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Do kyopos experience any discrimination in Korea?
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:48 pm    Post subject: Do kyopos experience any discrimination in Korea? Reply with quote

I've seen various examples myself, but I'm curious as to others' experiences with this.
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chrisinkorea2011



Joined: 16 Jan 2011

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes they hate me. DAMN my hybrid genes! lol

But seriously in the almost four years ive been here, ive never experienced any real discrimination. Ive had douchebag servers/baristas but then again they were douches to everyone they waited on so I think that was just part of their personality. Ive actually been treated warmer because of it.

Although when I first applied I remember a recruiter getting my photo and saying "oh the hagwon might not hire you because you are mixed korean." to which I replied "if youre too much of a bitch to even try because youre scared of not getting your commission or dont have even a shred of backbone, i most certainly will not help you get any money." And dropped them like a bad habit. The next day my new recruiter secured me a job within a day.
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oppa637



Joined: 05 Dec 2011

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the workplace, yes, a ton. But I refuse to work overtime so that may be why.
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chrisinkorea2011



Joined: 16 Jan 2011

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually to be honest CC, being a K(g)yopo has helped me a ton. It almost feels like the moms of students I tutor or even the principals I have worked with trust me more. However I always tell them "I appreciate everything but please remember I am from USA and act in such a manner that I will not bend over backwards for you." Or something very similar to that because I hate preferential treatment.
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Applying for jobs- It can help or hurt.
Service at restaurants- It can help or hurt.
Making friends- It can help or hurt.
With the ladies- It can help or hurt.
With other foreigners- It can help or hurt.

Some Koreans take issue with you over it and won't be as forgiving towards you as with other foreigners, some people give you special treatment.

I have a friend who speaks exclusively English at hotels and with airlines because he says he gets treated better.

I've had Korean people give me way more grief over certain things, many language or manner-related that they wouldn't towards other foreigners.

I've had some drunk guy rant at me for being Japanese.

I've had some drunk guy in a Japanese bar rant at me for speaking English on Hangul Day. Laughing

From other foreigners, the always enjoyable "You speak English well." (sound similar to the chopstick stuff we rant about?)

Witness other foreigners speak and act a certain way, slightly offensive and bigoted, and then adjust and compose themselves after realizing I'm fluent in English and American as they are.

Had one dude in a foreigner bar start crap with me because I was the only Asian (Korean?) male in the bar.

It is what it is. Similar stuff happened back home, stuff happens here. Like I said, there's bad and good all around here or back home and most people who give you racial grief are just general a-holes to begin with and they only use race as their style of being an a-hole.
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Zyzyfer



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

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SteelRails killing a thread that he basically requested. Classic!
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nate1983



Joined: 30 Mar 2008

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korea is a country where first impressions count a lot. It's also a place where a lot of emphasis is placed on physical appearance. Couple these with the fact that Korea is a very homogeneous country, and you get what you get when anyone is not a born-and-raised Korean. "Gyopo" is sort of an ambiguous word, as it could refer to a person who is 3rd or 4th generation and has no linguistic or cultural knowledge of Korea, someone who was born overseas and raised in a traditional Korean environment/community, or someone who moved overseas when they were older. I referred to a Korean adoptee friend of mine who lived in Korea until he was 5 and another Korean friend and I had quite a debate about whether he was a gyopo or not (I was on the affirmative).

If you're a gyopo who doesn't speak Korean like a native, you probably won't get a lot of the grief that other foreigners do (getting hassled at the airport about being "American army", taxi drivers not picking you up because they don't want to deal with you, the presumption you don't speak Korean), but you may be subject to other forms of exclusions and could be placed in a "no man's land".

I think a lot of your treatment as a gyopo depends on your language ability. A gyopo with near-native Korean ability will probably avoid a lot of negative treatment that a gyopo with fumbling language skills would receive. If you have trouble communicating in Korean as a gyopo, or simply prefer English, people could wonder "what's wrong with you" just based on the fact you look Korean. On the other hand, someone of another ethnicity could never really avoid some of the other elements simply by becoming fluent in Korean.

There are a lot of well-meaning folk who could come off as patronizing to a long-term foreign resident in Korea; my Korean is quite good, but I do get annoyed when shopkeepers pay special attention or try to accost me in English. On the other hand, I get similarly annoyed when I'm in Japan or China and people yak at me in Japanese or Chinese and I feel like saying "DO I LOOK LIKE I SPEAK FREAKING CHINESE?" Same for some non-Asian countries where I obviously look like I'm a tourist - guess you can't have it both ways.
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Jodami



Joined: 08 Feb 2013

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nate1983 wrote:
Korea is a very homogeneous country


Nonsense. Are you a Korean Adjoshi peddling the rather tedious party line?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_in_South_Korea#Marriages_between_Koreans_and_non-Koreans


http://next.upi.com/archive/2012/03/07/Korean-traditions-challenged-as-mixed-marriages-soar/6361331162839/

"International marriages now make up more than 9% of all marriages in Korea."


The percentage of mixed marriages in Korea is far far higher than in my country. Wink
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Captain Corea



Joined: 28 Feb 2005
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chrisinkorea2011 wrote:
to which I replied "if youre too much of a bitch to even try because youre scared of not getting your commission or dont have even a shred of backbone, i most certainly will not help you get any money." And dropped them like a bad habit. The next day my new recruiter secured me a job within a day.


Gyopo or not, that's the type of guy I'd hang with. Good on ya.
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faeriehazel



Joined: 04 Mar 2008

PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think gyopos have to deal with a lot of unfair expectations because they look like any other Korean. Korea has this old fashioned idea that "Korean-ness" is something born in the blood, so if you are ethnically Korean, many Koreans expect you to BE Korean - speak the language, understand the culture, etc etc. My family moved to Korea when I was 13 and forced me to attend a public school outside of Seoul, after living my entire life in the US. My peers and my teachers did not understand why my Korean was so poor and why I did so badly in all my classes, or why I freaked out when other students invaded my personal space (really Koreans have no concept of personal space or privacy) and they really had no sympathy for me whatsoever. It was pretty miserable.

As a teacher, I've had to deal with my bosses at work treating me differently from my foreign colleagues. I'm expected to do a lot of stuff that is not in my job description "because you're Korean and you understand our culture." These people would never dream of asking a foreign teacher to do extra stuff, but they think it's okay because hey, I'm Korean.

I've also encountered Koreans who harbor a weird resentment towards gyopos, even when I was in middle/high school. They have told me I'm being arrogant or that I'm showing off when I speak English or otherwise "act American" (well, they used to, when I was in school; no one's said that to my face as an adult).

But life as a kyopo in Korea is still easier than it is for most foreigners.
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jvalmer



Joined: 06 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jodami wrote:
nate1983 wrote:
Korea is a very homogeneous country


Nonsense. Are you a Korean Adjoshi peddling the rather tedious party line?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_in_South_Korea#Marriages_between_Koreans_and_non-Koreans


http://next.upi.com/archive/2012/03/07/Korean-traditions-challenged-as-mixed-marriages-soar/6361331162839/

"International marriages now make up more than 9% of all marriages in Korea."

The percentage of mixed marriages in Korea is far far higher than in my country. Wink

And 99% of those 9% is with another asian. A large chunk of them ethnic Koreans from China. And their kids will look pretty much Korean, and when they come of age, most will keep their non-Korean parent a well guarded secret. Korea is pretty much homogenous and will stay that way for a long long time.
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kinda got to lean with Jodami on this one. Out in the countryside at least mixed marriages are so common that there are serious programs out here to promote things, heavily funded too. We have enough OBVIOUSLY mixed kids at my school that every other NET that visits comments on it within a day of camp.

It's sort of at the point of "Who doesn't have a relative within one or two steps remove that is foreign?"

I mean its enough that the "mixed" families have formed general circles to see to their kids interests and then within they each have their own circles Korean-Chinese, Korean-Filipino, and Korean-Japanese(backed by the Moonies) are the big ones.
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Jodami



Joined: 08 Feb 2013

PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jvalmer wrote:

And 99% of those 9% is with another asian. A large chunk of them ethnic Koreans from China. And their kids will look pretty much Korean, and when they come of age, most will keep their non-Korean parent a well guarded secret. Korea is pretty much homogenous and will stay that way for a long long time.


Yawn. Korea has one of the highest rates of international marriages in the world. OVER NINE FRIGGIN PERCENT, 9%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As mentioned, the statistics for my own country are FAR FAR LESS than Korea's. Smile

Korea needs to get used to this fact sooner rather than later. I can't think of one long term Western friend in Korea, who hasn't ended up marrying a Korean woman. It's rife!

Korean adjoshis can keep on burying their heads in the sand, peddling their lies for as long as they want. Facts are - Korea has moved towards having one of the highest rates of international marriages in the world. Shocked Shocked

Even the most ardent of Koreaphiles can't disagree with this.

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Yaya



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I faced discrimination before in the 1990s, when I first came to Korea, in applying for jobs. I had people say to my face that they won't hire a gyopo because it's bad for biz. I knew that beforehand so I didn't let it bother me, and I'm thinking many hakwons still have that mentality.

In the non-ESL workplace, well, many staff consider you not 100-percent Korean and anytime you act "Western," that will reinforce that point in their minds. Anytime you don't act with the crowd can cost you points with bosses and managers unless you have buckshot credentials (i.e., Harvard MBA). I remember a line that rings so true about gyopos in Korea: Koreans expect gyopos to ACT Korean yet won't treat them the same in the end.

That said, there are advantages to being gyopo, as in you won't be approached by Koreans seeking English conversation practice.
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cdninkorea



Joined: 27 Jan 2006
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yaya wrote:

That said, there are advantages to being gyopo, as in you won't be approached by Koreans seeking English conversation practice.


I've heard from white foreigners that were here in the 90's that that happened a lot then. I'm grateful that aside from elderly people staring at me, people leave me alone on the subway.
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