Professor: I am pro-Japan. They paid for my education. The government was just an instrument. If East Asian countries unite, Japan will be the leader… (VERBATIM)
Me to self: I love Japan. The Philippines and South Korea (for a year) paid for my education… but that doesn’t mean that I am obliged to say that South Korea should be THE leader when East Asian countries unite. You see, both governments taught me that I should responsibly represent my own country and be proud of it.
Brainwashed or voluntarily identifying myself with Koreans – My feelings towards Japan has become complicated. 복잡해요. Trust me, I love that country 😉
Me: Ma’am, I don’t think that is a good idea. Besides, why is it just East Asia? I mean, why not the whole Asia? There’s Middle East which is very rich because of their oil reserves, India with their advancement in technology as well, and I believe you get what I mean? I mean, I went to a similar forum called, “New Asia through the eyes of the Youth” and…
Professor: Really?? Where??
Me: Yes, in South Korea.
I couldn’t describe how the professor reacted – I mean, she thought that everyone in class will be very passive at her statement — all of my classmates love Japan, and I do too, but we have to be sensitive and considerate sometimes…
Me: Well… we talked about this borderless world also – however, we found several factors that could possibly hinder this thought about “new asia” I supposed everyone is aware that even though we are pretty modernized – some countries still exist to be conservative…
*lack of time*
… How do you think other countries would feel if Japan would pronounce itself leader of Asia? How do you think China would feel? Ugh. Teacher, what is wrong with you. You’re belittling your own country. You should suggest a better idea with a more logical reason.
PS. I have many Japanese friends. I met them at school, inside the plane, at backpackers’ inn, at my dorm, and almost anywhere else. I respect them and I’m very close with them. I studied Nihonggo first and fell in love with it. I go to Japanese film festivals, watch Japanese movies and dramas, and even chose Japan as the country I wanted to visit when I was given that opportunity. So there is no way that this post poses a bad impression to that country… this is just me, ranting about how illogical my professor was.
photo: taken at Shibuya Tokyo, Japan last October 2012. thanks to Gwangju International Center’s Asia Culture Forum Youth Camp for this opportunity 🙂