COUNTRY RESEARCH – SOUTH KOREA
Seollal (설날) is one of the biggest holidays in Korea along with Chuseok (also known as the Korean Thanksgiving day). Seollal is the New Year’s Day in lunar calendar. The word “seol(설)” is originated from the word 'natseolda(낯설다)' which means unfamiliar, implying newness of a new coming year. It is unknown when Koreans began celebrating Seollal, but rituals of the festival are estimated to go back to the 6th century. On Seollal, Koreans demonstrate their respect to parents and elders in the family, as well as deceased ancestors through Sebae (세배), New Year’s Bow and Charye (차례), an ancestral ritual. Also, elders give money or present to a person who did Sebae in return of showing their respect. Koreans almost always wear Hanbok (한복), on this day and eat Tteokguk (떡국) and Yakwa (약과) in addition to playing a traditional game like Yutnori (윷놀이).
FAMOUS SOCCER PLAYER
Park began his football career in his native South Korea and played for the Myongji University team before moving to Japan to play for Kyoto Purple Sanga. After Park's national team manager Guus Hiddink moved back to the Netherlands to manage PSV Eindhoven, Park followed him to the Dutch side a year later. After PSV reached the semi-finals of the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League, Park's talents were recognised by Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and he signed Park for a fee of around £4 million in July 2005. In his time at Manchester United, Park won the Premier League four times and also won the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League and the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup. He moved to Queens Park Rangers in July 2012 after suffering a reduction in his number of appearances for Manchester United the previous season.
Hagwon (학원)is the Korean-language word for a for-profit private institute, academy or cram-school prevalent in South Korea. The term is also sometimes used to describe similar institutions operated by Korean Americans in the United States
Children of all ages often attend hagwons, even those in the pre-school age bracket. It is not uncommon for students to be enrolled in several hagwon of different subject areas at once in addition to their normal school attendance. Hagwons often specialize in subjects like mathematics, foreign languages, science, arts, or music. Many hagwons also have adults as students, particularly those dedicated to teaching the English language.
While some see hagwons as filling a need not being adequately met by the public school system, others see them as creating an unequal footing between the poor and rich in Korea.
In 2008 it was reported that there were over 70,000 hagwons in South Korea with 47 percent of them focused on high school enrollment.