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ASEAN Culture House Monthly

2021 ASEAN Cooking Class (Spring & Summer) ACH News 2021 ASEAN Cooking Class (Spring & Summer) ACH NEWS 2021 ASEAN Cooking Class (Spring & Summer) The ACH’s 2021 ASEAN Cooking Class, which runs from May through July, is an interactive program in which participants learn how to prepare dishes and desserts from the ten ASEAN member states. This year’s class will feature, among others, the following three delicious dishes: Rendang (Indonesia), named by CNN the world’s most delicious food in 2020; Udang Sambal Serai Bersantan (Brunei Darussalam), known for the spicy savoriness of the country’s famous sambal sauce; and Nam Wan (Lao PDR), a Lao-style Patbingsu that is the perfect snack for a hot summer day. What makes the ASEAN Cooking Class special is that classes are taught by chefs hailing from the ASEAN countries who currently live in Korea and also introduce the culture of their respective home countries alongside cooking tips. The Cambodian class will be taught by Kheang Ye Kleang, a cooking instructor who has lived in Korea for 15 years and owns a restaurant in Gimhae with her Korean husband. Kleang noted that, because Cambodian dishes often include salted seafood that is similar to Korean Jeotgal, Cambodian cuisine is well suited to Korean palates, perhaps with the exception of a few strongly-scented vegetables. When asked to recommend just one Cambodian dish, Kleang immediately chose Lok Lak. “Lok Lak is a beef dish in which the beef is seasoned with fish sauce and cooked with various vegetables, including tomatoes and onions. It’s a favorite in Cambodia. Lok Lak is prepared slightly differently by each family. I recommend that, if you ever have the chance to travel around Cambodia, you compare Lok Lak from different regions to compare their tastes.” There are times that we suddenly remember a dish that we ate on of our holidays abroad. If you would like to travel to a Southeast Asian country, how about substituting the joy of actual travel with cooking the dishes taught in our ASEAN Cooking Class? If you forget part of the recipe, you can always refer to the ASEAN recipe cards and video distributed free of charge by the ACH. PeriodMay 28 to July 31 / every Friday (14:00–16:30) and Saturday (10:30–13:00, 14:30–17:00) VenueACH (Cooking Studio, 3F) Inquiries051-775-2045
ASEAN Language Courses for First Half of 2021 ACH News ASEAN Language Courses for First Half of 2021 REVIEW ASEAN Language Courses for First Half of 2021 The ASEAN Language Courses, a foreign language program that is in its fourth run thisyear, was held for 12 weeks from March to June. The basic curriculum was offered for Cambodian, Indonesian Malay, the Myanmar language (Burmese), Thai, and Vietnamese, while the elementary curriculum was not only offered for Thai and Vietnamese butalso, starting from 2021, for Indonesian Malay. While these eight basic and elementary classes were held at the ACH, four intermediate-level courses for Indonesian Malay, the Myanmar language, Thai, and Vietnamese were held at Busan University of Foreign Studies (BUFS). Bae Su-gyeong, the instructor for the Thai curricula, stressed the importance of teaching language along with its culture. “If you are studying a foreign language and come across a topic of interest, search for it online. The format doesn’t matter—news articles, videos, etc. This is important because what you learn in this way will not only give you a better understanding of the language you are studying but also make you want to learn more about the country and its culture. Another good strategy is to watch a TV series or movie that was produced in an ASEAN language, because, evenif you don’t understand everything, you can get a solid grasp of the language without forcing yourself to memorize, simply by following the dialogue and situational elements. Such media will help with understanding local culture because they reflect the atmosphere and mood of the times.” Students engaged very proactively in their classes, there by significantly improving their ASEAN language skills. Many stated that the classes were an invaluable opportunity to learn not only a language but also the respective culture. The ACH is consistently broadening its pool of offered courses to allow students to learn at the level that best fits their needs. In July, the ASEAN Language Courses will be hosting conversation classes in three languages (Indonesian Malay, Thai, and Vietnamese). The conversation classes will be a wonderful opportunity for those interested in learning an ASEAN language to also have an in depth cultural experience. Mini-Interview: Bae Su-gyeong, Thai curricula instructor You have taught Thai for the ACH’s ASEAN Language Courses since 2019. Please tell us a bit about your work. I prepare classes a bit differently each semester. The basic content stays the same, but I change the sample dialogues, illustrations, and cultural information to be up-to-date. I try to structure curricula differently, such as by writing my own textbook or combining material from several textbooks. It is thanks to the passion of my students, who range from elementary-aged children to senior citizens, about learning Thai that I am slowly but surely becoming a better teacher. What is your advice for people who wish to learn Thai or any other ASEAN language? The most important factor is your motive. Everyone has a reason for wanting to learn a particular language. The stronger and more concrete the motive, the easier it is to enjoy the learning process. When studying, start by reading the textbook’s table of contents, and then skim the entire book from start to finish without missing a single line. Do not try to memorize anything at this stage. You can skip over parts that you do not understand: the important thing is to make a run-through of the entire textbook. Next, use a dictionary to find the meanings of words you don’t know. Highlight the parts that you didn’t understand during the initial reading. Finally, go back to the beginning and read the textbook again, with special attention to the parts that you didn’t understand. Another strategy is to obtain advice, either through an online source or from a personal acquaintance, from those who are fluent in or have successfully learned the language. If you take a trip to the country where the language is spoken, every experience you have will serve as a vivid language lesson. We heard that you spend your vacation in Thailand every year. Do you have a favorite destination to recommend to the ACH Monthly readers? I lived in Thailand for over 10 years and love to travel. I’ve been to every region at least once: if I had to choose one place, I would recommend Nan, which is a city in northern Thailand. It is a very elegant city that prioritizes the preservation of Lanna traditions and culture. I love the wall paintings of Wat Phumin so much that I’ve spent all day at the temple—from dawn to dusk—multiple times. The khao soi sold at the night market that you can enjoy on your way back from the temple is incredible! You can rent a car and go on a drive along a forest road or spend a half-day at an art gallery that you happen to come across. Nan is a small city that you can take in in one day, but it is also a city that requires much more than one month to be fully explored.
Unique and diverse Special Feature Unique and diverse COVER STORY Unique and diverse By Bark Kyung-ja Director (Traditional Landscape Preservation Institute) Gardens are broader in scope than some people imagine. One of them is Ha Long Bay, a famous scenic site in Viet Nam. ASEAN’s 10 countries fall within the geopolitical boundaries determined by China and India. They are island states made up of many small islands, peninsulas, and inland countries that have a tropical or sub-tropical climate. ASEAN forged a close bond—albe it not necessarily of their choosing—with the West in the late 16th century, when explorers began to set sail en masse in search of spices. This is the backdrop of ASEAN’s garden culture, which is based on the indigenous culture of each country while also having certain features in common. The first things that usually come to mind when thinking of Southeast Asia are lush scenic spots and tropical forests full of palm trees and exotic flowers. Most of us associate gardens with tree-rich botanical gardens, but gardens aremuch broader in scope than some people imagine: Buddhist gardens, which includel and scaping, the temple, and pagodas, are gardens, as are, in a very broad sense, urban landscapes. The June issue of the ASEAN Culture House Monthly invites you to explore the diversity of ASEAN’s garden culture, which is impossible to de fine with a single trait.
Thailand’s hidden treasure: Nong Nooch Village Special Feature Thailand’s hidden treasure: Nong Nooch Village STORY Thailand’s hidden treasure: Nong Nooch Village The goal of Nong Nooch Village is to be “a garden for everyone”. By Kang Ho-chul Professor (Department of Horticulture, Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology) Stonehenge Garden For most people, Pattaya, a resort city in southern Thailand, bringsto mind beautiful beaches, an endless supply of seafood, and a year-round array of marine sports. There is one treasure, however, that is still a bit of an insider tip for tourists: Nong Nooch Village — a veritable cornucopia of gardens! Nong Nooch Village began in 1954, when it was a mango and coconut orchard that was purchased by Pisit and Nongnooch Tansacha. With the help of local residents, the couple slowly transformed the orchard into a garden, planting palm trees, orchids, and many other types of plants and flowers. The fruit of their labor is located on a massive lot of nearly 2.5 square kilometers (over 700,000 pyeong) and now includes a tropical forest and a variety of gardens, including some resembling the country’s different royal palace gardens and one resembling the famous Stonehenge site in Britain. The design of the Baroque Garden, matching the style of 17th-century France, seems to have taken inspiration from the gardens surrounding the Palace of Versailles. Yet another garden features a harmonious blend of Thailand’s Buddhist culture — it even includes a golden pagoda —and European gardening culture. The public walking trail, which leads into a dense palm tree forest, presents visitors with a view of diverse landscapes. The particularly popular botanical garden features around 1,000 species of rare tropical plants, including 150 species of cycad, 200 species of bracken, and 500 species of orchids and rare cacti. One noteworthy aspect of the botanical garden is that it was clearly designed with a focus on resembling natural environments as accurately as possible. To supportthis illusion, various highly-detailed animal figures such as mountain goats and flamingos were added throughout the garden. Nong Nooch Village, which introduces the garden cultures of many different ethnic groups and countries on the foundation of Thailand’s tropical environment, is a multi-faceted cultural space and a trueglobal heritage. Flamingo Garden Butterfly Hill Italian Garden
The spectrum of ASEAN gardens Special Feature The spectrum of ASEAN gardens COLUMN The spectrum of ASEAN gardens From scenic sites to theme parks and even Buddhist temples, ASEAN’s gardens embody a diversity that cannot be summarized by one adjective. By Bark Kyung-jaDirector (Traditional Landscape Preservation Institute) Pura Taman Saraswati, Indonesia ASEAN culture is a culture of diversity: it is characterized by multiplecultural (Chinese, Indian, Arabic, etc.) and religious (Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, etc.) influences and represents a unique blend of the similarities and differences of around 1,500 ethnic groups. The region is part of the Indochina cultural sphere and has atropical and sub-tropical climate. Geographically, ASEAN is made up of islands, peninsulas, and inland regions boasting many scenic attractions. Mountainous landscapes, characterized by tropical and dense mountain forests, as wellas coastal and river regions blend to create a beautiful natural environment—one of the most beautiful features being the lotus flowers commonly found at Buddhist temples. A particularly famous scenicspot is Viet Nam’s Halong Bay National Park, which is set against a backdrop of approximately 3,000 mini-islands and recognized as one of the world’s seven most beautiful natural sites. ASEAN’s theme parks are highly-developed. Malaysia’s Resorts World Genting, an hour’s drive north of Kuala Lumpur, is among the largest theme parks in Southeast Asia. Equipped with a casino, entertainment facilities, and hotels, Resorts World Genting, the brain child of Chinese-Malaysian businessman Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, is often referred to as the “Las Vegas of Southeast Asia.” Singapore, ASEAN’s wealthiest member in terms of per-capita GDP, is home to many vertical gardens and “green walls” that cover its buildings. This practice of covering the outside of buildings with plants filters harmful gases. Prominent attractions that blend the city’s keysites with an aesthetically-pleasing appearance include Gardens bythe Bay, Merlion Park, Singapore Botanic Gardens, and Jurong Bird Park. Another genre of ASEAN’s parks and gardens is the Buddhist garden, which is heavily influenced by Theravada Buddhism. Each ASEAN country has many sophisticated Theravada Buddhist temples and pagodas, including Myanmar’s Shwedagon Pagoda (a large group of golden pagodas) and Bagan Temples, one of the world’s three most prominent Buddhist historic areas that is made up of a veritable forest of pagodas in a wide plain. Indonesia is also rich in Buddhist and Hindu temples, including Borobudur and Pura Taman Saraswati. Ha Long Bay National Park, Viet Nam Vertical gardens, Singapore
Lao PDR: A World of Gastronomy Special Feature Lao PDR: A World of Gastronomy EXPLORE Lao PDR: A World of Gastronomy The gastronomical treasures of Vientiane, referred to by some as the “walled city of the moon,” are subtly enticing. Khao Soy Ping and Lao beer Vientiane, the capital of Lao PDR, is often regarded as a gateway to either Vang Vieng, a hotspot for outdoor activities, or the Town of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Less known is the fact that Vientiane is a haven of diverse culinary cultures as Lao PDR shares borders with five countries. Journey into culinary wealth One of the best ways to enjoy Vientiane’s foodie delightsis by strolling through the city’s center. Pho, while having its origins in the Vietnamese rice noodle dish of the same name, is now a common Lao street food. HanSam Euay Nong, a restaurant in downtown Vientiane, serves delicious noodle dishes from various regions, of which Khao Soy, which originated from the Luang Prabang Province and includes chopped pork flavored with Lao-style pepper paste, is especially popular. Another restaurant, Khop Chai Deu, offers not only traditional Lao food but also dishes from countries like Thailand and Germany. If you want to try a range of traditional food, all you have to do is choose from set menu options that bear the name of a region in Lao PDR. The centerpiece of the Luang Prabang set is or lam, a slightly spicy stew made with beef and multiple spices. Produce of the Bolaven Plateau Coffee production in Lao PDR began during French colonial rule, eventually leading to the creation of a sophisticated, diverse café culture. The Bolaven Plateau in southern Lao PDR is a prime location for coffee tree plantations due to the region’s relatively cool climate, high rainfall, and rich volcanic soil, with the vast majority (95 percent) produced in Paksong. Sinouk Coffee, a famous high-end coffee franchise, uses only coffee fruit that are harvested from the Bolaven Plateau. Aside from its “Bolavens Treasure” range, the company’s coffee bean is categorized into five types (Indochinese, Italian, French, Japanese, Korean) depending on the roasting degree. A glass of cold beer under the moon Head to Nam Phu (Lao for “fountain”) Square before sunset. As its name suggests, there is a fountain in the center of the square that is surrounded on both sides by restaurants and bars. The mood becomes more festiveat 5 p.m., which is when the fountain is activated together with upbeat music. The perfect activity at this time of day is to sit at an outdoor table while enjoying ping, grilled meat skewers, with a glass of strong, heavy Lao beer. Don’t forget to drink the beer in authentic Lao style—with plenty of ice!!! Nam Phu Square Café Sinouk
Oh Hye-jin: Children’s book author from Jeju-do Special Feature Oh Hye-jin: Children’s book author from Jeju-do ASEAN IN KOREA Oh Hye-jin: Children’s book author from Jeju-do Oh Hye-jin was born in Mindanao, the secondl argest island in the Philippines, as the second of six children. Since leaving her native country in January 2008, Oh has lived in Korea where she had her first experience of chilly winter air. For its June issue, the ACH Monthly sat down with Oh, who lives on Jeju-do, as a children’s book author and mother of two children, to hear more about her life and work. What made you decide to write and publish children’s books? When I started reading books to my son and daughter when they were 2-3 years old. I started because of my children, but the book reading ultimately was very helpful for me in improving my Korean pronunciation and reading skills. As in most families, children pay attention only at the beginning, with only me left with the book at the end. (laughs) That’s how I started getting interested in children’s books and eventually decided to write my own when I was presented with the opportunity to publish a children’s book in Korean on a Philippine folktale. Can you introduce one of your books for the ACH Monthly readers? I would like to talk about “The Legend of the Pineapple”. If you ask a small child to bring something to you, chances are that they will say they cannot find the object—even if it is right in front of them. The story is about a girl who turns into a pineapple, a fruit that has many “eyes.” I’m sure most adults have this experience. I was often scolded as a child because I couldn’t find things: today, I often see my younger self in my daughter. Hopefully she doesn’t turn into a pineapple! (laughs) What is the most satisfying part of being a children’s book author? It’s very satisfying to see the story that I re-wrote several times and that was edited many more times published as a book that is sold in bookstores. I think to myself, ‘My story has finally come out into the world!’ When I first came to Korea, I had no idea that I would write a book about myself or my home country. I thought that books were written by people who did well in school or are experts in their field. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment in having done something that I didn’t ever think was possible. We understand that you live on Jeju-do. What is “Jeju life”really like? The entire family moved to Jeju-do in March 2017 when myhusband’s job transferred him there. We explored the island each weekend and even climbed Hallasan a few times. Usually, we take light walks on one of Jeju-do’s many oreum [parasitic cone] or at the beach. The rhinitis that I suffered so chronically in Seoul disappeared as if by magic—I think it’s because the air is cleaner on Jeju-do. I like beingable to open a window and look out at the sea whenever I’m stressed to clear my brain and feel more at peace emotionally. I love being able to go to the beach whenever I want. What are your short- and long-term plans? I entered Seoul Cyber University this year as a student of the Department of Social Welfare. I want to be of help toas many people as I can through on my ability to speak three languages (Filipino, English, and Korean). I can’t waitto see myself as a social worker four years from now! Another thing that I want to try is writing another children’s book—one that is more interesting than “The Legend ofthe Pineapple”. I want to live a new life as an approachable, friendly social worker who reads books to kids.
Sejong National Arboretum Special Feature Sejong National Arboretum CULTURE NEWS Sejong National Arboretum A repository of ASEAN plants The Sejong National Arboretum is located a 140 kilometer drive from Seoul in Sejong Special Self-Governing City. The arboretum, which is Korea’s first urban arboretum, boasts a massive 650,000 square meter lot that houses many greenhouses, of which the most eye-catching is the Four Seasons Exhibition Greenhouse. From the sky, the greenhouse looks like a flower in full bloom. It was designed to visualize the three petals of an iris, a monocotyledon, and is comprised of three parts: the Mediterranean Exhibition Greenhouse, the Tropical Exhibition Greenhouse, and the Special Exhibition Greenhouse. The Mediterranean greenhouse houses 228 species, including Queensland bottle trees, olive trees, date palms, and bougainvillias, and a 32-meter observatory. The tropical greenhouse has a deck trail that is lined with 437 tree species, including tree ferns, Alstonias, and Bodhi trees. One interesting feature of the tropical greenhouse is the presence of plant life that live in climates that are very different from that of Korea. Temperature is maintained at 30 degrees Celsius, and humidity at 70%, giving visitors a taste of ASEAN’s hot and humid forests. The massive Alstonia scholaris, which is today often regarded as a symbol of the arboretum, was imported from Indonesia; it can grow up to 32 meters tall and is usually used to make musical instruments and pencils. Visitors can also see the Malaysian black bat flower, which grows in shaded areas in hot and humid tropical regions and whose petals resemble a bat’s wings. The arboretum, which skillfully creates a distinctive ASEAN atmosphere through plants alone, may be the best way to experience ASEAN’s nature in Korea—especially with international travel still highly restricted due to COVID-19. The Sejong National Arboretum is operated weekly from Tuesday through Sunday. Visitors are advised to remember that final admission is at 17:00 in the summer and 16:00 in the winter.


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