Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Korean traditional dress " Hanbok "

Hanbok and Its History
Hanbok means literally “Korean dress,” the traditional clothing that Koreans have worn through the ages. Hanbok is also the national dress that Koreans often use to express their sense of identity. Thus, the hanbok is the “face” of the Korean people, embodying their characteristics and aesthetics.

The oldest form of hanbok can be seen in tomb mural paintings from the Goguryeo Kingdom (37 B.C.-668 A.D.). In these murals, both men and women wear an upper garment of the jeogori or “jacket” type over trousers or a skirt, though the cut of the costume differs noticeably according to social status or occupation. The basic feature of the hanbok from this period is that the male and female versions are similar, each comprising an upper and a lower garment.

In general, men wore a jacket and pants, women a jacket and skirt, while on formal occasions, both might wear a topcoat or gown over this outfit. The upper and lower garments were of different colors. An especially distinctive feature was the use of a wide band, darker than the main color, along the collar, front hem, and bottom hem of the upper garment. The same darker color might also be used for a belt that emphasized the shape of the upper garment and gave the wearer a geometrical look by dividing the body spatially.

There were many variations on this use of decorative lines, and sometimes a second, thinner line was added. From this we can infer that line decoration was used as an aesthetic element designed to make the upper garment stand out as a focus of attention. It may also have served a practical purpose in making the edges of the garment stronger and more resistant to soiling.

The fabric of the costume is depicted as decorated with dots in various designs, and these have been interpreted as simplifications of the decorative designs that were actually used on clothing of the period. Clothing in the contemporary kingdoms of Baekje (18 B.C.-660 A.D.) and Silla (57 B.C-668 A.D.) is believed to have been similar to that of Goguryeo Kingdom in basic shape, with some differences in size and fit, coloring, and headdress. In state ceremonies, the king, queen and officials wore the Chinese-influenced formal dress, but under this they wore traditional Korean clothing. The ceremonial dress of the king, and even the hat and shoes worn with it, varied with the nature of the ceremony. The status of other wearers was reflected in the design and coloring of their clothes. Dragon designs were restricted to the royal family: the five-clawed dragon could only be worn by the king and queen, the four-clawed dragon by the crown prince, and the three-clawed dragon by the crown prince's eldest son.

Officials, similarly, were differentiated by the designs embroidered on the front and back of their gowns: civil officials sported a crane, military officials a tiger, and the larger the number of cranes or tigers, the higher the rank of the wearer. Status was also symbolized by color. Yellow stood for the emperor, red for the king, and purple for the crown prince, while violet, blue, and green were used to distinguish the rank of officials.

 Special Features

Though cut from flat cloth, when worn the hanbok takes on a voluminous three-dimensional quality. With its simple form and generous fit, it is flexible enough to accommodate any body shape and comfortable to wear while sitting on the floor, as is usual in a Korean house. Its ample folds impart an air of elegance and refinement to the wearer. For all its simplicity, the way it is worn determines its shape and produces creases that can also become an aesthetic element.

The generous cut of the hanbok gives it a flexible look that is enhanced by the flowing movement of the material. The gown, pants, and skirt are supple enough to flutter as the wearer moves or brushes against something. This pliability is achieved by the use of delicate materials such as silk, silk gauze, or glossed silk thread, and the jacket, skirt, and men's gown are often sewn in a single layer for a light and shapely appearance. Even ornaments, such as bridal headpieces, coronets, pendants, and fans, generally use delicate tassels and silver birds that quiver with the movement of the wearer.

The beauty of hanbok can also be felt in the harmony of straight and curved lines that shows a deep respect for nature.

The curved lines appear in the body of the wearer, the various parts of the jacket, and the mobile elements; but they appear in a different form in each epoch. In the early Joseon period, the lines flow naturally from the curves of the body; in mid Joseon, they follow the roundness of the body itself; and in late Joseon, they appear concretely in the lines of the hems, sleeves, collar, and pendants.

Many people think of hanbok as primarily white clothes. It is because of their fondness for white that Koreans have been known as the baegui minjok or “white-clad folk.” This white is known as sosaek or “cloth color,” meaning the natural coloring of the untreated material itself. Sosaek upholds the natural and excludes the artificial. As can be seen in a white gown of fine ramie, this color has both elegance and depth, which is perhaps why Koreans have been fond of using colors with a high optical value that remind them of white, such as light gray, pale jade, or yellow ochre.

On the other hand, striped cloth that represents the extreme in contrast of primary colors has been used for different reasons. A vibrant effect is created by using contrasting primary colors for the jacket and skirt, such as yellow and blue, yellow and red, or for a bridal costume, green and red. The vivid colors and designs that are worn for seasonal holidays and coming-of-age ceremonies similarly reflect the Korean liking for a bright and colorful image. An individual might express her personal taste by choosing, for everyday wear, a white gown and black hat over a blue skirt with dark purple breast-tie and a jade green jacket with blue cuffs, creating an orderly impression by using strong contrasts of both shade and hue.

Male and Female Hanbok

The women's hanbok consists of a jacket and skirt, the men's of a jacket and pants, both with an optional gown for added formality. The jackets of men and women are similar in shape, but differ in length and color scheme.

The men's jacket is made rather long with sleeves attached, and to prevent the front from coming open, the two sides overlap. The neck is gathered up into a collar with a white collar strip folded over it for a neat appearance. Breast-ties hold the two sides of the jacket together where one side is folded over the other. Until the mid Joseon period, the breast-ties were short and thin and served merely to fasten the two sides of the jacket, but in the late Joseon era, they became longer and thicker, showing that they had taken on a decorative aspect quite apart from their practical function. The male costume could include a gown similar to a topcoat worn over the jacket and pants, with various kinds of hat and coronet worn on the head for a truly dignified effect. The type of gown worn would depend on the occasion. Although the generous cut of the men's clothes accentuated the individuality of the wearer, the use of a belt framed the upper body for a tidy appearance.

The typical male costume of that period is the gentleman's outfit of white or jade green gown and black headwear. The harmony of black and white suggests a calm and rational intellect and a noble character. A multicolored girdle worn about the chest adds vibrancy to the contrast of black and white, which could otherwise look stern and forbidding.

The women's costume consists of a jacket and skirt with a sleeveless waistcoat and a gown worn when formality demands. Ceremonial clothes can be adorned with various ornaments including coronets, bridal headpieces, hairpins, and pendants.The upper garment fits neatly while the lower garment is more voluminous, and under it can be worn diverse kinds of underwear.

The women of that time attached great importance to chastity, and when they went out they covered their faces with a shawl or cloak to cut themselves off from the outside world. In their clothing and ornaments they used a variety of colors and designs, often symbolizing the cherished hopes of the age: long life and happiness, prosperity and posterity, loyalty and filial piety.

After Silla unified the peninsula in the 7th century, a new style of clothing appeared which combined indigenous Korean dress with elements imported from China. This Chinese style of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) became an international clothing style and was used for the uniforms of officials and for ceremonial dress. The most striking difference is that while the indigenous Korean style has a straight neckline, the imported style has a rounded one.

In the ensuing Goryeo (918-1392) and Joseon (1392-1910) periods, the hanbok went through various changes of fashion, and the form that has become standard today dates from Joseon. Koreans began to reflect seriously on their national identity in the Sirhak or “Practical Learning” movement of the 17th and 18th centuries, and in clothing as in other fields, whatever was imported was subsequently Koreanized.

In the Joseon period, clothing was largely standardized, and most Koreans came to dress similarly. Even so, differences in social status were reflected in subtle distinctions of design, material, and decoration, so that contemporary Koreans could indirectly discern the class, rank, educational level, and character of the wearer by his style of dress. Although the basic shape was relatively uniform, we can also identify the season depicted in paintings from this period by the type of material worn and the use of seasonal clothing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Korea’s largest game exhibition G-STAR

Busan, a place of year-round festivals, has exciting festivals planned for the month of November as well, a month not typically popular with events. The Korea’s largest game exhibition G-STAR 

G-STAR is a world of mobile and console games of all sorts
This year’s G-STAR will use BEXCO’s new exhibition hall as its main B2B (business to business) exhibition hall. BEXCO main hall will be used for B2C (business to customer) exhibition.

Convention Hall and Auditorium are transformed into game culture zone with a variety of events planned like e-sports contest, Korea-China Game Culture Festival and teenager creative game exhibition. One of the most noticeable changes to G-STAR is the entrance. The organization committee will distribute bar codes to the visitors and the visitors will scan the bar codes upon entering.

This is to keep track of the exact number of visitors in light of the recent surge in the expected number of visitors.

The entrance gate has increased to three so the waiting time can be reduced. The resting area within the exhibition hall has doubled to four from the current two.

More games will be revealed. Nexon, Blizzard and Neowiz, among others, will exhibition not only the current PC online games but also mobile games and console games so visitors can experience various platforms on which games can be enjoyed. Especially this year a wider range of mobile games will be introduced.
The nationally popular game Anipang’s developer Sundaytoz will also set up a booth. Anipang and Aqua Story will be on display at the highly anticipated booth. There are much to see on the consoles as well.

This year Nintendo is participating and preparing a Nintendo 3DS zone. Nintendo 3DS is a new portable game device which you can feel the 3-D effect without having to wear the glasses. More new games will also be introduced.

To maximize the benefits to be gained by the participants, there are various business events. The G-STAR Talk Concert and G-STAR Investment market will be introduced for the first time this year. G-STAR Talk Concert is a discussion panel where game industry leaders talk about the future of game, presenting a guideline where the game industry should be heading.

G-STAR Investment Market is a session for small- and medium-sized companies to attract investors and 11 investing companies from Korea and overseas will participate to stimulate the game industry and improve the competitiveness of the companies.

Busan Port Lighting Festival

              Busan Port is colored with fancy lights
              Busan Port Lighting Festival (Nov. 9 to 18)
              Busan Port is lighting up with beautiful artistic colors of lights.

Busan City is hosting the 3rd Busan Port Lighting Festival from Nov. 9 to 18 near Dongsam-dong National Maritime Museum in Yeongdo District.

This year’s festival will take place at the National Maritime Museum which opened in July this year, presenting a beautiful harmony of sea and light. This year’s theme is “Soaring.” Dreaming of soaring up and presenting various light arts using sky and sea and earth in multidimensional ways is the concept of the festival.

At the Busan Port Lighting Festival, you can enjoy various art works related to light from various artists. At the Luminaire Square, a light square is lit up with ten thousands of light bulbs. Castle wall shaped spatella, tunnel shaped Galilei and pillar shaped risolati are just some of the various lights designed to fit the place, with exotic and fancy lights. In the light exhibition hall there will be Media Art, history of light, night view photograph and fancy light sculptures.

There are programs prepared such as air balloon performance, flying in air balloons lit up with colorful lights, which is expected to be a hit item at the light festival. Glow-in-the-dark face painting and drawing contest are some of the programs that families with children can participate together. There is also a wishing light event where people can write their wishes and float the small hope of light to the sky. There are also special concerts featuring famous singers as well as media art show, youth concert, night of jazz and party.

                 < Busan Port Lighting >

* Information: Busan Port Lighting Festival organization committee
                                        (051-231-2537 /

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The eighth Busan Multi Fireworks Festival

Picturesque fireworks set backdrop for lasting memories

The eighth Busan Fireworks Festival takes place at Gwangalli Beach and Busan Asiad Main Stadium from Oct. 26 to 27. This year, the theme is love. The goal is to make Gwangalli Beach in front of Gwangan Bridge, the main stage of the fireworks festival, a world-famous proposal spot.

October 27 - Fireworks concert
From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., there will be a fireworks concert at the Gwangalli Beach special stage. The police band’s drum group, a vocal ensemble, a Brazilian percussion performance and citizen cheering are scheduled, counting down the start of the fireworks show. The event is expected to be very exciting for all attendees and will hopefully create exciting memories that will last long into the future.

October 27- Busan Multi Fireworks Show

The Multi Fireworks Show, which is the highlight of the festival, takes place from 8 p.m. for 50 minutes. Roughly 1.5 billion won ($1.35 million) worth of fireworks, including 80,000 small and large pieces, will create a fancy spectacle under the theme of love. In terms of scale, it is nearly the same as the Harbor Bridge Fireworks Festival in Australia held every Dec. 31, the Fourth of July Fireworks Festival in United States celebrating Independence Day, Japan’s Omagari Fireworks Festival in August and the Canada Fireworks Contest.

Fireworks will shoot off from eight barges and also from Gwangan Bridge. This year, rainbow fireworks will be introduced for the first time in Korea. Colored half-moon-shaped rainbow fireworks will light up the center of Gwangalli Beach for one full minute. This type of firework was first presented in Dubai in 2010.

The world-class fireworks on display will include the classic one-kilometer Niagara, fireworks falling down like a waterfall from Gwangan Bridge, one of the highlights of the Busan Fireworks Festival. This year, the Niagara will be presented for one minute in two colors.

In between the fireworks show, there will be “proposal time” for one or two minutes. It is being introduced for the first time this year. During this time, sweet music with thousands of hearts, flowers and stars will add romance to the mood. The citizen of this year, students and neglected neighbors will press the button to start the fireworks show.

□Busan Fireworks Festival event schedule

Date                         Time                            Event                                      Venue

Oct. 26                  7-10 p.m.                 K-pop concert                         busan Asiad Main Stadium
Oct. 27                 3-6 p.m.                   Street parade                             Gwangalli Beach road
                             6-8 p.m.                   Fireworks concert                   Gwangalli Beach special stage
                             8-9 p.m.                 Busan Multi Fireworks Show     Gwangalli Beach

Best spots from which to admire the fireworks
The fancy fireworks festival is taking place again this year. So where is the best place to see the Busan Fireworks Festival?
1. Gwangalli Beach
The best place to see the fireworks is, of course, Gwangalli Beach. To secure a spot at the center of the beach, you need to bring lunch and come early. If you arrive two or three hours before the show, you might be able to find a spot at the corner of the beach, but if any later, it will be hard to find a place here. From Metro line no.2’s Gwangan Station, walk five minutes.

2. Millak Waterfront Park and Samik Apartment
The second recommended place is Millak Waterfront Park and the road next to Samik Apartment. Although it is not as good as the shore, you can see the fireworks up close. But you will be seeing the show from the side. From Metro line no.2’s Geumnyeonsan Station, take bus no. 108.

3. Mt. Geumnyeon
Mt. Geumnyeon is most popular following the Gwangalli shore. It is where you can see Gwangan Bridge and the beach at a glance. It is also preferred by photographers since they can catch a great angle. From Metro line no.2’s Geumnyeonsan Station, walk 20 to 30 minutes.

Warm clothes are a must when watching the fireworks festival
Participants should prepare warm clothes, snacks, and a camera or camcorder.
1. Warm clothes
While waiting for the festival to start and until the festival ends, you will need a thick, hooded shirt, comfortable pants and sneakers to endure the cold weather of late fall.

2. Simple snacks
The venue is cold, and it is hard to find something to eat there. Bring hot water or coffee in a thermos, and also bring along gimbap or pizza- something simple to eat when you get hungry.

3. Digital camera and camcorder
To take pictures of the moving fireworks in the dark night, use a digital camera or a camcorder with a tripod instead of a smartphone.

Tips ;How to get to the festival venue

1. By train (get off Busan Station)
*Bus: Take bus no. 40, 41, 42, 139, 1001, 1003; get off at the entrance of Gwangalli.
*Metro: Transfer to metro line no. 2 at Seomyeon Station → Get off at Geumnyeonsan or Gwangan stations.

2. By airplane (from Gimhae Int’l Airport)
*Limousine bus: Board toward Haeundae (15 minute interval) → Get off Namcheon-dong. (in front of Hwamok Mansion)
3. By intercity bus (from East Busan Terminal / Nopo-dong)

*Board metro and transfer to line no. 2 at Seomyeon Station → Get off at Geumnyeonsan or Gwangan stations.

*City bus : Take bus no. 49-1

4. By intercity bus (get off at Busan West Bus Terminal / Sasang District)
*Board metro → Get off at Geumnyeonsan Station (exit no. 3 or 5) or Gwangan Station. (exit no. 3 or 5)

*City bus : Take bus no. 62

5. City Bus
*Take bus no. 40, 41, 42, 139, 1001, 1003, 131, 131-1.

6. Metro
*Get off at Geumnyeonsan Station (exit no. 3 or 5) or Gwangan Station (exit no. 3 or 5) → Walk for 10 minutes.

7. By car
*Namhae Highway: West Busan Tollgate → Dongseo high-level road → Mt.Hwangnyeong Tunnel ramp → Daenam Underpass → Gwangalli Beach road → Gwangalli Beach

*Kyeongbu Highway: Guseo IC → Dosi Expressway → Suyeong Riverside road → Gwangan Bridge → Gwangalli Beach

Monday, October 22, 2012

The hills are aflame with autumnal tints of Seoknam tempe

The hills are aflame with autumnal tints. so, i went to seoknamsa in Mt. gajisan to the scarlet in maple leaves thre.  


Saturday, October 13, 2012

The United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Busan Korea

Here at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea, the only one of its kind in the world, rest heroic brave soldiers from a number of UN nations, who sacrificed their lives for world peace and freedom.

The Parliament of Korea, in order to honor the services and sacrifices made by the UN forces during the Korean War, volunteered this land for permanent use by the UN as a cemetery in August 1955. The General Assembly accepted the proposal and UN Resolution #977(X) to establish a United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea became effective in December of 1955.

Brief History of the UNMCK
* Jan. 18, 1951 Establishes a UN Command cemetery for fallen UN troops
* Nov. 7, 1955 Korean Parliament recommends to the UN to accept the land for its perpetual use as a  
    sacred UN memorial cemetery
* Dec. 15, 1955 UN General Assembly passes a resolution to perpetually manage a UN memorial
    cemetery in Korea
* Nov. 6, 1959 Korea and UN sign the "Agreement between the United Nations and the Republic of
   Korea for the Establishment and Maintenance of a United Nations Memorial Cemetery in Korea"
* Feb. 16, 1974 UNCURK transfers the management of the UNMCK to the Commission for the
     UNMCK consisting of 11 member nations.

Change of the UNMCK's Korean Name
On March 30, its original Korean name, 재한유엔기념묘지 (, was
changed to 재한유엔기념공원 ( in order to bring the cemetery
closer to the Korean public.

 UN Support
After the war broke out in Korea on June 25, 1950, when North Korea suddenly invaded South Korea, the UN hurried to convene a meeting of the 2nd UN Security Council and decided on the 28th of June 1950 to dispatch UN troops to Korea. This remains, in the history of the UN, as the unique resolution where troops were dispatched in the name of the UN.

In all, 21 nations volunteered to assist under the UN flag to help Korea--16 nations provided combat troops, equipment and armaments, while 5 nations provided non-combat assistance by dispatching medical ships with staff and medicine.
16 Nations with Combat Aid : USA, UK, Turkey, Canada, Australia, France, Netherlands,
New Zealand, South Africa, Colombia, Greece, Thailand, Ethiopia, Philippines, Belgium
and Luxemburg
5 Nations with Medical Aid : Norway, Denmark, India, Italy and Sweden
During the Korean War (June 25, 1950 ~ July 27, 1953), there were 40,896 UN casualties from 17 nations including Norway.

Status of interred at the UNMCK
This is a holy site where the brave fallen of the 11 nations are interred. Approximately 11,000 were interred at the UNMCK between 1951~1954. There are currently 2,300 at the UNMCK, including Korean soldiers who fell as members of the UN troops. Most were repatriated home; Belgium, Colombia, Ethiopia, Greece, Luxemburg, Philippines and Thailand have taken back all of their expatriates. The USA, who had the highest number of casualties in the war, took all of their fallen home soon afterwards. However, 36 members of the UNC dispatched from the USA and stationed in Korea after the war, who died and wished to be interred at the UNMCK, also reside here at the UNMCK.  

The national flags of twenty-one nations who participated in the war on behalf of UN and Korea fly everyday, as well as the interred from 11 nations.

93, UNPyeonghwa-ro, Nam-gu, Busan Metropolitan City
                                            TEL : 82-51-625-0625, 82-51-625-0614

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Russian Novel - Film Information and Open Talk !

    The Russian Novel

       COUNTRY : Korea, South
     CAST:  KIM Insoo 김인수,KANG Shinhyu 강신효,KYEONG Seonghwan 경성환,KIM Jeongseok  김정석,
                        LEE Jaehye 이재혜,LEE Kyongmee 이경미,LEE Yoomee 이유미,LEE Bitna 이빛나,
                       CHEOUNG Hoonhee 정훈희
      MUSIC : KIM Shinill 김신일
      Running Time :  140min

The second installment of Shin Yeonsik’s middle-aged romance trilogy unfolds like a tragic Russian novel, in a visual monochrome with understated audio. A writer, who had lapsed into unconsciousness at the age of 27, miraculously regains consciousness after a 27-year coma and wakes to a world where he is a literary sensation, a prestige writer representing the period. The book, , has earned him legendary status. It just so happens he did not write the book. In a reflective scene near the end of the film a character explains the basics of the Russian novel: long, complicated and so many characters. The same can be said ofthe film. It has a relatively long running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes and a complicated narrative structure, unfolding in order. There are so many characters in the film that it’s impossible to remember them all. Although long, it is never boring; complicated, certainly, but never difficult; and packed characters, yes, but never to the point of distracting.


Shin Yeonsik studied Spanish at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies before breaking into the film industry as a director’s assistant in 1997. His filmography includes (2009) and (2005).

        ** Open Talk !- Haeundae FIFF Villige

Monday, October 8, 2012

Whole Area of Namsan and Three Royal Tombs in Bae-ri, Gyeongju

      Whole Area of  Namsan , Gyeongju

Mt. Namsan compries Mt. Geumo (486m high) , located to the south of Serabeol, the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom, and Mt. Gowi ( 494 m high ) , It streches 4km from the south to the north, and 8km in width from the east to the west, including over 40 mountain valleys, Thus , Namsab is often referred to as " an open air museum".and is the place where the breath of the Silla Kingdom is felt.

This mountain has numerous historic relics along with pre-historilcal relics: the Najeong Well, Jegendary brithplace of Bak Hyeokgeose ( 1st king of Silla ) : Namsan foress: King's tombs: and Poseokjeong . In addition, the mountain has countless Buddist remains. A resent research reveals that it has 122 temple sites. 57 stone Buddhas, 64 stone pagoas, and 19 stone lamps. these Buddhist relics born out of a marriage between Buddhist faith and the natural environment epitomize Bulgukto, the ideal Buddhist land of the Silla people
Location ;  Bae -dong Gyeongju-si Gyeongsangbuk-do Korea

Three Royal Tombs in Bae-ri
There are the tombs of three Silla Kings : King Adalla (154~184), the 8th King of the Silla Kingdom: King Sindeok (912~917, Bak Gyeong-hui) , the 53rd King of the Silla Kingdaom; and King Gyeongmyeong(917~924, Bak seung-yeong) the 54th King of the Silla kingdom.

when bakje Attacked Silla and captured Silla people, King Adalla himself went to the battle and set Bakje prisoners of war free at the request of peace. The mound of his tomb is 58m in circumference, 18m in diameter, and 5.4m in height.

king Sindeok became a king when his father-in -law, King Hyogong, died without an heir. After he became a king, he constantly fought against the attacks from Gyeonhwon and Gungye. The mound of his tomb is 61m in circumference ,18m in diameter, and 5.8m in height, In 1953 and 1963, the tomb was excavated.

King Gyeongmyeong was the son of King Sindeok. He defended the attacked of Gyeonghwon from Later Bakje at Daeyaseong fortress. His attempt at establishing diplomatic ties with Later Tang in China ended in failure. The mound is 50m in circumference , 16m in diameter, anf 4.5m in height.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Singer PSY at crest of the Korean Wave "Gangnam Style" Who ?

It would be a mistake to think that idol groups are the most popular performers at college festivals. The three most coveted musicians are not these K-pop stars. At No. 3 is DJ DOC, who takes the stage with a seemingly endless set list packed with hip-hop hits. The second favorite is Kim Jang-hoon, who is considered the living legend of live concerts. He says he is offered a shocking amount of alcohol for free after performing at college festivals.

But the indisputable and unchallenged champion is Psy. He asks for a reasonable fee for his appearance when performing at schools, and he instantly turns college campuses into wild parties. And Psy is always the last one to perform. The idol groups usually present two or three songs, but Psy typically performs seven or eight. If he is in the mood, he says “Let’s go all the way,” and goes on for hours. He may be the most cost-effective guest at college festivals.

Psy is a controversial figure, having been caught smoking marijuana and driving drunk. He was the center of controversy during his military service and ended up serving twice. But he is also a celebrity the Ministry of National Defense is grateful for. Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said that Psy agrees to entertain soldiers without hesitation, even after serving in the military twice. He would often refuse the fee and would throw a party at his own expense, ordering fried chicken for the soldiers.

Personally, I like his 2010 single “Right Now” better. It was a flop, as the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family categorized the song as “not appropriate for 18 and under” because of the lyrics. However, the music video was freely distributed on YouTube with Japanese subtitles. Something is not right — perhaps the government ministry’s perspective on culture is skewed. Psy, who was considered non-mainstream in Korea, is sweeping the world, and Kim Ki-duk, who makes low-budget independent films with no government assistance, has won the Golden Lion for Best Film at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival. There is a wide gap between the government’s perspective and the global perspective.

Psy’s “Gangnam Style” is a mega-hit worldwide. The addictive rhythm and easy-to-follow invisible horse dance have swept the world. He is probably not the most handsome musician, but fans around the world are obsessed with the comic music video of the likable rapper. Koreans are impressed by the appearances of singer Hyuna and gagman Yoo Jae-seok, but foreigners go crazy over No Hong-chul dancing in the elevator and 7-year-old Hwang Woo-min in the playground.

psy’s sensational popularity falls right in with the trends of the time. “Gangnam Style” is spreading for free over the Internet and is reproduced through countless covers and parodies. When the paparazzi followed him in the United States, Psy said, “I may be the only musician with no portrait rights. You can take all the photos you want!”

It would not do him justice to say that Psy was just lucky and his success accidental. As he explained during a television interview, his concerts usually go on for about three hours, and after performing for two hours he “gets dehydrated” and has to “get oxygen.” “When my legs get cramps, trainers apply shots of acupuncture. Concerts physically exhaust me,” he said during the interview. His wit and charismatic stage presence are results of his career. When he taught the horse dance to Britney Spears, she asked if she needed to take her high heels off. He responded, “The mindset of this dance is ‘dress classy, dance cheesy.’ ” When asked by the paparazzi about the source of his energy, he simply said, “Alcohol.”

“Gangnam Style” has more than 250 million hits on YouTube. It is not a far-fetched dream for a Korean song to top the Billboard Charts or receive a Grammy. In “Right Now,” Psy repeatedly shouts, “I am going to run now. I am going crazy now.” Yes, let him run, go crazy and go all the way.