October 15, 2005

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Dog Eat Dog

SFGate's Jeff Yang (via Foreign Dispatches' Abiola Lapite) puts as fair and humorous a spin on the East Asian penchant for dog cuisine as I've seen outside the blogosphere. Instead of indulge in relativistic discourse about boshintang and PETA protesters, a story from my wife during her morning hike up the mountain:

Old Woman: Where's your dog?

Wife: He's relaxing at home.

Old Woman (faltering voice): You didn't eat him, did you?

Wife: No! He's asleep!

Old Woman: Oh, good!

Going back to the previous post about South Koreans' supposedly xenophobic attitudes, the dog issue (and the plastic surgery shtick) would be reparable if South Koreans embraced globalization instead of resenting foreigners. If South Koreans tried to market their culture, say cuisine, the way the Chinese and Japanese industries have, perhaps Americans would have something more than bad, stock jokes to inflict upon South Koreans. I tell my students it's amazing how "sushi" and "sashimi" (and, I think, Korean-style sashimi, or "hwae", is superior) is so recognizable, but Koreans cannot even monopolize kimchi. When you can get a foreign culture to use your words instead of a translated word, you know you have done the job right.

Update: I just knew Marmot would have something to say about it, too.

Cross-Posted at Barbarian Envoy

posted by Infidel on 10.15.05 at 08:39 PM in the Koreas category.


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