On the other side of the prohibitions

Jiu Pak was born in North Korea, he fled to China at 9 years old, then moved to South Korea. Now she is studying in New York. In North Korea, Jiu had a father and younger sister, whom she did not see for more than 10 years and with whom she ever dreams to meet again. Jiu Pak compares life in New York and at home.

– It may sound strange, but fashionable color palettes of New York and North Korea are very similar. Most of North Koreans historically wore black or dark blue clothes regardless of social status and gender. However, the reason is not that bright colors do not like them – they are simply forbidden to wear. Adjusting the style of clothing of their citizens, the state is easier to control their thoughts and behavior. But the situation began to change in the late 1990s – people began to wear multicolored clothes. And although we continued to starve, at some point the awareness came that you can live, without asking permission of the government for each occasion and bypassing the distribution system. We started breaking the bans. If you find yourself in North Korea today, you will see that residents wear clothes of all shades.

– Personally, my red jacket appeared in 1998 – I was 9 years old. I liked this thing terribly, because in my wardrobe for the first time there was something not blue and not black. It seemed that the jacket was awesome. She was thin, designed for spring, but I did not get out of it and in winter, until in December I did not leave North Korea. I tried to pick up a jacket with me to China, but my mother made me leave her younger sister. I want to think that my sister was truly glad to wear her.

At some point came the awareness that you can live without asking permission of the government for each occasion and bypassing the distribution system. We started breaking the bans

– Unlike New York, there are no famous brands in North Korea, but there are so-called trends. Muscals try to stand out from the crowd with their clothes despite the fact that the government is trying to control the appearance of people. China is very influenced in North Korea, because more than 95% of foreign clothes bring exactly from this country. But before putting this clothing for sale, merchants have to go for tricks. First, they must cut all labels, secondly – to get rid of any Latin letters on clothes, because they symbolize the enemy – America, and North Koreans are not allowed to carry enemy signs. In addition, it is forbidden to wear jeans, because it is a recognizable element of American culture. But recently, this ban is increasingly violating.

– Another curious detail of New York fashion – sunglasses that wear, even when cloudy street. North Koreans wear sunglasses rarely – for example, on the beaches in the summer. But one person in North Korea was literally obsessed with sunglasses that became an element of his image. I think you guessed, about whom we are talking: this is Kim Jong Il. He practically did not shoot dark glasses. I can not understand why they liked him so much. I remember that many officers of the Ministry of Public Security were worn and many officers. Although these people didn’t make me anything wrong, they always frightened me. For residents of North Korea sunglasses personify political power.

– I love movies. Romantic comedies I like more than militants or thrillers. I do not understand why American directors love to imagine some terrible catastrophes. While I lived in South Korea, without a hike in the movie did not go and weeks. In addition, since many cinemas were discounts on the morning and night sessions, I could buy tickets at a low price. New York movie tickets are twice as expensive.

– New York cinemas are very different from Seoul, so I have a lot of vivid impressions from movies to a movie in the US. In Seoul, everyone who wants to purchase a ticket is in the digital queue, receives a number and waits until his number will be built red on the scoreboard. You can not worry that someone in the queue will take your place. In New York, things are different: every time I go to AMC Theater on Times Square, there are several long queues to the box office, so you have to choose the most short to quickly buy a ticket. The saddest thing – to stand for half an hour, and then hear from the cashier that all tickets sold. Another difference – New York tickets without seats. One day during the winter holidays with friends, we went to "Les Miserables". cinema staff said that we need to climb to the third floor. After reviewing the 50 minutes of advertising, we realized that we did not come in the room. We immediately jumped up and ran to the right place, but, to everyone’s dismay, discovered that our film has been going on for half an hour. But that was the worst part – there was not one empty seat, so we had to sit on the cold and filthy floor.

– In North Korea, there is a movie theater in every factory and farm. Of course, all cinemas state. In my city I was three, and we did not pay-per-view, and the tickets I can not remember. Unlike New York or Seoul in my hometown rarely showed new films. All year were only three or four paintings, but my dad used to go watch them several times.

– As in New York, to get into the theater, had to stand in a queue, to get inside it was a big success – a huge number of the desired number of seats is limited. Another similarity – no seat number. I sit down on the chair could only come in advance, otherwise had to settle in the passage. Image projected on heavy white cloth, which usually had a lot of small holes, so part of the image disappeared periodically. This we did not bother, but the universal outrage caused outage. Usually it is given again for 20 minutes. I do not know where the electricity comes to the cinema, when the whole city plunged into darkness.

On the other side of the prohibitions

Until 1994, the majority of North Koreans drove only to relatives. And then began the great famine, and people started to move from city to city in search of food

– My favorite is the North Korean film – "The Nation and Destiny: Jon Cha Hong" of former South Korean President Chen Hui Pak and his mistress and Associate Yong Cha Hong. I think the purpose of this movie was to show the cruelty and corruption of the Chen Hee Pak regime, but I remember this film thanks to actress Mi Lan Ho. She was incredibly beautiful and not at all like a typical native of North Korea: she had great expressive brown eyes and high growth. Mi Lan Ho was once the most popular actress in North Korea. When she died of breast cancer, my mother was terribly upset. Even in this film Mi Lan Ho appeared in such fashion blouses and skirts, which I have never seen in real life. And her acting game was so gorgeous that my father was crying every time he watched this film.

– One of the things that causes my greatest surprise in New York – here everyone is eaten on the go. It is impossible in North Korea, because on the streets there are many hungry people who at any time are ready to snatch food from you right from under the nose. In North Korea, there are no street traders Fast Food and kiosks – usually for meal we went to Chanmadan (North Korean black market). I remember, buying something edible there, I always looked around, fearing his beggars. As soon as the food turned out to be in my hands, I firmly squeezed it and very quickly disappeared with her. So I got a habit – I eat much faster than anyone I know.

– Some think that there are very few dishes in North Korea, but it is not. In the markets they sell Vanzapab (balls of fried rice), Dubupab (rice in breading from Tofu), rice pie, gukpab (soup with boiled rice) and many other things. Most of the dishes are prepared from rice. First, it is due to the fact that in North Korea few other grain crops. Secondly, for North Koreans, rice is of particular importance – it is not only food, but also a symbol of wealth and success.

– residents of North Korea and New York travel in different ways. First, unlike New Yorks, North Koreans can not be moved from the city to the city without permission of the authorities. Even if a person needs to visit relatives. Mom told that when she was 19 years old, she went to visit the tet, which lived for 250 km. Since it was her first journey, she waited for him with impatience. So, she got travel documents only in three days. Arriving towards aunt, Mom immediately went to celebrate the local security department.

– the concept of travel varies itself. For residents of New York, this is a pleasant pastime, rest from work or study. In winter, people go ride in the mountains. Summer go to the beaches to swim and sunbathe. Until 1994, most North Koreans went only to relatives or celebrations on the occasion of national holidays. And then the great hunger began, and people began to move from the city to the city in search of food. In the last 20 years, the main goal of travel – commodity exchange. I remember how my mother drove into other cities of white apricots, which are famous for Hvers, – they are the size of peach and very sweet. Mom bought a huge bag of white apricots on the black market on the black market and went down on the road. Sometimes she was missing a week or two and returned with a small bag of dried fish, which she bought to the money reversed from the sale of fruits. Since our city is far from the sea, dried fish there is in great demand.

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