5 thoughts on “Beasts of Burden

  1. The one on the platform is one of many objects that I tried to describe to my parents but knowing not enough of words, I coudln’t. I’m nostalgic.

  2. They were still using those in the 70’s in Seoul?


    The photo does not have any scale reference in it. These things are really large and heavy-looking. For example, the lower one – that void in the center – that’s where human shoulders go.

    Nostalgia. I must write about that next…

  3. Not in Seoul, but in countryside.
    I don’t remember seeing them in Seoul but I feel it was familiar too me long before moving to countryside. I probably saw them on pictures of calendars. I also remember seeing them in traditional shows.

    When I think of all the old things I saw in the countryside, I can understand why rich westerners of the modern country think they are saving children by removing them from their birth parents and birth countries.
    But the westerners will never understand that a child can be happy living despite of poverty, in what they consider as rudimentary.

    I was very aware that we were poor, living in poverty is not funny, but it was so peaceful in countryside, it was so beautiful, it made me forget the hunger, it made me happy. I never felt happy as I was after being put in the best environment, best according to the westerners.
    How can I explain that to people who knew nothing else than the confort of a modern society? How can I explain them that providing the basic needs (food, housing and something to wear) without removing me from my country would have been enough?

  4. I was thinking about this recently myself. There’s something about privilege that just erases common sense.

    Maybe someone needs to place a dollar value on intangible aspects of human relations, such as laughter or hugs or mother bonding. Maybe then we could do a fair cost-benefit analysis. Maybe if we quantified the value of nurture and love, then some wealthy families would be seen to be living in a state of emotional poverty. Maybe then adoption would be seen as theft, instead of deliverance.

  5. While on a trip to Jeollanam-do I had the chance to try on a similarly-constructed pack at a ‘traditional village’. The lasting impression I have from the experience is that they are both heavy and bulky. I can’t imagine how it must feel to wear one for any great length of time.

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