Get beyond the first sentence for Pete’s sake! Things I write aren’t what they appear to be.
The title. Here’s why . . . .
My Korean mother and American father were the first international interracial couple, of their kind, in what I had perceived to be a narrow-minded bigoted town, smack dab in the middle of the United States of America. Truly, there are still people like that.
Shouldn’t she be celebrated historically by now? She broke barriers and paved the way for “orientals”. Yeah, I wrote it. Keep reading, and I’ll gladly explain. I enjoy explaining things.
Why did I perceive it as such?
She was shunned before she ever got there, first by my dad’s family. It appears back then, from what I’ve heard, it wasn’t uncommon to be prematurely rejected due to preconceived notions. (I despise those!)
Sound familiar? Anyone?
As I’ve stated for years,
What begins behind the four walls of a house, spreads corporate wide, gets into the government, and ends up behind the four walls of the big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue.
In my last quote, I inadvertently made a limited ethnocentric error. Here’s a clarification to my quote:
It also applies to any other country. There is nothing too exclusive anymore about America, because we are all very much human beings.
You might be thinking, “What’s that got to do with Mongolia”? Yeah, it still hasn’t quite “sunk in” with me either.
Check it out.
The scenario I described with my parents was back in the late 1950’s. How long ago was or is that in years? I asked first.
My Korean mother was also an unwelcome foreigner to the public, referred to as an “oriental”, because she was/is from the “orient”. PERIOD.
Honestly, it was and still is less derogatory than being called a “Jap” (short for Japanese), because it was describing the unknown of foreign countries, as in an ‘exotic place’. (I cringe when I read old newspaper clips using the word “Jap”. You figure out why, here.)
I willingly admit it . . . . (hands in the air!)
I made an assumption, a blanketed statement (which I detest) that the people of the town ‘thought she was Japanese’, due to timing of her arrival. Geographically, I was closer than I thought.
Truth be known, there is written proof there were people of lower intellect than the credit, my flippant assumption, and/or blanket statement made and/or gave.
Hard to believe, right?
My mother gave birth to her first child, and that would not be me. All appeared normal, the child was born healthy, cute, squinty eyes, with the typical dark hair. No big surprise there. All Korean babies are born with dark hair. The surprise was later, and that would be . . . . me.
What came as a surprise to me much later, was one word I read after I unfolded the birth certificate. In someone’s handwriting, it was written, my South Korean mother was from . . . . Mongolia.
My first thought was . . . . well, more than one,
That’s just insane!
What’s up with that?
Like ‘Mongolian beef’?
Couldn’t they JUST . . . . ask?
What on earth were they thinking?
Was there a dish back then called ‘Mongolian beef’?”
You get the picture.
I always knew, and freely admitted that I was geographically ignorant (still am, yet always learning), BUT this one stole entire the cake!
It took stupid to a whole new level. That’s why I say what I say.
I view life as an observer to the best of my ability, and it’s nearly impossible . . . . as you can clearly see, right?
Let me put it another way.
North Korea as a collective whole or mindset has not changed, and appears to be “headed” by a more savage, deranged young male who inherited his seat. Keep in mind my South Korean mother experienced the once whole country, as in Korea being . . . . ONE, or an entire country.
Who bothers to go back that far to comprehend the history of Korea, or anything today?
Most have to read a book for history, and my mother has the memory. Still others make historic comparisons to other books in order to understand the basic concept of . . . . communism. Read that link and then think “NFL”. Heck, just look at the two words!
How much more simple can I make it?
Let me try again.
When people don’t experience life outside their own glass bubble, nothing changes in their mind’s eye. Thus they are partially blind, in (yep) another spot. Then they have children and pass down their distorted values. In turn, they go out into a world of more trouble, unaware of history repeating itself, nobody appears to understand the media business (here), they all fuel the flames, adding to the trouble, adding more names . . . .
Simply put, I’m seeing it all come full circle, and so is my American Korean mother.
Many ignorant and hasty Americans choose to react, therefore believe, and behave like a horse with blinders, or act out stupidly . . . . like the birth certificate saying my South Korean mother was from Mongolia . . . . as in “Mongolian beef”?
Only God knows what “they” were not thinking. Stupidity is obviously my pet peeve, because it’s apparently when one chooses to BE . . . . mentally lazy.
(Update: November 19, 2017 – My Korean mother made an attempt to defend the people at the hospital by stating that they were – you really might want to sit down for this – ready?
She said they were,
“Standing there questioning EACH OTHER – asking where they thought she was from!”
Emphasis mine. So, I asked my mother,
“Why didn’t they just ask – YOU?”
She didn’t know. Case closed. I rest my case, or whatever an attorney would say. Just say it!)
Technology must have caused some older folks amnesia, so here’s a reminder of how we used to look up information.
I literally see people thinking they are doing something celebratory, all the while proving they lack empathy or knowledge, and are too lazy to research or read.
Some things are potentially harmful to those, whose lives have been deeply scarred by surviving various wars and/or horrific life changing crises or disaster. So many who “speak out” are inexperienced, and clearly naïve to the realities of this thing called . . . . LIFE.
The only reason for my awareness is the time (years) God allowed me to steep my attention with life stories told by veterans of various wars from WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The latter being the most difficult to comprehend, but finally explained to me by a Korean War veteran. Then and only then, when I read about the Vietnam War (and only most recently studying my mother’s culture), did it make BETTER sense to me . . . . and PTSD.
(WARNING: It takes WAY, WAY, WAY . . . . more than that to begin to understand an inkling of PTSD.)
That’s all called surviving, introspection, comprehension or understanding. Growing up with life explained via my mother’s eyes from South Korea, while in the middle of America, enabling me to empathize . . . . about life completely foreign to others.
Empathy was graciously instilled upon me at a very, very young age. My mother taught me to do things to help from the goodness of my heart.
Maybe it’s innate, but naturally I began by helping my own struggling mother who survived two wars in South Korea. She taught me to love my freedom (this country), appreciate our Veterans for this country (really my freedom) . . . . the order is confusing.
(Freedom, Veterans, Military, and United States is very synonymous, and difficult to distinguish while writing. My apologies, if I come off sounding confusing, but I have to admit it . . . . I’m confused myself, due to my mother’s life story, family business, and my dad, of course!)
Life lessons were all through the eyes of my mother from South Korea. She taught me to see the world differently, and I inherently learned to listen intently to every word she uttered.
(Ultimately, by God’s grace, He’s given me this life I’m privileged enough to still be living! I am NOT inferring it’s the least bit easy now, OK?)
There were more people who helped shape my life. Thank God for my South Korean mother’s precious Korean friends for allowing me listen in, and my mother translating as I sensed things being said and allowing me to ask questions. Together they taught me so much as young girl about living in a Third World country, extreme poverty, telling me pain filled life stories, continuous hardships, struggling, surviving, about REAL and not feigned solidarity . . . . along with gratitude for freedom in/and by the United States of America.
Some human beings lack the trait of “empathy” . . . . totally! It’s not there! Some think in silos. Some hearts are disconnected from their brains, or human beings are just evil. It’s not for me to explain, OK?
It’s nice to see a business man in office, because I’ve not ever been impressed with a politician, and yet I see more than meets the eye . . . . thanks to my very American Korean mother.
Originally assumed to be from . . . . “Mongolia”.
Apparently they have horses and camels over there with mountains, tents, and vast open spaces. It looks pristine, environmentally clean, beautiful sky, and nothing remotely close to that of crammed and jammed South Korea. Where the young women now alter their naturally beautiful facial features, unlike the natural faces of the Mongolian’s enjoying the great outdoors. As much as people can enjoy this thing called . . . . “life”.
We, (my mother and I) are not politically correct, and my mother cannot/will not be taught to change her vocabulary to suit society, nor will I. “Asians” in our minds do not have camels, so we have always said, and will continue to say “oriental”.
“Well that’s what I am! I’m oriental. ”
Speaking of camels up there, she can’t comprehend the obsession American people have with dogs. I have two . . . . used to be more plus a “Kat”. (All weighed less than one medium-sized dog. I’ve had a thing about rescuing, protecting . . . . people and animals. I’ve learned to like animals a bit more, too! It’s true.)
Again, her family had a dog, and she did not eat one. She rationed a bowl of rice each day as a child, here.
Truly, those who live in more desert type lands understand the difference. In case you happen to be reading this, you all know you don’t even look the same or have the same culture. Am I right?
My South Korean mother originated from a culture traditionally clothed or dressed, and gracefully moved like this:
She still has those beautiful clothes. Camels are perfectly fine and horses are magnificently beautiful to me! These dresses weren’t designed to be worn riding a horse or a camel, but for dance. A blind person can see that. Now . . . . Tell me I’m wrong!
My mother is so funny, she never told me what that dress is called . . . . and I do NOT want know. There’s a story behind my blissful ignorance! All we did was laugh!
Do you realize the dish, “Mongolian beef” isn’t even . . . . Chinese cuisine?
Can you begin to imagine living a life – like this? Like mine. Yeah, me neither! I’m just now taking another convoluted look back, and merely from a different perspective.
It’s almost as complex as politics, but so much more pleasant and pretty! My mother was and still is very beautiful . . . . to me.
The timing of the threats in North Korea are very appropriate and my mother made some really good comments on that entire situation. I’m very impressed. I tried quoting her verbatim by memory immediately, and it’s like trying to memorize the tracks of a cricket jumping rapidly in tall grass . . . . blindfolded.
If I had a functional phone, I’d probably talk her into allowing me to record conversations with me, and share her with you. I love sharing her with others. She’s truly a treat, and a HOOT! BUT . . . . I don’t, therefore I won’t. So looks like you’re out of luck.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Oh, one more thing.
Did you know . . . . not only is truth timeless, but it comes with a price?
Maybe this will make more visual sense:
It’s like swimming against a tsunami . . . .
Would you please help?