Monday, September 20, 2010

Strangers in a Strange Land

A tale of two young visitors to "strange land where stars shine at night, kids play outside and school lets out before sundown" — Korean students enjoy freedom of US teens in Carrollton exchange trip‎. (Sounds like Ray Bradbury's All Summer in a Day.) The picture below, worth at least the proverbial thousand words, shows the students "awkwardly with hands on hearts during the Pledge of Allegiance:"

Yes, nothing speaks of American freedom more than the regimentation of the Pledge. (But seriously, someone should have told them that one is only supposed to salute one's own flag, and merely stand respectfully for those of other countries, as I once told a compatriot here who insisted on putting his hand over his heart during the Korean national anthem.)

The students are from Guri, described accurately, if depressingly, as "a densely packed, tightly governed mass of buildings in the metropolitan area surrounding Seoul, the South Korean capital." We learn that "they snapped photos of stars, a rarity among the towers of Guri." The students were said to have "discovered a high school where even classwork felt like a vacation." Said one of them, "It's so hard [in Guri]. We have no time to rest."

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.