There is one more side to haan. Haan can create and energize a strong motivation, not to give up, but to persevere and fight on until justice is done. it generates a driving force to do better, to excel, and to succeed in achieving goals, even if it takes a long time. It may also create a desire to get back at, and get even with, the oppressor and enemy who caused the haan.
Some Korean scholars have observed that the frequent anti-government demonstrations by college students in Seoul that include throwing fire-bottles, are basically ritualistic expressions of their haan and haan-rage. Better educated and Western- acculturated Koreans, especially women and members of younger generations, have become more verbally assertive and emotionally expressive without suppressing their feelings of anger and haan- related emotions
Luke Kim, M.D., Ph.D. is a clinical professor of psychiatry at University of California School of Medicine. He is a board member of Friends of Korea organization in Sacramento, California, and a friend and supporter of Korean Quarterly newspaper.
This article reprinted by permission of Korean Quarterly.To subscribe, send a personal check made out to Korean Quarterly to:
P.O. Box 6789
St. Paul, MN 55106 USA