I was quoted in today’s International Herald Tribune‘s “On The Record” side bar:
“These guys are better than Korean soap operas.”
Tom Coyner, a management consultant based in Seoul, on the feud among members of the family that controls Samsung.
Hmmm…maybe there is more to this glib thing than I had realized.
Turning to the below topic, most foreign visitors and residents here are routinely blown away by the extravagance that often approaches that of North American native potlatches. At least we do not witness the sacrificing of slaves and servants as the Indian chiefs of yore were known to do to impress their guests. But the material sacrifices that Korean families feel compelled to impress the community can be almost as breath taking.
Over-the-top nuptial spending on events that range from opulent elegance to downright campy kitsch, depending on the budget and tastes of the hosting families. Somehow smoke and/or bubbles have ways of almost always finding themselves being included in these festivities.
One often hears of honeymoon couples returning home on separate airplanes. One can imagine the immediate financial hardships caused these weddings as being one of the causes for traumatic disruptions in post nuptial bliss.
Most Koreans willingly acknowledge that this wedding extravaganza aspect of contemporary culture has gotten out of hand. Yet very few are willing to buck the phenomenon. In this ultra competitive culture where it ultimately comes down to the family’s standing over the individual’s status, it is exceedingly difficult for young people to stand up to their families and declare “enough, all ready!” In fact, young people who have not thought out the immediate and longer term consequences by this overspending can be the strongest advocates to match or better the recent weddings of their friends.
Getting married in South Korea? Bring a lot of cash!
April 27, 2012