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More on Korean Culture

Discover Korean Culture Through Korean Dramas, Movies and Music!

Raising two children from Korea, I'm always trying to learn more about their birth country. I have found watching Korean dramas and movies a great way to bring Korean culture alive and make it feel real. When I first discovered Korean dramas, I had been doing many things within the Korean community, but the dramas really opened up Korean culture for me. Korean dramas are slowly gaining popularity in the US and are already a big hit in Hawaii. Many cities carry Korean TV channels (check out http://www.koreanwiz.org/special-stations.html for a complete list). You also can rent Korean dramas and movies at:

Also, Korean dramas, movies, and music can be purchased at:

You can download dramas at:

Tons of K-dramas are available to watch on www.youtube.com Also, check out AZN TV to see dramas online: http://www.azntv.com/

For much more information on Korean dramas check out: www.koreanwiz.org and my blog at: www.onlyonguam.blogspot.com

I have listed a few examples of Korean dramas below:

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My Name Is Kim Sam Soon- This 16 episode drama is about a pastry chef, who is about to turn 30, but is unmarried and unemployed. In addition, she is strapped with a county-bumpkin name, Sam Soon, that she longs to change. Bold and feisty, her character became enormously popular in South Korea when the show aired in 2005. The drama also stars an American actor Daniel Henney, who is the real life son of a Korean adoptee.

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Dae Jang Geum- This 54 episode drama is an historical drama about Dae Jang-Geum, the first woman to become Royal Physician for the King. Because she starts out as a royal cook, the drama centers around royal cuisine. This drama is the way to learn about life in the palace, and it brings to life the palaces of Korea’s past. You can read much more about the drama at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dae_Jang_Geum. The drama was a huge hit in Korea and across Asia.

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My Girl- A light and funny drama, this 16 episode drama is about a girl that has grown up with a gambling father and learns to survive with her wit and charm and the occasional white lie! She gets hired by a grandson, who is desperate to grant his grandfather’s dying wish, to play the grandfather's long lost granddaughter. Of course, grandpa gets better, and watch as her lies gets more tangled and complicated!

Korean Movies
I wanted to make a quick list of K-movies to check out on www.youtube.com. Enjoy these links while you can because often movies are removed because of copyright issues.  I linked to part 1 of some of my favorite Korean movies. I’m by no means an expert on Korean films. Often I find them too violent and grim for my taste. However, I do think they make awesome romantic comedies. You can always check out the Hawaii Drama Board for reviews on Korean movies. Also an excellent resource for Korean film information is Darcy Pacquet’s Koreanfilm.org.

My Sassy Girl (love this movie- romantic comedy, great soundtrack too)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kjICQ8GZqo&mode=related&search=

Too Beautiful To Lie (romantic comedy)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1H1EHUCnCc

Mr. Handy (romantic comedy)
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Mr.+Handy&search=Search

Please Teach Me English (romantic comedy- does have an American adoption subplot as well)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5wGzUsSaP4

The Classic (a romance movie that I haven’t watched but everyone says I should!)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r30faaqENiE

Once Upon A Time in High School (drama)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWitFSVzQBY

My Wife Is A Gangster (comedy)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjyF9eOnp3s

Korean Pop Music
I thought I would give a small sampling of Korean Pop music to check out. All the links are from http://www.youtube.com/. For more on K-pop and to follow the latest hits, you can check out KBS World Radio’s K-pop interactive: http://rki.kbs.co.kr/english/enter/music_inter.htm. Have fun!

Shinhwa- Around since 1998, this boy band represents major star power. Almost all the members have been successful as actors or solo singers. They have just recently released their 8th album State of the Art.

Brand New- Music Video (from their 7th album in 2004)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdYMpOscVo8

Fly To The Sky- This male duo, made up of Hwanhee and Brian (a Korean American), have been around since 1998. They released their 6th album Transition in 2006. For sure, one of my favorite groups- I have 4 of their albums.

Blood (live performance on SBS- from 2006)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUxSBDmdlV4

Like A Man (live performance- from 2006)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cA2IP1EwC2c

Sea Of Love- Music Video (FTTS-from 2002)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoDfshAwhqg&mode=related&search=

Kang Ta- Lead singer for the 1990’s hit group HOT, Kangta is a big star throughout Asia.

Polaris (live on KBS Love Letters)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqCCBPhxLsw&mode=related&search=

Lee Hyo Ri- She is beautiful, sexy and an awesome dancer. The song 10 minutes was a huge hit for her as a solo artist (she was formerly part of the girl group FinKL), and the song has become a symbol of sexiness in Korea. In fact, I just heard it in a church skit done at a Korean festival last weekend! She has just released her 2nd solo album Dark Angel. Enjoy the video!

10 Minutes- Music Video (from 2003)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbMNycx7fLI&mode=related&search=

Se7en- He released his first album in 2003 and is known for his dancing.

Performing in April on SBS- Nan Alayo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Rhr5IwMOL4

Bi (Rain)- One of the major stars of the Korean wave, Bi performed a few months ago in New York City. He is known for his singing and dancing as well as his acting. He is the star of several dramas. I love to watch him perform!

I Do- Music Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNYh7K4Zg5A

It’s Raining- performing on SBS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mbsApFYIx4

Buzz- A K-pop rock group that debuted in 2003, I have their 2nd album Effect and love it. Here is their performance on KBS’s Open Concert. I like this video because the hangul is in big print and making it easier to sing along… if you want to practice your Korean.

Coward- live performance- 2005
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SaVuL9STpY

Koyote- This group, made up of 2 guys and 1 girl, has been around since 1999. The main members are Kim Jong-Min and Shin-Ji, plus a rapper, who has changed through the years. Love this group...my kids love this group. Their dance music is tons of fun and we listen to them often.

1, 2, 3, 4- Music Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk_Qd7rvmVs

Sung Si Kyung- He is a ballad singer that gives me chills when he sings. I have 2 of his albums and have gone out of my way to study the lyrics, so I can sing along. The music video is one of my favorite songs, but the video is a little strange! Be sure to check out the English song Try To Remember.

Waewuh doosaeyo- Music Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_luMP69MgY&mode=related&search=

Try To Remember- Live Performance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PibnR_yz51g

Jewelry- A girl group that is one of my daughter’s favorites. Superstar was a huge hit for them in 2005.

Superstar (on KBS Music Bank)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uORuQxZqyXc