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Young South Koreans celebrate Lunar New Year in traditional style Updated: 2020-01-27 12:20:11 KST

Around this time of year, young customers fill hanbok rental shops looking for the perfect hanbok to wear during the holiday season.
And the popularity of fusion hanbok designs with trendy modern touches is on the rise.

"I've always wanted to try on hanbok. There are various types of hanbok, but I think fusion hanbok is particularly pretty, because it's more stylish and has shimmering designs."

"The modern hanbok designs are more comfortable and trendy, but still include the elements of traditional hanbok."

Local online shopping mall Gmarket says the demand for casual hanbok among South Koreans in their teens, 20s, and 30s was 19 percent higher last year than it was in 2016.

"A lot of young customers come during the Seollal holiday. They're mainly women in their teens or twenties. They visit palaces, hanok villages and other cultural heritage sites wearing hanbok."

The trend for traditional things has extended to food as well.
Gmarket says sales of hangwa traditional Korean confectionary to young people increased by 50 percent last year, compared to 2016.
Sales of tteok, traditional Korean rice cake also rose by 13 percent, and sales of traditional tea and drinks surged 40 percent.

"I have come to love tteok and hangwa these days. I didn't like it as much before, because the taste isn't very strong and I thought of it as something only elders would eat. But now I like the light taste, it's not too sweet, and I find it healthy."

An expert says the enthusiasm young people show toward traditional items is not that surprising.

"The young generation are used to the digital environment, which can be somewhat dry and inhumane, so they could be looking for humanity through traditional culture. Also, growing up in a more multicultural and diverse society can cause them to be interested in finding their own cultural identity."

The expert said that traditional clothes and food will likely remain popular.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.
Reporter : jhee@arirang.com
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