Korea's long history and varied influences have made its culture very unique and interesting. For the visitor to Korea, there are a plethora of wonderful traditional and modern performances, musicals, plays, exhibitions, art festivals and events to see throughout the year. There are a wide variety of Korean games and pastimes to experience and enjoy. Korea has many cultural heritage sites throughout the country and dozens of world-class museums that house wonderful examples of Korean art and ancient artifacts, as well as a diverse range of modern and international collections.
The Korean language is classified as a member of the Ural-Altaic family (other members of this family include the Mongolian, Finnish and Hungarian languages.) Until the 15th century, most documents were written in classical Chinese characters. In 1443, King Sejong, the 4th ruler of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), created a new writing system specifically suited to the Korean language. This script is known as Hangul. It is considered by many prominent linguists as the simplest and most logical writing system in the world.