Korea: AIDS and single mothers in Korea and the power of soap operas

AIDS and single mothers are not easy topics in Korean society. Single mothers mean sex before the marriage and are not moral. AIDS is regarded as the result of dangerous and inappropriate sex relations. These prejudices generate social taboos. And a brave Korean soap opera, “Thanks,” has taken on these two main themes and has been popular unlike anyone expected. It has created more open discussion of these issues.

A blogger, naisuli, said how much her perspectives have changed about AIDS after this soap opera,

에이즈 편견… 깨줘서 고마워
드라마보믄서… 공부해보긴… 오랫만이네.
하긴… 에이즈보담…더 무서운 전염병도 있을텐데…
우리한테 알려질 때…에이즈에 걸린 사람들의 처음과 마지막만 보여줘서
편견이…더 심한건지도 모르거따. 다른 병…보다는 좀 남다른…게 있자네.

Thanks for breaking the prejudice about AIDS.
It was the first time in many years to study hard through a soap opera.
Indeed, there might be scarier epidemics than AIDS in this world.
Having chances to see the disease, we usually observe the HIV positive people’s changes in the beginning and the end. Maybe that’s why we have more extreme prejudice about this disease.

A blogger, springdream, concentrated on differences

드라마의 힘

power of drama

세상에는 참 다른 것들이 많다.
다른 사람도 많고, 다른 생각도 많고, 다른 물건도 많고, 다른 장소도 많고….기타 등등 참 많다.
다른 것들을 열거하자면 지구를 몇 바퀴를 돌려도 모자랄 것이다.
세상에는 정말 다른 것 투성인데, 그런데 이상하게도 그것을 인정하는 사람은 많지 않다.
실상 한국만 봐도 그렇다.
꼭 크게 우리 나라를 보지 않아도 우리의 주변만 살펴봐도 그렇다.
공부를 잘 하는 사람이 있고 공부를 못 하는 사람이 있지만 그 둘은 다르게 여겨지지 않는다.
공부를 잘 하는 사람은 옳은 것이고 공부를 못 하는 사람은 옳지 않은 것이다.
돈을 잘 버는 사람이 있고 돈을 잘 못 버는 사람이 있어도,
돈을 잘 버는 사람은 옳은 사람이고 돈을 못 버는 사람은 한심한 사람이다.

There are so many different things.
Different people, different thoughts, different things, different places… there are so many.
If we start listing different things, we should go around this earth several times.
Even though there are so many different things, there are a few people who acknowledge them. Just look at Korea. Just look at your surroundings.
There must be people who are good at studying or not. The former is considered right and the latter is not right. There are people who earn money well or not. The former is regarded right and the latter is pitiful.

‘고맙습니다.'를 봐도 그렇다.
에이즈에 걸린 봄이는 그저 남들과 다를 뿐인데 병균을 옮기는 더러운 사람이다.
미혼모인 영신은 그저 남들과 조금 다를 뿐인데 사람들은 그녀가 무언가 부족한 사람이라고 생각한다.
남들과 다르다는 것은 옳고 그름, 맞고 틀림이라는 잣대로 판단할 수 없는 것인데, 우리는 무의식적이든 의식적이든 쉽게 그것들을 판단한다.
그리고 그러한 다수의 판단은 매우 절대적인 기준으로 둔갑한다. 소수의 의견은 묵살된 채 말이다.

Look at the soap opera, “Thanks”
The girl, Bomi, having AIDS is just different from others, but is regarded as the filthy human.
Youngsin, a single mother, is a little bit different from others, but people take her as an insufficient human.
The difference is not the measuring stick to be right or not, but we easily use it to make judgment unconsciously and consciously. And the judgment of the majority turns to be the absolute standard. The opinion of the minority is ignored.

Copying parts of scripts seems a fad in the internet, like a blogger, happily.

“봄이가 에이즈에 걸린건 나쁜게 아니라
이상한게 아니라 다른거죠? 내가 미혼모인건 나쁜게 아니라 이상한게 아니라 미안한게 아니라 다른거죠?” 이대사 머리속에 박혔다.

“Doesn’t the fact that Bomi got AIDS make her different? Not bad, not weird? Doesn’t the fact that I’m a single mother make me different? Not bad, not weird, not feeling sorry?”
These lines are nailed in my mind.

Another blog has some snap shots and lines from the drama.

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