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Chinese ethnic groups: The Korean Nationality

Highlights of Chinese ethnic groups: The Korean Nationality

The Korean Nationality mainly inhabits in Jilin Province, northeastern of China. The Korean people speak the Korean language of the Altaic language family. They are mainly engaged in agriculture, and they are well-known for planting in the cold north paddy rice, which is white, oily and nutritious. Koreans are famous for singing and their various dancing. They love sports, seesaw and swing are traditional women’s sports while wrestling and soccer are men’s sports, for which it is known as “the land of soccer”.

Eating and Clothing
Korean people have many traditional foods and the most famous of them are New Year cake, cold noodle and “Kimchi”. Smashing cake is made when steamed sticky rice is smashed into pastry and cut into cubes, which are ready after bean-flour is scattered over them together with honey and white sugar. Cold noodle is made with buckwheat or wheat flour. It is boiled, cooled down with cold water and then ready mixed with sesame oil, hot pepper, “Kimchi”, soy sauce beef and beef bouillon. It is tasty and refreshing. “Kimchi” is pickled with cabbage and other ingredients like hot pepper in a large sealed jar. This is the most common pickled vegetable, and they also have pickled green pepper, platycodon root, vegetable leaves, radish slices, apple, pear, and dried fish. Korean cold dishes, tasty in flavor and beautiful in color, are well-liked by people of all nationalities and can be found in all big cities in China. They have as many as 30 soups, and the most favored ones are beef bouillon, pig organs soup, dog bouillon and fish soup.

As for clothing, Koreans generally favor plain white, which is clean, simple and natural. So the ethnic group has been known as “the white clad people” since ancient times, and it is self-addressed as “the white-clad compatriot”. Men usually wear short coats, large trousers and sleeveless jackets. In the past, Korean men were accustomed to wearing a long gown, which was originally clothing for officials and Confucian scholars, but evolved into men’s formal dress. Korean women like to wear short coats with a butterfly knot of long white cloth tape underneath the right shoulder, and long skirts, which include tangling skirt, straight skirt, and apron skirt. All these coats and skirts, mostly made of silk, are quite bright in color.

At Korean weddings, the bridegroom must ride in formal dress to meet the bride at her home. On the way, a “wild goose envoy”, who holds two wild geese, walks at the head of the meeting group. Meeting the bride with a pair of wooden geese is one of the ancient Korean customs, which is a symbol of love between the newly-weds and a wish of their living together all their life like wild geese. The meeting groups also take with them some gifts for the bride’s family members. When the bridegroom gets to the gate of the bride’s house, a gunnysack is put at the foot of the horse and the bridegroom must stand on the sack at his first step off the horse. In the sack are grains of rice and millet. When the ceremony starts, the wedding master reads out the marriage certificate, and the bridegroom dips his fingers in water in the washbasin and flicks it to all the four directions. The wedding comes to the climax when the newly-weds kowtow to each other. At the end of the ceremony, the bridegroom carries the wooden geese into the house, pulls open the bridal chamber, and pushes the geese onto the “Kang” along the surface. It is said if the geese fall down, they will have a girl.

Koreans have some traditional holidays like the festival of Hair Washing, of Marriage, and of Senior Citizens. The Festival of Hair Washing falls on June 15 on the lunar calendar. Early in the morning, everybody, old and young, comes to wash their hair at the riverside. Legend says it is auspicious to wash hair with the east-flowing mountain stream. In the evening, people gather at home to sing the hair-washing song and then all the family members, old and young, sit happily together t have a sumptuous dinner. The Festival of Marriage is in the commemoration of the 60th wedding anniversary. Three conditions have to be met to have the celebration: The aged couple is alive and so are their children and grand children. Friends and relatives come to offer their congratulations when the old couple take the seat at the table mutually supported by the arm in their wedding gowns, and everybody raises cups to offer their toast; a more lively and grand occasion than a wedding ceremony. At the suggestion of a senior citizen association on the city of Longjing, the Festival of Senior Citizens is celebrated pn August 15, the anniversary of victory in the War against Japan. In 1986 the festival was popularized, and it has become the senior citizen’s holiday throughout the prefecture.

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