I actually stood off to the side for a few moments to watch the reaction of the passing public. I saw people actually avert their eyes. There was one couple that walked by and the gentleman actually slowed down and stared. Without missing a beat, the girl friend slugged him. Lone women, stopped and looked, some with thoughtful gazes. After all, they were just mannequins...right? This is the image that most people have of South Korea. Deep traditions of hard work, steeped in denial and humility. Back breaking labor that is often remembered and glorified in figures throughout ceremonies and statues. The symbols of past generations that are shown to children, but those children are now looking at the rest of the world.
Enter stage left...the rise of the urban pop culture, South Korean rap and DJs. Western music is given a back seat to the crop of Korean pop groups that are young, hot, and all about the image. Enter, the superstar with the computer sweetened voice...and this one holds some traditions in place, only modestly claiming to be the number three "Super Corean". Never mind that the image contradicts the words.
Yes, in these waning days of summertime...the last summer of this decade, you often wonder what the future holds. Those that fight to hold on to a society of the past, when the younger generation that waits in the wings is hungry.