Poster inside the Ryanggang Hotel in Pyongyang. It's pretty self-explanatory, so not much to dive into here, but as you can see it is made in the unique design-style of the DPRK. The hotel did have Karaoke, although I never quite tried it despite being invited by some local military looking folks.

This does remind me of my first time trying Karaoke though - which, ironically enough WAS in the DPRK. It was during my 2nd visit in 2009. As a sort of farewell sendoff, on the last night we sang karaoke with our guides. I'll never forget it.

I looked at the different song books. "A-C", "D-F", "G-K" or something like that. And that was it. They had songs for half the alphabet and no more! It's the kind of thing that would only happen in a place like North Korea. Still, you don't need a full alphabet to have a good time and learn about different cultures.

One interesting thing to note is that karaoke is a Japanese word. Why is this interesting? Well, in North Korea, no one is hated more than the treacherous United States, the puppet South Korean government, and the evil Japanese. The Japanese colonial period from 1910-1945 of the Korean peninsula, during which time the colonial government took steps to destroy the Korean culture and language is what has garnered the hatred of the North Korean government.

In North Korea, the language is considered to be "pure" Korean, and any Chinese or foreign loan words have been replaced with Korean words. So when I see a poster advertising "Karaoke" and not the Korean word, Noraebang (노래방), which literally translates as "song room," I find it a bit interesting. And now, I hope you do too.

Tea, Coffee & Beverage Service poster for Karaoke.