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Does anybody actually LIKE how Koreans roll?
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Threequalseven



Joined: 08 May 2012

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NYC_Gal 2.0 wrote:
I've stayed for extended periods in San Fran, Chicago, and Boston. I had all of those same conveniences within walking distance of where I was staying. Hell, I lived in London for a while, and had the same conveniences as well.

New York, San Fran, Chicago, Boston, London? These are all massive cities with millions upon millions of people. So I suppose it's easy to develop a perception that, "well we have big cities too, so what's the difference?" But you're totally ignoring the differences in size and scale. Sure, if you just fly from NYC to ORD to SFO, it's easy to not see a difference. But that doesn't factor in the vast, vast majority of Americans who don't live in big cities like that. In fact, the entire country of Korea is more densely populated than EVERY state in the USA. So you're missing the point completely if you're comparing cities like Mokpo to cities like Chicago and London! A small city of 200,000 in Korea is remarkably easy to live in without a car. A small city of 200,000 in the USA? No way.

As to all the other comments about Korean culture being subjective, I think that's pretty idealistic. That's basically saying that differences in culture don't exist anywhere then. Of course there are individual differences among people in the culture. Nobody's arguing that. But where I live in Korea, for example, it is totally acceptable to walk on the bike lanes without a second thought, and it's also acceptable to ignore your surroundings and anybody who might actually be using them for bicycling. Try that in Germany or even the United States, and you'll get cussed out in the first twenty minutes, guaranteed. That's a cultural difference. They definitely exist.
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're a jerk if you walk on a bike lane.

The above was a joke, by the way. That aside, I'm not ignoring that there is a difference, but it's not different to all Americans. That's the point. Again, there are plenty of small towns in Korea that don't have all of these conveniences. My friend loves living in rural areas, and has lived in 3 so far where these things weren't as easily accessible as you describe.

I'm not arguing that it's cool to have these things, but you are overgeneralizing.
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hiamnotcool



Joined: 06 Feb 2012

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

12ax7 wrote:
Captain Corea wrote:
One issue is... when we say things we like about Korea or Korean culture, it's bound to have overlap with other peoples and cultures. Same with the negative. So, if we say we hate the smog in Seoul, someone will chime in that LA has it worse. Or if we say it's great that Korea has a lot of multi-generational households, we'll easily find places where it's just as common overseas.

As well - what is Korean culture?

Is spitting on the sidewalk Korean culture? Driving on it? What about treating others to meals?

The thing is, there will always be average norms in society, outliers, and also things that are done that ppl may not like, but generally permit.

So at this point, when I see a question like this, I'm thoroughly confused.

After 11+ years here, I don't think I know what "Korean Culture" is anymore.


Yes, in the many years I've been here (going on twenty), Korean society has considerably changed.

My problem with threads such as this one is that they bring about far too many gross generalizations. For example, the drinking culture. Koreans supposedly love to drink, and yet of all my in-laws (and my wife has a very large extended family), I can count on one hand the ones who'll sit down and kick them back.


I'm not sure it's that all Koreans drink, it's that the drinking culture is different here. In the USA, at least from my experience getting absolutely 100% wasted wasn't really done with people over 40. Here it's not really that abnormal. The Confucian hierarchy plays a big role in the drinking culture too. Pouring drinks this way, drinking that way, making sure person X sits down first. I have 0 friends back home that would suggest hitting up a private Karaoke room with 6 other guys. If I got drunk and started yelling at people in the street, the cops would probably be called and they WOULD arrest me.

I admit I'm no saint, I enjoy the drinking culture here because it is so chaotic but controlled at the same time. I definitely have different experiences here when I drink than when I am in the States. That goes for a lot of other things here too. However, I can easily avoid these things and head to a Western bar.

If I had to generalize one way though I would generalize and say Koreans love to drink. That's only because a lot of Koreans tell me that though.
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Threequalseven wrote:
As to all the other comments about Korean culture being subjective, I think that's pretty idealistic. That's basically saying that differences in culture don't exist anywhere then. Of course there are individual differences among people in the culture. Nobody's arguing that. But where I live in Korea, for example, it is totally acceptable to walk on the bike lanes without a second thought, and it's also acceptable to ignore your surroundings and anybody who might actually be using them for bicycling. Try that in Germany or even the United States, and you'll get cussed out in the first twenty minutes, guaranteed. That's a cultural difference. They definitely exist.


Acceptable to who? The majority? The person doing it?

How do you know what most Koreans are thinking? Do you poll hundreds of adults on social issues and the like - heck, do you talk to many adults here?

That's one thing I find funny on this site - so many posters here teach kids, and have a VERY limited amount of interaction with Korean adults. They see things, and say "ah, ha!"

Maybe you're right though, maybe most Koreans believe that one should walk in bike paths. But I have to say, I've been teaching adults here for over a decade, and when we talk about these minor gripes, MOST of the time, they either agree with me, or have minor gripes of their own.

Just because some ppl do a certain thing here does NOT mean that it's liked.

If you ever have the chance, talk about "pet peeves" in a class - then ask them to tell you some of theirs.
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cdninkorea



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12ax7 wrote:
It all changed when Starbucks opened its first store near Ewha University somewhere between 1999 and 2001. Coffee became trendy and consumers started demanding a better quality brew.

I'd heard that the first Starbucks in Korea was in Myeong-dong in 1997, though I don't remember where...
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Threequalseven



Joined: 08 May 2012

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NYC_Gal 2.0 wrote:
But it's not different to all Americans. That's the point. Again, there are plenty of small towns in Korea that don't have all of these conveniences.

Yes, you are right. I can't argue that. But you have to at least acknowledge that the ratio of small towns, by population, with these conveniences is much higher in Korea than in America.

Captain Corea wrote:
Acceptable to who? The majority? The person doing it?

How do you know what most Koreans are thinking? Do you poll hundreds of adults on social issues and the like - heck, do you talk to many adults here?

This is almost the same argument NYC Gal is making. Just because something doesn't apply to everyone or every situation, it doesn't mean that it's not part of the culture. For example, how many people in America are serious football fans? Maybe 15%? 25%? I'm sure if you polled hundreds of Americans, the majority wouldn't care about football. But does that mean it's not part of the culture?
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And then it comes down to the question - what is part of a culture? At what number do we say "That's American/Korean/Canadian!!"

Just because something exists in a country, may not mean that it's an established/recognizable part of the culture.
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Threequalseven



Joined: 08 May 2012

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough. I think we're just splitting hairs at this point. My OP was merely an observation of things I've noticed that are different from home. It was never meant to be a catch-all judgement of the entire Korean culture. This makes me imagine a situation where the tables are turned, and a Korean guy asks, "Does anybody like how Americans roll?" One person might say, "I like their blue jeans and pickup trucks," while another person might say, "I like their skateboards and hackey-sacks." It doesn't really matter whether skateboards and pickup trucks are embraced by x number of people, or whether cities in other countries also have skateboards and pickup trucks.

Now, if the title of this post was "Does anybody like how an acceptable majority of Koreans roll?" or "Does anybody like how Koreans, and exclusively Koreans, roll?" then it would be a different story. Wink
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cdninkorea wrote:
12ax7 wrote:
It all changed when Starbucks opened its first store near Ewha University somewhere between 1999 and 2001. Coffee became trendy and consumers started demanding a better quality brew.

I'd heard that the first Starbucks in Korea was in Myeong-dong in 1997, though I don't remember where...


Nope, the first opened nearby Ehwa University. It opened on July 27, 1999.
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Threequalseven wrote:
NYC_Gal 2.0 wrote:
But it's not different to all Americans. That's the point. Again, there are plenty of small towns in Korea that don't have all of these conveniences.

Yes, you are right. I can't argue that. But you have to at least acknowledge that the ratio of small towns, by population, with these conveniences is much higher in Korea than in America.

Captain Corea wrote:
Acceptable to who? The majority? The person doing it?

How do you know what most Koreans are thinking? Do you poll hundreds of adults on social issues and the like - heck, do you talk to many adults here?

This is almost the same argument NYC Gal is making. Just because something doesn't apply to everyone or every situation, it doesn't mean that it's not part of the culture. For example, how many people in America are serious football fans? Maybe 15%? 25%? I'm sure if you polled hundreds of Americans, the majority wouldn't care about football. But does that mean it's not part of the culture?


I guess it's a fair point either way. I just had hot chocolate, so I'm happy enough to concede that point.
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Moondoggy



Joined: 07 Jun 2011

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like:

Warm-hearted people
Food
Culture

I dislike:

Too many smokers
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chungbukdo



Joined: 22 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love super cheap drinks, cheap taxis and easy access to busy night clubs.

I dislike that it is hard to find Korean people my age (young professionals) with any interests because their life consists of working at their low paying job at a company. It takes all of their time, so they don't even have time for their relationships let alone having some hobbies or reading some books. Their social life turns into the people they work with and seeing their girlfriend at a love motel on Saturday night. I find I meet very one dimensional people.

If you go to Canada or a Northern European country its very easy to find a person with a passion outside of their job, mainly because working hours are lower and people do not accept standing on a bus at 11pm for an hour and 15 minutes after work as an acceptable commute. And I don't just mean something stupid like photography. I mean having one friend who can build a fast car from the ground up, is really into marksmanship, and you can talk to about girls. And another guy you can go to with your computer because he does all his own builds, and he's into mobile phone tech and written an app just for fun, but doesn't really work in the tech industry, plus he's a competitive bodybuilder and has a home so big it would make millionaire celebrities in Ilsan drool yet he's 26. The same kind of trend is true with all the people from Norway and Sweden I meet, it seems they've all been to at least thirty countries.

A lot of my friends from university in Korea are on the fast track to having an ajossi soju belly and have no life other than office life. Their job takes so much time from them that they can't even join a gym because they can't get there during opening hours. And this is their reward for studying so hard and doing everything according to the Korean cultural plan. But hey, at least they got their 1.7 million training wage for four months and then the big 2.1 million won after that.
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Seoulman69



Joined: 14 Dec 2009

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a lot of the qualities that many Koreans have are double edged swords. They work hard and work well as part of a larger group, which are all good qualities. Sadly this sometimes leads to them being consumed by their job and wary of people outside their group.
I also find a lot of Koreans to be a lot less friendly than people in other countries. Having returned home for a while I forgot how rude, selfish, angry, and ill mannered many Koreans can be in their everyday life. Not only to foreigners but to each other.
I find the worst people in Korea to be kyopos though. Some are nice but I've found a high percentage to be very nasty.
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McQwaid



Joined: 18 Jan 2004

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I find the worst people in Korea to be kyopos though. Some are nice but I've found a high percentage to be very nasty.


I second that. OMG. I had no idea personalities could develope like that. WTF happened? My history tells me that they have a different kind of complex and cruel experience in Korea, and as a result, when they encounter the non-ethnic Korean Westerner, they (eh-hem) "pay it forward".
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eventually



Joined: 30 Nov 2011

PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NYC_Gal 2.0 wrote:
eventually wrote:
NYC_Gal 2.0 wrote:
eventually wrote:

i live in "ri," what is considered a village, and am within walking distance of many wonderful things (norebangs, restaurants, bars, internet cafes, etc) and have access to intercity public transportation in lots of places near or even right in front of my apartment...i can walk down a few blocks and catch a bus to seoul fairly easily and cheaply.

yes, korea IS compact. that's the point. that's what we like, as opposed to the US...

so what is gangwangdo? what's the population? i think a reasonable comparison is similar population.


Yes, but there are plenty of cities, such as my home city, that have all of those things. That's my point.

My friend lives in Gangwando. She has to ride her bike for 5 minutes just to get to town to buy milk. Bars? Only hofs are available. There's more to Korea than just cities, just as (inversely) there's more to the US than podunk towns.


your home town being NYC?

listen, right now i'm in the US. i grew up in small town, USA. i have lived in san francisco and places in between.

korea is FAR more likely to have far more services and restaurants and general resources in any given place. i still for the life of me cannot figure out why you are comparing a place that sounds like it's in the boondocks to Witchita, Kansas or any other small place in the states that isn't in the middle of the sticks or country. USA is spread out in such a way that people NEED cars. many other countries are not. this is not really up for debate.


I've stayed for extended periods in San Fran, Chicago, and Boston. I had all of those same conveniences within walking distance of where I was staying. Hell, I lived in London for a while, and had the same conveniences as well.

I needed a car in none of those places. You don't seem to get it. The US isn't some homogenous (not talking about the people here) place. Yes, SK is far more convenient compared to many places in the US (and other English-speaking countries,) but not all of them. It's the black and white generalizations with which I was arguing, not the rest.


hahaha, how did i miss this? you're a twit.

edit:

new york city
boston
chicago
san francisco
london
WITCHITA

one of these things is not like the other / one of these things doesn't belong
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