More on Roh Moo-hyun


Sorry, not much research, just the Wiki article on him. More just pondering. Tell ya what, but. Korean politics is something else.

His presidency was a disaster, an utter disaster, although, somehow, the little-nation-that-could managed to persevere. I still haven’t worked out how South Korea got from where it was to where it is. Sure there was the armistice, US military presence here, President Park putting the country under the whip, the pro-democracy protests of ’80 and ’87, the Chaebol — but it still all doesn’t quite add up. There’s gotta be something else there. I’m not sure I’ll ever truly understand these people. My cousin’s granddad, a retired army general, on hearing I was moving here for the first time, noted that in all his travels, the Koreans were the hardest people he ever had to deal with. No kidding. And yet, on that note, I feel a kinship, LOL!

Do click that link. It’s an interesting read, if nothing else. Er, the first one anyway. You’ll be here forever if you read through the others. And sure, I understand that back home Korea isn’t too much of an issue… even with what’s been going on the past week or so.

I have owed to too many people. The amount of burden I have caused to them is too great. I can’t begin to fathom the countless agonies down the road. The rest of my life would only be a burden for others. I am unable to do anything because of poor health. I can’t read books, nor can I write. Do not be too sad. Isn’t life and death all part of nature? Do not be sorry. Do not feel resentment toward anyone. It is fate. Cremate me. And leave only a small tombstone near home. I’ve thought this for a while.

(Original text in Korean) 너무 많은 사람들에게 신세를 졌다. 나로 말미암아 여러 사람이 받은 고통이 너무 크다. 앞으로 받을 고통도 헤아릴 수도 없다. 여생도 남에게 짐이 될 일밖에 없다. 건강이 좋지 않아서 아무것도 할 수가 없다. 책을 읽을 수도 글을 쓸 수도 없다. 너무 슬퍼하지 마라. 삶과 죽음이 모두 한 조각이 아니겠는가. 미안해 하지 마라, 누구도 원망하지 마라, 운명이다. 화장해라. 그리고 집 가까운 곳에 아주 작은 비석 하나만 남겨라. 오래된 생각이다.

Posted in Korea. 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “More on Roh Moo-hyun”

  1. Boy on a bike Says:

    I’ve dealt with a few Koreans through work, and boy, are they tough cookies. Most are very nice blokes, but hard as nails, and a work ethic the size of the ice berg that sank the Titanic.

    • bingbing Says:

      Oh yeah. There’s that work ethic. There’s also that go out with the boss on the company credit card to a hostess bar ethic, but sure, there’s that work ethic.

    • bingbing Says:

      It’s as if they’re copying the West back when it was…

  2. Angus Dei Says:

    Thanks for the original Korean. I hate reading through a translation. A lot of the nuance is lost. The original is far more informative *rolleyes* LOL!

    • bingbing Says:

      I can’t actually speak Korean. That was just lifted off Wiki. But I can read Korean characters, so I’ll give you a “phonetic translation” whilst I procrastinate hanging out the washing… all “a” letters to be pronounced “ah”…

      Nomu ma’un saramdulehgeh shinsehrul jyotda. Naro malmiama yora sarami badun go tongi nomu k’da. Apro badul gotongdo hehmaril sudo otda. Yosengdo namehgeh jibi dil ilbakeh otda. Gon gangi chungji ahmehso mamugotdo hal suga otda. Checkul ikul sudo gulul sul sudo otda. *Namu sulpohaji. Samgwa jukumi mudu han jugani anigetnunga. **Mianheh hajimara. Nugudu wonmang hajimara, unmyongida? ***Hwajanghehra. Guligo jip gaka’un goteh aju jakun haniman namgyeh. Olehdwin seng ganida.

      I have owed to too many people. The amount of burden I have caused to them is too great. I can’t begin to fathom the countless agonies down the road. The rest of my life would only be a burden for others. I am unable to do anything because of poor health. I can’t read books, nor can I write. *Do not be too sad. Isn’t life and death all part of nature? **Do not be sorry. Do not feel resentment toward anyone. ***It is fate. Cremate me. And leave only a small tombstone near home. I’ve thought this for a while.

      Standardised, that would come out looking different but not sounding too much different. And shit, I actually did understand half of it!

    • bingbing Says:

      Er, make that 5%… at best.

      He’s certainly not using basic Korean from what I can gather.

    • bingbing Says:

      I doubt he’s using a regional dialect much as he was against regionalism during his political career. I’ll ask my better half but ho hum, she hasn’t seen it yet… and she’s Korean (?!)

      Where I’m living is a region very supportive of Leftist politics… and NMH was quite the Leftist. I know, sue me, go figure (read: less hours, more money, more vacation). GF lives back where I used to live, where I’ll be moving back to next contract. Very conservative place.

  3. thefrollickingmole Says:

    A little interesting about his inability to read ote, I wonder if that was eyesight or mentaly related? (ie: senility).

    Poor buggr bad place to be when your throwing yourself off a cliff.

    • bingbing Says:

      He didn’t finish high school yet went on to finish law school (not now, Gus) so he certainly knew a bit. And although utterly inept as a president, yet ‘ept’ enough to get there, he was always known as a very kind man.

      I’ve little respect for the coward’s way out, as we see it in the West, yet having been here a while, can see why he did it. Kind of like Seppuku, a selfless act.

      I suspect the not being able to read and write bit was directly related to right before he died, as in… shit, it’s an Asian thing. More related to shame than any kind of what we Westerners would class as a disability or mental retardation.


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