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(non)Sense and (lack of) Sensibility


The Republic of Korea has an epidemic of suicides!

The high levels of stress in both confucian-influenced work environments and (even more so) schools, resulting in an incredible national average of  40 suicides per day. Some suggest that this is largely due to the unrealistic standards and excessive competition among mothers over how much better their son or daughter is than the neighbor’s kids, also called 엄친아 [eom-chin-ah], in a warped sense of keeping up with the Joneses.

The Korean-Confucian pressure cooker has taken its toll on so many souls that the younger generation refers to it as “Hell Chosun헬조선  (Chosun being the last name of the Korean Dynasty prior to Japanese occupation and post WWII independence) and the nation is finally starting to take a look at the causes of the alarmingly high rates of suicide in Korea and what can be done. 

A recent article from the Daily Mail entitled Learn to be dead for the day, Imogen Calderwood cites the ‘death experience’ schools, where at-risk students are forced to “play dead” for a day… Talk about scare tactics!

Dead for a day

Dead for a day

~ Really?! 정말 돌아가시겠다 [dol-a-ga-si-get-da] kill me now! 

Something MUST be done to help those in need, but simply subjecting our already traumatized children to another torturous “shove-it-in-the-box” solution (is this the opposite of think outside the box?) that is ostensibly aimed at scaring them in yet another classroom setting seems, in a word, insane! 

Angels of death… Mock funerals… Mass burials… From testing hell to death tribunals?! 

Mass funeral anyone?

Mass funeral anyone?

The term 배째라 [bae-jjae-ra] I’d rather die, comes to mind when I think of being forced to attend such a class… Don’t you think that might be what they are thinking? What ever happened to common sense, to bolstering self esteem, to telling them that the tests don’t determine who they are? 

Get a fucking clue and stop subjecting them to this kind of HellChosun torture! And mothers, if you love your kids, stop the ajuma network from spreading this unhealthy and unrealistic 엄친아 syndrome to the detriment of the whole society! Curb your selfish desires for vicarious glorification through the “achievements” of your children, stop putting them under excessive pressure, . 

Then take a breath, and give your kids a chance to take one, shit take them to the park and walk around barefoot in the grass. Being a kid is hard enough without the pressure of the whole future. (For those that do need help, and those who have attended such hagwons of passing, I truly hope it helps and not just a fad of passing.)




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