중앙데일리

[FOUNTAIN]Being of mixed blood

June 03,2003
Why do we feel grotesque when we see a human face illuminated by a flashlight in a dark place? The answer is simple: We live on a planet where the sun shines from above. Thus, our brain and eyes show an aversion to images created by a beam of light from below. Television producers create ghostly images by making use of the phenomenon. The problem of mixed blood is a similar phenomenon. Koreans who cherish a homogeneous race are inclined to see someone with mixed blood as an alien.
Yoon Soo-il, In Sun-I, Park Il-jun, Yoon Mi-rae and Sonya are entertainers of mixed blood who overcame icy treatment from others. In Sun-I and Park Il-jun used to burst into tears whenever they couldn’t cope with the grief they had to go through. Remarkably, the popularity they have gained is based on their singing voices.
Until a few years ago Koreans of mixed blood were not chosen for acting jobs because directors felt they would make viewers uncomfortable. In the biological world, a crossbreed is usually stronger than a thoroughbred. A hybrid is more likely to inherit superior elements from his parents. We call that “hybrid vigor.” Experts say that mixed bloods have bigger bodies than their parents. The golfer Tiger Woods has white, African-American, Native American and Asian blood. Keanu Reeves, the star of the “Matrix” movies, is the product of a mixed-Hawaiian father and a British mother.
Mixed bloods seem to appear whenever major events shake up the world, such as during the Roman expedition, the Moorish invasion of Europe, the British conquest of India and so on.
In the United States, where one out of 15 people is of mixed blood, mixed bloods will account for 20 percent of its population in 40 years, experts predict. In some Latin American nations, people of mixed blood have become the primary race, outnumbering whites and even Hispanics.
Lee Yoo-jin, a popular Korean actress, announced last week that she is the daughter of an American father and a Korean mother. She said she hadn’t revealed this secret to the public because she was afraid of the prejudice that can still be delivered to someone is of mixed blood.
A song by Kim Min-gi helps to explain the sorrow of being of mixed blood. “There is no friend. What will I do?/ Will I walk along the railroad?/ What’s that sound over the railroad there?/ Is it a trumpet calling me in heaven?”


by Lee Kyu-youn

The writer is a deputy local news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.


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