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Behind the Mirror: Reflection on South Korea from
Ravina Khumanlambam  |  tribune1968@cnumedia.com
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승인 2017.11.16  15:57:30
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

▲ Ravina Khumanlambam, Junior, Dept. of Psychology, India

    To begin with an honest note, I am not a huge K-Pop or K-Drama fan. That being mentioned, K-Drama still happens to be a huge doorway, allowing myself to enter the world of South Korea. It more or less led me to have a glance of the world here, 4690 KM away from home back in India.
    The very first K-Drama I was exposed to was “Boys over Flowers”. With this very first involvement, I gradually began to perceive what the Korean world would be like. Back then, I did not have the slightest clue I might land in K-land itself. I had always pictured Korea in a less-realistic way, one that was fantasy-based and, somewhere within, I had hoped for this fantasy-like picture to actually exist in the real world.
    Korea is a very homogenous country. This portrayal in the media is the reality itself, as I have personally discovered. It seems that the country is booming with the most advanced technology, a super-high speed internet, and accessibility of Wi-Fi everywhere. Regardless of the classes of people starring at the dramas, they make sure to have the latest smartphone in hand (Samsung, LG, iPhone). It seems like either everyone here is rich enough to afford one, or the products themselves are exceptionally cheap.
    There are all good-looking people starring in the dramas; Koreans look beautiful. They seemed to have a strong sense of fashion. Reality happens to be quite close, except when I realize that most people here are overly self-conscious about their looks. Underneath the surface, there seems to be a strong pressure to fit the ideal look of the society (hence, the booming plastic-surgery industry). The K-Dramas generally seem to portray K-land as a safe society, considering the crime rates. There are restaurants, cafes, karaoke rooms and PC bangs that remain open 24/7. A vibrant drinking culture is very dominant here in Korea, which does raise the risks of dangerous or irrational acts. However, the true reality definitely surprised me. Never did I imagine that I would be walking back to my dorm at 3 a.m., all alone, from a café which remains opened until 7 am. Instinctively, since it was my first-ever experience, I had thoughts going around in my mind if I would ever make it back to my dorm alive.
     Undoubtedly, these ground reality at times only waved me, while some hit me real hard. Reflecting the mirror across the world, the Korean media showcases its own version of ‘reality’. However, only when one comes here and live by the life of a Korean here, is when one can look “behind the mirror” and decide for themselves what us true and what is not.

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