These days, it’s not so hard to experience Korean culture even if you live on the other side of the world – most of K-pop favorites are available on YouTube and Korean dramas, too, have become ever so accessible, allowing you to see how Korea looks like wherever you’re at.
However, you still can’t claim that you know every bit of Korean culture just by following the latest K-pop trend or eating out at your favorite Korean bbq restaurant. For those of you who are curious what are actually trending in Korea right now, here are few of them.
1. Wide Pants
Walking on the streets of Hongdae or Itaewon, or pretty much any streets where young people gather to hang out, you will encounter at least five people wearing wide pants. Previously in spring, we’ve mentioned long skirts as one of the trends sweeping Korea. And here we are, well into the hotter season, the baton is handed to pants to sweep the streets – both figuratively and literally.
This new fashion trend is not only stylish, but it is also functional during the summer season when the sun is high and you need to protect your skins against sunburn.
2. Personal Fans
These handy portable fans are the best summer invention of all time. Made rechargeable with USB cables, mini portable fans have become must-have items as the peninsula is suffering from extreme heat and humidity.
3. Vacation in Hotel
Have you heard of “Hocance?” It’s a compound word made of hotel and vacance, referring to a vacation spent in a hotel. As the summer heat wave in Korea has grown severe for the past few years, more and more people are searching for vacation spots where they can spend the least time outside.
In this context, the term “hocance” has emerged. Certainly, some hotels in Korea are good enough to make your vacation perfect, with rooftop pools and luxurious spas. Some hotels even offer hocance package deals.
4. Watermelon Juice
Last year, we’ve listed watermelon-flavored food and drink as one of the summer trends of the year. Along with the season, the trend is back this year as well. Nearly at every coffee shop you enter, you will find watermelon juice on their menu (even Starbucks has recently released their version of the drink).
Watermelon is widely known for its high water content, so feel free to enjoy the trend as much as you want!
5. Pyongyang Naengmyeon
Thanks to the peaceful gestures compromised across the 38the parallel, demand for North Korea’s most famous signature dish, naengmyeon, has been peaking all over the South throughout the summer.
South Koreans enjoy naengmyeon as a common summer food as well, but Pyongyang-style naengmyeon is differentiated from those of other provinces. Its broth is recognized for a profound meat flavor, which is chilled and carefully topped with simple vegetables to be served.
Once tasted the naengmyeon, Koreans in the southern part of the peninsula are nodding their heads, agreeing with Kim Jong-un, who was so willing to share this taste with Moon Jae-in that he even brought the chef from the most famous naengmyeon restaurant in the north.
By Heewon Kim