At the end of July, I presented my research, Smart Ajumma at IACS conference. This year, this conference was held in Seoul, South Korea so it was very pleasure to participate in. In this big Inter Asia Cultural Studies conference, I met Nicki Liu on my presentation day and we had very good conversation, especially about middle-aged women in East Asia. And kindly, she reviewed about my research, Smart Ajumma in the one of online journal in Hong Kong (I feel bad but I actually don’t understand Chinese at all so I couldn’t figure out what this online journal’s name yet). Her article is written in Chinese so I can’t understand but I know it is about my research and other panel’s research about women and media in Asia. It is more than happy to read (even though I don’t understand Chinese) about the review of my research that was written by someone else.
Thank you Nicki Liu and hopefully we can meet some day in the conference again.
My Neighbor, Charles (이웃집 찰스) is a South Korean reality-variety show that airs on KBS 1TV every Tuesday night. I’m a big fan of this reality TV show (actually it is more like a documentary) because I can meet various people through this TV show. Of course sometimes I feel some of guests just wanted to promote their business (restaurants or cafes) but still I can see other people’s lives who immigrated to Korea for different reasons.
Yesterday, there were a lovely family who came from Egypt. Their father works so hard but it isn’t easy to save money for their three girls education and living expenses. So their mother tried to work for a living but she couldn’t speak Korean well. Finally she decided to sell her signature Egyptian food in a local market. (And her food looks so good!!)
image from <http://smart.kbs.co.kr/tv/sisa/charles/>
This is a story from yesterday’s episode and the reason why I’m now talking about this TV show on this blog because of their mother. During her interview, she said that she wants to be an ajumma, Korean ajumma. And the producer asked her why? Her answer was very interesting and touching. She answered that Korean ajummas work a lot for their family compared with Egyptian women. Also Korean ajummas are fast and strong so their mother wants to be an ajumma.
I really impressed about her respondent about Korean ajumma. Yes, Korean ajummas are strong, fast and they work for their family in many ways. Of course there are some annoyed part such as they’re (some of them) sometimes loud and being meddlesome. But I think everyone can be loud or being meddlesome. Many times, we see ajummas with our biased views. I hope we should look at ajummas from various angles even though it will take some time to change our minds and society. We should.
There are various types of Mukbang in Korea. I just found this Grandmother’s channel on Youtube and she did Mukbang. Her Mukbang style is not very much different from any other Mukbang BJs’ videos but I still very happy to find these newer generation of Youtubers. I hope they (Ajumma or Grandmother Youtubers) produce ‘their own’ styles of videos on Youtube. I don’t mean that these videos aren’t good. At this stage, most of them (Grandmother or Ajummas) just produce videos very much similar to the other BJs’ Mukbang videos. If these newer Youtube generation create their own styles of Mukbang, it helps to broaden the content market of Mukbang videos in Korea.
But still, I’m so happy to watch the videos like this. Go Grandmothers and Ajummas!!!! And I really like her vlog (below)!!!
“Those ajummas? They’re just ajummas!!! They’re just ajummas who cook rice!!!”
(in Korea we have rice everyday so she meant those non-regular school meal service workers (mostly ajummas) as ‘AJUMMAS WHO JUST COOK RICE RATHER TAHN PROFESSIONAL WORKERS’)
Those non-regular workers went on strike because they had been unfairly treated in their workplaces. About this, First Vice Floor Leader of the People’s Party Lee Eon-joo made off-the-record remarked to reporters about ajummas. She degraded ajummas as ajummas who just cook rice rather than professional workers. This is so disappointing because our society (even Lee is an ajumma I can say) still have biased view about ajummas.
Do you think ajummas can’t be professional?
What do you mean they’re just ajummas?
Ajummas are just people who cook rice? (And what’s wrong with people who cook rice then?)
She shouldn’t say like that. NEVER!!! Ajummas are not different group of people as people like you, rather you’re also an ajumma. And what do you think about ajummas? She has strong gender stereotypes about ajummas I think. How can you lead and change our society with that prejudiced mind and thinking?
It’s been almost 1 year since I’ve submitted my PhD project. Now I’m waiting for the graduation ceremony in this Dec. YAY!!!
I planned to start doing a new project from this year but I haven’t started it yet because there’re so many things to be done by end of May. But I will try to start doing a new project asap. Also I should keep writing blog entries as well. FOR SURE!!
About this project: https://smart-ajumma.com/2016/03/03/digital-ppal-let-ter-project/
(허핑턴포스트코리아 인터뷰기사 링크)
(한겨레 인터뷰기사 링크)
(IZE magazine 인터뷰기사 링크)
(image from: http://www.ize.co.kr/articleView.html?no=2017031922287238243)
(images from: http://www.huffingtonpost.kr/2017/03/15/story_n_15378500.html)
누구보다 할머니 인스타스타의 탄생이 반가운 사람중에 한명이 바로 나이다. 그분의 인스타와 유툽비디오를 구독하며 하루하루 즐겁고 유쾌한 70이 넘은 할머니의 일상을 들여다보는일이 매우 기분좋다. 하지만 왜 ‘할머니’인스타스타가 이렇게 특별난 일이 되었어야 하는지에 대한 생각도 동시에 들게 된다. (사실 아직까지 ‘아줌마’인스타스타는 찾아보기 힘들다.)
더 많은 아줌마와 할머니, 아저씨와 할아버지들을 sns의 세계로 모실수 있는 방법은 뭐가 있을까? 단순히 ‘할머니가 하는 인스타’라서 신기함으로 끝날 것이 아니라, 그동안 대부분의 sns가 youth와 젊은층에 포커스를 맞추고 있었다면, 이제는 그 세대들을 벗어난 다른 세대들까지도 흥미를 느낄 수 있는 그런 sns의 필요성이 더욱더 간절해진다.
그래도, 이렇게 ‘할머니’ 인스타스타는 정말 반가운 일이다. (인터뷰 요청을 해봤지만 역시 요즘에 가장 핫한 분이셔서 DM을 읽기도 바쁘신가보다. 내가 직접하는 인터뷰가 아니더라도 다양한 매체에서 박막례 할머님의 인터뷰를 실어주셔서, 그분에 대해 좀 더 알 수 있게 된것을 감사드린다)
즐거운 연구 또 하고 싶다.
Oh My God!!! I’m so exciting to see this ‘Grandma’s Diary’ Youtube channel. I really like and find a variety of Korean Youtubers and watching their videos whenever I have spare time. And it was rare to find an ajumma Youtuber…BUT I found an amazing Youtuber today and the title of her channel is ‘Grandma’s Diary (박막례 할머니, Grandma Mak-Rye Park)’. The title is Grandma’s diary but I think she could be considered as an ajumma, too.
There is no subtitle for non-Korean speakers yet but you can understand what she’s saying through watching her videos. In the video that I share below shows that grandma Park explains how she does makeup for meeting a dentist. She is so lovely!
I keep watching her videos!