Saturday, May 29, 2010

Election Season

June 2nd is Election day here in Korea and I gotta say it's a happenin' time. When Americans want to promote their local politicians before election day rolls around, people usually put plastic signs on their lawn, maybe a bumper sticker or two, and for the more daring, T-shirts. Sure we have heated debates on television for the presidential election, but for stuff like director of education and local offices, there's not a lot of hoopla. Mayor races are of course big in Korea like they are here, but let's just say there's a lot more fanfare:

For the past two weeks or so there has been non stop fanfare with signs and posters plastered everywhere introducing different candidates. They have trucks with political supporters riding in the back waving signs and dancing to different tunes which all glorify the candidates name. The "Yu Jae Yong" song is my favorite and I have to get a video of it before the elections are over, because it's sickeningly addictive as the lyrics are mostly the man's name. People walk down the street wearing colored T-shirts and waving banners and flags. You can't really walk past a main thoroughfare without seeing some form of advertising.

O Sae Dong, larger than life.
While it may be a rather interesting spectacle to me, my supervisor at work was telling me she really finds election season annoying as she can't go home without a truck driving up and down her street blaring someone's name. A lot of my korean co-workers shared the same opinion as they didn't really care who became director of education or like commissioner of such and such, they just wanted to go about their daily lives.  For me, election day means a morning off and a lot of fun.  Yes, Koreans get election day off, or rather, the morning off to be able to go vote.  Wish Americans did that.