirit

Namsadang Nori, No.3 Important Intangible Cultural Properties of South Korea

Let’s take a closer look to the five cultural assets featured on the DVD produced by NRICH. Namsadang Nori is the no.3 most important intangible cultural properties of South Korea....

Read more here

Korea Grand Sale

Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Visit Korea Committee hosts a ‘Korea Grand Sale 2011’ with approximately 14,000 business participants including the ‘BIG 20 (A strategy selecting a group of franchise businesses favored by foreigner who visit Korea and offer discounts)’s for fifty days. On weekends, various events are offered for customers.

Korea Grand Sale

- When: Mon. 10 Jan 2011 ~ Mon. 28 Feb 2011
- Where: Seoul, Busan, Jeju and other local governments nationwide

* Weekends Special Street Events (Hours 13:00~16:00)

- Sat. 15 Jan ~ Sun. 16 Jan 2011:
Myeongdong Theater

- Sat. 22 Jan ~ Sun. 23 Jan 2011:
Dongdaemun Hello APM

- Sat. 28 Jan ~ Sun. 30 Jan 2011:
Yongsan, IPark Mall Event(Floor 4)

- Sat. 12 Feb ~ Sun. 13 Feb 2011:
Outside Lotte Department Store(Main Branch)

PS. Now is the best time to get the best price for winter clothing albeit an out of fashion ones. hehe. But I can see most shops started to replace them with spring wear, spring's coming. Start of my semester next month. :(

Global Entrepreneurship Training 2011 Korea

What do I get from spending my precious 1 week stay to learn about entrepreneurship?

Becoming a zombie was not great as it seems.

I am more of a hard worker, able to not sleep long hours as long as my task can be completed on time. But this was too much, from my previous post, I felt really like giving up. The business competition was too stressful because there was practically no effectual leader to lead so no tasks were being done :(

My team prefered not to decide earlier on who to lead (suprise suprise) so it was hard to get the steam up. There was no effectual leadership in the team so I realized I had to step in because without it, no work can be done. But I guess, by the time I stepped in, it was just too late. The real work had not been done for the past few days and business ideas were a mess.

I learned that sometimes we just need to step in to manage the company and leaders should be selected earlier so the team can function as he/she lead the team.

In a company, we need capable people. There are few types of people in a team, at the very best end was the "Make it happen" type of people, followed by "Help it happen", "Watch it happen", "Hold it back" type of people and finally "OMDB (Over My Dead Body)" at the end of the normal distribution curve line. The "Make it happen" will influence the "Help it happen" type of people so that this kind of people can indirectly influence "Watch it happen" type to get the job done.

My team lacked accountants. Wanna be my accountant? :)


Global Entrepreneurship Training 2011 or GET 11 was organized by Handong Global University under the sponsorship of UNESCO from February 6 till February 12. As the only participant from Malaysia in a training comprising over 38 nationalities from as diverse as Kenya, UAE and Canada, I am trully blessed to be given this opportunity to spend time in my otherwise monotonous holiday vacation.

I had no expectation on how I am going to achieve when I first arrived, I am more into learning and starting my very own burger stand (just kidding. hehe) business. I felt I was a kindy student participating in some big-boys training because a majority are doing masters and PhD while I? A sophomore only until next month, so techically speaking, just a freshman.

How did I fare? Great. Able to speak is one thing, able to deliver what you want to say is more important. But constant sleep deprivation did take a huge toll on my mood and concentration. Wah... It was hard to say but added up with stress and endless hours of workload. It was really tough.

Oh, now the schedule of my training. On the very first day, I went to Pohang alone, the rest of my KNU friends decided to take bus but I took train, actually I took train because the time fit my gym schedule. I had to leave my home for train at 1pm so during the time before it, I went to gym and exercised like shit. Reached Pohang at almost 4.30 pm and had a short orientation. After that, we had an opening ceremony with some nice dinner.

First day, my classes were Entrepreneurship mindset, Impact of Entrepreneurship and Creative Inovation and a small lecture by a professor that created "Super Corn". He was really a nationalist because he was more of my-own-country-first mentality and was frank to say, he rather help his own country than other poor country first. hmmn. Then we had Social Entrepreneurship lecture and ended up with a group introduction of my fateful team.

We really did not sleep early today and like most days, we (not everyone though...) slept at 3.30 am and woke up at 6.30 am (only me, I think) to start off our day at 7.30am. Second day was about learning how to start up a business and writing business plan, and continued with finance and accounting. I had to admit, of all the lectures, I really dislike accountancy (How ironic too when I took Diploma in Accountancy last time...). My thoughts were like, "Come on!, lets hire an accountant and let him do the job la..." so I was staring at the blank empty screen in front of me.

Next was marketing. It was not a difficult lecture and was continued by Business Plan Writing and Review followed by presentation. I did the presentation. Slept late again. Third day was more relaxed, we had business law (I like law) and ways to raise capital for business. My eyes were opened because I was more interested in raising money to start my future business than anything. How to start a burger stand if I have no money to buy chicken patties and the cooking tools. Should I ask mama? or investors? :)

We had a field trip to POSCO factory (this is my "millionth" time there so IT REALLY WAS BORING!) and we visited the mayor of Pohang city. He spoke in Korean spoken only during the olden days, as if he was mumbling at the wall. Nevertheless, quite a long speech but my concentration was really at the very least. 4th day of sleep deprivation. At night, we had "Culture Night" but I had nothing to perform, can't dance, too shy (haha) so just sat there and watched.

5th day was about Business Ethics, International Business and Strategic Planning. Lectures were great but Business Ethics lecture was a bit an eye-opener. Sometimes what we do in life depended on our actions and consciences. Is it wrong to send birthday gift to your business associate (example: banker) that will be deciding your company future funding? Is it wrong to pretend losing a game of goft after betting with your banker?

After that lecture, we continue with business plan writing until 8pm where we presented our ideas to the judges (almost everyday). As usual, I presented my team's case and slept late again. I envied my roomate when I saw him sleeping so soundly at almost 4 am. Woke up at 7 am and readied for the next class on the 6th day. First lecture was Business Communication (the professor was entertaining), then E-commerce (I like this class) and lastly intellectual property (worth attending). Classes finished at 7pm but I continued my task till the very next day - The D day, Business Plan Competition.

In total, I slept less than 3/2 hours per day, skipped 2 dinners due to project commitments and spent time staring at my laptop searching for things not related to my science major. It was interesting and brings back my high school Young Enterprise memories but I realised that the scope of the business was harder than in high school. Our team had to search for business law, in my case, since our company is going to be located in China, we searched for China's business law. Equipments too we need to gather, so we search for our product manufacturing equiptments through and the competitive market pricing together with per tonnage cost of raw materials.

Ah~ Competitive pricing, market survey, location, executive business summary, investors' profiles, SWOT analysis... Frankly, it was tough. I did learn many new things, meet many new people of different characters and most importantly, I survived sleep deprivation.. not turning into a walking zombie anytime soon..

Friday, February 11, 2011

11 February 2011

Too much stress, felt like giving up today. 6 days of limited sleep (2 hours..) but not working according to plans.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

8 February 2011

I am now in Pohang participating in some business competition. So far, kinda exhausting coz I do not have break as I have classes all day long. 1 week. 1 week! fighting! It is a business competition but I am a science student. Wah. Nevertheless will do fine I guess, hopefully top 3 in the business competition. Confident le.. Lets see.. haha..

So no "dramatic" blogging this week. Just kidding too. Nothing special in this blog actually. Life is pretty monotonous these day, felt more like an army camp than a normal days. My camp is until sat btw. Wake up at 6.30 am. shit. HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!! I know I am late but according to chinese tradition, CNY lasts 15 days so wishing within 15 days is acceptable.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Saemaul Undong

Last November, I went to Seoul for a seminar and planned to travel around Seoul at night. Though I managed to visit a few places, the trip was practically crammed up so I didn't do much in this one day trip. Most importantly, I managed to meet up with the government scholars for dinner. The place was around 이대역.

Ravished by the Korean War and development was a neccesity after the war. Saemaul (새마을운동) was one of the organizations started by the Korean Government in the early days to support the rural communities through team work and leadership. During the lecture, we were told that each village received only 2 bags of cements to kickstart development projects.

It was impossible to start a development project with so little raw materials but the villagers chipped in, they toiled the farm, worked in the quarry to produce small stones so that road can be build and the women worked in farms to earn side incomes.

After the success of the Saemaul program in Korea, the organization is trying to spread the know-how to the developing countries, mostly in African continent so that the countries will too in the future, be as developed as Korea. However my only grouse in this program is that the know-how is mostly agriculture based.

To develop a country in a fast pace, agriculture should not be totally relied on as it is not that profitable compare to manufacturing or service-based industries. But being self sufficient in staple food like rice or wheat is a must and sadly we (Malaysia) haven't reach this self sufficiency stage for now. Though Malaysia is among the top 20 import-export nation in the world, there's still more to go.

Nevertheless, do refer Saemaul Undong Korea website if you are interested in it. In this Saemaul Undong program, Malaysia do not get much coverage because we seemed to not be in need of "help".

흠~ 오늘 마음이 안 좋다 머리가 넘 아파 ㅋㅋㅋ 새로운 학기 시작하면 새로운 꿈 자지고 와! 난 국가대표이야! 더한 나는 국제쓰기경쟁에 참석할까 말까 해... 항상 이유는 시간 때문이다 ㅋㅋㅋ 언제 나 시간 있습니까?

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"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning" ~Winston Churchill~