[Letters] Encourage more Koreans to wear hanbokLast summer, I had a chance to travel Japan with my friend. One thing that surprised me was that Japanese wear their traditional clothing, kimono, in their daily life. There were some girls and women dressed in kimono in the street. More important than its beauty, the kimono looked beautiful because I could feel the love of the Japanese toward their traditions.
Korea also has traditional clothing which is called hanbok. Unfortunately, however, it seems that hanbok are not worn as often by Koreans compared to Japanese wearing kimono. Why don’t we wear hanbok in everyday life?
We can find the answer from our history. Korea was under Japanese colonial rule for many years. In the meantime, Japan persecuted traditional Korean culture and introduced western culture to Korea by force. As a result, lots of Korean traditions lost their power or disappeared. The hanbok is one example of this. Because western clothing replaced the hanbok, it began to lose ground. Even today, people wear hanbok only for special occasions - weddings, a baby’s first birthday party, etc.
Nonetheless, many Koreans still love to wear hanbok although there are few chances to wear it. To give those people further chances to enjoy hanbok, government support is essential. Through various campaigns to improve awareness, the government can encourage people to wear hanbok more often. If there are more and more people wearing hanbok in the street, it would also allow foreign tourists a glimpse into traditional Korean culture. The government should consider this seriously.
by Maeng Ji-yeon Student at Dongguk University