Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Anti-Americanism in South Korea -- "Fucking USA" Song w/English translation

Edit:During the song when the singer asks, "Is America still a beautiful country?" this references the (Sino-Korean) word for the United States (미국 - 美國, literally "beautiful country"). I wrote about this last year and how the Sino-Japanese word for the United States is rice country (美國  vs 米國) -- the Korean and Japanese pronounciations for beautiful and rice are homonyms in both languages.

As I was re-reading my earlier post, I was thinking, "what on earth is a bicycle and spoke system?" Anyways, in the DeCal yesterday, I spoke about Anti-Americanism and the recent North Korean currency reform, which in hindsight, achieved what looks to be an economic atmosphere in North Korea that has a eerie resemblance to the situation policymakers in the U.S. (and the rest of the world) were trying to get us out of just a couple years ago.

But, with respect to Anti-Americansm, I guess I should've included this video in yesterday's class as it really puts things in perspective. Basically, what I went over in class is the understanding I came to have of the Anti-Americanism that was pervasive at around the time of the 2002 World Cup and immediately preceeding  following it. Well, here's the video. There's a translation in English (and Japanese) as well -- gotta love those Japanese Anti-Korean Youtube posts (I'm just joking, by the way. Nationalism in East Asia is not confined to Japan... ). But, anyways, you might find this video shocking when considering that South Korea is a U.S. ally, how much more beneficial the US-ROK alliance is for South Korea, and how South Korea owes a great deal, including it's very existence (on a side note, this directly brings up whether Korea would have been better off in 2010 had Korea been a unified Communist country back in 1950) and except in the direct development of its democratic institutions (a source of Anti-Americanism as disccused yesterday) to the United States up until very recently. Hopefully, the discussion in class yesterday will put a video like this in perspective.
And, during the U.S. - SKorea game, it wasn't just drunken guys singing this song -- it was very, very popular with almost all young adults and adults. The very same college and high school students, who after a gathering of 300,000 or so to watch a soccer game in mass and who would afterwards individually pickup the trash, were the very same people that sang this song. It wasn't just an extreme segment of SKorean society, but it was part of popular culture.




If you click on the Anti-Americanism label, you'll come up with a list of posts that in a nutshell is what was discussed yesterday minus the in detail description of the main issues and events that dominated the formative years of those those that voted to put Roh Moo Hyun in power.

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