Saturday, April 07, 2007

When will North Korea "switch the lights on" ?

a satelite photo by night of North and South Korea

When I visited Korea for the first time as an adult in 1998 - I kept within my comfort zone and stayed away from visiting the DMZ - and thus stored away the issues of North and South Korea in my subconciousness. But lately - North Korea has been increasingly in my awareness.

Back in my university days as a minor-student in Korean language and culture I was introduced to a beautiful narration of the once so powerful hermit kingdom - including the mythichal status of the Diamond Mountains - which are situated in the northern part of the then united Korea - upon which the founder of Korea is believed to have descended from the heavenly abodes.. the second fact I learned is that the DMZ is a tourist attraction - and one of the last reminences of The Cold War. But what I seem to remember lately - are pictures and videos of children dying of hunger in the streets.. I don't know who to ask to validate these pictures and videos.. I don't know much about North Korea first hand - only via media, tv and Youtube videos..but even if 90 % of the information/propaganda is manipulated - then the remaining 10 % of 'truth' would be sufficient to say.. North Korea - please switch on the lights and let the night come to an end..

I welcome comments from anyone online that may help me find more information on North Koreans and bring me to understand how children, love, freedom and happiness can be violated in the name of -- politics, ideologies, manifests.. but then again - what do I know?

Friday, April 06, 2007

Daniel Henney plays Korean-American Adoptee - a reference to Toby Dawson ?

Toby Dawson and his Korean dad, Kim Jae-su

Daniel Henney, Korean-American model/actor

Will Daniel Henney spread 'stardust' to the issue of the returning of Korea's many adoptees who are now grown up and to some extent wish to (re)connect with their lost birth family and birth culture? Or is it rather a poorly hidden parallel to the 'glamour story' of Toby Dawson, the Korean-American adoptee and OL-winner, who recently was reconnected with his Korean dad - with the "assistance" of the Korean media!?

Daniel Henney, being a Korean-American posses a physical beauty and a cool charisma, which I guess has been the driving force behind his rising fame as a model/actor in the Korean entertainment business, is now filming a new movie, called "My Father".

He plays an adoptee - Korean-American - who returns to Korea to find his father. (Toby Dawson wasn't actively looking for his father, according to the media story). I've seen my fair share of k-dramas and also DH's acting skills - and to be honest.. well, he's not that great an actor (yet). There's also the language issue.. but what I find interesting is that Daniel's mother is a Korean-American adoptee. I guess he has experienced situations throughout his life so far that could give input to his acting role.

Still, what surprised me the most upon finding this piece of news on the online Chosun was that to my knowledge, this is the first time for the Korean entertainment industry to have a star-actor playing the tragic and non-sympathetic part of 'the adoptee'? So far adoptees in movies and tv-dramas have been portrayed as poorly educated, lowlife individuals with a tragic fate, e.g. Sorry I love you

Is the clock turning? Is the issue of adoption and the returning of the now grown-up adoptees becoming less taboo? And as such, is media portraying of adoptees becoming less stereotyped and more diversified? However, the current media 'appetite' goes towards promoting 'half-Koreans' as Koreans if they have excelled as e.g. models or sports men.

That's how business is.. - so, I guess if 'we' (using ' ' since I don't wanna make statements on behalf of all adoptees) the returning adoptees have excelled in life and thus can be used to show off in the international arena in order to promote Korea - well - once again 'we' are on the task of pleasing and succeeding in order to be accepted. *SIGH*