Winter Time in North Korea

People living in the midlands of Switzerland are suffering sometimes from the numerous foggy days in winter. If only the sun would shine again!

North Korea is quite different: The sun is shining there during many days, from the early morning to sunset. The sky is deep blue. The more one goes north the more icy and windy days one can experience. After the intense monsoon rains in summer it rains or snows very rarely. All the green plants are dried and frozen. Tourists from abroad sometimes are astonished because of the brown landscapes. However, it is quite normal for this region!

Now people can profit from the harvests in summer and autumn. Are there enough provisions for the long winter season until the new harvest is ready?

For the household people tradionally conserve cabbage seasoned with much chili, but also many other kinds of different vegetables: radish green, leek, and onions, pumpkins, and maize are dried. It is a challenge to prevent potatoes from freezing. In the very northern part of Korea the soil gets frozen until a depth of one meter, so there is an urgent need of isolated warehouses or cellars.

The children do not bother so much – they go to school in the morning with thick layers of cloths on and slide, during their spare time, on their „sledges“ over the (r)ice fields. Movement produces warmth. In the houses it is not as warm as we Europeans are used to. Small houses as there are in the countryside or in the outskirts of the towns are heated from the kitchen: The smoke of the fire for cooking is lead under the soil of the living room before leaving the house through the chimney. So the soil is warmed comfortably. Most of the housing blocks have an electric soil heating which should produce enough warmth. Because of the lack of energy the flats stay uncomfortably cold. Electric bed covers are the solution. They do not need so much energy.

Those who can see the beauties of the landscape are dazzled again and again about the different shades of brown of the numerous hills, about a Korean roof forming a harmonic curve, about the different colours of the ice …

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