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Korean “petty minded creep” culture

 
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cmxc



Joined: 19 May 2008

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:48 pm    Post subject: Korean “petty minded creep” culture Reply with quote

A Korean writer at the Joongang daily suggests that an important concept to understand Koreans and their culture is the concept of the “Ggomsu.” The phrase became popularized in Korea as a result of a podcast criticizing the former President Lee. The idea, as the writer explains, is that many (if not most) Koreans are “petty minded creeps.”

Just as a reference, here are the definitions of these words from thefreedictionary.com:
Petty
1. trivial; trifling; inessential: petty details.
2. of a narrow-minded, mean, or small-natured disposition or character: petty spite.
3. minor or subordinate in rank: petty officialdom.

Creep
1. The act of creeping; a creeping motion or progress.
2. [Slang] An annoyingly unpleasant or repulsive person.

The writer goes on to express his opinions that because being a petty minded creep is so widespread in Korea, especially among Chaebols, who used pettiness to copy their way to success in the past, they are experiencing big barriers to success now and in the near term future because they don’t have any other companies to steal ideas from:
“Now, however, it’s time to change. Korean companies that are at the forefront of the world market, like Samsung, express the fear that there are no global companies in front of them for them to chase - or imitate. They have never gone into such a lonely battle before in which there is no place for ggomsu-like behavior. It’s time for them to compete with the unknown, and that’s called innovation.”

I encourage people to read the full article, but it is fascinating that Koreans are willing to admit what many non-Koreans have observed about Korean: 1)the narrow-mindedness, and 2) the annoying unpleasantness.

Being petty works but diminishes innovation
http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2982891&cloc=joongangdaily|home|newslist1
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happiness



Joined: 04 Sep 2010

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe or maybe not, but Im less interested in what the locals may be, and more interested in what I may be.

Every culture has its own footprint, and some may be more "relevant" to modern global society.

Why do we care if Korea is innovative or not, creative or not. You dont know me, but Im super-artistic. Ive created a lot of art works. Why do i care if someone else is, unless I need them to work with me.

If the locals were physically bothering me or whatnot, Id have an issue, but otherwise,
let them do what they want, no?

and sloganeering and idealistic speech is the norm here, Ill wait until I see something...I never take slogans and gradoise dreams seriously.
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atwood



Joined: 26 Dec 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a funny article, or would be, if it wasn't trying to express such a sad fact of the Korean mindset. And I say trying to because as part of that mindset the author can't help but say positive things about it and downplay its downsides.
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jazzmaster



Joined: 30 Sep 2013

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The closer you get to Koreans the more likely they are to complain about many aspects of Korean life and fellow Koreans.
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yodanole



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Location: La Florida

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A certain degree of introspection is often useful.
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jcd



Joined: 13 Mar 2012

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading the article I still don't understand the word and how it will help me understand Korean culture any better.
I know that Koreans do a lot of things out of spite and can be seen as petty and argumentative.
But what does that have to do with the president promising to not privatize the trains. They think she is lying. I don't see why they need to make a new word for it.
I don't get the other examples.
Not innovative =ggomsu
White collar crime= playing ggomsu
also can mean being adaptable
Seems like the word is very flexible, could the word just be replaced by &(*(& or not (*&(&?
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jdog2050



Joined: 17 Dec 2006

PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jcd wrote:
After reading the article I still don't understand the word and how it will help me understand Korean culture any better.
I know that Koreans do a lot of things out of spite and can be seen as petty and argumentative.
But what does that have to do with the president promising to not privatize the trains. They think she is lying. I don't see why they need to make a new word for it.
I don't get the other examples.
Not innovative =ggomsu
White collar crime= playing ggomsu
also can mean being adaptable
Seems like the word is very flexible, could the word just be replaced by &(*(& or not (*&(&?


From what I gathered, the word seems to imply a kind of "cowardly cageyness". It's a catchall for using guile and vaguery to worm your way into and out of situations.

In political terms, you have PGH saying "There will be no privitization of the railroads", with no specifics as to what that means. Same with 2MB and the 4 Rivers project.

In the tech world, Samsung and LG "fast followed" their way to the top, but now that they're there, aren't showing any signs of innovation. Hell, Apple is pretty stale now, but you have to admit that their fingerprint ID tech is sweet and smoothly integrated. Samsung and LG still don't have anything like that. They're kind of back to where they were 7 years ago--shoving more and more tech into their phones hoping people will be swayed with doo-dads instead of usability. Basically now that there's no more "wiggle room" their true colors of being ggomsu is shining through.
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Jake_Kim



Joined: 27 Aug 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jcd wrote:
I don't get the other examples.
Not innovative =ggomsu
White collar crime= playing ggomsu
also can mean being adaptable
Seems like the word is very flexible, could the word just be replaced by &(*(& or not (*&(&?


ggomsu is rather close to a 'cunning, deceptive move/trick/manipulation'.
In a cynically-told version of the famous 'stone soup' story, say, General Patton's version, it's a story of a hungry traveler achieving his goal by tricking villagers when an honest or direct approach is blocked/rejected/disallowed. (as opposed to the story being about collective contribution and cooperation)
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Died By Bear



Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Location: On the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You want to know what's creepy? This is creepy.



http://www.news.com.au/world/how-kim-jongun-executed-his-uncle-with-starving-dogs/story-fndir2ev-1226794492233



AFTER North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un declared his uncle to be "despicable human scum, worse than a dog," details of his execution have emerged.

The details were disclosed in a report, where unlike previous executions of political prisoners which were carried out by firing squads with machine guns, Jang Song Thaek was stripped naked and thrown into a cage, along with his five closest aides, the Straits Times reports.

"Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called "quan jue", or execution by dogs."


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The report said the entire process lasted for an hour, with Mr Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader in North Korea, supervising it along with 300 senior officials.

The horrifying report vividly depicted the brutality of the young North Korean leader. The fact that it appeared in a Beijing- controlled newspaper showed that China no longer cares about its relations with the Kim regime.
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atwood



Joined: 26 Dec 2009

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to Confucius, or at least attributed to him (and he may have gotten it from others), true revenge was when you ate the corpse of your dead enemy.
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Died By Bear



Joined: 13 Jul 2010
Location: On the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

atwood wrote:
According to Confucius, or at least attributed to him (and he may have gotten it from others), true revenge was when you ate the corpse of your dead enemy.



Yeah, I bet they ate the dogs a few days later.
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