Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We Are Not Our Stereotypes

This article by Vivia Chen touches upon what the Korean has been trying to say about Asian Americans and the way we handle stereotypes against us.
But how do most tiger cubs fare? Not so well, according to the panelists, which included Javade Chaudhri, GC of Sempra Energy; Wilson Chu, partner at K&L Gates; Don Liu, GC of Xerox Corporation; Linda Lu, associate GC of Allstate Inc.; Larry Tu, GC of Dell; and me. . . . Are APAs too deferential to authority and too quiet about blowing their own horn? The audience said yes.

Personally, I found this discussion pleasantly ironic because I didn't get the impression that this was a shy, timid crowd. Quite the opposite--both the panel members and the audience were highly articulate and forceful. I'd go a step further and say those qualities hold true for just about everyone I met at the convention.

Which brings me back to my original point: This was not a dweeby crowd. Ten or twenty years ago, more APA lawyers might have fit that bill, but I think there's been a sea change.

So are APA lawyers still saddled with a nerdy, not-ready-for-prime-time image? Is this the way law firms and corporations perceive Asian Americans, or the way we perceive ourselves? Whose stereotype is it?
Asian American Lawyers: Still Too Nerdy to Get to the Top? [The Careerist]

The Korean shares the same observation with Chen, at a larger scale. The Korean simply does not see a disproportionate number of Asian Americans being timid, robotic, uncreative, or any of the other usual stereotypes associated with Asian Americans. If anything, he is seeing an over-representation of bold, adventurous, creative and leadership-oriented Asian Americans in the younger generation, who will surely reach the top echelons of American society in a decade or so.

The Korean briefly touched upon this topic in this post, but it bears repeating: Asian Americans are internalizing the negative stereotypes about us. Even when an Asian American ends up being successful, like the panelists or the audience in the discussion described in Chen's article, such Asian American considers him/herself to be an exception rather than the rule.

That's the thing about stereotypes -- it is self-perpetuating as long as there is one example of it. Few people ever engage in an honest-to-goodness counting of just how many of the Asian Americans around them fit the stereotypes. But sure enough, a lot of people know at least one Asian American who fits the stereotype. Because of the confirmation bias, a few examples are all we need for the stereotype to live on. This much, we all know.

But what is particularly disconcerting about Asian Americans is that we internalize the negative stereotypes against us like few other social groups do. Few women would readily agree with the stereotype that they are bad at math and sciences, or the stereotype they lack leadership skills. Few African Americans would readily agree with the stereotype that they are lazier and more crime-prone. But these high-ranking Asian American attorneys -- partners, general counsels who are leaders of their fields -- publicly espouse the stereotype, even though they themselves are the living counterexamples of the stereotype. To the Korean, this makes no sense.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today, TK Learned:

... Mount Vernon gets ridiculously crowded on Thanksgiving.
  • There are four types of criticism against American higher education. All of them are flawed. [Los Angeles Review of Books]
  • Should law school pay students to quit? The Korean says yes. [Slate]
  • Effort is important, but talent still matters. [New York Times]
  • Seoul as a model of urbanized growth. Very insightful. [National Geographic]
  • What a Chinese scholar thinks about Korea's unification. [The Interpreter]
  • Big international stories that did not receive enough attention this year. [Foreign Policy]
Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Monday, November 28, 2011

50 Most Influential K-Pop Artists: 23. Shin Seung-Hoon

[Series Index]

23. Shin Seung-Hoon [신승훈]

Years of Activity: 1990-present

You, Reflected in a Smile [미소 속에 비친 그대] (1990)
Shin Seung Hun Vol. 2 (1992)
Shin Seung Hun Vol. 3 (1993)
For a Long Time Afterwards [그 후로 오랫동안] (1994)
Shin Seung Hun Vol. 5 (1996)
Feeling (1998)
Desire to Fly High (2000)
The Shin Seung Hun (2002)
Ninth Reply (2004)
The Romanticist (2009)

Representative Song:  Invisible Love [보이지 않는 사랑] from Shin Seung Hun Vol. 2.

보이지 않는 사랑
Invisible Love

사랑해선 안 될게 너무 많아
There are too many things I must not love
그래서 더욱 슬퍼지는 것같아
Perhaps that is why it is even sadder
그중에서 가장 슬픈 건
The saddest among all is
날 사랑하지 않는 그대
you who do not love me
내 곁에 있어달라는 말 하지 않았지
I never said be by my side
하지만 떠날 필요 없잖아
But you did not need to leave
보이지 않게 사랑할 거야
I will love you invisibly
너무 슬퍼 눈물 보이지만
Though I may show tears because of overwhelming sorrow

어제는 사랑을 오늘은 이별을
Yesterday, love; today, parting
미소짓는 얼굴로 울고 있었지
Crying with a smiling face
하지만 나 이렇게 슬프게 우는 건
But I cry so sadly like this
내일이면 찾아올 그리움 때문일꺼야
Because of the longing that will come tomorrow

Translation note:  It's not like the lyrics in Korean was the most sophisticated one in the world, but in English they sound terribly childish. Suggestions are welcome, as always.

In 15 words or less:  The king of ballad.

Maybe he should be ranked higher because...  His dominance over his genre was nearly unparalleled, particularly back in the 1990s when ballad was the mainstream music.

Maybe he should be ranked lower because...   Did he have any musical imprint in Korean pop music history?

Why is this artist important?
It is difficult to overstate how huge "ballad" was back in Korean of 1990s. At this point in time, many people believe that air-headed, bubble-gum "k-pop", represented Girls' Generation, Super Junior and the like, constitutes the entirety of Korean pop music. That notion is clearly a mistake, but it is an understandable mistake given that the presence of "k-pop" (in the smaller sense of the word) is so dominant over the airwaves. If the same people were exposed to Korean pop music in the 1990s, they would have thought that the morose and saccharine "ballads" were the only Korean pop music available.

Shin was the eye of the storm of the era. His public presence was rivaled by only a select few on this list. The 17 million copies of his album sold speak for themselves. Although Shin never truly attempted anything artistically daring, he deserves a spot here as a true exemplar of K-pop's zeitgeist.

Interesting trivia:  Shin holds a second degree black belt in kung fu.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Many celebrations of this most American of all American holidays, the holiday of immigrants. The Korean is thankful for an easy year at work, successful 5th anniversary of AAK! and the Korean Brother's engagement to a wonderful woman. Here is what the Korean wrote for last year's Thanksgiving, and the sentiment remains the same this year.

*              *              *

Thanksgiving is the Korean's favorite holiday, and it is a crying shame that it is slowly turning into a mere bump in the road on the way to Christmas shopping. Thanksgiving is the Korean's favorite holiday because it is one of the most American of holidays -- the holiday for immigrants. The day in which Americans, old and new, share a table to fill their body with a hearty bird native to American land.

On the Thanksgiving Day of 1997 -- some 380 years after the Pilgrims -- the Korean Family arrived at the port of Los Angeles International Airport, full of anticipation for the Land of Opportunity. The Korean Family was greeted by natives, the distant family friends who have lived in the U.S. for decades as Korean Americans. And like a beautiful fugue, the pattern repeated once again; the natives helped the immigrants to get settled in, and begin their lives in the new world.

Thus, Thanksgiving Day is doubly special for the Korean Family. We never miss celebrating it. We always get together as a family and reflect on how we have begun -- and succeeded! -- our decade-plus immigrant life in America. We are thankful for all the great things in our lives, but most of all, we are thankful to be in America. Like the Pilgrims who were grateful for their new lives and new opportunities, the Korean Family is grateful, each and every year, for our own new lives and opportunities.

AAK! will be on a break until next week.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Conversation

(Driving through Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan.)

The Korean Cousin:  "This is the way up to the lab I work in."

The Korean:  "It's a big hill."

TKC:  "I walk up this hill every morning, at 6 a.m."

TK:  "You have always been so diligent, hyeong."

TKC:  "That's what our family does, working harder than everyone. Your family moved to Seoul early, but I'm a hick, you know. There are all these people who are smarter than me and went to better schools. So this is what I have been doing for the ten years I've been working here. I get to the lab two hours before everyone else does. I open the curtains, clean the office, then I have a quiet time for myself. What do you think I do with that time?"

TK:  "... you would probably study something."

TKC:  "I study English."

TK:  "That's amazing, hyeong."

TKC:  "No it's not, because I'm not getting better. For ten years I've been spending those precious two hours a day of my life studying English, and I'm not getting better. I memorize everything I see, I listen to all these English listening materials, I practice speaking, and I'm not getting better. My test scores are the same, and I don't feel like I'm better at listening or speaking in English.

It's such a waste of time. It's not easy getting up that early. It takes all my dedication and discipline. Those two hours are precious to me. If I spent those two hours a day studying the engineering stuff that I wanted to study, I would be so much happier. I would be a much better engineer too. But I can't do that. People who buy our ships only speak English."

TK:  "... you just gotta keep at it, like you always do ..."

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at
Korea-U.S. FTA just got ratified in Korea's National Assembly, in a predictably dramatic fashion. (Tear gas! That's new.) The Korean wrote about it on the Marmot's Hole.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Duties on Items Mailed to Korea?

Dear Korean,

My daughter is in Korea teaching English at a school in Gwangju. Her mother and I gave her a new iPod as a parting gift, but when she got Korea she found it didn’t work. She mailed it back to us so we could take it back to the Apple store. Where we bought it. They confirmed that it was defective and replaced it, and we would like to mail the replacement to our daughter, but we have read that she may have to pay a lot in duty and other taxes if we do. Can you suggest how I might be able to get some definitive information about that potential problem and about what, if anything, we can do about it?

Jonathan G.

For the answer to this question, there is no better place to ask than Korea Customs Service. Basically, the rule is that an item around KRW 150,000 won (a little less than $150) that is imported for a personal use is duty-free. But even if an item is under KRW 150,000 won, it may be subject to a custom duty if the customs office believe it is not for personal use. The Korean would imagine that a refurbished iPod would probably pass.

All international packages are first examined for their description written on the shipping label, then they pass through an x-ray machine. Should the customs office decide that the item is subject to a custom duty based on the examination, the recipient pays the tax when she picks up the package at the local post office. The tax rate is different for different items, but they generally range between 20 to 35%.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today, TK Learned:

... that good times don't last, he still works for a big law firm, and there will be weeks where he will spend 18 hours at the office every day for a week and beyond.
  • For all you poetry lovers, be sure to check out this new blog that provides translated Korean poems. [Korean Poetry in Translation]
  • Excellent summary on the history of Korea's economic development, and Korea's challenges for the future. [The Economist]
  • LG made "iPad" 10 years ago. Next step: patent lawsuit! [LinuxDevices]
  • President Lee Myung-Bak's autobiography is getting hammered in reviews written by Korean people who hate him. []
  • Making unfettered gun rights constitutional means felons can restore their gun rights easily. [New York Times]
  • Engineering students study the most. Business students study the least. [New York Times]
  • If Scotland declared independence, will it be automatically in the EU? [Eutopia Law]
  • Being a fisher is way, way more dangerous than being a police. [Think Progress]
  • Napster and online music apparently did not affect the quality of music. [Digitopoly]
Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Glass Ceiling and Bamboo Ceiling

Here is a bit about gender gap in legal business:
Both female partners and female associates lag behind their male counterparts in pay, and the difference largely shows up in the respective bonuses paid to each. Finally, "[t]he majority of large firms have, at most, two women members on their highest governing committee. A substantial number have either no women (11 percent of firms) or only one woman (35 percent of firms) on their highest governing committee."

We know that nearly half of law students are women, so we must question why women are not faring nearly as well in private practice as are their male counterparts.
The Gap [PrawfsBlawg]

A lot of women in law schools, but only a few women in top position. That looks awfully like what is happening to Asian Americans. As Wesley Yang noted in his New York Magazine article:
According to a recent study, Asian-­Americans represent roughly 5 percent of the population but only 0.3 percent of corporate officers, less than 1 percent of corporate board members, and around 2 percent of college presidents. There are nine Asian-American CEOs in the Fortune 500. In specific fields where Asian-Americans are heavily represented, there is a similar asymmetry. A third of all software engineers in Silicon Valley are Asian, and yet they make up only 6 percent of board members and about 10 percent of corporate officers of the Bay Area’s 25 largest companies. At the National Institutes of Health, where 21.5 percent of tenure-track scientists are Asians, only 4.7 percent of the lab or branch directors are, according to a study conducted in 2005.
But there is a difference between women and Asian Americans, and the difference is in the way people go about trying to figure out why women/Asian Americans are lacking in the top position. Few people dare to speak about how it's the women's fault that they are underrepresented at the top. Many people may think to themselves that women are dumb, emotional and unfit as leaders, but few dare speak out their minds because the social consequence will be swift and harsh. (Recall what happened to Lawrence Summers.) On the other hand, people feel quite free to discuss how it is really Asian Americans' fault -- because Asian Americans are uncritical and uncreative robots -- that Asian Americans are underrepresented at the top. Why?

-EDIT 11/18/2011- After reading the comments, a few more thoughts:

- As several commenters pointed out, it is absolutely true that not only sexists harbor their thoughts about the supposed unfitness of women as leaders, but they also often share their thoughts in casual conversations. The Korean never intended to deny that. But the point still holds that people are ready to blame Asian Americans than women for their respective underrepresentation in the top of their fields. The point also holds that the social consequences of blaming the victim differ on who is blamed. President of Harvard had to resign for blaming women for being underrepresented at the top. Wesley Yang gets a cover story of the New York Magazine by blaming Asian Americans for being underrepresented at the top. The Korean still does not fully understand why the treatments are disparate.

- Another difference in this context:  the willingness of the women and Asian Americans to accede to the arguments that blame them. It appeared that, in response to Lawrence Summers' remark, women were unanimously indignant. Surely no women stood up to extol Summers for bravely exposing something that had to be said. In contrast, a number of Asian Americans stood up and cheered for Wesley Yang's article that blamed Asian culture for the underrepresentation of Asian Americans at the top. (You can read some of the reactions in the comment section of that article.) Again, why?

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ask a Korean! Wiki: Books about Korean Art?

Dear Korean,

I am a 27 year old student of the arts; and a graphic designer by profession. Recently I started learning Korean, and also about Korean culture. I was wondering if you had some books to suggest or resources for me to look into about Korean art, and art history. I am also very interested in learning traditional calligraphy.

Cassandra H.

The Korean receives a lot of questions asking for book recommendations, and he always has the same problem: The Korean rarely reads any book about Korea in English. For him, it's just not necessary. Hopefully the readers can help here -- do you know any books in English about Korean art or art history?

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Friday, November 11, 2011

Can You Go to College in Korea? (Take the Exam!)

This past Thursday was the most important day for 690,000 Korean high school seniors -- it was the day of the dreaded College Scholastic Aptitude Test. It is not an exaggeration to say that much of Korean students' lives were dedicated to that one day. Korean society does everything it can to assist the students' test taking. Buses and subways run more frequently, and airplanes are prohibited from taking off or landing during listening comprehension portion of the exam.

CSAT takes up a major portion of college admission, although each college is free to set its own standard of how much CSAT score will be reflected. Colleges generally choose to reflect anywhere between 20% to 100%. To the extent CSAT does not count as 100% of the admission requirements, schools look at: high school GPA; high school attendance; community service; a separate essay exam; interview; audition/tryouts, etc. (Interview and audition/tryouts are usually for students looking to major in athletics or arts.)

CSAT's format changes slightly every year. But basically, CSAT is made up of seven sections: Korean, Math, English, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Occupational Sciences and Second Foreign Language. Students are not supposed to take all seven sections. The way in which test-takers choose the sections to take is slightly complicated, and this is how:

- CSAT is made up of five periods, going from 8:40 a.m. to 6:05 p.m.

- All students take Korean, Math and English in the first three periods. Math is divided into Math A and Math B, and students choose one or the other. Math B is a little easier, but most science/engineering colleges require Math A. There is a one hour lunch period between the second and third periods.

- Fourth period is for "Sciences" sections. Social Sciences section has 11 subjects (e.g., modern Korean history, world geography, economics, etc.) Natural Sciences section has 8 subjects (e.g. physics, chemistry, etc.) Occupational Sciences section has 17 subjects (e.g. accounting, fisheries and maritime, programming, etc.) Students are required to choose one of the sections, depending on the majors for which they plan to apply. Generally, humanities majors choose Social Sciences, science and engineering majors choose Natural Sciences, and those applying for a technical degree at a 2-year college choose Occupational Sciences. Within the section, the student chooses up to three subjects to take. (Last year, it was four.) Generally, colleges require the scores from at least two subjects.

- Fifth period is for the Second Foreign Language section. Second Foreign Language section has eight subjects. Students are not required to take the Second Foreign Language section. But if they choose to take it, they may select one subject in the section. Certain majors (e.g. Chinese literature) require Second Foreign Language in a specific language, and certain colleges allow students to substitute a Second Foreign Language subject with one of the subjects in Social Sciences section.

With that said, here is something that (as far as the Korean knows) has never been done before:  you, an English speaker, can try your hand at taking CSAT in your language. Will you be able to go to college in Korea?

More after the jump.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Today, TK Learned:

... that David Letterman show starts at 11:30 p.m., not 10:30 p.m.
  • America produces fewer computer science majors compared to 25 years ago. How is that even possible? [Marginal Revolution]
  • This is how -- science majors quit in droves because science is too hard. Pretty damning indictment of just how stupid and soft American students have become. [New York Times]
  • Scary lesson from this graph is that China might be even more corrupt than people think. [The Economist]
  • Korea's credit rating remains solid. [Bloomberg]
  • American generals think the war in Afghanistan is not going that well. [Foreign Policy]
  • Supreme Court sometimes does tell the lawyer to just give up. [SCOTUS Blog]
Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Louis CK, and Why America is the Least Racist Country in the World

First of all, here is Louis CK on anti-Mexican sentiment in Arizona. (If you want to skip other parts, go straight to 7:40 mark.)

Although the entire episode is amusing, the punchline from the racist lady is what interested the Korean: "It's not that I don't like Mexicans, it's just that there are so many of them."

It is the Korean's steadfast belief that America is the least racist country in the world. As the Korean explained in the previous post, this is not to say America does not have racism, nor is it to say that America's racism is inoffensive. In fact, it is fair to say that America is the most race-conscious country in the world. In virtually any social context, the racial aspect of a given circumstance is never very far away in the minds of Americans. Why? It is not possible for any American to be unaware of racial aspects of her society because America has so many racial minorities.

The punchline from Louis CK is a perfect example of that. The racist woman in Arizona who gave Louis CK a ride would probably not display any overtly racist attitude toward, say, Indonesians. Why would she? Indonesians are not numerous enough in America to threaten her lifestyle with Indonesian language instruction being available along with English instruction at the parking lot she visits. But you can be sure that the woman will be just as racist toward Indonesians if America had as many Indonesians as it does Mexicans. The reason why the lady hates Mexicans (despite her protestations) is precisely because there are so many Mexicans in America, and Mexicans, through their numbers, threaten to displace her dominant place in the society.

As the Korean wrote in the previous post, it is meaningless to discuss whether a certain society is racist when the said society is devoid of a massive number of visible racial minorities. Such country may not appear racist, but that is not because the denizens of that country lack the seed of racist hatred in their minds. Unless faced with a situation in which their dominant social station is threatened by racial minorities, the seeds of racism do not germinate. America is the least racist country in the world precisely because America has so many racial minorities, precisely because Americans face the most temptation to be racist. Although the situation is far, FAR from perfect, it is to America's credit that most Americans resist the urge, denounce racism and bring about quick social death to their fellow Americans who even hint toward racism.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Monday, November 07, 2011

Suicide in Korea Series: III. Sociology of Suicide in Korea

[Series Index]

Korea's high suicide rates are widely known, and there have been plenty of attempts to explain why Korea has such high suicide rates. The proffered reasons range from the unwillingness to discuss mental health, Korea's cultural trait of "han", celebrity suicide affecting the general public, etc. There may be even a genetic explanation -- a study showed that Asian Americans have relatively less "long genes" that produce serotonin, which regulates mood. But although these reasons may be correct and practically helpful, they fail to understand the fundamental cause of the prevalence of suicide in Korea today.

Why are these reasons inadequate? Because they do not explain the dramatic increase in suicide beginning in the late 1990s. As we discussed in the previous part, Korea actually had a very low rate of suicide as recently as mid-1980s. Currently, the average suicide rate in the OECD is 11.1 per 100,000 people. In 1986, Korea's suicide rate was only 6.6 per 100,000. Even in 1995, Korea's suicide rate was 10.8 per 100,000. Given this data, it does not make sense to blame, for example, Korea's lack of mental health awareness for Korea's incredibly high suicide rate in the recent years. (31 per 100,000 people in 2009.) Korean people had even less awareness in mental health back in 1986, when the suicide rate was less than one quarter of the present day's. It makes even less sense to blame genetics, as Korean people's genetics could not have changed in just less than 30 years. Whatever the answer is to Korea's suicide problem, it lies with what happened with Korea in the last few decades.

(More after the jump)

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Friday, November 04, 2011

Burial or Cremation?

Dear Korean,

Would there be any shame associated with cremating a loved one rather than burying him/her?

White Schoolteacher

Traditionally, Korean people preferred to bury their dead. Traditional funeral in Korea is a big affair, requiring many people dressed up in hemp clothes carrying a lavishly decorated casket, to the family burial ground where the entire family is to be buried. Below is a re-creation of a traditional Korean funeral. The Korean Grandfather's funeral looked like this, because he is from a traditional family.

But all that changed significantly in the last 20 years or so. As traditional family structure weakened, the younger generation decided that it was easier to tend a crypt than a burial plot with grass and a tombstone. Also, the government encouraged cremation and in some cases even provided a subsidy for cremation, as it was concerned about the family burial plots taking up too much land. The result is a dramatic increase in cremation -- from 17.8% of all burials in 1991 to 67.5% in 2010. In particular, overwhelming majority of city folks preferred cremation, compared to rural residents.

So at this point, it's safe to say that there is no shame associated with cremation.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Whither KORUS FTA?

If you are curious about what's going on with Korea's side of ratifying the free trade agreement with the United States, the Korean gave an analysis of the political stakes on the Marmot's Hole. Short version:  regardless of the sound and fury, the Korean is confident that the FTA will pass in Korea by the year's end.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

AAK! PSA: Classic Korean Movie Screening in D.C. This Friday

Here is a nice free screening of Madame Freedom in Washington D.C., this Friday.

Date: Friday, November 4, 2011, 7 p.m. 

Venue:  Meyer Auditorium of Freer Gallery, in the Smithsonian complex.

One of the defining films of the “golden era” of Korean cinema in the 1950s, Madame Freedom was a template for Korean films in the 1960s and influenced them well into this century. This melodrama about marital infidelity was the first large-scale commercial box office success after the Korean War, and it tapped into contemporary tension between modernity and tradition.

In celebration of the reopening of the Freer’s Korea gallery, Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, creates a new score for this classic film combining a string duo and turntables, edited live using his innovative iPad/iPhone mixing software. (Dir.: Han Hyung-mo, Korea, 1956, 125 min., Korean with English subtitles)

Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, is a composer, artist, and writer whose work bridges hip hop, multimedia art, and avant-garde music. His work as a media artist has appeared in the Whitney Biennial as well as at Kunsthalle, Vienna, and the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, among many other museums and galleries. Rebirth of a Nation, his live rescore of D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, was commissioned in 2004 by the Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Weiner Festwochen, and the Festival d'Automne a Paris. It has been performed in venues around the world.

For more information, please visit the website of the Freer Gallery.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at
If you like Korean music but are sick of the same old idol group fare, get yourself straight to Indieful ROK. And while you are there, you can read the most recent viewer report on 나는 가수다, which now features the Korean's impressions of the show.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Today, TK Learned:

... that the only thing more excruciating than translating a book is editing the translated manuscript of the book.
  • One way to defeat surveillance might be providing constant details about where you are to the FBI, all the time. [New York Times]
  • Ever wonder why Afghans are not grateful that Americans saved them from Taliban tyranny? This might be a reason why. [CNN]
  • "An Egyptian man was severely beaten after an Iraqi gang tried to kidnap and force him to film pornographic videos because of his astonishing resemblance to former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein." [Ahram Online]
  • Sugar does not cause hyperactivity in children. [Incidental Economist]
  • Asian American students are the most frequently bullied. [AFP]
  • Contrast this sentence ... "Only three in 10 U.S. schoolchildren make the grade in reading, the U.S. Education Department said today. Four in 10 passed muster in math." [Business Week]
  • ... with this one:  "middle class families in Asian countries spend up to 50% of their income on education for their children – over and above what the state provides, living in smaller homes and driving smaller cars than their US counterparts to provide maximum education for their off-spring." [The Economist]
Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at
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