Friday, June 04, 2010
Broken in half
Students in a grade 5 class at my school made these North Korea-related posters recently (post Cheonan sinking). They all stress the one-ness of Korea and there's nothing negative to be found about North Korea in any of them. The most elaborate is this comic strip-style poster:
Here are a few panels close-up:
It goes on to show North Koreans starving and South Koreans sending them food, and ends with this:
I thought the break down of the different jobs North and South Koreans hold was interesting. Here are a few others:
I can think of something else that's also broken in half, but I imagine putting the Cheonan on one of these posters wouldn't be too cheerful. I'm rather curious as to when the demonizing of North Korea stopped in schools (older people have mentioned being told the North Koreans had tails), and the 'We are one, we want reunification' education began. I remember at the hagwon I worked at in 2001 the kids wrote letters (in English) to kids in the north, many of which mentioned 'I like Starcraft.' One imagines the fate of those letters was the same as the letters taken up on the space shuttle in the Simpsons episode where Homer becomes an astronaut, where we see a canister labeled "Children's Letters to God, To Jettison." At the time (2001) it was still illegal to display a North Korean flag (though I wondered where the right wing groups got the ones they burned from), and when I had kindergarten kids color flags from around the world (including the DPRK's), some of the (Korean) teachers didn't know what flag it was.