Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years

Living in Wonju South Korea, These Many Long Years: Version 2.0!

Friday, September 30, 2011


One thing that has been written about extensively in the waegosphere is the semi regular appearance of Nazi-themed bars and TV commercials in Korea.

I was reminded of this when I read about a school in Thailand that recently caught international news for a weird rally featuring Nazi imagery.

Generally, justification relies on the over all aesthetic appeal of Nazi paraphernalia.  The obvious irony is that those glorifying the image are the same people who would have been forced to work in mines or used as guinea pigs under a Nazi regime.

You have to wonder just what is being passed off as education when this kind of thing happens.

My take?  I do believe Korea has come a long way is downplaying the extreme simplistic nationalism that used to be found at the core of education.  From what I hear, students are no longer being taught that the best apples come from Chungju and the best rice from Icheon, and that Korea is the only country with four distinct seasons.  This is all good. 

There is more of an acknowledgment of real Korean history, instead of regurgitating myths created by Japanese / Western educated Korean intellectuals involved in nation building back in the 1920s and 30s.

The country still has a way to go though.  Teaching a distinction between patriotism and ethnic nationalism would be a good first step.  But it'll take for the next crop of twigi kids to come of age and start demanding their rights as well as a dying off of the old school for it to happen.

As long as the world economy doesn't collapse and we don't see complete social disintegration that is.  If that happens all bets are off.

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