The Haechi and the Lion
March 2, 2015
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The presence of China in Seoul is increasing at an exponential rate these days. Chinese news is increasingly on the front page and signage with Chinese characters is displacing English. As I noted in a recent post, signage in the garden of the Shilla Hotel is exclusively in Chinese.
Perhaps the site of the Haechi (a Korean mythical beast) statue in front of the central police station near Gyeongbok Palace and the Chinese lion in front of the Chinese Culture Center hints at the subtle shifts taking place.
But the replacement of English with Chinese at the Jjimjilbang sauna, or the decision of Gangnam fortune tellers to advertise in Chinese give full testimony to the depth of the changes.
The haechi that stands in front of the police station near Gyongbokgung Palace and the lion in front of the Chinese culture center.
English explanations are covered up with Chinese at a local sauna.
A fortune teller in Gangnam has written up the sign in Chinese, realizing there is more money to be made telling fortunes for Chinese tourists than for Korean girls.