Korean Dramas vs K-dramas: What is a Mom?

Korean Dramas vs Ok-dramas: What’s a Mother? – The Korea Instances

Korean Dramas vs Ok-dramas: What’s a Mother?

Courtesy of Dickson Phua
Courtesy of Dickson Phua

By David A. Tizzard

What’s a mom? Are there sure age or socioeconomic class requirements that decide when it’s acceptable or fascinating to turn into a mom? Do these requirements differ by nation and over time? Lastly, do Korean dramas have a duty to point out us actuality or fantasy? There shall be many solutions to all these questions and it is for that reason {that a} fashionable tv drama has the nation debating what is appropriate when it comes to portrayals of motherhood on tv. First, some context about Korean tv and why we must always differentiate between Ok-dramas and Korean dramas.

Ok-dramas are worldwide. They get excited concerning the Netflix large and have articles written about them within the NYT and Guardian. They’re typically excellent and thus turn into a part of the worldwide zeitgeist, inspiring Halloween costumes and late-night comedy parodies. They will characteristic unimaginable violence, profanity, grownup themes, transgender characters, and zombies. As with Ok-pop, it might be argued that a big proportion of the target market for this content material is folks from overseas.

However, Korean dramas are these proven on tv right here. The principle viewers is due to this fact the Korean folks. Reflecting not simply the viewers however the restrictions that include being proven on tv relatively than on a streaming web site, the content material can also be way more conservative. In any case, this can be a nation that smudges cigarettes, tattoos and edits scenes from “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a result of Queen’s music is effectively liked, however Freddie Mercury’s private life apparently much less so.

TvN is a channel that has already introduced us “Mr. Sunshine”, “Crash Touchdown on You”, “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha”, “Twenty-5 Twenty-One”, “Resort del Luna” and way more. All of them have been extremely profitable and, at coronary heart, dramas the entire household can watch in a weekend. “Our Blues”, set on the south island of Jeju, reveals the lives, trials and tribulations of a wide range of folks, together with highschool college students, fish merchants, divers and grandparents, is the most recent addition to this listing. Lee Byung-hun and Shin Min-a deliver the facility of the celebs. Nonetheless, a lot of the dialog was generated by the storyline with two younger highschool college students and an surprising being pregnant.

Bang Younger-ju is a straight A pupil who desires of leaving the island and transferring to Seoul. Her plans are thrown into the air when she realizes she is pregnant. Regardless of her preliminary plan to abort the infant, the whole lot modifications when she hears the infant’s heartbeat whereas visiting a hospital for an ultrasound. Together with her boyfriend’s assist, she decides to maintain the infant.

The content material is deeply emotional and you would be hard-pressed to not get emotional with the way it all performs out. The music, the actors and the presentation of the story are extremely transferring. It’s a stunning narrative of people that select life. But it surely additionally generated a whole lot of criticism. Some have steered that it romanticizes a really sophisticated state of affairs. Others say it promotes teenage being pregnant. A bunch of viewers centered their grievances on the subject of abortion, which solely grew to become authorized in January 2021 after a choice by the nation’s Constitutional Courtroom.

The drama echoes the identical content material as one other present: “Coding Om-bb”. This present is seemingly so Korean that it does not even have an English title but, so I did my finest to transliterate the title. This program focuses on the actual lives of younger ladies, typically highschool college students, who’ve had youngsters. It sheds mild on the difficulties they face, the alternatives they make and the enjoyment they’ve discovered. Some additionally requested for this present to be stopped.

It might be straightforward to criticize the actions of people, however context issues. We’re all concurrently merchandise and creators of the society during which we stay. Many younger college students and teachers argue that intercourse schooling in Korea, whereas bettering, continues to be removed from what it ought to be. The content material has not been up to date since 2015 and a survey of over 16,000 college students carried out by the Ministry of Gender and Household in 2019 confirmed that college students have been largely dissatisfied with the textbooks and materials.

Statistics Korea reported that in 2020, there have been 918 teenage moms in Korea. Past the numbers, nevertheless, teen being pregnant continues to be seen unfavorably within the considerably conservative Korean society. This additionally applies to premarital pregnancies, however there’s typically a particular model of disgrace connected to those that have youngsters earlier than they’re of an age that society beforehand thought of acceptable. Historically, Korea has valued the Confucian notion of “hyun-mo-yang-cho”, a time period that implies {that a} girl ought to be a smart mom and a very good spouse.

Nonetheless, with an growing concentrate on identification and individuality in lots of elements of the world, many beforehand established requirements have gotten way more versatile. Issues are transferring. We’re altering concepts about what it means to be a person, a lady, an grownup or a companion. This identical dialog is happening right here in Korea.

It might probably fairly be argued that teenage moms and dads shouldn’t be authorized or disapproved of. Somewhat, they’re people to whom we are able to attempt to present assist and understanding. It is not about tolerating or rejecting them and their habits, do not forget, is throughout the limits of Korean regulation, it is about creating social, psychological and emotional assist in order that they and their younger household have the absolute best likelihood of contributing to the society we inhabit collectively. In any case, if we despise or ignore those that stay right here, what does that say about us?

Dr. David A. Tizzard ([email protected]) has a Ph.D. in Korean Research and lectures at Seoul Girls’s College and Hanyang College. He’s a social/cultural commentator and musician who has lived in Korea for practically twenty years. He’s additionally the host of the Korea Deconstructed podcast, which might be discovered on-line. The opinions expressed within the article are these of the creator himself and don’t mirror the editorial route of The Korea Instances.

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