Would you be surprised that a Korean knows the song “Oh Susanna”?
Today’s language exchange included a discussion about how my Korean mentor learned American folk music in middle school. Songwriter Stephen Foster was very popular his middle school, because after 1945, USA brought the American education system ideas to Korea. I had to look up the name in Wikipedia to remember that he is the author of such songs as “Camptown Races”, “Oh Susanna”, and “Beautiful Dreamer”.
Today I was reminded of how USA has had many influences on ROK. Some good, some bad. I am glad my kind hearted Korean friends are willing to embrace and assist me. It could be easy for them to judge me as a person based on what they know of America as a country. I think cultural exchange is very important. It educates and dispels myths. It opens us to experience the world. It helps us to understand our own history, and how that history has impacted other countries.