Is it a lion or a dragon? I think it may be a dragon. I looked online and could not find a similar image.
I took this image several years ago when in the Pusan/Busan area of South Korea at one of its lovely Buddhist temples. It was taken on an old Pentax K-1000 as slide film. I recently scanned this image.
Buddhist temples are known for their artwork. Besides statues of Buddha, the temples are like an art museum on the inside and outside. If in Korea or another Asian country, be sure to stop by one. You won’t regret it.
Many cultures have traditional clothing or dress. People may wear it during a cultural event, holiday or other special occasion, or during a dance.
Traditional clothing in Korea is called hanbok. For men it is the top and pants you see this man wearing. It can be a dress for women. Many times special shoes are worn with a hanbok like the man above is wearing.
The above picture was taken several years ago in the Pusan/Busan area outside a McDonalds. I took it with an old Pentax K-1000 as slide film. I recently scanned the slide.
I was standing outside McDonalds when this gentleman came walking up carrying a piece of cardboard. I wasn’t sure why he was carrying the cardboard, but soon found out the purpose. He used it to sit on. He looked tired. I am not sure how far away he hiked from. The man decided to sit next to Ronald McDonald. I thought it was a nice contrast. Someone in traditional clothes next to a comical figure. Serious vs. not so serious. I imagined this man’s wife told him before he left home not to get his nice hanbok dirty, so he took the cardboard with him to sit on. I would have to say this was one of my favorite images that I took in Korea.
I love seeing different traditional dress. Does your culture have traditional clothes you wear for special occasions?
Many cultures have dances that are traditional. Mexico has the Jarabe Tapatio, known as the Mexican Hat Dance. Italy is famous for the Tarantella. In Korea they have a dance that dates back 2,500 years called the Farmer’s Dance.
The Farmer’s Dance originated long ago for a purpose. It is performed during agricultural events including planting and harvesting of crops. It was performed to encourage the farmers by giving them a beat to work to.
The music is fast paced and the dancers perform acrobatic movements. They twirl long paper streamers attached to their hats. They wear colorful clothing.
While I witnessing this I thought the dancers possessed impressive skills that must have been honed with much practice.
What kind of dances are traditional to your culture? What was the purpose or meaning behind them? Dance is more than just a performance art.
In the Catholic tradition there are saints for different causes. St. Erasmus or St. Elmo is the patron saint of Sailors. St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of Animals. What do they have in Buddhism?
In Buddhism it appears they have different Buddhist shrines focusing on different causes. This was taken a while ago when I worked in Asia. This was a Buddhist Temple in the Pusan/Busan area. I was told by a Korean who went with us that the photo below was the Fishermen’s Buddha and that the women there were praying for the safe return of their husbands and a good catch. The top photo may be from the same temple or from another Buddhist temple focusing on fertility in the same area.
I find it interesting to see the traditions in other cultures and religions. Sometimes we have some similarities and sometimes there are differences. It makes visiting a new place even more interesting. What are your traditions?
Did you know Manhattan has a Korea Town? Do you know where it is? Which restaurant has decor that makes you feel you are in Korea? Jongro BBQ can transport you to Asia.
Korea Town, also known as K-Town, is south of the Empire State Building. It is on 32nd Street roughly between Broadway and 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The neighborhood has several restaurants. The first few I walked into that were on street level were packed on a Sunday afternoon. I decided to try Jongro- which was on the second floor of a building at 22 West 32nd Street. I was pleasantly surprised.
The decor of the restaurant brings you to Korea. I lived in Korea for two years and it reminded me of a restaurant in the country we stopped in on the way back from hiking a mountain. Jongro BBQ has antique items from Korea on the walls and on poles. They have old signage, a post box, and a vintage delivery bike to name a few. They also constructed areas of the restaurant to look like architecture you would find in Korea.
This is a BBQ, so you will find cooker areas on the tables. I am supposed to avoid beef and pork. A lot of items on the menu include those things. However, they did have my old standby, BeBimBop. This dish can be served hot or cold. I like it both ways. They only serve it cold at Jongro. It was excellent. I asked for it with egg on top instead of beef and they obliged. The rest of the dish is vegetables and rice. They had a couple of other items on the menu if you did not want a meat dish.
If you are visiting Manhattan and want to eat Korean food or something healthy, head to Jongro BBQ. Enjoy the decor while you are there. It is one of the gems of Korea Town.