The Land of the Morning Calm?


Have you all already heard that Korean is “The Land of the Morning Calm”?

That names actually comes from hanja characters for Joseon.

The anja characters are chinese characters used in korean language with a korean pronunciation.

And if you look at the Han river in the morning, it sure does look “calm”.

Han river

But have you ever felt that this name was unappropriate to design Korea? I definitely can’t imagine Seoul being quite in the morning.

Seoul has more than 10 000 000 of unhabitants. You need a comparison? Paris has more than 2 000 000 unhabitants,  and London has more than 7 000 000.

So you need to add up London and Paris to get Seoul.

How could so many people – so many students, workers, etc.- go where then need to go without transportation? That crowded subway doesn’t look that calm to me.

Seoul subway

And I’ve also never considered traffic jams as being possibly calm.

Seoul traffic

But once again, Korea has been “The Land of the Morning Calm” since the Joseon area. Back then, traffic jams and crowded subways weren’t that much of a problem.

And a korean morning must have looked like that…

Calm morning.

I hope that one day I’ll be able to see these two sides of Korea. Knowing that The Land of the Morning Calm  has changed this much, and that it yet has kept so many traditions…

That’s part of why South Korea seems so special to me. After all, calm doesn’t mean motionless. Moving on and growing up while remaining the same… How many countries can say that they’ve managed to do so?

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. tony horton
    Feb 06, 2011 @ 11:03:26

    “Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


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