Monday, November 24, 2008


I do wish I could see this, but it will close on December 27, and I can't return to Korea until next summer. According to the Korea Times review from which the photo comes, "the Korean rendition, the latest revival of the original work, focuses on the relationships in the show and not Judaism", but I think there would be points of contact between two patriarchal societies facing change and oppression that make such an adaptation appropriate and interesting. (1905, when Fiddler on the Roof takes place, was also the year that Korea was forced to become a Japanese protectorate, leading ultimately to attempts to eradicate Korean culture.)
Things are looking fairly bleak in South Korea right now, though there was a momentary blip in stock prices Monday (US time) following a similar jump in the US stock market. But the won, the Korean currency, is at its lowest level compared to the dollar in eleven years, and the IMF has lowered its prediction of Korean economic growth by almost half, from 3.5 percent to 2 percent. The Korean government still forecasts 4 percent growth, but the IMF has a way of trumping mere governments. According to The Hankyoreh, the source of the above photo, food banks are struggling as more people need food and donations shrink.

But hey, the Christmas shopping season has begun, in Korea as here! Santa Claus was at the mall last weekend, even before Thanksgiving; like American presidential campaigns, the shopping season (the Reason for the Season) starts a little earlier each time around. Notice the traditional Korean Santa Claus outfit in this photo from the Korea Times.