Today we watched more videos in our North Korean Politics and Society class which captured the heart-wrenching truth about what is happening in North Korea. Many of the videos are hard to watch as many families, torn apart during the Korean War, are still waiting to know whether or not their loved ones are alive today. In my global ethics class, we had our third quiz today and I gave my presentation. For the North Korean class, we will have a cumulative final at the end of the 4 weeks, and in my global ethics class, we have a 15 page paper accumulating our thoughts and stances all of the issues we have discussed throughout the class, including topics ranging from global warming to abortion to infanticide to population growth, etc. I am learning a lot in both of my classes and very happy with my choices! Today, our professor wanted to take a picture of our class so I thought I would share :)
After class, Sara, Lucy, Brent, Jacob and I went to Bongeunsa Temple, a 1,200 year old temple located in Samseong-dong. We witnessed many religious and spiritual events happening throughout many temples located in this area, including monks worshiping at the feet of Mireuk Daebul, "the future Buddha who vows to save sentient beings in the era after the lifetime of Sakymanuni Buddha." After walking through several of the temples, many of us felt peaceful and it was an experience unlike any other I have had, so I was very appreciative of this opportunity.
Thousands of paper lanterns hung from fences, ceilings, walls..they were beautiful
Thouands of golden Buddha statues located along a wall inside one of the temples (no shoes allowed!)
We then walked to COEX, a giant underground mall located directly across the street from the Buddhist temple. After spending about one hour here, we realized that this mall was very Americanized, including pricing! Many, if not all, of the clothing and the stores had English writing on them and were marked up in pricing compared to anything we had seen prior to this. It was nice to recognize the writing, but at the same time we felt as though we should be spending our time doing more cultural activities since we are able to shop at an American mall anytime we wanted to. For these reasons, we did not stay very long. Interestingly enough, when I talked to some of the Korean students, they told me that when people here are wearing clothes with American writing on them, it is considered "cool." I guess, based on the COEX mall I can see why this would be a fashion statement, because everything was so much more expensive there than other places. I, on the other hand, find the clothes that are less expensive to be extremely more fashionable than any of the clothes that we saw in COEX, and I believe most others would agree with me. I love Korean style and fashion sense!
There was a fountain outside of COEX with a light show and music that we watched for a bit before it started to rain :)
For dinner, we ate at a Japanese restaurant located near Hanyang. It was inexpensive (~$4) for this entire meal of rice, chicken, and curry. And it was very delicious ~