March 25, 2010

How Korea came to be...

How did it all begin? What are the roots of this nearly 4,500 year old culture? Oddly enough the son of god had something to do with it. 환인 (HwanIn) the heavenly king had a son 환웅 (HwanUng) who wished to live on Earth. He was granted the area of Korea to govern and came with 3,000 followers. HwanUng descended from heaven and touched down under a sandalwood tree on Baekdu mountain (near the China/North Korea border). The heavenly prince named this place 신시 (Shinsi; the city of god).

Soon after he met a bear and a tiger who both wished to become human. The heavenly prince told them to stay out of the sun for one-hundred days and eat only the garlic and wormwood which he provided. The two animals then retired to a cave. The tiger lacked patience and left the cave after a few days. The bear remained and twenty-one days later became the beautiful woman 웅녀 (UngNyeo). She could find no one to marry her. After a time the beauty visited the sandalwood tree and asked to be granted a child. HwanUng, moved by this act, temporarily transformed himself into a man and married her.

This union produced a handsome and wise son named 단군 (TanGun). In 2,333 BC TanGun founded the kingdom 조선 (Chosun) in modern day Pyongyang. He ruled until 1,122 BC and ultimately retired to his father's mountain and became a god. North Korea's leader claims to have found TanGun's relics and has erected a tomb.

North Korea's leader has also hatched a plan to lasso the moon.


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