Tag Archives: South Korea

South Korea Suicide Prevention Ritual for Employees

After hearing the news of Korean actress Kang Doo Ri, I really felt this post needed to be made. This is not an easy topic nor is it one that should be taken lightly.

Originally it was reported that Kang Doo Ri had been killed in a car accident, however, after further investigation it was determined that it was indeed a suicide.

The Incheon Samsan Police Station revealed that the actress had been found dead in Bupyeong-dong, Incheon on December 14 around 4 p.m. KST. After investigating the cause of her death, they found out that before Kang Doo Ri was found she had sent a message to a friend suggesting that she was going to take her life.

Reports concluded that there were no signs of a break-in or foul play. Police found coal briquettes as part of evidence that she ended her own life.

(source: soompi)

Often times, people may think that we know why a person would take their own life. And sometimes they do say exactly why they would resort to such a permanent solution, but in the case of Kang Doo Ri, we may never truly know.

On December 11, three days before she passed away, she wrote, “I’m having a hard time these days because I’m experiencing a lot of bad personal problems. It was getting better after finishing the drama and doing broadcasts. But the situation became bad and didn’t go as planned so I couldn’t do anything. I’m really sorry and I apologize. However, I am thinking of getting ready to return to everyone after becoming calm. So I’m trying to stand up once again. See you next week.”

(source: soompi)

My heart breaks for her family and I send my deepest condolences to them as they grieve.

I think the part that truly makes any news of suicide painful is that, at some point, we think there may have been signs we missed. Or maybe we think it was something that was said that we didn’t pay attention to. Something so subtle. And then we blame ourselves. We feel the weight and the guilt and wonder, what could we have done?

According to the BBC News, South Korea has one of the highest rates of suicide in the world. Most workers report that it’s stress that drives the feelings of deep depression leading to suicide, among numerous other reasons. However, in an effort to help employees cope with life, Korean companies have taken the lead in trying to help employees appreciate life.

But what is this and why would it help?

This is called the “macabre ritual” and it is designed to be a bonding experience. Its purpose is to teach each person to not only value their own life but also the lives of others. Before getting into the casket, they see videos of people facing different adversities from illnesses to loss of limbs. They watch these videos and see the people as the overcome these different struggles in their lives and then they themselves are placed in a casket to reflect for 10 minutes.

So how has this helped?

“After the coffin experience, I realised I should try to live a new style of life,” says Cho Yong-tae as he emerges from the casket. “I’ve realised I’ve made lots of mistakes. I hope to be more passionate in all the work I do and spend more time with my family.”

(source: bbc)

But this is not the only ritual that employees will participate in.

“…[President Park Chun-woong] also insists that his staff engage in another ritual every morning when they get to work – they must do stretching exercises together culminating in loud, joint outbursts of forced laughter. 
“At first, laughing together felt really awkward and I wondered what good it could do,” says one woman. “But once you start laughing, you can’t help but look at the faces of your colleagues around you and you end up laughing together… I think it really does have a positive influence. There’s so little to laugh about in a normal office atmosphere, I think this kind of laughter helps.”

(source: bbc)

It truly is heartwarming to see that they are in fact trying to find ways to help others where they see there’s a need. Taking a personal interest in people has shown to have the most positive effects in ways we may never know or fully understand.

And though we may not be able to recognize the signs of someone on the verge of suicide or even know what to say if we ever get that message from a loved one or a friend, there is help out there.


If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please visit https://www.afsp.org/.




International News | South Korea’s Loudspeakers to The North + Update: North Korea Regrets Landmine Attacks

I don’t know why but for some reason, the tensions in Korea (North vs South), was somehow turning into a musical to me. It was reported recently that the North declared they were ready to go to war with the South at Kim Jong Un’s command. While the command hasn’t been given, South Korea is demanding that the North offer an apology for the border landmine attacks on the South Korean soldiers patrolling.

Since then, the North has finally said they regret their actions.

North Korea has expressed regret over two South Korean border guards injured by a landmine blast and promised to make efforts to prevent a similar incident from happening again, according to South Korea’s National Security Office Chief Kim Kwan-jin. The North also decided to withdraw its declaration of “quasi-state of war” against Seoul, he said.

(source: Korea Times)

Could it have had something to do with the South Korean loudspeakers blasting propaganda that pertained anti-North Korean messages and included music? But not just any music. According to Korean news, they were playing Big Bang’s “BANG BANG BANG” and Noh Sayun’s “Meeting” among other notable songs.

However, since North Korea has expressed regret for their actions and will do a better job at preventing incidents like this, (or in South Korean terms acting “abnormal”), South Korea has decided to turn off the loudspeakers.

The musical, for now, is over. But it still feels like a daily k-drama… 

World’s Top Food Museums | Kimchi Museum in Seoul, South Korea

I stumbled across this article about food museums around the world. Maybe I was just hungry when I found it. But it was pretty interesting. The article narrowed the list down to the Top 11 and of course the Kimchi Museum in Seoul, South Korea made it to the list!

It’s the only food museum in South Korea and more than 100,000 people have visited since it opened 20 years ago.

The museum — like the nation — takes its kimchi seriously.

There’s even a library filled with reference books and academic papers about the pickled product.

Highlight: Those staying a little longer can sign up for one of the museum’s courses, which covers everything from the preparation of kimchi to its importance to Koreans.

(click here to see the full article at cnn.com)

I was curious since this was my first time hearing about it so I do some research. The Kimchi Museum was created in 1986 and has since undergone renovations. It has moved to a new location but should be open now. So if you’re in the Seoul area and want to check it out you definitely should if you can!

The museum is apparently divided into three sections. The first being about the history of kimchi. “The Exhibition of Ancient Books about Kimchi History,” allows visitors to see books and articles that talk about the details of this history. And “The Models of Kimchi in Each Period” allows visitors to inspect the various trends of kimchi within each time period of this history. And of course as you continue in this section, you learn more about the addition of peppers and other ways to prepare kimchi.

The second section shows the kimchi making process. There’s a video and people can see the many different types of kimchi. Apparently there’s 80 different types.

And the last part, allows visitors to see more on books dedicated to not only kimchi but also other traditional Korean foods.

I see why this museum made it to this list. It truly take kimchi very seriously as it should. If there’s such a rich history behind it, I see no reason not to put it on display.

The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron Behind the Scenes in South Korea

Ok so I guess I really just wanted a reason to talk about this movie! I don’t know how many of you have seen The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron yet so I won’t spoil it. (Just know, it was amazing if you’re a huge fan of these movies, it’s worth watching on imax.)

However, I love Behind the Scenes clips. Here’s a scene from the movie that was filmed in South Korea. One of my personal favorites in the movie! Check out the behind the scenes clips and the final scene at the bottom of this post.

Finished Scene. Preview Clip #16