It’s been a political week here in the Korea peninsula. We’ll go in chronological order.
2018 North Korea – United States Summit
As you may or may not know, President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong-un held a summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018. I, unfortunately, couldn’t tune in, because it happened during class time. My teachers mentioned it, though. My Korean class teacher pulled up an article on the projector about it to those who didn’t know, and my American Literature class teacher talked about it in the beginning of class. There wasn’t a reason to discuss the summit in class for my teachers. It didn’t relate to what we’re learning. It was just because the summit is a important mark of history.
Did people back at home talk about the summit too?
As I was passing a common area in my dormitory, where there is a big TV, I saw bits of the summit on the screen. Passing that, I wondered if my country’s president will make a joke out of the US. Hopefully only good things will come out of that meeting between two powerful figures in today’s world.
Election Day 2018
The day after the summit was Election Day for South Korea. It’s a holiday, so not a lot of stores were open and I didn’t have school. The day wasn’t on my radar, though, until I saw the campaigns for it.
My Korean class teacher also talked about Election Day the day after it happened, and she asked us if we’ve seen what Korean people do during the period. The class said no, but I shared my story.
I was strolling in Daegu (blog post yet to come) one day; you know crossing the streets and the whole shebang. But as I was approaching the next stoplight, I hear music of three different songs playing. It was good music, so I wasn’t offended. But as I got closer and closer to the source, I see three different cars and people dancing in front of them. For a while, I didn’t know what was happening, but when the cars started to display pictures of a person smiling and doing good deeds, I knew. Campaigning is no game.
I thought it was pretty intense what they do for publicity. When I was on the bus, we passed by several groups supporting their candidate and every time they bowed to the bus. There were banners on intersections and I heard loud campaign music in class once. Nothing offended me, but I was thinking, “Wow, this is how they do that here.”
Then my classmate, who is from the US too, told me that we do that too. I didn’t know! Now I’m waiting for 2020 to come around, so I can experience campaign heat like in Korea, in the US. Let’s all wait patiently.