flying to the motherland
exactly one week from today, i will be on an airplane to south korea. h o l y s m o k e s. it feels like i’ve been talking about this for forever and it’s hard to believe that it’s actually happening so soon. a part of me just feels like i’m going to stay at home and keep on doing what i’m doing while talking about korea like an abstract ‘one day’ kind of thing, but ‘one day’ is only one week away!
for those of you who don’t know, i’m going to korea on a go global student exchange program. i’ll be studying for one semester at korea university and it’s funny because i’m an english major so i’ll be taking english lit classes at ku. so technically, i am going to korea to study english. hm.
why korea? pt 2
the reason why i chose to go to korea for exchange is three-fold:
1) being korean-canadian, i have a number of questions about cultural identity. what does it mean to be korean but born in canada? what does it look like to have two cultures balance equally (and maybe sometimes not so equally?) inside of you? there are lots of ways that i identify with canadian culture, but also lots of ways that i don’t. similarly, there are many ways that i identify with korean culture, but many ways that i do not. sometimes it’s hard to know where to fit and maybe i don’t really have to fit, but in any case, i’m looking forward to going to korea and learning more about my cultural roots.
2) i hear a lot of crazy things about korea and i feel pretty strongly about some of the negative things that i hear. for example, south korea has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. they are also quite well known for intense issues around body image and being number one in the field of plastic surgery (an interesting article on korea’s body image paradigm here). i have some questions/curiosities around the relationship between north and south korea as well. in a nutshell, i’ve heard a number of things that make me feel a lot of feelings, think a lot of thoughts, and ask a lot of questions and i really want to go and see for myself what is going on in korea.
3) i’ve never lived in korea, only visited a handful of times, and i want to experience every day life there. also i love patbingsoo (red bean ice flakes dessert) and i’m REALLY STOKED that there are a billion patbingsoo cafes everywhere ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !
i think korea will teach me a lot of things and i think i’ll love it, not just for the patbingsoo, but for many reasons that have yet to be uncovered. stoked. ah.
(a couple photos from the last time i visited korea, six years ago in 2008):