Corrections to the Korean media piece on Babo-Palooza!
Foreigners in Busan busted for anti-Korean performance December 15, 2006 â€“ 8:51 am
Police in Busan have arrested nine foreigners in Busan for putting on an unapproved performance that allegedly degraded Korean culture, reports the Kyunghyang Shinmun.
At the time the story went to press, seven cast members had been brought to the police station for interviews.
The paper noted that they were arrested (but not detained) on procedural grounds (you must seek permission from authorities before holding a performance), but controversy was expected since it was possible police were more concerned about what was said during the performance than the paperwork before it.
All in all, nine foreigners, including a 37-year-old American English instructor at a Busan university, were booked on violations of Koreaâ€™s performance laws, while seven band members, including a 30-year-old Canadian, were told to leave the country for violating immigration laws.
No one is aware of any Busan-area band members being contacted, let alone given deportation papers. Pusanweb suspects this is completely false information.
The Busan Nineâ€”all apparently English teachersâ€”had formed a performance group called â€œRight Downâ€ and staged a one-act play called â€œOriental Storyâ€ on Dec. 1 and 2 at a small theater in Namcheon-dong.
The name of the performance group is "Round Face Productions". It was not a one-act play; it was a sketch-comedy show called "Babo-palooza!".
According to the Kyunghyang Shinmun, the performance was made up of 10 short skits that lampooned or degraded aspects of Korean culture foreigners found repulsive. One of their targets, apparently, was Korean immigration officials. During the performance, they ridiculed the entry process, joking (?) that Korean immigration officials ask if you know the Dokdo islets or bosintang (dogmeat soup) or kimchi and claiming that Korean civil servants demand that foreigners adopt the Korean way of thinking (Marmot: Koreans expecting people to do things the Korean way in Korea? The horror! The horror!).
There were eight sketches, a (positive) review and summary of which can be read here.
They also lampooned Koreaâ€™s â€œstrangeâ€ (so the Kyunghyang quoted them) number culture, including Koreansâ€™ insistence on doing things three times (â€They even poo three times,â€ they are quoted as saying), Unconfirmed.
the taboo on the number four, They said that the number '4' means 'death' in Korea.
and the use of â€œ18â€³ as an obscenity. True.
They also ridiculed Koreansâ€™ â€œsaucepan dispositionâ€ (naembi geunseong, the tendency of Korean society to boil over quickly about a particular issue but just as quickly simmer down), calling it a â€œsteam ironâ€ (Marmot: I fail to see the association).
Strange. Not sure we understand this one either.
Finally, they chose to express Koreaâ€™s dogmeat culture by pretending to eat with tortured expressions, throwing up, and eating again.
True...with the final result being one of enjoying boshintang.
Oh, they also referred to middle-aged women as â€œstubborn ajuma.â€ Or something like that. Or so the Kyunghyang Shinmun said.
At the police station, they foreigners in question said about the dogmeat routine that they were just trying to express their displeasure with some Koreans who â€œforceâ€ foreigners to eat bosintang.
Entry to the performance was 7,000 won. Four performances were held, with some 600 people attending in all.
The ticket price is correct, however there were two performances and approximately 150 people attending in total.
Police said the busts were made because it was an illegal performance, not because of the content of said performance.