Hello everyone! Welcome to one of my many essays of my time here. My name is Niki Patel and I am currently studying abroad in South Korea with a major in political science and a minor in legal studies. This week only consisted of half my classes being held. That was because of two holidays. As you may know, October 4th and 11th are the alternative holidays for October 3rd (National Foundation Day) and October 9th (Hangul Proclamation Day).
National Foundation Day is the English name for “The Day the sky opened”. Not only is this a public holiday in South Korea but also in North Korea as well. In Korean it is known as “Gaecheonjeol”. This holiday celebrates the coming together of the first Korean state of Gojoseon in 2333 BC. Even though this holiday is recognized in North Korea, it is not seen as a public holiday. It celebrates with an annual ceremony at the Mausoleum of Tangun, the founder of Gojoseon. Hangul Proclamation Day is known as Hangeul Day in South Korea. It is also known as the Korean Alphabet Day. The holiday is a national Korean day that marks the invention and the proclamation of Hangul (the actual alphabet of the Koreans), by the Korean monarch named Sejong the Great. It is also celebrated in North Korea as well. Just with a different name and a different date. In North Korea, the holiday is called Choson’gul Day and is celebrated on January 15th.
Since I didn’t have half my classes to attend, my friends and I visited Dongdaemun History and Culture park. It’s a beautiful park that’s built on the historical relic of the city. It is also modernly built. As soon as you get off the train station, you are greeted with a really cool building that looks like you are in the middle of an enormous spaceship. There’s also a walk you can take along the wall that will eventually lead up to an amazing view of the entire city. Dongdaemun also has little tent markets at night that are filled with many interesting things. I say interesting because the little markets were filled with designer dupes. I saw a lot of designer bags, sunglasses, and shoes for a really cheap price. I would definitely recommend visiting this place if you are ever in Seoul. This place comes with historical view to night shopping. Perfect for a day out.
I also tried Chap Chae which are stir fried Korean noodles. It is known for one of the most popular noodle dishes in South Korea. The most interesting part to me was how the noodles were completely clear. Made me wonder what it was made of and how it was cooked. I found out that the specific noodles I had were made from sweet potatoe and became clear when they were cooked. The noodles were served as the main dish, but I also had side dishes as well. I was served big pieces of lettuce, kimichi, and sticky rice.