Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bits and Pieces

Last week the Joongang Daily published an article about subway crimes, describing among them people who urinate in subway stations. I'd never seen that happen before, to be honest, but the very day I read that article, I happened to pass by this guy at Gimpo Airport Station. Classy.

On a similar topic, K-law Guru looks at subway sex crimes and the current police crackdown on them.

Speaking of class acts, Gag Concert did another blackface skit making fun of Africans. (Hat tip to Scott Burgeson.) Also classy was the response last week to the Korean World Cup team's return home:
At that moment, the team became the target of a volley of pumpkin yeot (Korean taffy) thrown by a small group of fans yelling “Eat yeot!” and “Shame on you!” Some of them also held signs, one of which read “Korean football is dead.” Fortunately, their bad aim meant no Korean team member was struck by the candy.

In Korean, the phrase “eat yeot” is an offensive slur equivalent to “screw you,” which originated in the 1960s when students protested against the Education Ministry over a question on their school exam regarding how the taffy is made.
While I know about the incident from the 1960s, I hadn't realized it's where the term 'Eat Yeot' as a swearword originated from. It's described in Seoul Through Pictures 4: Seoul, To Rise Again (1961-1970) on pgs 304-5:
In December of 1964, elementary school students in Seoul took junior high school entrance examinations. Question 18 in the Science section asked, "What can replace malt when making rice taffy?" Choices included 'diastase' and 'radish juice,' the correct answer being 'diastase.' However, 39 parents of those studnets who chose 'radish juice' filed a lawsuit, presenting rice taffies that were made with radish juice as a piece of evidence. The Supreme Court accepted 'radish juice' as a correct answer and the students who passed the examination by earning the extra point were able to enter their desired schools in May of 1965.

Hell hath no fury.

On a more classy note, I liked this story about Seoul building bug hotels, though I wonder about the people raised in the city who live in fear of insects and how they would feel about it.


chuck said...

the taffy incident made it to Keith Olbermann's ESPN show here last week on his "worst person's in the sports world" segment. funny thing is I don't think they gave him the "screw you" translation or the context, he thought it odd the fans would pelt the team with taffy. here is the link:

King Baeksu said...

I'm going to organize a protest to protest the fact that South Koreans these days protest over every goddamn little thing and often act like a bunch of spoiled children.

Holy shit, I think I've gone native!