Sunday, September 30, 2007

Repost: What the Hell is Wrong With Korea?

This is an interesting one which I think fits in pretty nicely into my "they're nowhere near being an international hub" line of posts.

This one is from Foreign Dispatches blog.

They make it so easy to point and laugh sometimes.

What the Hell is Wrong With Korea?

A fairly ordinary American (or possibly Canadian) girl posts a short and rather boring video on Youtube in which, while rambling on about nothing in particular, she mentions in passing that she dislikes Kimchi and finds the strong smell off-putting: nothing to get even the slightest bit excited about, right? Well, not if you're an oversensitive, ultranationalistic Korean, it isn't ... See the video which has even Korean newspapers up in arms for yourself.

Just read the angry responses to her video to see just how brittle the supposed self-esteem of so many Korean "patriots" really is: it would simply be inconceivable that people from, say, Japan*, the UK, France or Iceland would bat an eyelid if someone confessed to disliking natto, marmite, escargot or hákarl, and the other side of the coin to that overblown nationalism which Koreans are so partial to is a ridiculous oversensitivity to even the most minor perceived slights from the most insignificant of sources. This incident is even more pathetic than the repeated bleatings about that pile of guano Koreans like to call "Dokdo": a nation whose newspapers can work themselves into a blather over the passing comments on kimchi of a single foreign girl barely out of her teens is one with a massive chip on its collective shoulders; I know I'm repeating myself here, but there is something outright pathological about Korean nationalism.

*Note, by the way, the complete lack of angry responses by Japanese viewers to what she has to say about the country's cockroaches - a far less flattering thing to talk about than finding the smell of kimchi off-putting ...

PS: Take a look at the enraged Korean reaction to this kid's review of the near universally-panned "D-War."

One choice example:

Hey nigga! I can't see you boy! where are you? Whole black shit on screen, but sounds like some african boy. Where are you nigga?
Classy, isn't it? But that's what comes with idiotically over-identifying yourself with everything done by anyone who shares a passport with you - you find yourself feeling driven to "defend" even complete dreck by resorting to racial insults. To be fair, though, this time quite a few other Koreans make responses which show that the ultranationalist idiots don't speak for all of Korea.
It's just really sad and because this is a nation with a lot of promise. But if they have to be up in arms anytime someone has something to say about their culture, society or food then they have a lot more developing to do. However, that development needs to be in their society. Why is it that Koreans can level all sorts of criticisms at my country but let someone say they don't like the smell of kimchee or that D-War sucks and their oversensitivity send them into mad rants.

One girl thinks kimchee smells and said something about it on YouTube and almost everyone thinks D-War sucks.

As this is a repost, I've turned comments off. Please, take your feedback over to Foreign Dispatches.

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