Happy St. Paddy’s Day! Hope you’re wearing your green, avoiding the pinching and, of course, drinking your ass off like a good American.
It’s often said that Koreans are the “Irish of the Orient” because they both
drink a shitload of alcohol share many cultural similarities and St. Patrick’s Day is gaining popularity in Korea because Koreans will embrace any reason to drink more. So for this #FlashbackFriday, we revisit a 2011 blog from our resident Korean “expert” explaining why St. Patrick’s Day should also be a Korean holiday:
(Koreans and Irish) both faced oppression and subjugation by our neighbors—the Irish from the Brits and us Koreans from the Japanese. We’re both very religious—the Irish are mostly Catholics and Koreans mostly Protestants—but it’ll be hard to find more Jesus-crazy people anywhere else in the world. Our early immigrants faced prejudice not just from the dominant white American populace, but also from our fellow immigrants—other European immigrants looked down on Irish as dogs and Chinese and Japanese immigrants looked down on Koreans as…uh, dogs too. Smarter people than me have also told me that there are strong similarities in areas like music between the Irish and Koreans. Hell, there’s even a market for Korean U2 tribute bands:
There are other Korean traditions that make us a perfect fit for St. Patrick’s Day. For example, in our culture, the color green represents youth, new energy and a fresh start. Koreans will do things like completely cover a new building in green ribbons to bring good luck.
And the whole pinching if you’re not wearing green thing? I can guarantee you from experience, no one has perfected the art of the pinch better than Koreans. I think Korean mothers are inherently born with the perfect pinching skills—they can inflict severe pain without even leaving a hint of any physical marks or scars at all.
So as you can see there are plenty of reasons why St. Patrick’s Day should also be a uniquely Korean holiday. Hmm…I wonder if I’ve forgotten anything. I don’t think so, but…oh yeah, Koreans love to drink! And at the end of the day isn’t that what this holiday is all about…drinking ‘til you puke and pass out?
To read the rest of the blog, click here.