Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The ballet and the environment

Sherrin weighs in –

Last night I went to see highlights from the ballet "Swan Lake" performed by the Korea National Ballet. The dancing was wonderful – a shame about the audience though. It was a full house with standing room only. The curtain rose and the performance began. Suddenly, little bright lights started to flicker throughout the audience. Nearby, I could hear strange clicking sounds. I was shocked to see that people were texting on their mobile phones!

This continued throughout the whole performance. And it got worse. A woman sitting directly behind me spent the whole performance talking either to her husband sitting beside her or making calls on her phone. A few rows in front of me a phone rang. The man answered and proceeded to have a conversation. Throughout the performance little bright lights flickered on and off all around the concert hall. The strange clicking sounds – 'snap!' – were the sounds as people closed their phones.

The worst was yet to come. There were hundreds of children in the audience – which was great. Kids should be exposed to as many experiences as possible. However, what wasn't so great was their constant talking throughout the performance. Most shocking to me was the parents made no effort whatsoever to teach their kids the appropriate behavior expected of an audience. On one side of me a little girl, when she wasn't talking to her mother or sister, spent a considerable amount of time jumping up and down on her seat or kicking the back of the seat in front. On my other side a woman and her little boy held a running conversation throughout the entire performance.

Masses of people disturbing others with their mobile phones, and parents who don't take the time or trouble to teach their kids to be mindful of others – I have to say I have never seen people behave so selfishly. It was shameful.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been so surprised. After all, just look around. When it comes to the environment, the evidence of such attitudes and behavior is all around us.


1 comment:

  1. I've heard that Seogwipo is much cleaner because it's more touristy and tourists don't wanna see trash.

    I used to wonder if there were some way that Jeju city could use the schools in some way to entice / encourage kids to pledge to not litter. Did you ever see the movie "Play it Forward"? My idea would have the same sort of theme.

    The teacher passes out a paper to all the kids in class. Each paper would have a pledge that the kids could formally take. Along with that paper they'd have a paper that they could hand to two other kids, not in their class. Maybe not in their school. Those kids would take the same pledge.

    If all the kids in class took the pledge, they could get some sort of reward. Ideally, not a day of plastic-wrapped ice cream bars!

    Actually, the idea could be adjusted in many ways. I'm not even sure I've made the idea very clear.