Monday, November 14, 2011

Eminent family members of the Kim

The reverence to members of the Kim family and the Juche ideology have traits of a religion. The personal cult around President Kim Il Sung has been extended also to his son, his grandson, his wife, and other memmers of the family Kim.
Kim Il Sung is spoken of as the Great Leader. His son Kim Jong Il bears the honorific title of Dear Leader. Kim Jong Un has left the titles Brilliant Comrade and Young Dear Generalbehind and is addressed nowadays as the Great Successor.
Places, where Kim Il Sung stayed become something like pilgrimage locations. He is the Eternal President of the DPRK. His birthplace is visited daily by thousands. You will be able to see, where he sat on a certain train or the chair on which he sat is part of an exhibition. Preservation of things connected with Kim Il Song are “for the eternal life of President Kim”. Any place you visit, you will be told when or how often the Great or the Dear Leader have visited it.
Reverence to Kim Jong Suk (mother of Kim Jong Il) takes its route towards Virgin Mary worship. It is located on top of the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetary.
People in North Korea know far less about the Kim family and sheer selfpreservation might lead to not asking questions. You might end up in an education/forced labour camp. “The North Korean elite is also obsessed with secrecy” (Lonely Planet). Who knows about the stroke of Kim Jong Il, who of the death of his wife (cancer)?
People wear a batch with a picture of the Great Leader on the left breast (above the heart). And … there are no jokes about the Kims.

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