Friday, October 3, 2008

Spotlight on South Korea!

What a wonderful, complex, amazing nation.

We may think we know everything about South Korea. They love to protest, and when they protest, man, do they PROTEST. Fistfights in Parliament? No big deal. Sucking in lungfuls of police-fired CS gas on the streets? Bring it on. Yes -- South Koreans are scrappy.

But this is the same country that, quite literally, went into national mourning over the fact that one of their "own" -- a SECOND-GENERATION IMMIGRANT -- was responsible for killing more than 30 students at Virginia Tech University.

South Korean friends I have known are their own country's versions in a single person. Each is passionate, focused, in-your-face against injustice, but willing to be your best friend if everyone plays by the rules. They love to laugh, and love to eat. They will not hesitate to tell you American foreign policy is stupid -- and, usually, they're right. But if they know you, and they trust you, they'll die for you.

Look at the women in the photo. They know when to be combative, and when it is a time for contemplation.

My dad fought for South Korea in 1950. He has one South Korean friend to this day, who is still alive, with whom he corresponds. The bond he has made with him and his family will last beyond death.

Take some time to investigate this wonderful nation. What a lot of cool people.

~Waving to my special friend in Seoul, and my other friend in Suwon~ :)


(I'm enjoying putting a spotlight on visitors' countries -- looks like it's going to be a regular feature :)

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