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Week in Insights: Crash Landing Into Something New

No need to Google. If all went well, that should be hello in Korean. It’s pretty formal—how you’d address a business partner.Of course, I like to think we’re friends now. So I could also use the polite and respectful greeting,.No, I’m not fluent in Korean. But I’m learning.A few weeks ago, my family was poking around Netflix for something to watch together since most of our favorites, like “Ted Lasso,” “Only Murders in the Building,” and “Derry Girls,” are currently on a break in the US—yes, I’m aware that our friends across the pond have already watched the finale of “Derry Girls.” No spoilers!Actress Son Ye-Jin, who starred in “Crash Landing On You” walks on the red carpet at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival in Busan, South Korea, on Oct. 12, 2017.

We settled on “Crash Landing on You”—a wildly popular South Korean television show. The premise feels ridiculous: A successful South Korean businesswoman accidentally paraglides over the border into the North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The show was, however, inspired by a real-life event—a South Korean actress and three others became lost while on a boat trip and drifted close to the Northern Limit Line (NLL). They realized their mistake after encountering a group of North Korean fishermen before eventually being rescued by the Navy.

My whole family, including my husband, was quickly hooked despite the outlandish premise. It is swoony, funny, suspenseful, and heartbreaking all at once—plus, we’re learning something about the culture. It inspired me to dig a little deeper: I even found articles and scholarly papers about the interplay of North and South Korean cultures in the show. Don’t expect to binge watch—each episode is as long as a mini-movie. We’ve been watching long enough to do some planning. Last week, we ordered from our favorite Korean restaurant, and I even tried my hand at making some Korean staples. (I don’t mean to brag, but it was pretty delicious.)View of cabbage kimchi dumplings finished dish during Chef Judy Joo’s Korean Food Made Easy class at New York Culinary Experience on April 16, 2016.The show is in Korean with subtitles. That inspired my daughter and me to learn some basic Korean by trying Duolingo and watching video tutorials. I’m no Jisoo, but I can utter and type a few words—if you need to say “yes” or order chicken in Korean, I might be able to help.

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