Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ave, Kimchi!

Over at ZenKimchi is an entry featuring a YouTube video about the, er, "Korean History Channel" from a group called JustKiddingFilms. I admit it: I laughed like a drooling idiot. But believe me, I understand why a Korean watching the same video might not see it in quite the same light.

Question: are those two guys Korean? The dude on the left (my left) has good Korean pronunciation-- especially when shouting "ship-saekki-ya!"-- but the dude on the right is either a kyopo or completely non-Korean, based on his pronunciation.

If it turns out this video was put together by two Japanese guys... well, we'll soon see just how "peace-uh-ful" Korean people really are.

I'm still shaking my head in wonder.

ADDENDUM: If you visit the group's MySpace page, there's a link that deals with the question of the comedians' ethnicity. They don't tell you what it is (sorry to spoil the surprise), but they do mock you-- especially if you're Asian-- for not even knowing what race they are. Their deeper point is that it's better to have a sense of pan-Amerasian identity than to engage in the usual parochial squabbles. I think their message is a good one, though I found it ironic that they wrote:

Check this out, recently I've noticed the Asian American youth been leaning more toward Eurocentric ways. I mean its great that we're assimilating but the bottom line is we're not white, and we shouldn't throw away our culture completely and submit. Here's the reason why... my friend is a 6th generation Japanese American, people still ask him what country he's from, but my homie, he's a second generation Dutch American. No one asks him what country he's from, he's already a QUALIFIED AMERICAN BECAUSE HES WHITE..... and because we're not white, we cant just give everything up and act if were already white if we're NOT going to be looked upon as Americans... we need to stay true to our roots....

So the message is: don't get all Eurocentric, but it's OK to go the Ebonics route, cu' dat's stayin' true to our roots, yo.

Aside from that quibble, I think this group's heart is in the right place.

ADDENDUM 2: Upon second hearing, it's not obvious that either actually knows Korean. At one point they both start shouting what sounds, to me at least, like nonsense Korean syllables. Also: when they hold up the white styrofoam cup, the hangeul on there is obviously bullshit. This doesn't bring us much closer to solving the mystery of the guys' ethnicity, but it's worth noting. (Fluent Korean speakers are free to weigh in on whether the nonsense really is nonsense.)



Stafford said...

Mai-ee uh, Ssingking iss-uh berry Pahnee!
But not as funny as the Korean History Channel's take on "Chocolate People"

Anonymous said...

The only real Korean is the one swear word they toss around quite liberally and the greeting at the beginning. The rest is gibberish as far as I can tell.

Kevin Kim said...


Did you show this vid to your wife? I'm morbidly curious.