'Who Was That Hot Guy?' and Other Big Questions Answered By Korean Web SitesAre you looking for love in Korea? Or perhaps you are writing a thesis on traditional Korean music and are having problems finding samples? Here are some Web sites that will plug you into Korean culture, whether you are in Korea or abroad. All three are in English.
This site uses beautiful photography and multi-media technology to create a visual and auditory masterpiece. Striking images, video clips and silly cartoons give way to in-depth information on many aspects of Korean culture.
You'll find features on lifestyle, nature, performing arts, sports and religion, with an emphasis on history. Therefore sports features do not focus on local jet skiing or skydiving, but on traditional Korean martial arts. Information on performing arts includes a guide to ethnic music and dance. There are also audio clips of Korean music and video clips of traditional performances.
But perhaps Korean art history does not concern you so much as understanding everyday Korean culture. A question and answer section helps demystify soju, chopsticks and arranged marriages.
If these topics are too high brow for you, there is also a bulletin board with postings that range from international personal ads to translation services. For contemporary issues, you can link to "What's Up?" a sister site that deals with movies and performances now showing in Korea.
If traditional culture is not your cup of tea, check out this site. It draws its audience from among the long-distance Internet community, and reportedly links 50 million Koreans worldwide.
Teens appear to be the primary users. There are postings about everything from teen pregnancy to queries of, "Who was that hot guy?" at a local party. Site participants hail from Seoul, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Europe and the United States.
There is also a virtual newsstand, travel guide and classified ads to draw in older users.
This is a virtual marketplace and entertainment guide for travellers. The site offers travel information with links to hotels, car rental agencies, restaurants and travel agents. Some online booking is possible. The restaurant listing is not exhaustive, but it covers major cities in Korea.
Scroll down further, and you'll see that this Web site also offers listings for a number of clubs, events and cultural events.
by Joe Yong-hee