Saturday, July 25, 2009

중복인 금요일

On Friday, I was introduced to a bit of Korean Literature during class. Our teacher brought us through an article about a Joseon's female poet who is known by her pen name 허난설헌(許蘭雪軒). Her real name is 허초희(許楚姬) and was born into a noble family in Gangneung (강릉, 江陵), Gangwon-do. Her brother 허균 (許筠) is the author of the "Tale of Hong Gil-dong" (홍길동전, 洪吉童傳) while her father 허엽(許曄) is credited for creating the famous dish of Gangneung - Chodang Tofu (초당두부, 草堂豆腐).

Our teacher explained that society during Joseon Dynasty, an era which 허난설헌 lived in was one that values men over women. It was a "남존여비" society.

In Joseon Dynasty "남존여비" means:

자는 (Man is)
대하고 (looked up upon and)
자는 (woman is)
하하다 (looked down on)

But in today society, "남존여비" takes on a different meaning, our teacher added.

위를 맞춰야 한다
(If man wants to exist, he will have to adjust to suit woman's liking.)

That's all for the joke of the day. After class, we have our first class's '회식' (dining together). We had grilled mackerel for lunch. The Korean name for mackerel is '고등어' which sounds like superior grade fish to me since '고등' can also mean high class or high grade. It has been a long time since I last ate fish.

Grilled mackerel which I ate during our class lunch.

Friday was 중복, the mid of 삼복더위. It seemed like the monsoon season is almost over. The overcast sky was partially cleared in the evening. Despite being midsummer, the evening was quite breezy and cooling. It would be good if such cool weather continues until the end of Summer.

Partially cleared sky on Friday evening.

It has been almost one month since the sky started to look like this.

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