I think that culture shock and emotional  turmoil are some of the common things that North Korean defectors would feel, but I think in this documentary the situation is different from the usual because it deals with teens. Since teenagers are exceptionally sensitive to the changes around and in them, I think North Korean teenagers would feel tremendous stress towards big changes that they were not prepared for.

But thanks to the special boarding schools, like Hanggyre School, the transition might be a little smoother, but I do not think that anyone can help these defectors from adopting new set of values and motivations in a Westernized Korea. Yes, the family ties and loyalty are still there but can they get used to things like individualism, rejection of tradition, and profit-motive? This question still roamed around my head even as I finished watching the documentary.

But then, remembering the article about North Korean defectors on National Geographic Magazine, may be the assimilation of Westernized values won’t be hard. The defectors can eventually find their self after a certain period of time, but it will be also hard trying to stick with some ugly elements of their reality.

North Korean defectors

North Korean defectors

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June 9, 2008

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