In the years after the war, when Koreans could barely feed themselves, pets weren't in the cards (though
they were sometimes on the menu). Now that Korea has moved up to somewhere around 12th or 13th place
in the GDP department, though, Koreans can afford a little companionship.|
Small dogs are the hands-down favorite. Cats have gained some ground in the last 5 years or so, but a lot of Koreans are still actually afraid of them. Now and then you'll see a street vendor selling sad-looking rabbits or hamsters in cages.
And here we have a chimpanzee. This fellow and his less-furry friend were selling lotus seed at the Tano Festival (Gangneung Dano) in June of 2000. Koreans are endlessly health-conscious despite -- or maybe because of -- the air pollution that surrounds them in Seoul and other large cities. This chimp drew a pretty good crowd with his person's claims that his tonic would clean out all those impurities and poisons.