In the previous blog post, I talked about a tragedy in Gang Nam Station, Seoul. A young college woman was stabbed to death in a crazy murderer attack. This murder thought women always ignored him so he planned to kill ‘any’ women on that day.
Yes, this is heinous crime and now we (Koreans) are at a loss what to do. There was a heated debate about the right of women in Korea for a long time but after this crazy incident, the debate about ‘living as women in Korea’ brings related hot arguments among people, especially in various social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
A Yeo-hyeom phenomenon is an example. Yeo-hyeom is a new coined Korean word and it means an attitude that someone (mostly (some sort of)men) hates women abnormally without obvious reason/ or someone hates women abnormally because women are women.
Of course, I cannot generalise ‘every men’ in Korea have Yeo-hyeom mind to women, some of men in Korea, I hope. But the one obvious thing is there is a debate about this phenomenon (Yeo-hyeom) between men and women. For me, as a women who lives in Korea, I was also furious when I read this crazy incident and I understand why there is a continuous argument about this tragedy what ‘men’ did to ‘women’. I know it should not be a dichotomous fight between ‘men’ and ‘women’. But, what do you think? This murderer killed that young women only because he hates women. Then? This means that that young women shouldn’t be killed by that psycho if she wasn’t a woman.
In other words, it could be any women. It could be me, my friends, my neighbours anyone who are women in Korea. That’s why this phenomenon brought us to think deeply about the issue of ‘Yeo-hyeom’ in Korea and we (women) now decided to fight with them (maybe men? or any one/any society who hates women without obvious reason. Women shouldn’t be received unfair only because we are women.
Why do we have to worry about going to public toilet? Why do we have to worry about being killed by anyone on the street? Why?
I don’t want to generalise that ‘all men has Yeohyeom’.But one thing is obvious that this society wants women to be ‘womanly-women’. And people (both men and women, not everyone) in Korea pointed to ‘not enough womanly-woman’. There are gender stereotypes in every culture and Korean society also have ‘stereotypes about women’. I think we (women) should deny these ‘stereotypes about women’ that decided by ‘others’. At the same time, we (women) should also deny the ‘stereotypes about women’ that were inherent in ourselves, too.
I mentioned before, there are so many special days in May in Korea. Yes, you can tell what I’m talking about when you read my posts in May. They are all about special days!
Today is Buddha’s Birthday so my family went to the Bongeunsa Temple near my house. My family is catholic but we go to the temple on special day like today. I saw so many ajummas to wish and pray for their family.
I will write more ajumma-related blog post next week. Enjoy Buddha’s birthday!
전에도 말했다시피, 한국의 5월은 날씨도 너무 아름답지만 특별한 날들이 참 많다. 어린이날 어버이날 부처님오신날 스승의 날 등등! 오늘은 바로 부처님 오신날! 그래서 부모님과 함께 집근처 봉은사에 갔었다. 우리집은 가톨릭 신자지만 이런 날에는 절에 가서 구경도 하고 한다. 종교가 다르다고 남의 종교가 틀린건 아니니까, 그리고 모든 종교는 다 연결되어 있다고 생각도 든다. 결국 착하게 남을 도우며 성실하게 잘 살기위해 종교를 갖는것 아니겠는가? (종교적인 부분은 매우 예민하니까 이쯤에서 그만)
오늘도 봉은사에서 많은 아줌마들을 봤다. 기도를 드리고 돌탑을 쌓아두고 등을달고 초에 불을 붙이고…이는 모두 그들의 가족들의 안녕을 위한 것이리라 생각이 든다. 우리의 모든 어머니들 즉 우리의 모든 아줌마들이 그렇게 가족을 위해 또 오늘도 살아간다.
아줌마들 모두 화이팅! 그리고 다음주에는 아줌마에 대한 포스팅을 곧 올리겠다! 즐거운 연휴 보내시길!
I tried to make Ajumma dolls before I made a Digital Ppal-let-ter video. Now, I’m thinking to do something very exciting and fun project for Ajummas. I can’t say the clear idea for this new project yet but one thing I can say for now is that this project will be enjoyable for everyone (not too serious or academic project). Through this blog, I will keep posting articles about ajummas (from academic research to miscellaneous stories) and at the same time I will upload the new project for ajummas as well.
As you can see the captured photo above, Jamie Oliver mentioned about Ajumma (he typed as ajoomma). Yes, ajummas are strong and at the same time lovely women. I’m so glad to read his comment about ajumma. They are part of our culture, I think.
Digital Ppal-let-ter is a new digital space where the wash place before the 1960s and a Kakao Talk group chat room in 2015 coexist together. As an imaginary space that has been planned and created based on interdisciplinary research and creative concept of thinking, I have carefully considered how to present the concept of Digital Ppal-let-ter to audiences. Initially I planned for Digital Ppal-let-ter to be exhibited in a gallery or other space in the form of an installation. However, the plan changed to using video due to the difficulty of installing a reproduction of a wash place and the Kakao Talk group chat room. Through the video, the audience can experience the wash place prior to the 1960s with village women and a Kakao Talk group chat room in 2015 with Smart Ajummas at the same time.
The project will also encourage audiences to reconsider the communal spaces, the ways of communication and the communities of middle-aged married women, ajummas, in Korea from the past to the present. Furthermore, it can be expected that this opportunity will increase interest in ajummas and their ways of communication among audiences and the general public. Hence, both the creative project, Digital Ppal-let-ter, and the research project, Smart Ajumma, will awaken thoughts and value about the existence of ajummas and their unique way of communicating that has gone unnoticed.