Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

Study in Korea


South Korea is truly becoming a multi-cultural society.  According to the statistics on foreign students in Korea, there were 49,270 foreign students from 143 different countries studying at 408 Korean universities as of April 1, 2007.  To give you an idea of  the global diversity of students,  in this picture alone, there are students from Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Mongolia, Turkey, El Salvador, Tanzania, Algeria, China, Malaysia, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh and Thailand.


Approximately 6,000 foreign students from 55 countries stream into the nation of Korea to study the Korean language and the figures are doubling every year.   This is my mom and her fellow classmates who studied the Korean language (hangeul- 한글)  for a year in Seoul National University (SNU).  There were people from all over the world, of all ages, different religions and cultures,  and various streams of studies and careers, but they were formed a special bond of friendship under the common goal of studying Korean. IMG_6251

    They had special Korean classes structured for foreign students and the teachers were excellent in their field and patiently guided each and everyone to read, write and converse in Korean over the span of a year.


This is a group picture of some of the ladies who studied with my mom after they graduated from the language school of SNU.  In this picture there are ladies from Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Algeria, El Salvador, China, Morocco, Kazakhstan and Myanmar,  and oh of course, my mom from Nepal. IMG_0288

Recently they held the Ajou International Day in Ajou University where my mom studies now.  It is an event held every year to celebrate the diversity of students and to promote cultural awareness and camaraderie among the students of all nations.


It was an outdoor event held on a sunny Autumn day and attracted a lot of visitors.


Various countries had their own booths and were either offering their delicious local cuisine, or some games and cultural events related to their country.


There was even a booth for the Republic of Korea with Korean food and events where you could wear the traditional Korean dress the Hanbok ( 한복 ) and get your picture taken.


This is my parent’s beautiful friend Katja from Russia with her team.  They had delicious food and vodka too in their booth.


Some of the students added to the festivity by dressing up in their traditional clothes.  The Nepali lady in the middle is Namrata with people from all over the world posing for a picture with her.


The ambassadors of  many countries also attended the event.  This is a group picture of some of the Nepali students and a few Korean students of Ajou University with the ambassador of Nepal.


As Korea rapidly strides towards globalization, it has become a land of boundless opportunities for foreign students.  Not only does it offer state of the art learning facilities and up to date curriculum in any subject, but the Korean government policy is also extremely welcoming to foreign students.  For worthy students, there are also innumerable scholarship programs for which you could apply.   Here are a few websites you could check out for more information on scholarships available to foreign students in Korea:


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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Han River Ferry RIDE

IMG_0811I am back after a brief break, as we had family visiting us for the Nepali festival of ‘Dashain', but more on that later.  I got to visit plenty of places in Seoul with them and this was our trip to Youido Park.  Above is Building no. 63, which at 249 meters (817 ft) high is the 3rd tallest building in South Korea. It represents “Miracle on the Han River” symbolizing the nation's rapid economic achievement in the late 20th century. However, our destination that day was to the take the ferry ride on Han River in order to see the rainbow waterfalls at Banpo bridge.IMG_0810This is three generations of the men in our family walking in the park, while we waited for the evening ferry ride. IMG_0818The Han River looked beautiful with flowers along the shore and I even saw some people rushing about on jet skis, which looked really exciting.IMG_0821Far off in the horizon you can see Seoul Tower standing tall and majestic in the background.IMG_0836I had a great time munching snacks and relaxing with my mom and my grandparents, while my dad went to buy tickets for the ferry ride.IMG_0843Eventually, I got restless and decided to accompany my dad to the ticket counter.IMG_0850As the evening drew closer, the colorful lights slowly started to come out like fireflies in the night.IMG_0855 Customary pose with my mom, though I was far more interested in the water.IMG_0862This one is more like ‘my’ pose and I was getting impatient to go on the ferry ride.IMG_0881 As more lights started to appear…it was time for us to head to the ferry.  We took one with a concert on the way to see the rainbow water show at Banpo bridge. IMG_0891 Ferry lights was awesome. I had a fun time running down the sideway till more and more people started filling in.  There were certainly more local tourists than foreigners.IMG_1064The dazzling lights reflected on the dark water surface also made for a pretty picture. IMG_0938 There were a lot of couples on the ferry who seemed enchanted by the romantic ambience.  One guy even proposed to his girlfriend on the ferry.IMG_0930As we approached the Banpo bridge, people started flocking to the front of the deck with the South Korean flag fluttering in the wind.  I was excited wondering what was going to happen next…IMG_1035 and……. Tada! This was the spectacular event everyone was waiting for with bated breaths and oh so well worth the wait.  The rainbow of water colors gushing down to the river and lighting it up in a myriad of colors was spectacularly beautiful.IMG_1072Then the colors changed and everyone was spellbound and gushing with joy.IMG_1075The other ferry got so close to the water rainbow that I am sure the passengers must have gotten soaked.IMG_1079The show just went on and on with colors that kept changing from one spectrum to another and the waterfall that kept fluctuating from high to low and undulating like a giant sea serpent.IMG_1105This gentleman was the one man concert on the ferry and the ladies enjoyed singing along with him and clapping to the beat.  He was singing Korean love songs and ended with the popular Korean folk song ‘Arirang'. IMG_1120I highly recommend that you go watch this wonderful feast for sore eyes at least once if you are in Seoul.  For more information on the ferry ride you can visit their official website - (but this website is not entirely in English, so check this other one as well for more -  IMG_0841and once again this is your faithful blogger Kaibu signing off and I promise to keep you all posted in the future…

Blogger Labels: banpo bridge,building no. 63,River,Ferry,RIDE,Nepali,festival,Dashain,places,Seoul,Youido,Park,Above,South,Korea,Miracle,nation,achievement,destination,Banpo,bridge,flowers,horizon,Tower,background,snacks,ticket,lights,Customary,concert,Korean,Tada,event,worth,spectrum,waterfall,gentleman,song,Arirang,English,Kaibu,meters,waterfalls,generations,tickets,tourists,foreigners,breaths,passengers,website




Saturday, October 17, 2009

Himalaya, where the wind dwells

히말라야 바람이 머무는 곳

Himalaya where the Wind Dwells

We haven’t had a chance to see this movie yet, but after seeing Choi Min Sik in “Old Boy,” this one is a must see.  Choi Min Sik is our personal favorite in Korean Cinema.  Born on January 22, 1962 in Seoul, South Korea he is one of the premiere Korean actors.  He started his career as a theatrical actor before he went on cinema.  His first roles were in Park Jong Won's films Kuro Arirang and Our Twisted Hero and in the 90s as a police investigator in No. 3, which won him much cinematical acclaim. His role as a North Korean agent in Shiri, which is one of the Korea's most successful film ever during the 1990s, firmly established him as an icon in Korean cinema.


‘Himalaya, where the wind dwells’ was nominated for ‘crystal globe’ (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival) awards.  Directed by Soo-il Jeon the movie came out on October 7, 2008, but I suppose due to its non-commercial nature we did not hear about this movie until searching for Choi Min Sik’s new movie on the net.  Needless to say this movie was shot in Nepal, so I will take it for granted that the visuals in this movie must be stunning.  The movie is about a Korean businessman who upon death of a Nepali migrant worker in Seoul takes his last remaining to his hometown in Jharkot, Nepal.  Those of you who have already seen the movie, please add a comment and let us know how the movie was.  We will put another review after seeing the movie.  Till then friends…….

Watch the trailer of the movie here -

Blogger Labels: Himalaya,haven,movie,Choi,Korean,Cinema,Born,January,Seoul,South,Korea,premiere,career,actor,Park,Jong,films,Kuro,Arirang,Hero,investigator,North,agent,crystal,globe,Karlovy,Vary,International,Film,Festival,Jeon,October,nature,Nepal,businessman,death,Nepali,worker,hometown,Jharkot,Till,friends,actors,roles,dwells

Friday, September 18, 2009

Seoul Land

IMG_9898 If you all remember I had posted a blog about Seoul Grand Park a while ago. This is Seoul Land, a huge amusement park which is right next to it.  For information on directions to Seoul Land, please check our earlier blog on Seoul Grand Park. For more information on Seoul Land, you can visit their website IMG_9892Ladies and Gentlemen let me tell you that I was the only privileged gentleman allowed to hang out at this exclusive ladies day out event of my mom and her friends at Seoul Land recently.IMG_9905 It was a gorgeous sunny day with clear August skies and the view was to die for. This is what it looks like on the way there …awesome!!IMG_9904And this is what Ms. Park looked like on all the way till we got off ….ahhhhhh! 어떻게…어떻게…. I kept staring at her in amusement, coz I have absolutely no fear of heights, he he…IMG_9917View of the theme garden from above. I have already been to the rose garden and the children’s zoo with my daycare gang.  Keep a lookout for a blog about that visit in the near future.IMG_9930 I felt like James Bond surrounded by gorgeous women, so I decided to try to pull off the solemn 007 look.IMG_9931On our way to buy tickets to Seoul Land.IMG_9934I was so excited I was already sprinting my way inside.IMG_9963Mom’s friend Yayah looks shocked that she is strong enough to stop the leaning tower from falling over.IMG_9983Darn it! They had this height measuring thing all over the place.  You have to be at least 110cm to get on most those rides.  I am only about 90cm sob…sob…IMG_9975 The Columbus ride. It was like a huge swing in the air that rocked to and fro. Mom’s friends said it made their stomachs churn and that the feeling was akin to having your stomach drop to your feet. We could hear Jessica’s screams of excitement and fear from a mile away.IMG_0011But there were a few I could ride along with mom like this musical carousel. IMG_0055  This giant rollercoaster looked surreal set up against the blue sky with wisps of cottony white clouds.IMG_0049And the people on it looked as if they were riding off into the great wide open blue sky…IMG_0016The Peter Pan ride. Even this ship looked like it were sailing in the sky.IMG_0060Mom’s friend Mita is from Indonesia and she had a cool hat that she let me wear.IMG_0066Of course, I am getting to be quite an expert at posing for solo portraits thanks to all the modeling I do for mom.IMG_0020 This particular ride literally made people’s hair stand on end…IMG_9968 There were quite a few water sprinklers that sprayed fine mist to cool off in the heat.IMG_0002Wherever there is water I am 100 percent delighted.IMG_0030People were lined up to get on the World Cup ride. It had a spinning deck that tilted as it spun. IMG_0116It looked even better at night with all the multicolored lights adding a dazzling effect.IMG_0086 The Zeppelin, a ride with giant balloons.IMG_0088King Viking is what they called this ride which literally makes you go upside down. I hope nobody pukes. IMG_0043I got tired with all the walking and decided to roll around on the ground for a bit. IMG_0097 The Rock cafe. A cool ride with rock music accompaniment and they also covered you with cloth while the ride spun faster and faster. I guess an ideal ride for couples.IMG_0120You can see the scariest ride of all in the background- the Sky X swinging as high as 55 meters.  Only recommended for the brave of heart.IMG_0127It was night by the time we left and all the rides looked even prettier with all the lights switched on.IMG_0140Can someone explain to me how the taps were floating in air with the water flowing from them, spooky!IMG_0143We were an assorted bunch alright, clockwise from left to right: Mita and Yayah are from Indonesia, Jessica is from El Salvador, Ms. Park teaches Korean at Seoul National University, my mom, Asmaa is from Morocco and last but not least is the privileged lone gentleman (a.k.a. Kaibu) who tagged along for protection, he he…

Blogger Labels: Seoul Land,Grand Park,amusement,Ladies,Gentlemen,gentleman,event,friends,August,View,theme,garden,children,gang,Keep,James Bond,friend,Yayah,Darn,Columbus,Jessica,excitement,clouds,Peter Pan,Mita,Indonesia,hair,mist,People,World,lights,Zeppelin,upside,Rock cafe,music,accompaniment,cloth,background,Braveheart,ElSalvador,Korean,National,Asmaa,Morocco,Kaibu,protection,tickets,feet,portraits,meters,blog