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ASEAN Culture House Monthly

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ASEAN Language Courses Opening for Second Half of 2021 ACH News ASEAN Language Courses Opening for Second Half of 2021 ACH NEWS ASEAN Language Courses Opening for Second Half of 2021 From September 6 through December 1, the ASEAN Culture House will be holding its ASEAN language courses for second half of 2021. A total of 13 courses (beginner and intermediate) will be offered in five ASEAN languages: Cambodian, the Myanmar language,Malay Indonesian, Thai, and Vietnamese. Courses are open to anyone age 12 or older who is interested in ASEAN languages, and will be held once per week over a period of 12 weeks, except for the Vietnamese beginner course, which will be held on a trial basis twice per week over six weeks. Expectations are especially high for the Cambodian beginner course, which, along with the Myanmar language course, will be conducted by a native speaker instructor. Students who have an attendance record of 80 percent or higher will be given a certificate as well as a small souvenir. All courses will be held in strict adherence with the Korean government’s sanitation guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Further information about course registration and content is available at the ACH website(www.ach.or.kr ). PeriodSeptember 6 to December 1 Venue ASEAN Culture House and Busan University of Foreign Studies Inquiries051-775-2035
Opening Ceremony of ASEAN-Korea Futurist ACH News Opening Ceremony of ASEAN-Korea Futurist REVIEW Opening Ceremony of ASEAN-Korea Futurist On July 31, the online ceremony launching the 5th ASEAN-Korea Futurist (AKF) group was held amid the height of Korea’s summer heat. The 5th cohort is made up of 23 Korean students and nine ASEAN students studying abroad in Korea, all of whom will be carrying out various “missions” (activities) both in teams and as individuals over approximately five months. Part 1 of the event began with welcoming remarks by ACH Director and went on to include an introduction of the ACH’s programs for the second half of 2021 and guidelines on AKF activities. In part 2, members met in groups to divide up roles and responsibilities and to get to know one another better. The 5th AKF cohort will be engaging in diverse activities, starting with “Easy Access ASEAN with AKF.”
ACH 4th Anniversary Quiz Event ACH News ACH 4th Anniversary Quiz Event EVENT ACH 4th Anniversary Quiz Event The ASEAN Culture House, which first opened its doors on September 1, 2017, celebrates its fourth birthday this month! Since its opening, the ACH has served as a “lively platform to enhance Koreans’ understanding of the cultures and societies of ASEAN countries and promote mutual awareness and friendship between the peoples of Korea and ASEAN.” Accordingly, we’ve introduced the histories, societies, and cultures of ASEAN’s 10 member nations through various cultural events, with a focus on art exhibitions, cultural performances, movie screenings, and cooking classes. In honor of our fourth anniversary, the ACH has prepared an event for ACH Monthly readers to show our gratitude for their support. This is a one-question quiz, and the answer can be easily found by reading the September issue of the ACH Monthly! Don’t miss out on this fun and simple event! Prizes will be awarded via lottery to a few individuals from among those who submit the correct answer. ASEAN Culture House Monthly Quiz Q. In Thailand, people usually add _____ to beer. What is this common ingredient? How to Participate ① Follow the ACH on Instagram (@aseanculturehouse) ② Submit your answer as a reply. *If you are already a follower of the ACH, all you have to do is enter your answer!(Additionally, if you click “Like” on the notification for this event, you may have a higher chance of winning a gift.) Event PeriodSeptember 1 to 22, 2021 Announcement of WinnerSeptember 30, 2021 Winners will be announced via Instagram and will also be contacted individually. Prize 1 pair of Indonesian chopsticks & 1 ACH mask strap (to be given to 10 people) * Please note that the dates of the event period and announcement of winners may be subject to change. If you are designated as a winner but do not submit your address during the specified duration, your winner status may be canceled and you may fail to receive your prize.
ACH Summer Program for Youths: Discover Viet Nam ACH News ACH Summer Program for Youths: Discover Viet Nam REVIEW ACH Summer Program for Youths: Discover Viet Nam From July 27 through August 5, the ACH held its ACH Summer Program for Youths: Discover Viet Nam, a children’s cultural program. In honor of 2021 being Mekong-ROK Exchange Year, Viet Nam was chosen from among the five Mekong countries to be the subject of a cultural experience for children to overcome the boredom caused by the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. The program was divided into a morning class and an afternoon class, with four sessions held per class. The first session offered a general introduction to ASEAN and the characteristics of Viet Nam. Students learned how to say hello in Vietnamese (“chào”) and made keyrings out of pictures they drew of what first comes to mind when thinking of Viet Nam. The second session offered an experience of Viet Nam’s regional characteristics and cultures through the country’s food. Students were given cookies that are currently popular in Viet Nam to take home and enjoy with their families. For the third session, students tried on traditional clothing and watched a traditional water puppet show, which was performed with wooden dolls dressed in traditional Vietnamese clothing. By discussing the emotions of the characters, students gained an indirect experience of daily life in Viet Nam. After the puppet show, students tried their hand at making puppets themselves out of colored paper and wooden sticks while listening to Vietnamese music. Viet Nam is visited by many Koreans each year, in part for its wealth of beautiful nature, UNESCO heritage sites, and elaborate festivals. This was the subject of the fourth session, which explored Viet Nam’s tourist attractions and festivals. Inspired by the Hoi An Lantern Festival, students created paper lanterns and made a wish on them.The ACH hopes that this program gave children a welcome alternative to the boredom caused by COVID-19 and a better understanding of ASEAN and Viet Nam. We hope that the students were able to alleviate, albeit to a small degree, their thirst for travel through the various cultural experiences offered, and that their summer vacation was improved through this program.
Pop Music  of Southeast  Asia Special Feature Pop Music of Southeast Asia COVER STORY Pop Music of Southeast Asia By Hyunjoon Shin (Professor, Institute for East Asian Studies, SungKongHoe University) Cultural diversity of Southeast Asian pop music. The words “Southeast Asia” and “pop music” may not, at first glance, seem related. The countries, of this region, which all have a tropical climate, can seem as if they are richer in traditional music than the modern overtones of pop. Even if we consciously realize that this is a prejudiced notion, there are few avenues for those living in Korea to come into contact with Southeast Asia’s pop music. The part of Southeast Asia that is located on the Asian continent is often referred to as “mainland Southeast Asia,” and less frequently as “Indochina.” While it cannot be denied that the latter term is a vestige of European colonialism, the historical fact remains that this region has a unique amalgam of cultures caused by the clash of several major civilizations from different areas: Southern and Eastern Asia, China, and India.So why not take a journey through the pop music of Southeast Asia, which is peppered with cultural diversity? A good place for beginners to start is with the music of Cambodia, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Even if international travel is not an option for the time being, you can easily hear such music at restaurants frequented by Southeast Asian immigrants. If you go on a weekend, you can experience the added benefit of pleasant conversation in the patrons’ native languages. Article may not reflect the opinion of the editorial board of the ASEAN Culture House Monthly.
HELLO, NEW AKF! We asked four members of the 5th ASEAN-Korea Futurist (AKF) group about their expectations and goals. Special Feature HELLO, NEW AKF! We asked four members of the 5th ASEAN-Korea Futurist (AKF) group about their expectations and goals. AKF TALK HELLO, NEW AKF! We asked four members of the 5th ASEAN-Korea Futurist (AKF) group about their expectations and goals. Seungha Yu (Republic of Korea)) How did you learn about the ASEAN Culture House’s AKF program? I’d been a follower of the KF’s social media channels due to my interest in public diplomacy. When I saw the AKF call for applications, I was so excited to see the sentence, “University students interested in Korea, ASEAN, cultural exchange, and public diplomacy are welcome.” I decided right then that I want to apply. Please state one aspect of Korea’s culture that you would like to introduce to the people of ASEAN. The jeong (loosely translated as “close emotional bonds” or “goodwill”) that we feel when making kimchi together, a process known as gimjang. This is because most people are familiar with kimchi but not gimjang, which is included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. I want more people to know about this beautiful aspect of my culture. Le Thi Ha (Viet Nam) Why did you apply to be a member of the 5th AKF group? I’m a pretty outgoing person and love making new friends. As soon as I saw the AKF recruitment poster, I knew that this was the activity I’d been waiting for. What skill(s) do you wish to develop through AKF activities? I’m the president of the Viet Nam study abroad students’ association at the university I’m currently attending. My main responsibility is to help fellow Vietnamese students adjust to university life in Korea. I believe that I’ll learn a lot about communication andproblem-solving through the AKF program. I also wish to learn about other cultures and improve my teamwork skills. Gregorius Kohar (Indonesia)) What is the AKF project that you are most looking forward to participating in? The ASEAN Dessert Truck! I’d love to share Indonesian food with the Korean public and see their reaction to it. I’m also interested in the ASEAN ramen program; I want to see what ramen in other ASEAN countries tastes like. What skills do you wish to demonstrate and improve through AKF activities? I hope to use my film and editing skills. I also wish to improve my social and communication skills, because it’s through communication that we can better understand one another. During my time with AKF, I’d like to build the skill set that I’ll need to act as a bridge between Korea and ASEAN. Khamkhohomphanh Phoudchaleun (Lao PDR) Please state one aspect of your country’s culture that you would like to introduce to Korean audiences. I would like to introduce Lao silks and cotton fabrics. Cotton is used for special events, religious rituals, and school uniforms, and can vary widely depending on the region. In December and January, the weather grows quite chilly in the north. People pass down cotton-weaving techniques to the next generation as a sign of love. The 5th AKF group’s tenure will begin soon. What goals do you wish to accomplish through AKF activities? I want to familiarize Koreans with my home country, Lao PDR. I would love to have opportunities to tell people from many different countries about the Lao way of life, culture, and traditions.
Southeast Asian Pop: The Aesthetics of Dynamism Special Feature Southeast Asian Pop: The Aesthetics of Dynamism COLUMN Southeast Asian Pop: The Aesthetics of Dynamism The identity of Southeast Asian pop was forged through many decades of receiving foreign cultural influences.By Hyunjoon Shin (Professor, Institute for East Asian Studies, SungKongHoe University) Mainland Southeast Asia, from west to east, is made up of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The identity of its peoples was shaped not by South Asian Hinduism and East Asian Confucianism, but Buddhism. Unfortunately, even after World War II and the independence of the states on the mainland, the area was wrapped up in a series of wars: the first, second, and third Indochina Wars took place from 1946 until 1991. Of these, the second Indochina War (which is also called the “Viet Nam War” in the West) resulted in the largest loss of life due to the US military’s involvement in land battles. Mainland Southeast Asia’s contemporary pop music is rooted in and matured under the circumstances of that war, in which South Viet Nam and the US joined together to fight North Viet Nam. Thailand supported the US and South Viet Nam, while Cambodia was neutral. It is in neutral Cambodia that the US actively spread its pop music, from the mid-1960s until the mid-1970s. During this time, which was a golden age of pop, rock, and folk music, it was not uncommon to see bands made up of Asians playing American pop music. Not much music from this period was well preserved, but what did survive is now being re-issued as “Vietnamese soul,” “Cambodian psychedelic,” and “Thai funk,” all of which captivates music hipsters worldwide for the genres’ clever blending of Western pop formats with Southeast Asian elements. Famous luk krung singer Suthep Wongkamhaeng from Thailand © Inter-Asia School Bangkok Thai folk-rock band Caravan © Inter-Asia School Bangkok One noteworthy characteristic of Southeast Asian pop is that it is of course more than an imitation of and response to American music. There are two major, conflicting strains, one of which is the widespread proliferation of slow, sad, and emotional songs that were favored by peasants and the working class before US troops arrived. This genre is known as bolero in Viet Nam and luk thung in Thailand. The other is made up of the resistance songs that were sung by young, anti-war intellectuals, who in some cases, gave their lives for the revolution. These include Viet Nam’s Trịnh Công Sơn and Thailand’s Caravan, whose music has a verisimilitude that is too complex to be limited by the scope of the Western folk song genre. The series of seemingly unending Indochina wars finally came to an end in 1989, followed by the Paris Peace Accords in 1991. Widespread reform and the opening of national borders enabled the development of pop music across the region in rather “normal” conditions. Star singers began to dominate TV programs in the 1990s with renditions of popular songs, and young people—as in any other country—played and created their own versions of the latest genres, such as rock, hip-hop, and EDM. Economic growth in 21st century in this region is currently among the strongest in the world. Thailand is in the lead, with Viet Nam following close behind and the remaining three countries slightly farther behind it. The desire to be at the cutting edge of pop music is present regardless of income level. The pop music that is featured on mass media outlets has very short singer cycles, and live music venues in the region’s large cities are constantly full of young people who enjoy singing and dancing along. first letter of the country’s name to the word “pop” (like Japan’s J-pop and Korea’s K-pop). Mỹ Tâm, the renowned Vietnamese diva, recently worked with a Korean composer, had a Billboard-charting album, and gave a concert at Jangchung Arena in Seoul. Korea may very well be at the cusp of an inundationof V-pop.. Just across the ocean is maritime Southeast Asia. If asked to name two countries in that region whose music we should start noticing, I would choose the Philippines and Indonesia. While the former is a predominantly Catholic country with a population of over 100 million, the latter is a chiefly Muslim country inhabited by over 200 million people. I hope to have another opportunity one day to introduce the temporal and spatial trajectories of the popular music in those places. It’s about time that we familiarize ourselves with the dynamism of life in this unique area of the world through its music. Thai rock band Modern Dog Cambodian singer-songwriter Sinn Sisamouth © Nate Hun Thai pop band GRAND EX © Inter-Asia School Bangkok YOUTUBE CHANNEL Southeast Asian Pop Sinn Sisamouthhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UClNj0OnVBa4MZxUn13AQOxA Trịnh Công Sơnhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6im6pHK7dVz5zSxn-FoynQ Suthep Wongkamhaenghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNPJgyFAGAE Band Dengue Feverhttps://www.youtube.com/user/denguefevermusic Saigon Soul Revivalhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY4r9tzsi9MmHcSHriFqdPQ Phum Viphurithttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1p52Z4uOlU Mỹ Tâmhttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmgGhZ_OMFGRn5cbfd4Svrw Article may not reflect the opinion of the editorial board of the ASEAN Culture House Monthly.
Linking ASEAN and Korea Special Feature Linking ASEAN and Korea INSIDE Linking ASEAN and Korea A glimpse of the hip world of pop music created by ASEAN and Korean artists. Musical collaborations by prominent artists from Viet Nam, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Korea. Last October, Kim June-sun, who is best known as the singer of “Arabian Nights,” released “Call on Me,” on which he collaborated with three Vietnamese musicians: Dinh Trong Dat, Nguyen Thuy Anh, and Nguyen Thanh Son. The song was part of the 2020 WAF (“We Are Friends”) project that, as suggested by its title, was created to spread a message of friendship amid the devastation caused worldwide by COVID-19. “Call On Me” is an EDM song which Kim composed, wrote lyrics for, sang on, and produced. It blends Vietnamese, English, and Korean lyrics, and was made with the participation of several other Korean singers: Cult’s Chon Seung-woo, up-andcoming singer Gilmin, and rapper Choi Jin-ho. Kim said he will also be working on a collaboration with the Filipino idol group SB19, and that he hopes to engage in more collaborations with ASEAN, and especially Indonesian, musicians. In February, Singaporean rapper ShiGGa Shay released “uRight,” which features Korean singer and producer Jay Park. “URight” is an upbeat song on the meaninglessness of distinguishing who was right or wrong in a lover’s quarrel. Rumor has it that the collaboration was born when ShiGGa Shay thought first of Park when looking for someone with expertise in both R&B and hip hop. ShiGGa Shay is not only a rapper, but also a music producer and video art directorwhose new single, PAS$IVE, is set for release in October. Another eye-catching collaboration is between Afgan, an Indonesian singer, and K-pop star Jackson Wang. “M.I.A,” which was released by Afgan in March, is a love song that was intensely popular for the harmony of the two singers’ powerful and appealing vocals. Afgan said, “My dream is to work with more K-pop artists. I would love to give a concert in Korea.” Finally, there is “Wings,” a song that was born from a collaboration between Thai singer-songwriter Phum Viphurit and So!YoON! of Se So Neon, a Korean band that is active in Asia and Europe. Released in October 2020, the song is popular for the warm, romantic tone of its lyrics and melody, and has an equally captivating album cover made up of photos taken of the same subject by two people in different locations, embodying a profound message about the song’s lyrics. The growing number of collaborations between Koreanand ASEAN singers, who are uniting through the common denominator of music despite vast difference in language and culture, will hopefully give rise to more inter-genre endeavors. Kim June-sun’s single “Call On Me,” featuring Jeon Seong-woo, Gilmin, Choi Jin-ho, Dat, Anh, Son © ZradeMusic ShiGGa Shay’s single “uRight,” featuring Jay Park ” ©DRINK ENTERTAINMENT Afgan’s single “M.I.A,” featuring Jackson Wang © KDM, Empire “Wings” by So!YoON! X Phum Viphurit ©MAGIC STRAWBERRY SOUND YOUTUBE CHANNEL “Wings” by So!YoON! X Phum Viphurit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dluPeE6PA-I ShiGGa Shay’s single “uRight,” featuring Jay Park https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdpsNZfoaqI Kim June-sun’s single “Call On Me,” featuring Jeon Seong-woo, Gilmin, Choi Jin-ho, Dat, Anh, Son https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upcKC99DjQ8 Afgan’s single “M.I.A,” featuring Jackson Wanghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q89dpq20W2I
See, Listen, Drink Special Feature See, Listen, Drink STORY See, Listen, Drink The novel pairing of Southeast Asian pop and beer. by Yunbeom Jung Producer, EBS Images of summer make us feel better simply by envisioning them: youth, energy, swimming, the color green, vacation, naengmyeon (traditional Korean buckwheat noodles), the ocean. This year, however, Korea’s summer was hot to an extreme; it’s still hot even now, in September! High temperatures bring to mind one thing: ice-cold beer. One example is Thai beer, which is actually served with ice. (Iced beer is said to be popular in Viet Nam as well, though the Thai version is more internationally famous!) I had a lot of initial reservations about adding ice to my beer, mainly for fear of watering it down. To ensure a fuller sensory experience of Southeast Asian beer and the music of each country, I chose songs that have a companion music video. Try bidding farewell to summer as you watch and listen to Southeast Asian pop songs while enjoying a chilled beer. Even if, of course, we’ll soon regret that summer ended! Thai indie pop band YONLAPA’s EP ‘First Trip’, featuring their single “Let Me Go” ©Warner Music THAILAND YONLAPA - “Let Me Go” This song is characterized by an upbeat, snazzy sound that often comes to mind when we think of Thailand. The depth of the song’s tones are better felt if you watch the music video, which features YONLAPA, a four-person mixed Thai band that was formed in 2018 in Chiang Mai. One listen to YONLAPA’s music will keep you thinking about the band’s clear guitar tones. They do a very good job of applying a retro vibe to pop. I’m certain we’ll need them to perform in Korea once the COVID-19 pandemic is over!! https://youtu.be/56bK56eiaDY 인도네시아 Indonesia INDONESIA Payung Teduh - “Berdua Saja” There’s a big difference between Indonesia’s cities and its resort towns. This song takes on the mood of the palm trees and shaded areas of the latter. Familiar music is nice, but it’s sometimes better to go on the journey offered by songs, such as this one, that whisk us away to a new and faraway place. Payung Teduh is a band that’s best known for “Akad,” a song that has over 120 million views on YouTube. Personally, I feel that Indonesian musicians are the cream of the crop in music that blends dulcet sounds with a medium tempo. https://youtu.be/56bK56eiaDY 싱가포르 Singapore SINGAPORE iNCH - “Simple Kind Of Life”” Singapore has a vibe that is unique even among ASEAN countries. The strength of the fragmentary view of Singapore as a city-state can be extreme, but one excuse for the prevalence of this image is that it’s almost universally recognized. “Simple Kind of Life” is a song that goes very well with the city-state image and, unlike the songs above, has a cool, elegant, crisp feel that is faithful to the characteristics of Western pop. The first thought that came to mind when I heard it for the first time was of a musician starting a career in a place that certainly doesn’t lack for capital. This is simply because it sounds very much like songs that are internationally popular. A visit to iNCH’s YouTube channel revealed many videos from 11 years ago of the singer practicing by herself in a room. I was moved by the fact that “Simple Kind Of Life” was born from such long years of introspection and hard work. https://youtu.be/sdFJbDInACg Filipino rock band IV OF SPADES ©Warner Music THE PHILIPPINES IV OF SPADES - “Come Inside Of My Heart” Seeing the Asian tour schedules of American and UK musicians is usually a bit disheartening for a Korean person because big-name rock bands often skip over Korea. On the other hand, ASEAN countries are always included due to the much more far-reaching impact of the rock band scene in the area. One good example of this phenomenon is IV of SPADES, a four-member group from the Philippines whose funky sounds and witty, lively vocals make you want to stand up and dance the longer you listen. https://youtu.be/HxwokFPIguU Article may not reflect the opinion of the editorial board of the ASEAN Culture House Monthly.
A Bridge for Indonesia-Korea Trade Special Feature A Bridge for Indonesia-Korea Trade ASEAN IN KOREA A Bridge for Indonesia-Korea Trade Reandhy Putera Dharmawan The Indonesian Trade Promotion Center (ITPC Busan), which is located in Dong-gu, Busan, was founded in 2009 for the purpose of building and strengthening Indonesia-Korea trade relations. It engages in diverse promotional activities, such as introducing Indonesian products. For the September issue of the ASEAN Culture House Monthly, we met with Reandhy Putera Dharmawan, who was named as the director of ITPC Busan early this year, to learn about what he is currently doing and hopes to do in the future as a bridge that links Indonesia-Korea trade. You have been named the director of ITPC Busan. How do you feel about this distinction? I served as deputy director of the ITPC, which is affiliated with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Seoul, from 2015 through 2018. I am very grateful to once again be entrusted to serve as a representative of the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia in my new position as director. What did you enjoy most about living in Korea? I loved every minute of my time in Korea. Through work and leisure, I realized that the country has a lot of lovely, warm-hearted people. I also, of course, loved all of the Korean food I tried. During my first stint in Korea, I went sightseeing with my family every weekend. We had a wonderful time seeing theme parks, mountains, beaches, and other beautiful attractions of Busan. Three years later, Korea is still a wealth of things to see and do. I hope to spend more time exploring Korea’s food and travel destinations that I didn’t get to see the first time around. What aspects of Indonesian culture do you wish to introduce to Koreans? One defining characteristic that is easily seen in Indonesians is friendliness. The willingness of most Indonesians to smile or greet strangers, or to ask foreign tourists if they want to take a selfie together, is a reflection of their warmth and sociable nature, and it puts visitors at ease as if they were at home. We understand that ITPC Busan introduces Indonesian products and engages in various promotional activities. Can you introduce one or two of these activities for our ACH Monthly readers? ITPC Busan provides information on business opportunities in South Korea to Indonesia exporters. For importers in South Korea, we provide information on the potential of Indonesian export products. We also help Indonesian businesspersons participate in international trade expos, and we operate a permanent display room for Indonesian export products at the ITPC Busan office. What do you hope to achieve during your time as director of ITPC Busan? I hope that ITPC Busan can contribute to accelerating economic and trade relations between Indonesia and South Korea. Personally, I hope that my family can once again have many wonderful experiences in Busan. Thank you, and may you all be blessed with great success and health!.
Holidays of ASEAN Special Feature Holidays of ASEAN ASEAN HOLIDAY Holidays of ASEAN Introducing national holidays of ASEAN and their similarities and differences with Korea’s Chuseok. Every year, Koreans gather on the harvest festival of Chuseok with their families to perform ancestral rites and eat rice cakes called songpyeon. The ASEAN countries that have counterparts to Chuseok are Singapore, Cambodia, and Brunei Darussalam. Singapore’s Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for thanking the gods for a good harvest, during which people enjoy tea and mooncakes with their families. Children walk the streets carrying lanterns, with the largest lanterns displayed in Chinatown. Cambodia celebratesPchum Ben, a 15-day period that starts on the 16th day of the eighth lunar month. The final three days of this period are a national holiday. During Pchum Ben, Cambodians return to their hometowns to see their parents and visit the local Buddhist temple, where food is offered up to ancestors. Additionally, between 3 and 4 a.m., a ritual known as “bos bay ben” is conducted, in which balls of rice are thrown onto the temple’s floor. Meanwhile, Brunei Darussalam’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri is a holiday that celebrates the end of Ramadan, theninth month of the Islamic calendar. Relatives are invited for meals, and Istana Nurul Iman, the sultan’s official residence, which is normally closed to the public, is opened for three days. There are also various fun events, including fireworks displays. Other ASEAN countries have holidays that differ in content but are just as important for their citizens as Chuseok is for Koreans. Indonesia’s biggest holiday, Lebaran, is a national holiday held the day after Ramadan ends. This is a day of festivals, worship at mosques, and sharing ketupat (steamed rice cakes wrapped in palm leaves). In Lao PDR, the first day of the Buddhist calendar year, Pi Mai (less commonly known as Songkran), is in mid-April. On this day, people wash thoroughly and decorate themselves with great care. There is also a custom of spraying fragrant water on one’s neighbors, as a means of finding relief from the heat and washing away one’s sins. Kaamatan, a festival celebrated in eastern Malaysia, is a national holiday in the state of Sabah and territory of Labuan. People enjoy tapai, a type of homemade rice wine, with hinava, a dish of fish marinated in lime juice. In Thailand, Songkran is celebrated in April, the country’s hottest month. During Songkran, people clean their homes, greet neighbors, pour perfume on statues of the Buddha, and spray water on one another as an act of praying for prosperity and health. Myanmar’s most important festival is Thingyan, in which citizens wash away the past year’s sins by spraying fragrant water on one another, and share balls of sticky rice. The entire country participates in this New Year’s festival as a time of meaningful self-reflection. Viet Nam’s largest holiday is Tet. For one month, which is full of various festivities, citizens eat banh chung (cakes stuffed with sticky rice and pork) and focus on spending time with their families. In the Philippines, the biggest national holiday is Christmas. With a population that is 80 percent Catholic, Christmas is usually celebrated elaborately and for a prolonged period. People eat delicious foods with their families and exchange gifts to celebrate the meaning of the holiday. On Songkran, Thai people pray for blessings by spraying water. In the Philippines, people celebrate ‘Noche Buena’ by sharing traditional food with their families at midnight on Christmas Eve. Singaporean Mid-Autumn Festival Lighting Ceremony On Pchum Ben, Cambodians visit temples to honor their ancestors.
Travel the ASEAN through media Special Feature Travel the ASEAN through media CULTURE NEWS Travel the ASEAN through media Movie: The Royal Bride The Royal Bride, which was featured at ASEAN Cinema Week 2021 [ON:TACT], is a Vietnamese romantic comedy that was released in 2020. The film maintains an uplifting, fun mood throughout its 120-minute running time. The protagonists are Quyen, a TV host, and herboyfriend, Jack. Quyen is notoriously scandalous and criticized by many as being unprofessional. Nevertheless, she grows wealthier by the day. One day, she is proposed to by Jack, who is 10 years younger than her, and it’s soon revealed that he is the heir of the prestigious Vietnamese Le family. The movie is about the many incidents that occur over the course of Quyen’s visit to Hue, a historic city in central Viet Nam, to attend a Le family event, with romance accompanied by lots of information about Viet Nam’s culture, customs,and history. By using Hue (which was the capital of the Nguyen dynasty until 1945) as its setting, The Royal Bride offers a simultaneous experience of Viet Nam’s contemporary elaborateness and traditional culture, customs, and national spirit. Book: What is There in Laos? What is There in Laos? is a book of travel essays by Murakami Haruki that blurs the line which divides daily life from travel. The book’s 10 essays were written and published between 1995 and 2015 by Murakami on his travels throughout the world. The famous Japanese writer acts both as friendly tour guide and scribe, the latter of which is easily seen in the depth of the characteristics he presents from the culture of each destination, portrayed with his sophisticated powers of observation. The title is a question that was asked of the author by a Vietnamese tourist during a flight layover in Hanoi. Murakami’s answer to the question of what there is in Laos that cannot be found in Viet Nam is detailed in the essay entitled “At the Banks of the Great Mekong River: Luang Prabang (Laos),” in the following excerpt: “The landscape has an intrinsic smell, sounds, and touch. It has a special feeling of sunlight and a special breeze. The sound of someone saying something still rings in my ears. I remember the excitement I felt at that moment. That’s what makes our experiences oftravel different from seeing a destination through a photo. The landscape, which exists only in that spot, stays in me as a multi-dimensional memory. I believe that the impression made by this memory will remain clear for a long time to come.”

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