Good Korea or Bad Korea?

So, as we all know lately there has been a lot of news about North Korea.

Let me tell you, there are a lot of crazy things going on with that country.

Over the years when people have asked me where I was from, I would say New York. Then proceed to change the question to what nationality I am.  I respond to that I am Korean American. 75% of the time people leave it at that.

Well, that doesn’t happen in the South.

After people ask me what nationality I am and I inform them that I am Korean…the look on their faces are priceless.

Then immediately follow up with this question:

“Are you from the Good Korea or the Bad Korea?”

Now, I KNOW they are asking me if I am from the North or the South.  I KNOW, I want to give them an explanation, but I don’t. I just tell them South Korea, but one day I made the choice to explain. Maybe I shouldn’t have.

I was at my friend’s birthday party. It was super fun.  I was having a good time, laughing and cutting up with everyone. I was enjoying my time and everyone was enjoying the dumplings I was frying up. As it was time to leave, a party goer asked me the important question….”Where are you from?” The discussion led to the above question of my allegiance to the GOOD or the BAD. I paused and decided that MAYBE, just MAYBE this person, who obviously had a college education and was in the same generation as I was, would understand. NOPE.

I told him the truth. 

You want to know the truth? Well BEFORE there was even a North or South, there was a peninsula called KOREA and it was the same country. When the Koreans were all a part of said one country, technically where the DMZ is, my dad’s side of the family was on the Northern part, but they fled to the South as soon as the war started.

He looked at me and with a straight face proceeded to word vomit,

“OH! So you hate all of us and want to bomb the sh*t out of us and kill us all huh?” 

“whatever you want to think man.” is what I said.

OBVIOUSLY I was annoyed.

“NO, NO seriously! you do right?”

I walked away. What was I supposed to do. There was no way I was going to have a real conversation with someone about this, especially someone who had one too many. If you know what I am saying.

The part that really upsets me about this question is that, there are no good or bad Koreans, there are just Koreans. And No, this does not mean I agree with what is going on the North side of the DMZ. North Korea has issues, I know this.

Are there two countries now, yes, but it was not like that before the war.  It’s bad enough that the question are you from the North or South bothers me, but to ask if I am from the Good or Bad is just ignorant.

My husband, a white, blonde haired blue-eyed man even tells me that he does not understand why it even matters which Korea I am from considering….

  1. I am born and raised in the great United States of America.
  2. Before there was a divide, we were all just Koreans.

Now, I love my husband and if HE can make the distinction and understand the whole story, I do not understand or comprehend the issues that everyone else has. It really strikes a nerve with me.

So, I pose a question to all of you…

Are you from the good or bad part of America?

XOXO

Christine

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