Syncretism: its colonizing influences and effects on the Korean Society
December 21, 2007
In this essay, I, a Korean-Canadian, fearlessly take you where no Koreans dare to tread (Koreans breathe vitriolic fire on any naysayer’s neck) …how the Koreans have lost its indigenous culture and unique ethnicity, relying heavily and soaked deeply on the foreign elements of philosophical paradigm, and subsisting in the permanently occupied status by the foreign military forces.
Recently, a mandarin in Bush Administration raised the US occupation in South Korea as a working model for a permanent US occupation in Iraq…that is, the South Koreans are so much oblivious of the US occupation that Americans tried to cloth Iraqis with a Korean garment of obsequiousness and servitude.
There is a historical fact that most Koreans dare not to acknowledge: from the advent of legendary Tangun dynasty to the present Republic, there were or is never a sovereign dynasty or state in the Korean peninsular…for two millennia, all dynasties have remained the tributary one to the Chinese empire until it became a Japanese protectorate and later colonized by the Imperial Japan and lost the independent status in toto.
The soi-disant 8/15 Liberation from the Imperial Japan did not bring about the independent state for Koreans, instead new neo-colonial overlord disguised a democratic liberator moved in to replace old master…the Republic began a puppet state (the regime of Syngman Rhee), then a vassal state (Gen. Park CH), followed by a neo-colonial, satellite, and client state (present Republic) to be palatable to the American Imperialism.
Nowadays, few Koreans appear to be aware of the fact that they have been living under the yoke of neo-colonial status over half a century with no end in sight, longer than what they had endured in the Japanese colonialisation in early 20th century.
Rather, many Koreans have stampeded to emulate the foreign cultural settings for many decades, in which the Western colonial culture has taken root, flourished, grown, and eventually produced a devilish “Han Wave” culture, a hodgepodge of mongrel, ghoulish, risible, and crass slapsticks.
What entails the proud (?) Koreans becoming a gaggle of Apes that worships blindly an imported God, fights greedily over the bowls of rice, jettisons massively its faltering indigenous culture, and emulates an enchilada of Western concepts with abandon?
What snags the fiercely patriotic (?) Koreans remaining in oblivion a victim of perpetual external domination and internal oligarchy (Chaebol) for decades?
I find an answer in “syncretism”, an ultimate and elusive element of colonizing other culture that is an odorless, and tasteless gas likened to carbon monoxide, which has been seeping into Korean cultural atmosphere for two millenniums.
Syncretism refers to the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as it occurs commonly in philosophy, religion, literature, music, representational arts or other expression of culture.
It all has begun in strong syncretic setting as soon as one of Ural-Altaic tribes settled down in the Korean peninsular where the Tangun legend depicts the marriage between Hwanung or Hanunim and the bear-woman, Kom, a deity widely worshipped by the North Asiatic tribes in Manchuria and Siberia.
To be continued soon....................................