News: This Westerner Impresses Asians Like Me!

Speaking of an “entangled culture,” please allow me to cite one modern example.

Since July 2014, I have been an avid watcher of one South Korean talkshow called “Abnormal Summit.” In the show, 3 Korean MCs and 12 non-Koreans (G-12) gather together to discuss various serious (and not-so-serious) social issues from their own cultural perspectives. The non-Korean representatives come from Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ghana, Italy, Nepal, and the USA. Amazingly, they can all speak Korean! I really like this show, because the MCs seem to possess very high EQ, such that they manage to create many funny jokes and situations to alleviate some of the tensions arising from the most serious discussions about various cultural similarities and differences! 😀

Apparently, the show has successfully caught the international attention. A few months ago, the interviews with the German representative – Daniel Lindemann were published by several newspapers in his home country. A few lines from Lindemann stand out:

Ich sagte am Ende einer Sendung: “Manche Koreaner denken, dass Hitler ein starker Führer gewesen ist. Ich fände es aber gut, wenn solche Kommentare nicht mehr fallen würden. Weil er aus deutscher perspektive der schrecklichste Mensch gewesen ist, den man sich vorstellen kann.”

According to the news report, the Koreans were really impressed by what he had said:

Die Koreaner waren total beeinduckt davon, dass ein Deutscher sagt, sein land hat was falsch gemacht. Da habe ich gemerkt: Unsere Sendung ist bedeutsam.

Wow! nothing enthuses me more than seeing people overcome their national bigotry and bravely confront their own flaws. This is the kind of people I wish to learn from and emulate ~~

References:

Zeit Online‘s interview with Lindemann can be found here. This is where the above quotes are taken from.

The more detailed FAZ‘s interview with Lindemann can be found here. From what I gathered, he has an Israeli father and a German mother, but then he has grown up only with his mother.

If you are interested in an English introduction to the talkshow, here is a helpful blog written by an American fan of the show. The picture below is taken from the cover page of this blog.

Nope, I don’t understand Korean. But I watch the episodes with Chinese subtitles 😉

abnormal-summit
The “G-12” in the “Abnormal Summit.” D. Lindemann is the second in the bottom row (counting from left to right)

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