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Ashes to Ashes? In Korea, It’s More Like Ashes to Beads

As a result of changes in traditional South Korean beliefs, more and more people are choosing to have their cremated loved-ones’ ashes turned into decorative beads they can keep around.

10 years ago, 6 out of 10 Koreans who died were buried, according to Confucian beliefs to respect the dead and visit their graves. But, due in part to western influence, but also to a strong government campaign to convince people to switch to cremation, Korean culture changed drastically. In a small, densely populated country like South Korea, space is very important, so in 2000, the country’s government initiated an aggressive pro-cremation campaign that included pamphlets, radio broadcasts and press statements, This culminated with a law passed in 2000, requiring anyone who chose to bury their dead, to remove the grave after 60 years. Largely as a result of these facts, only 3 out of 10 Koreans were buried last year.

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English Student Has Tongue Lengthened So She Can Speak Korean

Rhiannon Brooksbank-Jones, a young student from Nottingham, England, underwent surgery to have her tongue lengthened after her dentist suggested it might be the reason she couldn’t pronounce certain Korean sounds.

Although she’s never been to South Korea, Rhiannon is really passionate about the language and culture of the Asian country, and dreams of living and working there later in her life. Her fascination with everything Korean started a few years back, after she listened to Korean pop and watched some television shows at a friend’s house. Pretty soon, all her free time was taken up by anything related to Korea, and she even began attending a Korean church in Nottingham.

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Korean Girl Removes Make-up after Two Years

Doctors recommend women remove their make-up every night before they go to sleep, in order to prevent damage to their skin, but a young South-Korean girl chose to wear her make-up mask full-time, for the last two years.

20-year-old Bae Dal-mi first discovered make-up when she was just 14. You could say it was love at first brush, and ever since then, the young Koream developed her make-up talents to the point where she became so dependent on it that she didn’t want to remove it anymore. As she kept applying ever-thicker layers of make-up on her face, the mirror became the most important item in Bae’s life and she declares “I wanted to look perfect at all time, I even slept with the make-up on.” Shae wasn’t satisfied with her appearance, and said she wanted to have plastic surgery in 10 different places.

For the last two years, the young girl never used make-up removers, so her mother, exasperated by Bae’s behaviour, contacted a TV station and told them Bae’s incredible story. During a variety show, dermatologists managed to convince Bae Dal-mi to finally remove the layers of make-up, and after a specialized check-up they found her skin was two times older than her actual age. All because of an obsession with beauty…

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South-Korean Special Forces Winter Training

Every year, South Korean special-forces undergo serious winter training to strengthen their minds and bodies and to make sure the cold doesn’t affect them on live missions.

More than 200 rangers take part in the grueling winter training session, in Pyeonghang, 180 km east of Seoul. They do gymnastics, swim in icy water, hurl snow at their bare chests, build snow shelters and sprint, all at temperatures of under -30 degrees Celsius. The extreme training lasts for nine days.

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