S.Korean picket signs inspire imitation up north

As Hallyu, or the ‘Korean Wave,’ grows in
popularity with the spread of South Korean dramas and movies among Northern
students, some students have been inspired by the writing style of South
Koreans and started to copy it. 

On October 14th, Daily NK spoke with a source in South Pyongan Province, who said that more and more
students are beginning to write in the same fluid style as the South Koreans.
The southern handwriting style features large consonants, which many northern
students think looks “cool,” she said.

Daily NK crosschecked this news with an
additional source in North Pyongan Province.

North Korean students show off their
Southern style handwriting at school. Anyone can watch South Korean dramas and
movies without a problem these days, and so the number of students who are
interested in South Korea is growing. These students have started to write in
the style of southerners, and others who see their writing copy them as well.

“There’s an atmosphere forming. People will
say without hesitation that the South Korean writing style is better than
ours,” the source said.

North Korean authorities have broadcast
scenes of South Korean protests on Korean Central Television (KCTV) in the
hopes of highlighting the problems of the government in South Korea. However,
many students have instead been impressed with the handwriting they see on the picket
signs at the demonstrations and have begun to practice writing that way.

Students want to be trendy, and as South
Korean dramas are currently trendy, many students want to show that they are
following them. Those who want to be trendsetters try to make it obvious that
they are watching South Korean shows, even going so far as to imitate the
Southern style of speech.

“Because Party cadres are in the public
eye, they normally don’t use South Korean vocabulary or speech styles. However,
ordinary citizens are different. They are influenced by the dramas they see and
either wish to show that they are trendy or use new expressions to talk about
love that didn’t exist previously,” she explained.

Facilitating this process is the fact that, recently, the number of spies from the State Security Department in schools who
closely monitor student activities has dropped significantly. Although it is
impossible to pinpoint the exact reason for this, according to the source, “nobody’s particularly concerned about these trends among students.”

For the spies that still lurk the halls, astute pupils can easily pick out and subsequently avoid them, enjoying South Korean culture away from their
piercing gaze. If a new student suddenly transfers from another school and
tries to become close, everyone knows that the likelihood this person is a spy
is high, so while they continue to follow South Korean culture, they do so with
their guard up to avoid being caught.

Questions or comments about this article? Contact us at dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.