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Jasmine Revolution, Korean style

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Jasmine Revolution, Korean style

Korea has come of age, of sorts. Jasmine Lee, a naturalized Korean citizen originally from the Philippines, became the first foreign-born lawmaker. Granted, she didn't run for a seat herself, but became a member of the National Assembly as a proportional representation candidate when the Saenuri Party won a majority in the recent parliamentary elections.

This is actually big news. Not necessarily the fact that Jasmine Lee became a rising political star; she was already a minor celebrity in Korea with a complete package of looks, smarts and a compelling narrative. The real news is the fact that Jasmine Lee hasas a result of her background as a transplanted Southeast Asian woman who came Korea after marrying a Korean husbandbecome the face and voice of 210,000 similar women and their 150,000 children who live in Korea today and their struggles to join the mainstream society.

This won't be an easy task. The insular vein from the "Hermit Kingdom" of old still runs thick beneath modern Korea. After all, the country is probably one of the few that proudly trump the myth that Koreans come from a single bloodline. Granted, every nationality has its own creation myth that tells why it's uniquethe Korean one just happens to be heavily based on its supposed ethnic purity.

This might have served Koreans well in the last 2,000 years by keeping them intact and coherent as a people. But this self-serving myth has recently come under attack from the influx of foreign-born wives to mostly rural Korean men who bear Korean children who are no longer ethnically "pure".

As these women and their mixed-blood children come of age and join society to claim their own "Koreanness", Korea will face the types of debate that will force it to engage in extensive soul-searching that other multicultural societies like the United States has been engaged in for the last 100 years or more.

In a way, this has already started. As soon as Jasmine Lee was elected, some netizens began attacking her with racist remarks that ran the gamut. Some disparaged her by painting her as a mail order bride while others accused her of a conspiracy to unfairly shower multicultural families in Korea with budgetary largess. The only thing that these attacks shared was their xenophobic crassness and an ingrained fear that the formerly invisible "other" is now claiming a spot front and center.

In response to these attacks, Seoul National University law professor Cho Gook, one of the representative liberal thought leaders in Korea, said on Twitter on April 13: "There has been some racially discriminatory denunciation going around Saenuri Party proportional representative Jasmine Lee. Although criticism of her political inclination and qualification may be necessary, racism cannot be allowed",

Responses from other, more responsible members of Korean society have followed along similar lines. They all quickly denounced the racist attacks and urged Korean society to face multiculturalism with an open mind.

All well and good. But what came to my mind instead was Sidney Poitier in "Who's Coming to Dinner", the groundbreaking 1967 film that dealt with interracial marriage in the United States. How would all these high-sounding intellectuals react if their sons or daughters brought home a significant other that looked like Jasmine Lee and wanted permission to marry? Would they still be as noble as they sound today?

I am not too sure. And if they were honest, no one in Korea today, not even the self-proclaimed social progressives, would know 100 percent how they would react. It's not that they don't want to be colorblind and judge everyone solely by the "contents of their character". It's just that even liberals are subject to the cultural norms and prejudices of their upbringing.

In Time magazine, Toure quotes Michelle Alexander, the author of "The New Jim Crow", as writing: "Decades of cognitive bias research demonstrates that both unconscious and conscious biases lead to discriminatory actions even when an individual does not want to discriminate. The fact that you may honestly believe that you are not biased against African Americans, and that you may have black friends and relatives, does not mean that you are free from unconscious bias".

Individuals have cognitive habits. When you scale up an individual's cognitive habits to a national level, you have an ingrained culture. In short, Korea has a racist culture in the dictionary sense of the word because one of the main pillars of Korea's national myth is its ethnic homogeneity.

I guess what I am trying to say is that a journey to a pluralistic, multicultural society is not an easy one. High and mighty denunciations against ignorant and anonymous netizens, albeit a good start, doesn't mean the game is won. In fact, it hasn't even started.

As in habits, culture is difficult to change. Change will always face resistance. It doesn't take a genius to predict that Korea will be facing a civil rights struggle of its own in the next few decades. It will demand blood, sacrifice, and, mostly, courage by change agents who will lead the way.

So, here's to Jasmine Lee. May God watch over you as you lead Korea towards the next generation.

Jason Lim is a Washington, D.C.-based consultant in organizational leadership, culture, and change management. He has been writing for The Korea Times since 2006. Contact him at and on facebook.com/jasonlim2000.

Sooyoung has a birthday celebration with Girls' Generation Tiffany sings satisfied birthday

News via allkpop.com
Sooyoung has a birthday celebration with Girls' Generation   Tiffany sings satisfied birthday

She posted images from her non-public birthday celebration amongst her close-knit staff of chums onto Instagram on February 11, writing her thank you in lovable ways.  In the gang picture, the queen of the day, Sooyoung, sits in the center as all of the oppositeindividuals stare in awe of her awesomeness - what a truly perfect birthday celebration!

Choi Ji Woo Alternatives Actresses She’d Find impossible to resist to do “Youth Over Flowers” With

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Choi Ji Woo Alternatives Actresses She’d Find impossible to resist to do “Youth Over Flowers” With

Choi Ji Woo Alternatives Actresses She’d Care to do “Youth Over Flowers” Withnotclaira February 10, 2016 0 Actress Choi Ji Woo, noted for her roles in dramas comparable to “Winter Sonata” and “Stairway to Heaven,” has these days won over audiences for her appearances in variety, particularly tvN’s “Grandpas Over Flowers” and “Three Foods a Day.”

Her appearance on “Grandpas Over Flowers” was oncethis sort of hot subjectthat every one of the garments she wore at thedisplay sold out in stores. “Those were my own clothes,” Choi Ji Woo stated in an interview. “It wasn’t anything the stylists picked out for me. I picked it out and then I washed it each night. Of pathin maximum cases 1passat the aspect of what my stylists choose. I’ve had the similar stylist for 20 years.”

The present “Youth Over Flowers” program showcases a set of celebrities, incessantlybuddies or colleagues, being taken (often by way of surprise) to exotic places such as Iceland and Africa. When asked who she would actually like to do the program with, Choi Ji Woo answered, “Yoo Ho Jung and Oh Yeon Soo. Just put, we’re truly close. We behave like genuine sisters. After them, I believeit should existtoughto satisfysomebody else I can bein a position to tell the complete lot to. I'd also like to move amongst Kim Tae Hee.”

Ailee Reaches the 1 Million Milestone on Twitter

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Ailee Reaches the 1 Million Milestone on Twitter

Ailee Reaches the 1 Million Milestone on Twitternotclaira February 10, 2016 0 Ailee has reached a new milestone on her private Twitter account 1 million followers!

The singer briefly made a post marking the occasion, writing in English, “WOW 1M followers!!! Thank you to all my gorgeousfans that made this possible! Love you all!!!” As Ailee is from the United States, she regularly posts on social media in either Korean and English.

The milestone used to be especially meaningful as this month marked Ailee’s fourth year since her debut. Ailee made her debut with the song “Heaven” on February 6 after gaining status on YouTube and becomerapidly dubbed “the Korean Beyonce.”

Who Used to be the primary to Get preserve of a Ranking of 0 In Archery at the “Idol Superstar Athletics Championships”?

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Who Used to be  the primary to Get preserve of a Ranking of 0 In Archery at the “Idol Superstar Athletics Championships”?

Who Used to bethe primary to Get preserve of a Rating of 0 In Archery at the Idol Famous person Athletics Championships?boxclub February 10, 2016 0 Spoiler alert for the ones that haven’t watched the “2016 Idol Star Athletics Championships”

The “2016 Idol Star Athletics Championships” aired on MBC over the lunar New Year holiday weekend and it has shown some impressive results. This is afestival in which idols come in combination to play opposed toeach and every other in sports comparable to relays, archery and futsal. Here is its 7th year as one of the crucial holiday’s most smartly liked shows.

For the archery competition, it was a heated struggle between the JYP team of GOT7 and TWICE against Cube EntertainmentBTOB and CLC.

“Little PSY” Jeon Min Woo passes away after fight with cancer

News via koreaboo.com
“Little PSY” Jeon Min Woo passes away after fight with cancer

Known for his parody personality every bit “Little PSY” when he first conducted on Star King, it used to be reported that Jeon Min Woo turned into urgently transported to the clinic with shortness of breath and won emergency treatment. Sadly, he passed directly tothe good beyond on February 8th.

The kid actor and entertainer first showed his diagnosis back in November 2014 where it as shared that he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in his brain stem and was given six months left to reside at the time.

BEAST’s Yoon Doo Joon and VIXX’s Leo Face Off in Futsal Match

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BEAST’s Yoon Doo Joon and VIXX’s Leo Face Off in Futsal Match

BEAST’s Yoon Doo Joon and VIXX’s Leo Face Off in Futsal Fit notclaira February 10, 2016 0 At the February 10 broadcast of MBC’s Lunar New Year special “2016 Idol Star Athletics Championships,” the general men’s futsal fits took place. Futsal is a changedtype offootball played with five avid gamers per side.

SpoilersIn the semifinal game, BEAST’s Yoon Doo Joon’s team (called Goal Leaguer) went up opposed to ZE:A’s Dong Jun’s team, Real Ma-Dribble (a play on Real Madrid). In the primary half, Boys’ Republic member Wonjun scored for Function Leaguer, best to be brought up short by way of a goal from Genuine Ma-Dribble. Yoon Doo Joon then by chance scored in his own webwhilstseeking to defend, yet his team briefly brought the ratingback to a tie. In the remaining3 seconds, BEAST’s Yang Yoseob scored the winning goal.

In the finals, Intention Leaguer went up against FC Cheongdam. The MCs drew attention to the matchup between Yoon Doo Joon and VIXX’s Leo, either one of whom trained as soccer players sooner than switching careers to music.

Chinese corporate Alibaba purchases stake in SM Entertainment

News via allkpop.com
Chinese corporate Alibaba purchases stake in SM Entertainment

Now, SM will advance via Alibaba Group's online song distribution and marketing inside China and more. The issuing value of new stocksis ready 41,000 KRW (~ $34 USD) per percentagewhilst the collection of shares issued changed into 870,000, that means Alibaba spent about 35.5 billion KRW (~ $30 million USD) for their 4% stake in SM.

Back in 2014, SM had denied reports of Alibaba making an investment $90 million USD into the company, but looks as ifthey are now ableto headforward with a partnership!

Lee Min Jung is lovely in crimson in 'Come Back, Mister' still cuts

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Lee Min Jung is lovely in crimson in 'Come Back, Mister' still cuts

Are you in a position for the premiere of SBS's new drama, 'Come Back, Mister'?  The drama dropped a couple of still cuts of the gorgeous Lee Min Jung forward of the February 24 premiere in which she transforms into a frugal housewife. 

With a lovely hairpin and red coat, Lee Min Jung is goingbuying groceries at the deptshop where her husband works prior to he passes away unexpectedly.  This scene was once filmed throughoutthe primary day of filming back on January 1.  

Fans excited at the chance of TWICE’s comeback following J.Y Park’s update

News via koreaboo.com
Fans excited at the chance of TWICE’s comeback following J.Y Park’s update

On February 10th, J.Y Park shared an enchanting tidbit about the ladystaff as he posted a photo of him having a meal with the individuals on his private Instagram account. He stuckthe eye of his fans amongst the caption saying, “Felt a little sorry to have them train new songs on a holiday weekend so… : ),” leaving enthusiaststo take a positionat theoption of a comeback.

TWICE received much pastime with their debut album unencumber The Tale Begins as they made their debut with track, “Like OOH-AHH” in November closing year.

#JYP #Twice #트와이스 설날 연휴에 다음 앨범 곡 연습 시키다 미안해서^^;; Felt a little sorry to have them practice new songs on a holiday weekend so : )