Right now


Right now
Someone is waking up
Someone is sleeping
Someone is having a baby
Someone passes away
Someone finds love
 
Right now
Ice floats in the ocean
Insects are a nuisance
Plants sustain life
Grass is turning green
Snow falls on the ground
 
Right now
Evil is transpiring
A good deed is done
An act of violent committed
A life is saved
A tear is shed
 
Right now
Money is transferred
A job has been lost
A shanty roof is patched
Dessert is eaten
Butter is churned
 
Right now
What you are doing
May be the same as some
Different than others
Exciting to you but not all
Transpiring yet still

A contrast of news and information


We’ve been absolutely spoiled with news and information in Korea.  There’s no shortage of Korean and English-language media sources providing a spectrum of news and information.  They run the gamut politically from progressive media such as OhMyNews and Hankyoreh Shinmun to conservative ones, including the Chosun Ilbo.  I personally prefer the more centrist media outlets (read balanced), particularly the JoongAng Ilbo and Korea Times.  Of the two, the JoongAng Ilbo tends to provide more comprehensive analyses, although the Korea Times is more fun to read.  It’s akin to reading the Washington Post versus USA Today.  There’s little wonder why the JoongAng Ilbo’s English edition is packaged with the International Herald Tribune, a subsidiary of the New York Times.  In Korea, you can generally tell the political bent of a news outlet based on its depictions the United States (favorable or unfavorable) and stance on hot-button issues, particularly North Korea and socio-economic issues (e.g. labor and education).  Korean media may have more in common with European media than their American cousins; whereas most U.S. media claim to be bias-free, European media are not apologetic over their political vent.
 
Paraguay is an entirely different story.  I surfed the web and could not find any solid online news sources in English dedicated to covering Paraguay.  Granted, Paraguay’s national language is Guarani, an indigenous language, and its lingua franca is Spanish.  It is also a small country with about 5.6 million inhabitants, the size of a large city.  Nevertheless, none of its major news outlets seem to offer Paraguayan news and information in English.  They all seem to use Spanish exclusively, except for a German-language news site called Aktuelle Rundschau catering to Paraguay’s sizable German community.  News sources available in English seem to offer more coverage of Paraguay’s larger neighbors, particularly Brazil, the 800 pound Latin American heavyweight.
 
I thought it odd that none of the Paraguayan meid offer news written in Guarani, the official language of Paraguay.  I had never heard of the language spoken by about 5 million people until I found out we will be heading there in 2007.  I was surprised to discover how different the language is from Spanish.  It is a language that pre-dates the arrival of Spanish in the 1500’s, although I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that Guarani had been heavily influenced by Spanish after comingling for about 500 years.  Here is a sample Guarani sentence from Omniglot:
Mayma yvypóra ou ko yvy ári iñapytl’yre ha eteîcha dignidad ha derecho jeguerekópe; ha ikatu rupi oikuaa añetéva ha añete’yva, iporâva ha ivaíva, tekotevê pehenguéicha oiko oñondivekuéra.
Here is the English translation:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.  (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Only the words "dignidad" (dignity) and "derecho" (rights) are obviously Spanish words.  The Korean language draws 65% of its vocabulary from Chinese and 5% from English, so I would be surprised if most Guarani vocabulary did not come from Spanish.  Guarani is fascinating, and I’ve heard that speaking it in Paraguay will win you friends for life.  However, I need to focus on learning Spanish!  Baby steps.

“Yoduk Story” too popular?


I finally assembled a group of colleague to join me for "Yoduk Story," the theatrical production about life in North Korea’s Yoduk Concentration Camp.  The drama is apparently now so popular that tickets are virtually sold out.  This is great news for the director, Jung Sung-san, who apparently no longer needs to sell a kidney in order to repay loan sharks who helped him finance the production.  Unfortunately, we may not be able to see it now that it is popular with the Korean public.  Many international media outlets picked up the story publicized by the Chosun Ilbo (newspaper), and members of the Grand National Party (GNP), the main opposition party, have seen the show and are calling on ruling Uri Party members to see the show.  One month has passed since I first wrote about "Yoduk Story" and attempts to shut it down.  It’s now the hottest ticket in town–both politically and theatrically.  The show is scheduled to end next week.  I hope that it is extended awhile longer to accommodate demand and to give our group a chance to see it.