In response to earlier comment:
As far as why Koreans are not interested in African dance or culture, well, the answer is because they are poor. I won’t go into details in an open forum because I might be misunderstood as racist.
I’ll bite. And I’ve been called a racist several times here in Korea
I believe the reasons why Koreans are not interested in African dance or culture is because Koreans are new money. Like new money the world over, they are not secure in their status and have to surround themselves with things that validate their imagined or desired status in society.
For example, do Koreans really love European classical music so much, or do a disproportionate amount of children go to music academies learning violin and piano because they are status symbols for their parents?
Not only new money, but not worldly. And happy to stay that way. Travel is a new status symbol in and of itself and a huge amount of Koreans travel abroad on holiday. But how much real culture do they experience in their tour groups? How much interaction with the local populations do they have? They will marginalize the foreigner’s culture shock, and yet they are totally unwilling to place themselves in a similar situation and avoid any mind-expanding discomfort. And when they do live abroad, they are notorious for not bothering to learn about where they are, as their intent is only to stay long enough to pad their status upon return to Korea.
It’s really too bad. Because this nouveau-riche snobbery robs them of the opportunity to grow as people and understand the rest of the world WHO THEY SEEK TO TRADE WITH. So they really shoot themselves in the foot by doing so. And if they looked at the world in more than a superficial way, they’d realize that Africa is not the country of poor mud huts and bare feet, but an incredibly diverse and rich culture equal to their own.
In fact, the whole world has rich cultures equal to Korea’s. So maybe that’s what they’re afraid of; what they don’t want to recognize. Because when you’ve spent your whole history in subjugation, and continue the self-subjugation today, nationalism is sometimes your only comfort.
It’s not about racism, to my mind. It’s about this damned Confucian legacy. Everyone wants to be the high ranking civil servant even when that role is obsolete. In the absence of a Confucian government, the people will recreate the Confucian model in hopes that they can finally get a chance to master it. What will it take to resolve this mass frustration??? Clearly, communism didn’t work for our brothers & sisters to the north. And clearly, capitalism enslaves just as much as Confuscianism.
I guess this is a problem the world over: just extreme here. But to my mind, if everyone just stopped and surveyed and said, “I have enough. My needs are met. The consumer is finished.” But Korea is in a shopping frenzy, in a mad race to impress each other.
Most older Koreans I have spoken with all bemoan that the changes have come too fast, and that the people just can’t adjust that quickly. Many younger Koreans think Korea is not changing fast enough. I think they’re both right.
But damn, you’d think some self confidence would kick in soon. At least that’s what I hope for. I hope Koreans can concentrate on being happy more and choose life! over this ancient and spiritually bankrupt quest for social status.
And in that world, grandmas will not force their daughters to throw away babies because their daughter’s happiness means more to them than what the Parks will think…