The Inter Press Service (IPS) Forum on Global Citizenship was held at at the Sri Lankan Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York on November 18th. The forum was held in cooperation with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and Soka Gakkai International, with experts, diplomats, journalists and educators in the field of peace education and global citizenship participating in the forum.
It’s snowed on the first day of December, welcoming us to winter for real and a reminder that Christmas will be here soon! And of course, acting as an encouragement to all of us poor students who are busy cramming for our final exams ㅠㅠ
Korea holds many winter festivals especially since it has such a distinctly long and freezing winter (well, at least to me), and I think most people who talk about the ice fishing festivals in Korea. Personally I am more interested in snow (yes, the tropical kid in me) and so I would like to introduce the Taebaeksan Snow Festival, one of Korea’s major winter festival!
It is definitely fitting to visit Taebaeksan in winter. Located in Gangwon-do, its name roughly translates to “Great White Mountain (태백산;太白山)”, and it boasts one of the most beautiful winter scenery in Korea.
So the weather forecast says that the temperature will drop into the negatives next week, but along with the freezing temperatures there will be snow!
Yes, snow is an integral feature of the Korean winter. It seems like the only thing to look forward to (well, at least for a tropical kid like me xD). It’s the only comfort in the freezing cold anyway. Of course the aftermath of snow is terrible, dirty snow, icy roads, traffic jams, but at least it’s beautiful while it falls.
Thus it would be logical to guess that in this snow-filled winter, ski resort is definitely the place to visit!
So after 5 months of seeing this “Wow Korea” thing on my blog, you guys might be wondering what it is, and what we do!
I think I’ve explained a few times about Wow Korea, basically we are a group of students who post on SNS about traveling in Korea! So we will go on trips (mostly to less explored places in Korea) and we will come back and share about our trip, transport information, etc so that other tourists can access these information easily. In fact, if you go to check the category “Wow Korea” on my blog, you will find records of my trips, as well as some weekly missions that we have to complete that introduces places to visit in Korea as well.
Now that the term is almost coming to an end, we were tasked with creating a video about Wow Korea supporters. So I hope that through this video, you can gain a better idea of what we do, and a better idea of the kinds of groupings you can join if you come to Korea and study!! It is not only about Korea, but we also make friends with people from different countries and have fun together as well!
For anyone who knows a little about the Korean language, you would have learnt that the written language (or Hangeul; 한글 in Korean) was invented and propagated by King Sejong (yup, that’s the one sitting right at Gwanghwamun square!)
The Korean language in the past was only a spoken language and was written in classical Chinese characters (what we know as Hanja;한자 today). However, King Sejong worked towards creating an alphabet that was unique to the Koreans, which would correspond to the way the Korean language is spoken, instead of pronouncing Chinese characters in Korean language like before. And thus the Hangeul was born! I have to say that the Korean alphabet is one of the easiest to learn, because you just need to fit different pieces together and you would know how to pronounce the word already 😀 (And of course it is really much easier than Chinese characters)
Just last year, Hangeul Day which is celebrated on October 9th was made a public holiday in South Korea. Also in further efforts towards the promotion of Hangeul, the National Hangeul Museum was recently opened on Hangeul Day this year. The museum features exhibitions tracing the history of the development of Hangeul as well as artifacts related to the Hangeul.
The American Field Service (AFS) Global Intercultural Education Symposium “Learning to Live Together—from Ideas to Act” was held on November 8th in Paris, France. The symposium was granted UNESCO patronage, and was organized by the American Field Service Intercultural Programs, an educational organization focused on intercultural learning opportunities. 1,000 experts and young thought leaders from the fields of education and peace-building participated in the symposium, which was held as part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the AFS.
After a few months of spamming you guys with travelling in Korea and education-related topics, I am finally sharing more about studying in Korea! Hope that you guys don’t mind because I do feel that you can learn more about travelling in Korea as part of student life, and education articles are a way of showing what activities you can join in Korea as a “SNS supporter” of a UNESCO organization.
This “SNS supporters” thing seems quite unique to Korea, basically organizations like to recruit university students to help promote them or some ideas on their own SNS channels. For instance, Wow Korea supporters aim are supposed to promote Korean tourism. And as UNESCO APCEIU supporter I join conferences or events and through writing articles I’m supposed to promote education for international understanding. There are many other organizations recruiting supporters too, such as KOTRA from what I’ve heard. So depending on your interests there are many such organizations you can join, outside of school!
But I digress. The main point of this post is this live event that I’m very excited about! So basically two of my best friends in school, Amalia and Thanh who are running the Woori UIC Youtube channel are planning to hold a live event via Youtube! What this means is that you get to chat with them in real time, and get all the answers to your questions immediately!
The “Citizens for Global Education, Education for Global Citizenship” Conference was held from 24th to 25th June in Brussels, Belgium. Organised by CONCORD Europe, in partnership with UNESCO, Oxfam International, the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, Beyond2015, Education International, the Global Campaign for Education, Engagement Global, CIVICUS, 100 European policy-makers, representatives of civil society and researchers participated in the conference with the aim of discussing and contributing to a solid proposal on a Global Citizenship Education (GCE) target in the Post-2015 framework.
Winter has almost arrived in Korea, and while the great temperature range in the day is driving me crazy, I am actually waiting quite expectantly for snow since I missed out on it entirely last winter when I was in Japan for my exchange. Another thing to look forward to would be the food! Sometimes there are just some food that tastes better when you have it in certain seasons (like having naengmyeon when the weather isn’t hot yet is just weird), and so here I’m recommending three winter must-haves in Korea!
1. Odeng (오뎅)
When Korean street food is mentioned you might think of ddeokbokki first, but when winter comes around odeng (fishcakes) is what people look for! It may seem crazy to be standing out in the cold eating from street stalls like this:
It was sometime in April this year when I was looking for ideas to join a competition that I had stumbled upon the O-train and V-train. And I was so fascinated with it that we literally planned a 10-day itinerary around these trains. Can you believe it, 10 days? Although our proposal didn’t get through to the competition in the end, it still remains as one of the things to check off my list before I graduate.
So what is so attractive about the O-train and V-train? Basically, I would say that these trains would appeal greatly to you if:
1) You are a great fan of train travels. Meaning not just trains as a means of transportation, but relishing in the process of travelling where you enjoy the beautiful sights.
2) You have always wished to visit the inland areas of Korea but due to language constraints, inconvenience for travelers who can’t drive, etc, is unable to.
3) You love the mountains and would love to have the chance to go to see the mountains of Korea!
And guess what, I meet all 3 requirements! Which is why this O-train and V-train is a must-do for me!