Children’s Museum of Houston | Heart & Seoul | Explore Korea
Heart and Seoul allows kids to discover the ways their lives in the U.S. are similar and different to children in South Korea. Developed alongside local Korean-Americans, academics from universities around North America, and families in South Korea, Heart and Seoul highlights important aspects of Korean culture to Korean children and their families including folktales, traditional ceremonies and customs, language, music, geography, and technology.
From visiting a high-rise apartment to hanging out in a K-Pop Studio, explore folktales, games and daily activities that show how values like respect for parents and elders; the importance of scholarship; loyalty to family, friends and community; and hospitality are all integral facets of 21st century Korean life. Explore traditional folktales and read personal stories told by Korean children as you discover time-honored cultural values and life in South Korea’s highly urbanized and technologically-advanced society.
Visitors: “Text” Korean kids questions about life in Seoul , “Perform” with K-Pop stars in a K-Pop studio, Check out a stop-motion animation studio, Kick, punch and block as you try taekwondo, Learn how to speak and write Hangul, Visit historical and famous sites on an interactive multi-user touch table as well as learn about different cities, landmarks, and local customs.
The growing popularity of all things South Korean, from fashion and film to music and cuisine, called “Hallyu” (the Korean Wave) is now on view. Discover an authentic modern-day Seoul: adorned with the sparkle of electronic billboards, K-Pop studio glitz, smartphones for all-over use, and tablets for learning the language. Traditional folktales, coupled with current day personal stories told by Korean children introduce visitors to time-honored cultural values that are still an integral facet of 21st century Korean life, including respect for elders; importance of education; loyalty; and hospitality.
Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea aims to bring modern-day South Korea to Houston. Koreans guide their lives by values rooted in Confucianism—respect for parents and elders; the importance of scholarship; loyalty to family, friends and community; and hospitality. The Heart and Seoul exhibit will use ancient folktales as well as current day personal stories told by Korean children to engage visitors in learning about these time-honored cultural values and life in South Korea’s highly urbanized and technologically advanced society.
K-Pop’s (Korean Pop) mainstream growing popularity, as well as Korean soap operas across Japan, Southeast Asia and the globe, represent only a minute reflection of the bustling, fast-paced, overwhelming, hip and trendy, mind-boggling, multi-sensory experience that is like living and growing up in South Korea. In Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea, five modern-day Korean kids will open their hearts and invite you to take an intimate look into their lives through their diverse interests, customs and ambitions, including their love of K-Pop and Korean cuisine, their habit of texting to communicate, and even their dreams of being accepted into a good college; their drive is what keeps them studying after school at “hagwon” (or cram school) until midnight! You’re invited to connect to the world’s “most wired country,” where there’s plenty of Wi-Fi and almost everyone owns a Samsung cell phone!
This 1,500 SF traveling exhibit is part of the The Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series. Heart and Seoul: Growing Up in Korea premiered nationally at the Children’s Museum of Houston and will then travel to eight cities within the next four years.