Screening Humanity | 인간극장 – Nilu, You are my Destiny, part 2 (2015.10.27)


(Previously…) Geon’s been an actor for 10 years. Acting is woven into the fabric of his life. Last year, he married Nilu from Uzbekistan. He went to Uzbekistan for the long-overdue wedding. He’s grateful that his wife went a month ago to Uzbekistan to plan the wedding by herself. Finally, she tries on the wedding gown for him. Geon is awed by her beauty. Oh, my god. (Nilu, You are my Destiny / Part 2) Words like brilliant and beautiful should saved for such moments. His bride is in a white wedding gown. Right now, Geon wouldn’t exchange places with anyone in the world. (Nilufar Muhidinova, 21) (Hwang Geon, 37) I suddenly remember the day of that concert 2 years ago. She wasn’t wearing a gown then, but a white dress. I feel as I did that day, stealing glances at her as I practiced. A million things are going through Ms. Lee’s head, but these two are only focused on each other. Let’s go. Go where? Let’s go home. They got their marriage license last year, so they’re already legally married, but right now, they have butterflies, feeling as if they’re newlyweds. (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) Finally, it’s the day of the wedding. But it feels more like a lazy Sunday afternoon. That’s because in Uzbekistan, weddings are usually held at night. Thus, this morning feels like any other. Bon appetit. Bon appetit. Enjoy your meal. – Enjoy your meal. / – Enjoy your meal. With Nilu’s whole family around him, Geon feels like he’s the son. Nilu, this potato’s delicious. – The potato? / – Yes, the potato. What’s potato in Uzbek? In Uzbek it’s “kartoshka.” In Korean it’s “kamja.” The potato samosa’s very good. He’s not a picky eater and well-mannered, too. But when Nilu, the apple of her dad’s eye, broke the news she’d be marrying a Korean man, he wasn’t all too happy. (Angelina Lee, 53 / Mother-in-law) It’s sad to marry your daughter off to another country. But a woman will follow the man she loves. We gave the matter a lot of thought, but it was what he said that won me over. He said, “I don’t want to take her from you. I only want to be a part of your family.” I gave him my blessings right then and there. Her daughter’s wise beyond her years, so they decided to trust her decision. Suddenly, the couple puts on a show. They’re rehearsing for the wedding. Nilu, move to the music as you play. And when you come, when we start dancing, start from the… – Left leg. / – Left leg. I’ll ask for you hand. And you stop. And I will hold you and left leg. Don’t just do this. You should do like… Okay? – Yeah, I should breathe in and go gently. / – Yeah. (Hwang Geon, 37) In Uzbekistan, the couple dances a waltz or something of the sort. It feels as if I’m getting ready for a performance with her rather than a wedding. Should I turn the music back on? Yes, please. Ms. Lee is a cellist and music teacher. She’s become their director now. (Nilufar Muhidinova, 21) Nilu, the award-winning violinist and bride will be playing their song. Geon, the musical actor and husband, will be singing. What a sight for the guests to behold. They’ll be putting on quite a performance tonight. – It’s good. / – It was? Hello. It’s been so long. You’ve gotten even prettier. More of Geon’s friends from Seoul arrive. Hey, you made it. You look so amazing. It’s as if you’re the groom. Hey. His mother couldn’t make it, but he feels great that his friends are here. Men, let’s go. – Bye. / – Bye. Hang out here. I’ll bring you pilaf later. You can have it here. Let’s go. We’re late. Where is he headed with just the men? They go to a restaurant that’s nearby. With his father-in-law out front, the whole restaurant is filled with men. In Uzbekistan, it’s tradition to throw a party for the men in town before a wedding. He’s very grateful and happy you could join us. He said you guys should eat. They bring out the pilaf, a dish that’s eaten during celebrations. It’s fried rice enjoyed by Central Asia. It’s not just for weddings, but whenever there is a celebratory event, pilaf is served. Because the country’s largely Islamic, men and women have such events separately. If he’s male, even a beggar is welcome to an event like this. Get another one. Mr. Kim. Mr. Muhidinova got traditional clothes for his son-in-law and his friends. Where’s Hoja? Come over here and say a prayer for the groom. An elder family member who’s been to the Holy Land does a blessing prayer. Though they do not understand the words, they become solemn. Meanwhile, the women at home… You really don’t like it? Mom, you look like Grandma Dasha. Is she nice? She always puts on makeup so she can look younger. They invited a makeup artist, but it looks like makeup for theater. This is so not my style. My husband will be here soon. Can you de-puff my hair before he returns? Do you have a spray bottle? If you spray water on it, it’ll flatten out a bit. I don’t know where it is. Geon is the first to see Ms. Lee. Why are you laughing? Tell me. You look pretty. Wow, honey. I’m… At a loss for words. Miss, would you like to go out with me? Shall I? You look so pretty, I can hardly express it. You’re not embarrassed by me? Not at all. I love it. Next up is the bride-to-be. It was nerve-racking to watch, and sure enough, there’s too much makeup. Her innocent beauty’s faded to nothingness. Is that how women in Tashkent do their makeup? I will correct it. You will? You don’t like it? I think it’s too much for me. Yeah, I think it’s sort of too much. The makeup’s a bit too heavy. You’ll look better with the veil. Oh, she will enter with a veil covering her face, so that’s why she put on that much. He wasn’t happy, but he let it go and suited up for the wedding. He takes his beautiful bride’s hand and the two head to the wedding hall. It’s so beautiful. The hall is done up in pink hues. They’re mesmerized by the romantic decor. Ms. Lee, you look beautiful. The crowd of voices are Geon’s friends. Geon’s lucky to have such good friends. The blushing bride and groom get ready to enter. The stairs down feel so far, as they’re very nervous. (Hwang Geon, 37) I’m really excited and nervous. Here comes the man of the hour, Hwang Geon, and the beautiful bride, Nilufar! Please give them a round of applause! The excitement they feel now is different from the way they felt getting the marriage license. They have walked down this very aisle a thousand times in their heads before. They promise their guests that they’ll dedicate their lives for one another. At the same time, they each promise themselves that, too. And the parents of the bride for whom this night is bittersweet. (Angelina Lee, 53 / Mother-in-law) Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us and sharing in the joy for this momentous occasion. I hope for my daughter and my son-in-law to always put the other before themselves. I feel blessed I have another son as of today. I have a favor to ask all of you here. And that is for all of you to enjoy this night. Nothing would make me happier. She looked to be on the verge of tears, but suddenly, upbeat music begins. The band plays music to help her cast away the tears of letting her daughter go. Go dance with them. Geon gets right up to join them as if he’s waited for this moment all night. He’s outgoing and a good dancer, too. Thanks to Geon, the room’s in party mode. Together, they dance and enjoy themselves as the party continues late into the night. Suddenly, Geon’s friend Gwangsu begins to do Psy’s dance, the dance that was known worldwide a couple years ago, “Gangnam Style.” Koreans really know how to party. They show how Koreans like to party. (Jang Gwangsu, 35 / College Friend) I asked Geon to sing at my wedding. He not only sang the song beautifully, but that day, the officiator suddenly bailed. And Geon suddenly stepped up and became the officiator and the wedding went smoothly. I was so grateful that I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. And I wanted to make my mark here representing Korea and that was the perfect opportunity. Now, the highlight of the party. Everyone hold a candle light and wait for the bride and groom’s performance. The couple’s beautiful performance brings the ceremony comes to a close. On the one hand, I’m sad because my daughter will leaving me to go to Korea now. But on the other hand, I’m happy that she’s happy. As her mother, nothing could make me happier than seeing her happy. The guests create an arch with their arms. The long wedding ceremony is now over. And thus starts their blissful marriage. They proudly walk down as husband and wife surrounded by the blessings of loved ones. The next day. Geon, Nilu and the family go on a family trip. (Kim Sinseong, 51) (Jang Gwangsu, 35) Geon’s friends from Korea are joining the family for the trip as well. Because we’re Geon’s family, we’re all family now, so of course we must join the trip. The start of the trip is already all too exciting. Wow! How adorable. They’re lined up in pairs. Their butts stick out. Look! There’s more. (Alim Muhidinova, 53 / Father-in-law) That over there is Lake Charvak. Mr. Muhidinova shows them Lake Charvak. The lake formed from 10,000-year-old snow. Everyone was in awe of nature’s glory and before long, they were at the destination. It feels like the Alhambra. How amazing. Nilu’s family personally visited different rental homes and found this one. I didn’t choose this place. It was Nilu and my husband. Nilu picked it out. Nilu picked this place out. But it might’ve been better for the two to spend this night alone. Are you okay with everyone joining our honeymoon? (Nilufar Muhidinova, 21) It’s fun. Because my family so big. And I’m used to having a big family, so when there are a lot of people with me, I feel fine. The pool is lively with voices in the morning. I almost had it! This time, it’s the high-kick dive. Ilhom’s good. He’s got talent. Thankfully, he didn’t let Ilhom outdo him. (Jang Gwangsu, 35) Geon hasn’t done taekwondo in a long time, so I didn’t think he’d be good, but he’s as good as he was in college. (Yang Yeonghun, 34) He was very athletic and knew how to have fun in college. And he was kind to the underclassmen. You only have good things to say about him. It’s all true. Now, they’re getting serious. He even brought his uniform. He’s a third-degree black belt. He wants to give Ilhom some pointers. I was interested in how Ilhom was learning taekwondo but not only that, he really loves the sport. He got into a fight at school and got beat up. It inspired him to dedicate more time to taekwondo and when I heard that, I wanted to help, as he’s my little brother. Attention. Attention. Get in position for a kick. Front kick. One. Two. His awkward kicks makes Nilu laugh. Ilhom looks a bit shy, too. Shout. Shout. Tell him to shout. How do you say shout in Russian? It’s “krik.” Ilhom, shout at the top of your lungs. He said kick then get back into position. One. And always look at the opponent. When he kicks, look at the point that he’s going to attack. He’s looking at my eyes. Geon will teach him until he gets it. Ilhom will get a proper lesson today. Nilu’s in the kitchen after interpreting. But her knife-wielding skills are as shaky as her brother’s kicks. Nilu “ajumma.” Normally, women, after we get married, we’re called “ajumma.” I’m an “ajumma,” too? – Yes. / – Really? So it’s kind of teasing. She’s gets help from a housewife from Korea and picks up the knife again. How? It’s hard. It’s too slippery. Not like that, Nilu. Do it with more confidence. I don’t want to cut it too hard. Her mom shows her how it’s done. My mom’s a good cook. (Angelina, 53) Even if Nilu was good at cooking Uzbek cuisine, it’ll be different in Korea, because Korea is a different country and they use ingredients we’re not familiar with. She has to learn from scratch, so I hope her mother-in-law helps her. She must learn Korean and learn how to cook. Nilu will have many new firsts with her marriage. But Ms. Lee can’t help her. All she can do is hope that her daughter adjusts well in her new lot in life. (Alim Muhidinova, 53) Let’s do a toast to our friendship. You’ll always have a place to go in Tashkent. You’re always welcome back. Thank you. To friendship. To friendship. Cheers. Cheers. Though it is a foreign place, having loved ones to depend on makes you feel at ease. Because who you’re with is what matters most. The next day. The family heads to Nilu’s aunt’s house. Mr. Muhidinova’s siblings have gathered to welcome Nilu and Geon. The guests gasp in awe at the set table. How pretty! This is so pretty. Sit. I didn’t have time to prepare much, but… You didn’t make this, silly! The head of the family puts a traditional jacket on Geon. That is from Nilu’s grandmother. Nilu’s grandfather and grandmother live in the countryside, and could not make it today. So they sent gifts instead. Nilu’s 90-year-old grandmother sent these as a token of her love. Come here, Nilu. Nilu got the biggest one. Bon appetit in Uzbek is “yoqimli ishtaha.” Yoqimli ishtaha. Yoqimli ishtaha. There is yet another gift. He heard Geon was a Russian major and gave him his most prized books. They’re books by the renowned Russian writer, Alexander Pushkin. What though life conspire to cheat you, Do not sorrow or complain. That poem, can you say it to them? The one about the miracle? Nilu, you got yourself quite a catch. I’ll sing you a song… Based on Pushkin’s poem. Upon hearing that Geon would sing, the elders are filled with excitement. I feel nervous. It’s even more nerve-racking than an audition. (In the next episode…) Kimchi stew is a given. What’s that supposed to mean? I’m sorry I couldn’t attend your wedding. That’s alright.

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