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'If Spring Arrives'

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By Esther Ra

Under glaring fluorescent lights, an elderly North Korean woman sits over a snarl of gray yarn, loosening it patiently with her fingers. "Life is like pulling a tangled thread," she says. "If you hurry and worry too much, it'll just make the knot worse. But if you coax and caress it patiently between your hands, you'll see it unravel eventually."

"If Spring Arrives" is one of the yearly reunification plays produced by the Saejowi Initiative for National Integration, a nonprofit NGO that provides mental and medical health care for North Korean defectors. Two of the actors are North Korean defectors, and the play revolves around "Stitches for Reunification," an actual program at Saejowi. Many of the characters are loosely based on real people at Saejowi: the sarcastic Seoulite program manager who favors practical jokes over political correctness, the North Korean factory manager whose brisk common sense keeps people on their toes. Overall, the play is surprisingly tranquil.........

© The Korea Times