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Mr. Kim’s Canadian Dream (26)
chungheesoo

 

Mr. Kim came to Canada; he had dreams; did he realize them?

 

(지난 호에 이어)

 

If anyone asks a question to clarify certain items in the report, the group members shout, insult and even make verbal threats to intimidate and discourage the person from pursuing the matter.

 

Under such circumstance, it is difficult for the Association to help the youth in their attempt to integrate into the local labor market. It is just impossible to elect a president who can do something good for the community.

 

Kim was aware of these dark sides of the Korean community in Montreal. His problem was one of the choices of proper attitude toward this reality.

 

Kim had the following choices. First, he could ignore the whole situation. Second, he could fight to get rid of these destructive groups. Third, he could pardon them and pray God do that they repent and do something good for the community.

 

 Kim having been himself the president of the Association, he could not adopt the first choice; it would be too irresponsible on his part. The second choice would not be appropriate for a deacon of a church. This left the third choice as the only alternative. Kim prayed:

 

“Dear God, I know that you love us all. I do not know what to do with the interest groups who harm the common interest of the Korean community in Montreal. They control the community in illegal way and prevent decent people from doing constructive projects for the youth.

 

You know, dear God, the Korean community is at crucial moment of its evolution; it has terminated the stage of settlement; it is getting into the stage of adaptation where the youth must find jobs

 

Dear God, you know that they have difficulty in finding jobs because of the lack of network and cultural barriers. Please let us know what to do. May I ask you to inspire the interest groups so that they abandon their doubtful desire and stop playing political games or increase monetary gains but love the youth and help them? May I ask you also to guide those who are ready to help the youth? I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ! Amen!”

 

Mr. Kim loved Korea

 

Kim’s plane was getting closer to Korea. He was asking himself what was his relation to Korea; he asked if he really loved Korea after his immigration. Some years ago, there was a big debate about the nature of immigrant’s patriotism for Korea.

 

“For me, we remain Korean but we are Canadian citizens. So we are Canadian-Korean. Patriotism means love of the country. But we have two countries, Korea and Canada. Is there a patriotism for Korea and another one for Canada?”, asked a man.

 

“This is tough question. But before we discuss the contents of patriotism, let us define what it is. I agree that patriotism is love of country. But what is love of country?

 

I think this way. To love a country, we have to know and accept good aspects and the bad aspect of the country. Second, you must feel proud of the country. Third, you have to act; you have to do something to correct the defects and enforce the good sides of the country.

 

We have two countries for immigrants. So you have to apply this principle to both countries”, argued another man.

 

The debate moved on to that of the perception of Korea by Koreans who are living in Montreal. There are radically opposed views among Koreans living in Montreal. On the one hand, there are those who see nothing but the bad things about Korea, namely the corruption culture. These people try to dissociate themselves from what is Korea; they kept distance from “koreanness”; they seldom attend meetings and festivities of the Korean community.

 

On the other hand, there are those who see only “good things” about Korea. They do not want to recognize the sin of the bribery culture; they close their eyes to social injustice.

 

In Montreal, there are a few groups who call themselves “patriots” and who do not want to see the reality. What they are doing is the blind defense of social sins in Korea; they defend the interest of a few people of power.

 

Amazing thing is that they are themselves the victim of the corruption culture. If anyone criticizes the Korean government of extreme conservatism, they call the person as “Red” (Pal-gaing-ie).

 

In Montreal, there is group of thirty or forty people who call themselves “patriots”. For this group, anyone who do not agree with their biased views, the person is treated as “Red”. The expression “Red” in Korea originally meant “communist” of “pro-North Korea”. This is an expression reflecting the hatred against the brutality committed by North Koreans during the Korean War and never-ending threat by North Korea since the war.

 

This hatred is deep in the heart of most of the South Koreans, because most of South Korean families suffered directly or indirectly from North Korea. In other word, the expression” Red” is emotionally loaded one; it means “dirty bastard”; it had no ideological contents; it is just simple word of hatred.

 

The unfortunate thing is that, in Korea, this violent hatred against North Korea is being used for political purpose. To be more precise, any idea or any group which are not with the vested interests are labeled as “Reds” by pro-Japan vested interest media, the information services, the public prosecutor’s office, the police and the government even the armed forces. This sad reality has been revealed during the presidential election leading to the victory of the pro-Japan conservatives.

 

It goes without saying that the true “reds” should be caught and punished, but it is unpatriotic behavior to label "Red" those who are really concerned with the welfare of the people and who try to correct the corruption culture.

 

(다음 호에 계속 )

 

 

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