Guess who passed away today? If you are like most people connected to the interwebz, I’m sure you were surprised as I to hear North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-Il died. Although he was pronounced dead two days ago, the official word as released today around lunch time in South Korea. As a teacher in Seoul, as well as a Korean-American, it was a really interesting day to say the least.
Honestly, the very first thing that popped into my mind was how much my parents would worry. Then I remembered where I was and how I felt when the Kim Il-Sung (his father) passed away. He died in 1994 (holy crap!) — which would make me 8 at the time? I was in the living room and watching TV that morning. There was some sort of special bulletin on the screen and just hearing about Korea on the news made me want to ask my parents about it. I said, “Mom, some Korean guy died? Kim something??”. My mom screamed for my dad and I distinctly remember my dad running out of his room with a broken tooth brush in his hand, with a mouth full of foam, and still in his pajamas. He was so surprised at the news that he literally snapped his toothbrush in half while brushing his teeth. So, there I am, just standing there, confused and dazed as my parents are scrambling for the phone to call our relatives in Korea. That’s when I really started to understand that there were larger things at work in the world.
I thought about all of this on my way to lunch and I got a text message from my mom about how it as urgent that I call her. Over the phone she told me to do three things:
1. Always carry your passport
2. Always have your phone on you and call her every single day.
3. Have some money so you can bribe your way out of Korea and enough to buy a one way ticket out of there.
Haha, my mom is the best! I guess you can’t be too safe, but I am hoping that nothing drastic happens over here. There are a lot of sarcastic/comedic comments being made about Kim Jong-Il’s death, but the fact is that his death is a start of a new era in North Korea and we should all pay attention to what will happen in the next few weeks. I’ve been reading up a lot on some theories of how the country will progress with the new son in power and I hope you will too.
With that said, here’s a video for you!
I also remember watching this way back in the day. (My mom’s store only had PBS when I would go there after school M-F)