[HanCinema’s Digest] Culture Corner

[HanCinema’s Digest] Culture Corner

Watch a short documentary about the ‘gender wars’ in Gangnam, Paste explores popular culture on both sides of the DMZ, Koreans are favouring smaller weddings, and is South Korea on its way to becoming a cycling nation?

“South Korea’s Gender Wars”

The affluent district of Gangnam has been at the centre of heated debates over the level of misogyny in the country. According to this report, “Feminists blamed Korea’s gender inequality and took to the streets which sparked counter protests from men’s rights defenders who felt men were unfairly attacked”. Al Jazeera has this 24-minute documentary on the country’s gender wars…

“K-Pop and Kidnappings: The Incredibly Weird Story of Pop Culture on the Korean Peninsula”

Ryan Beitler, a contributor to Paste Magazine, explores the fascinating socio-political forces that have shaped the differences we see between South Korea and the DPRK in terms of their production and consumption of popular culture. “When the Korean peninsula fractured after years of cultural suppression and censorship”, writes Ryan, “the South swiftly became a pop culture juggernaut”.

“Small Weddings on the Rise in South Korea”

According to this article on Korea Bizwire, more and more Koreans are passing on large wedding ceremonies in favour of smaller, more intimate events that “value individuality and practicality over pretension and formality”. Surprisingly, smaller ceremonies have generally been the preference of Korea’s rich and famous, but a number of wedding companies are reporting that there is a “surge in demand for less expensive, more personal weddings, particularly among young couples”.


“Korea treads steadily toward cyclists’ haven”

Is South Korea becoming more bike friendly? According to Lee Sang-won, a 62-year old, “As Koreans are increasingly becoming more concerned with their health and well-being, cycling is booming among many as their first resort of transit and leisure”. The shift towards making cycling a permanent part of the culture, however, still requires education: “We need to fundamentally change and improve the public’s understanding of cycling. Rules and regulations are of no use without proper culture”, said Choi Bo-song, manager of a bike store in Seoul.