The representative of the Bishops' Committee for the reconciliation of the country is impressed with the refugees from North Korea who are here in the South. In his Catholic Times' column he mentions that with events in which the North and South are present, he marvels at the positive outlook of the refugees.
When you ask them
to sing they respond with grace, and pick their song; asked to
dance, they extend their hands like a butterfly and fluttering their
hands begin to go around in a circle getting everybody involved, and in a
short time we have everybody in the group in a joyous mood. When all is
over they are the first to begin the clean-up.
the Koreans from the South to sing is quite a feat. There is a lot of
talk, back and forth, before they acquiesce but to get them to dance,
requires more difficult steps for results. At the conclusion of the
event those of the South look around to see how the group is behaving,
we do not make the first move, and quietly move towards the
exist. The columnist knows where those from the North got their mature
and positive attitudes.
The columnist reminds us of the 2003 Universiade in
Daegu. A bus load of North Korean cheerleaders coming back from an
archery competition, and returning to Daegu, saw a placard that was put
in place by the farmers of the areas to welcome the cheerleaders.The
placard showed Kim Jong-il and Kim Dae-jung shaking hands, the two
leaders of the North and South and that time. It was raining and the cheerleaders from the North saw this as disrespect for their leader and
complained. They stopped the bus and after lamenting with loud cries at the
disrespect for their leader, they took the placard back with them to
their sleeping quarters.
We, hearing what happened, are
greatly surprised at the reaction of the cheerleaders.
We see only a placard but for the cheerleaders it was like a religious
image and more so. Do we have anybody cleaning the picture of
Jesus or the cross every day? In the North each house has a portrait of Kim Il-sung and his son in a prominent place. Each day
they would take time out to show devotion to their leaders by cleaning
the portraits with special cloths.
Their devotion to their leaders would be similar to a religious act on our part. This is the kind of training
they receive from their earliest years, and continues for life. Their
motto is always be ready. The leaders are like the sun for the
country. This is the brainwashing they have received, and worship of
their leaders is the natural outcome.
All their acts have loyalty as their foundation and the way they receive political trust, and the reason they concentrate on heroic actions. The closer they are
to the leaders the more envied by others and makes them ready to do every thing spontaneously and quickly.