It’s a feeling many Koreans might understand — walking into the kitchen on the morning of your birthday only to be hit by the smell of the briny ocean air. Brewing on the stove is a pot of miyeokguk, or seaweed (miyeok) soup (guk), made with the slippery brown seaweed one might recognize washed ashore at the beach. Regardless of how you feel about the taste, that same slippery goodness will often accompany your celebratory day. But where does this Korean tradition come from?
Birthday miyeokguk stems from another Korean tradition of new mothers eating the soup to aid in postpartum recovery. For the first few months after childbirth, Korean women will often consume the dish for up to several meals per day for its nutritional benefits — and how that tradition originated is where it gets interesting.
Almost two years since its release and subsequent rise to global popularity, the K-drama “Crash Landing on You” continues to leave an impact on its fans. In North Korea, where the drama’s storyline is based, several teens caught watching the series are allegedly facing prison time among other harsher sentences. The incident, while unconfirmed, has heightened awareness of the country’s human rights atrocities after being shared in a viral video.
Seoul-based publication The Daily NK, which specializes in North Korean news that relies on a network of sources from inside the hermit kingdom, reported in late August that eight teens were put on public trial for watching and imitating the characters of various South Korean dramas including the popular “Crash Landing on You.”
This year’s Met Gala featured a number of first-time appearances by Asian and Asian American celebrities, from world-renowned female K-pop stars to record-breaking athletes. The event was much more of an intimate gathering — it had only about a third of the normal guest list size due to the ongoing pandemic — but the stars showed up and turned heads nonetheless.
With the theme “American Independence,” here are some of our favorite looks and what fans had to say about them.
Japanese food company Nissin, known for its instant noodles, has introduced a line of Cup Noodles-flavored sodas in honor of its 50th anniversary celebration.
The drinks: Available this month, the soda drinks will be available in four flavors, including the basic Cup Noodle in a ginger ale style, seafood with a cream soda base, curry cola and a chili-tomato, according to Sora News 24.
South Korean artist Seungjin Yang combines functionality with childhood imagination in his line of chairs that are sculpted to look like balloon art. Made with real balloons, the artist quite literally breathes life into his creations worth thousands.
Yang began “The Blowing Series” in 2013 with “his intention to transform undefined form of balloons into a type of sculpture through his own interpretations.” He has since furthered his mission to try to form “balanced structures and rigid textures” from the unstable material.
South Korea’s first honorary rescue dog saved 90-year-old owner by laying next to her for 40 hours in freezing rain
When an elderly woman with dementia went missing in South Korea, leading to a team of police, firefighters and volunteers to search the area, it was Baekgu the dog that saved the day. In acknowledgement of his noble deed, the 4-year-old dog has been appointed as the country’s first honorary rescue dog.
The search: Baekgu’s owner, a 90-year-old woman, was reported missing on Aug. 25, according to CNN. Security footage from a local farm showed her leaving her village with a small white dog.
K-pop superstar group BTS continues to dominate the global music industry with their hit song “Butter,” finishing at the top of Billboard’s Songs of the Summer Chart, just days after the band was inducted into the Guinness World Records’ Hall of Fame.
Topping the charts: The Songs of the Summer Chart tracks the performance of popular songs based on “weekly streaming-, airplay- and sales-based Billboard Hot 100 from Memorial Day through Labor Day,” according to Billboard.
Chinese government authorities are hoping to combat the growing rate of video game addiction in their country by limiting the playing time for minors to three hours per week.
The rules: Children under 18 will now only be able to play from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, weekends and on public holidays beginning Sept. 1, AP News reported. China’s National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) released the news on Monday.
People are stunned to see actor Dylan Sprouse join the Chinese entertainment industry as a new trailer for an upcoming film shows the former Disney Channel star playing a foreign prince.
About the movie: The Chinese film, “The Curse of Turandot,” is a fantasy romance movie adapted from an Italian opera by Giacomo Puccini, according to Deadline.
Sohn Kee-chung, an ethnic Korean marathon runner, is a poignant reminder of his country’s dark past. His record-breaking performance in the 1936 Berlin Games was widely celebrated, but there was one caveat to those looking on at his success from home — Sohn had no choice but to represent the Japanese empire.
Born in 1912, just two years after Japan’s annexation of Korea, Sohn had only ever known living under colonial rule when he entered the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Still, a dedicated nationalist, he signed the roster for the Games with his Korean name along with a small drawing of the Korean flag. Officially, he was recognized as a member of the Japanese delegation with the romanized Japanese name “Son Kitei.” To this day, Sohn is listed on the official Olympics website with these attributes.
An unconfirmed casting of Netflix’s live-action of the popular “Avatar: The Last Airbender” series has gone viral on social media, with fans delighted to see the possibility of accurate representation.
About the news: A site called “Avatar News,” described as being run by a “fellow fan” of the franchise, revealed the so-called “first look at the main cast” on Aug. 6.
Social media users are outraged as Gong Lijiao, an Olympic gold medalist who made a historic win on Sunday, was called a “manly woman” and asked of her plans for a “woman’s life.”
The win: The four-time Olympian won the women’s shot put event with a career-best of 20.58 meters (67.52 feet), bringing home China’s first gold medal in an Olympic field event. The feat was also the first gold medal for any Asian athlete in shot put.