onsdag 9. februar 2022

Hanbok at Beijing Winter Olympics opening sparks South Korean anger

China and South Korea have become embroiled in a cultural appropriation row after a woman appeared at the opening ceremony of the Beijing winter Olympics wearing traditional Korean dress. The Chinese embassy in Seoul defended the decision to include a participant wearing hanbok, describing her as a representative of the country’s dozens of ethnic groups.

Her appearance sparked anger among many South Koreans, who denounced it as another attempt by China to claim parts of Korean culture – including its national dish, kimchi – as its own. The embassy described the woman as a member of the joseonjok – an ethnic minority with roots in Korea – who took part in the Games’ opening ceremony among more than 50 other representatives of ethnic groups in China.

“It is their desire and right for representatives of each ethnic group in China to attend an international sports competition and the major national event of the Beijing Winter Olympics, wearing their traditional costumes,” an embassy spokesperson said in a statement, according to the Yonhap news agency.