“10 Selected Topics from Korean Traditional Culture: Stories, Images and Lyrics”
By Kim Suk-hyon
In “10 Selected Topics from Korean Traditional Culture: Stories, Images and Lyrics,” Kim Suk-hyon gives an overview of those things that have now become symbolic of Korea’s traditional culture -- the spicy fermented cabbage dish kimchi, the Korean alphabet Hangeul, the martial art taekwondo and the flowing hanbok gown -- explaining snippets of their history, current usage and references in modern culture, in both Korean and English.
Authored bilingually by Kim, the book juxtaposes chapters written in the two languages. The two versions explain each subject matter in slightly differing ways and are not exact translations of one another.
The book focuses on the cultural and artistic aspects of Korean tradition, additionally detailing on ancient Korean furniture, architecture, publications and myths such as the 10 symbols of longevity in Korea -- which include animals such as the crane and turtle and natural elements such as bamboo and water.
“10 Selected Topics,” which carries some 300 pictures and scores for 10 English-language songs on Korea, makes for an illustrative, easy read. It could well serve as an introductory textbook for younger students studying Korea or for adults who wish to gain a general understanding of the Korean culture, and even as an informative glossary for Koreans seeking to learn more about the traditional elements that still pervade modern life.
“The book seems additionally useful for Korean descendants abroad and foreigners who immigrate to Korea,” Kim said in a statement, and added hopes for the book to be “displayed at Korean cultural centers and school libraries abroad.”
The book is published by KoreaStory and available for 17,000 won ($15).
By Rumy Doo (email@example.com)