평양 아줌마도 스마트폰 열풍? Smartphone craze among Ajummas in Pyong-yang,North Korea

The mobile phone is becoming a central component of everyday life for many North Koreans and ajummas are not exceptional. According to Chosun ilbo, they have their own-designed mobile phone, Arirang, but Samsung’s Galaxy or iPhone is popular among people in North Korea. They think Samsung or iPhone have better quality than their ‘Arirang’ phone. And this newspaper reported that many of Pyong-yang (capital city of North Korea) ajummas own the smartphones. Also it reported that having Samsung’s Galaxy or iPhone symbolise wealth among these ajummas in Pyong-yang.

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North Korean ajummas took photos of fireworks during New Year in Pyong-yang city.

Image from http://premium.chosun.com/

I found this news report during my research this afternoon. And I couldn’t find any further articles about ajummas (or women) and smartphones in North Korea but it was interesting to read this news report about Pyong-yang ajummas and their smartphones.

I tried to find any Ajumma Instagram Star in South Korea but it was hard to find ajummas who are using Instagram in daily base. Maybe there will be a reason why ajummas (over 50) are hardly use Instagram to upload their photos compared with other younger ajummas. (I can find ajumma Instagram users easily but they’re mostly under 40s who are mothers have younger children (primary school kids). So it might be interesting to find why those over 50 ajummas aren’t using Instagram and then what’s their favourite photo apps and why do they choose those apps rather than using Instagram?

I think everyone is same and people got influenced from some culture or society. North Korea might be similar to other countries even though I don’t know about them very well. Here is a photo of women with her mobile phone in North Korea. This photo makes me to think about what popular culture or mobile phone culture again.


Image from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4040090

아줌마는 아니지만, my Mung!


우리 뭉이 그림이다. 뭉이는 오빠네 집에 사는 내 조카같은 귀염둥이 래브라도. 요즘 컴퓨터로 그림그리는 재미에 빠져 이것저것 그려보는 중인데, 아이패드에 에플펜으로 그리면 더 좋겠다는 생각이 들지만 (악마야 물러가라 ㅋㅋㅋ) 그래도 마우스로 느릿느릿 그려보는 것도 참 재밌다. 뭐 내가 미대출신도 아니고, 그렇다고 뛰어나게 그림을 잘그리는것도 아니지만 뭔 상관인가?

그냥 재밌게 그림을 그리면 그걸로 되는거지.

오늘은 아줌마 포스팅은 아니지만, 뭉이 그림을 올리고 싶어서 뭉이그림을 올려본다. 아줌마 얼굴을 시리즈별로 그려 올려보는 것도 좋을것 같다.

해야할 일이 참 많은데, 게을러진다.

Mung is my furry nephew lives in my brother’s house Melbourne. I’m very enjoying to play with a drawing app recently so I’m drawing anything almost everyday. I know it might be much better to draw on iPad Pro with an apple pencil but my iPad 2 is still working so…(yes I just wanted to purchase a new iPad!!! hahaha)

My drawing is not perfect and I just draw for fun but who cares? (: Today I won’t post ‘Ajumma’ related blog post but I wanted to put my adorable Mung’s painting on my blog. I’m thinking to draw a variety of Ajummas’ faces. So many things that I’ve planned to do are waiting for me and it is time to ‘DO’.

5-day market and our ajummas

I and my parents love going to 5-day market. 5-day markets (Oiljang Markets) are held every 5 days usually in the countryside of South Korea. In 5-day market, we can buy regional specialities that hardly found in a supermarket in my town. Especially, I love having local foods that local ajumma sellers cook with ingredients from their own farms.They look plain but the flavours of them are too beautiful for words.

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Dotorimuk (Homemade Achorn Jelly) Ajumma

I can meet so many ajummas in 5-day markets as well. Ajumma sellers bring and sell their harvests in this market to support their children’s education. And ajummas also purchase things they need in this market, too. These 5-day market is similar to the wash place in my PhD research, it is a kind of places where ajummas do social economy activities. Maybe I need to think more about the relationship between a 5-day market and our ajummas. But one thing that I can say is that 5-day market is another women’s place, especially place for ajummas.

Ajummas are waiting for their turn to extract the sesame oil in the mill

A portable mp3 players for the elderly people in Korea!


Portable mp3 players for the elders. These mp3 players contain more than 100 Korean pop songs especially for elderly people. (The most popular genre of music in these mp3 players is ‘trot’) These mp3 players are sorta a boombox mini for the elders in Korea. They sometimes listen their favourite songs without headset in public spaces. Hipsters!

They are cool.

They know how to enjoy their lives.


Mum’s style?


Mum’s style tote bags on 50% sale!!

Then, what is mum’s style?

엄마스타일 가방 세일문구. 그나저나 엄마 스타일은 과연 뭔가? 물론 엄마스타일 청바지 이런것도 있긴 하지만 저런 표현을 볼때마다 좀 그렇다. 그리고 너무 촌스럽다. 왜 항상 엄마 스타일은 촌스러운게 대부분인가? 엄마들도 최신유행 좋아한다.

엄마스타일…? 이런 표현은 뭔가 좀 그렇다.




얼마전에 티비를 틀어놓고 다른 일을 하고 있었는데, 꼬마 아이가 나와서 ‘오빠’ 라고 남자주인공을 부르자 남자주인공이 매우 감동받은 얼굴로 ‘너 지금 날 오빠라고 불렀니?’ 라며 손을 잡았다.

그러자 그 꼬마 아이가 하는 말이,

“아저씨는 멋있고 잘생겼으니까 오빠라고 부를거예요~”

라고 했다.

이 무슨 말인가?

아저씨는 뭔 죄인가?

오빠는 왜 아저씨보다 ‘better’인 것인가?

역시 아저씨도 아줌마와 비슷한 처지. 억울하다. 아저씨가 뭐가 어때서!!!!!

MINA2016 and smart ajumma

I just came back home. MINA (Mobile Innovation Network Australasia) 2016  was an amazing experience to meet other researchers and their fabulous works. I also presented my PhD project in MINA 2016 and I feel glad people who were there know who ajummas are and why ajummas need to be considered as smart ajummas today. 15 mins weren’t enough to talk everythinf about my project in detail, but thank  MINA, I could’ve shared my beloved research project with other researchers.


New blog entries about ajummas will be coming soon.





Kakao talk becomes a space of pre-rally against South Korea’s President

Hundreds of thousands of South Koreans have gathered Seoul last saturday demanding the resignation of President Park Geun-hye in one of the biggest protests in the country since its democratisation nearly 30 years ago. The rally continues almost everyday and Kakao talk encourages people to keep gathering together for the rally.


12/11/2016, image from <http://v.media.daum.net/>

The open chatting room of Kakao talk allows anyone can join the chatting room who have same interests. In this open chatting room, they share ideas, plan the rally and unite minds together. In other words, this mobile space (i.e. Kakao talk’s open chatting room) performs as a meeting room for pre-rally. Moreover, this chatting room enables people who don’t have rally companions to find like-minded people. Thus, Kakao talk open chatting room is like a bridge that connects people to people and further it brings them to participate in the rally at last. In addition, those participants are guaranteed anonymity as well.

Kakao talk leads a new type of assembly and demonstration culture in Korea. Through Kakao talk’s open chat room, people can actually participate in the rally and share their own ideas with each other. This means that, social media encourages people to take an active part in politics rather than just warching the situation on other media such as TV, News reports and etc.

Through using Kakao talk’s open charting room, Korean people are trying to find our hidden sovereignty together.

Ajumma shoppers at the market

I saw ajumma shoppers at a market today. Saturday market is always crowded with lots of ajumma shoppers. They come to market not only for grocery shopping but also sharing their lives with others at the market through face to face communication with others even if they never met before with each other. Market is one of communal spaces of ajummas like Digital Ppal-let-ter

I love seeing people at the market because I feel alive.


Cute ajummas 🙂


Chestnut season!