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Koreans and Suicides
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Jake E. Lee



Joined: 08 Mar 2004

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 12:54 am    Post subject: Koreans and Suicides Reply with quote

Last week a 30 year old Seoul National University Law School student was strangled and thrown out the window of her 10th floor apartment by her psychotic ex-boyfriend after she refused to get back together. He also jumped after her.
Last month a high school student succumbed to the extreme academic pressures and killed herself by jumping from the roof of a building.
Both were close friends of two of my students.
I read in Korea Times that Korea ranks number 4 (behind Finland, Hungary, and Japan) in suicides.
More than 200 people die every week from suicides in Korea.
That is a staggering statistic.
What is it with Koreans and suicides?
I'm inclined to believe that it's due to a lack of self-esteem brought on by parents who showed their children little or no affection during their formative years.
I was really saddened by the women's deaths.
Tragic.
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kermo



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Location: Eating eggs, with a comb, out of a shoe.

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last month, a student from the middle school next to my elementary school killed herself.

If I had to play armchair psychologist, which I'm pitifully underqualified to do, I would say that Korean culture puts a great deal of pressure on individuals to succeed materially, academically, and to be quite good-looking to boot. The Confucian ethos means everything you do reflects on your family, so many young people find themselves played as pawns rather than nurtured as individuals.

There have been links on this board recently pointing to chronic high stress and breakdowns in sexual relationships in marriage, which is a hot pot to stew in.
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stvwrd



Joined: 31 Mar 2005

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting that I live on campus at Seoul National University and I only hear news about it from this message board.
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Merlyn



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I see on tv and in music videos, a lot of Koreans seem to have no control over their feelings at all and over react. They seem to break down and cry, or completely blow up, over everything that happens, be it an ended relationship, or what have you. I'm not saying that this is the way it is in real life, but perhaps some Koreans have been influenced to some degree by what they've see on tv and believe that driving their cars into water and just letting themselves sit there is normal behaviour when something doesn't go their way. For that matter I've never seen so many videos with the drowning theme either.
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Jake E. Lee



Joined: 08 Mar 2004

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't mention the name of the school to get recognition.
So what if you live on campus?
The incident occurred last Tuesday.
FU for putting a taint on my report, douchebag.
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stvwrd



Joined: 31 Mar 2005

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

um...

huh?

I just meant funny how no one talks about this stuff that goes on. Like the guy that got the crap beat out of him a few weeks ago in the library. Not that I blame people for not talking about it I guess, I would just expect to hear .something about it.

didn't mean anything by it. I should be more explicit when implying something. Sorry, the suicide really is a tragedy. It's something I studied as a Sociology major and Psychology minor and take it seriously
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Apple Scruff



Joined: 29 Oct 2003

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merlyn wrote:
a lot of Koreans seem to have no control over their feelings at all and over react.


Jake E. Lee wrote:
I didn't mention the name of the school to get recognition.
So what if you live on campus?
The incident occurred last Tuesday.
FU for putting a taint on my report, douchebag.


Emotional retardation is not exclusively a Korean trait.
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reincarnation puts a different spin on it, for those who believe in it.
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Konundrum



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Reincarnation puts a different spin on it, for those who believe in it.


I don't think it has much to do with reincarnation at all...I think it has more to do with "saving face". They feel like they are inadequate or cannot face their self perceived short comings so suicide is the answer over societal ridicule.
Just look at all the businessmen, high school officials and government officials who have been caught or accused of misdeeds...many have killed themselves rather than face consequences or trials.
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chest rockwell



Joined: 16 May 2005
Location: Sanbon

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madness! My middle-school students told me just the other day that teen suicide in Korea is massive because theres 2 much pressure on them to perform. I mean how many academies do they attend after theyve actually finished going to school? And school on Saturday? What the hell!
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Pyongshin Sangja



Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Location: I love baby!

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe it's because they don't eat enough.
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Swiss James



Joined: 26 Nov 2003
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard it was because of confucianism/kimchi/their colonial past/being too conservative/spitting on the street etc.
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inkoreaforgood



Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Location: Inchon

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Swiss James wrote:
I heard it was because of confucianism/kimchi/their colonial past/being too conservative/spitting on the street etc.


Hmm, I could see that, people dying because they spit on the street. Then the bus goes flying by, hits the brakes and slliiiiiiiip!!! Shocked
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Ya-ta Boy



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Established in 1994

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't think it has much to do with reincarnation at all...I think it has more to do with "saving face".



I agree that saving face has a lot to do with the short term part of it. But those who believe in reincarnation look at it as a chance to start over. Death doesn't have the same sense of finality as it does to non-believers. The famous definition of suicide as a long term solution to a short term problem doesn't make the same kind of sense to a believer in reincarnation.
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Jake E. Lee



Joined: 08 Mar 2004

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reincarnation, like heaven above us, or nirvana for some, are concepts, and as long as they remain so our earthly desires and want for justice will trump any fantasies. I'm pretty sure that was one of the messages behind the Enlightenment. So who would choose religion over humanism?
Middle school girls jumping off of buildings didn't do it out of religious beliefs.
They did it because life fucking sucked and it wasn't fair.
Korea, Japan, Finland and Hungary must have something in common.
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