Our YouTube Winner: Rafiqahsari (Gyeongbok Palace) Posted by Transparent Language on May 25, 2010 in Culture
First off, we’d like to thank all of you who submitted videos regarding exotic Korean customs. We really enjoyed reading all of your insightful comments on our Facebook page. The cultural practices you all mentioned — from the Korean BBQ to eccentric bridal piggybacks — were very enlightening.
Without further adieu, our video winner is (drum roll, please): Rafiqahsari.
The reason we chose this short clip was far from arbitrary. One of five palaces built in 1395 during the Joseon Dynasty, the Gyeongbok Palace was and remains the main palace of Korea. In English, Gyeongbok Palace means the “Palace of Shining Happiness.” Located in northern Seoul in South Korea, the palace has a dense history of destruction and reconstruction. It was once comprised of approximately 300 of buildings. After the Japanese invasion of 1592 the palace was left in ruins for over 200 years before being rebuilt in 1865. The palace faced attacks from the Japanese again in 1910 after which only a few buildings remain.
The Gyeongbok Palace still features about a dozen buildings. Notably, there is a large gate (Kwangha-mun) protecting the palace from Seoul, and a lone-standing chimney that was once part of the Queen’s living Quarters (Chagyong-jon) which is adjacent to the courtyard. The palace also contains Korea’s largest wooden structure — Keunjeong – jeon which serves as a throne room and is considered a national treasure. Not surprisingly, the palace attracts a massive amount of tourism.
Gyeongbok Palace certainly stands out as a Korean gem for historical reasons, but as this video implies, Koreans pay homage to their past every day. Thus, the poignancy of such a submission can be striking no matter what the sound quality or pedagogical stance.
To reward Rafiqahsari’s efforts, we are featuring this video on our new YouTube Facebook tab and will be tweeting it to the world on our Korean Twitter account.
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