One of the more touching moments of our trip was our guide, Ms Han, singing Arirang for us on our last night after nearly two weeks. According to Wikipedia, the song “is sometimes considered the unofficial national anthem of Korea.”
Since the government requires tourists be accompanied by two guides plus a driver at all times and the guides communicate only the party line about North Korea’s history, politics, etc, people who haven’t visited tend to presume the guides are drone-like agents of the state or overseers.
On the contrary, they’re regular people with lives, stories, family, etc. We created great relationships with ours. I’m sure all of us would keep in touch but for the North Korean government controlling communication.
I defy you not to smile warmly when she finishes.
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