Byung Shin Chum

Byung shin chum (Korean: 병신춤, lit. the dance of the handicapped) is a Korean folk dance that was performed by the lower class peasants to satirize the Korean nobility (Yangban) by depicting them as the handicapped persons and sick persons such as paraplegics, midgets, hunchbacks, the deaf, the blind, lepers, as well as characters from Pansori and other Korean folklore. It originated in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do. During the Japanese occupation of Korea it was banned, since authorities considered it obscenely crude. In modern times Byung shin chum has been acknowledged to public by a Korean actress Gong Ok-jin (공옥진).

According to Chae Hui Hwan, Professor at Pusan National University, Byung shin chum is not a dance that simply mimicks and ridicules the handicapped. Rather, it is an expression of the liberation of men that enlightens the viewers that everybody is socially handicapped (byung shin).

In 2001, Byung shin chum played by a Korean theatrical group in Daehangno has caused a controversy that the play could be discriminatory and offensive toward the handicapped. The Research Institute of the Differently Abled Person's Right in Korea (RIDRIK) expressed that although the freedom of expression is important in art, the form that makes fun of the allienated is the problem, and that they will cut off the old customs of the Korean society that humiliate the handicapped.