Other | 2009/07/02 16:14 | Web 2.0 Asia
This is not the post aboout the latest, cutting edge IT development of Korea. New York Times reports a man nicknamed the "antenna man", who has set up 85 satellite dishes in his rural house.
You might wonder if this person is either an eccentric type trying to receive some signals from aliens in the outer space, or a TV maniac who just can't be satisfied with hundreds of Korean satellite TV channels -- but the story actually goes deeper than that. What started out as a man's hobby is now one of the best ways to serve the local community, which has many foreign wives suffering from homesickness.
In South Korea, which had once prided itself on being a homogeneous society, 4 out of 10 women who married in rural communities last year were foreign born. In Yeongju alone, the number of foreign wives increased by 28 percent in the past year and a half, to 250, half of them from Vietnam.“These women have a hard time fitting in. The local governments, and the husbands, often focus only on making them ‘Korean,’ teaching them the Korean language and computer skills,” said Mr. Lee, 39, who has never married. “They don’t quite understand how isolated these women feel.”
When Mr. Lee, who lives with his 80-year-old mother and 97-year-old grandfather, is not toying with his satellite equipment, he tends his pepper and sesame fields or makes the rounds of nearby villages to see if the foreign brides are having any problems with their television reception.