Eorininal (어린이날): Children’s Day in Korea

“Children are the future of our nation. Let’s show respect for children. Children who grow up with ridicule and contempt from others will become people who disrespect others, while children who grow up with respect from others will become people who respect others in turn.”

Bang Jeong-hwan (방정환)

https://teacherspage.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/xin_1006040210127832485028.jpg?w=640

Children’s Day, or Eorininal (어린이날), is celebrated in  Korea on the 5th of May every year. It is a public holiday observed since 1922. Korea sets this date to celebrate children’s happiness and to remind each citizen that the day should be commemorated to promote children’s general welfare and protection.  It is also a way to instill in them a sense of patriotism and national pride.

It is viewed by Korean children in a similar manner as Christmas is viewed by many children in the rest of the world — as a time for gifts and fun. During this day, parents shower their kids with gifts ranging from toys to money. Together with the presents, they also spend time with them by visiting amusements parks, zoos, museums and other places which are children-oriented. In some areas, various cultural programs are also held for both the parents’ and children’s enjoyment.

Children’s Day actually started through the hard work of Bang Jeong-hwan (방정환), a pioneer of Korean juvenile literature and a children’s rights activist. His purpose for the holiday was to promote love, care and respect for the youth because they are the future of the country.

In 1922, Bang Jeong-hwan with a group of Korean students and social leaders came up with the idea of celebrating a holiday that would focus on promoting and improving the social status of Korean children. The first Children’s Day was celebrated on May 1, 1923. Until 1939, Japanese authorities based in Seoul tried to ban the celebrations. After independence in 1945, the holiday was revived. In 1961, it was pushed to May 5 and was officially registered as a holiday in 1970.

Children’s Day not only focuses on celebrating the dignity of children and highlighting their need for care, love, and respect, but also honors adults who contribute to improving the children’s lives.

My Korean brother, Jae-woong, enjoying Children’s day 20 years ago.

It would be great if we also have this kind of holiday in the Philippines, don’t you think so?

Credits: anydayguide.com, wikipedia.com, dodoland.com, 90daykorean.com, aglobalworld.com, teacherspage.com

Written by Krew Member: Miao Canlas

2017 Korean Speech Contest: Treasures from Within

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The grand finals of the much-awaited Korean Speech Contest was held last April 29 at the College of Engineering Theater, University of the Philippines (UP)—Diliman. The contest, made possible by the Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in cooperation with the UP Department of Linguistics and the United Korean Community Association of the Philippines, was a way to discover the best Korean speakers in the nation.

The contestants were gathered from six beautiful cities of the Philippines—Baguio, Pampanga, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and Manila—to showcase their ability and wit. The theme of this year’s speech contest was “My Treasure”, where the contestants talked about what they hold dear in their hearts.

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Even before the start of event, the attendees were already filled with excitement and energy as they were able to enjoy various booth activities outside the theater, such as Hanbok wearing, Tuho Game, eating Korean food samples care of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and receiving free travel kits from the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). These activities made the attendees more pumped up and enthusiastic as the minutes passed by.

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Ms. Paola Ebora, Events Coordinator of KCC Philippines, hosted the event and started off with asking everyone to sing the national anthems of Korea and the Philippines. This was a great way of showing the continuously increasing partnership of both countries—that beyond the differences in languages and cultures, Filipinos and Koreans have shown optimism and respect to one another, creating an unbreakable friendship that will continuously grow over time.

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Director Lee Jin Cheol, the new Director of the Korean Cultural Center and the First Secretary of the Embassy of Korea in the Philippines, gave his warm welcoming remarks to everyone.  He expressed his gratefulness to be present in an event like this, which, for him, is not only a mere contest, but something that demonstrates how much the Filipinos enjoy the Korean language and culture. Director Lee then wished all the contestants the best of luck, and for everyone to enjoy the show.

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The Korean Speech Contest doesn’t only have a good roster of contestants but also an incredible panel of judges—Director Lee Jin Cheol of the Korean Cultural Center; Director Park In Shik of the Korea Tourism Organization; Mr. Kim Jong Ho, Principal of the Korea International School; Mr. Bang Jong Ryeol, King Sejong Language Institute and KCC instructor; and Ms. Song Ah Reum, First Secretary of the Korean Embassy. They made the contest more exciting as they have prepared questions for the contestants after their speech—which helped exhibit their ability to converse well in the Korean language.

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Once the judges have been introduced and criteria has been announced, it was time to meet the grand finalists. First up was Darla Joyce Dabu from Cainta, who expressed her love for her family and friends. Darla, in “My One Kind of Treasure”, talked about how no one is perfect and that it is okay to make mistakes. She holds her memories close to her heart as they give her strength to carry on with life, and that no matter what happens, we should all protect and cherish our own treasures.

The second contestant was Luxmie Jean Zacal who came from the province of Davao. Her speech titled “Our Family”, talked about how her 9-member family helps one another through the good and the bad, and that their days are always filled with dreams and love.

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Next one up was Jezreel Gibaga from Pasig City. “Which of these Treasured Things?” expressed her love for her family, as they have provided her the gift of life and showed life’s purpose. She also said that people will only be able to treasure others if they know how to treasure themselves, thus, she should be strong and stable to be able to take care of someone.

The fourth one to take the stage was Ronil Carino representing the province of Pampanga. He walked the audience through his life with his speech titled “My Journey in Life”, and how he had persevered to overcome the challenges along the way. Despite the various hardships, Ronil did not quit because he is stronger than his failures. His advice to everyone is to never be discouraged and don’t ever hold back, and that we should always keep the spark burning within us.

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The next finalist was Aubrey Ortega from Manila, who talked about her “Little Things.” She expressed how we should not be stressed out about the various happenings in our lives, instead, we should take a moment to appreciate what we have, even the small things. It’s easy for us to get carried away by the demands of our everyday lives that sometimes, we don’t notice the significance of little things and certain moments. Aubrey is grateful that she can enjoy and appreciate her treasures—the little things in life; and she is definitely making the most out of every moment.

Halfway through the contest, there was a raffle draw where randomly selected attendees won various things such as a KCC tumbler, a limited-edition K-Movie book, a Hallyu Tourist Guide Book, and an Easy Korean Cooking Book. Also, to give everyone a visual break, the beautiful ladies of the KCC Performance Team, NARA, performed a traditional fan dance. The audience was mesmerized with how NARA performed with elegance and grace, showcasing a part of the Korean culture.

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After the visual break, it was then time to hear more from the remaining finalists. The sixth contestant, Anthonette Cantara, also known as Annyeong for some of her friends, came all the way from Cebu. She talked about her “One Dream”, and how her love for the Korean culture started. Anthonette shared that we will find our treasures if we follow wherever our hearts lead us.

The next finalist, Angeleen Lee, a student from the Ateneo De Manila University, expressed her treasure through “My Tall Height.” She shared how her insecurities get the better of her before, because she thinks that everyone is better than her. Angeleen has always been insecure about her tall height—it’s uncommon and was often made fun of when she was young; but now she has learned to accept the things that are out of her control, and appreciate herself more.

The eighth—and the second male—contestant for the day was Carl Kelvin “CK” Sabillo. Through his speech titled “My Music, My Treasure”, he was able to express his love for music and having his own sound. CK admire how he can convey emotions, thoughts, memories, and love through music; and how it helps him to connect to other people’s hearts.

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The next finalist up the stage was Precious Ann Pendon from Iloilo, who is a nurse by profession and an English tutor by passion. Her love for her students was evident through her speech, “My Memories with My Korean Students.” Precious shared how she introduced the Filipino traditions to them and vice versa, and that no matter the distance, their great memories together will always be in their hearts.

The last but not the least contestant was Jerlyn Mercado from Baguio City. Her speech, “Now”, showcased her greatest treasure—this moment, today. There are a lot of things happening in our daily lives, but it is important for us to appreciate—and never take for granted—the people, things, and time that we have now.

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After the amazing speeches of the grand finalists, a Korean Word Ending Game was played up the stage. It was fun to see how the connected the Filipinos are with the Korean language. Val John, a former representative of the Philippines at the 2015 KBS K-Pop World Festival who is now an artist under Star Music, gave a special and lively performance. He performed K-Pop songs and has also showcased his latest single, “Ikaw Pa Rin.”

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The most exciting and nerve-wracking moment finally arrived—the announcement of winners. Before the Top 3 awards, special prizes were first awarded. The Popularity Award goes to Jezreel Gibaga, who has absolutely won the hearts of the aufience. The Best Content Award, on the other hand, was awarded to Jerlyn Mercado.

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The audience, especially the supporters of the contestants, were already on the edge of their seats waiting for the announcement of the grand winners. The third place, who took home Php 5,000.00, a trophy, a scholarship package from KCC, and a goodie bag, was given to Precious Ann Pendon.

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Aubrey Ortega was then announced to be the second place winner and received Php 10,000.00, a trophy, a scholarship package from KCC, and a goodie bag. At that moment, the whole theater was filled with cheers and support.

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The grand prize winner of this year’s Korean Speech Contest took home Php 15,000.00, a trophy, a scholarship package from KCC, a goodie bag, and—here’s the fun part—a round trip to Korea courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization, and it was none other than Angeleen Lee, who was truly surprised from the announcement.

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The event has been a blast—a treasured moment for most of us. It’s always amazing to witness the increasing interest and love of the Filipinos towards the Korean culture and language. I believe everyone has also thought about what their greatest treasures are on their way home. This contest did not only showcase some of the best talents, but was also a way for us to reflect and realize the beauty of every given moment. To anyone who is learning or planning to learn the Korean language: get ready and have fun—you might be the one up on the stage next year. 🙂

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Photos taken by Krew Member April Aquino

Written by Krew Member Nikki Harriet Cunanan

5 BTS: The Wings Tour Moments We Can’t Wait To Experience In Manila

We’re just a few days away from the 2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour in Manila, and we could hardly contain our excitement!

Arguably the most-anticipated K-Pop concert of the year, The Wings Tour in Manila (6-7 May) sold out some 20,000 tickets in just a few hours on the first day of ticket selling alone – a true battle of blood, sweat, and tears among the ever-so-passionate ARMYs.

As we count down the days till we witness Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Rap Monster, Jimin, V, and Jungkook set the SM Mall of Asia Arena stage on fire for their third solo concert in the country, let’s run through five The Wings Tour moments we couldn’t wait to experience on both days of BTS’ stop in Manila:

The super lit set list

 

The Wings Tour is divided into four glorious parts on top of VCRs and talking segments. Kicking off with the kinetic “Not Today” numbers and a slew of intro songs, BTS will then treat the audience to solo stages, to be followed by a medley featuring their title songs before they ease down to the encore, capping off the show with “Spring Day.” Crowd favorites like “Fire”, “Dope”, and “Baepsae” are also part of the concert’s set list.

The seven solo stages

We’ve seen BTS hold unit stages at their past concerts, but they’ve never really dedicated an entire segment to solo performances, so we sure are looking forward to the the seven stages of each member this time around. From Taehyung and Jin nailing the high notes in “Stigma” and “Awake” to Hobi’s à la worship “Mama” stage to Jungkook showcasing some impressive footwork during “Begin”, we’ll get to watch the Bangtan Boys bare their souls through powerful, uplifting, sometimes sensual, sometimes heart-wrenching numbers that we certainly won’t forget any time soon.

Watching the live performances of “Spring Day” and “Not Today” for the first time (in the flesh!)

This would be the first time we will be seeing the choreography of “Spring Day” and “Not Today”, as well as the other songs in the Wings and You Never Walk Alone albums including “Blood, Sweat & Tears”, performed live right before our very eyes – of course, we are pumped!

Taking part in the fan projects

From creating a rainbow ARMY Bomb ocean in the US, to forming encouraging messages that illuminated an entire arena in Thailand, ARMYS have always believed in “go big or go home” when it comes to packing a surprise for the boys. And since we PH ARMYs don’t want to get left behind, we have something in store for BTS, too! So if you’re attending the show, it would be best for you to familiarize yourself with all the fan projects and share the word to your fellow concert buddies!

Singing along to “2!3! (Hoping For More Good Days)”

What better way to make your fans feel loved than by writing a song especially for them? That’s exactly what BTS did. “2! 3! (Hoping For More Good Days)” is the ARMYs’ official fan song that says so much about the ups and downs that the band and the entire fandom endured together, and getting the opportunity to sing along to it is a chance we definitely wouldn’t miss. After all, it’s not everyday we get to express our love and gratitude to our ultimate bias group by singing back to them with all our heart.

Written by The Krew member Andy Flores

석가탄신일, 연등회: Buddha’s Birthday and the Lotus Lantern Festival in Korea

In Korea, Children’s Day, Parent’s Day, Teacher’s Day, and Buddha’s birthday all fall in May – making it known as the month of holidays. However, out of these, only Children’s Day and Buddha’s birthday are national holidays, or ‘red days’ as they are known. On May 3, millions of people across Korea will come together to celebrate the birth of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.

Buddhas Birthday Korea Lanterns

Buddhism , or 불교 bulgyo, along with Christianity, is one of the two main religions of South Korea. Buddha’s Birthday is not only an important and auspicious day for the nation’s practicing Buddhists, but also a public holiday when Korean culture and tradition is widely celebrated across the country.

석가탄신일 Seokga tansinil, meaning ‘Buddha’s Birthday’ or 부처님 오신 날 Bucheonim osin nal (‘the day when the Buddha came’) has been widely observed in many Asian nations for centuries. In Korea, it falls on the eighth day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar. The actual date of the holiday changes every year.

Most of the festivities surrounding the holiday start about a week prior to the day itself, Vibrantly colored, lotus-shaped paper lanterns are hung throughout the country as early as a month ahead of time.

Buddhist temples are transformed into kaleidoscopes of color. Take a visit to one of the temples in the country and one will see lotus lanterns around the temple and surrounding yards and streets. On the day of Buddha’s birth, many temples provide complimentary vegetarian meal such as 산채 비빔밥 sanchae bibimbap and tea to all visitors who make the trek. The temples also host traditional Korean games and performances, such as mask dances and acrobatic shows with tightrope walkers.

A temple-goer hangs his wish on a lantern at Jogyesa Temple in Seoul | © GohRo / Flickr

Many participants make a small donation to hang their own paper lantern in the temple complex. These colored paper lanterns are mostly red, pink, or gold and have candles inside. A small paper tag is hung from the bottom of the lantern where they write their name and a wish that they carry in their heart.

The highlight of the celebrations is the 연등회Yeon Deung Hoe, also known as the Lotus Lantern Festival. Originating in the Silla period more than 1,200 years ago, the tradition has been passed down through the Goryeo era, the Joseon era, and is still an annual tradition today. This traditional festival is designated as Korea’s National Intangible Cultural Property No. 122.

Yeon Deung Hoe (Lotus Lantern Festival) (연등회)

In major cities like Seoul and Busan, the festival features an annual lantern parade which usually takes place on the weekend before the holiday. The largest lantern festival happens in downtown Seoul where the participants in the parade first head to Dongguk University, one of Korea’s main Buddhist universities. They watch dance performances and ceremonies in the afternoon and the parade usually starts at seven in the evening. The parade’s participants range from solemn looking Buddhist monks to excitable university students with magnificent lantern displays including animated dragons and replicas of the Buddha himself. By lighting lanterns at the festival, participants light up their own hearts as well as the world. In this way, the celebration also offers an opportunity in which participants can reflect on Buddhist virtues, teachings, principles and life in general.

After the lantern parade, there are a few other activities such as street festivals, lantern making, temple food tasting and lively cultural performances that express the aspiration for peace and happiness all over the world while bring all participants together as one, transcending nationality, gender, ethnicity and religion.

Korea’s Buddha’s Birthday celebration is truly both a spectacle for the eyes and a wonderful way to remember the man who established one of the world’s most influential religions.

Credits: theculturetrip.com, 90daykorean.com, asiasociety.org, visitkorea.or.kr

Written by Krew Member: Miao Canlas

The Ultimate Weight-Loss Secret: KPOP

 

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It’s nearly the half of 2017 but have you already started your fitness journey?

Don’t fret, it’s not too late! I got you covered! I’m here to unravel the ultimate weight loss secret and that is “KPOP”. Yes, Korean Pop!

So how do you lose weight with it? It’s when you:

  1. Dance to KPOP. img_79302

Dancing is considered a cardio workout and that means “an exercise that raises your heart rate” (Health Status, 2015). Not to mention an added heartbeat from fangirling over your oppa’s voice, dancing to KPOP would get your body moving and sweating in no time! Almost forgot, random dancing is considered “dancing”. (High five on that!)

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  1. When you listen to KPOP.

If dancing is not your thing then use KPOP as your workout music! Studies show that people who listen to music while exercising: walking, jogging, lifting weights, etc., tend to increase their endurance by up to 15% (Live Science, 2009). Also, music gets you in your zone, encourages you to move more and lessens the possibility of any distraction getting into you. So focus, Jimin (BTS) might get mad!

  1. When you enjoy KPOP.img_7930

Lastly, losing weight should be a “journey” not a race. Most of us are easily stressed-out when the scale doesn’t budge! So, enjoying KPOP- dancing to it, moving with it, living with it, is just the easiest way to lose weight. Merely because you don’t feel like you need to lose weight- you’re not pressured because of it. Rather, you’re enjoying and having the time of your life! And, both are very important keys that many miss out with weight loss.

So, I hope you learned something from me! KPOP does help you lose weight in a fun way!

Start your fitness journey by enrolling at the Korean Cultural Center’s KPOP dance classes! The online registration is at May 10, 2017 and stay tuned for more updates through KCC’s Facebook page!

*** To encourage you, I actually lost 10 pounds in 1 ½ months just dancing to KPOP, playing badminton and eating right! I didn’t feel stressed: no counting calories, no weight lifting, no [insert-stressful-exercise-here]! I just randomly danced to KPOP and enjoyed my weight loss journey- it is called a “journey” after all. ^^

Written by Krew Member: Max Chua

Black Day: Jjajangmyeon for Singles

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Are you single?

If your answer is yes, then maybe this article is for you! (ㅠㅠ)

In Korea, they have a day especially made for single people (hooray!) Now, you don’t have any reason to frown or be jealous at couples during Valentine’s Day and White Day.

Mark your calendars, single women and men out there, Black Day is observed every 14th day of April in Korea. It comes one month after White Day — where men give special gifts to the special women in their life.

During this day, most articles and Korean shows portray individuals eating miserably while eating jjajangmyeon – noodles drizzled with a thick sauce of black bean paste and garnished with cubed pork and assorted vegetables. Some people eat this while donning a black outfit — they are described as people who have yet to find love in this world. (ㅠㅠ)

Jjajangmyeon Korean Noodles With Black Bean Sauce

After enjoying their jjajangmyeon, sometimes people even drink black coffee after.

** Be warned! Couples are told not to eat Jjajangmyeon together or they will break up. (o_o)

Are you scared of going outside and announcing to the world that you are single? It doesn’t have to be that way because even though such day was made for single people, there are three things you can do to get the wonderful experience when Black Day comes.

1. There are TONS of matchmaking service

If you’re not comfortable enjoying your jjajangmyeon alone, you can have a number of ways to meet someone who can possibly be THE ONE. There are variety of speed dating events, mobile apps that you can check online.

See? It’s not that bad when you announce that you are available. ㅋㅋㅋ

Online Dating

2. Single friends gather together 

The lack of romantic partner doesn’t have to be a sad reality for you. You can invite your friends and just like a normal bonding time, you get to enjoy each other’s presence.

Lee Hyori visits Seoul with SPICA's Bohyung

3. Free Food! Speed eating competitions

Free food? Channel all your depressive thoughts by winning an eating competition. Some stores may hold other games, so get all the information you need before the D-Day comes.

Embrace your “singleness.” Being single is not a curse and for those who are not yet convinced, there’s a famous saying that states, “True love waits.”

The right person for you will come. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Yes, it’s going to take time. But when it comes, you’ll know and you’re more than ready. ^^

 

Sources:

http://www.englishspectrum.com/black-day-and-a-good-bowl-of-jajangmyeon/

What is Black Day in Korea?

https://www.flickr.com

 

Written by Krew Member Jean Singian

Gwangjang, food jjang! Experience Seoul taste in a market

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Located at Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 광장시장 (Gwangjang Sijang) or Gwangjang Market is known for their delicious Korean street food!

Considered as Korea’s first market, it continues to be one of the most popular tourist destinations of Korea (Visit Korea, 2017).

There is no food greater than street food and tasting Korea’s local flavors allows one to experience the Seoul culture through eating — I couldn’t think of any better way to!

Gwangjang market offers a wide variety of food from Oemok (fish cakes), Mandu (dumplings), Sundae (blood sausages), Naengmyeon (cold noodles), Kimbap (seaweed rice roll) and more!

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Food stalls would even post tarpaulins of them being featured on particular local variety show to attract tourists! Actually, if I were you, you’ll enjoy this market more if you watch Running Man Episode 186 (Shim Eun Kyung), one of my favorite Running Man episodes!

But, more than these facts, why do you need to stop by Gwangjang Sijang anyway?

Here are my reasons:

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  1. Deliciousness-Overload

What’s good about Gwangjang street food is that each stall offers a different type of flavor! No stall is the same! A mere ddeokbokki (rice cake) can be done in Chinese style — using sweet chili sauce, or Korean style — chili sauce made from gochujang and sugar!

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  1. Cheapness like no other

Another joy of eating street food is that your wallet won’t be complaining even after eating 10 (ten) dishes!

Bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) is a must try in Gwangjang! It’s the first thing you’ll see upon entering the market — that is if you went to the right entrance! That onion-vinegar sauce just matches the crispiness of the pancake!

Bindaetteok only costs 4,000-5,000 Won, Kimchi/Meat Mandu costs around 5,000 Won, Mayak Kimbap (drug kimbap) for about 2,500 Won. Where else can you eat something that is both cheap and delicious? Face it, this is the best place for pigging-out!

  1. Meokbang on Insta-bang!

For those of you who don’t know “meokbang,” it means “food program.” The term comes from “먹어” (meogo) meaning “eat” and “방송” (bang song) meaning show or program. In my own term, meokbang means, “make-them-jealous-of-you-eating” program! I remember those Running Man episodes where Jae Suk would munch on Mandu and I would get hungry- well, who’s eating it now! Kidding!

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Gwangjang Market is the best place for you to “meokbang”. You can eat a lot, post a lot without spending a lot!

If you’re coming to Korea this year, I hope you can drop by Gwangjang Market- it’s definitely street food heaven!

Written by Krew Member Maxx Chua