It’s no secret that South Korea is a paradise for fashionistas, “food fighters” and art enthusiasts. If shopping in Myeongdong and watching buskers in Hongdae are getting too old for you, why not make your trip in Korea a little different by joining local 1-day classes and workshops there!
We’ve handpicked 5 short workshops where you can learn South Korea’s traditions and cultures in an interactive and fun way!
1. Korean Calligraphy
Calligraphy is a cherished art form in Korea. It’s considered a visual art that reflects the Korean tradition of artistic writing and expresses the structural beauty of Hanja or Hangul characters with a brush and black ink on a white page. Early Korean calligraphy was written in Chinese characters (or Hanja, the Chinese characters incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation). Meanwhile, modern calligraphy may also be written in Korean (or Hangul)
What’s a more perfect way to start your South Korea adventure than learning the traditional art of brush strokes? Sign up for a 2-hour calligraphy class to learn the basics of preparing the ink, brush and paper, and how to carefully move the brush to create beautiful strokes. This also makes for a great souvenir since, in Asia, the act of giving a work of handwritten calligraphy is considered a true gift of the heart.
2. Traditional Paper Lanterns Craft
According to belief in Buddhism, traditional lanterns symbolize wisdom, in that they bring light to the world. In Korea, the lanterns are crafted from hanji, a traditional Korean paper made with the bark of mulberry trees. What makes lanterns with hanji extra beautiful compared to normal lanterns is that hanji creates a warm and soothing glow in the room.
You can make your very own paper lantern at Jonginamoo Gallery, a stylish gallery and atelier situated in Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul. The class takes about 3 hours and is conducted in English. The master of Jonginamoo Gallery, Kim Jung-soon is skilled in hanji crafts. With 30 years of experience in this art, her crafts can be found all over the gallery.
3. Handmade Seal Stamp Engraving
There are different types of seal stamps back in the days depending on the purpose or occasion and the legal status of its owner. While most people have two or more seals, but the one commonly used in everyday purpose is the personal seal or dojang. The use of seals is still common in modern Korea, especially since legal documents like will still require seals.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind souvenir for yourself, why not try making yourself your own unique seal stamp. The 40-minute workshop will guide you to make your personalized seal and designing your name to be engraved on the stamp!
4. Temple Food Cooking Class
Korean Buddhism believes that one can gain virtue through meals that are cooked with good ingredients. What’s great about temple food is it’s cooked with natural ingredients without preservatives and artificial seasoning, as well as meat. It’s perfect for vegetarians, people who enjoy healthy food and those with special diets.
Jogyesa Temple offers a 2-hour private cooking lesson with the monks. Visitors can learn the virtues of temple food and develop a greater appreciation towards each and every ingredient, and the food prepared for you. The cooking class is open to everyone regardless of religion.
5. Learn Gayageum In One Day
Dive into the world of traditional musical instruments! Gayageum a Korean traditional string musical instrument similar to a zither with 12 strings. The traditional way of playing the gayageum is while sitting on the floor with crossed legs, the head of the instrument on the right knee and the tail resting on the floor.
Even though it takes years to master this instrument, you can still try your hand at learning the art of plucking the strings of both the traditional 12-string and 25-string gayageum! The 1.5-hour class is conducted in both Korean and English by a gayageum player with more than 10 years of experience. Interestingly, you can also make a prior request if there’s a specific song that you wish to learn!
Are you excited yet? As the saying goes, life is a learning process and the whole world is your classroom, so don’t be afraid to try something new during your vacation. Want something better? Book your ALL-IN trip to South Korea with Tripfez and you’ll get to be in a kimchi-making workshop for FREE! What are you waiting for? Time to get cultured!