Sunday, February 5, 2012

Korean Slang: Umchina 엄친아

If you are familiar with the Korean celebrities Lee Seung Gi and Song Joong Ki then you are probably aware of the Korean slang "umchina."

"Umchina," a combination of the three Korean words: 엄(eom/um) for 엄마(mother), 친(chin) for (친구) friend and 아 for son (아들).

Literally it means son of mother's friend and means mother's friend's son who is good at "everything."

Why umchina?

Mothers in Korea usually like to compare their child with other children associating them with the mothers. They usually tell their sons with these lines "The son of my friend is a perfect boy so you should be like him?"  or "Do you know Mrs.Kim's son? He's a very good boy! He's good at this at that....!"
But in reality, they just want their own sons to do well and be more competitive. Regardless whether the other mothers' sons are really good boys or not. Many Koreans, especially the ones updated with the "modern" society know this term. If someone tells you that you are an "umchina" then you are being praised. Basically a perfect man "엄친아." Usually the appearance is not part but from what I know they do include it. haha.

When it comes to girls, you can call them umchinttal "엄친딸" (a daughter of mother's friend). 

Power Korean: Jung Gil Choi 최정길

If you've been to Korea, probably you are already familiar with the popularity of Korean own-made performing arts shows. Nanta, Jump, Bibap, Sachoom, Ballerina Who Loves B-Boy, are some of these few names you’ve encountered or have seen. The next friend I will be introducing is part of one of these big productions.

Born and raised in Seoul, Jung Gil Choi graduated at Mon Il High School in 2003. He wanted to take up dance for college but for some reasons he ended up studying Computer Technology at Anyang Science College and graduated in 2007.

So how did he get himself into B-boy? Jung Gil got interested in B-boy when he was a middle school student. His hyung at the church taught him so since then dancing was like his life, as he said.  His body couldn’t stop the inkling from grooving every time he hears a beat. He joined many underground gatherings for B-boy dancers. Jung Gil smilingly narrates some of his unforgettable experiences when he just started his career in dancing. In 2001 he performed with the musical dance performance team for an event in Dongdaemun. In 2003, he said he practiced a lot in subway stations with his friends until he became part of a group called Battle Crew. He literally practiced every day improving his skills and making him more confident. He then decided to go to the next level. He auditioned for the famous show Ballerina Who Loves B-Boy, and even got the main part.


I’ve already introduced in my blog about the show Bibap. A show with a very interesting blend of different performing arts just like the famous Korean food itself, Bibimbap. In 2010, the Korean government intensified many programs in promoting Hansik (Korean food) globally. One of the projects was called Bibap Korea. My friend Jung Gil got a chance to audition for the said show because it was looking for someone to dance B-boy. What started as a 30-minute showcase became the big show we know today. He was part of the Korean team sent to Edinburgh Festival and Shanghai Expo. The team presented a show entitled “Chef.” It did not just received applause but outstanding recognitions from those who have watched it. Now, Bibap is one of the most popular shows in Korea. It’s not only your favorite K-Pop stars who travels a lot. Jung Gil and his Bibap team are also busy traveling to many places in Korea and abroad for their shows.

More about Jung Gil

Due to economic reasons, Jung Gil once decided to stop dancing. He used to work in a mechanic shop. After all, he also likes auto bikes. He said he enjoyed his work only that he realized it was not for him. He told me that there are some things that people are good at and we ourselves are aware of it. But there are also things that no matter how we like to do it, results never come out the way we wanted. Making us feel that it's not meant for us. He was talking about his work that time. 

Anyway! So if you come to Korea, make sure you watch Bibap! And yep, as you can see the picture you can see him doing that when you watch it! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Do you love MBLAQ?

Show your love and support to your favorite group MBLAQ! Mnet is having this "Star missions" where fans have to support their favorite idol groups by uploading UCCs. This time, the mission has been given to MBLAQ.

Mission: Fans will do a cover (dance/song) of their newest single "This is War." Seungho suggested that you can do the cover in a public space like subway but Mnet says it's not really necessary. However, they added it will be more fun if you do it in public. MBLAQ will be choosing the winner. The more creative and the more appealing to the group the better.

Prize: kiss from the group oh I'm sorry I mean autographed CD!
Event Period: January 27th to February 9th (Korea time)

For more details check MBLAQ Mission

Source: Mnet Global

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Seoul to raise subway, bus fares this month

For those who are in Korea especially in Seoul, subway and bus fares will be increasing this month. Don't fret when you see your T-Moneys zero balance so soon hehe. Here's a news from Yonhap.

SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul Metropolitan Government will raise public transportation fares by 150 won (US$0.13) later this month to make up for rising deficits from energy costs and transfer fee discounts, officials said Thursday.

The city government finalized its decision to raise bus and subway fares from 900 won (price for adults using transit cards) to 1,050 won starting Feb. 25, while freezing prices for students and children, according to officials.

Source: Yonhap