Thursday, October 13, 2011

Raising the Future Communist Elite - North Korea

My Global Exchange "Reality Tour" of North Korea didn't really expose us to that much of the DPRK reality since the government keeps very close tabs on all tourists and only lets us see what they want to see, which means we mostly visited the standard tourist sights, but we were able to have one amazing visit that gave us insight into the culture.  We visited a gigantic kindergarten in Pyongyang where kids are brought in on Monday morning and not picked up till Saturday.  The place was kind of unreal.  5-6 year olds gave us amazing performances and behaved impeccably and all I could think was these kids are going to be the elite ruling class in the years to come.  Either that or they are going to be dancers in the Arirang Mass Games.  

In any case, this was one of the places that made me really question life in North Korea.  I was not under an illusion that everything was perfect, but some of the aspects of a society like this were appealing, but the lack of free thought and movement, something I treasure so much, is so apparent and really makes me want to scratch even deeper under the surface to understand what it is like to grow up in North Korea when you don't know there is another world out there.

A YouTube link to see Future Arirang dancers
A YouTube link to see precise little singers

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