In Korea

What Colour? 4

What colour

Just Hugh trolling me to make it seem like I was being offensive. Thanks Hugh.

Random fact of the day from Wikipedia: Uzbekistan has an ethnic Korean population that was forcibly relocated to the region by Stalin from the Soviet Far East in 1937–1938. 

Actually the Wikipedia page for Uzbekistan is really interesting. Uzbekistan is Central Asia’s most populous country. The demographic section is fascinating.

I went down the Wikipedia wormhole because I was suddenly curious about Uzbekistan while making this comic.

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Discussing Foreign Wives in Korea 0

In this video we talk about these types of messages that we get where women are asking us to help them find a Korean husband. People sometimes assume that it must be Kpop fangirls, but there is something much more serious going on. We talk about the arranged marriage industry in Korea and all the problems that have stemmed from it.

There are so many aspects of this topic that we can’t cover in one video, so please understand that if we miss something important it’s not that we aren’t aware of it, it’s just hard to cover everything. We are also aware of our own privilege, of Hugh being a Korean man and me being a western woman in Korea. We want to be as sympathetic and understanding as possible and realise this is a really complicated issue. If we offend, it’s completely unintended. We do also have more exposure to these types of situations than those living in cities. Even within Hugh’s own family there were foreign wives that ran away, some of our neighbors were those abusive families, but also some positive stories from our area as well. We know things are getting better, but still more needs to be done for multiculturalism in Korea and for families like this.

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Hoju Olympics 0

Hoju Olympics

Have you been watching the Olympics? I saw one swimming race that Australia won but besides from that I haven’t seen much. Hugh has been watching more than me.

Do you know the Korean name for your own country?

Save

Save

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Korea has changed so much 1

We visited this museum a few years ago but wanted to show my mum while she is visited because it’s so interesting to get a glimpse into Korea’s recent past, especially while in modern Seoul.

Korea’s modern history of development is actually pretty amazing. It is one of the only countries in the world to go from a war-torn, poverty stricken country, to a developed, technologically driven, modern country in such a short amount of time. South Korea had to receive foreign aid after the Korean war, it was poorer than North Korea at one point, but is now a country that gives aid to countries in need. It’s a pretty big deal that they were able to change and develop so quickly. This is one of the reasons why looking back into recent history is so fascinating. Hugh’s childhood differs a lot to mine. My mother is visiting and came with us and we talked about how Hugh’s childhood is actually more similar to hers in the 1960’s in Australia, than mine in the 1980’s/1990’s in Australia (because Korea was behind in so many developments compared to Australia). Many of the things from the 1960’s and 1970’s were still like that, especially in the rural areas, during a lot of Hugh’s childhood, so he could reminisce while in the museum. When people are interested in South Korea now, they see the Kpop and the Kdramas and the glamour and technology, but not that long ago things were very different. While this museum focuses mostly on how people lived, there are displays about Korea’s traumatic history last century: of course Japanese occupation and the Korean war. It’s worth the trip up to Paju to see this museum. Tourist brochures explain how to get there and their website is here.

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Farm Work 4

Farm Work

Hugh says:

“Nichola usually doesn’t work on the farm, because she does work inside. I told her to have a rest but she just didn’t, so it’s her own fault! haha. But everyone was quite happy with what she did. She just talks to herself a lot and she thinks her muscles have feelings…”

(I do enjoy doing stuff outside but I have to spend a lot of time inside usually. Even though my body hurt afterwards, it felt good. Those leg muscles don’t know what hit them though!)

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This Side 1

This Side

I’ve read that when someone returns to their home, where their parents still live, they tend to act more like their teenage self and revert back to that type of behaviour. That definitely plays a part in how Hugh can act at home. He will argue with this parents, be stubborn and annoying, and torment his sister. He directs some of that sisterly torment at me too, and it’s seriously like dealing with a 16 year old sometimes. That’s not to say he is always like this, because usually he is a mature, level-headed, compassionate man, but he has his teenage times.. luckily we aren’t living here long term and will be moving to Seoul.

Hugh had already seen my sulky and moody teenage times at home in Australia so he was fully aware of that before he married me. But because we moved to Korea after 2 years of marriage, this was more of a surprise for me. In international relationships you always have that change in a partner when moving to another country. Many women married to Korean men find that after moving to Korea long term, that their carefree husband has turned into a stressed workaholic because of Korean work culture. There needs to be understanding on both sides. That’s why marriage is about deciding every day to love someone, even when they can be at their most annoying.

And I bet Hugh gets his revenge on me in a ‘My Australian Wife’ comic!

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Korean Culture: Flowers and Photos 0

I’ve shown this in a comic recently here, but we also made a video about this flower culture in Korea.

The flood plain next to our village is bare all through winter, but in preparation for spring, canola seeds are planted. They come up really quickly as the weather gets warmer and then suddenly there are yellow flowers everywhere! We usually go there at the end of the day when there are less people. So for this video we filmed while there weren’t many people and as the sun was setting.

There are lots of nice things about Korean couple culture and dressing in matching clothes and taking nice photos together is something I think is lovely.

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