Sunday, November 19, 2006

Eyes see snow (Nuni Nunul poda)

In winter time
snow falls into my eyes
- melting messages from the sky

By Kim, Sungkyung

crystal photo is from Messages from Water by Masaru Emoto

Friday, November 17, 2006

Why I never liked "Pas på den knaldrøde gummibåd" and why my Danish friends don't like K-Pop!

Some 15 years ago at a party I watched grown (drunk but otherwise sane) colleagues at an official get-together/Christmas party transform into a group of "teenagers-on-the-run-over-ecstatic-headbanging-screaming-with-girly-voices-in-one-big-group-hug/jumping-obsessively up-and-down in a bundle to a song, called "Pas På Den Knaldrøde Gummibåd", sung by Birthe Kjær.

(This is another song of hers, which I found on Youtube -

The song to which my colleagues went mad-as-a-hatter is from the early 70'ties and reeks of Danish simpleminded, happy-ding-a-dong enthusiasme and though I consider the singer, Birthe Kjær, to be an awesome artist, since she's been able to maintain succes during several decades - I JUST DIDN'T GET IT! Had they all lost their minds!?

However, some years after this incident I experienced Norae Bang (Korean for Kareoke) and saw with my own eyes how men in suits turned into sweating, heartthrobbing crooners of Korean POP songs where no kudos were given unless the singer really throws open his/her chest and sings sings sings and acts out!

Who'd have thought something so similar to be so different after all!? It seems that pop culture cannot be underestimated as the vessel of cultural connotations of identity.

As a student of Korean language (brushing up ;) to say the least!) - I've found the most helpful ressource (back) into Korean language and culture to be

1. K-POP
2. K-Drama

Why? I get the feel for the tonation of the language, get the feelings of speaking Korean - especially since K-Dramas are about love, food, love, food, nature, love, family, love ;) and same thing goes for the K-POP!!

So - last week my best friend K, who now lives in Stockholm, Sweden visited. He sings well and has a personality and a voice that melts women's (over 40 - ghee) hearts - when he sings, they go "Aahhh! Sigh!"

I was looking forward to sharing my newfound passion FLY TO THE SKY and especially Hwanhee/Fany's voice.. - but - it was a total turnoff! K just didn't get it!

Here's Fly to the Sky - Fany singing (and I admit I go "Aahhhh! Sigh!")

My current conclusion is Birthe Kjær would probably be great company in a norea bang - but Fly to the Sky wouldn't make it in Denmark if they introduced themselves with a song called, "Watch out for the Neon Red Rubberboat".

Some things just don't translate!

Monday, November 13, 2006

10 things I'd like to know 'bout my self as a baby

Being adopted is .. .well, that's how it is, right. Whatever we as humans have been given by life becomes the premisses within which we learn to navigate - and it's part of moulding us into who we become -- I guess.. U know - it's just my experience that as an average person among persons - that we all like to know 'bout our history - like oh I've 'gotten' grannys nose or daddy's talent for music or whatever

.. and just last year I got some papers from my now aging mum which included a letter from the manager of the Seoul Adventist Hospital, Ms. Fay Welter, where she tells that they found me at the City Reception Center and that I was a healthy baby.

These to some small or insignificant infos are such gifts to me, as adopted without an anchor to the ancestor's shore.. and it's the first time I got to see this letter..

Anyways ;) here's 10 things I'd like to know 'bout my self as a baby from the time when I was born in Korea somewhere - probably Seoul perhaps Ahndong - until I landed in Copenhagen Denmark on my 1-year birthday

1. what kind of pregnancy did my oma have?
2. did my oma have an easy birth?
3. was my appa around during pregnancy and birth - did he meet me?
4. did she breastfeed me or was I taken away straight after birth?
5. a quite or a lively baby?
6. first 'words'?
7. responded to which sounds?
8. did someone give me the 1-year birthday and which item did I choose?
9. did I cry/smile when you said 'see you later perhaps next time around'?
10. would you, oma and appa, recognize me now?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

We All Come from Seoul

"We all come from Seoul!". These 5 words melted away years of feeling inhibited by my Asian looks as adopted from Korea and growing up in Denmark - an 'ocean' of blond and blueeyed people :) and lots of brownish pale browneyed people too.. like those of my Danish relatives and friends.

One thing is to know and to feel that we are all the same no matter race, religion or whatever may make us feel different from others - it's something else to grow up with noone else around who looks similar and in the 70'ties when I grew up some 15 km north of Copenhagen and chances of spotting another Asian kid or adult was zero!

Thankfully my perspective was broadened - visiting Korea and getting aquainted with Korean language and culture helped a lot - as well as the internet and globalisation which helped in the sense that it opened up for an easier access to and perspective on cultures and people around the world! And I'm glad, when I see young Korean adoptees in Denmark who dare to express themselves and feel good about their looks!

'Cause for someone like me - rolemodels and other Asian people for identification along my childhood and teenyears were (and forgive me for perhaps sounding politically incorrect but this just goes to show that I have also been adapting some of the Danish/caucasian ways of perceiving Asian stereotypes!!!!!)

1. Yoko Ono
because my classteacher made us watch a tv-doc on John Lennon and from then on my 'nickname' in the class was Yoko

2. drunken inuits from Greenland (let me explain..)
because when we would practise cool and snobbish teenbehaviour at Gråbrødre Square in posh Copenhagen downtown wearing our LaCoste and Docksides (I have thourough regrets that I was a teen in the 80'ties - either one could go for the look of a wannabe tennis player or a punk and neither looks appealed to me) then there would always be a drunk inuit with his teeth falling out, who'd speak to me in inuit - mistaking me to be from Greenland. Today I'd be fine with this and I understand the social and cultural reasons why some people from Greenland ended up on the streets of Copenhagen and understand that part of the responsability lies with the government etc. - but as a teengirl working on my identity it was a tough blow and honestly it scared me a little.

and 3. Japanese tourists groups en masse wearing a camera around their neck with a huge mega lense
I'd always shrink a little when I was a kid in Tivoli, and these big groups would come and take lots of pics.. and at the same time I was courious.

10 years ago - these 5 words - We all come from Seoul - marked a time when the last bits of akwardness when being in a group just dropped - and I was reminded that - the skin is only a minimal layer of our existence and that what counts is our being... and SEOUL