North Korea: Culture And Considerations Essay

1832 words - 8 pages

North Korea: Culture and Considerations
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, more commonly known as North Korea, is the nation occupying the northern half of the Korean peninsula. North Korea is a young state, and little is known about the nation in the United States, or in the world. So little in fact, that most Western Media depicts North Korea with negative connotations. North Korea has a closed-country policy, which hides its culture, history, and the daily lives of civilians in the nation from the rest of the world. Not many foreigners have visited the People’s Republic of Korea, and not many North Koreans have traveled to the rest of the outside world.
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The lines of class are most notable in the unequal distribution of privileges, both monetary and non. The highest-ranking people in the nation are the relatives and family of Kim Il Sung, followed by the former comrades and families of the former president, and then the families of the veterans of the Korean War and officers of anti-South Korean sabotage. The children of these classes are educated in schools specifically for them and face far better career opportunities. The overwhelming majority of North Koreans are ordinary citizens divided and again subdivided into castes according to their lineage and family history. If any member of a family commits a crime against the nation, other members of the family suffer demotions in political and social status. Society generally regards females of the same class below males within the class, especially in high-status positions, but the daughter of an established revolutionary can achieve greater status in their party or the government. Men and women of ordinary classes divide the labor, which relatively defines the roles of each gender in a household. Men run heavy industry and women will work in light industry. Beyond those widely accepted norms, the division is highly diverse. As an example, society regards agricultural employment as not solely as a man’s job or a woman’s. The domestic division of labor also defines the gender’s roles. Women maintain most of the housework and child rearing, while working outside the home in the same quantity of hours as men. In a professional setting, however, women are just as assertive as their male counterparts are. One of the few occupations where behavior is subservient to men is as a waitress, though it is an honor to hold this position, as they have to be selected based on their beauty, family background, and education. The social status of classes also differs in the tradition of marriage. A primary consideration before marriage is the class of either party. If the families do not have a comparable social status, society would not generally approve a marriage between the two. Due to the social norms and expectations, classes will tend to marry within their own. Delving deeper into the division of class, the traditions themselves have differences based upon social status. Upon a socially approved marriage, the government gives the couple a house if in a rural area, or an apartment if in an urban area. Ordinary couples will generally have to wait for government authorities approve their application for residence, while higher-class couples will receive preferential treatment. In 1958, all education through middle school was mandatory and made free of charge. By 1975, all schooling through high school, including a year in a collective preschool, becomes compulsory and free of charge. In addition, collective farms and factories also have nursery schools where teachers introduce children to socialization away from the home, since most...

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