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Culture Superstitions & Myths

Shintoburi 신토불이 – Produces from Korean soil are best for Korean bodies!

Photo by mali maeder on Pexels.com

Similar to the concept of “locavore”, the practice of only consuming locally grown food, shintoburi 신토불이 literally means “the body and the land (soil) can’t be separated,” often mistaken as a traditional ideology, it is believed to have originated as a campaign slogan during the 1980s to revive the nation’s agricultural industry by promoting the consumption of local produce which was losing market share to imported agricultural products due to lowered tariffs. There is a very popular namesake song by the singer Bae Il-ho.

The lyrics go like this:

너는 누구냐 나는 누구냐
Who are you and who am I?
이땅에 태어난 우리모두 신토불이 신토불이 신토불이 신토불이야
All we who were born in this island say shintoburi shintoburi shintoburi shintoburi

압구정 강남거리 여기는 어디냐
Apgujeong and Gangnam street, where is this?
순이는 어디가고 미쓰리만 있느냐
Why is Ms. Lee (English name) in place of Soonie (Korean name)
쇼윈도의 마네킹이 외제품에 춤을 추네
The mannequins over the show window dance to foreign products
쌀이야 보리야 콩이야 팥이야
Rice! Barley! Beans! Red Beans!
우리몸엔 우리껀데 남의것을 왜 찾느냐
Ours for our bodies, why look for someone elses?
고추장에 된장 김치에 깍두기
Gochujang, doenjang, kimchi and kkakdugi!
잊지마라 잊지마 너와 나는 한국인
Don’t forget and don’t forget – You and I are Korean
신토불이 신토불이야
Shintoburi shintoburi

Watch Bae Il-ho’s legendary performance!

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