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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

the beauty of having a kid

I can’t say that Korea was seriously on my radar screen until very recently. And no, it has nothing to do with the two Koreas being all over the news these days, the rising tension in the Korean peninsula, and the looming international crisis.

It really has a lot to do with my teenage daughter, who out of nowhere and without any warning, became obsessed with anything Korean about four months ago. Overnight her bedroom walls shed the Twilight posters and quickly got covered with pictures of androgynous looking Korean pop stars in tight black leather pants and stylish haircuts, some of which are dyed blond! Then Korean pop music began streaming out of her television set, the laptop, and her iPod. Then she started watching Korean soap operas. Now, every time I come home from work I hear distressed women shrieking over one thing or another, usually a boyfriend or a husband, in Korean.

I learned to make kimbap (Korean style sushi). I cook a lot more rice than I used to, since now there is a Korean wannabe in the house who prefers eating rice out of a bowl with metal chopsticks, because this is how they eat in the Korean dramas. I am starting to accumulate some Korean vocabulary. Coincidentally, I share an office with two Korean ladies, so every morning I harass them with my anyonghaseyo yobo (hello honey), which makes them cringe in horror because yobo is a word used ONLY between a husband and wife, and here I am bastardizing a perfectly fine term of endearment with my relentless campaign to accommodate my daughter.

Interestingly, though, Korean current affairs were not included in the new obsession, unless they had to do with the latest gossip about this or that rock band or singer (SHINee, Rain. Colbert, SNSD, KARA, 2PM, Super Junior, f(x), and the list goes on and on). Until two months ago….when my daughter complained to me about the changes made in the Korean television programming (KBS world). Apparently, reality shows, music videos, and some sappy dramas were cancelled due to the sinking of a South Korean warship by North Korea. According to my daughter, North Korea had sunk a South Korean warship and 46 sailors died. That was in March; long before the investigation concluded that North Korea was indeed the culprit.

I have to confess that this was how I first heard about the attack on the Korean warship. From my Korean obsessed kid. I, the hard core news addict, knew nothing about it, even though I comb blogs and newspapers on a daily basis, trying to understand the world and form some kind of an opinion that is not too far-fetched from reality.

I swallowed my pride and told her that it was a common practice in some countries to change programming when disaster of such magnitude strikes. In Israel, too, some radio stations and the government-controlled television channel change their programming when war breaks out, when a major terrorist attack claims the lives of many, or on days of remembrance, I explained.

“But not for three weeks,” she insisted.

Oh well, girl, I think we’ll have to tough it out this time.

세상에 평화를~!
Peace on earth~!

1 comment:

  1. that is hilarious and fascinating all at once. How did she get turned on to this, do you know? I love it.