- On October 5th, Overwatch’s D.Va Hanbok skin was awarded the ‘Hanbok Love’ certificate by the Korea Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism for its contribution of spreading the beauty of the traditional Hanbok to more than 40 million players around the world.
Hanbok Love Certificate
The love certificate is essentially a letter of appreciation and thanks given out by the Korea Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism. The certificate is solely given by the government to those who have spread Hanbok in some way too foreign countries. The passing of this certificate is often done in the form of a ceremony. For the awarding of D.Va’ Hanbok Love Certificate, the event took place in the Changdeokgung Palace, one of the most famous symbols of South Korean culture and history. The event itself is also hosted during the “Hanbok Culture Week”, where hanbok is celebrated through fashion shows and parades.
What is Hanbok?
A hanbok, or Chosŏn-ot, is a traditional Korean dress for semi-formal or formal attire to be worn during traditional occasions, such as festivals, celebrations, and or ceremonies.
It is characterized by its use of vibrant colors, its simplicity, and lack of pockets. Although the term itself (hanbok) literally translates to “Korean clothing”, today Hanbok usually refers to the clothing worn during the Joseon dynasty period. The day during which D.Va was awarded the certificate, “Hanbok Day”, was only recently created. In 1996, the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism created the day to help encourage South Korean citizens to wear hanbok.
The Award Ceremony itself
According to Blizzard’s Korean website, the ceremony took place on October 5th (Saturday) at the Changdeokgung Palace. Amongst those at the palace due to receive awards, the popular K-pop boy band BangTan Boys (BTS) was also in attendance.
“Blizzard was recognized for its contribution to spread the beauty of the traditional Hanbok to more than 40 million of Overwatch players around the world, through Overwatch’s Korean-style skin Palanquin D.Va” – Blizzard
Overwatch Palanquin https://t.co/79G7JkFN62 Skin has been awarded ‘Hanbok Love’ certificate by the Korea Ministry of Culture Sports and Tourism!
오버워치 꽃가마 디바 스킨이 대한민국 문화체육관광으로부터 한복사랑 감사장을 수여받았습니다!
— Naeri x 나에리 (@OverwatchNaeri) October 7, 2019
The one to accept the award in the place of the development team was Lee Hak Sung, a technical artist who contributed to the creation of the D.Va Hanbok skin in Overwatch.
“On behalf of the Overwatch Development Team, [I am honored] to receive this prize.’ […] ‘As a Korean artist, [I will] continue to promote Korean culture to the world through Blizzard games such as Overwatch.” -Lee Hak Sung
The certificate was specifically given as “thanks to Blizzard for promoting South Korean culture to the Overwatch player base with its South Korean hero D.Va, the map Busan, and other features”.
As many pointed out on tery2003’s post on the r/Overwatch subreddit titled “Palanquin D.Va Skin has been awarded ‘Hanbok Love’ certificate by the Korea Ministry of Culture Tourism!”:
- “What does that even mean and why now?” -u/overflowingluck
It’s not a bad question considering the skin in question is a little over two years old now, with its release being back in 2017. The most logical explanation for the lateness of this has to do with bureaucracy, as Reddit user JunWasHere points out in the same post; “This takes serious cultural knowledge to assess, and is presumably a low priority thing. So the request for assessment probably had to be resubmitted several times or end up at the bottom of a LONG list of other random nonsense. Then, even after approval, probably took several months to get to the desks of the people in charge of the decision. It’s more crazy it got the certificate at all.”
And then on top of that lateness, the official Korean Blizzard news website took two days to have a post on it. Link to the site: https://playoverwatch.com/ko-kr/news/23181147
Regardless of all the “lateness” happening, it’s a great moment Blizzard, Overwatch fans and especially for Lee Hak Sung.