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IN Wierd ON 15 Jun, 2015
North Korea has always been a little different from the world in many aspects. The political structure and working, traditions, culture and lifestyle of the common people is divergent from the rest of the world since quite a long time. The everyday objects of North Korea also are slightly different from ours, as expected.
David Guttenfelder, an American photographer has taken photographs of many such objects in his more than 40 trips to the country since 2000. He's the chief Asia photographer for the Associated Press. He was awarded TIME Magazine's 'Instagram Photographer Of the Year' in 2014.
Hedgehog spines are basically modified hair of hedgehogs. They are made of Keratin protein and serve the purpose of protection from other animals to the hedgehog. North Korea made toothpicks from the spines and patented them as North Korean artifact 175.
Taedonggang is the leading beer in North Korea. The brewery producing the beer was acquired by the North Korean Government in 2000. Germany-made brewing computerized control technology is used to brew the beer. The brewery also produces a brand of rice beer, black beer and a draught apart from Teadonggang. The beer is a North Korean artifact 174.
The swim suits as well as regular clothing for both men and women in North Korea have been a bit unconventional in comparison to that of the Western countries and most of the Asian countries as well. David Guttenfelder captured a photograph of a shop selling Women's swimwear and other dresses in Pyongyang, the Capital city of Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Pine Mushroom fermented wine is the traditional Korean wine. This liquor made from raw pine leaves no headache or hangover! Raw pine is fermented at low temperature for a long period to keep the scent intact after fermentation. The alcohol content in the wine is about 13% and is slightly stronger and sweeter than European wines, but is not at all expensive.
The music record is a North Korean Artifact 173. The music album includes song titles 'We Think Of The Leader Day And Night' , 'We Will Always Remember Our Leader Who Underwent All Kinds Of Hardships' and 'We Are Yearning For Your Sunny Smile'. The album is quite famous around the world. Many volumes of the same edition have been released in the past years.
Koryolink is the only 3G service provider in North Korea and is a joint venture between 'Global Telecom Holding', an Egyptian company and the state-owned Korea Post and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC). The service provided by Koryolink is totally different for the locals and foreigners in the country, which doesn't link them at all. The air cards are sold in Pyongyang at Koryolink booth at the airport. Only making and receiving international calls is allowed. International texting is banned on the service. The card costs 50 Euros and provides service of 30 Euros for 14 days. Similar data plans are offered by the company. 0.2 Euro/ minute is the local calling and call receiving rate.
Even the dolls in North Korea couldn't escape the Military effect. The dolls here are a good option of souvenirs, dressed up as Military guards or Local Cross guards. These are available in various souvenir shops around the capital city of Pyongyang.
This set is produced by Pyongyang Daily Necessities Factory in North Korea. The factory is known to produce a variety of consumer goods. The portable set includes a case, a toothbrush and a toothpaste. The case is designed to be used as a handle. This model is quite popular in the country as both the production and selling cost is lesser in comparison to other similar products in market. The Pyongyang Daily Necessities Factory also produces antibiotic toothbrushes with nano-materials.
The manual was published in 2002 which included lessons on basic operations like drafting and sending an e-mail, creating an Excel file, how to connect a printer and creating photo calendar using family photos. Though computer is more of a privilege in North Korea and all the Personal computers are registered in nearby police stations. Moreover only a small group of Government officials is allowed to use the 'real' Internet. The locals have access to a local intranet, namely 'Kwangmyong' which is 24*7 monitored by the Government and any illegal activity is immediately monitored and acted upon.
This tea brand was launched by the Mangyongdae Health Food and Drug Factory and is known to vanish headache and hangover. The tea is made from Haejong tea leaves and is also known to be a liver booster. The tea packs are easily available around North Korea in sachets weighing six grams. The note written on the packet reads 'Haejong' tea activates the alcohol-dissolving ferments, reduces drunkenness after boozing and chases hangover, headache, dizziness, lack of appetite and smell in the mouth.'
The Jon Chon Match Factory is a factory acquired by the DPRK, the Democratic Public's Republic of Korea. David Guttenfelder bought this packet of matches at a roadside rest stop, about a half day drive east of Pyongyang.
After the failure of Unha-2 and Unha-3, North Korea attempted another space orbital launch on 12th of December, 2012 with Unha-3 Unit 2. The rocket was launched from Sohae. DPRK celebrated the successful launch by sending cards to the officials of country.
The pin is another North Korean artifact numbered 170. Similar pins featuring the National flag are featured for sale to foreign visitors.
Most of postage stamps of North Korea are printed with the photos of their war heroes and weapons in their honor.
Major hotels in North Korea provide their visitors a welcome kit including stationary items, a sewing kit, a menu, a pen and a laundry checklist and a brochure highlighting the hotel's facilities.
The current currency of the country is North Korean Won. The won is issued by the Central bank of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. One won is divided into 100 'chon'.
The boarding pass was of an Air Koryo flight which was carrying journalists to cover the visit of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The plane took flight from Pyongyang, carrying journalists in Economy class.
The book was published in 1983. It includes in-the-field guidance to journalists, particularly the ones of North Korea by Kim Jong-il. He was the Supreme Leader of DPRK from 1994 to 2001. One of the chapters in the collection on craft of photojournalism and is titled 'Press the Shutter When You Are Sure of Success.'
The Korean Demilitarized Zone, known as DMZ is the strip of land dividing the Korean Peninsula into North and South Korea respectively. It runs 160 miles in a stretch, is 2.5 miles wide. The biggest irony is, despite the name 'Korean Demilitarized Zone', it is the highest militarized International Border of the World.
The Tower of The Juche Idea is a monument in Pyongyang city and was built to commemorate the 70th birthday of Kim Il-sung, and is based on the ideology of 'Juche'. Juche is the official political ideology of North Korea. Juche stands for 'self-reliance' and states that an individual is 'the master of his destiny' and the countrymen should act as the 'masters of the revolution and construction'.
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, a mass military parade was held on Kim Il-sung Square on 27th July, 2013. It was with the Korean Armistice Agreement between the United Nation's Command and North Korean People's Army, along with Chinese People's Volunteer Army that the Korean War came to an end. The agreement was made on July 27,1953 to achieve 'final peaceful settlement' between North and South Korea. The settlement is yet to be achieved.