Josh Foreman, a married man, has been teaching English in Korea for six years. Because he is a foreign teacher, he has been required to submit HIV/AIDS test results since 2007. That requirement only falls on E-2 visa holders. He describes himself as a “normal guy” who doesn’t use drugs, doesn’t have any sexually transmitted diseases, is without a criminal record and doesn’t frequent Korea’s prostitution neighborhoods. He feels that mandatory HIV/AIDS testing for Western teachers is not only discriminatory, but it’s detrimental to public health.
Following is Groove Korea's editorial for the April 2013 issue. — Ed.
It was an autumn dawn, and the spirits of deceased soldiers filled every corner of monk Mukgyegeosa’s mountainside temple grounds. Some among them were crying, demanding and angry. Some had their heads blown off. Others sat with severed limbs. All wore battered North Korean and Chinese military uniforms. The young men were bloodied and destroyed by war. They talked to each other and even engaged Mukgyegeosa. Some complained of the cold, he said, while others complained of hunger. One simply wanted to go home. Another man told Mukgyegeosa he missed his mother.
Rising competition among low-cost air carriers means one thing for you, the intrepid traveler — lower prices and more destinations to choose from.
It wasn’t long ago that a flight to and from Korea would set you back 1 million won. But with the arrival of several international and Korean budget airlines, there are more places around Asia that are accessible for less than $500. And the list is growing.
When Tony MacGregor and his group of pilgrims embarked on a trek across Korea, a question they sought to answer was how to find one’s true nature. Through a kind of walking vipassana (meditation), they examined their emotions and feelings. And in the process of that inward search, they inadvertently discovered the “real Korea.”
Former sex slaves to the Japanese Imperial Army have protested outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul every Wednesday since 1992. There have been more than 1,045 protests. Most weeks they are joined by their allies, supporters or family members.
They protest because no Japanese official has stood before them to apologize for the rape they endured at the hands of Japanese soldiers — through a despicable system created by Japan’s government — nor have they received a penny of compensation from the government of Japan.
Every year thousands of Ethnic Koreans from around the world come to Korea to explore their roots. Their experiences with Korean culture and heritage vary — some speak Korean, some don’t — but most report that a big reason they are here is to try to fill in some missing information. Following is an interview with Michael Hurt. — Ed.
Groove Korea: What role did the understanding of your Korean heritage play in your upbringing?
Every year thousands of Ethnic Koreans from around the world come to Korea to explore their roots. Their experiences with Korean culture and heritage vary — some speak Korean, some don’t — but most report that a big reason they are here is to try to fill in some missing information. Following is an interview with Romin Lee Johnson, who came to Korea to explore his shared Korean heritage with his wife and children. — Ed.
When: Oct. 14, 8-9 p.m.
Where: Jazz Island, an area of the Jarasum International Jazz Festival
Jimmy Cobb, a largely self-taught musician, is one of the most accomplished drummers in jazz. He played in the legendary Miles Davis band in the 50’s and 60’s and can be heard on “Kind of Blue” — the highest selling jazz record of all time. Now his band — The Jimmy Cobb, Larry Coryell, Joey Defrancesco All Star Trio — brings their jazz legacy to Korea.
The train stories were not posted online. To see the spreads in all their glory, pick up a copy of Groove Korea or take a look at the PDF. — Ed.
Fly and miss everything; take the bullet train and miss a lot. If seeing a country and meeting its people is what you have in mind this summer, there is no better way to do it than on the rails. Korea’s network of train lines is extensive and cheap, so do yourself a favor and skip the tour bus.