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what is there to korean culture?
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Homer
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jajdude,

After 4 years and some basic language lessons you feel able to pass judgement on the contents and depth of Korean culture?
Would you accept the same comment about a person moving to Canada, the US or a european nation and after a couple of years and some language training would say: There is not much to (insert your home countries name) culture. I find it to be.......

You have to be careful about making sweeping comments about culture based on your very limited personal experience. Like others said on here, the longer you stay the more you notice how little you know or understand about the culture here.

Finally, saying a country "doesn't have an interesting culture" is a judgement call. Have you been t these other parts of the world long enough to learn anything substantial?If not your comparison does not hold water.
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On the other hand



Joined: 19 Apr 2003
Location: I walk along the avenue

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three Dog Night:

Quote:
Many of us may come here expecting something "different", but that something different is not a push and a shove, a glare and a stare;


So, glaring and staring prevent you from appreciating a culture?

Quote:
we're perhaps expecting Orientalism, that Asian cultural flare of exquisiteness and ornate designs, love of nature and silk smiles


Sounds like you should've just stayed home and watched KUNG-FU re-runs.

Quote:
we ARE expecting something to compare our cultures by, and find Korea sorely lacking, particularly in regard this "chest-thumping" the Koreans do when it comes to "the glories of their 5,000 years of history and culture."


Yeah, thank God there's none of that nationalist chest-thumping in your beloved Japan. You think Koizumi visits those war criminal shrines just to get some fresh air?


Last edited by On the other hand on Sat Jul 19, 2003 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jajdude



Joined: 18 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Homer,

That's just my opinion and experience. Of course it's limited and prejudiced. And there simply isn't time in one's life to spend years in various countires and make well-based impressions. Yes, I am positive many other people all over the globe go to foreign countries for years and have ideas similar to mine. You think four years in a foreign country is a short time? I do not think so. It's a long time. How many people spend four years in a foreign country? Less than one per cent of the world's people I bet. So I stand by what I said. Korea, for me, does not have an interesting culture. But it's easy to find work and the pay is not bad.
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weatherman



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: what is there to korean culture? Reply with quote

kimcheeking wrote:
[ Try learning the language, the more language you learn the greater the depth of cultural understanding you willl attain.


Amen.. The language is the Key, only know enough to get me in trouble...
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I'm seeing is a bunch of hippie hocus-pocus from those who say Korea doesn't have any culture. I mean, hell, the country was a pothole on the road to Asia just a few generations ago. Rebuilding, replanting, reestablishing. For such a short time, a lot has been done. I really do feel that Koreans as a people are beginning to move into the personal development phase, after putting so much work into putting the country back together.

And I'm gonna be brutally honest : I spent a year studying in Australia and felt just about as left out of the loop as I did my first year in Korea. While I might understand the roots of today's typical young Aussie guy/gal a bit better than Joe American, I definitely am no expert.

What's with all the pressure on Korea? Personally, I find Japan even more void of any interesting culture, but I digress.
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hojucandy



Joined: 03 Feb 2003
Location: In a better place

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i just can't believe yu people! the reason i came back to korea after my first year here was the culture! admittedly korean modern life seems to obscure most of it, but, tap into the art world or the traditional music world and yu will find a fascinating and beautiful culture alive and well among a friendly and open section of society - the artists and musos.

tonight for instance, at the national centre for korean tradition performing arts (right next to seoul arts centre - take a taxi from sadang station exit 1 - ask for gung-rip-guk-ak-won) there is a free concert at 8pm. they have these nearly every weekend. there was one last night too.

i suggest yu learn korean and talk to people. you'll find culture a-plenty
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Theres something flawed about this thread. Every nation, every people, has the same amount of 'culture' -- just enough to get you through the day & through your life.

If youre talking about 'cultural difference' or exoticism, its all contingent on your base of comparison. To state that someone else's culture isnt 'interesting' says more about the speaker than the culture in question.
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ThreeDogNight



Joined: 30 May 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand wrote:
Three Dog Night:

Quote:
Many of us may come here expecting something "different", but that something different is not a push and a shove, a glare and a stare;


So, glaring and staring prevent you from appreciating a culture?

Quote:
we're perhaps expecting Orientalism, that Asian cultural flare of exquisiteness and ornate designs, love of nature and silk smiles


Sounds like you should've just stayed home and watched KUNG-FU re-runs.

Quote:
we ARE expecting something to compare our cultures by, and find Korea sorely lacking, particularly in regard this "chest-thumping" the Koreans do when it comes to "the glories of their 5,000 years of history and culture."


Yeah, thank God there's none of that nationalist chest-thumping in your beloved Japan. You think Koizumi visits those war criminal shrines just to get some fresh air?


1) Never cared for Kung-fu, since it 'WAS FILMED IN THE WEST!!"

2) A visit to war shrines? Has nothing to do with culture. Has everything to
do with, say, visiting a UN cemetary. Wow, what a cultural trip.

3) Glaring and Staring? Yeah, that's right. Total cultural slight when it
comes to most countries, including ours. Didn't notice this too much in
Japan. Not much in China or Thailand. But oh, I guess it just a cultural
norm I should accept and praise the rest. Right.
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Mashimaro



Joined: 31 Jan 2003
Location: location, location

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korea has culture its just not particularly interesting to 'most' foreigners. Japan's art, architecture, history (samurais, geisha etc.) just capture your imagination compared to Korea which just seems bland to me by comparison.
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gomurr



Joined: 04 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2003 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Mashimaro. Korea has it's own unique culture, even after 6 years here i'll be damned if i could pipoint it. After being in japan. China, Indonesia and the Philippines I would have to admit being more interested in those cultures more than Korea. Don't get me wrong, i've seen and lived in alot of different Korean cities and the one that I like the best is Kyong-Ju. But as far as I can tell, Korea is just a pale shadow of what Chinese culture is. Koreans are great borrowers just like the Romans were. Koreans have an inferiority complex when it comes to the rest of the world. ( To all Koreans don't worry all countries have some kind of complex, for Canada it's the old identity crisis)
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Watchful



Joined: 18 Jun 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2003 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi ~ !

So, you all have some good outlooks & opinions regarding the culture: would you consider joining my MSN group to share your thoughts & help get some good discussions going?

It's called "Seoul Cafe" and the purpose of it is to gain greater understanding between Westerners & Koreans (particularly in Seoul, but from anywhere is okay), and to have a place to vent/chat/& gain broader perspectives with not only other foreigners but Koreans & Foreigners.

http://groups.msn.com/SeoulCafe

The first message posted has 6 questions to get one started in sharing your experiences/opinions/arguments/questions, so I look forward to hearing from you there...

Watchful
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2003 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a different perspective to offer. When I first came to Korea in 2000 (my first time in Asia) I felt like I was bombarded with the obvious marks that Korea was a very different culture from mine--the biggest things being the different language and different writing everywhere. As time has gone on, I've gotten used to many of these differences and even found many similarities between Korean culture and my own. I still think that Korea has a very vibrant culture though--both modern and traditional.

I found the Moon Guidebooks to South Korea (by Robert Nilsen) is a great way to read up on some Korean culture and find interesting cultural things/tourist sites to see in Korea. You should check it out.
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Homer
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2003 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jajdude,

"Korea, for me, does not have an interesting culture."

Out of curiosity which country has an interesting culture and how do you define "interesting" in the case of culture?
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2003 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ThreeDogNight wrote:
3) Glaring and Staring? Yeah, that's right. Total cultural slight when it comes to most countries, including ours. Didn't notice this too much in Japan. Not much in China or Thailand. But oh, I guess it just a cultural norm I should accept and praise the rest. Right.


Oh, don't get me started with China and Japan. The only countries where I've walked into an establishment and have been refused service. I've been in Korea for 18 months, and I've never had that happen. Meanwhile, I visit Japan and China for a handful of days, oh shit! It's a foreigner! Kick him out!

Japan : A fucking ramen stand refused to serve me ramen, because I didn't speak Japanese(actually, I can speak enough to insult the fucking jackass who refused to serve me). Nevermind that my friend with me can speak Japanese...

China : You can't go into just any travel agency and get something booked. You have to go to special foreigner-designated agencies. I spent an entire day walking across Shanghai, just trying to buy some damn train tickets to Hong Kong.

And people sit around and bitch and moan about some stares? Please.
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