Hip Hop Nation

09 Aug 2009
Posted by Jordan
Jordan's picture

Korea is fairly new to the world hip hop scene. But when Koreans started b-boying they did it in typical Korean fashion: without reserve, determined to become the best. And now they are. The best. "Battle of the Year," a tournament often called the World Cup of break dancing, takes place annually in Germany. Out of the past seven years Korea has won four times. The other three years they were runner up. America, the mother of hip hop, has by contrast won the tournament twice in nineteen years.

This is all a lead in to say that while we were in Busan this last week we stumbled upon an international hip hop competition taken place on the beach. At one point it was raining pretty hard, so it was like seeing Step Up 2 live; the Koreans were ready with ponchos for everyone, so the show went on unfazed. One thing that  surprised me about the competition was the number of girls involved, including an all-female Korean crew, which I thought was great (hopefully their parents think the same). Here's a little highlights video:

Does anyone know where Croacia is? For the life of me I couldn't find it on the map...

For more about break dancing, hip-hop, and Korea's dominance, I would highly recommend the film Planet B-Boy.

To Busan and Back

06 Aug 2009
Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

Jordan and I spent the last week traveling in and around Busan, Korea's second largest city (with a population of about three million).  We spent the first day visiting Jordan's old friend Ben in Ulsan, a town about an hour away from Busan (home to Hyundai) and his wife Na-Young and their son.  They were nice enough to show us around the city and take us to a temple out in the country.  We had a very enoyable day with them. 


In Busan highlights included pointing to things in the fish market I would not eat:


Watching the other tourists enthusiastially point at the things they wanted to eat:


We also went to famous Haeundae beach and swam with thousands of our friends. 


The big aquarium on the beach was also great, it was more impressive than our guide book led us to believe and some of the tanks had creative embellishments.


We also enjoyed lots of great shopping in the neighborhood around our hotel.


In the end I didn't want to leave Busan as it reminded me of Hong Kong with the large ships sailing in the distance, the lush, forested mountains coming down to meet the beach and the busy streets filled with people and market stalls.  Back home in the Dream Hub things are quiet and hot.  Jordan has finally gotten a video game to work after a month of trying, but hopefully he'll pull himself away to post video of the hip hop festival we saw one evening at the beach in the rain.  And I'll spend the next week or so working on a scrapbook of our trip.  You can see the rest of our pictures here