Korean Culture

[:en]Being a country proud of its cultural history, South Korea maintained various traditional palaces, temples and old gardens to display to the tourists. The Cherry Blossom Festival is the one preferred by travelers, with its lanterns and masks parades, which enchant the eye of the viewer. However, contemporary cultural manifestations are neither less appreciated nor presented, many festivities including dance, music and sports being enhanced by the sky-scrapers and neon lights that are a trademark of the fast – paced Korean culture.

With China in West and Japan advancing from the             East, South Korea has been the front where these tensions would be released for a long time. However, despite the efforts of outside forces to control or assimilate it, this civilization has managed to maintain its independence and heritage.

Until recently, Korea was one state, ruled by century-long dynasties. However, the thirty five-year long Japanese occupation that lasted from 1910 throughout 1945 and the dividing of the peninsula as a consequence of the Korean War have had a great impact on the unity of the state. In times of great hardship, Koreans have proven themselves to be quite flexible and adaptable, which was a great asset to the economic growth in parallel with the preservation of their cultural identity and traditions.

Korea is packed with fortresses, temples, and palaces, many of those being designated part of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Moreover, the territory of the peninsula shared with the Democratic Republic Popular Korea (also known as North Korea), is one of the rockiest in the world, having at the same time plenty coastal beaches.

Seoul, dubbed “the soul of Korea”, situated around the Han River, is known for its futuristic sky-scrappers, millions of lights and packed, bustling streets contrasting with its traditional temples, palaces, and parks which create a serene and calming atmosphere. With its increasing utility, it has become a stopping – point in Asia and a cultural center in the China – Korea – Japan trio.

Korea’s cultural heritage was widely influenced by the prolonged contact with the Chinese civilization. Buddhism, which was the state religion from the VII throughout the XII century, has had a visible impact on the arts. Many temples, convents, tombs, palaces, and other art pieces have transcended the time and still remain today as proof for the achievements of the Golden Age, also supporting the tourism development. Folk tales, music, theatre, poetry, all bear the stamp of Buddhism and Confucianism.[:ro]O tara mandra de istoria sa culturala, Coreea de Sud se are cateva palate, temple si gradini vechi la dispoziia turistilor. Festivalul Cherry Blossom este preferatul calatorilor, cu paradele de lanterne si masti, care vrajesc ochiul. Exista si destule evenimente contemporane, precum dansuri, muzica si festivitati sportive in contrast cu zgarie-norii si lumina neoanelor.

Cu China ivita dinspre vest si Japonia inghiontind dinspre est, nu e de mirare ca aceasta tara a fost in mod involuntar camp de razboi. Insa oricat ar fi incercat vecinii sa o acapareze, Coreea de Sud a reusit sa supravietuiasca.

Pana relativ recent, Coreea a fost un loc unitar, condus de dinastii vechi de secole. Totusi, ocupatia japoneza de 35 de ani, incepand cu 1910, divizarea peninsulei dupa cel de-al doilea razboi mondial si razboiul coreean ce a urmat, au destramat imaginea unitara a tarii. Vremurile dificile au facut totusi ca poporul corean sa fie adaptabil, sa aiba succes economic si in acelasi timp sa-si pastreze traditiile si cultura unica.

Coreea este plina de fortarete, temple si palate,multe dintre ele locuri de Patrimoniu Mondial UNESCO. In plus, peninsula pe care o imparte cu Republica Populara Democrata Coreea (numele oficial al Coreei de Nord) este una dintre cele mai muntoase regiuni din lume, avand totusi si plaje costale.

Capitala Seul serpuieste pe langa raul Han, punctata de zgarie-nori futuristici intr-una dintre cele mai aglomerate zone din lume. Orasul are o utilitate crescanda, ca un punct de oprire in Asia, sau ca un centru cultural al trioului Corea-China-Japonia.

Mostenirea artistica si culturala a Coreei a fost puternic influentata de-a lungul veacurilor de contactul apropiat cu China. Budismul, care a dominat viata coreeana din secolul VII pana in secolul XII,a influentat artele. Multe temple budiste,manastiri,morminte sfinte,palate si alte opere de arta raman inca fiind martorii realizarilor din Epoca de Aur si fiind valorabile ajutand la dezvoltarea turismului Coreei de Sud. In timpul dinastiei Koryo au fost construite numeroase opere de arta. Povestile populare,muzica,poezia si teatrul, toate fac parte din traditia budista si confuciana.[:]