Just Bananas About: Week of 12/5/14

The holiday season is upon us and how much do I love the holiday wrapping on the men of Abnormal Summit (featured in Elle magazine).

As always the episodes start with MCs Jun Hyun Moo, Yoo Se Yoon and Sung Shi Kyung introducing themselves, except Sung Shi Kyung is interrupted by the sneezing Julian.  Impeccable timing but being a variety show pro, Sung Shi Kyung just runs with it.

Although Jun Hyun Moo tries to move on to the Cultural Challenge topic of the week, he’s stopped by Sung Shi Kyung who brings up and interesting nickname of Jun Hyun Moo’s. Unfortunately, it doesn’t translate very well in English as its literal meaning is inducement (as in labor) angel.  The nickname comes from his fans after a photoshoot on a very cold day.  They felt it was better than nipple angel and Zhang Yuan can’t contain himself as he’s laughing so hard that he’s crying.

The topic of this week’s Cultural Challenge is borders.  Wars happen, lines are drawn, borders can change over time.  I do find this topic to be quite timely with the absence of Takuya as he’s busy promoting Cross Gene’s latest single.  Personally, I’m glad that the show did not veer towards the touchy subject of Dokdo Island (aka Takeshima or Liancourt Rocks).  I think the point of this show is to bridge gaps, not divide it.

Despite that we got some interesting stories about how European countries are so close to each other that even a single restaurant establishment can reside in two different countries.  I love the story of Baarle and how the town resides in both Netherlands and Belgium and thought it was fascinating that although Netherlands closed their businesses on Sunday, Belgium did not.  Might make things hard for that restaurateur on the weekends.

Also fascinating, Blair (this week’s G-Summit fill-in from Brisbane, Australia) told us the story of the Principality of Hutt River.  Technically on the island of Australia, this micronation is separate and unrecognized by Australia.  If you’d like to send mail from Brisbane to this place, you cannot send it directly to this micronation but it most go all the way to Canada and then back to this province.

This week’s guests featuring Singer Bobby Kim and Variety Personality Sayuri with the discussion about prejudice in the workplace, particularly towards woman.  I would say that most patriarchal countries like Korea have probably the worst track record with this as they assume that women will eventually get married and have babies.  However, is this something our society will ever overcome?

The conversation veered towards other types of prejudice whether it’s religion or race and even in the U.S., this is something that we struggle with.  I loved that Alberto relayed the story of FC Barcelona player, Dani Alves.  Because he’s from Brazil, many Italian football fans began calling him names such as “monkey” and even throwing bananas to him during a match.  Nonchalantly, he picked the banana up and ate it as a snack before his free kick.  It launched a ban on intolerance campaign.

Tyler relayed a story about how some woman are offended when a guy opens a car door for them.  As if women are weak that they are unable to open the door themselves.  Where do you draw the line between manners and respecting others?  I think Alberto and Enes makes a good point that people who tend to focus too much on that and not on the intent of kindness are prejudiced too.

I was really surprised to see the response to the question of who would want to be born again as the opposite sex.  For Alberto, it doesn’t matter if he’s born as a pretty or ugly woman but there were a few members who are curious about what the woman experiences such as giving birth.  For Sayuri, she wants to be born again as a man and live in one of those countries which allows polygamy.  Sam informs her that multiples wives isn’t all that its cracked up to be.  So he’s heard.  However, I do recalling hearing of tribes out there in which the woman can have multiple husbands.  She doesn’t need to be born again as a man.  Just saying…

At the end of the day, Sayuri brings up a good point that no matter what prejudice is something that will always exist.  It’s human nature.  It’s human nature for people to generally want to classify things in order to understand them.  However, Tyler wisely says that what’s important is not the fact that prejudice will always exist but it’s our continuous efforts to overcome it that’s essential.  And I totally agree.

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