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Swine Flu on Ulleungdo can’t be blamed on the foreigners

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Yes that’s the truth. Despite what many Koreans think, swine Flu on Ulleungdo can’t be blamed on the foreigners as there are only two of us and we don’t leave the island as often as the Koreans do. So if there is a major outbreak, it’s not our fault.

I’m grateful to have a somewhat easier life on Ulleungdo than most English teachers in Korea. At least I try and see it that way. With only two of us English teachers, the Koreans don’t really have anyone to compare me with. Nonetheless, this also means that I am sometimes assumed to be American and not recognized as South African.

With swine flu causing mass panic and chaos in Korea, we are definitely better off than the mainland. There have only been three rumoured cases here and these are just rumours. No one is confirming it.

This article on Road Junky details how swine flu in Korea has been blamed on foreigners. There is a lot of truth to this piece as even here I was quarantined after my summer trip to Cambodia. At one of the schools where I work I’m the only teacher who gets a temperature check along with all the students. I only realized this was strange after reading the article.

As much as I detest Arirang TV for all it’s fake, bubblegum, propaganda of how it’s important to accept foreigners for Korea to become a globalised society I can see the need for this kind of public social broadcast.

On the other hand it’s a little misplaced on Korea’s major English channel which is most likely watched mainly by foreigners anyway. Surely it would be more effective if it were in Korean on one of the Korean channels like KBS?

I think being on Ulleungdo can at least help Koreans here to realize that we aren’t all dirty, disease ridden bad influences on their children’s lives. We are fortunate to be able to get to know our students and some of their parents fairly well. I hope this will at least make a small difference.


Written by BiancaZAR

November 13, 2009 at 1:54 am