Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Common Fears in Korea -- A Small Sample

Today in one of my classes with about twenty students ranging in age from 21 to 25 we spoke about some common fears. I asked the students to tell me what fears they have. General fears like death, poverty, fear of the dark, fear of high places, natural disasters and so on got general nods of agreement. These fears were acknowledged as typical "common fears" that people might suffer from. There were, however, three fears proposed by some students that resulted in very verbal and animated non-verbal feedback.

The first fear that caused exclamations were a fear of castration. Of course, it were especially the male students that cringed at the thought. The second fear, which I'm still failing to understand and which must definitely be a cultural thing, is a fear of "smoking high school students." Why should university students, in other words, young adults, be afraid of high school students that smoke? I don't get it. The last fear, that created equal amounts of animated reactions, is the thought of an "angry mother."

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