South Korea Culture

By | August 20, 2021

The Korean art, with Pottery in the Neolithic Stone (6000-2000 v. Chr.) And stone tombs in the first millennium BC. Is already tangible, received significant impulses from China, as well as Korean literature and Korean music. On the other hand, Korean art had a great influence on Japanese art. As in the North Korean kingdom of Koguryŏ, high-quality goldsmith and lacquer work was produced in Silla, South Korea with the capital Gyeongju and Paekche (Baekje) (lacquer art). Bronze and iron casting has been known in Korea since pre-Christian times.

According to homosociety, the strong presence of Buddhist art is typical of Korean culture up to the time of the Koryŏ dynasty (918–1392). It is particularly visible in wooden pagodas and pavilions with carvings and curved roofs as well as Buddha sculptures made of clay, bronze or iron, for example in the temples and shrines of Pusŏksa, Bulguksa and Seokguram. The world’s largest collection of Buddhist teaching is the Tripitaka Koreana (Tipitaka), completed in 1248 in Haeinsa Monastery, cut into more than 81,000 wooden printing blocks with Chinese characters. The forts of Namhansanseong and Hwaseong are outstanding examples of Korean military architecture. Under the Koryŏ rulers, gray-green stoneware (celadon) and already porcelain with a blue-white glaze were produced in large numbers.

The cultural focus of the Chosŏndynasty (also Joseon, from 1392) was further south of Korea. His “state ideology” was Confucianism. From this time z. B. the large palace complexes in and the royal tombs around the new capital Seoul. At that time, Korean landscape painting and literary painting developed their own powerful, dynamic style. King Sejong (1418–50) had a new syllabary for the Korean language developed: Hangŭl. However, this Korean script, initially consisting of 28 basic alphabetical characters, did not gain acceptance until the 19th century. Until then, they ruled Chinese language and writing existed in literature, which was mostly non-fiction. Korean-language fiction emerged from the 17th century. Colloquial language also found its way into narrative literature at the end of the 19th century. It was essentially based on realism, but later adopted other European forms as well. Short poems (Sijo) were an expression of popular poetry until the 19th century.

The stormy modernization of South Korea from the 1960s onwards turned the capital Seoul into an international economic and cultural metropolis. Historical buildings, including palaces, temples and ancestral shrines, but also traditional business districts, only form “islands” there. The Smart City Songdo emerged in the Incheon area from 2003 as a flagship project for digitization and sustainability.

The dynamic cultural scene in South Korea has been recognized internationally for about three decades under the catchphrase »Hallyu«, translated as Korean wave: Music in the style of »K (orea) -Pop« is particularly widespread in East and Southeast Asia. The Korean film, which was made in 1919 and is now mainly based in Busan, broke its chains with the end of state censorship at the end of the 1990s and then attracted attention at major festivals. The most famous directors include Kim Ki Duk (* 1960) and Park Chan Wook (* 1963). As the first Korean-language film, »Parasite« (director: Bong Joon Ho) won an Oscar ® for best film in 2020excellent. The South Korean version of the comic or manga, called “Manhwa”, set a new trend when it was first published on the Internet (“Webtoon”).

Popular sports in South Korea are soccer and baseball. A wrestling match called “Ssireum” has been practiced for a historically tangible time; it is similar to Japanese sumo. After the Second World War, the martial arts Taekwondo emerged. South Korea has been for 20 years a stronghold of eSports developed.

South Korea Culture

World Heritage Sites in South Korea

World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)

  • Grotto Temple of Seokguram and Bulguksa Temple (K; 1995)
  • Haeinsa temple group (K; 1995)
  • Jongmyo Shrine of Royal Ancestral Worship in Seoul (K; 1995)
  • Changdeok Palace in Seoul (K; 1997)
  • Fortress Hwaseong, Suwon (K; 1997)
  • Dolmen sites of Gochang, Hwasun and Ganghwa (K; 2000)
  • Historic Sites of Gyeongju (K; 2000)
  • Jeju volcanic islands and lava tunnels (N; 2007)
  • Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty (K; 2009)
  • Historic villages of Hahoe and Yangdong (K; 2010)
  • Namhansanseong Mountain Fortress (K; 2014)
  • Historic sites of the Baekje (Paekche) dynasty (K; 2015)
  • Sansa, traditional Buddhist mountain temple (K; 2018)

Korean language

Korean language, belongs to the type of agglutinating languages ​​and is structurally close to the Japanese language.

Similarities with Japanese can be seen, among other things. in the absence of gender, number, article and case inflection; The designation of the grammatical subject is of secondary importance to the marking of the interpersonal reference (expressions of courtesy), the marking of syntactic relationships is carried out by postpositions or suffixes. Korean is also similar to Japanese in terms of its accent. However, the genetic relationship between the two languages ​​is controversial, although they probably both belong to the Altaic languages ​​or at least contain significant Altaic elements.

Korean developed from the combination of the Altaic Puyŏ language in the Manchurian-North Korean area and the Hanseatic language in the central and South Korean area. Old Korean is only extremely fragmentary from the time of the Three Kingdoms (about 4th century to 668) and very fragmentary from the time of the United Silla (668-935) (songs of the Hyangga). A unified language only finally emerged with Middle Korean (beginning of the 10th century to the end of the 16th century), when North and South Korean languages ​​were mixed again.

Modern Korean has 10 simple vowels with 11 compounds (diphthongs) and 19 consonants, open and closed syllables. The rich vocabulary is shaped by the high Sino-Korean share, partly taken from the Chinese written language that has been used in the country up to modern times, partly made up of Chinese characters for new terms.

The dialect of Korean is relatively strongly divided into a north-south direction, in some cases it can be interpreted as a relic of the old Puyŏ-Han divide. After the division of the country in 1945, the dialectal differences came to light again; a delimiting language policy (with regard to vocabulary, semantics and spelling) was particularly pursued by the North Korean side.