As an addendum to yesterday's post, I ought to share something with you.
For every observation of a local fashion or custom that challenges my Americanized/Westernized perception of masculinity, there's another one that loudly and clearly proclaims male on a universal level.
How can this be, you ask?
Hiding in plain sight are statues, tombstones, and household tchotchkes formed in the image of a uniquely male part.
This weekend, while walking through a pottery shop stocked with traditional Korean vases and teacups, I spotted a highly unusual ashtray -or maybe it was a mint holder. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed in the store, so I can't show you an image, but trust me, it's indelibly seared in my brain.
Three months ago, my department's holiday dinner was held at a nearby restaurant. The photo below is of a statue in the restaurant's lobby:
And I took this photo on the grounds of Gyeongbokgung Palace, one of the most popular tourist destinations:
I'm not sure if one should apply symbolic meaning to these types of structures or take them as is. Perhaps our Korean readers could shed some light on the matter?