Sunday, June 30, 2013

Daegu English teachers become honorary ambassadors for Dokdo

To promote international knowledge about Dokdo, the Daegu Office of Education sent 20 native speaking teachers from various countries to Dokdo from Tuesday to Thursday last week. The organizers planned for it to be a training event so that the teachers can be honorary ambassadors for Dokdo. They will also sit in on lectures by the Dokdo Research Institute, Yeongnam University, and the Northeast Asian History Foundation.

A Kyunghyang Sinmun article about this opens by describing an American teacher at a high school in Daegu: "These days she is using social network services to let friends and family in the US know that Dokdo is Korean territory." I guess that's no worse than spreading cat memes.

A follow-up Segye Ilbo article with a photo of them about to leave had the sub-headline "I'm so excited to go to Dokdo!" and an official telling us that "Using Facebook and Twitter, our foreign friends can also be taught that Dokdo is Korean territory."

The Joongang Ilbo published a photo of the teachers on the the islets and opens with quotes from a teacher:
'"Dokdo is really beautiful. I was surprised that it was much bigger than I thought." On the 26th, he stated his feelings about setting foot on Dokdo for the first time: "I'm proud that I waved the Korean flag and shouted "Dokdo is Korean land!" on Dokdo."' It actually names these people, but I'll spare them that, partly because I imagine the reporter took some creative license when writing the article.

Hopefully they didn't have to dance to Gangnam Style  (it appears the video is now private... that's likely my fault).

It always amazes me that there's such an incredible tourist destination right next door, but Ulleungdo is always an afterthought when it comes to using foreigners as nationalist propaganda tools.

More photos of Ulleungdo are here.


Anonymous said...

It's a shame that those people(cough cough Eng. teachers) have been made into suckers or as Kanye West would state(imagine him the speaker for S. Korea/Education Ministry) or call Eng. teachers the names he does in the video "Runaway" JUST for S. Korean propaganda. Congratulations Eng. teachers(hahaha), the faces with pictures for S. Korean propaganda! Can we get their names or should we just refer to them as Kanye West does?
I used Vimeo because it doesn't discriminate against words.

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

How is it propaganda? It's the truth, it is Korean land based on history and resources, so I don't see this as "propaganda." My friend was on the trip and they're very much aware of what the Koreans were trying to do, but did it stop them from missing a few days with whiny middle school kids to go on a island that they otherwise wouldn't have been able to? Stop being a pathetic troll and think your puny level of intelligence actually can compare.

Unknown said...

Oh right, maybe remove this comment too if it impedes your fake wit.

matt said...

You might want to look up the definition of 'propaganda' before ranting. Even someone of my 'puny level of intelligence' is able to do it, so I imagine you can.

bdh said...

useful idiots would be the honest (and less pejorative than what i muttered while reading this) name for them...