House of the Dragonfly
When I first stared becoming interested in Korean pop culture, I was intensely jealous of those who could fluently understand Korean. For me, it was torture knowing that the latest episode of my current favorite drama had aired, and yet I would have to wait days or even weeks before I could partake in it.
For native speakers, on the other hand, it was so easy. I was thankful for translators who practically worked around the clock, but had difficulty suppressing my selfish frustration when translation seemed to take particularly long. No native speakers have a duty to translate, but I also wondered if they knew what being on one side of a seemingly insurmountable language barrier felt like.
Well, little by little, I started chipping away at that “insurmountable” barrier. I took classes. I studied on my own. I watched hours of dramas, listened to thousands of songs, took notes, made flash cards, logged new grammar and vocabulary, and translated. And translated. And translated.
I still haven’t overcome that barrier, but I’m working on it. And I feel like I owe a ladder to everybody who comes after me. My skills still are barely even passable, but I feel like in giving a close approximation to those who would otherwise be left entirely in the dark, my efforts are worthwhile. So feel free to ask, request, correct, encourage, or in any other way engage in the learning process. I will be thankful.
Lastly, I’d like to address why I went with House of the Dragonfly for the name of this blog. Originally, I called it Monkey Business, taken from T.O.P’s song “Turn it Up,” reflecting how I wasn’t to be taken seriously. Over time, though, I grew less and less fond of this moniker. Firstly, the phrase itself wasn’t creative at all. Secondly, as I moved away from pop and started gravitating towards lesser-known rock bands, it really didn’t reflect the tone of my blog at all.
Instead, I wanted something unique to my experience of Korea and its music scene. Dragonflies are not unique to Korea, it’s true, but the numbers in which they turn out during late summer, at the height of the music festival season, made quite an impression on me. Now I associate dragonflies with the sweltering heat of August, the momentary respite of a cool beverage, and the deep throbbing of a bass accompanied by the electric tingle of excitement that zips through my soul as a band starts up their performance.