I’ve Got Some Love for North Korea

21 Jun

While watching soccer this weekend – of Portugal thrash North Korea – I found myself rooting passionately for North Korea, even more so than I did for the Southern brethren. It’s the whole underdog, loveable loser thing that North Korea’s got going on. But it’s a bit more than that for me.

As a 2nd generation Korean (aka Gyopo), I find myself oddly connected to them as if we grew up as neighbors and have a common cultural heritage. It’s the same reason I root for any Korean athlete over American athletes; it’s also the same reason I feel a sort of familiarity and connection with some famous Japanese athletes when I find out they’re actually Korean. It’s the hope and belief that yes, we are connected through some long and old history, displaced in this world as long lost kin. I ended up in America, North Koreans ended up on the wrong side of the border.

It’s too bad it’s over for them in the world cup. But maybe you’ll catch good ol Jong Il off guard one of these days. And even if you get crushed, I’m still rooting for you 🙂


4 Responses to “I’ve Got Some Love for North Korea”

  1. YoonSeon June 24, 2010 at 12:37 PM #

    Y’know it’s weird – even though I’m “only” adopted, and I haven’t even been back to Korea since I was born, I feel the same way you do. I’ve been rooting for Korea (South and North) way more than I have for Australia. I feel like I have some inherent affiliation, even though I haven’t even lived the life of a “normal” Korean person. It’s very strange…

    • Keith June 25, 2010 at 1:47 AM #

      I think identity is somewhat of a choice. There are people on the other end of the spectrum like my dad, who immigrated to America when he was about 16. And he hates Korea. He’s a total American. He always roots for America in everything. And that’s a personal preference and choice that he’s made.

      You and I, we’re on the same boat 😉

      • YoonSeon June 25, 2010 at 9:48 AM #

        Yeah… I think I’m more like you. LOL.

        Your Dad sounds similar to my Grandfather. He’s Maltese and he came here during the war. He’s never been back. Hates Malta, wants nothing to do with it.

  2. julinetteg November 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM #

    Very interesting post. I like and agree with the way you say identity is somewhat of a choice. My husband and I are born and raised in Puerto Rico but my husband love Russian culture a lot. He said he is a Russian born in the wrong place. I love Korean culture and feel my culture and the Korean culture are very similar.

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