Korea 101
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No You’re Not Allowed To Talk About Colonization

광복3Koreans rejoice on August 15th, 1945.

Unless you come from a country that was once colonized.

It’s like this: I had Stage 4 cancer, and miraculously came back to life after extensive surgery and chemo that took all my hair, health, and life. My boyfriend of 5 years also left me because he couldn’t handle the pain I was in. And then you say “Hey, you used to be overweight, now you’re all thin! Looking great, mate, you should totally get a better guy now, forget about that loser!”. I now reserve the right to slap you with my hand, which is studded with metal rings.

You can’t say “Yes, but Japan did bring modern law and railways, which really helped the Korean economy”. You can’t say “But now that Indians all speak English well and all, isn’t it better? You guys can all go to Silicon Valley and work, as soon as you get a job and a visa!”. You can’t say “You have French nationality even though you’ve never been to France? That is so cool! You should move to France, since life is better there!”.

The only person who is allowed to say “Well, cancer was tough, but it really helped me build character and be thankful for all the people who love me” is me. You don’t walk up to a girl with a bald head and IVs attached to her entire body in a recovery room and go “Hey, that was tough, but see, you’re alive and kicking now!”. You just, don’t say anything at all.

P.S: Maybe, just maybe, another ex-cancer patient is allowed to say that. But not in public.

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Internationally lost since 2000, Emily was born in Seoul, raised in India, and has been living and studying in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands since 2014. A translator and interpreter by profession, she enjoys talking and debating just about anything.

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