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)
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).