13 March 2009

Q&A, Part II

Grmph. I just took a half hour to type out a LONG post to answer Ria's question, and Friday the Thirteenth ate it.

I'll try again, starting (again) with my apology for taking so long to answer. Malfunctioning laptop at home + no blogging time at work = random and sporadic updates to blog. That said, let's begin again.

How do you connect with your Korean roots?

This has been something that I've struggled with for a long time. One of the biggest things I've done is change my name. When I was adopted by some random white people, they change my name to something completely culturally assimilated (in keeping with the times and the push for international/transracial adoption in the mid-70s). But I've since changed my name to something somewhat Korean. The surname is the one I came with but the first name is something I chose because it had meaning to me.

I've been wanting to take Korean language (Hangul) classes, but I haven't yet, mostly for financial reasons. I was going to start them in the fall, but with the hospital changing our tuition remission benefits, I don't know how that will play out. I have books on how to speak/read the language, as well as the Rosetta Stone free trial software, but that only gets one so far.

I'm fortunate to have the Asian Arts Initiative here in downtown Philadelphia. I support them, as well as go to performances and exhibits that introduce me to different cultural aspects of ... um... Asian art.

I know that I'm not as culturally connected as I would like to be, but writing this kind of makes me feel embarrassed and ashamed, which is probably another reason this answer has taken so long, now that I think about it. But I want to continue to educate myself about Korean culture and history. It is extremely important to me because when I have kids, I fervently wish to pass along some pride in their Korean heritage.

And, of course, I ALWAYS root for Team ROK in the Olympics. :) (and I will still never forgive Apollo Anton Ohno)

1 comment:

  1. I didn't want to make you feel bad - I mean I lived with my mom 6 months a year and the only Japanese culture I got from that was food. And since I can't speak, read or write when the food companies change their packaging I'm screwed! I want Angie to have some connection, but since I don't feel it it's hard to give to her ( she does scarf down sushi like it's her last meal though LOL)