Saturday, March 29, 2008

This Old House

During a class with some of my more advanced students, came an interesting insight into Korea. Koreans lay claim as a nation to a long history stretching back nearly 1400 years. What I know about their history didn't prepare me for this discussion.

We were reviewing a story about a girl who was going to stay with her friend overnight at a farmhouse out of town. The friend was telling this girl that their hour was over a hundred years old. The girl was afraid of old houses since they might have ghosts.

When discussing whether this story was realistic, the lone boy thought it was. However, the girls all thought that there was something that wasn't realistic. I asked one of them, Lucy, what she thought.

"A house can't really be 100 years old."

I chuckled until I realized that she was serious. I thought a little more and realized that it may be true in Gohyeon at least. I've seen photos from during the Korean war, and the entire valley was undeveloped land that was used as a POW camp. Certainly nothing in the city--save the POW museum--could be more than fifty years old.

However, is this true for the rest of Korea? I've certainly seen, since my time here, that construction goes up cheap and quick. Buildings are demolished and rebuilt in the manner of months. I've seen entire blocks torn down remade in the one and half years I've been in Geoje.

I told the students that the house I lived in back in the US was about forty years old. They gasped. None of the students lived in homes that were more than seven years old. I wonder how old some of those farm homes are out in the very rural interior of the country. Does Korea really rebuild itself so often, or are my students just ignorant?

1 comment:

  1. You can tell them that my grandparents live in a house that was built in's had some modernisation since then but only installation of running water, windows and carpets - no central heating


I appreciate comments. If you have a personal message to me, then e-mail would be best.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...