Welcome to Korea, Korea South and North Korea, respectively (cf. etymology)) is a territory of East Asia that was formerly unified under one state, but now divided into two separate states and a region in northeastern Asia. Located on the Korean Peninsula, it is bordered by China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
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Korean Festivals, Korea's long history, agrarian culture, and mix of religions provide a multitude of different festivals and holidays throughout the year. Some are held according to the Lunar Calendar, some are more regional than others, but most are very colorful and have specific customs and unique characteristics. Life in Korea explores the major Korean festivals and holidays and highlights the main meanings and customs.
Korean foods are definitely different from foods elsewhere in the world. The one attribute which stands out the most is spiciness. The other is that many dishes are served at room temperature (yet some are served boiling hot). Korean food has a distinctive flavor, with the use of various vegetables and spices to complement the meats. Hanjongshik literally means "full course Korean meal" which consists of grilled fish, steamed short ribs, and multiple side dishes. The usual Korean meal is rather elaborate when served in a restaurant even if defined only by the quantity offered.
South Korea has a market economy which ranks 15th in the world by nominal GDP and 12th by purchasing power parity (PPP), identifying it as one of the G-20 major economies. It is a high-income developed country, with a developed market, and is a member of OECD. South Korea is one of the Asian Tigers, and is the only developed country so far to have been included in the group of Next Eleven countries. South Korea had one of the world's fastest growing economies from the early 1960s to the late 1990s, and South Korea is still one of the fastest growing developed countries in the 2000s, along with Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, the other three members of Asian Tigers. South Koreans refer to this growth as the Miracle on the Han River. Having almost no natural resources and always suffering from overpopulation in its small territory, which deterred continued population growth and the formation of a large internal consumer market, South Korea adapted an export-oriented economic strategy to fuel its economy, and in 2010, South Korea was the seventh largest exporter and tenth largest importer in the world.
Korean people lay a lot of emphasis on family values and interpersonal relationships, primarily because of the influence of Confucianism. The eldest member in the house is considered the wisest, and therefore makes most of the important decisions. The Korean language is related to the Mongolian and Japanese languages. A large number of Chinese cognates exist in the Korean language. Around 1,300 Chinese characters are used in modern Korean.