All posts tagged: Politics

Parallel 38/Part I

This is part one of three in a series I wrote while watching the Inter-Korea Summit broadcast on JTBC. Parallel 38/Part I It is only natural for me to be split Two ways It started when foreigners split the country of my mother and my father Two ways Took a yardstick and swung it across Arbitrary lines of their own science And called it Peace Order Necessary Told us we were free To run around in our little divided up cage Asked us to play nice and to obey In return we would get Democracy Freedom Reparations For what they did to us, raping our souls and pitting us against one another Threw money and milk and honey our way Put their feet up Told us This is freedom You have newspapers You have shipyards the size of mountains You have free elections and banks and delegations in The Hague Leaving out the part where they Split up mother and daughter, brother and sister, grandfather and grandson Dug up trenches along the heart of our …

The legacy of Kim Bo-mi, South Korea’s first openly lesbian student president

  Interview with Kim Bomi, 26 December 2015 Video from HuffPost Korea This is a follow-up post to my previous post on Kim Bo-mi’s election at Seoul National University (November 2015). Kim, the first openly lesbian student president at Seoul National University and in the country, discusses her coming out prior to launching campaign activities as both a symbol of resistance towards the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” atmosphere in South Korean society as well as to be true to herself. Her primary concern before making the decision to come out to the public was on how her family would be impacted by her decision, since everyone, not just her friends and family, would be able to know that she was lesbian. But in the end, Kim decided that it was worth taking the risk. She hoped that her example would encourage those who wanted to be true to themselves, while acknowledging that those who chose to keep their private lives private should have the right to do so – and it seems that she has …

What We Call “Tin Attitude” In Korea

A tin pot boils up but also cools down in a second, making it ideal for cooking and eating at a fast pace. It’s also very cheap compared to other metal alloy products. Koreans employ the term “naembi geunseong” (냄비근성) to criticise the hot-headedness and emotionality of their own people. We get emotional and all egged up about something, but as soon as it loses its novelty we forget all about it. We lose our sense of logic and rationality, and resort to ad hominem attacks. When serious crimes are reported, people take the issue (too) personally, and yell “This is wrong! Who is responsible?!” which quickly amounts to “Down with the mayor! / President! / chairperson / head of ministry in charge!” “This country is so backward, my god, we should all be ashamed to call ourselves a developed nation!” and “Korea is a bad country!”. This attitude is displayed by the people, the media, the politicians. We all boil up, and then all cool down. Then we forget. On April 16th, a ferry carrying more …