News & opinion on Greater China and the even Greater Beyond: by Biff Cappuccino.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Han Chinese describe life in Tibet: I was born in Chongqing in south-western China. Tibet was synonymous with mystery and excitement to me before my first trip in 1992. It lived up to my expectations. I was amazed by the stunning beauty, the colour of the autumn leaves. Between 1992 and 1997, I went to Tibet three times, where I made more local friends who are quite simple and honest. I was deeply moved and even shocked by the wonder of Tibetan arts. I met my future Tibetan husband, and we got married in the traditional Tibetan way by the holy lake Namcuo.
When I first visited Lhasa in 1992, dogs seemed to outnumber people on the street, and locals just answered both of nature's calls in the open. Modernisation means a gradual loss of national identity and traditional culture But nowadays you can see the imprint of modernisation everywhere in Lhasa: villages have given way to a large cement plaza; more public toilets have appeared; many migrants have come, and with the Qinghai-Tibetan railway scheduled to open in July, more tourists, businessmen and migrants will come.
...Overall, Tibetans are very different from Han people. I came to accept their lifestyle of relaxing and enjoying everything. Even with only a little money in their pockets, they can still dance and sing happily. Tibet is the land which fits my free spirit best.
Scientists seek sex slavery evidence in Vietnam war: A group of Republic of Korea scientists Thursday wrapped up a study of the war in central Vietnam with focus on the issue of Vietnamese women being forced into sex slavery by Korean troops. In the past few days, the mission met, interviewed, and collected documents in Phu Yen province from many women who were sexually molested or raped by Korean soldiers. They had earlier carried out a similar survey in two other central provinces, Binh Dinh and Quang Ngai.
Chosen Ilbo Piece on Vietnamese Brides Sparks Anger in Vietnam: Anyway, according to Yonhap, once reports of the Chosun piece hit papers in Vietnam, local women’s groups were outraged and local papers were running articles slamming Korea—Yonhap quoted one Vietnamese woman who had married a European (apparently not Gary Glitter) as having written in one Ho Chi Min City paper, “How lucky I am not to have married a Korean.” Locals were upset that Korean men coming to Vietnam to find brides were “commercializing” Vietnamese women, and in particular, women’s groups were outraged that marriage brokers, which are reportedly illegal in Vietnam, were operating in the country to arrange marriages between Vietnamese women and Korean men.
21 percent of girls in the red-light districts took up their trade after the Special Law went into effect; Only 0.9 percent of red-light district brothels have shut down since March 2005; 76 percent of johns said they would continue to seek the services of the willow world; The average number of clients a night a red-light district girl sees has decreased from 6.8 to 3.7. Also, the working girls of the red-light district near Pyeongtaek Station have formed an extra-legal union (very interesting but long interview with the union president), which has actually engaged in collective negotiations with the distict’s pimps. The union, though not legally recognized, collects membership dues, has a list of rules and regulations, maintains an office and even runs a website.
...There are other new and unusual prostitution systems popping up. Typical of this new wave is the “mobile massage parlor.” Essentially a modified van, they move around the city center, offering passengers a massage and a lot more. These vans, which leave from Gangnam and pass through Myeongdong and Jongno before heading back to Gangnam, offer literal “Sex and the City” tours where you can get your rocks off while taking in Seoul’s nighttime scenery. One guy in his 30s who has done the tour said, “Having sex in the van was a fantastic experience.”
DPRK view on race and nation in ROK : The article refers to the "recently appearing bizarre pursuits for a 'multinational, multiracial society' in South Korea, which will weaken (kôsehada) the basic characteristics of our nation (minjok)". (Kôsehada means also "to castrate".) It names, ironically enough (but this is DPRK), the "pro-US flunkeyist forces" as the biggest perpretrators in these heinous acts against the purity of the nation. ...I'll reproduce the whole article here for the benefit of visitors from South Korea, where access to KCNA is blocked. (Unfortunately I don't have the time to translate more than a few choice paragraphs, but additional translation contributions are welcome in the comments.) Biff- hit the link for the translation. Another translated article is here:
"Mongolia at 800: Toward Enhanced U.S. and International Support": Among the first of Asian nations to offer condolences post-9/11, Mongolia, despite some internal controversy, afforded swift over flight rights to US aircraft toward Central Asia and committed troops to Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. That participation has emerged more significant than one might assume of small nation support in several instances, namely in Mongolian troops' unique rapport with Hazara forces in Afghanistan (the Hazara being descendents of the Mongolian Golden Horde and identifying with the Mongolians on ethnic lines); in the skilled marksmanship of Mongolian forces in Iraq that prevented a suicide attack; and in the continued rotation of Mongolian troops into the combat theaters, despite some opposition at home that mirrors concerns more broadly across Asia. Former Mongolian President Bagabandi's 2004 visit to Washington came the same week as the Philippines' withdrawal from Iraq, underscoring Mongolia's continued support at a time difficult for the Pentagon. ...What a striking thought that the Mongolian urban aesthetic had appeared so similar to that of North Korea little over a decade ago. Given Mongolia's continued relations with both North and South Korea, historical ethnic linkages, adoption of Korean War orphans from the North and recent quiet facilitation of North Korean refugees, and its low-key, small nation approach, North Korea appears to trust Mongolia in unique ways.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive