Cancel Culture, Asking Out, Zucchini Jeon

Crazy cancel culture case

안녕하세요, it’s Ari, your friendly Korean source and your weekend reminder🎉 Today’s newsletter is about a rumor, vaccination, and a jeon recipe you might want to try this weekend. Let’s start!

🎧 You can listen to this newsletter on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or other your favorite podcast platforms.


👋 What Up Korea?

What you don’t know about Korean cancel culture

A rising star, Kim Seon-Ho, who starred in a recent K-Drama, Hometown Cha-Cha Cha☝, is making headlines for his private life rumor. About a week ago, his (later-confirmed) ex-girlfriend uploaded a post (now deleted) claiming he manipulated her into getting an abortion and treated her badly. After the post went viral, it took less than two days for him to get ‘cancelled’ from many of his fans, his variety show, and commercial contracts. The show edited out his scenes and companies deleted his videos on their social network accounts.

It’s an extreme example of Korean cancel culture. Though a new article claiming her post is far from the truth came out and we, of course, don’t know what really happened between the two, the damage is already done. Netizens who blindly believed an anonymous post are only partially to blame for this. The real driving force of the extreme cancel culture is Korean news media who effectively turn any rumor into a fact by publishing a ton of groundless articles. Korean newspapers earn money based on view counts of articles from search engines like Naver. So journalists even from the biggest newspapers write clickbait articles that are often baseless. And search engines’ algorithm prefers these articles so they spread very quickly. (Even my mom who doesn’t even know BTS🙃 now knows Kim Seon-Ho thanks to Naver.) The toxic cancel culture won’t go away till we fix Korean media and search engine algorithm problem.

💉70 and more to go

By October 25th, 70.9% of the total South Korean population is fully vaccinated. It took about 8 months to reach the 70% rate since the beginning of vaccination back in late February. By October 25th, the rate of the partially vaccinated is 8.6% and recently, teenagers aged 16 or over and pregnant women started to get shots so the rate of the fully vaccinated is expected to be over 80 soon. Without any incentives for the vaccinated and penalty for the unvaccinated, the country reached the 70% rate pretty fast and I believe there are two reasons (out of others) for this.

First, although South Korea is a very divided country when it comes to politics, we’re united for vaccination. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the government made it clear that fighting the virus is about science, not politics. When the country suffered the biggest outbreak in the world, the government held a daily briefing which was exclusively done by a doctor. South Korean President has never appeared on the briefings and it helped people who don’t support the President get vaccinated as well.

Second, Koreans religiously wear a face mask, which helped lower the number of cases and bought the country time to check the safety of vaccines. Especially young Koreans didn’t hesitate to wear a face mask because they think it’s a cool fashion thanks to K-Pop idols who have long managed to look cool even in their face masks😍


🎵 Learn Korean with Friday by IU

(💖Request from 은하) For people who don’t know who IU is, she’s like a Korean version of Taylor Swift + Lady Gaga. She’s a superstar not just in music but also in dramas. Her songs have been loved by many Koreans and Friday or 금요일에 만나요☝ is one of them. It’s a romantic song about a girl asking her date to meet on Friday. Lyrics are ‘I can’t wait till weekend’ and ‘I can’t help but falling in love with him.’ Among those sweet lyrics, I picked the following,

이번 주 금요일
금요일에 시간 어때요?

The quote means, “This Friday, Do you have time on Friday?” 시간 어때요? will probably the most common flirting? sentence. Use this to ask your date out. If you replace 시간 with a movie, a series, or a book, it means, “How do you think about the movie/series/book?” I made three daily Korean sentences using expressions in the quote, here they are👇

  1. (이번 주말에) 시간 어때요? Do you have time (this weekend)? polite, to your date

  2. (다음 주) 금요일에 시간 괜찮으세요? Do you have time (next) Friday? politer, to your professor or boss

  3. (오징어 게임) 어땠어요? How was Squid Game?

Change a bracketed word to make a different sentence! You can practice speaking the sentences with my podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or other your favorite podcast platforms.

🎤 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 if you want. If you’re a more advanced learner or adventurous, send me your voice message about today’s newsletter (your opinion about WUK stories, etc.).

If you send it by 다음 주 Tuesday KST, 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!

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🍳 Zucchini Jeon

It’s time for you to try a new jeon other than kimchi jeon. Zucchini jeon or 애호박전 is one of many Korean style pancakes or jeons. It’ll serve a good side dish for drink. Many Koreans enjoy different kinds of jeons when drinking beer or soju. Check out the ingredients list below, watch a how-to-cook video and try for yourself!

  • 1 Zucchini

  • 1/2 Carrot

  • 3 Red or green pepper

  • 25g Dried shrimp (can be omitted)

  • 2 Teaspoons Seafood stock powder (can be omitted)

  • 6 Tablespoons Korean pancake mix (can be replaced with all-purpose flour)

  • Cooking oil

Thanks for reading! Leave a comment, like or share this newsletter! You can also send me your voice message💖 or leave your song/drama request in comments. See you next week! Happy Halloween🎃 안녕👋