How colorful Korean temples are, and this one was being blessed for the very first time. Dignitaries and people came from all over to donate money, see the new temple, and receive blessings.
It was one of those events that we just stumbled upon as we were driving through the Korean counryside. As usual, we stopped to see what was going on and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We met new people, ate some great fest food, and just enjoyed the vibe.
What types have things have you come across as you have traveled? [...]
This was one of the strangest things I’ve ever come across in my travels. A Korean woman had brought her raw eggs, put them in tiny baskets, and used the boiling hot water from the spring to cook them. She then sold them to the tourists. Very smart and very lucrative.
We headed to Andong for a festival, and spent at least three hours watching this Korean Shamanism ceremony. My tail-end was sore, but I couldn’t believe how interesting and engaging the ceremony was. People in the audience were at once mesmerized or crying or bowing their heads in prayer. Even though I couldn’t speak the language, some parts of the ceremony were very moving. Other parts, were…entertaining.
They put on quite a show. From dancing, to balancing knives on their heads, to parading a dead pig around the stage, the show was [...]
One of my favorite books I like to read to my third and fourth grade students is A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. It is about a 16th century Korean orphan whose deepest desire is to become a potter. Unfortunately, only potter’s sons can become potters themselves. Our hero manages to work for the best potter in his town and helps the artist achieve his life’s goal, a royal commission. A fantastic story, one of the things I like most about the book are the descriptions of Korean customs and the [...]
Songgwangsa Temple is one of Korea’s Three Jewel Temples of Buddhism, along with Tongdosa and Haeinsa.
All of them are important religious sites. The three temples symbolize the three key tenets of Buddhism. Songgwangsa represents the Buddhist community or sangha, Tongdosa represents Buddha, and Haeinsa represents dharma or Buddhist teachings. These are immortalized in their library of UNESCO World Heritage Tripitaka Koreana, on a collection of woodblocks.
Songgwangsa temple is considered the greatest of the three temples and was founded in 1190 by a zen master whose teachings have been carried into modern Korean life.
Daegu, Korea – After an arduous slog up the side of a mountain, being pushed aside by ancient ajimas (grandmas), I was finally rewarded with this vision. Read the full story here. It is a great memory…and maybe I would even consider it a “once in a lifetime” experience. When’s the last time you climbed to the top and loved the view?
This is one of those UNESCO World Heritage Sites that is just too, too cool. Located in a non-descript building on the Haeinsa Temple complex are shelves and shelves of Korean and Buddhist history captured on woodblocks. I don’t read or speak Korean, so it was ok that I wasn’t allowed to touch or try to read the volumes, but it certainly gave me a feeling of the ancient wisdom found in this country, South Korea. The temple is absolutely gorgeous as well.