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Quiz about Hanbok An Icon of Korean Style
Quiz about Hanbok An Icon of Korean Style

Hanbok: An Icon of Korean Style Quiz


The current popularity of Korean culture is not only about pop music and food. One of the aspects of Korea's rich cultural heritage that has recently acquired fame in the West is "hanbok", the traditional Korean costume.

A photo quiz by Team Phoenix Rising. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
LadyNym
Time
4 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
409,684
Updated
Jul 18 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
131
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
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Question 1 of 10
1. What is the rather self-explanatory meaning of the word "hanbok"? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Hanbok as clothing for both men and women can be traced back to the Three Kingdoms of Korea. What was the primary aim of this form of dressing? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The upper garment of the hanbok, the "jeogori", is worn by both men and women.


Question 4 of 10
4. The chima, baji and po are all hanbok garments that in English would be called skirt, trousers, and robe or overcoat respectively.


Question 5 of 10
5. Hanbok includes a wide range of accessories, such as headgear, shoes, and jewellery. Which of the following words refers instead to a key component of the traditional costume of another Asian country? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. One of hanbok's most striking features are its vivid, beautiful colours, chosen according to the "five colours theory" - based in turn on yin/yang theory. What do these five colours represent? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Ramie is another essential element of traditional Hanbok clothing. What is ramie? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What is the personal significance of patterns embroidered on hanbok? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. On which of these festive occasions would modern-day Koreans very probably NOT wear hanbok? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Although traditional hanbok is no longer used as everyday wear, for quite a few years modern Korean designers have been coming up with their own updated versions of this iconic clothing. One particular cultural phenomenon has had a major role in promoting modern hanbok on the global scene. Which one? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. What is the rather self-explanatory meaning of the word "hanbok"?

Answer: Korean clothing

The Korean root "han" (also transliterated as "gan") means "great" or "leader". Though unrelated to the word denoting a Chinese dynasty or ethnic group, it may be related to the title of "khan" used in Mongolia and other parts of Central Asia. "Han" appears in a number of words that describe Korea itself (as in "Hanguk", the South Korean term for the nominally unified nation), or various aspects of its culture - as in "Hangul", the Korean writing system, and "hanbok", which simply means "Korean clothing". In North Korea, where "han" is not used, this traditional attire is called "joseonot" - "Joseon" being the North Korean name for the country.

Though the clothing itself is believed to be over 2,000 years old, the word "hanbok" is relatively recent in origin, as it was first used in the late 19th century to distinguish traditional Korean clothing from Japanese- or Western-style clothing.

The photo shows modern reconstructions of hanbok worn in the past by men and women of various social statuses.

LadyNym hopes this question will sound meaningful as well as stylish.
2. Hanbok as clothing for both men and women can be traced back to the Three Kingdoms of Korea. What was the primary aim of this form of dressing?

Answer: ease of movement

Hanbok can be traced back to what is now northern Korea, northeast China and southern Mongolia. The basic structures of what became the traditional Korean form of dress were established during the Three Kingdoms of Korea (57 BCE to 668 CE). These fundamental structures of hanbok remain unchanged to the modern day. Hanbok is a broad church: it can be classified as everyday, ceremonial, and special dress, and also by gender, age and season. It does not matter which classification is warranted: all hanbok is grounded in the Korean penchant for the natural, the need for protection from the supernatural, and propriety and primary colours consistent with the Confucian dress code.

The photo depicts hanbok worn by Korean commoners, made of cotton, and in neutral shades.

The question was woven into the quiz by Phoenix Rising team member 1nn1.
3. The upper garment of the hanbok, the "jeogori", is worn by both men and women.

Answer: True

The jeogori is a jacket that covers the the arms and the upper part of the body. There are five components: the "gil" is the large section of fabric that makes up the majority of the garment, covering the back and sides, while the "git" is a band of fabric that covers the undercollar, and is removable. There are fabric strings called "goreum" that tie the jacket at the front. It is common for women's jeogori to have different colour cuffs (called "kkeutdong"). The sleeves are called "somae".

While the men's jeogori has remained mostly unchanged, the women's version has changed quite dramatically: the women's garment has shortened considerably throughout the centuries. Contemporaneously the jeogori is available in different lengths. Sometimes "danchu" (buttons) are used instead of goreum.

The child's jeogori shown in the photo dates from the 1940s, and was part of an exhibition on Korean decorative arts held in 2014-2015 at the Musée Guimet (National Museum of Asian Art) in Paris.

This question was written by Phoenix Rising team member 1nn1.
4. The chima, baji and po are all hanbok garments that in English would be called skirt, trousers, and robe or overcoat respectively.

Answer: True

"Chima", sometimes called "sang", is the skirt worn by women usually in conjunction with a "sokchima" (petticoat) - as shown in the photo. Over the course of history, various styles have been employed, such as striped, pleated, patch-work, and curved, panelled skirts. Typically, though, in more modern times they are made from regular rectangular panels that are pleated or gathered into a tight waistband, which also has goreum attached to fasten the skirt around the body.

"Baji" (worn by the child in the photo) are the equivalent of trousers though they are very loose-fitting; the term baji is used to denote any kind of trousers or pants. Baji are usually plain-coloured, and the waistband has a long goreum that functions as a belt.

"Po" is the generic term for an outer robe. There were two styles: the Chinese style was elaborate and expensive, and used mainly as court attire. This style faded as Korea tried to regulate luxury items. The Korean style of po was more utilitarian, and was used with a belt and goreum. "Durumagi" was a type of po used for protection against the cold.

This question was written by Phoenix Rising team member 1nn1.
5. Hanbok includes a wide range of accessories, such as headgear, shoes, and jewellery. Which of the following words refers instead to a key component of the traditional costume of another Asian country?

Answer: obi

"Obi" is the belt or sash used to tie a Japanese kimono, worn by both men and women. The three Korean words listed as incorrect answers all denote accessories that complement hanbok. The "jokduri" is a kind of coronet - with a shape vaguely reminiscent of a pillbox hat, and elaborately decorated - worn by Korean women on special occasions such as weddings. The "norigae" is a decorative pendant, which also has the function of a good-luck charm, generally hung from the goreum (coat strings) of a woman's jeogori. "Kkotsin", or flower shoes, are low-heeled, embroidered silk slippers that are traditionally worn by women; their masculine counterparts are named "taesahye", and are decorated with scroll designs ("taesamun").

The magnificent bridal outfits in the photo include jeweled jokduri.

LadyNym carefully accessorized this question.
6. One of hanbok's most striking features are its vivid, beautiful colours, chosen according to the "five colours theory" - based in turn on yin/yang theory. What do these five colours represent?

Answer: the five elements

"Obangsaek", the Korean five colours theory, is based on the Chinese theory of the five elements ("wuxing", or "Five Phases"). Each of the five elements corresponds to a colour: metal is white, water is black, fire is red, wood is blue, and earth is yellow. In Korea, hanbok fabrics were traditionally dyed with organic ingredients in naturally-occurring colours. These colours also had an important social function, indicating the status of the wearer. Commoners were only allowed to wear white or other subdued shades for everyday use - hence the nickname of "white-clad people" given to Koreans by their neighbours. On the other hand, the upper classes were able to wear a variety of colours, which were also tied to age or marital status. Children wore bright colours, while older people went for more muted hues; young, unmarried women wore red and yellow, and matrons red and green.

Another prominent feature of hanbok design with close ties to the natural world is the balance of angles and curves, with a graceful flow of lines that creates a sense of harmony and serenity. Though in present-day Korea colours may have lost their significance as indicators of social or marital status, modern hanbok designers still follow those basic aesthetic guidelines.

The costume in the photo features "jokagbo", the traditional Korean patchwork, as well as norigae.

LadyNym wrote this colourful question while trying to respect the natural balance of things.
7. Ramie is another essential element of traditional Hanbok clothing. What is ramie?

Answer: the fabric made from ramie plant fiber

From the nettle family, ramie (Boehmeria nivea) has been used in eastern Asia for over 6,000 years for the generation of fibers for use in clothing and textiles. Due to the extensive treatment required to extract the inner parts of stems containing the fiber from the outer, more woody component, ramie is used for select purposes - including creation of traditional hanbok clothing. The fibers provide strength, resilience, and a silky sheen, with many clothing items dating back over 1000 years still on display. Interestingly, these same properties, especially its great strength as a natural fiber, have resulted in ramie being used to make other objects - including the oars used by New Zealand sculler, Mahe Drysdale, when winning the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Many rolls of fabric - both ramie and silk - can be seen in the background of the photo.

This question was woven into the quiz by PR member, MikeMaster99.
8. What is the personal significance of patterns embroidered on hanbok?

Answer: to display the wearer's wishes

While embroidered patterns can represent the wearer's social status and societal role, their primary purpose is to display wishes. Flowers such as peonies embroidered on wedding attire represent the desire for wealth and honour. Lotus flowers are a symbol of hope, while bats or pomegranates demonstrate a desire for children. Popular wishes reflected in hanbok patterns include longevity, honour, wealth, and good luck.

There has been an element of elitism amidst this symbolism, with some patterns reserved for royalty or high-ranking officials, where the design reflected the wearer's role in society. Dragons, cranes, phoenixes and tigers are all examples of this.

The child's hanbok in the photo displays stunning flower embroidery.

Phoenix Rising's psnz stitched this question into the quiz.
9. On which of these festive occasions would modern-day Koreans very probably NOT wear hanbok?

Answer: informal party

Everyday use of hanbok by the Korean population went out of style in the early 20th century, when Western-style clothing became increasingly popular, and hanbok became associated with formal occasions. However, many people keep at least one piece of hanbok in their wardrobe, and wear it proudly as a wedding dress, on special anniversaries, or on public holidays such as Chuseok (a mid-autumn harvest festival often referred to as "Korean Thanksgiving") and Seollal (Korean Lunar New Year).

Another important occasion when hanbok is usually worn is "dol" (or "doljanchi"), a child's first birthday. Dol was of special relevance in the past, when child mortality in Korea (like in most other countries) was high, and the first birthday was an important milestone for parents and children. On this special occasion, the child wears a colourful, miniature version of hanbok called "dol-bok", which includes a hat ("gulle" for girls, and "hogeon" for boys).

People who do not want to buy their own hanbok can rent one from one of the many specialized stores that provide this service. Wedding hanbok are also sold on online stores such as Etsy, which offers an excellent selection of dresses, both traditional and modern in style, at affordable prices.

The lady in the photo is wearing a beautiful hanbok to visit one of the Five Royal Palaces of Seoul. Wearing hanbok grants free entrance to these historic buildings.

LadyNym wrote this question while admiring those beautiful clothes - so different from what passes for "fashion" these days.
10. Although traditional hanbok is no longer used as everyday wear, for quite a few years modern Korean designers have been coming up with their own updated versions of this iconic clothing. One particular cultural phenomenon has had a major role in promoting modern hanbok on the global scene. Which one?

Answer: K-pop

In South Korea, where modernity coexists with tradition, the younger generations are rediscovering hanbok, adapting the traditional Korean costume to 21st-century trends and lifestyle. These reinventions range from stylish, clean-lined clothing in natural fabrics, suitable for everyday wear, to edgy, glitzy street fashions.

In all the so-called "Korean wave" ("Hallyu"), the global popularity of South Korean culture that began in the 2000s, K-pop (Korean pop music) has been the primary vehicle for contemporary versions of hanbok. While many popular South Korean artists find inspiration for their look in Western fashion trends, others draw on their country's rich cultural heritage for their attire. The members of girl group Blackpink have appeared wearing modern reinterpretations of hanbok - with short skirts and midriff-baring jackets in rich, rainbow-hued fabrics - in a the video for "How Do You Like That", which drew the attention of worldwide fashion fans. The boy band BTS, on the other hand, introduced their own version of male hanbok fashion in the video for their song "IDOL", in which they sport black, embroidered outfits with long overcoats.

Among the many modern ambassadors of hanbok, designer Lee Young-hee (who passed away in 2018) deserves a special mention for her beautiful, elegant designs, which have been showcased in many high-profile fashion events around the world. This particular photo depicts some of Lee's contemporary hanbok creations, on display at an exhibition organized in 2019-2020 at the Musée Guimet in Paris.

Though not exactly a fashion buff, LadyNym does have an eye for nice clothes, and enjoyed writing this trendy question.
Source: Author LadyNym

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor kyleisalive before going online.
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