Sunday, May 22, 2011

Maria the Korean Bride - Maria Yoon, gets married for the 50th time

This morning, as I sipped my morning (instant) coffee, I saw this  :

A 'Korean Bride' at her 50th Wedding (Korean). The news article reads :

Maria Yoon (Middle)
'한국인 신부' 마리아 윤(39)이 22일 오후(한국 시간 23일 오전) 50번째 결혼식을 올린다. 사진은 지난해 9월 마리아 윤이 몬태나주에서 47번째 결혼식을 올리던 때의 모습. (Translation) 'Korean Bride' Maria Yoon(39) is getting married for the 50th time on the 22nd. Picture shows Maria Yoon during her 47th wedding in Montana.
And that's it. No explanation of what the hell this is about, nothing. The comments, not so surprisingly, followed : She must not be a human, she must be a dog. do a DNA testing... slutbag, etc etc. 


So I decided to look up and figure out what was going on. More after the jump.

And hey, turns out there was a lot more than just that. From Voices - In Praise of Women,
With a B.F.A. from Cooper Union, Maria serves as a teaching artist for New York City museums. Since 2001 she has also been working on a multimedia performance series entitled “Maria the Korean Bride” (MTKB). MTKB will soon be a documentary film, designed to bring attention to and explore the social pressures Maria experiences as an unmarried first-generation Korean American woman. “Maria the Korean Bride” is happening on the road all over the United States, where Maria has met, interviewed, and married numerous Americans in a series of realistic and surrealistic ceremonial wedding performances, such as the 2009 Alaskan wedding pictured here (photo: Ivan Bacon). The participants learn about traditional Korean bridal costume (hwarot) and wedding customs, and Maria learns about marriage as it is enacted across the United States. Maria says the project is about resisting social pressure, but it’s also about celebrating and exploring many forms of marriage.
Maria Yoon is a 1.5 generation Korean American (meaning she was born in Korea and moved to the US when she was young). According to Maria, her parents' pressure to get her married to a Korean man inspired her to start this project.
“My own parents inspired me, especially when we would argue at the dinner table, especially during major holidays. They would always ask me, ‘Why aren’t you married?! What have we done wrong that you are still not married?’” “I hear these days, Koreans in Korea get divorced and think twice about having children,” Maria adds. “However, for first- and second-generation Korean Americans, we face bigger pressure, because our parents have left their native land and oftentimes they cling very tightly to those customs left behind.”

She hopes her project will assist anyone contemplating marriage. “Some might argue marriage is an outdated subject. In the Asian community marriage is very often discussed, and young Asian women hear every day from their parents and community that it is very serious social institution and obligation.”
So she's been going around the country, marrying in every state. She just finished her 'grand finale' on the 22nd, and it's a project to be turned into a documentary. I think this is very cool. Surprised and embarrassed that I didn't know about it before.

Indeed, marriage is a very important and sensitive subject among everybody, but especially for API's (Asian Pacific Islanders) in general. Korean parents are quite popular for wanting their children to marry Korean counterparts, and no one else.

Check out http://www.mariathekoreanbride.com/ for more.

I only wish that Korean news agencies didn't report this as some crazy Korean marriage-whoring lady doing her thing for the 50th time. This is a cultural, artistic, and personal statement but they completely ruined it. Shame on them.

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