In Week 8 of K-Pop Academy, we learnt about the different styles of traditional Korean clothing, Hanbok, especially those from the Joseon dynasty. We also had the chance to try on Hanbok, which was very fun. I was wearing a bridal outfit.
Here are some photos from that day. These were taken by my fellow classmates and by the KCC:
There is a certain structure to the Hanbok for both men and women, which is:
A jacket (Jeogori), skirt (Chima), outer robes (like Jangot), headwear and shoes. There were also accessories to attach onto their Hanbok outfit.
Jangot was worn to cover a woman’s face in public. This was a gesture of politeness.
Song Ji-hyo in Hanbok. (I didn’t know her until I watched Emergency Couple. I love that drama!)
A jacket (Jeogori), trousers (Baji), outer coats like Durumagi and Po), headwear (like Gat and ) and shoes.
According to someone’s status in society, they will wear certain attire to represent this. Such as a scholar would wear a Dopo and a military officer would wear a Gunbok or Gugunbok.
In Kundo: Age of the Rampant, which some of us from the K-Pop Academy went to see for the Opening Gala of the 9th London Korean Film Festival, there were many different types of Hanbok shown.
Unmarried men grew had long hair since a young age, that was plaited in one long line. Once married, they had topknots, which was protected by a gat. However, these types of hats could only be worn by married and middle-class men. It showed their social status and protected their topnkots. They were very proud of their hair, as it was very symbolic of their status in society etc.
There were various hairstyles for women. These included one long plaited braid.
And combing back their hair into a bun, with a middle-parting and wore headdresses, which made women look very elegant.
There are more different hairstyles shown on this website: Chosun Media
Brides wore a Wonsam (court robe) or a Hwalot (ceremonial dress in court)
Grooms wear a Gwanbok which is formal attire for military or civil officials. This consists of an official robe (Danryeong), hat (Samo), a sash (Dae) and boots (Hwa).
Nowadays, people in Korea wear western clothing for their wedding, a suit and white dress, but some still do have a traditional Korean wedding in the traditional wedding attire.
Kings and Queens
Kings would wear a red dragon robe called a Gollyongpo (daily office wear). The colour of this costume, is rich red, to show their status of royalty, which has an Bo (emblematic medallion), which is a dragon to represent the king and queen.
I saw this outfit whilst watching ‘Masquerade’ for Week 7’s homework. So in the Week 8’s lesson, I was familiar with it. Also paintings of King Sejong shows him wearing the Gollyongpo.
The King also had a ceremonial costume, called a Myeonbok which consists of an upper and lower robe. The upper robe has the images of dragons, flames, pheasants, mountains, tiger and monkey, whilst the lower robe shows rice grains, grass, axes and bows.
The Queen also had a ceremonial costume, called a Jeokui which is decorated with images of pairs of pheasants and pear flowers.
This photo was taken during a re-enactment of the king and queen of Korea walking through Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul, South Korea, to show tourists what the king and queen would have worn.
All these designs were woven.
There is a website with detailed information on the different types of Hanbok: Grace Travel
The Tamil people’s culture is very ancient and is very rich. Tamil people have many different styles of traditional clothing which has been unchanged for thousands of years. Traditionally men wear pure white silk vettis and women wear silk sarees. However for girls, according to age and puberty, they wear different styles of outfits through the different stages of their lives.
Tamil people are mainly from Tamil Nadu, one of the many states in India and the north and east of Sri Lanka, but there a large populations of Tamil people all over the world especially in some Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.
Tamil boys and men traditionally wear shirts, with a pure white silk vetti.
South-Indian Tamil actor, Dhanush wearing a traditional Tamil outfit for men: a white shirt and silk (paddu) vetti.
Dhanush sang the world-famous song, Why This Kolaveri for the film, 3. The music composer for that film was Anirudh Ravichander.
Nowadays, some men wear gurthas, which consists of trousers, a long top and a shawl. This is more of a North-Indian outfit., but some men still do wear vettis. When looking at this, the Hanbok worn by men in Korea looks similar, as both have a long top and trousers.
Paavadai sattai: This outfit is worn from birth until puberty.
Half saree: After having a coming-of-age ceremony called a pupunitha niraadu vizla (saree party), girls wear this to show that they have come of age and are now young women. It is a three piece suit with a blouse piece, shawl (thaavani) and skirt. An underskirt is also worn. This can be worn until the age of 24.
Saree: Sarees are known worldwide as the traditional Indian outfit for women. It is very elegant and is worn by women from the age of 18 onwards. Most people wear silk sarees, but there are some sarees made of different materials such as cotton, synthetic silk, netting etc. There is a blouse piece, can be short-sleeved, have no sleeves or be have long sleeves and there is one piece of material, which is usually 6 yards long (but it varies), which is wrap around the body in a particular according to what region of India you are from and what culture you belong to, however people now, do wear ways of wearing the saree.
Throughout India, there are many different cultures and languages spoken in each of its states, with people wearing the saree differently. The Tamil way of wearing the saree looks like this:
Different blouse styles
In the olden days, women who worked on the fields, to do farming, before and today, so they wear sarees but styled it in a way that makes it convenient for them to move and work in a comfortable way, so it appears as if they are wearing trousers. Also, women were trained in archery and other forms of defense so that they were able to protect themselves and so they would wear the sarees like this. The long shawl is wrapped around the body and tucked it in, whilst working.
Although these are not traditional Tamil outfits, they are worn by many Tamil women today as it is practical to wear. These outfits are more of a North Indian outfit, compared to the outfits mentioned above, which are South-Indian/North-East Sri Lankan Tamil outfits. There is a lot of different types of outfits like this with different names, such as Salwar Kameez, Anarkali as they differ slightly in shape etc.
The majority of Tamils are Hindu (Saivites; pray to Lord Siva) and so they wear poddus. Tamil girls who are unmarried wear black poddus (bindis), and married women wear red poddus and also put kungumum on their hairline, to symbolise they are married.
Women traditionally make a middle parting in their hair, plait it and put jasmine flowers in their hair.
In a traditional Tamil wedding, a bridegroom would wear a pure white silk (paddu) vetti and shirt with a hat.
Women wear two sarees. The saree in which a woman gets married in (ties the knot with her groom) is called a koorai saree, which is always red (it is an auspicious colour). They were a lot of jewelry.
In Christian/western weddings, rings are exchanged, but in traditional Tamil Hindu weddings, a necklace called a ‘Thaali’ is tied around the bride by the groom.
Kings and Queens
Tamil kings and queens, dressed magnificently with a lot of gold jewelry, silk outfits etc.
Kings wore loose trousers made of 6 yards of silk material. They wore a shawl on top, but as the climate is hot, they didn’t not cover themselves fully. They wore crowns, lots of jewelry and had a sword on them at all times, and shoes.
King Raja Raja Cholan
Queens wore lots of jewelry, a tiara, they wore a saree but they wore it in a way to may it look like trousers with a tube-type top and shawl.
From left to right: costume of a military officer, costume of a princess, costume of a prince and the costume of the King Raja Raja Cholan.
Costumes of a king and queen.
There are many Tamil films where the outfits worn by the king, queen, gods and royal court are shown, such as the film called Saraswathy Sabatham.
Bharathanatyam (பரதநாட்டியம்) is an ancient classical Tamil dance form, originating from the temples in Tamil Nadu, India. Dancers in temples, called Thevadasies would dance for the gods. This dance form has now been taken to the stage to be performed for shows etc. The creator of this dance form is Nadarajah, one of Lord Siva’s many forms.
Bharathanatyam dancers wear silk outfits, with a lot of jewelry that each have its own meaning e.g. they wear accessories called ‘chandran’ and ‘suriyan’ on their head, which is the sun and the moon. This dance form has many dances and most of them tell the many stories of the Hindu gods and ancient Hindu tales, through dance sequences, hand movements, facial expression etc.
Recently, almost all Indians wear the saree in the traditional Tamil way and the Tamil culture, costumes such as the half saree etc have been shown in many Bollywood (North Indian) films, such as Chennai Express, starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone. Deepika’s character was a Tamil girl from the state, Tamil Nadu in the film.
Also, in 2 States, a film adaptation of a book of the same name, a Tamil girl and a Punjabi boy from the two different states of India fall in love. Traditional Tamil clothes, music, dance etc is shown throughout this film as well.
The Tamil girl (played by Alia Bhatt) is seen wearing a traditional silk saree, whilst her mother wears the traditional silk saree and her father wears a white shirt and and traditional Tamil silk vetti.
The traditional clothing of Korea compared to the traditional clothes of the Tamil people are very different, as these two groups of people are from different parts of Asia and have a long rich history. All the different variety of clothes has its own meaning and purpose for different people and ceremonies of those two groups of people. However, there are some similarities in the hairstyle of women and also the long tops and trousers for men. Also, Hanbok for women consists of a long skirt, with an underskirt and a short-lengthened top, which is similar to the long skirt of the half saree and blouse of the half saree and full saree.
I enjoyed learning about Hanbok. It looks very elegant and was very comfortable to wear. I also found it very interesting to learn why the Korean people during the Joseon dynasty wore certain outfits and accessories. When I watch historical dramas and films, I will now understand why certain characters are wearing particular outfits.