All about South Korea
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
Ceylon Today Features
Just a little off towards the west of Japan is another country that has become world famous, especially for its entertainment industry.
You might already know that this week, we are talking about the wondrous country of South Korea. Another country with centuries of rich history and culture it has developed in a unique way.
If you were to look in a map, you would find South Korea in the Korean Peninsula (Pen-in-su-lah). A peninsula is what you call a land that peeks out and has three of its sides surrounded by water. For example, India is also a peninsula.
The Korean Peninsula is shared by two countries; North Korea and South Korea. If you guessed that South Korea is on the southern (lower) half of the peninsula, you’d be correct. It shares a border with North Korea, but the rest of the country opens up to the ocean.
The eastern side of the country is full of mountain ranges that brush against the clouds. In fact, most of the country’s land is made up of mountains, meaning that growing food is a little tricky. But the space that can be cultivated is used wisely.
South Korea also has thousands of gorgeous, tiny islands. Jeju-do is the biggest of them all, and is around 100 kilometres away from the mainland.
South Korea experiences four seasons, and even experiences a monsoon season in the Summer. But it also experiences a freezing cold winter at the end of the year.
South Korea has one of the biggest economies in the world, with some of the best consumer electronic brands such as Samsung and LG claiming South Korea as their home. You may have heard of Kia and Hyundai as well, both of which are also South Korean brands.
But this wasn’t the case a few decades ago. South Korea was one of the poorest nations in Asia once upon a time.
How did it change? Through education of course.
The government of South Korea made a massive investment in education. At that time, a huge part of the country’s people couldn’t even read. But now, South Korean people are some of the most educated in the world. And all this happened in the short span of twenty years.
A little bit of tension
Of course, the feud between North and South Korea doesn’t help their economy at all, but through all the trouble, South Korea is able to stand strong.
The tension between the two countries have been going on for a long time, and both continue to be on-edge.
People and culture
But all that hasn’t stopped the Korean people from thriving in their homeland. Both North and South Korea have shared heritage, but went off in two completely different directions after the countries split in 1945.
Although South Korean culture shares some influence from nearby China, they have developed a unique cultural identity of their own. The traditional arts that have been passed down for centuries continue to be nurtured and encouraged though government programmes.
But the country has a thriving popular culture as well, which seems to have taken over the world with their pop-music, television dramas and movies. The entertainment industry is thriving within South Korea and clearly is here to stay.
Time to search
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. There is so much to talk about when it comes to the country of South Korea. So why not join with a parent or sibling and search about South Korea together?