“Are we all good citizens who do not discriminate anyone?”
Special Program "Hello, Monika" starts out from this single question. It goes on to ask: “Are we not treating immigrant wives and multicultural children, who have long been our neighbors and a part of Korean society, still as if they are perpetual foreigners?” It considers the somewhat philosophical question, “Where does our mind’s wall against foreigners come from?”
In June, our team came in touch with “Talk To Me”, a self-help organization of married immigrant women in Korea, and their “Monika Doll Project.” Monika Dolls feature diverse skin colors and expressions to show that cultural prejudices must be eliminated, and differences must be respected.
Those who take part in the project are invited to make a doll with skin colors and hair colors that are different from their own. The project was started with the intention to have people come into contact with different skin colors, thereby allowing them a chance to think about the meaning of being “different.”
After seeing the Monika Dolls, our team started thinking:
“Is there any way we could have these Monika Dolls on a radio show?”
“What if we could imagine that Monika Dolls could talk?”
And so, we created a program featuring the dolls. We want to borrow the dolls’ perception and voices to shine light on parts of our societal reality that we may find a little uncomfortable.
We hope the program will help its listeners open their minds a little more, so that when they meet an immigrant or someone from another cultural background, they would acknowledge what they don’t know, and listen more closely to what the other person has to say. Differences provide cultural diversity, and they cannot be used as an excuse for discrimination. Korean society is striving to grow with such discussions, and we hope to share and expand the discussion with KBS WORLD Radio’s listeners through this special program.