Tamra Island is a fairly unknown and unwatched drama (with a strong cult following), but not because it wasn’t “worth” the watch or the time. Looking back on what I actually saw of it, I found it endearing and sweet and a pretty accurate expression of young love from equally young immature individuals. Unfortunately, I can count on one hand, or rather, two fingers, the amount of characters I actually liked from that drama, and thankfully, I’ve finally found an excuse to write about one.
Choi Jang Nyo (Kim Mi Kyung)- Tamra Island
Tamra Island isn’t a drama I watched in in it’s entirety. For, I just couldn’t deal with the idiocy and selfishness of some of the characters, but Jang Nyo is probably one of the best mothers I’ve ever seen in a drama. She was strong, discerning, understated, upstanding, and honest. And as a mother she desired for her children to be the same. She was a woman that was cognizant of her position in life and accepted her world for what it was. There were no pretenses in her thoughts, words or actions and she was always dependable for pearls of wisdom even if her words were few. However, mothers like Jang Nyo can be disheartening for daughters like Beo Jin, and that’s exactly what you see in Tamra Island.
Choi Jang Nyo was a woman that worked hard for her family, but wasn’t sacrificial. She did what she felt was the best for her time (period), her family. As a mother, she was unrelenting and quietly stern, traits that I found endearing and captivating. She was a mother that could easily be misunderstood for not acknowledging her child’s dreams and ignoring her happiness, choosing instead to stifle and punish her for having a mind of her own, but I didn’t identify with Choi Jang Nyo in this way at all.
At times, a mother’s love is categorized as self-serving or overbearing when it’s actually persevering and preserving. Therefore, I perceive Jang Nyo as a practical, rational mom, because her sphere of understanding, influence and motivation didn’t stretch beyond what she could see, had experienced or could prove was true. It’s not that Jang Nyo didn’t want Beo Jin to pursue her dreams, it was more that she felt her dreams would hurt her and trample what hope for the future her daughter actually had. In reality, not everyone has the luxury to dream beyond their station, and though it sounds harsh, unfair and inhumane, it’s true. Less than one hundred years ago, “happiness” and “dreams” were a luxury to almost anyone, especially the poor (regardless of what side of the ocean they reside). And for a mother in a world much older than that, it was near impossible to achieve. Even though humans have the ability to accomplish many things, it’s important not to hold fantastical expectations. Choi Jang Nyo knew this. Her goals for her daughter, may have been suffocating and rather small, but her motivation was her daughter’s health and longevity above anything.
Choi Jang Nyo was bold and exacting; determined to create a stable life for her family and unafraid to speak on what she held to be the most valuable things in life. Unlike many women and mothers in drama, she never manipulated or conned others, backstabbed or lied to get her way; she stood her ground and guided her daughters whether they were quick to head her words or not. Choi Jang Nyo is a mother that stands as one of the most honorable for she was true to her word and convictions, in every aspect of her life and was a concrete example of how women should be. For, it makes no difference, the education level or background of an individual, nor the salary one holds. What matters is countenance, quality and conscience.