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    People of Pyongyang - capital citizens

    People | Fashion | Military personnel in Pyongyang


    Koreans are very friendly people and most tourists have chance to experience Korean hospitality. Korea Konsult has been running tours to the DPRK since 2003. When we just started tours to the DPR Korea, people were a bit suspicious to foreign tourists but the today's situation is completely different. Koreans, especially in Pyongyang, now are much more relaxed with foreign tourists. Especially Korean children are very curious and react spontaneously when they see tourists, wave hands and shout happily. Koreans treat their children with special tenderness and call them "kings of the country".

    North Korea has a large working population: approximately 59% of the total in 2010. A growing number of women work in white-collar office jobs; they make up around 90% of workers in light industry and 80% of the rural workforce. Many women are now the major wage-earner in the family – though still housewife, mother and cook as well as a worker, or perhaps a soldier.


    Make-up is increasingly common in Pyongyang, though it is rarely worn until after college graduation. Chinese-made skin lotions, foundation, eyeliner and lipstick are available and permissible in the office. Long hair is common, but untied hair is frowned upon.

    Men's hairstyles could not be described as radical. In the 1980s, when Kim Jong Il first came to public prominence, his trademark crewcut became popular, while the more bouffant style favoured by Kim Il Sung, and then Kim Jong Il, in their later years, is also popular. Hairdressers and barbers are run by the local Convenience Services Management Committee; at many, customers can wash their hair themselves.

    Bright colours now quite usual in Pyongyang as being in accordance with a "socialist lifestyle". Pyongyang offers some access to foreign styles. The increasing appearance of Adidas, Disney and other brands (usually fake) indicates that access to goods from China is growing. Jeans have at times been fashionable, though risky – occasionally they have been banned as "decadent".

    Nowadays it is not unusual for Koreans to own a digital camera or smart phone which they use to take multiple pictures similar to all people around the globe. Still Koreans are not spoiled by the wave of new gadgets and electronic communication and prefer to meet each other in city parks, squares and restaurants. Thus they are less stressed, more laid-back and have time to socialize with their families and friends. People in Pyongyang like having picnics and get together in multiple city parks.

    Military in Pyongyang

    In contrast to common beliefs Military Parades in Pyongyang are not held regularly. Military Parades are held on special big occasions such as National Day (September 9) and sometimes on the Worker's Party of Korea anniversaries (October 10). Often military parades are replaced by civil demonstrations.

    As a rule foreign tourists are not allowed to attend military parades at Kim Il Sung Square. Sometimes our tourist groups are lucky to mix up with locals on the streets of Pyongyang and observe soldiers and military trucks returning from the parades. Usually the streets are full with locals cheering soldiers.