Dressing up Korean-style: Hanbok


Another bucket list-point was checked off my list while my visitors were here: try on a traditional Korean hanbok. Hanbok comes in several different version (from everyday to formal, cheap to luxurious versions), and was the primary casual and formal wear until the 19th century, according to the internet. After a day roaming the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace, we felt it would be appropriate to try out some costumes from the Joseon area in Insadong.

Uli went with a royal attire, while I chose the more classy Korean kisaeng costume. Kisaeng is the Korean word for a female courtesan, which can be loosely translated as an escort girl in these days. As we were getting dressed I realized that the costume I’d chosen actually reminded me of my Norwegian traditional costume (bunad), both in the color scheme and embroidery. Interesting how patterns and influences can be visible in countries so far removed from each other – both physically and culturally – as Norway and Korea.

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