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Do kyopos experience any discrimination in Korea?
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Jodami



Joined: 08 Feb 2013

PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yaya wrote:
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.


Excellent post. I think that just about nails it. I've met a few nice gyopos during my time, however I met a few white haters as well. Never did understand where all the hate came from.
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Francis-Pax



Joined: 20 Nov 2005

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: Do kyopos experience any discrimination in Korea? Reply with quote

Trolling?

Captain Corea wrote:
I've seen various examples myself, but I'm curious as to others' experiences with this.
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Stain



Joined: 08 Jan 2014

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:46 am    Post subject: Re: Do kyopos experience any discrimination in Korea? Reply with quote

Francis-Pax wrote:
Trolling?

Captain Corea wrote:
I've seen various examples myself, but I'm curious as to others' experiences with this.


All posts are trolling. Everyone on the internet is trolling in some way or another, and those who call out trolls are just trolls with nothing to say.
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ghostrider



Joined: 27 Jun 2011

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Korean American talks about her encounter with a Korean woman who got upset at her for speaking English:

"She was saying how she wanted to kill us and how if she had a knife she would've killed us on the spot because we were speaking English in Korea."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPWLrVcIxoo
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joelove



Joined: 12 May 2011

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was years ago, but I used to hang out with a Korean-American guy in Seoul, and worked with others. I'll just use the guy I knew and give secondhand information about the way he saw it and how he was treated sometimes. Once or twice I witnessed it too when we were out for food/drink.

His Korean ability wasn't that good. Good enough to manage basic conversation I think, and perhaps with a strange, well American, accent. I'm imagining this throws native Koreans off a lot when they naturally assume the Korean-looking person is a local and expect language fluency and awareness of cultural norms and all that stuff. It has to be confusing for many Kyopos to adjust to as well.

I saw an old ajosshi dude get angry at him for speaking English, though he was talking to me. A white guy. You know the type, it was rude as hell, "Ya, Han Guk Mal Hae" -- oh well of course you'll encounter crap like that once in a while. The intolerant and narrow-minded ajosshi is not a rare specimen.

(One Korean-Canadian girl I worked with once got berated pretty harshly at work by the older man too. He would not have spoken to a white girl like that, I doubt. He seemed like a nice guy usually, at least to me. That was awful. She was really upset. She hated Korea and the attention she got with her white boyfriend. She didn't stay too long.)

He complained even about getting stared at. Weird, because he was totally ethnically Korean, both parents. Maybe he was a bit paranoid. He said he'd get a lot of attention for speaking English so naturally well as an American, in public, on his phone or with someone. Or even from reading an English language book on the subway, he imagined.

Man, this guy was quite an asshole too. He'd hit on any girl anywhere. I mean just walking down the street, especially when he was drunk. He'd lie about his job and age. Very self-centered and egotistical. But kind of fun to hang out with all the same. Eh, sometimes it was hard to choose your buddies over there.
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wanderkind



Joined: 01 Jan 2012
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nate1983 wrote:
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.


Definitely agree. Most of the gyopos I know who don't speak Korean at or near native-level get shit on routinely for not knowing the language well enough. I'm sure there are times when it's not commented on or people compliment them, but the negative stuff tends to be the most memorable you know?

The other thing I've heard from gyopo guys is minor->major griping about Korean women not being interested in gyopo men. I don't know as much about this, but given that both times I heard this complaint / apoplectic rant (post-their being shot down) we were in a foreigner bar I speculated maybe they were looking in the wrong place.

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

Haha, that would be great. I don't mind on the subway cause one of you will have to get off sooner than later probably, but when there's no end in sight it grinds my gears.

A couple weeks ago a Korean guy asked to join me on the squash court, but as soon as the ball landed on his side he picked it up and launched into an English monologue, clearly wanting to practice speaking, and clearly with no intention of resuming play. Buy me a snack or let's go for a hike, or find me sitting with nothing to do and I'll be perfectly happy to practice English with you. Interrupt me and try to hold me hostage to a conversation and I'm a lot less amenable. How does someone think that is ok?
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jvalmer



Joined: 06 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wanderkind wrote:
I don't know as much about this, but given that both times I heard this complaint / apoplectic rant (post-their being shot down) we were in a foreigner bar I speculated maybe they were looking in the wrong place.

Your speculation is right, he's going to the wrong places. Girls in foreigner bars look for 'obvious' foreigners. Most Korean girls look for Korean guys, and gyopo would be a bonus for them, as long as they don't meet the mother. Immigrant Korean parents tend to be on the ultra-conservative side, considering most left Korea like 25 years ago.
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Yaya



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jvalmer wrote:
wanderkind wrote:
I don't know as much about this, but given that both times I heard this complaint / apoplectic rant (post-their being shot down) we were in a foreigner bar I speculated maybe they were looking in the wrong place.

Your speculation is right, he's going to the wrong places. Girls in foreigner bars look for 'obvious' foreigners. Most Korean girls look for Korean guys, and gyopo would be a bonus for them, as long as they don't meet the mother. Immigrant Korean parents tend to be on the ultra-conservative side, considering most left Korea like 25 years ago.


Things have changed in Korea vis-a-vis perceptions of gyopos over the past few decades. When I first came here in the mid-1990s, Korean women were greatly attracted to gyopos because many of the former wanted to leave Korea so badly. With Korea having advanced in many ways since then, however, Korean women will go for gyopo men only if a) they want out of Korea, which isn't that likely as it was in the 1990s; b) if the gyopo men are high-level professionals who command big salaries; and c) if they can't get better Korean-Korean men.

And well, now the Korean men are getting into the act of dating foreigners, and more power to them.
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cbmufc



Joined: 17 Jun 2014

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have to say there are more positives than negatives, around 70-30 ratio depending mainly on language ability. I'm not fluent, but I can pull off a good accent so most people assume I'm Korean so I haven't been berated for not speaking the language or not following cultural norms.

Most kyopos that visit, work, or live in Korea in my experience have overwhelmingly positive experiences, especially males but plenty of female gyopo friends loved visiting Korea too. For the guys, at least, we're not bottom-feeder anymore like we are back in the states. We get a lot more attention from the females once they learn we're kyopos. Some of the females seem to be attracted by our ability to speak English, or still, many dream of marrying and moving abroad where they don't have to deal with the stresses of Korean adult womanhood in the workforce or their own archaic family values.

I'd have to slightly disagree with the above poster about attractions to kyopos being less now than the 90's. Today, there's so many foreigners including kyopos so there isn't as much of a wow factor like before, but being a female in korea still sucks. Many still want to study or live abroad, and see a kyopo as a great option for a mate without all the baggage and drama of marrying into another traditional korean family. My wife is korean-korean. we live in the US now. Her friends occasionally tell her, jokingly or not, how much they envy her and how lucky she is.

I personally didn't get a lot of crap from older males/adjoshis, but again it's probably due to being able to speak the language. Most young guys are kind of awkward when meeting you because they're not sure how to address you with all the seniority stuff, but usually think positively of kyopos. The adjoshis and adjummas are usually impressed when you tell them you're from the US or wherever. I think most of the kyopos that have negative experiences with the older adults have them because they speak loudly in English for an annoyingly long time in a closed space (taxi, crowded bus/subway, etc).

workplace? the place I worked treated me well, but I'm sure other kyopos have been discriminated against. Overall though, the kyopo experience in Korea is a positive one.
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catman



Joined: 18 Jul 2004

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought gyopo males had an easier time than the gyopo ladies do?
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cbmufc



Joined: 17 Jun 2014

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

catman wrote:
I thought gyopo males had an easier time than the gyopo ladies do?


they do. I was just saying gyopo girls generally like korea... minus the dating/relationship scene
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Yaya



Joined: 25 Feb 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I've simply been in Korea longer than most gyopos. I disagree that the gyopo experience is a largely positive one because many times, you want to fit in but no matter how much you try or do, you won't be accepted nearly as much as you think. Many times, Koreans will exploit the gyopo willingness to fit in, as in pour extra work on you and stuff.

I've gotten also fluent in the Korean language, and getting better on that front has had minimal benefit in many ways. Even expats have spoken of how becoming fluent in Korean is a double-edged sword in that you hear what Koreans REALLY think of you and the like.

I've also heard of quite a few Korean women living in the U.S. who miss Korea and consider returning, sort of Stockholm syndrome.

And gosh, Korea can do with fewer gyopos, many of whom go around thinking they're hot stuff when many would be lower than schmucks on the street in the West.

As for gyopo women, well, I've heard of how many can't stand the social mores they're held to, like doing the dishes and cooking. I'm sure many gyopo girls do like Korea but for a short time, and that's the thing about keeping the gyopo experience positive in Korea -- sweet and short.
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pkjh



Joined: 23 May 2008

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gyopo myself, Korean is intermediate, I do understand way more than I can put into words though. Just love it here. If you don't have any family here, it is virtually impossible to fit into the culture because it's so much based on blood ties. Otherwise, it's pretty easy.

It isn't too hard to fit into the culture, at least for a male. Just don't be an a-hole to people then you're usually fine. I can see why gyopo girls have problems here, but that's because it's there older relatives expecting them to fit into traditional roles. Also, for all 20-something gyopos, you've got to be less sensitive too, and not take Korean's criticisms to personally. I'm no longer in my 20's and I had to deal with the all racism, and douches, back home to thicken my skin. But it was always minor stuff. It usually bothered my sister, and some friends, but I never let it get to me.

Anyways, gender-role attitudes are changing fast. Once was at my aunt's home with my cousin and his new bride. My aunt basically said, along with another aunt, that my cousin's new wife didn't have to do any cooking, or work, since they wanted her to come back next year. Also, they probably expect my cousin not to continue the ancestor veneration after my parent's generation all pass-on.
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cbmufc



Joined: 17 Jun 2014

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yaya wrote:
.
And gosh, Korea can do with fewer gyopos, many of whom go around thinking they're hot stuff when many would be lower than schmucks on the street in the West.


lol true, but you might as well add foreigners, especially ESLers, in there. Can't blame them too much. I mean even a good-looking kyopo guy isn't going to get much attention from females in the west other than from other asians. But come over to K-land and all the sudden go from bottom-of-totempole, unsexy, unnoticed, foreign, other... to the majority of the girls taking notice and interest in you and treating you like you're "hot stuff".. it's obviously a huge ego boost. It's not just us kyopos experiencing this though. Plenty of waygooks who you look at and think "this guy was a nobody back home", are also getting gf's and wives and having a better time with females in general than they ever did back home. And they too, like many kyopos, strut around thinking they're hot stuff. But hey if they're happy then that's cool with me.
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jjajangmyun



Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Location: way down south!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cbmufc wrote:
lol true, but you might as well add foreigners, especially ESLers, in there. Can't blame them too much. I mean even a good-looking kyopo guy isn't going to get much attention from females in the west other than from other asians. But come over to K-land and all the sudden go from bottom-of-totempole, unsexy, unnoticed, foreign, other... to the majority of the girls taking notice and interest in you and treating you like you're "hot stuff".. it's obviously a huge ego boost. It's not just us kyopos experiencing this though. Plenty of waygooks who you look at and think "this guy was a nobody back home", are also getting gf's and wives and having a better time with females in general than they ever did back home. And they too, like many kyopos, strut around thinking they're hot stuff. But hey if they're happy then that's cool with me.


LOL. This is so me.

And I don't care. So why should anybody else? is somebody keeping score or something?
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