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The Korea: Irish of Asia thing again

Irish ambassador to Korea Eamonn McKee looks at what Korea and Ireland have in common (and no, I don’t believe he mentioned the Irish Curse. At least I hope he didn’t.):

“You’ve got two small countries, Ireland and Korea, who are surrounded by big powers and have retained their national identity over many, many centuries despite being buffeted by these powers and the power politics of their regions.

“Two countries that were colonized quite dramatically. In our case, for 800 years. In the Korean case, successively by different influences but really quite dramatically from the 1890s onward.

“Then you had an interesting situation where Korean nationalist intellectuals looked to the Ireland model about how you resist and being influenced by our national theater, for example. And you had Japanese nationalists looking to London to find out how do you suppress resistance and how do you create empire.

Read on. McKee’s in the news with an Irish and North Irish delegation in Seoul to share the lessons of the Irish peace process with the Korean government. What lessons for Korea can be found in Ulster, I haven’t an effing clue, but the delegation should enjoy their visit anyway. Hope they make it out to Chuncheon while they’re here.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • http://bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    One difference between the Irish and Korean cases is the continuity of legal systems — both the Republic of Ireland and the six counties of Northern Ireland continued to use the English common-law legal system then in place at the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. The Republic of Ireland was established only in 1949, and “Ireland” has been an independent polity for less than a century, but the statute books and case law, in both places, have 800 years’ continuity. The commonality of their institutions works in favor of good relations between the Irish regions now that Sinn Fein has renounced terrorism.

    I just came back from two weeks in Ireland. It’s weird to visit a foreign country and feel so much at home.

  • enomoseki

    Did he leave out the fact that two countries also love getting wasted over alcohol?

  • Yu Bum Suk

    You’ve got one country that worked its way to prosperity and modernity and another that borrowed its way to prosperity and modernity.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #1,

    Another distinction: I don’t know of any currently active South Korean politician who’s threatened the life and ordered a hit on a friend of mine.

  • broona

    #4, what did your friend do to garner such a threat?

  • Q

    #2,

    Miss Бори́с Е́льцин!

  • Arghaeri

    Probably looked at him the wrong way :-)

  • PeterDownUnder

    The colonisation of language is probably the most complete and final means of colonisation.

    I doubt many Koreans would speak Korean if it was still a Japanese colony.

  • JG29A

    Also, James Joyce and PSY, both beloved and much imitated around the world, despite the fact that no one understood what they were saying.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Brendon,

    Isn’t Carr of German origin? Are you an Irish-Kraut like Rob?

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    PeterDownUnder,

    The Korean movie “2009 Lost Memories” agrees with you.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Lost_Memories

  • Bendrix

    Who’s the Korean Samuel Beckett? Because I love Samuel Beckett.

  • http://bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Isn’t Carr of German origin? Are you an Irish-Kraut like Rob?

    German? Scots-Irish! (The trashiest most distinguished people in America.)

    Carr is a family name which is originally Scottish, and is attached to a Scots family which was frog-marched from the Scottish lowlands to Northern Ireland in the 1600s, from whence they spread out all over the place in Ireland. My own family’s point of departure from the Emerald Isle to the United States is a small village called Oughterard in County Galway. I was just there last week. Not one but two Oughterard village gents tried to pick up my wife on Sunday after church before we poked around in the Catholic graveyard looking for family bones.

    Now, if the Carrs were Scots Ulstermen, I am not sure how it is my father’s head has been so filled with vestigial “what they did to us” anger toward the English, but there you have it. We had a nice row over lunch in Galway when I dared to suggest that the six counties have a right to self-determination, and if a majority up there still want to remain under the English Crown and vote that way, that’s a legal process which should be respected. Dad’s a Drive ‘em into the sea! guy himself, which I suspect was inculcated in him when Irish nationalism was still fresh among immigrants in the 1940s when he was young.

    Back to your original point, my family tree is filled with German, Scots, English, and Italian names, among others — and also now “Kim”. Some of us are Jewish. Some are black. But I’m a Carr, which makes me Irish-American.

  • http://adamsawry.wordpress.com Adams-awry

    Blah blah fuckety blah. There’s no such thing as an Irish American. You’re just American. Deal with it.

    There’s no such thing as an Irish cultural identity. Ireland is just an English province. Tough shit.

    And, thank fuck, there’ll soon be no such thing as an Irish language. All hail the death of Gaelic!

  • http://bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Gosh, this is the kind of stuff that got me yelled at by me Dad.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Brendon,

    Found your coat of arms:

    http://www.houseofnames.com/carr-family-crest

    Didn’t a lot of Scots-Irish become hillbillies some of the earliest settlers into the southern Appalachia (the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi).

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    ?

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    AA (#14), I agree, no hyphenated Americans! So . . . you wanna be Adams or Awry?

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    WK, true hillbillies have to live in the mountainous areas of the South, so I’m doubtful about Mississippi, but you’re right about the Scotch-Irish (or Scots-Irish) origins, though I should point out that the Scotch-Irish clans will take in any women that their men marry, hence my Cherokee blood and my half-Korean hillbilly kids!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • dogbertt

    I deserve an HT for this when Neff eventually posts it … the kyopo kraziness out of the Big Apple just keeps coming:

    http://gothamist.com/2012/10/17/use_of_duct_tape_to_cure_mental_ill.php

    “Pro tip: When binding a loved one with duct tape in a religious ceremony to cure them of their drug addiction and mental problems, be sure you don’t fasten the tape too tightly, or it could cause complications. This lesson was learned the hard way by members of a Korean-American Christian cult when they allegedly tied up one Seungick Chung in their Flushing church last week. Myung Chung, 27, and her fiancé, Sung-Peel Youn, 39, believe their pastor is God, so maybe it was all part of God’s plan for Myung Chung’s brother to lose half a leg?

    Turns out duct tape can’t fix everything after all. Chung, Youn, and other church members allegedly taped Seungick Chung to a chair so tightly that it caused horrible damage. “They made it so tight — and all the time they were praying and singing,” Youn’s sister tells the Daily News. “They thought God would make him a regular person.” Instead, his right leg became so swollen that when he finally went to a doctor at New York Hospital Queens they had to amputate his leg above the knee. His sister Myung and her fiancé were arrested on Friday and charged with assault, reckless endangerment and unlawful imprisonment.”

  • Wedge

    In maintenance, there are two hard-and-fast rules: If it doesn’t move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and it shouldn’t, use duct tape.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    jefferyhodges,

    Didn’t the term “kissing cousins” come from the hillbillies? A little inbreeding will encourage any group of people to seek out as much hybrid vigor as possible.

    Adams-awry and JH,

    Yeah, I’m inclined to agree with you guys but surprisingly, on the U.S. Census, 92% of respondents claim some kind of ancestry. Only 7.7% of respondents claim “American” ancestry. You would think after as much as six or more generations there would be more people who had forgotten about their ancestry.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Yeah, I’m inclined to agree with you guys but surprisingly, on the U.S. Census, 92% of respondents claim some kind of ancestry. Only 7.7% of respondents claim “American” ancestry. You would think after as much as six or more generations there would be more people who had forgotten about their ancestry.

    I wonder to what extent that is a function of the “Roots” phenomenon. I grew up in a very ethically and racially diverse environment in what later came to called the “inner city” of a old Midwestern industrial city. People were conscious of their differences, but everyone then self-identified simply as “American”. After the rise of Blacks’ celebration of their heritage, and the coupling of various govt benefits to group membership, it wasn’t long before whites of all stripes began to do the same, and everyone became hyphenated Americans. One of the outcomes of the prevailing ideology accompanying the civil tights movement seems to have been the Balkanization of America.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Civil rights. Damn auto spell checking

  • Wedge

    Some good uses of duct tape: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BSDZJSKiVI

  • hamel

    Sperwer:

    I wonder to what extent that is a function of the “Roots” phenomenon.

    Really? You think that Americans didn’t put much stock in their ethnic heritage until a 1977 mini-series? Apart from that being a rather recent date, I can’t say it is obvious to me how much the message/story of Roots would resonate with, say, German-Americans of Wisconsin or Scandinavian-Americans of Minnesota.

    I grew up in a very ethically and racially diverse environment in what later came to called the “inner city” of a old Midwestern industrial city. People were conscious of their differences, but everyone then self-identified simply as “American”.

    Obviously you know much more about this then I do, so I merely throw an idea up for you to shoot it down if you wish, but in New York, hasn’t ethnic identity and heritage been an important thing for much longer than 35 years?

    After the rise of Blacks’ celebration of their heritage, and the coupling of various govt benefits to group membership, it wasn’t long before whites of all stripes began to do the same, and everyone became hyphenated Americans.

    Coming from anyone else I would wonder if they weren’t suggesting that the civil rights and Blacks’ celebration of their heritage movements were not worth it in the long run.

    One of the outcomes of the prevailing ideology accompanying the civil tights movement seems to have been the Balkanization of America.

    I wonder if this could have been avoided, and if so, how.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Really? You think that Americans didn’t put much stock in their ethnic heritage until a 1977 mini-series? Apart from that being a rather recent date, I can’t say it is obvious to me how much the message/story of Roots would resonate with, say, German-Americans of Wisconsin or Scandinavian-Americans of Minnesota. … I merely throw an idea up for you to shoot it down if you wish, but in New York, hasn’t ethnic identity and heritage been an important thing for much longer than 35 years?.

    Obviously, the specifics of Roots wouldn’t have resonated at all with Norwegian bachelor farmers in North Dakota, but the general idea of celebrating one’s heritage to an extent that compromised in some sense one’s identity simply as an American did. And, obviously again, it’s not just “Roots”, but the entire phenomenon of which it was a representative symptom. Also, as I indicated, it’s not that Americans were oblivious of their ethnic backgrounds, but that they were precisely that – backgrounds – that didn’t significantly qualify their identification as Americans.

    Coming from anyone else I would wonder if they weren’t suggesting that the civil rights and Blacks’ celebration of their heritage movements were not worth it in the long run.

    I am perplexed how anyone reasonably could infer such.

    One of the outcomes of the prevailing ideology accompanying the civil rights movement seems to have been the Balkanization of America.

    “I wonder if this could have been avoided, and if so, how.”

    I think the beginnings of an answer would note the importance of avoiding the separatist ideology that always competed with the integrationist impulse of the civil rights movement and especially also avoiding the institutionalization of programs that differentially benefitted people based on their group identity rather than their status as individual citizens, i.e., an awful lot of so-called affirmative action programs.

  • DLBarch

    I’m pretty much against this whole ethnic-identity thang (give me the unity of nationalism over the Balkanization of ethnic pride any day), but without bursting anyone’s bubble, let’s be brutally honest: Koreans are exponentially a more impressive people than the Irish.

    Of course, I’d much rather spend two weeks in County Sligo than pretty much anywhere in Korea, and nothing quite beats an evening of craic and live music in practically every Irish pub — every night of the week — from Cork to Derry.

    But if anyone has anything to learn from the other, it’s the Irish from the Koreans, not the other way around.

    DLB

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    jefferyhodges,

    I actually have a lot of respect for hillbillies. Yeah, the stereotype is that they are ignorant, poor and their dialect of English sounds particularly funny, but they are a very resilient, hardy and hard working stock of people.

    I mean think about it. Coerced and/or bribed into northern Ireland by the English to essentially do their dirty work, they were not loved by the Irish or the English. Not welcomed in the Old World they sought out a life in the New. They fought on both sides during the revolution and established a reputation as fierce effective warriors. They also had a very strong anti-government and independent streak in them, being kicked around by the English and hated by Catholic Irish. They were very self-reliant and never asked for any help. When the nation needed settlers to populate the new territories the Scots-Irish were essentially America’s pathfinders, often being the first ones to take the enormous risks of hacking a future out of the thick virgin woods just outside the Appalachian mountains. By and large they were poor people who couldn’t afford land east of the Appalachia, but they didn’t simply create ethnic ghettos in urban areas like many other immigrants. They bought a gun, covered wagon, and some seed grain and brought their wives and screaming babies hundreds of miles into dangerous Native America infested territory. Without people like these, America would be more like Siberia. Enormous economic potential but not enough people living there to exploit it.

    Also, it’s amazing what you hillbillies can do with a little book learnin’. Guys like Bill Clinton, John McCain and The Duke himself (John Wayne) were Scots-Irish. You guys also provided the nation some good soldiers too such as Ulysses S. Grant, George S. Patton, Andrew Jackson and Sergeant York. Giving a hillbilly a gun is a scary thing. Just hope he’s on your side.

  • dogbertt

    @Wangkon: you’re a great guy, but your insights into non-Korean ethnics in the U.S. are straight out of the Won-Bok Rhie playbook.

  • JK

    “I deserve an HT for this when Neff eventually posts it … the kyopo kraziness out of the Big Apple just keeps coming:”

    “kyopo kraziness”, huh? It’s a “kyopo” thing is what you’re saying.

    Well, looks like you’ll have only HALF the worries that 100% Korean and Korean-American parents will have in the coming years with this “kraziness” that must obviously come with the race.

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Dogbertt, I’ll accept WK’s praise of hillbillies, and of the Scotch-Irish.

    WK, I don’t know where “kissing-cousin” originates, though I’m guessing that it might refer to cousins sufficiently distantly related to safely marry, e.g., first cousins.

    One of my own cousins was related to himself . . .

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936
  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936
  • characteristic

    32- was he his own grandpa?

  • http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ jefferyhodges

    Characteristic (#35), you mean as in that old country song? As I recall, the song makes the relation only by marriage, such that he is really just his own step-grandpa, whereas my cousin was his own blood-cousin.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  • Arghaeri

    They bought a gun, covered wagon, and some seed grain and brought their wives and screaming babies hundreds of miles into dangerous Native America infested territory

    So bsically you’re saying that having brutalised the irish tvey moved on to better things invading, brutalising and systematically stealing native indian lands.

    No wonder you’re proud, a korean can only dream of such in hos predecessors :-)

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Arghaeri,

    Don’t know where you came to that conclusion. Wouldn’t that be more like Japan and their so-called East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere?

  • silver surfer

    Grant, Jackson and York? The names, at least, are English.

    I’m proud to say there’s English (and German) stock in the hillbilly breed too.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    I get a giggle from all this ethnic identity stuff. My ancestors are ostensibly Englis and Italian. But if you scrratch deep enough beneath the surface, both lines were Norman. Of course that means, they were Danes, if you go further back. Then, as you go forward again, there’s all the local breeding with Celts, Angles and Saxons on one side and Romans, Lombards (who themselves formerly were some species of barbarians I’ve forgotten) and Greeks. The only cash value of modern ethnic identity is a function of elective imagination.

  • Arghaeri

    Arghaeri, Don’t know where you came to that conclusion.

    The conclusion came from your own story of their exploits, do you write your comments on auto-pilot?

  • Koreafree

    It must be just Korean propaganda. Koreans once claimed that they are same race of Anglo-Saxon in England, too. Irish and Koreans are totally different. DO IRISH HAVE Hwabyeong ? DO IRISH HAVE TRADITION OF RATING & ABUSING DOGS?   

  • Gorky

    no way. nothing from ireland has EVER had 1 billion views. and the irish speak that low level ape language that makes it easy for them to grunt to fellow nobel laureates.

  • Dublinmaggot

    Cop on, u be spittin out the horse’s arse like y’not quite full shilling, ya gobshite. D’ya reckon’ we langered lads be suckin diesel if not fer belting on the English?