Korea, one of the oldest continuous civilizations in the world, has 5,000 years of history.The current political separation of North and South Korea has resulted in divergence in modern Korean cultures; nevertheless, the traditional culture of Korea is historically shared by both states. While the historical links between Korea and China have resulted in extensive influences from China, Korea has managed to retain a distinct cultural identity.
A house should be built against a hill and face south to receive as much sunlight as possible. This orientation is still preferred in modern Korea. Geomancy also influences the shape of the building, the direction it faces and the material it is built of.
The traditional dress known as hanbok (한복, 韓服) has been worn since ancient times. The hanbok consists of a shirt (jeogori) and pants (baji). The traditional hat is called gwanmo and special meaning is attached to this piece of clothing.
According to social status, Koreans used to dress differently, making clothing an important mark of social rank. Impressive, but sometimes cumbersome, costumes were worn by the ruling class and the royal family. Jewelry was also used to distance themselves from the ordinary people. Traditional jewelry for women was a pendant shaped in the shape of certain elements of nature made of precious gems stones, to which a tassel of silk was connected.
Rice is the staple food of Korea. Having been an almost exclusively agricultural country until recently, the essential recipes in Korea are shaped by this experience. The main crops in Korea are rice, barley, and beans, but many supplementary crops are used. Fish and other seafood are also important because Korea is a peninsula.
Today, surasang (traditional court cuisine) is available to the whole population. In the past vegetable dishes were essential, but meat consumption has increased. Traditional dishes include ssambap, bulgogi, sinseollo, kimchi, bibimbap, and gujeolpan.