Written By Aris Setiawan on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | 11:28 AM
No, I’m not Korean and I don’t hate Japanese people neither. I actually pretty much like both of them
I met the other day a Korean dude and, I don’t remember why, the conversation turned around mythology. Greek, Norse, Egyptian (which is of course not European…),… Of course, I was surprised he did not talk about less European mythologies like Aztec, Chinese or Japanese, and I told him so.
He replied with a simple “Japanese people do not have a strong mythology. It’s not even their own. They do not have anything of their own. Not even their Emperor, that came from my country, Korea”.
Someone told me that Japanese and Koreans do not mix well together. I know it, or at least the theory, and I told him. So the Korean dude insisted: “I must have it in the blood, or something. I simply can not stand them.”
I find those attitudes pathetic.
First of all, his statements are simply wrong. The first emperor was Japanese. Their Shinto gods are powerful and they have a very important variety of gods and goodnesses, some of them strong enough to create the world and, unlike other gods like the Greek ones, people still believe in some of them.
Secondly, I do understand that Koreans have suffered for long from Japanese sphere of influence, but so they’ve had suffered from Chinese and Manchu. Will he hate everyone until the end of time?
Third, he was speaking a perfect Spanish. He was clearly Spanish or in Spain since his childhood. Now, several possibilities open upon us:
Is he adopted? If he is, why the hell would he care about a country he probably does not even know? I do understand the importance of self-definition, finding it’s own roots and all those problems adopted children have. But why define yourself in opposition to someone instead of as belonging to a group?
If he’s not adopted, why keep with a hate that is disappearing little by little in his own country? Does he really feel from his own country? Has he visited Korea? And Japan? Does he even know enough Japanese to actually hate them?
And if his own family has suffered Japanese atrocities, will he keep hating a country for what they did more than half a century ago? I do agree they haven’t acknowledged it yet, but we are talking about their government, not the actual people that often disagree with their rulers. Should I keep hating the fascist side of Spain for what they did to my family? Or should I work in order to reduce the gap that once fractured Spain in a civil war?
Those grudges only serve hate and foster future conflicts. They are simply not worth and, in some cases, are not even justified. This kid spoke without knowledge, education nor wiseness. Those are the persons that keep alive enmities that should have been buried long ago.