Hey guys, how’s life going on your side? It’s Glasses-Kun here~
It’s the first of August here, and I thought this would be a nice time to do some reflection. So here we go~
*Warning. If you don’t want to read some heavy stuff and just want to find more about translation, just keep scrolling to the bottom.*
I’ve encountered numerous people who were like,”Oh cool, you are a Korean!” through my international school, church, part-time jobs and etc. But to be frank, I didn’t really get why some individuals make it sound as if I should feel happy to be a Korean.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m fine with the fact that I am a Korean. And to a certain extent, I can see why some foreigners might think being a Korean is pretty cool. In the last several years, Korean culture has been attracting lots of interest worldwide. Korea’s beautiful girl K-pop groups(Ex.Girl Generation, Red Velvet, Bae Suzy are great. Sorry, I digress), handsome K-pop boy groups(Ex.BTS.), foods, entertainments(Ex.Running Man), movies(Ex.Train to Busan) and more.
But while Korea has its charms, it also has its flaws. As someone who suffered from these shortcomings during childhood, I can’t help but have slight aversion to moments when someone speaks of Korea as if it’s a paradise.
The main drawbacks in Korea that I’ve experienced myself are Korea’s education system and bullying that happens inside it. Korea’s education system seems to determine a student’s value and future(no exaggeration here) through his/her academic scores. As a result, this kind of environment causes the children and parents to place academics above everything. Youth? Romance? Friendship? Sport? Pfft, kids, just put them aside for now; if you don’t study, you will have no job and no future. This is what I was told when I was in my kindergarten.
When I was in the 2nd year of my elementary school, I was already daily studying until 1am. Morning to afternoon would be spent at my school, and the rest of my time until about 8-9pm would be spent at academic institutions. Occasionally, when I managed to come home early, I would have my dinner with my grandparents and watch TV. Fictional works(western movies, Japanese+Korean animations) had provided me escapism, which helped me and my friends to hold onto our sanity. If it weren’t for them, we would probably have broken down……..
(But these challenging experiences helped me grow. You will see how by the end of this post).