It’s so easy to forget how lucky we are. To live in democratic countries where we have free will. We take for granted such things our right to vote, our right to education and our right to free speech. These are luxuries that the people of North Korea do not have. Replaced by fear and famine.
I was given a copy of ‘In Order To Live’ by Yeonmi Park for Christmas and to say that I was horrified while reading this would be an understatement. I do not usually read autobiographies as they tend to be rather shallow but this was a gripping read from beginning to end. Click through to find out why you need to read this book.
I find it very difficult to write this blog because I don’t want to give too much away of Yeonmi’s story. This is a story that you need to discover for yourself, to truly understand the horrors she has faced. ‘In Order To Live’ tells the story of Yeonmi Park, a young woman born and raised in the secretive state of North Korea.
Growing up in North Korea is not easy – there is extreme famine, lack of pretty much everything and all under the dictatorship of a terrifying leader who is portrayed as a mighty god. Yeonmi takes us through her childhood growing up in the northern city of Hyesan where electricity and food are as rare as shooting stars. Yeonmi was forced to grow up fast, looking after her sister and learning to survive the harsh Korean winters with almost no supplies.
What scared me most of Yeonmi’s story is that she’s not the only one. This is an entire nation of people being terrorised under the dictatorship of an evil man. And they believe what they are told. They believe that Kim Jong-un has magical powers and have no idea of the outside world. Learning all of this from Yeonmi makes it all the more harrowing.
In a world where Kim Kardashian is seen as a role model, I think it’s so important for us to put people like Yeonmi in the spotlight. Yeonmi is an incredible role model and is someone I greatly admire. After reading her story, I think of Yeonmi often and hope that she is happy. After all that she has been through, I hope she is living a wonderful life. Believe me, she deserves it.
In Order To Live – Yeonmi Park
Yeonmi Park was not dreaming of freedom when she escaped from North Korea. She didn’t even know what it meant to be free. All she knew was that she was running for her life, that if she and her family stayed behind they would die – from starvation, or disease, or even execution.