The Silver Zone: Signs in Seoul
This sign hangs just a few meters away from the bus stop where I wait in the afternoon on the days I work. To be honest, I never noticed it until last week when (the ever-observant) MrLogical pointed it out to me. I finally got a photo today, and have been thinking it over ever since. I love the idea of a 'Silver Zone' - which I assume is an area where special care should be taken for the elderly. In the US, we have plenty of warning signs telling drivers to drive especially carefully because of special populations: school zones, pedestrian zones, playgrounds, sports fields. We have warning signs that tell us to watch out for bicyclists and motorcyclists, joggers and skateboarders: in rural parts of the US, I have seen signs warning me to watch out for cattle and sheep, and, of course, the ubiquitous deer. In our neighborhoods in Arizona and Texas, there were signs that warned you to take caution because children might run out into the street chasing a ball. And of course, a uniquely American sign that we ran across almost every time we vacationed in California: the one that warned you to be on the alert for possible illegal immigrants:
However (and I would love to hear from people in the US who can tell me if they have something like this in their community) I have never seen a sign in the US exhorting us to take special care in watching out for the elderly.
I don't know enough Korean - or Korean culture - to be able to tell you any more about this sign, but it seems that there's definitely a care and a respect for the elderly here that permeates the culture and shows up in everyday life - like street signs. I love that this sign says something about the esteem in which older people are held in this culture, and the appreciation for the contributions they have made - and are still making. And I would love to see some signs like this back home.