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south korea

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From mythical turtles to moon spirits: the legends behind Chuseok and Mid-Autumn Festival

Today, on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, many East and Southeast Asian families are gathering for a millennia-old holiday celebrating the harvest season. In Korea, festivities for Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving, began yesterday. In China, lanterns have lit up the skies for the Mid-Autumn Festival, or the Mooncake Festival. Both have their own unique set of traditions that are observed today that trace back as early as the first century. 

While similar in the sense that these holidays bring families together and celebrate love, good fortune and gratitude, a deeper dive into their origins reveal individual tales of heroism and mysterious events that highlight the countries’ rich histories. 

South Korea is one of the world’s most innovative economies thanks to Hallyu

South Korea economy

Thanks to K-pop, IT and medical research, South Korea has now been deemed the fifth most innovative economy in the world. 

An innovator rises: South Korea was ranked in the top five of the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021, according to a report published on Monday by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in to bring BTS along with him on trip to America

President Moon accompanied by BTS

K-pop mega group BTS will accompany South Korean President Moon Jae-in as special presidential envoys at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.

Awarding ceremony: The seven-man group was awarded the certificates on Tuesday appointing them as “Special Presidential Envoys for Future Generations and Culture” in a ceremony at the Blue House, according to Korea JoongAng Daily.

‘You have to sleep with me’: Korean actress Heo Yi Jae reveals the moment she suddenly decided to retire from entertainment

Heo Yi Jae revealed why she retired

South Korean actress Heo Yi-jae revealed to Way, a member of disbanded K-pop group Crayon Pop, why she left the South Korean entertainment industry. 

What happened: On Way’s popular YouTube channel, Heo appeared as a guest on Sept. 10 to talk about her experience in the entertainment industry in a Korean-language video titled “The reality of a Korean actress (slapping, shameless actors).” 

South Korea’s first honorary rescue dog saved 90-year-old owner by laying next to her for 40 hours in freezing rain

Baekgu the dog

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. 

How Spam Became a Luxury Item in South Korea

Spam South Korea luxury item

After the U.S., the world’s largest consumer of Spam is South Korea. But how did a simple processed meat product turn into a popular luxury item in an East Asian country?

With its pale pink hue and spongy texture, Spam has been called “disgusting” and “inedible” in the U.S since the late 1930s. Hormel Foods Corporation states that their product contains just six ingredients, but the canned good has received a reputation for being “mystery meat,” prompting Hormel to create campaigns such as “Don’t Knock It ‘Til You’ve Fried It.”

South Korea’s MBC sparks outrage over ‘inappropriate’ images for each country in Olympic opening

MBC

South Korean broadcaster MBC has apologized for its use of “inappropriate” images and captions to represent countries in its live coverage of the Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony.

What happened: In its hours-long livestream that started on Thursday (local time), MBC used stereotypical or erroneous photos and captions to represent several countries as their athletes were introduced on screen. On Sunday, the network committed another “mistake” after mocking Romanian footballer Marius Marin.