The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Korean culture is misunderstood

Jin Hyung Kim

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Dear Editor:

Since I have been attending at NKU for four years, I have many chances through class to explain about “dog meat.” Some Americans asked me very carefully because they didn’t want to offend myself.

First of all, I understand how Americans think it is such a cruelty, that some people in the world eat dog, which is the friendliest animal to Americans. However, before you blame Korea, there is a part of Korean history you must know. About thousands of years ago, cow was the main resource for agricultural ages, so the ordinary people could not have beef. However, dog meat was easier to get than any other animal, such as chicken, so it fed numerous hungry poor people.

Today, there are only few, I mean really few, Koreans who eat dog meat, and we distinguish between dog for food and pets. Dog for food is raised in clean environment farms with enriched nutrition. Apparently, those dogs are not pets that you can name. I mean, they are all mixed kind.

Then, should we Koreans force our government to shut down restaurants, which cook dog meat? It is still arguable in Korea between animal protection organizations and restaurants owners.

I think Korean government should leave those restaurants because our government already punished them when we hosted 88 Seoul Olympics and 2002 World Cups. In the mean time, any restaurants sell or cook dog meat had to either close or move to suburbs in order to avoid giving ugly impression to Western countries.

I believe many Koreans agree with myself whether they eat dog meat or not, because it is matter of cultural sovereignity.

Furthermore, should Chinese government follow the same steps that Korean government did in order to host 2008 Beijing Olympics successfully?

I don’t think so, but question is still standing and Western countries are awaiting response from Chinese government.

I think Western people eat many disgusting foods as well, but I don’t express at all because it is their part of culture, and I don’t have any historical and cultural background knowledge relatively.

I love the dog. I still miss my first dog that I lost in a car accident about ten years ago, and there are millions of Koreans who love the dog and treat them as a human being.

I hope this article help you understand little more about my people and my country.

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The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.
Korean culture is misunderstood