Car clubs offer rally good timeThe following is a tip on traditional Korean language and customs in response to a query from a Mr. Culver, who wrote to us from Seoul:
Q. Mr. Culver:
In the past two years, on a few occasions, I’ve seen something strange in the Seoul night and haven’t figured out exactly what it was.
I’ve noticed that foreign sports cars are extremely rare on Korean streets. But once, on a freeway, and another time along the bustling main street of Apgujeong-dong in southern Seoul, I saw hordes of expensive roadsters together in one spot. They seemed to be either violently racing against one another or parading in line, often honking loudly or flashing headlights. I’m sure a pack of young people in big cities anywhere around the world can do crazy things, so who exactly are they or what are they doing?
Many young Koreans are involved in online social clubs where they share the latest information, make friends or meet new people sharing their pastime. Often, some lead members of the social club put up a notice to arrange an impromptu meeting, offline. This is what Koreans call beongae, a kind of offline social act or a meeting previously arranged online. The rendezvous is so quickly arranged and realized that the act was named beongae, which literally means thunder.
What you saw was probably a beongae arranged by sports car club members. In reality, most beongae car meets are not dangerous or violent. Young people enjoy them because the activity involves unexpected encounters with new members.
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