Friday, July 31, 2009

Haechi, New Symbol for the Soul of Asia

Today, while looking through top articles at, I ran across a new campaign by the city of Seoul to encourage community within and global recognition . . . uh, among. What the city sacked was, "Hi, Seoul; Soul of Asia." A little weak, if you ask me (yeah, I know: nobody did). Its new slogan goes, "Haechi Seoul." And here's Haechi, their new "mascot," "cultural symbol."

Kind of like a St. Bernard. But it's actually a guardian lion animal/force with horns that protects against catastrophe; fires, in particular. I've also read that Haetae, as it's usually called when not named by it's chummy diminutive, has the power of determining good from evil. The mythical creature has appeared in Korean texts since the mid-1500s. Seoul has taken up Haechi as their new city symbol because cities of its size, population, and gross regional domestic product (kind of like its "wealth") usually have one. I think it's cute. Here's some more pictures.

Oh, and Seoul's official website has changed from the "Hi Seoul" to a Haechi Seoul web page. And the promotion is huge. The new website features pictures of the statues, Haechi promotion through graphic design--featured below, as well as language summoning the strengths of Haetae to bless and guide the city.

Browsing the new city site is a bit bothersome for you who may be reading my account: it's not yet available in English. But check out yet another side of our beloved Haechi to get the kids on board.

Look at that cutie. You better believe I'm getting a t-shirt with that loveable face on it (please leave me a comment if you'd like some Haechi promo junk too). And now I leave you with a song. Listen and see if you can hear the gurgling water sound (symbolizing ability to keep fire at bay?) The children chanting Haechi! in the background makes me long for my future students.

Peace friends,

Monday, July 13, 2009

I get by with a little help from my friends

My birthday's coming up (July 25th), and my trip to Korea sneaks its nose a little further through the mouse hole into my secure American bedroom. In the midst of planning for my move, people have been asking how they can help me. So! I made a wish list of some things that I could use if you would like to aid me in the process! All you have to do is visit this site:
Pick an item from the list by clicking on the "(Suggested Link)" and buying it through that site. Once you've bought it, send Von an email saying what item is gone from the list (more surprising that way!). I've been feeling your support through this whole thing and I love it. Thanks for everything, family and friends!

Summer bugs and nice warm hugs,