posted by December 19 at 13:10 PMon
Any Koreans—or Korea scholars—out there willing to explain the “ajumma” phenomenon to me? That is, apparently, one of the terribly offensive elements of the sketch comedy show, put on by Americans living in Busan, South Korea, that has gotten them in trouble with the law. (See yesterday’s Slog post for the full story.)
The English teachers-cum-amateur thespians violated their visas by charging money for a small comedy show they put together—but that seems a minor infraction in proportion to the reaction of the Korean police (interrogation, drug testing, threats to fine and/or deport the offenders). Seems like the comedy—”ajumma,” from what I can tell, seems to be some kind of middle-aged woman—hit a nerve. But, not knowing from Korea, I don’t get the joke.
The online discussion pages among expats (like this one at Dave’s ESL Cafe, which includes a newspaper report) indicate some nastiness in the comedy—as well as a strain of expat cultural relativism taken to a sad extreme: “You know, I don’t doubt that the police were called because of the content, but I don’t blame them.” Yeesh. (As my Southern momma used to say: “Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”)
Anyway: Who the fuck are the ajumma and how’d those cows get so sacred?