Extra! Korea

August 9, 2009

Will new TV drama “Tamra, the Island” have a positive portrayal of foreigners?

Filed under: expatriates, rapid cultural change, television — extrakorea @ 9:01 am

There’s a new TV drama called “Tamra, the Island” in which an Englishman becomes stranded on the island of Cheju and gets to know one of that island’s haenyeo (famous divers who catch shellfish). The Englishman is portrayed by a Frenchman, and his hair seems to be dyed platinum blonde, in accordance with local stereotypes of Europeans. But those are minor quibbles, and hopefully, the drama will be the first positive (or, at least, neutral) portrayal of a foreign man on television in a very long time.
The haenyeo will be played by actress Seo Woo. Wait a minute, is that the same Seo Woo from the movie Paju (파주), which the Grand Narrative mentioned once? Furthermore, is it the same actress who starred in this unforgettable commercial? From spanking her own ass over the ecstasy of ice cream to starring in a possibly groundbreaking drama, she’s come a long way, baby. (Assuming that is her.)

August 4, 2009

Korean doctors claim to have cured a diabetic woman

Filed under: health, science — extrakorea @ 11:08 am

A group of South Korean doctors at Inha University Hospital claim to have cured a non-obese diabetic woman in her fifties by removing part of her small intestine, including her duodenum.
They plan to publish the results in medical journals.

August 3, 2009

Human rights activists helping Indian who was victim of racial discrimination

Filed under: legal issues, multicultural society, rapid cultural change — extrakorea @ 2:12 pm

The Korea Times brings us the story of Bonojit Hussain, an Indian research professor at Sungkonghoe University. While riding a bus with a Korean female friend, he and his friend were continually harassed by a Korean man, Park, who said things like, ““What a disgusting odor! You’re dirty. … You must be an Arab. It’s dirty. F*** you! … You Arab, you Arab. … Are you Korean? Are you happy to date with a black man?”
They asked the driver to stop, and then they took Park to a police station. The police wanted them to apologize to each other, but Hussain would have none of that because he did nothing wrong. So he has filed suit, and human rights activists and NGOs are investigating.

“It was not my first time to be subject to racial abuse. I have had many similar experiences. But this time was serious,” he said.

[ snip ]

Hussain said, “Any behavior and language looking down on foreigners constitutes racial discrimination originating from an imperialist point of view, which should be eliminated.”

He urged the government to pay keen attention to the issue, as South Korea has been rapidly transforming itself into a multi-racial society.

His use of the word “imperialist” is interesting because Koreans would never, ever, think of themselves as behaving like imperialists. And being from India, Hussain would know what imperialists are like.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the subway …

Filed under: crime, gender equality — extrakorea @ 8:52 am

(cue Jaws background music … )

The Korea Times reports that sexual harassment (such as groping and taking upskirt photos) on the subway has risen 26% since last year, and the Chosun Ilbo says that Line No. 2 is the most notorious subway line for these kinds of sexual offenses. In second and third places were Line Numbers 4 and 1, respectively. I was a little surprised, given that No. 1 has such a bad reputation, at least among expatriates.

Most of the offenders said they did it out of curiosity.

Oh yes, I’m sure. If the police don’t believe that, there are always the “I was drunk” and “My job is very stressful” excuses.

The actual number of cases might be higher than the published data because many women are afraid of reporting the incidents, a police spokeswoman said.

Another officer said, “Regardless of their jobs, more than 60 percent of those who were caught red-handed denied the charges.” Sex crimes are only prosecuted subject to complaint by the victim, “so the problem is that we can’t arrest offenders even if we have evidence unless the victims want to seek punishment for them,” he added.

Eugene Park’s fans want to help him

Filed under: crime, music — extrakorea @ 8:33 am

The Marmot’s Hole was amongst the first to break the story of how violinist Eugene Park has, apparently, been the victim of abuse at the hands of his manager. Now a group of fans want to help him.

The drive is gaining momentum as video clips and writings on the Internet have showed Park expressionless and much thinner than before.

[ snip ]

“I don’t care about those matters. I think of my former agents as my friends and I don’t want to say bad things about them,” he added. “They [my former agents] did hit me and I wish that won’t happen any more.”

He showed a strong will to continue with his music. “Sometimes I didn’t get paid for my music and performance, but still the most important thing for me is music and good performance,” he said. “When I plug in the electric violin, it makes me happy. The best thing would be doing a good performances and being paid properly.”

(emphasis mine)

Filipinas are good enough for sex, but not good enough to have children with?

Thanks to this translation from Korea Beat, we have the Quote of the Week:

23-year old Rose, a Filipina who married [a Korean man] one year ago, was thrown out of her husband’s home after becoming pregnant at the beginning of this year because he does not like people from The Phillippines.

She revealed her pregnancy and asked for help, but her husband assaulted her and she received a cold reception from her in-laws.

[Rose (pseudonym)/marriage immigrant: I cried a lot. I want to go to The Pillippines. My baby with no father….]

(emphasis mine)

Did I read that right? He married a Filipina, but doesn’t like people from the Philippines? Why did he marry her? To just have sex? That seems to be the explanation, since he threw her out after she got pregnant.

It’s too barbaric to describe in words.

« Newer Posts

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.