Thursday 7 July 2011

Experiencing Royal Culture

As I've mentioned before I took an after-school course during May called 'Experiencing Royal Culture' Each week the class consisted of a 40 minute lesson about an aspect of Royal culture (Introduction, education, food, attires), then a visit to the museum to show us some of the artifacts we'd learnt about, and then a hands on session. We made soap the first week, practised calligraphy the second, third week we cooked and fourth 2 people were able to try on some Royal clothes, for some reason my luck was in (?) on week 4 and I got to dress up in the Queen's Royal clothes, it wasn't all that pleasant though, because the Queen wears 20 items of clothing. I was let off of all 20 but I ended up with 6 layers, and a massive headpiece on. Needless to say I was pretty sweaty under all of that! Here are some photos of what went on.

Ingredients for goldongban (modern day bibimbap)

Egg covered fish

cooking the meat

cooking the bracken

everything prepared, cooked and ready

rice mixed with a little oil

my bibimbap, the special gochujang (Pepper paste mixed with honey), kimchi and rice cake things

Group 4

Layers 1 and 2

layer 3
layer 4
layer 5

layer 6, what were all those other layers for? You can't see any of them!
It's REALLLLLLY hot under there!

Dressing the King and finishing off the Queen's accessories
I'm showing my hands in this photo which wasn't really allowed, you aren't allowed to show any flesh (aside from your face).

Now without hands, there is a woman standing behind me holding the headpiece because it weighs 3 kg. There were even heavier ones back in the day but one queen broke her neck so they stopped that tradition.

I would really recommend this course, it's available to all public school teachers in Seoul and it's completely free. There is a field trip to Changdeokgung palace, which unfortunately I couldn't go to, but they have said I can join the next group for that one in september/october. For more info go to the National Palace Museum website.

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