October 18, 2017

To celebrate Chuseok, the Korean autumn harvest festival, my friend Amanda and I rented hanbok, traditional Korean clothing, and pranced around Gyeongbokgung Palace taking photos. It was my first experience wearing hanbok and I loved it. This is a common activity for Koreans and tourists alike, especially during holidays and special occasions. Many Koreans - women in particular - still wear hanbok at weddings, major work events, and other special affairs. While I found the shape of the skirt and jacket somewhat challenging and unflattering at certain angles, I'm intrigued by their style and aesthetic which, as I've read and heard, is meant to flow harmoniously with the movement of the body while worn. I was certainly surprised by how different the attire felt on my body, compared to when I stood clutching it in the tiny rental shop waiting for a dressing room. We walked around until we were so tired, we were forced to enjoy a full course meal in our fancy outfits. Earlier that day, as we approached the gates of the palace, an elderly Korean woman came to have her photo taken with us, before planting a sweet kiss on Amanda's cheek and walking away.

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