Lost in Translation (Episode 1)

Walking in downtown Daegu I thought I inadvertently wandered into a gay-friendly section of town. I thought this because there were many same-aged women holding hands with each other, and there were a handful of men holding hands as well. “Not that there’s anything wrong with it” (if you know where this quote is from you have my ultimate respect) but I found it odd because  people I have spoken with and things I have read  all suggest that the Korean culture does not really embrace homosexuality. After reporting back to some of my trusty coworkers it turns out that two people holding hands is just a normal part of the culture and it does not necessarily suggest romantic intimacy.  I try to experience things with my cup empty and without preconceived notion about how I think things ought to be based on my culture. Using your own culture, in my case American culture, as a template of what is normal and measuring any deviation from this as abnormal is an easy trap to get caught in and it is something I am trying to avoid. In this case, I clumsily made a premature judgment about something and as a result I was probably mixing up which players belonged to which team.

 

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  1. #1 by Kerry on October 10, 2010 - 3:37 am

    The same exact thing happened to me when I was in Egypt. Except there it was grown men walking arm and arm everywhere. At first it looked really weird to me, but after a few days, I was wondering why we, as Americans, are so touch phobic. As if somehow touching someone has to have a sexual connotation. I suppose the only way to counteract it is to travel as much as possible.

    ~Kerry

  2. #2 by David Katz III on October 10, 2010 - 1:30 pm

    I feel ya Kerry. I think the other huge counteract is lots & lots of hugs and kisses for the kids when they are growing up. However, it gets a bit harder when they are teens and generally don’t even want to be in the same room with you! Can I get an amen on that one Dan? 🙂

  3. #3 by Daniel Martin Katz on October 12, 2010 - 11:37 am

    @Kerry, when were you in Egypt? Good experience?

    @Dad, Amen to that… teens… 20’s (30’s?)

  4. #4 by intrepidtraveller on October 14, 2010 - 4:37 pm

    Classic! They also seem to look giving eachother shoulder massages as they walk, or in school, or in restaurants. Wherever!

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