Modern Life

According to a study by Imperial College London and the World Health Organisation, “average life expectancy is set to increase in many countries by 2030 – and will exceed 90 years in South Korea.” The press release accompanying the report revealed: The five countries with the highest life expectancy at birth for men in 2030 were: […]

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A survey of post-millennials – and South Korea shows its expected malaise

by Philip Gowman 13 February 2017
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Another of those surveys, and guess where South Korea ends up in the rankings? As you might expect from the land of Hell Joseon, the statistics do not look great: second from bottom in terms of overall happiness. Around 1,000 15-21 year-olds from each of 20 countries were surveyed between September and October 2016 as […]

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Is this for real? I’m so dead!

by Philip Gowman 14 March 2013
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“A fine for a person who exposes his or her skin is too much. Is this for real? I’m so dead!” Lee Hyori is said to have tweeted in this week’s non-story. Park Geun-hye’s cabinet approved a revision on 11 March that regulates certain “inappropriate” social behavior such as stalking and public indecency, which includes […]

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Looking back at 2012: Domestic news

by Philip Gowman 26 January 2013
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In our final round-up of Korea-related stories which caught our eye in 2012, we look at domestic and business news. Modern Life and how to escape it. Korea came 24th out of 34 leading countries in an OECD quality of life index, coming bottom of the class in job security and gender income inequality and […]

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Seoul’s host bars

by Philip Gowman 15 August 2012
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Lucy Williamson on an interesting emerging phenomenon in Seoul: host bars, where women pay for men’s company. First on the Today Programme (15 August), then on Crossing Continents (16 August), now in the Magazine (18 September)

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From Bra Day to Kiss Day, Korea has it all

by Philip Gowman 14 February 2011
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Valentine's Day, White Day, Black Day… My favourite is Samgyeopsal day, March 3rd. And Green Day, for soju drinking. The Joongang Ilbo has a useful list. http://bit.ly/gWEWnD #. Many of them involve the 14th of the month.

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Things that brightened Koreans’ lives in 2010

by Philip Gowman 17 December 2010
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This year, Twitter, novellist Lee Oi-soo and Cambridge economist Ha-joon Chang brightened Koreans' world – according to the Korea Green Foundation http://bit.ly/hvf11m #

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The instant six-pack

by Philip Gowman 7 November 2010
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I heard that in Korea you can get 6-pack implants like you get breast enhancement. Can anyone confirm? Won Bin's was impressive in Ajosshi – but I’m sure his was natural.

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Strains in a mixed marriage

by Philip Gowman 17 August 2010
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Did you know resting your chin in your hands is considered rude in Korea? But not quite grounds for divorce. http://bit.ly/d6qHuY. Korean man tries to divorce his Vietnamese wife who stared at him while he ate. #

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A sunny day in Busan

by Philip Gowman 2 August 2010
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Haeundae Beach, Busan, 1 August 2010. Now that's what I call crowded, and supports the contention that Koreans like to go on holiday in crowds. But why are all the rubber rings yellow? http://bit.ly/c701UB #

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SNSD at an East Coast resort – a Korean man’s favourite holiday

by Philip Gowman 24 July 2010
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Korean men want to go on holiday with Girls’ Generation, according to a KBS survey. Now that’s being greedy. http://bit.ly/a4zZ4O # And while on the subject of holidays: doing the arithmetic, does this mean around 6-7 million Koreans will be heading to the East Coast at the end of July? http://bit.ly/9HYiuk #. (47% of a […]

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The attractions of North Korean restaurants

by Philip Gowman 14 July 2010
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If ever you're on holiday in Cambodia this looks like the restaurant to visit. A North Korean noodle restaurant known for its beautiful waitresses – including the “North Korean Kim Tae-hee:” http://bit.ly/bHmvzR # …but if you work in South Korea you haven't got long to get there: an average of only 4.1 days for your […]

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Man tweets suicide note

by Philip Gowman 18 June 2010
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South Korean man posts suicide note on Twitter http://bit.ly/9ASpux #. Via @TelegraphNews “I’m going to commit suicide. To all of you, even those who shared the slightest friendship with me, I love you,” wrote a former disk jockey before taking his life.

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The service of free kimchi

by Philip Gowman 28 May 2010
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In restaurants, when a waiter brings you a free dish, why do Koreans say “That's service” when they mean “That's on the house”? #

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Korean marries his pillow

by Philip Gowman 17 March 2010
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From the Metro: Lee Jin-gyu fell for his ‘dakimakura’ – a kind of large, huggable pillow from Japan, which has a picture of his favourite anime character, Fate Testarossa, on it. And married it. http://bit.ly/98lDK6 # “He is completely obsessed with this pillow and takes it everywhere,” said one friend. “They go out to the […]

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Dating a Korean American woman…

by Philip Gowman 27 February 2010
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Korean-American girls are tough to date, says You Offend Me You Offend My Family in a great article entitled How To Survive A Date with A Korean American Woman, from August last year. Maybe because Koreans most materialistic people in the world, according to a survey reported in the Chosun Ilbo

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iPhone boosts sausage sales

by Philip Gowman 13 February 2010
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Snack sausage in alternative use as meat stylus – a substitute for your bare finger: Sausage sales have soared by 40% following a bout of cold weather and some smart chap discovering that CJ Corporation’s snack sausages have electrostatic properties that are rather similar to that of the human finger. Source: http://bit.ly/cQh6jY #

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