The Korea Themed Offensive

I hope everyone had a good weekend! As you know, the offended and the offensive never take a break so there are plenty of stories to choose from. This morning we start our day with some potato pancakes and an opinion piece from The Harvard Crimson.

In freshman fall, I heard about a Korea-themed study break happening in my entryway. Confused as to what a “Korea” theme would entail, I decided to go. It turned out to be an evening of applying Korean face masks, playing Korean music, and eating Bonchon chicken.

To be frank, it was super weird.

I wasn’t offended, per se, and I’m not saying that the organizers were to blame. But the experience impacted me because it was the moment I realized that certain token elements of Korean contemporary life had come to represent my country to non-Koreans. Like croissants to France and anime to Japan, I was witnessing — in real time — my country becoming a consumable aesthetic.

I’m super happy to hear that this writer wasn’t offended but I was nearly offended on her behalf! I know exactly how it feels to have your culture turned into a ‘consumable aesthetic’. As a native Idahoan (well, as someone who moved here from California years ago but identifies as one – shh, don’t tell my neighbors), I get it. Potatoes are both aesthetic when cooked properly and consumed world wide AND we are made fun of for growing them here.

If you don’t think that’s true, you are wrong. Even our license plates have potatoes on them so everyone can identify us and make fun of us.

And it hurts. 😥

I think I’ll go finish my potato pancakes now.

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