Intra Cultural

Had a delightful dinner with Korean family new to the Philippines.  We ended up singing songs around the table after dinner- they liked Bruno Mars’ Count On Me, I like Jeon In Kwon 제발 (Jaebal, or Please) **

We all love Simon and Garfunkel, and we got started because the father of the other family and I love Kansas’ Dust in the Wind. It was more fun than I can explain, one of those ‘you had to be there’ moments of connection.  They had talked earlier in the evening about how crowds of fans clap, cheer, and chant ‘Oppa, oppa!’ at concerts (this is what younger females call older brothers or just older guys they are close to).    When the dad and I started finished our spontaneous break out cover of Dust in the Wind, their 8 year old son stood up and started clapping and saying “Noonim, noonim!” *  It’s utterly hilarious.

They ask me what Korean Dramas I have been watching.  They aren’t familiar with any of them.  One after the other, I show them pictures of the drama release posters (because they are in Hangul), and the mom’s face falls each time she has to say she has never heard of most K-dramas I like, and doesn’t even recognize the names of most of the actors (she’s really not much into pop culture).

Then her face lights up as she thinks of  something, “But I did watch American show Friends!”
I’ve never seen a single episode.

I don’t know why this cracked us both up so much.




*(Noona is what younger brothers call older sisters, or young males call older girls they are close to- or male fans call female singers.  The ‘im’ ending is more respectful, used for somebody with more authority or higher on the hierarchy).


** Of course, I like Big Bang, and can sing snatches of their songs best, but I am pretty sure our new friends are very conservative about their entertainment and this would not be comfortable for them if I break out into my rendition of Ppitakage, which is usually translated ‘crooked,’ but which I understand is more of a word with connotations of wrong, rebellious, defiant, outside societal norms, wrong thinking, wrong acting, wrong headed, and just not good.

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