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


Blogger Betsy said...

Very interesting post and very interesting perspective! I remember just how conspicuous I felt as a tall blue-eyed westerner during my travels in Central Asia-- I HATED it! It must have been hard to go through that during those painful teenage years when the only thing one desires is to fit in with the crowd.

On the other hand, I hope that those kinds of experiences make us stronger as adults no matter how miserable they made us as children.

You seem to have a pretty healthy self identity and I'm betting that it's partly due to your background, as well as your strong and beautiful character.

Hope things are going well with your new job and with your Mom!

Hugs! :-)

12:49 PM  

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