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Christmas in Korea

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In Korea they don't celebrate Christmas. Chuseok is the biggest holiday. But a little of the western culture has been adapted to Christmas.
On Christmas eve you could give something to your parents, but mostly this is a time to be with your love. Therefore all longing singels go around beeing sad and hating this season. 

Coffe shops and stores Christmas decorate. But often they don't pick it down and you can still find Christmas wreaths and decors in July. One pub even renamed themselfe so they woulden't have to pick it down "The Cristmas Pub".
I don't know if this is out of lazyness but as a organized Sweede it bugs me. tradition is tradition, after New Years the stuff should be gone.

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. Even though we worked to 24th of December I will still have the eavning for celebrating and eat good food. Luckey me IKEA just opend so I bought some things. Swedish meatballs!! among others. The liqure I brought from Sweden, candy, buns, and a speciell sauce to have to salomon.
My brother who was currently in Peru got jelouse and missed home, but we sang and ate through skype most of the eavning.

I have been celebrating Christmas alone before. Then it was in Australia 2006, I was traveling by the time since the flights were the cheapest.

All Swedish around Seoul flew home over Christmas since they have smal children. The Swedish ambassady have no activites and there are no Swedish church here. Younger Sweedes such as myselfe is hard to find in Seoul even though you lay out hooks. But it's fine by me. You do the best with what you have. Next day I was flying out to Phillipines anyway.

This year I found out were to buy Christmas decorations.
On Express Bus Terminal they have a few floors working as markets. One of these floors have only plants, but they exchange it for Christmas decorations during the season so the day before Advent I wen't there.

It was a hundred times worse then any Christmas market with bling bling, decorations, kitch, finish decorated Christmas trees, dancing giant raindeers and blinking lights. I got overwhelmed and tired quite fast but I walked around looking on everything.


Since my Swedish friends are moving home now for good I will take over their Christmas tree so I was there looking for those decorations. I gatherd a gold and red scheme. I think traditionell is the best, turquoise dosen't give you that warm and cozy feeling. Hope you all had a wonderfull Christmas!







Pepero Day!

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The other day it was Pepero day here. It is like the Korean Valentines day.
Pepero looks like and tastes like the populair Japanese Pocky, both similar in taste to Cadbury fingers.
The reason why Pepero day is 11/11 is because Pepero are sticks and looks like one:s.

Lotte is a multinational food and shopping corporation with headquarters here and in Japan. They claim that their Pepero, launched 1983, is not even a slightly bit inspired by the Japanese Pocky, anno 1966. It is a very Korean style to kind of steal an idea and claim they invented it. As I understand you don’t get taught to think like an individual outside the box, so you can’t come up with your own ideas. Never call cherry blossom festival for Sakora, they invented Cherry blossom ;).

From the beginning the idea of giving each other packages of Pepero is to wish you to get tall and thin. To make the wish come true you should eat at least eleven packages. Today Peperoday is more to give to the one you love, or gesture t friends. This day was of course invented by Lotte.
If you are really in love you should share a Pepero like in “Lady and the Tramp”, so I wonder how many hit their nose when the cookie snaps.
If you are single and you fish out Pepero that are stuck togheter, that means luck and coming love. That you will soon get a boyfriend or a girlfriend. If you get many packages you have many admireres.
At the office I got some packed calories, with the wish for me to get fat ;). Also our great CEO sent office a beautiful packages with Peperos so I tried different types. Was great!



Dental care

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I have started doing the same as my colleagues, brushing my teeths after lunch.
Something as common as dental hygiene is different here and seems to be bigger than
in Sweden. People are carrying around small bottles of flour and in some of the resturants
the staff have their toothbrush on the resturants toilet in a mug.
It is strange that Sweden haven't got this kind of tradition, after all in school a lady with flour came visiting so we could use it. So it is strange since Sweden is in leading in dental care, we have invented alot such as tooth plastic filling. That is why the koren dentists I have met, all been to conventions in Sweden.
But they still work in a completly diffrent way, once a dentist to my horror wanted to put crowns over eight of my teeths. Another one wanted to fill a cavity in my tooth with amalgam, yes you heard right, the mixture that destroyed most tooths in the 50s.
During the physical your eyes will be coverd.

Despite this brushing tooth tradition it seems older men eat half a pack of garlic clovers in the mornings and walk straight into the subway. Mybe dental hygien is something only the new generation is doing.

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