THE FRENCH philosopher Pierre Sansot says in his book "Du Bon Usage de la
Lenteur (The Meaning of Living Slowly)" that slowness whispers to us to let our
souls breath by walking around peacefully and taking a tranquil rest. Tea has
played a significant role as a symbol of this so-called well-being life style
because the process of making and drinking tea requires calmness and composure.
But these days, people only know about drinking tea, not about the process of
making it: the traditional custom that embodies the real meaning of drinking
tea. It is called dado, the tea ceremony.
Dado refers to
the whole process of making tea. Generally, it starts with picking and infusing
tea leaves, followed by boiling them, straining the liquid, and finally serving
it in a cup and offering it to another person. There are various kinds of dado,
depending on to whom the tea is served, and their processes differ slightly.
There is a misconception that dado is originally a Japanese
custom, but this tradition started in China in the 8th century and then spread
into Korea and Japan. China and Japan's dado have unique characteristics in
terms of ideology. In Japan's hwakyung, based ideology, dado pursues
peace and accord. To pursue harmony with all things including nature, animals
and human beings, it adheres strict, polite rules and emphasizes formality.
Meanwhile, China's dado is based on kumduk ideology. It pursues frugal,
good-natured characteristic and tries to make tea into a sublime art form.
In Korea, the origination of dado can be found in the Shilla
Dynasty, used for the education of chivalry. Korean traditional dado was
improved and used in the nobles' culture in the Goryeo Dynasty and in temple
culture during the Joseon Dynasty. Throughout the Joseon era, dado was almost
abolished because of the restraints of Buddhism, but during the 19th century,
thanks to the monk Cho-hee who wrote "Dongasong," a book on dado, it was
re-absorbed into the common people's culture and has ever since been revised and
improved. "Korean dado's ideology can be classified as joongjung ideology, which
pursuits moderation. With it, ancestors tried to overcome the desire for fame
and riches," explains Park Kwon-hum, Chairman of The Tea Union.
Presently, in Korea, many people preserve the traditional dado or a modified
version of it. The Tea Union has contributed to the improvement of traditional
dado since 1979, the year of its establishment. "We have been running The Korean
Dado Institute from 1993 in order to foster the practitioners of dado. Through
dado, we are trying to inherit the spirit of ancestors," says Park. At Yonsei
University, a dongharee named Kwan-Sul-Cha-Hoe, established in 2000, is
doing various events related to dado including workshops and demonstrations of
dado, as well as tea time. Also Sookmyung Women's University Korean Food
Institute offers courses for prospective modern dado professionals such as "Tea
Therapists" and "Tea Consultants."
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"By learning dado, we can
achieve mental maturity and stability. It teaches us that nothing should be
either extravagant or lacking. This is the grand attraction of Korean dado,"
says Woo Jae-joon (Soph., Dept. of Computer Science), the president of
Kwan-Sul-Cha-Hoe. As he says, Korean dado deserves to be preserved due
to its beneficial instructions for the modern world on how to lead a composed
and harmonious life. The most important aspects of dado are not in its process
but in having a tranquil and balanced mental state. The overall appeal of
tranquility in this chaotic modern world helps this ancient Eastern tradition
maintain its relevance.
: It's usually called green tea.
It? famous for anti-oxidants.
: A tea mixed
with Omija which is composed of five tastes. It? good for preventing
: Tea- similar to Silon-tea. It?
helpful for reducing cholesterol and
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