Culinary Flap Dogs S. Korea by Barbara Demick
The traditional practice of eating dogs has become such a controversial issue. This is because of the animal rights activism and the increasing culture and the appeal of having these animals as pets instead. In some of the restaurants at Seoul dogs have been completely accommodated such that besides offering food for the customers, it also offers dog food. On the other hand, other restaurants offer dog meat as a specialty. The customers of these restaurants believe that dog meat gives a person strength and vigor.
South Korea has two kinds of dogs; the pets which are often treated even better than the children are and the others which are reared as a culinary delicacy. This presents a contradiction in the Korean culture which has become a controversial issue. The known practice of eating dogs has been opposed lately because of a publicize campaign by the activist, that is the animal rights activists. Moreover, there has been an increased popularity of having dogs as pets instead of eating them.
This debate started when the people organizing the World Cup Soccer games which were co-hosted by South Korea and Japan called to Koreans to publicly show that it does not support cruelty and show the world that it is sensitive to public opinion. Briggitte Bardot accused Koreans of practicing savagery through the way they slaughter dogs. This brought a lot of public reactions in Korea. The people from the Ethical Treatment of Animals organization, which is based in Norfolk, wrote gave a petition signed by several celebrities who implored on the South Korean Government to look into what was referred to as the torture of dogs and cats. The lead investigator of this organization stated that their problem was not the eating of this dog meat but how the dog is killed.
The Koreans became very defensive about this matter. There was a national obsession of this matter that was fueled by the press. Some prominent Koreans stated that the critic of the dog-eating culture by the westerners was ethnocentric and that they failed to look at their own practices such as horse-meat eating and snail eating cuisine. This debate also erupted in the internet whereby there were plenty of offensive messages.
The South Korean legislature, in a bid to put the matter to rest before the World Cup, came up with a bill that would legalize the consumption of dog meat but the manner in which they are slaughtered would be regulated. This increased the used of electric shock instead of traditional methods which were assumed to make the frightened animal to experience an adrenaline rush which makes the meat medicine used to treat impotency. This has not been proved to happen medically but sometimes meat vendors and restaurants put aphrodisiacs in this meat in order to validate the myth.
In summation, apart from the dog meat, there are several other delicacies that would shock the westerners. An example is pondegi that is known to be popular with children which is a snack that is made from silkworms’ larvae. However, there exists a clash between the older and the young generation. The younger generations prefer to have dogs as pets while the older generation prefers to feed on them. This shows that no matter how much the Koreans defend their dog eating culture, it is a dying culture.
For native Alaskans, Traditional is yielding to Modern Customs by Sarah Kershaw
The act of the groom’s family buying the bride for him after the marriage has been approved is still being practiced among the Siberian Yupiks. This is a small native Alaskan tribe that has lived in the island since 500A.D. The groom’s family would normally spend at least one year trying to come up with this payment. When the offerings are accepted by the bride’s family, the groom would then work for the bride’s family as a servant as was required by their customs. If this practice is not done, the girl’s relative will state that she was not bought.
However, with time, fewer couples are getting married in this traditional manner in spite of the pleas from the older population to do so. This has resulted to a rising tension among the different groups of people who support the older ways and the ones supporting the new ways. This is due to westernization. The internet is connecting this small community to the rest of the world. The older generation fears that the marriage customs are being eroded overtime. Most young couples live together without getting customarily married. To add on this, the grooms normally work for the bride’s family for shorter periods, if they even work at all.
In conclusion, the people in this small community are generally open to new technology but others oppose it. For instance, many people have embraced the television and every house now has satellite dishes but some people say that the television disturbs them. To add on this, these people also have telephones and their first cellular phone network tower was built a few years back.