Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Noraebang (노 래 방)

Upon sending an awesome picture on kakao to a number of folks back in the US of A I learned something terrible.

Said Awesome Picture
No one knew what a Noraebang ( ) was!!!!

Since this is such a huge part of the culture here I realized that I must explain it to all of the folks back in the good ol' US of A.

Now, ‘norae’ ( ) means ‘singing’ and ‘bang’ () means ‘room’.  So, ‘Noraebang’ ( ) means ‘Singing Room’.

If you’re an anime or manga fan you already know that the Japanese do Karaoke (カラオ)different than we do in the US of A. 

Instead of going onto a stage, in front of your friends and lots of strangers, and being publically humiliated you get to do it in a private room, surrounded by only those people that know you.

Here in Korealand it’s done the same way.

Quoted from the Great Wiki:
      South Koreans generally use another term - 노래방 (Noraebang/NRB), which translates into "Song Room". Norebangs typically have a number of private rooms ranging in size from four seats to upwards of thirty.
     There are usually two microphones, a book containing the names and artists of the songs, and a remote control for the karaoke machine. The remote controls allow the users to search for songs by name, artist, or country. The song selection available typically includes those from multiple languages.
     In South Korea, karaoke is very popular for all ages. According to statistics collected in 2009, there are 35,684 song rooms in Korea with an average of 1.9 million people participating each day.[11]     The pricing varies dependent on the size and location of the room but the average cost ranges from around 10,000₩ to 20,000₩ per hour (1,000₩ = approx. $1 USD).
     There are also "Coin Norebang" which translates into "Coin Song Room". The coin norebangs are usually used by teenagers and are usually located in Korean video arcades and can even be found on trains. Instead of paying hourly, the machines allow you to sing one song, upon your selection, with the insertion of a coin (the prices may vary from 200₩ to 500₩).
     Most norebangs sell food and alcohol. Also, many adults in South Korea use the norebangs to sober up after drinking

We go as a group and rent a room that comes with party lights, couches, a table, two microphones, tambourines, a karaoke machine, and sometimes a bathroom.

Then we can order food or drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and proceed to sing until our voices die or we collapse in exhaustion. 

Which is pretty much what we did on Monday night.

Monday was Claire’s birthday so we went to a delicious chicken restaurant and then off to a Noraebang ( ) for the rest of the night.

It was a good night, but I didn't get home until late.  So, I was rather exhausted by the end of the day on Tuesday.


Casey snuck rum and coke in to the restaurant....

Playing Smoke and Fire

More Smoke and Fire

Side Dishes at the 노 래 방


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