In true islander fashion, it also does away with much of the stuffy hierarchy and overbearing politeness which is baked into the very structure of the language spoken in Seoul. For example, in Jeju the Korean greeting of 안녕하세요 (annyeong-haseyo) — an onion-layered construction of respect and honorifics — is rendered simply as 반갑수다 (bangapsuda), which translates roughly as ‘howdy’. This casual manner of speaking reflects the relatively egalitarian nature of traditional Jeju society.
I even tried my hand at some 박광수.
Eventually it grew clear that, as a caracature, the qualities of seolmundae that were important to me — the flavour that had first inspired me to tackle the story — were the ones that were best manifested in the old lady Seolmundae: strength, stubbornness, wisdom, permanence, generosity, fickleness and her role as the penultimate matriarch of Jeju.
Bottom right corner: finally nailed it!