Well that’s it- the dragon has well and truly brought 2012 to us, and now both east and west are ready to embrace the new year with open arms.
So much has happened since I last blogged, and it was a hectic transition from 2011 to 2012, with the festivities of the London Korean Film Festival, Christmas, and New Year. But Seollal (Lunar New Year) ended with a certain calm, allowing a time for reflection and moving forward.
2012 already has a fresh, unique and lucky (fingers crossed!) feel to it. On a personal level, it started with a bang, when my article on Veggie Korea was published in the JoongAng Ilbo daily newspaper. This resulted in loads of interesting and lovely replies and comments from readers. I promise to reply to them all as soon as I can!
My birthday followed soon after, with an amazing night at Woo Jung Korean restaurant in Tottenham Court Road. Although Assa is a firm favourite, it can only host a maximum of 15 people at a time, and we had a party of 25. Nearby Po Cha was another option, but as the atmosphere there was less relaxed, Woo Jung was the perfect choice. Many friends enjoyed Korean food (including raw beef, BBQ lamb, ox tongue and bibimbap) for the very first time. Of course, an obligatory trip to Assa‘s norebang followed…
This year has also brought with it the announcement of the 2nd batch of The Korea Blog‘s WKBs (Worldwide Korean Bloggers), with my favourite new-kids-on-the-blog, the London-based Korean Class Massive, among those selected. So there is even more great stuff to read, tonnes more information and perspective, and an ever-warming feeling of a growing global WKB community!
And there are exciting times ahead in 2012 for the London Korean Cultural Centre. The Sejong Institute’s new term is well under way. My class (intermediate 2) has a new teacher, and for the 1st time, a Korean national. Hopefully, our language skills will really improve this year. There are awesome developments to the institute as well, in the form of the new Kpop Academy! Not only is this damned cool, it also opens up the opportunity to become part of the KCC, and a Sejong Institute student, to a wider audience.
The new exhibition A New Space Around the Body: Emerging Korean Fashion Designers opened last night, and the centre was absolutely buzzing. It seems that the hype surrounding K-pop events and trendy new Korean eateries are doing well to spread the popularity of K-culture in the Big Smoke.
More generally, here in the UK this year’s focus is on the London Olympic Games this summer. I look forward to seeing how the KCC, and other aspects of Korean culture, get involved!
No matter what we predict for 2012, there is only one way to find out what it holds for us! So Happy New Year and good luck to us all!
My new year’s resolutions:
1) Continue blogging
2) Buy a new camera and take loads of pictures (I broke yet another one!)
3) Work hard in my new job
4) Do something active (I am torn between getting back into Taekwondo, and attempting to become the next Fancy Chance)
5) Be a very good Korean language student (of course) ;)
(Don’t worry if you made some resolutions on January 1st and broke them on January 2nd- the dragon has granted us another chance!)
- This year is especially lucky, as 2012 is a Year of the Black Dragon, something that only occurs once every 60 years!
- Dragon years are said to be unpredictable and exciting.
- The year of the dragon has the highest birth-rate due to its associations with luck and prosperity.
- Those born in the year of the dragon are energetic, humorous, capable, and idealistic.
- Seoul should have an exceptionally lucky year as its mascot Haechi is, in fact, a dragon!