As to what is going on in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula, Koreans seem to be going through some very turbulent times (but, hey, this is the downside of having such an overly educated workforce without a strong emphasis on innovation)? Nonetheless, this being Korea, as the WSJ usually loves to say (and I guess from this article, what the New York Times also sees in Korea:)
"Just as distinctly Korean may be the lengths to which some go to hide their newly humble status."
And, perhaps, to point again, at the sense of duty and responsibility that Koreans toward family, the pains of an economic downturn, in thisConfucian society are felt communally. As one native Korean puts it:
"If my parents knew what I was doing now, they would pity me," he said. "Now, I look at the ocean and think, I should have worked harder at the cellphone store, and be a better man for my family" ("With Wounded Pride, Unemployed Koreans Quietly Turn to Manual Labor | New York Times)
I would like to thank a certain Ms. S.J. Kim for pointing this article out on Facebook.
Interestingly, a comment like the one above cited in the New York Times article sounds no different than something a Korean-American or a Korean living in the northern half of the peninsula might say. Aspects such as why this is so will be discussed extensively in the coming semester.