Today, as we were lost on our way to find the UN cemetery, we passed by Busan’s University. Where I captured the following snapshots of students, on their campus.
Don’t you notice something weird?
And here are pictures I took a few days ago when visiting museums and temples. Seniors taking package tours. Do you notice?
Men and women don’t mix. From 7 to 77 it’s the same story. When being in groups, you will see benches of girls, groups of boys, barely a mix.
I don’t have any explanation to that.
What I know is that co-educational schools is a recent trend in the country. In 1996, only 5% of all schools in South Korea were co-ed. Today, many schools still teach boys and girls separately.
Though, other countries have that educational system in place and I don’t see so little diversity in groups of people… Let’s investigate further…
Traditionally, in Korea, men and women were strictly segregated, both inside and outside the house. Yangban women (aristocrats) spent most of their lives in seclusion in the women’s chamber. It is said that the traditional pastime of nolttwigi, a game of jumping up and down on a seesaw-like contraption (balançoire), originated among bored women who wanted to peek over the high walls of their family compounds to see what the outside world was like.
I like this seesaw trick very much, don’t you?
Anyway, this tradition segregation might explain why today, still, male and female don’t really mix…