Has the proclivity for xenophobia in the ROK now include cicadas? You might think so after reading this article in the Korea Times about foreign cicadas irritating local residents.

“A new kind of bug continues to irritate people living in the northern Seoul and Gyeonggi Province.

Hills, roads and cars there are covered with insects, and residents have posted pictures of the bugs on the Internet, inquiring as to its name and widespread existence.

The insect is Lycorma Delictula White, a type of cicada. It is suspected of having come from China.”

You know, this ranks up there with an article which appeared in the English vernaculars back in 1997-1998 about foreign “blue-eyed” (I shit you not—there was even a photo in one of the newspapers of one of these bullfrogs with “blue” eyes!) bullfrogs taking over ponds in Korea. If I am not mistaken, there was even a bounty offered for killing the frogs. (And this was right around the time that foreign teachers were being rounded up for teaching illegally in Korea.)

Why can’t people just say that these cicadas come from China and leave it at that? Why does it always have to be “foreign” this and “foreign” that whenever people just feel the least bit threatened?

Why can’t people and cicadas just get along?