Today, I will briefly introduce you my internship.
For tell the trust, is not easy to find something here in Korea, especially because I do not speak enough Korean for daily life jobs/internships. And, I was also a bit disappointed, because when we learned that internship will be obligatory for us this year, I was quiet sure that the school will really help us to find one, but it was not really like that at all. Yes, I know, we are young adults, we have to be autonomous, take initiatives but still, we are not yet very qualified being just in second year. For internship, here in Korea we were in “competition” with other students often in master or other, so they were of course advantaged … But whatever, after many research and interviews I finally find the something!
I do not regret at all my choice, this internship was just perfect !
So, what was it ?
I was a CEV for the UNESCO CCAP program.
Hum, but what all that mean ?
I was a Cultural Exchange Volunteer for the UNESCO Cross Cultural Awareness Program.
Ok, and clearly ?
I was a School teacher, who taught about French culture.
Indeed, CCAP UNESCO Korea invited foreign residents in Korea to share their culture with Korean youths.
As a CEV I was asked by school to visit them (from Elementary until High School), and present French culture to the Korean students.
But I was not alone here, I do it in collaboration with a Korean Interpretation Volunteer (KIV), in order that she/he can translate my presentation in Korean because all students do not have the same English level, so translation is needed.
The presentations can last between 90 to 180 minutes depending of student’s grade.
During these last many points about France like traditions, activities, history, cities, cooking… Usually, I made a presentation’s prototype, and then, the teacher ask me precise topics or activities regarding students wants and knowledges. The class preparation is often long because I have to prepare content, activities, games, food cooking, and have some meetings with my KIV and teacher.
Until now, I conducted numerous class, mostly in Elementary School, and one in Middle School.
It was very interesting, especially in Elementary School where kids are soooooo cute and dare ask weird questions, which is always very funny ! Whereas teenagers are more bored and sleepy…
I was surprised about the knowledge that children can have about France and our culture. They know a lot about it, more than I expected !
I am very glad of these CCAP experiences, because I had the chance to learn a lot about Korean culture and education system. And even if it was sometimes stressful and very long to prepare, class always went well and children seems to enjoy it as I was.
I did it during 3 months and I would love do it again, it was not enough !
PS: Ninon 선생님 (sonséngnim)
This literally means Professor Ninon, and was how the students called me during classes. It was funny to be called as this, as a teacher haha
During the month of May celebrations take place in South Korea in order to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday.
One of them is the Lotus Lantern Festival, which occurred the 16th & 17th of May. It was just amazingly beautiful and magic !
During this period, Buddhist temples are decorated with various lanterns, representing prays.
No more talk, I let you admire this with some pictures
Currently, one of the big South Korean news is that, last Friday, the government allowed the Women’s Peace March across the DMZ.
Let me explain more in details: on Friday 15th of May 2015, South Korea gave the go-ahead at WomenCrossDMZ organisation to cross the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in order to reach North Korea’s capital Pyongyang. WomenCrossDMZ received the North Korean's permission last month and were waiting until this Friday for South Korean's one. The South Korean Unification Ministry indeed decided to give them the permission, allowing the women to cross the border between the two Koreans on Sunday 24 of May, which is the International Women’s day for Disarmament.
WomenCrossDMZ video presentation
Who composed WomenCrossDMZ?
WomenCrossDMZ is composed by a group of 30 women, essentially by women’s rights activists or feminists. Among the participants, we can mention the two Nobel Peace laureates Mairead Maguire and Leymah Gbowee.
Members of WomenCrossDMZ
What are the main aims of the walk?
The main aim of their act is a call for peace between the two Koreas and their reunification. Because, technically, North and South Korea are still in war: in fact, after 1953, Korean War end, but there was no peace treaty signed.
Their walk also marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean peninsula division into South and North Korea. This anniversary makes their act stronger because it marks a new year of division.
Once arrived in Pyongyang and after their return in Seoul, women plan to hold a Peace symposium in order that they can share their experiences and mobilize Koreans for peace. They will create some speaking time between organisation’s members and North and South Koreans citizens in order to learn about their issues.
But, because border crossing are uncommon and rare (the last date of 2013 where 5 New Zealanders were allowed to cross it on motorbikes) and also because the DMZ is the most militarised and controlled border in entire world, South Korea fixed some rules. The Unification Ministry said for example, that it will not allow women to pass through Panmunjon and ask WomenCrossDMZ to pass by Gyeongui Road, which is an inter-Korean passage recognized by the two countries. The problem with the Panmunjon’s way is that it is more complicated and requires numerous permission, in particular one from United Nations Command. But, WomenCrossDMZ members do not agree with this decision and insist for passing through Panmunjom, which symbolize for them an important symbol of the Korean’s division. This none agreement between South Korea and WomenCrossDMZ is still break off, but Women seem really determined to cross the city.
Sources :KoreanHerald, KoreanJoongangDaily, CBSnew and WomenCrossDMZ.org
All is in the title, yes actually, I don't especially like spicy food! I like when the food is a bit spicy in order to season the taste, so in France, I have no problem about it, but here … This is another story.
In general, the main Korean meal are so spicy (like most Asian’s countries, they seem to love spicy things) !
Kimchi is one of the most famous and widespread meal in Korea, it’s present at all table at home or in restaurants! If you come here, you can’t miss it. And of course, as a typical Korean food, Kimchi is spicy … It depend of the way of cooking, but it can be really really spicy ! It’s too bad (for me) because without these species it would be great ! Even if, with time I am more and more used to spicy food, so I can eat Kimchi without problems !
Just for the info : Kimchi is a fermented dish made of vegetables : nappa cabbage, scallions, ginger, radish, garlic and brine.
One other main dish is the Bibimbap, it’s composed by rice, season’s vegetables, chili pepper paste, soy sauce,and you can also find beef or egg on the top of it. This one is less spicy because of the rice but it’s still a little bit. Hopefully, we can ask to don't have a lot of spicy chili sauce ! And with just a bit of spicy, Bibimbap is delicious !!
Moreover, further that I don't like too much spicy food, I am allergic to seafood! And guess what, seafood are also, mains dishes here in Korea! Yes, at this time of the article you maybe wonder why I came here ? Don’t worry, I love rice, chicken, pork and lots of other meal present in Korea.
So, yes in Korea seafood are mainly present in meals, you can find it everywhere: in soup, noodles, sandwiches, sushi and salads. Yes, because, I don’t really speak Korean, and here almost all menus in restaurants are in Korean, so I have to guess right!
(Yummy Yummy ..) Like Kimchi, Seafoods are everywhere, here noodles
Thanks to all that, I was able to realize the enormous importance and impact of the packaging in stores. For example, with red packaging, I guess that it risks to be spicy. Here as a foreign people the packaging is really a main element in order to realize choices at the supermarket, because we don’t understand brand (except worldwide one), slogan, ingredients…
Kakaotalk the Korean Phenomena
Wait, you don’t have a Kakao ID, and worth, you don’t even know what is it?
It’s probably because you never been to Korea because you really can’t miss it ...
In order to solve this, I will explain you about that crazy Korean phenomena which is KakaoTalk.
First, KakaoTalk is a free Korean application for smartphone, created on March 2010 allowing you to send free text and make free call all around the world.
Currently, Kakaotalk has more than 140 million users in the world (the application is available in 15 languages), and especially in South Korea where it used by 93% of smartphone owners. So it’s totally huge and successful because more than the half of population use it : in Korea there are more than 53 million mobile phone users and 60% of Koreans have a smartphone. But KakaoTalk isn’t only a call and text app (app = application), you also can share photos, videos, voice messages, link, transform your voice thanks to voice filter, and play games with your contacts.
Why KakaoTalk is so famous in Korea ?
First, in my opinion (it’s just for me), KakaoTalk fame is due to its emoticons. Let me explain, KakaoTalk is a cute app, with cute backgrounds, but most of all, there are cute emoticons called “KakaoFriends”. These emoticons are : Apeach the peach, Black the afro bear, Neo the cat, Muwi the rabbit, Con the crocodile (yes, the name of this one is quite funny for French people), Frodo the dog and Tube the duck. These seven little characters greatly participate to the fame of the app. You can find them everywhere: in advertisement, in school etc… (find a more detailed description below).
Then, I asked my mentor why he (and Korean in general) uses this instead of normal text message on his smartphone and he simply answer me that he don’t know. He just prefer KakaoTalk rather his smartphone text message “app”. He just tell me that KakaoTalk is intuitive and easy to use, so they like it. Actually, no Koreans really know why their use Kakao instead text message. Koreans like the fact that you can have group chat, or even share easily photos and videos but they can often also do this with their smartphone. So I thought that it was because in Korean people didn’t have unlimited text message (like often in France) or call with their phone rental, but my mentor told me that EVERYBODY here have unlimited text and call, so I don’t have a more precise idea of why … This will stay a mystery …
How does KakaoTalk work ?
KakaoTalk automatically synchronizes your contact list and you can search friends with their ID (Identity name on KakaoTalk). On KakaoTalk, you can have an unlimited number of contact and create or join group chat (also with a unlimited number of members).
Once your contact added, you can use it, it’s very simple and intuitive. You have different pages : contact (you can see your friend pictures, videos, text or call him), chat, profile and Kakao online shop where you can buy new emoticons, themes, games... And after, the app works exactly like other texting and calling app or even like your text and call on your phone. KakaoTalk works on Wifi or 3G, 4G … Indeed you automatically need an internet connection.
Moreover on KakaoTalk you don’t have to worry about your private life. The private life security is one of the main argument of Kakao : a special function is dedicated to this, its name is “Secret Chat” and allow the protection of all your personal data and shares. After your first registration on your smartphone you also can download and install KakaoTalk on your computer and use it in your PC in the same way as in your smartphone.
KakaoTalk recently extend on new markets, so now there are KakaoTalk branch specialized in music, clothe style, news, maps and so on. (Kakao Zap, Kakao Music, Kakao Location, Kakao Style…)
Kakao Company: a successful Korean company.
Kakao Company main goal was first to propose a free and high quality messaging service in order to build and loyal and great user base. Thank to that it will be easier after some time to introduce monetizable services, because of the existing loyalty. In 2012 KakaoTalk introduce its own virtual currency: the “Chocos”. With these, user can buy themes, emoticons, games, songs… It worked because in in 2013 Kakao Corporation generated more than 200 million of dollars income with the app, games and with its marketing channel for celebrities and brands. More than 5 billion messages are sent by KakaoTalk users every day which is quite huge and prove of KakaoTalk importance and efficiency.
KakaoTalk by-product market
Like I tell you before KakaoTalk is really famous and present here in Korea, there is no day where you won’t hear a little “Kakao” (sound when you received a message) or see a KakaoFriend. If you see KakaoTalk everywhere in Korea, it’s also thanks to the numerous and various by-products that you can find easily in cities.
First you have all the posters and advertisement with KakaoFriends on it. You can find these last in School, Universities (there are many many in Hanyang University), shops, restaurants, stick on cars and almost in all public places. So, no day past without you see one KakaoFriend.
Then you can find KakaoFriends in Supermarket or in shops, because there are lots of products which using their image, names or faces. You can find a special KakaoTalk cakes or candies and so on. Some brands or company also make partnership with Kakao Company in order to use the image or make KakaoTalk events. Let me explain, for example I went to Dunkin Donuts, which is a coffee shop where you can drink cold or hot beverage and eat donuts or cakes. There I order a Hot Chocolate, and they served me it in a KakaoFriend Frodo cup. It was so funny and cute !
Moreover, you can find special KakaoTalk restaurants and café. For example Café Talk is a café with KakaoTalk theme. There everything is brown and yellow, you can order coffee with KakaoFriends images and even buy some by-products.
Finally, the most important, there is a KakaoFriends Shop. There you can buy almost whatever you want bearing the effigy of KakaoFriends. Pens, cuddly toys, posters, stickers, smartphone case and so on. I went to this shop, and it was impressive ! Great choice of items and lots of people coming for many part in Korea come especially for buy so items.
It’s funny because it even possible to find “fake” KakaoFriends products.
I am sorry for the soooooooo long Free Subject post, but KakaoTalk is a huge subject.
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