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The Best Present for a Friend

G
iving presents is an everyday act, but sometimes be somewhat of a burden. If you want to offer a gift that is not too expensive, but that carries with it a special meaning, why not get something that is typically Korean. Providing this way the utmost satisfaction to both yourself and the receiver. You will find many of those affordable Korean gifts within the Central Shopping Center of Namdaemun market.

Bokjori

The Bokjori is said to be a symbol of good fortune. A Korean custom wants every household to hang a Bokjori in their house from New Year's Eve up until New Year's Day, thus preventing any bad luck leaping from one year to the next. Generally, you will find a pair of Bokjoris in every Korean kitchen or hung in a corner of a room. They are sometimes decorated with colored threads and can also contain money or toffees as a sign of good luck.

Bokjumeoni

Korean ancestors would wear a silk Bokjumeoni to carry their money or any other small objects. A typical Bokjumeoni normally features the five Korean traditional colours: red, blue, yellow, white and black, representative of the five elements, which are so strongly anchored in Asian philosophy. The Bokjumeoni is said to be a good luck accessory. The fabric itself would feature embroideries of skulls, turtles, dragons, etc. as a symbol of wealth and long life; an everyday object with a very special meaning.

Binyeo

Traditionally, Korean women wore their hair in a long braid that hung down their back until marriage. Once married, a woman pulled her braided hair back and knotted it at the nape of her neck with a large decorative stick like a hairpin (Binyeo in Korean). This hairstyle does go well with the Hanbok. A Binyeo can be made out of gold, silver, wood, nickel, coral or jade. It normally has a rounded head and a long body. The head of the Binyeo is carved. Typically, you could tell the social status of a woman just by looking at the type of Binyeo she would be wearing. A Binyeo with a dragon or phoenix carved would indicate a member of the Royal Family, whilst any lower status would wear a Binyeo with a bamboo or flower carving.

Taegeukseon

The word Buchae in Korean means device that makes wind by using the hand. Taegeukseon is a type of fan with the Taegeuk symbol painted in its center. The "Taegeuk" symbol means: universe, harmony, human, and peace. It is the symbol for Korea and can be found also in the center of the Korean flag (or Taegeuki in Korean). There are many variations with respect to the colors used.

Norigae

The traditional Korean costume, or hanbok, is a simple garment, which is often enhanced by the use of personal accessories, such as small purses, folding fans or knotted pendants called norigae. Some norigae are extremely simple; just a flash of color and a few tassels; but others are extremely elaborate, combining complicated knotting, jewels and beading.

Among these, the three-part norigae is most common, another expression of the Korean people's attachment to the number three. Many combine three contrasting or complementary colors.

The queen and all court ladies wore elaborate three-part norigae to all holiday events and celebrations. The three-part norigae worn at court and by the upper echelons of traditional society usually consisted of a valuable pendant, made of gold, silver, white or green jade or coral at its center and three strands of maedup knots, which often incorporated more jewels or silver or gold pendants. This three-part norigae, combining a small ornamental dagger and silver pendants, is typical of those worn by commoner.

The norigae symbolizes success for the descendants or happiness and long life (depending on what type of norigae it is).

Eunjangdo

In Korean, Eunjangdo is a women's knife. It was a Korean custom for people to carry a decorated pocket knife everywhere with them. The Eunjangdo was traditionally made of silver and was an essential accessory that had to be worn on a coat string or belt. Korean women would wear it in their corset under their hanbok so as to protect their reputation from unscrupulous men. It is recorded that the Eunjangdo was used for both self-protection and decoration. Today it is only used as a decorative accessory.



(Sourced from WHAT'S ON SEOUL)







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