Something foreigners visiting, and living and teaching in, Korea are surprised by is the poo culture and art. While walking down the street you may find yourself coming across something like these poo sculptures that sit right in front of an elementary public school . . . I took this picture about 3 blocks away from Hyehwa Station (light blue line) about a month or so ago.
Other bloggers have written about this before me, for example Brian (but I can’t find an example post, sorry), but Julianne and I find it so interesting (and funny, lol) that I thought I’d made my own contribution to the topic with these two pictures.
To give you an idea of how prevalent ‘poo culture’ is in Korea take a look at this post written by a foreign father who comes across a story book his Korean wife is reading to their child,
UPDATE: Apparently the more accurate translation of the title should be, “Poo-poo! Pee-pee!” Shit Shit! Piss! Piss! IS FUNNIER, though, so I get why it was used, lol.
Here’s an excerpt, “Last night, baby was rummaging through her books, when one of them caught my eye. The first thing I noticed was actually the title. 응아, as far as I know, means shit. Not shit as in bad. Shit as in the stuff that comes Mr. Whippy-like out of your arse.
쉬? That’s piss. Now… I’m sure there are probably other, more innocent meanings for these words but I thought it had to be more than a coincidence for them to be together like that. Surely my wife is not reading a book called “Shit Shit! Piss Piss!” to the baby?””
Wow, a children’s book with the title “Shit Shit! Piss Piss!”? LOL! I’m trying to imagine the uproar and furor parents would make back in North American bookstores. This is actually pretty easy for me to imagine as both my parents have been career retail bookstore managers, and I’ve heard hundreds if not thousands of stories about customers and their complaints . . . if a children’s book with a title like this was on the shelf in one of my parent’s stores I’m pretty sure that the fit would hit the shan in a BIG WAY! Talk about cultural differences in children’s story norms, lol.
Anyways, here’s a close-up of the bigger, ahem, pile . . . lol.
I’m guessing that for Koreans these sculptures might bring back fond memories of childhood storytelling time, laughter, and bonding with their parents as they were transitioning from diapers to toilets . . .
Update: I did a short Google search for “Korean poo culture” and found these links.