Monday, March 6, 2017

In With The Ink

In a country where traditionally a tattoo means "I am literally a gangster, not just pretending to be tough" younger Koreans are turning to body art with more innocent intentions:
"At a time where even the most ordinary people are starting to get tattoos, it remains a question to many whether tattoos should continue to be perceived as unethical and unhealthy. To find out, the JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, met with a number of people with tattoos. 
A 27-year-old university student surnamed Yun got a tattoo of a unicorn on her wrist last month. When she visited a tattoo shop, she initially did not intend to get one, but was just tagging along with a friend getting a tattoo. But she was mesmerized by the design and ended up handing over her wrist to the tattoo artist. '[Since getting the tattoo], I always wear long-sleeved shirts at home in case my parents find out and scold me,' she said and continued, 'But permanently being able to have a design that I adore on my body strangely makes me excited.'”
My perspective from teaching at a college in the very conservative city of Daegu is that, yes, over the past few years I've definitely noticed a rise in the number of visible tattoos among my students.  (A lot of cursive-script incongruous English self-help sayings on male forearms, for what it's worth.)  I'm sure female students are more reticent to get openly visible ones, so I imagine a lot of lower-back and ankle work is going around.

But what do I know?  I made it through the 90's without a single tattoo or piercing.  I probably deserve some kind of a medal for that.

Note: Advanced Conversation posts contain material that I've used with my adult conversation students.

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