Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year 2007 of the "Golden Pig"

Wishing you all a happy new year 2007. Next year is apparently the year of the "Golden Pig" according to Korean astrology and this implies that 2007 will be a year full of prosperous initiatives - may all your tails be curly ;)

Personally, I am full of thanks for all the good luck and blessings of 2006 with known and new friends, safety of family members, new projects, new job, for the chance to brush up on my Korean at The Danish Korean Language School, the whole Danish Korean Adoptee and Korean International network.

And most of all I am thankful that we are all here sharing this moment, this blue Planet and this love we all carry inside - call it 'humaness', spirituality, belongingness, kindness - whatever you call it - make sure to share it!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More to adoption than 'saving a baby'

Look up this interesting article on Kim Park Nelson and Jane Jeong Trenka in The Minnasota Monthly. These Korean adoptees raise strong voices on adoption and postadoption issues.

Here's an excerpt:

"Kim Park Nelson says she would like to see Americans get beyond the idea that adoption is a simple win-win proposition, solving America’s infertility problems and saving babies in one
stroke. And she’d like people to realize that the way transnational adoption is practiced reflects inequalities in the global economy.

“Transnational adoption right now depends on rich nations and
poor nations and there being this huge gap between rich and poor and being white and non-white,” she says. “The reason an American woman can be 41 and wanting to have children even though she’s no longer fertile. . . is because of the way that transnational adoption is set up. It depends on some person she will never meet and doesn’t want to think about—someone who has no options and no choices and lives in a society where single motherhood isn’t a viable option
or is unfeasible economically. "

And Kim Park Nelson then says,

"I refuse to believe that it’s because those women don’t want to keep their kids. Women want to keep their kids.”

"Helping birth mothers keep their children is one of the many causes
taken on by Jane Jeong Trenka, adopted with one of her sisters in 1972 by a rural Minnesota family. Trenka’s memoir, The Language of Blood, examines her sense of displacement as an adopted Korean and her return trip to Korea in 1995. Trenka now lives in Korea and is a co-editor of Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, an anthology that explores the emotional, cultural, economic, and political toll that transracial adoption can take. Trenka would like to see countries like the United States spend less of their considerable wealth on adopting foreign children and more on improving conditions in the “sending” countries, so that birth mothers are not forced to “choose” adoption."

Thanks to Made in Korea

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Dream of a Ginko Tree (Eunhaeng kumida)

Where was it written -
that long before the coming of autumn,
this leaf of a ginko
were to fall from its temple tree

Where was it written –
that Mother Nature intended for thousands of similar leaves
to be taken by the reckless winds, not knowing their roots
- not knowing their mother’s face

By Kim, Sungkyung

Found the picture here

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Until I met Kimchi!

No Korean meal - and no Korea-related blog - without kimchi!

Upon registrering for the International Gathering for Korean Adoptees in Seoul next August 2007, participants are asked to write a short quote about what it means to be adopted or how it has affected one's life. Well, that is - I get 25 words to coin the essence of this lifespan of first hand experience on the issue. So - I had to go 'meta' - here's what came up:
"Growing up
being part of someone unknown, something unseen
has been like a journey without a starting point
without an ending point
- until I met Kimchi!"
Kimchi is "gourmet" to some and "get-it-away-from-me" to others! It's fermented cabbage with loads of garlic, ginger and chilli - and Korea and kimchi are synonyms! Korea is kimchi and kimchi is Korea..

Like love is more that being in love, being Korean is more that being born Korean. It's a journey which is constituted within the individual person, based on a bodily experience - as Merlau-Ponty would agree.. - however, I have no clue as to whether Merlau-Ponty liked kimchi or not!

Travelling in Korea some 8 years ago, being vegetarian, I lived of a delicious diet, consisting of rice, seaweed and kimchi - but next summer I'll be sure to go visit Sanchon restaurants for a more gourmet version of the Korean vegetarian kitchen! Experiences of life so far, being Korean, adopted, a woman, a daughter, a friend, a human being are not easily expressed in words. But the taste of kimchi....whether I eat kimchi here or in Korea - in the company of Koreans, adoptees or by my self...somehow defines the undefinable.