Secret peace protest?

(By guest blogger, Andy Jackson)

I was reading about the President Bush’s trip to Korea, we I came across this:

When the women stopped singing, he approached them, and the choir members surrounded him, bowing and giggling. "Thank you all," he said. "Be careful, don’t fall," he said to some who pressed in close. Bush reached over and around them to try to shake each woman’s hand and lingered for photos. In one last shot, one of the women held up a peace sign.

Emphasis mine.  Apparently nobody told the report that it was not a ‘peace’ sign but in fact a ‘ubiquitous V that most young Asians feel obliged to make whenever having their picture taken’ sign. 

Somebody needs to take a cultural sensitivity class.

  • Ray

    It’s called the ‘peace’ sign but does ANYONE that uses it these days actually mean ‘peace’? It’s just a way of referring to raising the index and middle finger now.

  • Michael

    It means everything and nothing now: “Perhaps due to Japanese cultural influence, the V sign in photographs has become popular with young Koreans, Hong Kongers, and Taiwanese as well. The sign is ubiquitous in Taiwan and is closely associated with the English word, “happy”. Print and tv ads read “happy” with waving hands doing the V sign, and the average Taiwanese person will invariably give that word as the meaning of the sign.”

  • Me again

    BBC has a funny “diary” on APEC by one of its journos:
    Choice quote: “Korean raw fish seems to lack the refinement of sushi. The chopped octopus squirmed on the plate. For hours.” Uh, oh, BBC, you’re gonna hear from the VANKers about this….

  • Solar Daddy

    Koreans often give the American peace sign.

  • R. Elgin

    Korean kids do the “V” sign all the time when they shoot photos. It has nothing to do with “peace” at all. Yahoo is dead wrong.

  • Kushibo

    It has nothing to do with peace? “??” itself is a greeting of peace!

    Koreans have been wishing each other peace on a daily basis because there was so precious little of it.

  • Kushibo

    I guess that might sound like a non sequiteur. What I mean is that the V-sign might very well be an innocuous “peace” greeting for the cameras the same as saying ?? all the time is an innocuous “peace” greeting.

    Free Annyong!

  • Michael


  • Michael
  • baduk

    It is a “V” standing for victory. Women and Kids do it when they take picture to show they are happy.

    This woman obviously was very happy to be in the same picture with the Presidante of the mightiest country on the face of the Earth. She felt important. She is telling everyone, “look at me now! I am an important person. I won”.

  • Solar Daddy

    Koreans will often give the American peace sign when they pose for photos. That happens all the time.

  • Sonagi

    I prefer to believe that Mastermind of Intelligent Design was using this woman to send a message to our 21st Century Crusaders.

  • R. Elgin

    Kushibo, “has nothing to do with peace” in the American sense, when, during the 60’s, the peace sign was a symbol of protest against an unpopular war in Vietnam. Considering, this is the context wherein Yahoo refers to (I believe). Ask any kid or Korean in the country and I would be very surprised if they had any such connotation in mind when using the “V” sign.

  • Will Hawkes

    As everyone in the UK knows, this sign is V as in V for Victory, Churchill originally flashed it in many photos during WWII. Another thing everyone in the UK knows is that if you turn this two-fingered hand around (e.g. back of hand facing out), it has the same meaning as one-fingered cousin from the US…

  • oranckay

    Captions and story titles get messed up more than anything else in the news business, because they’re written by editors and the like, people who weren’t there, don’t know much beyond their jobs, and are always in a hurry.

    My all time favorite was one from the Miami Herald in the 70’s that meant to say “Mayor’s Pen Is Busy.” but left out the space between “pen” and “is.”

  • baduk

    Many Americans think Korea has become internationalized and most Koreans know what peace sign is, but I bet 99.99% Korean people do not know it.

    Koreans are still backward people. I bet 90% of Koreans have never set foot outside of Korea. The same percentage never had any contact with foreigners whatsoever.

    Korea is still very much “hermit kingdom”. When the president Rho visited the US after he got elected, it was the first time he set foot outside Korea.

  • Ray

    “When the president Rho visited the US after he got elected, it was the first time he set foot outside Korea.”

    Prove it.

  • Shenzhen Whitey

    If I remember correctly, prior to becoming President, Bush had not been out of North America in quite a long time. Quite unlike his father in that regard.

    If this were the peace sign, Asians would be the most peace-loving people on earth.