Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A trip through Fantasy Land

Like many of you, I read the reports of what life is like in North Korea and have wondered what it must be like to live in a bubble of Propaganda, your every action scrutinized, your every word probed for meaning.

How a society educates its children is a good indicator of its goals.

I could only gaze in wonder seeing this translation, courtesy of a Japanese resident, of the lengths to which the increasingly creepy Kim Jong-il goes to prop up his regime.

The following is a translation of a First Grade textbook from the People Paradise.

The textbook for first grade Korean in N. Korean elementary school, published by N. Korean Educational Books Publishing in 2005(Juche 94)

Kids studying so-called "Slogan Tree." Translators note: N. Koreans are taught that Kim Il-sung carved trees all over the country in order to encourage people to rise up against Japanese oppression. It is a sheer fabrication cooked up for their propaganda.) The text says, "Elder sister tells us one at a time. She tells us, while pointing at a Slogan Tree." The slogan on the tree says, "Long Live Commander Kim Il-sung"

On the left:

On the right:

Playing Soldiers

Kids are playing exciting game of soldiers.

Young-nam, the leader, looked around the hill, and gave us an order,

"Charge ahead!"

Kids ran out and crushed "Yankee imperialists."

Young-nam gave "medals" to brave kids.

Ration Day

Today is the ration day.

Father said to mother, smiling, "This year we get more ration than last year"

"This is all thanks to Marshall Kim Jong-il."

"Right, let us work harder on the field."

"I agree."

Father and mother looked at each other and smiled.

The picture is titled "Child."

On the left: On the right:

Honorable Marshall continued,

"If Cicada sings, my father cannot sleep well. So I tried to stop its singing."

(Oh, that was why!)

Hearing Marshall Kim Jong-il care about the Grand Marshall(my note: Kim Il-sung,) his guards were deeply touched.

Kimjongil ia

Large flower, what flower?

Kimjongilia, the pretty flower

Blossomming one by one

Leaf by leaf

Where they bloomed

At my house

Across the ocean over the mountains

bloomed all over the world

Kimjongilia the red flower

bloomed by spring breeze?

no, no, the world in a single heart bloomed it

Marshall Kim Jong-il, shining like the sun,

the world bloomed them to honor him for thousands of years.

On the left: On the right:

The tiny tank is going,

our tank is going

Crushing Americans,

the tiny tank is going.

Bo-chun-bo Raid

The honorable greate leader,

Grand Marshall Kim Il-sung fired a singal shot.

"bang, bang, ...."

Partisans wiped clean

all Japanese.

"Long live General Kim Il-sung!"

People shouted as loud as they can.

Please be with us forever

Grand Marshall, who gave us great faith,

please be with us forever.

Kid Scout Young-chol

Into the narrow trail of the valley,

came Japanese imperialists.

Kid scout Young-chol waved his red scarf to the partisans

"bang, bang, ...."

The partisans killed all Japanese.

"Long live General Kim Il-sung!",

shouted Young-chol and partisans.

I am going to be in People's Army

I will be,

I will be in People's Army

To defend our country,

I will be in People's Army

I will be,

I will be in hero's army

Of the great general,

I will be in hero's army

Yang Jung-a

/end translation

I swear, Kim Jong-il becomes even more like a James Bond Villian every day.