Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I was in Korea thinking of Malaysia

I was in Korea in the month of August, where the land was soaked in moisture, and the early sign of autumn is in the air.
This is the first time where I had follow an architectural trip without a full research of what to expect from this destination.
I was rather caught in surprise when I realized that this beautiful land of drama had went through such cruel culture genocide during the 35 years of Japanese occupation. Systematically, Japanese had set up school to "re-educate" the Korean, destroying manscripts, as to wipe off all physical records of history, skills or cultural practice that had once enriched this land. Architecture of magnificence had been demolished to humiliate the royalties, to claim the land of their own.
Whatever that had been spared during those dark ages, could not escape the war between North-South Korean, and being ripped off from the surface of Korea.
We were in the palaces, we were at the fort, we were trying to absorb the glory of the past, but I just cannot help but thinking that I am standing on an open wound in the history, and being mocked by the replica that had not being able to be truthfully duplicate due to the lack of records.
The loneliness I felt at that moment kept haunting me, and reminded me of my own country of Malaysia. Looking at the government's ignorance attitute to the heritage, we are going to go even lower than what had happened in Korea. They were left with no choice when all these being cleared from their ground, and they had been trying so hard to bring them back as close as possible as they could, but we on the other hand had if not selectively but economically driven to create this "cultural genocide" to our own land. Shall we called this a "cultural suicide" instead?

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