Do you remember an anti-war demonstration recently occurring all over the world? And do you recollect a candlelight demonstration resulted from two middle school girls killed by the vehicle of the U.S. Army soldiers on the road? Both demonstrations lately influence our society. The demonstration has been existing in human life and history.
Now, I will tell you all about the demonstra -tion. If you were asked about what demonstration is, you could think about violence and resistance. It is caused by the vestiges of the 1980s. But as the democracy was settling here and mass media was rapidly developed, the ways of demonstration has been changed. In the past, Korean demonstrations were symbolized by university students with fire-bottles, masks and armed soldiers who suppressed them excessively.
When democracy was not yet settled in the past, the universities which were the center of demonstration were surrounded by smoke. Many college students participated in the demonstrations for the embodiment of justice and were against the dictatorship and irrationality of the society.
Their efforts remind us of the sincere significance of democracy and justice and encourage us to develope our society. And also the laborers were the one who joined demonstrations. For the purpose of realizing proper and suitable treatment and welfare, they fought against management and government with general strike. They strived for the realization of their demands. They asked the right of life and stable living conditions.
While, today’s demonstra-tions are not like those of the past. They fight not for the right of life and participation but everything around in our place. Of course, they need the right to live or participate but the number of their demand is increasing.
Everything is the object of demonstration. Everything is involved to inclusive and diverse concepts. As I mentioned above, candlelight demonstration was for the memory of two middle school girls killed by the U. S. Army soldiers who have been found not guilty and finally were acquitted on the charge.
And an anti-war demonstration express a campaign against the war in Iraq. Everyday the old women, who were forced to be prostitutes for Japanese soldiers during the colonial period, demonstrated in front of the Japanese Embassy to make them announce an official statement of apology and compensation. As the purpose of demonstration was changed, the means of demonstration has been also altered. The fire bottles and sticks are replaced by the candle and computer.
The roads are occupied by the people who demonstrate against the embassy and the government were surrounded by angry people, too. Now computer is added to the list of demonstration places. Violent demonstrations between citizens and soldiers disappeared. It seems that people prefer to the peaceful and calm demonstration. In respect of the method of demonstration, there are so many ways and means.
People often use dresses and ornaments to express some certainties. Now, let’s analyze external characters and internal symbols through dresses and ornaments. There are demonstrations on political issues such as anti-war street parades and anti-dictatorship demonstrations. An anti-war demonstration is one form of the demonstrations using flowers to represent peace and wearing some clothes with a peaceful logo.
And they stand as a symbol for their nationality with the national flag. In anti-dictatorship movement, the spirit of democracy was represented by folk costumes, headbands, and the epaulets on their shoulder, etc. The labor movement and the enhancement movements of woman’s right and colored person’s rights belong to the category of social demonstrations.
Movement of woman’s right, there were no bra movements which were overwhelmed in 60s and 70s. The enhancement movement of colored person’s right are expressed by colored person’s characteristic costumes such as Dashiki and Afro hair styles that symbolized the true character of colored person.
Also there are demonstrations for the environment, for example, the anti-nuclear movements and the environmental preservation activities belong to the environmental demonstration. Especially, the anti-nuclear activists use a green dress and attach a mark of anti-nuclear on their clothes to inform the danger of nuclear.
Until now, it was talked about people using the external methods to express their will and decision through costumes. And there are some other people who often used their body instead of other instruments. A naked body and haircutting are representative examples. The latter one is oriented from the demonstrations of the East and the former is usual in the Western culture. Why do the East people shave their hair when want to a claim?
And why the West people wear in nude? In early days of East countries, there were so many kinds of religions. The Confucianism prohibited cutting hair which was inherited from the ancestor, so cutting hair was not permitted. In the East, cutting hair settled down to mean the way people express their own will and today we often see the ceremony of cutting hair in a demonstration place.
For example, actors and actresses were cutting their own hair to protect the Screen quota system. Meanwhile, when Western people protest, it is not that uncommon case to find them walking in the nude. Nudity means a defenseless and pitiful and natural state. In the Bible, when Adam and Eve committed a sin, they covered their body with leaves.
Therefore, the nakedness means purity and sacredness in the West. But, it could not discriminate between the East and the West by the cutting hair and the nude demonstration. Because, the Westerners are often cutting their hair and the Easterner are in the nude. Therefore, the fundamental ideology in cutting hair and nude is very much alike.
They just take different styles in methods. The demonstration is a way to express their own thought and will and protest against something wrong. It has been existed everywhere and everytime. As its styles and purposes are changed as the occasion demands, but the justice and resistance which is its fundamental spirit are unchanged.
Their spirit always keeps the demonstration which was and as it is. The demonstration will happen in more systematic and continual ways. But it needs your interest and participation.