Gorgeous Traditional / Modern Fusion

January 26, 2013 § 1 Comment

I stumbled across these modernized Hanboks in recent webventures.

Aren’t they beautiful?

hanbok1

These are not your grandmother’s hanboks, (I’m fairly certain that wearing the bottom two would get you the stink-eye from most adjummas, what with that scandalous shoulder-baring and all), but the fact that these dresses exist with a modern twist just reminds me again of how vibrantly alive tradition is in Korea. Even in the midst of rapid forward motion, there are constant, reverent nods to the past– a web of traditions pointing to unitive national heritage that goes back, apparently, forever. And I have to admit that I’m jealous. I tend to feel that Americans are deprived in that regard–not just because, as a young country, we don’t have that much tradition to speak of– but because of this nagging feeling that that little body of tradition we have doesn’t technically belong to all of us. I’ll have to explain that one. When I was in second grade, I dressed up, as all good American second graders on Thanksgiving are wont to do, as a pilgrim. And I participated in a relatively politically incorrect skit with my fellow students about how America came to be. But… those weren’t my ancestors. My ancestors are French, German, and Italian fellows who popped  up in America a couple hundred years ago to farm, farm, and participate in the mafia respectively. So, maybe I should visit their home countries? But there was no sense of belonging when I wandered around France, Germany, or Italy during my abroad semester. In fact, I’m pretty sure that no one despises French Canadian Americans quite as much as the French do. Sigh. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot that I admire and love about this great melting-pot country of ours, I just reserve the right to look on longingly when Taecyeon dresses up in traditional clothing to wish his countrymen a happy 추석.

Longingly because he is participating in traditions he actually belongs to.

Traditions, I tell you.

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