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Influence of American Culture on Korea

Kate Suh from Korea

 

A traditional hanbok
Photo: Sandy Peters
You will also be surprised to see many western style clothes which are different from our traditional clothes such as the hanbok.

Nowadays, Korea is influenced by American culture. If you visit Seoul, you will see a lot of fast food stores in each avenue, places such as KFC, McDonald's, and Burger King.

You will also be surprised to see many western style clothes which are different from our traditional clothes such as the hanbok. When you go around department stores, you can see many young students waiting in line to buy famous brands such as 96 New York jeans, Guess, Polo, Guest, Prada, Channel, and Cartiers.

It is hard to find clothes which represent traditional Korean culture. There are only a few stores which sell traditional clothing, and these stores are starting to disappear.

When you visit middle schools in Korea, you will also find students listening to music on their CD players, mostly rock and roll, including the pop music of singers such as Britney Spiers, Christina Aquilera, and Ricky Martin. Moreover, if you ask students to talk about Korean music traditions, they probably will not give you an answer promptly.

 

Kimchi
Photo: Hyo Chol Kwak
Now, however, there are some voices which are urging us to protect our own culture. One is an association which insists people eat traditional food such as kim-chi.


Now, however, there are some voices which are urging us to protect our own culture. One is an association which insists people eat traditional food such as kimchi.

They make web sites to show how traditional Korean foods are beneficial for health, and they advertise on TV regularly about traditional customs in order to make people feel a responsibility to preserve their own culture.

They say that Koreans are losing their identity, and they are also concerned because young people don't even know about the traditional Korean holidays. They propose that the government prepare extra programs to teach young students about Korean traditions. Some middle school have tried to do this, but it isn't working very effectively.

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