Monday, March 1, 2010

Maybe I was sitting next to a NK refugee...("탈북자, 전 세계 23개국에 정착" - RFA)

Found this gem at One Free Korea.

The picture to the left is from Yonhap News found in the article: "탈북자, 전 세계 23개국에 정착 [North Korean Refugees have been accepted in 23 countries around the world]" (Radio Free Asia). The table below is also from the same article, but it's from the UNHCR. While the original article is in Korean (that's within my grasp of understanding), there's not much of particular interest there that can't be seen from the chart below. However, One Free Korea does take a deeper look at the chart.
Check the table to the right. It seems Germany and the United Kingdom have accepted a rather large number of refugees.

This reminds me though. As I was backpacking in Europe last summer, I sat next to this Korean woman that was around my mother's age in France -- I was headed to Versailles. She too said she had to get off at that exit and she was actually headed to work. I believe she had a menial job there and thought it rather unfortunate. And, by the way, I remember thinking France - well at least Paris,  seemed a lot more cosmopolitan and open to immigration and resembled the United States a lot more in this regard than the United Kingdom (I had the great fortune of being able to travel all over the U.K. - including Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (by boat) while I was taking classes at LSE in London). The United Kingdom on the other hand just seemed like a backwards, yet very expensive version of the United States in terms of culture and language. Some of their phrases posted on those street signs seemed so awkward...

But, anyways, the strange thing is, she had this rather peculiar accent -- very peculiar. And, I did meet plenty of ethnic-Korean Chinese in South Korea. Most of the ones I came across - however - had very strong, almost Chinese accents when speaking Korean. However, this lady was native in Korean, but she just had a rather strange accent and she did "accidently" say "Joseon Mal" rather than "Hanguk Mal" while we were conversing (They both mean the Korean language). However, Joseon is used as written in the posts below only by Korean-Chinese, North Koreans, and, perhaps, a few Korean-Japanese. When I finally asked this lady where she was from, there was this like awkward pause as she told me she was an ethnic-Korean Chinese from the Yanbian Korean (Joseon) Autonomous  Region in Jilian Province in NE China (연변 조선족 자치주, 中文: 延邊朝鮮族自治州). So, I don't know. I wonder how she got there and how she's doing now. Perhaps, she was one of those lucky few that managed to escape the living hell that is North Korea or not...

Anyways, should get back to my papers...

No comments:

Post a Comment