I spent a couple of good months in Seoul again recently and this is how it looked like:
(a translation of this article was published in the Korean edition of Newsweek on Monday April 29)
Last week the world chuckled when South Korea again made it into the entertainment and ‘bizarre’ sections of foreign media: in a beauty contest in Daegu all the faces of the contestants look eerily similar. ‘One dream, one face’, was one of the headlines on the contest that resulted in something that rather looked like a ‘best plastic surgery’ contest. What many foreign readers don’t realize is that this is far from funny. A great part of South Korean society is completely stuck in the uniform believe of ‘one face’: if you are different, there is no place for you.
A ‘big’ face with natural eyes, being gay, being fat, not having went to the army, having a Filipino mother, having a diploma from an unknown university. No matter how smart, brilliant or suitable you are for the job, a South Korean company will prefer to hire somebody without these ‘handicaps’, as they value all these non-relevant aspects to ridiculous levels. Recently there almost was a breakthrough to give South Korea the chance to start getting rid of forcing it’s citizens to model themselves after the one and only holy standard: a new anti-discrimination law. The UN Human Rights Council recommended South Korea to push forward the law, after which a group of politicians started the process.
How do you make a movie about life in North Korea? Walking around freely is impossible, so a group of film makers decided to make an animation film based on the book ‘Nothing to Envy’. Many refugees from North Korea talk about their personal experiences living in North Korea, drawing a picture of the daily reality in the country that is locked up in a vicious circle of fear and corruption. The film is financed through crowdfunding, you still can donate to become part of the story.
I won’t bother you here with videos of old popstars, North Korean fight songs, weird scenes, art, over the top K-pop, fashion victims, sketches, sport events, television moments, city sights and other everyday life from Korea. But from now on I will do that on my new blog ㅋㅋKorea. There I will regularly post the most fun, absurd, beautiful and fascinating things, straight from the web or my own camera. Have fun!
Before the cars enter the grid of the Korean Grand Prix next week, the most important race in Korea has already been held: the one against time. Four years ago the South Koreans received confirmation to host the Formula 1 race in 2010, but not even two weeks before the race the FIA did approve the new circuit. While the foreign press began to worry about the track, the Koreans always maintained confidence. Read more