And then Parasite took 4 Oscars home. Never did I think this would happen. To watch a film in my first-learned language, the language of my parents, the language of my ancestors. To watch it on the "big screen," surrounded by people who didn't look like me, who for once, were the ones reading the subtitles versus the other way around. To watch it win award after award, including just for tonight, Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Film, Best Screenplay. To watch it make history.
And it is historical.
And yet... I have mixed feelings about Korean culture becoming mainstream. On one hand, I have so much pride. ALL the pride. I teared up during Parasite, realizing I didn't have to read subtitles when I watched the movie. I teared up again, being able to talk with my mom about it and describing how many non-Koreans were in the theaters watching and praising it. Likewise, I cried during a BTS concert (worth it) for similar reasons, and remember with pride, hearing how Epik High was performing at Coachella many years ago (and how they and Big Bang will perform this year). For similar reasons, I teared up during the scene of Crazy Rich Asians, when the actresses and actors are eating food with chopsticks— my mainstream utensil. I teared up at the opening of Always Be My Maybe, when Ali Wong's child version takes off her shoes and puts them in shoe cabinet when she enters home. That was my mainstreamed childhood.
Yet on the other hand, I can't shake the memories of my childhood: of being bullied and made fun of for repping my culture and my food. Most children of immigrants have countless stories of their lunch boxes and the ensuing conversations (and pain) about how it "smells weird" or "looks weird" or exclamations of "how can you eat this"? So to see it now as prominent articles and features on food(ie) blogs, results in both immense pride, as well as immense confusion and honestly resentment. Because I will never not remember my childhood and the ways my food, my culture, my pride were and still are at the margins... yet are becoming mainstream and trendy.
To be frank, these are half-formed thoughts. But here is where I am at: still uncomfortable with the process and trying to understand if this process is progress.
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In a year, I read somewhere around 100-200 books. I don't have a TV and I use reading as a form of escape, and I especially like reading outside of academia. It also helps with improving my writing :)
When I'm trying to concentrate, I like having background music that's super dramatic. For some reason, instrumental music is instrumental (pun!) in helping me concentrate. Most of the songs are Korean-drama OSTs (original sound tracks), w/ a few classical music scores in the mix!
I don't categorize anything other than my "random round-ups" because it takes too much work (insert laughing emoji).