And it’s about time!
Tonight, after waking from my dubu kimchi coma, I flipped through the usual suspects to land on Fashion N in the middle of an interesting documentary.
The great thing about syndicated western t.v. is Korean networks can buy shows and expose (gasp!) a whole lotta fashion forward and also emancipation forward ideas to Korean women (and men, as I suspect a lot of Korean men watch these shows too). I’ve been really pleasantly surprised to see all kinds of topics covered that introduce ways of thinking that are kind of as unthinkable to halmoni as men giving birth.
Anyway, this documentary was called Maria the Korean Bride’s 50th Wedding.
After turning 30 and, irritated and by the constant pressure by her family to get married, Korean-American Maria decided to represent for unmarried Asian women everywhere with performance art. Over 9 years she traveled to all 50 states to explore the institution of marriage by having a fake wedding in each. On her travels she meets all kinds of non-traditional families who express their values and give opinions on the meaning of relationships and the relevancy of marriage.
A cool project in America, but for me it was even cooler to watch it in Korea, with all its dialogue subtitled and the narration all in Korean. Yes, Korea, people can live with each other without marrying and be happy. They can have babies without marriage and be happy. Or they can have children without men and be happy. Or they can be divorced and not married and be happy. They can be divorced and remarry and be happy. And they can be married and not be happy. Or they can be married multiple times and think they are happy for now. Or they can be gay and get married and be happy.
It’s wonderful antidote to see an alternative to the above examples of grooming your appearance to literally become a doll, such as the hostesses of Gossip House, perhaps THE most annoying show on Korean t.v., which makes me embarrassed to be of the same gender. It makes me grind my teeth in pain…
Anyway, do go check out Maria’s website. And here’s the whole show, (narration in Korean – but most of the dialogue is in English, so you’ll have no problems watching it) which also showed on KBS part 1 and 2, respectively. Enjoy!