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Thursday, June 03, 2004

Hankyoreh's Economy 21 on "well-being"

Among the publications within the Hankyoreh company, the daily newspaper largely avoids the use of Roman characters, and neither uses Chinese characters except when necessary. It also tries to avoid using unnecessary loanwords; for example the football (soccer) terminology I noticed it using during the 2002 games was different from the rest of the media as for example "corner kick" wasn't k'onô k'ik (코너 킥) but kusôk ch'agi (구석 차기).

The language use in other publications differs from the flagship of the company, starting from the magazine names (Economy 21, Herstory). For example in the Economy 21 article I'll cite below, "cover story" is k'obô sût'ori and "illustration" is illôsût'ûreisyôn.
But this was supposed to be a post about "well-being". (Using English language terms and taking part in the well-being boom are still part of the same phenomenon.)

Economy 21 writes of the well-being boom and makes interesting observations. For example obesity is said to be becoming a marker of social strata.
최근 신세계백화점은 아주 흥미로운 조사결과를 하나 발표했다. 각 지점별 의류판매 현황을 분석해 보니, 강북쪽에 위치한 점포들에 비해 강남점 여성고객의 평균 허리 사이즈가 1인치 작은 것으로 나타났다는 것이다. (Sinsegye Dept store has found out that the waist size among women north of the Han river [Kangbuk] is 1 inch bigger than among women south of the river [Kangnam].)
Wellcome to the developed world, Korea. In the 1960s, protruding belly was called sajangbae, "company president belly", but seems that Korea is following the example of the West that better the education and income the less is the likelihood of obesity.
I'm not sure about the younger generations of less educated, but those of older generations that I know, being fat is not a problem. I guess as long as the more traditional Korean diet holds its position it's good, but those growing up eating milk and white bread for snacks it's going to look different.

(I repeat what I wrote earlier, that one part of the well-being fad is the women's responsibility to keep their office-working, hard-pressed, alcohol-drinking husbands from not getting sônginbyông (성인병), "adult diseases" or diseased associated with the increasing standard of living (elintasosairaus in Finnish).

In Finland where the income differences are among the smallest in the world, the differences in health among social strata are huge, much bigger than the differences in income would indicate and bigger than in comparable countries. One make a good guess of a person's social stratum by taking a look at a shopping cart in a supermarket. My hunch is that in Korea, the overall healthiness of diet between social strata is more even than here.

Still a few hours before I'll have my five-grain rice with fish and sallad lunch...

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