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The Shit Needle 똥침

21 Jul

A stark contrast between Wesetern and Korean culture is the relationship between children and adults outside of the family. In Western culture children are taught with vigor not to talk with strangers, where in Korea, adults assume the role of  the child’s aunt or uncle. If I am in a restaurant with my boss, the woman serving us food  will hold my boss’s baby while she is finishing her meal whilst tending to the other child running around exploring the restaurant. As a result (I’m assuming it is anyways), children in the classroom are far more hands on, whether it be a barrage of hugs or the rubbing of little faces on my arm, ressembling the blissful state cats enter when rubbing their faces on pretty much everything(including stinky socks….but that’s a story for another time).

The previous mentioned actions are actually quite endearing, even for a stunted robot such as myself.  Not so endearing, however, is a bizarre game aptly referred to as the shit needle, or dong chim 똥침. The game goes as follows: a sweet innocent kindergardener clasps their delicate little hands together into the shape of a gun, and then uses all the mighty strength that their little arms will give them to dart their fingers at your bum hole(those arms are much stronger then they look btw). This is for realz. They’ve even made statues to prove it.


Ooooo he got him real good….

The first time this happened I freaked out(and rightfully so). I figured it was an isolated incident, but alas, ’twas was only the peak of a slippery slope. I’ve managed to put a kibosh on this gong show as the devilish look that taints their angel faces moments prior to an attack give them away, but am still flabbergasted by the seeming acceptance of it by Korean society. By the looks of if, the whole family can join in on the fun…..

It’s the shit needle family fun train! Choo-choooo (poo-poooo rather)

The game is so hip ‘n’ happening that it’s inspired a cartoon character whose its namesake. Dongchimee is an animated counterpart of the brand Dalki (check it out here). He’s an artist who’s sole tool is dung. He sets out to fully understand the capabilities of his organic material; sometimes it’s wet and sometimes it’s dry. Surprisingly, he spends most of his time at home. Oh and ladies, he’s a Virgo.

What a dream boat! There’s alota something under his nose(I’m assuming it’s a glob of snot)…I wonder if he’ll consider the use of other bodily materials in his work since they seem to be in ample supply…..

And it doesn’t end there. From Dongchimee has spawned Dung Bread, or DDong BBang 똥빵.  I actually came across this appetizing treat when in Seoul but haven’t actually tried it. I do know that it’s essentially a pastry with a waffle-like shell thats cradling a red bean filling. Here is what it looks like (from what I’ve found via google search)

And this is apparently what it comes in. Note the bum defecating red bean;as if the whole ordeal wasn’t graphic enough.

If you aren’t in the position to have a shit needle experience of your own, not to worry, as that’s what the internet is for (go here and you won’t be disappointed).



강 아지 똥: Doggy Poo Story

11 Jun

Near the end of this past week I discovered the following posted in the stairwell leading up to my Hagwon…..

And incase you couldn’t quite decipher the title….

The star of the show

Critically Aclaimed

Incase you are still confused, this is a poster advertising the upcoming run of the popular children’s play Doggy Poo Story(강 아지 똥).  Considering my only other encounter with a heart warming story about poo is starring Mr.Hanky, I found(find?) the whole thing- from the person with in the fuzzy poo costume with smears on their face to the ernest, glowing reviews from the critics- to be just a tad bizarre.

I decided to vaguely inquire about the production with my boss. She was completly unfazed and told me that it was based on a famous Korean children’s story. And deriving from the light research I’ve done it can be concluded that she is in fact correct.  Apparently the book won a Korean children’s literary award in 1968 and has even been adapted as an English animated short film.  According to to a customer on, the following is the heartwarming plot of said  story,

Doggy Poo is just that, and from the time he is ‘born,’ we find him questioning his purpose in life, to anyone or thing that will listen, including a hen, a bird (sparrow?) and a friendly pile of dirt. Much like Hans Christian Andersen’s ugly duckling, our lead character’s appearance (and seeming lack of purpose) causes him to be rejected, pecked and made fun of. But when all seems just about lost, a friendly girl weed grows up next to him and tells and tells Doggy Poo that she needs him for fertilizer in order to become a beautiful flower. And so he finds his purpose in life, and happiness in the process.

So maybe the story’s a heartwarmer, but I think I’m a bit too immature to appreciate it…..