Relationships in North Korea

What strikes me about this picture is not that the two women look so serious on their bikes. No. Because if I look at people’s faces in Pacific Palisades, or in New York, or in France, or in China, they’re not too different in people going about their daily business.
But how many people are going about their business alone in Pacific Palisades vs in North Korea? That is the question.

In the US, in France, in China, people often walk accompanied by friends, relatives or colleagues. They chat away, most of the time happily. Yet, again, the “happy” part of this is not really the point. The point is that people are interacting with others. Outside North Korea.

Inside North Korea, people keep to themselves. Looking at any street, or dirt road, you don’t get the feelings that sharing thoughts or happenings of the day is a big priority. Not at all. Not with people walking nor with people biking.

The title above (“Relationships”) begs a word about amorous relations between people. I saw no indication that this exists in North Korea, except at one wedding where the couple were fondly looking at each other. And at the picnics on the national holiday I saw indications that people enjoyed spending the time together. And still, there wasn’t any hand-holding at all, just the congeniality that comes with a carefree, beer-filled day. I don’t know whether to put the prudishness on account of culture, old-fashioned mores, or obedience to the Leader first and foremost. But I will keep trying to find out.