By Curtis Jolley
Public Relations Coordinator
Home to innovative technology, vibrant city life, and striking scenery, Seoul, South Korea is one of the world’s most captivating cities. To celebrate the arrival of our new traveling exhibit, Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea, here’s a few things you might not know about Seoul.
- It’s the world’s 2nd largest city by population – With currently more than 25 million people, it’s safe to say that Seoul is a big city. In fact, Seoul is home to more than half of all South Koreans while only taking up 12% of South Korea’s total land area.
- Fruit can be very expensive – With an unpredictable climate, Seoul is prone to heavy rain and snow throughout the year. As a result, fruits can be very expensive. The average price for a cantaloupe is $12, while a watermelon could cost you $26.
- The number “4” is considered very unlucky – If you were to get on an elevator in Seoul, you might not find a number “4” button to take you to the 4th floor, especially in older buildings. Instead, you might just see the English letter “F” to represent “fourth.” This is because the Korean word for number “4” sounds very close to the word for death.
- Taekwondo is the national sport – As far back as the 1st century BCE, Koreans have enjoyed the ancient art of taekwondo. It’s very common for children to practice the sport in school and in leagues during their free time. The word “taekwondo” translates to mean “way of foot and fist.”
- They have a different age system – In Korea, your age isn’t based off of your birthday; It’s based off the year you were born. Babies born in Korea are automatically considered to be “1” instead of “0” as in most countries. Every person turns a year older each year after the Korean New Year, which falls on Fed. 8 in 2016.
- Their technology is very advanced – Known as the world’s “most wired city,” a recent survey found that 95% of all homes in Seoul have broadband Internet. Many citizens have “smart homes” that allow them to control their home’s temperature, appliances, and lighting preferences.
- It’s home to the world’s largest movie screen – Imagine seeing your favorite movie stars on a screen slightly larger than the length of a basketball court. That’s what the residents of Seoul can do at the popular Times Square Mall. To match the impressive visual display, the theater is equipped with 50 speakers to give viewers a truly immersive movie going experience.
- Taxis are color-coded – If a black taxi has a yellow cap (post on top), it’s called “Mobum Taxi” (Model taxi) meaning its driver has longer experience with no accident. These are more expensive. This information can come in handy if you need a more experienced driver to get you somewhere quicker. Common taxis, though, are mostly orange.
Come see Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea at the Museum from Jan. 16 to May 15, 2016!