What’s the first thing you think of when someone says, NORTH KOREA?
Well, yours truly here had a unique opportunity to visit a museum in Panmunjom, officially the de facto border between the two fragmented halves of Korea. It was originally a village that now stands deserted (well, ‘turned into a tourist attraction’ would be more accurate).
At this museum, I had the opportunity to check out a whole bunch of wacky artifacts from North Korea that shocked me right out of my assumptive shell. I don’t know about you, but I think of North Korea as a total AU (Alternate Universe). From these photos, though, you might agree with me when I say that rather than an AU, it seems like it’s simply a country frozen in time…
Whoaaa, North Koreans wear clothes! JKJK, what you can see from this display case is that – duh – North Koreans love uniforms (staying true to Communist ideals). But below these mannequins you can see some North Korean underpants and t-shirts and think, hey – not so different from fifty years ago! The lady you see in the middle is rocking a school uniform for privileged female university students in the capital city.
Ooh la la, it’s beauty time. What you see before you are a bunch of North Korean cosmetics. Behind those four skincare bottles you can see a nice package of toilet paper and ladies’ pads. Wow! Behind these goodies is a picture of four North Korean beauty symbols, magnanimously giving you their best smiles.
Yeah, what you see up there is a subway map of different stops, supposedly with color coded routes. Just like the Skytrain? YES. Crazayyy.
For the people who need their propaganda in the morning. North Korean newspapers! These are copies of the Rodong Shinmun, the official (the only) newspaper in the reclusive nation.
So what do you think? Hope you’ve learned something new about this fascinating hermit kingdom.
Writer’s Note: Despite the lighthearted nature of this post, human rights infringement in North Korea is a serious issue and there is infinite value in bringing as much knowledge about the subject to the public. Though North Korea and its late leader, KJI, remains culturally typecast as wacky, incomprehensible, and unreal villains to the typical North American audience, the DPRK is an actual country with an actual populace that suffers from poverty, starvation, and other atrocities every day. For more information, please check out Liberty for North Korea’s webpage on “North Korea 101”: http://www.linkglobal.org/learn/nk101.html
Article by Julia Park