Thursday, August 28, 2008

The land of opportunities

I'll actually continue a bit on the last subject, because I've been thinking a lot about it since I wrote. I've read a lot of stuff, Korean language, history, culture - and viewpoints about adoption coming from both Korea and Sweden. It gives me a growing feeling of that I've unknowlingly chosen to ignore a large part of my life.

Here's some facts that can't be denied:
Many adopted Koreans return to live in Korea when they're adults. Many of those never feel at home there either.
Suicide is considerably much more common in people adopted into another etnicity than their born one.
Korea still gives up thousands of children for adoption even as their economy is now well above the average line. Adoption within the borders are very uncommon. They make millions off foreign adoptions every year.
Korean culture still carries the remnants of a time where an unmarried woman could not have a child. Most children up for adoption come from single mothers.
Sweden adopts many more children from Asian countries than others, like Africa.

There is a strong feeling of sitting between chairs, so to speak. For some reason I'm not yet at the point of being angry, or even accusing, of Korea. Maybe because I've recently read about how rough the road has been for her. But she gives many opportunities. I'm slightly less inclined to give Sweden the nice treatment. Have anyone ever informed parents or the people working with adoption about the skyrocketing suicide rates, about the feeling of sitting between chairs? Sure, it's better than leaving children starving on the streets. But kids in Korea are hardly starving on the streets anymore.

I met the other Korean girl I talked about. We just had a night on town, and as if fate intervened we ran into a group of Korean tourists. They were exalted about every little thing we had to say, though the hardly spoke english. Apparantly I have the same name as a famous Korean singer. They asked who we were, where we were from. My friend knew the Korean word for adopted. All the women of the group said "aaaahhh," and tilted their heads. I got the distict feeling they felt sorry for us.

Maybe they should.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I've been watching the Olympics. No, I won't ramble about sports and stuff. What I will ramble about is nationality and identity. See, these laste six or eight months I've been feeling myself changing a lot on a certain point. Confidence. And within that lies the fact that I've changed attitude to myself being Korean.

Before I've always ignored it. Seriously. As a child I avoided mirrors. When people pointed it out or asked questions I just turned my head off and answered blank statements that I'd learned from listening to mom. I kept myself completely, utterly neutral to the fact and held it at arm's length. It didn't exactly damage me. No one ever made me do it. I just chose to not handle it at all. (Being made easier by the fact that I've been lucky enough to never have encounteder racism.)

This christmas I met an old man who had been everywhere and met everyone and had had four wives. He was always blunt to the point of rudeness. As soon as he saw me he started talking about that I should go to Korea and find my biological parents. I got angry, actually, but he just kept talking about how nice Korea was and how beautiful the women were and how they all spoke english so I wouldn't have a problem speaking to them. (Not true, as I've found out, the english that is.)

But it got my head going, and the more I thought, the more I felt... maybe. Maybe I should. Another guy at school, also unafraid of speaking his mind, had a theory that the bond between mother and child the first few weeks or months are very important, life-defining. I asked him face to face if he thought being adopted disrupted that and he said yes. People around got uncomfortable, but the oddity that struck me when he said it, was that I agreed.

And this week put two more nails in the coffin, so to speak. For one I watched the Olympics, and the nationalism is always as strongest in sports. I got to see more Korean people than I have in my entire life, and somehow as I saw them, something clicked into place. Just the way they looked and moved. This is my people too. And then I talked to another adopted Korean who have found her family and spoken to them over the phone. They don't speak english, but they talk to her anyway, for some reason. And I felt, as I listened to her story, that it could be me.

It is biologically in our blood, isn't it. The feeling when we stand side by side with someone who shares our genes and our faces and look into the mirror, seeing the ghosts of two of ourselves. And people who have lived with that their entire lives, do you understand it? What you get? I didn't. Not until now, when I'm starting to wonder;

Can you ever replace family?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Speaking of the devil

We live in a world we can't control. We pretend. When we were wandering nomads or poor farmers we had no control over the weather. But we pretended, through religion and witchery, through study and lies. Now we face the fact that even the things we ourselves created we cannot control, just as little as parents can control the personality and skills, and future, of their children. We can nudge, we can force, we can pretend. And with science and religion, through psychology and systems we pretend.

We live in a world of constant psychological warfare. Political, religious, philosophical and scientific propaganda. Commercials. Papparazzi, eggshells, even blogs. We nudge, we force, and we pretend to control other people's pretenses. And to some extent, we succeed. But what do we succeed with, really? We bring out weaknessess, the flaws of human nature, into the light and we exploit them. But we are all only human.

Someone I pretend to know said something along the lines of that a weakness is only a weakness if you allow it to be. Doesn't that mean that by exploring and exploiting human weakness, our nature, we weaken ourselves, every singe one of us.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

[Insert Approptiate Label]

I saw Batman Gotham Knight, not a bad thing. Like the Animatrix, but Batman. Well, the torrent-comments were filled with people yapping about being fooled to think it was The Dark Knight (awsome movie too, btw) because of the name. It seems it's incredibly hard to tell the word Gotham apart from the word Dark. One of them said "well, it wasn't labeled [Animated]" to excuse his apparent inability to read. (Especially since like a dozen people above him in the comments had already complained and said it was animated.)

Well, well, fine. Internet is crawling with idiots. But then I saw this on another well-known torrent site, and man...

No wonder they put labels like "Do not microwave" on cellphones.