|North Korean Arirang Mass Games|
Finished reading "異色．北韓" written by 項明生.
North Korea is a mysterious country in the eyes of many outsiders like me. Talked with some friends of mine and most of them said it's crazy of me desiring to go there and have a look. Some even said it's like subsidizing the North Korean Government and encouraging them to remain autocratic. But the point is, no matter you like it or not, North Korea is a very special existence. It's one of the very few communist countries in the world, along with Burma and Cuba. When iphone, Starbucks, McDonald's, Coca Cola are prevalent worldwide, North Korea still can stand tall and people still lead their own life.
My previous backpacking experience has taught me to view things in different ways. It is not appropriate to judge a place before we fully understand her and seeing her in the perspective of ours is meaningless.
Since the author was also an ordinary tourist who had joined a packaged tour, it is unreasonable to anticipate a real and full picture of North Korea and know the life of the North Koreans there just by reading this little book. Nevertheless, I echo with him that it is more like a religion rather than an ideology regarding Presidents Kim their gods. 20 million people were wailing and howling for the loss of their god when President Kim II Sung passed away in 1994. It was impressive.
They have got a very rigid social class system. Their emperor has the final say for everything and all the people were ranked into 51 classes. In general, they're core, swinging and enemy classes.
Many people think North Koreans are suffering and depressed since they are tortured by famines and an autocratic government. They have no speech freedom and not allowed to talk with foreigners. There's only one TV station, operating from 5 to 11 p.m. every day. Most of them wear uniforms at school or at work, which are mostly in white, dark blue or brown. Do you think it's miserable not having freedom to wear colourful clothing? Well I don't.
In Plymouth of the USA, I came across puritans who wore only white and blue clothing. They were not allowed to use needles and cars or anything mechanical. They had no electricity so simply had no TV sets. Their newspapers were full of words since they believed pictures can be misleading. Kids were having home schooling and they were all well-behaved, polite and helpful. I can still remember the taste of the milk they shared with me. It's so smooth and creamy. And the handmade cookies were awesome.
|Puritans in the USA|
Yet I'm still tempted to visit this special place. Arirang Mass Games is definitely a big reason for it. Anyhow, it's a once-in-a-life spectacle. With over 120 thousand people dancing and performing on the stage for 90 minutes is impressive. Can you believe this colourful picture of the president was made by over 10 thousand kids who were holding colour paper?
The book has many interesting and valuable photos which show the daily life of North Koreans. In a word, it's a must read for travel lovers who are adventurous and open-minded.