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[HanCinema's Digest] Culture Corner

2018/04/22 | Permalink

Hear from a second-generation Korean-American about the complexities of identity, South Korea's elderly are hitting daytime discos en masse, the 600th anniversary of King Sejong the Great's enthronement celebrated in downtown Seoul, and South Korea's cosmetic surgery industry loses face with social critics.

"The Quad: Living in the space between cultures, and how that can be empowering"

Karen Im is a second-generation Korean-American living in the Big Apple. In this feature on Daily Bruin, Karen shares her experiences growing up, in particular how she had to reckon with "the tension between the culture I experience every day in school and the environment I returned home". Although her intersectional identity presented a myriad of challenges, Karen has come to view growing up in this "gray area" as a "source of empowerment, not confusion". She concludes: "Culture is not fate nor is it a prewritten destiny; it simply offers templates. Every individual is, ultimately, the artist behind their own cultural narrative".


"In daytime discos, South Korea's elderly find escape from anxiety"

What do Korea's many senior citizens do during the day? Its seems disco is not dead in the Land of the Morning Calm. South Korea's elderly (who are generally quite active) are finding fun and friendship at the 'colatex', a portmanteau of cola and discotheque. "South Korea is ageing faster than any other developed country, yet there are few post-retirement jobs, or even cheap leisure, available for the elderly". Click on through to the Business Times to read how daytime discos are helping to energize and heal Korea's older generation...


"Recreating royal cultures of King Sejong's reign"

For the first time in 230 years, a "Joseon-period mix of a royal ceremony and a folk play" will be performing in downtown Seoul to mark the 600th anniversary of King Sejong the Great's enthronement. The event, hosted by the Cultural Heritage Administration, will take place between April 28 to May 6 at a number of locations to highlight "the life and the mind of one of the most revered and respected Joseon monarchs".


"South Korea's cosmetic surgery industry faces backlash as 'cultural violence against women'"

It is well known that South Korea's cosmetics industry is one of best in the world. If you're in the region and looking to get plastic surgery, then South Korea is indeed your best bet. But the criticism against this booming industry is getting louder and clearer. According to Emanuel Pastreich, head of the Asia Institute, "Korean society has become completely distorted by this rush to undergo surgery... it has shifted to the point that women are seen merely as sex objects that have to undergo the scalpel to be perfect". The UK's The Telegraph has more...


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