[LETTER TO THE EDITOR]Nationalistic nonsenseI read with dismay Chun Su-jin’s article about the SBS program that highlights the patriotism of Koreans (“Intelligence and Koreans’ use of chopsticks,” Aug. 10). Not having seen it, I take it that Ms. Chun’s derisive view of the program ― which was about Koreans using chopsticks and this miraculously making them superior to others ― is not generally shared by other Koreans.
If the true intention of the program’s producers was to make some kind of a statement supporting Korean superiority, I find it quite amazing. Seriously, what a lot of nonsense. I know many foreigners are unwilling to challenge or openly criticize anything having to do with Korean society for fear of being attacked (both physically and verbally). Well, the rot has to stop here, and I as an Australian expat am perfectly willing to cop the flak from Koreans for any of the comments I’m about to make.
The rise of nationalism is the scourge of mankind; witness the state-sanctioned beliefs in the superiority of the German race that led to the horrific mass exterminations of people throughout Europe during World War II.
Northern Asia has a real problem with its mainly monocultural societies. Despite some of the shortcomings of multicultural nations, they are generally far more socially responsible and sensitive to minorities than their counterparts in this part of the world. That is why so many Koreans want to emigrate to these countries.
Of course, the usual immature anti-U.S. sentiments have frequently been given free rein here, but often the same people who express these sentiments are surreptiously saying, “Yankee go home ― but take me with you.”
by Peter Taylor