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What one thing would you change about Korea?
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Ody



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: over here

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

posco's trumpet wrote:

Maybe you're most people, but I'm not. Maybe your hometown is most places, but mine (NYC) isn't. There are probably hundreds of thousands of people living in my hometown who never learn a word of English, or at least never use it. I don't begrudge them that option, I don't discriminate against them for not learning or using English, and I would heartily defend their right to not learn it. Their presence in my hometown, and their ardent retention of their foreignness, provides much of NYC's vitality.


as one whose adult life was spent in NY, NY and childhood in Miami, FL, i couldn't agree more. in fact, i think this very same thing whenever challenged on the subject by those (Koreans) in the neighborhood who know me.

that i do not speak korean does not mean i am unfamiliar with the customs of this country. we live by them. just last week i was explaining the process of the traditional korean wedding to my college students (all girls) who have so little knowledge of it since few opt for this ceremony over the dry korean-style western one. I am also rather accomplished at conducting discussions about Korean tradition and holidays owing to the English vocabulary my husband and I have developed to describe the customs of this country for my own better understanding.

just this morning, my son asked me why i'm not learning Korean. i explained that i don't have time, that mommy's busy teaching English and cleaning the house. i pointed out to him that i'm also not very good at cooking (another activity i limit my time on) but that i'm good at painting which is why i spend my limited spare time in the studio.

as for the original question, i don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to answer it. interestingly though, after 12 years in the states, my Korean husband has plenty of ideas. one being that koreans are too timid, or controlled, he wishes there were more public figures with an avant-garde sensibility, like kim, yong oak [edit] (the bald headed monk-looking Harvard grad. who makes it known that he's smarter than most people). he believes that more critical discourses challenging traditional modes of thinking would benefit his country. he also thinks Korean children are over-worked and spoiled. just to name just a few.


Last edited by Ody on Thu Oct 16, 2003 9:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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desultude



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Location: Dangling my toes in the Persian Gulf

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Desultude wrote:

Quote:
Read a history book on Korea, pay attention to U.S. foriegn policy in general- the U.S. presence here is not magnanimous.


Posco's Trumpet replied:

Quote:
I've read books on Korean history, thank you very much. I've also read Machiavelli. Why do you think that any country's foreign policy should, can or might be magnanimous, for heaven sake?


I am certainly not saying that any country's foriegn policy should be magnanimous. People on this board often imply that Korean's are inadequately grateful. People in the U.S. are fed a steady diet of propaganda trying to convince them that they are being magnanimous. I have taught Machiavelli, as well as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, ad nauseum. But I try not to trot out credentials with these discussions. Just please be assured that I am not a naive wide-eyed liberal.

Desultude wrote:

Quote:
Were are guests in someone else's nation- look at the attitude most people in the U.S. have towards people who do not learn English immediately when they immigrate to the States. I am afraid I see a lot of hypocracy here- we should behave here the same way that we expect others to behave in our homes and our home nations.


Posco's Trumpet replied:

Quote:
Maybe you're most people, but I'm not. Maybe your hometown is most places, but mine (NYC) isn't. There are probably hundreds of thousands of people living in my hometown who never learn a word of English, or at least never use it. I don't begrudge them that option, I don't discriminate against them for not learning or using English, and I would heartily defend their right to not learn it. Their presence in my hometown, and their ardent retention of their foreignness, provides much of NYC's vitality.


My hometown is Miami. Language policy in Miami was also the topic of my dissertation research. I said look at the attitude that most people have in the United States, I clearly did not imply that this was my attitude. I know that non-Hispanic whites in Miami are incredibly intolerant of those speaking Spanish. I also know that the language assimilation rate in Miami is faster than it has been in the U.S. in general. There are just so many Latinos arriving there regularly that people think that no-one is learning English. Most of my Cuban American students at the University of Miami and Florida International University spoke little Spanish- and some of them were born in Cuba, some were second generation.

Immigrants in the United States have an ardent desire to achieve, and they know that means speaking English.

As someone said here on this thread, they are too busy with work and family to learn Korean. Try learning English when you arrive in the U.S. at the bottom of the food chain, necessitating two Mc jobs to survive. Most of us have pretty cush positions, with no families and lots of time to learn a new language- it is really a choice.

Desultude wrote:

Quote:
One thing I know, when and if I start being really unhappy here, I will leave as soon as possible. When you hate a place, you don't just make yourself miserable, you radiate it to everyone around you.


Posco's Trumpet replied:

Quote:
Schadenfreude is one of the great pleasures of life. If I make some small contribution to the Korea's stream of misery, I've improved my day.

Other people may feel comfortable making a profit off of people they like. I don't. As a result, I'd rather make money in Korea. I'll take the money elsewhere to spend it, and to live my remaining years in comfort, and in the pleasure knowing that I am living on money I leeched from those I disrespect (the con-mans's satisfaction at a grift well-run).


I am sorry that you are so unhappy- but I suspect that your ill-gotten gain will not rectify that. Life is what you are doing right now. Are you happy?
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