Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Ask a Korean Promotional Brochure, Episode 1

In the auspicious and long reaches of Korea's proud archive, this day, of days, shall step forth in memory, as yet another moment of significance, and stand tall in the annals of Korea communicating with the world.

Indeed and verily I say, after much tribulation and toils, after generation of grief and backs-breaking work, truly, the bearing fruition of our culture's blossoming climb is at hand. This column, new, a first, indeed, possibly the first of its type ever conceived, shall be an interactive new form of journalism called, alternate, an "Advice Column" or a "Q and A," after the initial letters of the English words, Questioning and To Answer. It is merely a matter of sending a letter to the advantageous e-mail address of our esteemed host, "DokdoIsOurs" at "Dokdoisours @ gmail . com, and forthwith and hastily, it shall be delivered to this humble scribbler, whereupon I shall rejoinder it.

Let the world fall taciturn in attentive awe, as I proudly present our first letter in our five thousand year history.

Dear Ask A Korean Promotional Brochure

I'm new in Korea, and I was in a Pizza Hut a little while ago, trying to enjoy a little deep dish, when a woman approached me with her daughter. The daughter stared at me with a mix of anxiety, cautious hope, heel-dragging reluctance, and sheer terror, until the mother slapped her shoulder, and she said, "Hello how are you?"

I didn't really want to chat with a stranger at the time, because I was tired after a long day of chasing Kindergarten students around. That night, I'm afraid I was rude to the lady and her daughter, and I felt bad later, but I also didn't want them imposing on my free time.

If this happens again, what should I do?

David (English Teacher, Daejeon)



Dear David

While you may not know it, Korea's culture extends back five thousand years, and in that time, we have exertioned through the invasions and aggressions of the great powers, China and Japan, which besiege us. Yet despite the foreign invaders' attempts to quash our culture and way of life, our unique way of using metal chopsticks which are neither as short as the Chinese, nor as long as the Japanese, has persisted, stalwart, like a strenuous bit of moss on an alpine rock.

It has been a dire and desperate struggle, seemingly hopeless at times, but always, the highfalutin Koreans persisted, and so we rose from the ashes of the Korean war, and Japanese Colonialism, to become one of the greaterest powers of East Asia. Today, Korea's culture is becoming in vogue abroad, with the overwhelming inundate Korean Wave, or Hallyu, sweeping across Asia and other parts of the world like a zephyr from God. Verily, Korea is finally on the cusp of claiming her rightful place as a leader of nations.

And it must be recognized, that the voice of a Korean child, as she asks for help, has a tone uniquely pure and sweetly Korean: truly, no child from any other culture could recreate such a mix of purity, deep inherited grief, and innocent pride. It is one of the prides of our culture, born of our women's skill with their hands, making kimchi and soothing babies, as well as the quiet strength that is the Korean father: steadfast, silent, and self-sacrificing to the end of his devotion.

With all this in mind, I would like to presents an analogy as a way of suggesting a course of action, should your unfortunate situation occur once again. You see, I find it helpful at times to imagine Korea as a coconut on the high seas. Surely, when a mother and daughter approach you at a restaurant, it is difficult to remember how long it takes for the proud coconut tree to grow so tall: you are simply concerned that a coconut will not drop on your head and quash your life and hopes for the future. At that time, remember, that while the waves surge and diminish, the coconut will bob and sway, but once that doughty coconut finds stark land, it too, may put down root, and grow to be a proud, towering tree, a source of delicious coconut milk, and a source of shade for beach-goers in prospective many later days.

Certainly, the travails of the nervous coconut, lost on the high seas, may seem the never-ending, may indeed cause the poor coconut to want to losing hope; however, if you are willing to walk a mile in that poor coconut's shoes, your hard shell might crack, and your sweet milk might grow into a tall tree of strength and shade for weary travelers. In this way, Korea shall rebuff the attacks of her enemies, and come back yet again, stronger, always stronger than before, and so the whole world will one day say, "Ah. This is Korea."

I hope this helps you with your dilemma, David.

Always, with deepest humility and generous goodwill, I, the Korean Promotional Brochure, welcome any and all letters you wish to send me here at dokdoisours at gmail dot com. It is my joy and honorable to share my great nation's proudly culture with you, the good foreigners who have come here, or been attracted in some other way, to my great nation; sincerely, I wish to answer all your questions kindly and fairly.

And now, good night.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

umm....you misplaced a comma in the first paragraph.....sorry...

Dokdo Is Ours said...

heh heh. no i didn't

the Korean said...

BWAHAHAHA is this supposed to be me? (Or am I just being self-centered here?) At any rate, nice work.

Dokdo Is Ours said...

do you sound like that, The Korean?