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I first visited Korea as an adult in January of 2001. At the time, it was the coldest winter Korea had in about 30 years. Having only lived in Texas and California, I was completely shell-shocked, to say the least, by the cold weather. I also spent most of the winter deathly ill with one cold or flu spell after another. Still, there were a few moments when I was able to enjoy the winter scene and marvel at its beauty. Among the novel sights? Snowmen!

Interestingly enough, cultural differences between Korea and the United States extend to snowman construction! The classic snowman construction I’m used to is a 3 part figure (head-torso-base), with round eyes, black buttons on the front and a carrot nose.

However, in Korea, snowmen’s bodies only have two parts (head-body). They also have different faces here. A typical Korean snowman has “straight features” through the use of little twigs. I generally see horizontal lines for the eyes and mouth, and a vertical line for the nose.

Regardless of culture, I think all snowmen are pretty cool! I still hate Korean winters with a passion (hey, you can take the girl out of LA, but you can’t take LA out of the girl…), but at least this little guy reminds me of some of its charm!