Love in Asia

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Interesting documentary about foreigners living in Korea. Mainly focusing on interracial marriages and how the foreign spouse adapts to life in Korea.

The episode I caught last night had three stories. The first followed Sri Lankan Dinuka as she and her Korean husband, along with their young son Seul-chan, return to her homeland.

The 2nd story focuses on Pakistani Imran, his hearing impaired wife Hyun-wu and their infant son. In their story, we saw Hyun-wu going for ear surgery soon after childbirth so she can “listen to my husband’s voice and my son’s cries”. Awww….

Halmeoni (Granny) Mariam Johari in a pretty hanbok!

Finally, a story close to home wrapped up the episode – the moving tale of Granny Mariam binti Johari (86), a Malaysian native who went to Korea 61 years ago. She left behind her son and two daughters because she was in love with a Korean man. She followed him back to Korea in 1946 and has been stranded in the country ever since.

We saw how after her plea to see her family was aired on TV, she was given legal alien status by the Korean government, issued a passport and sponsored by the TV program to return to Johor Bahru, Malaysia to meet her family.

Reunion: Halmeoni Mariam with her son
Jelani (70, left) and eldest daughter Ramlah (72).

Wow, she got a hero’s welcome and enjoyed a grand celebration while she was here. Press conferences, silat (Malay martial arts) performances, kompang (Malay hand drum) and bunga mangga (flower displays) entourage all thrown in!

Family portrait: Halmeoni Mariam with her Korean
and Malaysian families.


Tears flowed freely while watching the segment. What a touching story. Oh, and Granny Mariam kept her promise (although 61 years late) to her youngest daughter Jamnah and brought her many boxes of cookies when she visited. *sniff*sniff*

할머니 마리얌 화이팅!

The plot:

  • Stories about interracial families and their love which transcends borders.
  • Stories about foreign workers coming to Korea in search of the “Korean Dream”.
  • Love in Asia connects Korea to the rest of Asia.

Watch it:

  • KBS World (Astro Channel 303)
  • Saturday
  • 10.40pm to 11.40pm
  • Korean with English subtitles

Pics credit: Love in Asia @ KBS World

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  1. Photographer September 7, 2008
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