Beauty Trend, Start-Up, Kimchi Jeon
Why Korean girls wear hair curlers in public
안녕하세요, it’s Ari, your friendly Korean source and your weekend reminder🎉 Today’s newsletter is about an unusual beauty trend, Start-Up, and a special kimchi jeon recipe. Let’s start!
👋 What Up Korea?
The truth about hair curlers
Recently, NYT published an article about Korean women’s beauty trend: wearing hair curlers in public. The article said young Koreans wear hair curlers in subway or bus or on the street to get perfect hairstyle at the destination. According to the article, the trend is a sign of shifting ideas about beauty and young Koreans are less concerned about what other people think. It’s not entirely wrong. There really are young girls who wear hair curlers in public. But it’s not some serious cultural or generational shifts that created this trend. It was born from Hani ☝, a K-Pop girl group member.
When her group, EXID’s song, Up & Down, became a mega-hit in 2015, she was loved for her tomboy personality. She didn’t hide wearing hair curlers like other celebrities do and she looked cute with the curler on her bang. Teenage girls started to wear them following her. It was more of an accessary rather than a hair styling tool. I had a friend who wore a hair curler all day long at school. It was not for her bang. She wore it because she thought it’s pretty.
This is not the only case that K-Pop idols made something unfashionable fashionable and trending. (Hope I’m making sense 🙃) K-Pop idols are unsung heroes of South Korea’s successful control of COVID-19 because they’re the ones who made face masks fashion accessary even long before the pandemic. This is why young Koreans accepted a mask mandate easily at the beginning of the outbreak. They also made an ankle-length long black puffer jacket as a winter wardrobe essential in the country. (I bet almost all young Koreans have one. I have one too;)
I read a Korean news article about the hair curler trend which was written in 2018. It said pretty much the same thing with the NYT article. Wearing a hair curler in public could mean a sign of shifting ideas about beauty in South Korea, like the articles say. But it was a K-Pop idol who created this trend and both articles didn’t talk about it. To me, it’s a sign that journalists don’t yet understand the influence of K-Pop idols on young Koreans, the country, and the world 🤔
📺 Learn Korean with Start-Up (2020)
(Request from Kelenna 💖) Start-Up or 스타트업 is a K-Drama which made a lot of Korean female viewers suffer from 서브병 (second lead syndrome) last year. It’s about a woman who wants to be an entrepreneur, and her love triangle between a man who is secretly her first love and another man (that second lead!) who is pretending to be her first love. If you’re a fan of Kim Seon-ho, a rising K-Drama star, this series is a must-watch! He’ll make your heart ache from second lead syndrome. Available on Netflix. I picked a short conversation from the series. Check it out,
The conversation means, “Did you forget?” “I forgot.” Today, I want you to remember (don’t forget!) three Korean words that mean ‘to forget’. They are, 잊다, 깜빡하다, and 까먹다. Though the nuance of each word is a little different, they all mean ‘to forget.’
💡 깜빡하다 is a verb meaning ‘to forget’ and 깜빡 is an ideophone meaning ‘lights turned off for a second and then turned on’ or ‘eyes being closed for a second and then opened.’ So 깜빡 잠들다 means ‘to doze off.’ I made three daily sentences using the expressions in the conversation. Check them out,
(비밀번호) 까먹었어 I forgot (my password).
헐, (엄마) 생일 깜빡했어 OMG, I forgot (my mom’s) birthday.
수업시간에 (깜빡 잠들었어) (I dozed off) during a class.
🎤 Rap your Korean
Send me your Korean voice message! If you’re a beginner Korean learner, speak the three sentences you learned today. You can change a bracketed word in the sentences to make a different sentence. If you’re a more advanced learner or adventurous, send me your voice message about today’s newsletter (your opinion about WUK stories, etc.).
Send it by next Tuesday KST, then your voice will be on the next podcast episode. If you want my feedback for your Korean speaking, leave a comment after submission. I’m all ears!
🍳 Sweet Potato Kimchi Jeon
Around this time of year, late November to early December, Korean households are busy making kimchi to eat for the next year. Making kimchi from scratch is unbelievably physically-demanding work. I know this from my years of experience ㅠㅠ (I hate this time of year🙃) As a self-claimed kimchi expert, I want to give you a special kimchi jeon recipe today. Kimchi jeon is a crispy and thin pancake made with, of course, kimchi. If you add shredded sweet potato in the pancake mix, it becomes sweet potato kimchi jeon or 고구마 김치전. It’s for people who want to taste kimchi jeon in a different way. Sweet potato’s sweetness adds flavor and makes jeon more crispy! Check out the list of ingredients below, watch how-to-cook video, and try for yourself!
180-200g Sweet potato
2 Spicy peppers
1 Cup of Korean pancake mix
1/2 Cup of water
3 Tablespoons of Kimchi water (that you can get from squeezing Kimchi)
1 Teaspoons of seafood dashida (can be omitted, it won’t be easy to buy this seasoning at your local store or even Amazon)
Thanks for reading! Leave your song, drama, WUK story or a Korean exercise book request in comments! You can also ❤ or share this newsletter! See you next week! 안녕👋
📚 P.S. I’m working on my Korean exercise book. Get ready to play ‘Pick a side’ game in Korean and pick up Korean vocabulary :D You’ll be the first to know when it’s published.