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Anti-Korean sentiment...? (long)
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Pilcrshr



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:16 pm    Post subject: Anti-Korean sentiment...? (long) Reply with quote

I am not responding to any specific post, but it seems like there is quite a bit of animosity towards Korean culture here on these forums. I find it interesting to hear all these rants about Korea and how messed up it is here. There are certainly quite a few things about Korea that I and many others here do not agree with, but hey...no one is keeping us here. I know that this board is here to provide a common ground in which we can post our feelings and attitudes, but sometimes we need to be a bit more understanding.

Although the Korean ethnic identity as well as culture has been around for over 1500 years (don't quote me on this one Smile ), it wasn't until recently that Korean society has made leaps and bound in terms of technological and financial growth within the past 30 years. A fairly recent integration into the world economy still shows in that they do not have a complete understanding of Western culture and philosophy. To us, Western culture is a way of life and sometimes its idealogy may seem like God-given rights, but it doesn't mean that the rest of the world believes in the same things. I certainly am an advocate for free speech, the elimination of social heirarchy based on age and position, etc., but sometimes it takes time to adopt these types of freedoms into a traditionally closed culture.

Hopefully we will see a change in some attitudes and cultural views, but it takes time. Growing pains of an emerging country. I believe most countries have gone through similar pains in their developmental stages, but Korea just happened to be a late-comer to the party. Global capitalism and commerce will be driving factor of this adaptation as they must respect the cultures and tradition of those foreign entities. But alas, we are in Korea and have made the decision to come here, so we should be a bit more understanding.

Just my $0.02!
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weatherman



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 11:50 pm    Post subject: re:........... Reply with quote

I respect your post, and what you have to say, but I feel that Koreans are using Western liberal ideologies, such as cultural relativism to have their cake and eat it too. When Koreans go overseas, they always try to showoff their culture to others, and thankfully the western world is very interested in, and shows respect to other cultures. At home Koreans I find can use such terms as 'tradition', '5000 years of culture' with impunity to block foreign ideas from taking root, or at least try to block them. I feel on my bad days in Korea, that Koreans don't even understand that there is a concept of respect for other cultures. On my good days, I am in line with your thinking that Korea needs time and is changing fast. Sure there are growing pains, but Korean hypocrisy in these regards makes it more painful for the foreigner dealing with the Korean than for the Korean him/herself.
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Dan



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Sunny Glendale, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i don't understand all the complaining about korea. sorry, but complaining doesn't really solve any problems.

and koreans really don't care what other people think, because they are too caught up in themselves.

they want to increase tourism, but they can't figure out why no one wants to come here

they want to export all their goods to other countries, but b***h and moan when other countries want to export to korea.

"DON'T EAT BURGER KING! But please buy hyundai cars"

and then, they.....

dammit, now i'm doing it :/
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scott



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

space

Last edited by scott on Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Hotuk



Joined: 10 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Scott on this. It's an obvious double standard.

A similar double standard occurs when foreign teachers remind each other that we're "guests" here, and therefore should temper our comments about the "host" culture. I dare you to go up to any first-generation immigrant storeowners in Toronto and tell them they're "guests". Certainly our colleagues who tell us we're guests here would never do such a thing back home. That would be xenophobic and racist of them. Here they're being "culturally sensitive".

Jan Wong of the Globe and Mail wrote a fascinating article in December about the movement of predominantly white schools away from "Christmas" carol sings and "Christmas" plays, in deference to local minority populations. Wong discovered that that the immigrant/non-Christian communities generally had no problems with Christmas celebrations in public schools - the bans on such celebrations were enacted by oversensitive white administrators who *assume* Moslem immigrants, Jews, etc would be offended. One Jewish community leader said, "I don't believe Jesus is the son of God, but I love Christmas carols! They're beautiful and they're a part of our society."

In both cases it's other WASPS who are doing the self-censoring, not non-westerners, non-Christians, or non-whites. We need to get over that.
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william beckerson
Guest




PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always saw the world through cynical-colored glasses, so I believe that you'll get crap anywhere in the world. It's just the way the cookie crumbles, so I dont really get too worked up about stuff like that.

Despite how barbed my website may be. Wink
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kim jong il



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Pyongyang room salon with a pocket full of rice!

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

guy incognito....if we don't accept racism in america then why we should accept it here? of course we know that there's no racism up there in nova scotia, the center of racial tolerance....but in all other places where it does exist, it sucks.
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Mee-Cheen



Joined: 19 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This place is whacked. I don't care if your western or not even a majority of other Asian cultures consider this place to be messed up. However, I love it here, just glad to know I get to return somewhere else after my 3 years here. I mean it, I enjoy it here but things are backward assed.
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Hyalucent



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: British North America

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 9:58 am    Post subject: Guest hosts Reply with quote

Quote:
I dare you to go up to any first-generation immigrant storeowners in Toronto and tell them they're "guests".


The simple fact that differentiates English teachers from 1st Generation immigrant storeowners in Toronto is that 99% of English teachers will at some point go home to their native countries anyway... and the 1% that stay will have a hard job convincing the locals that they plan otherwise.

I don't think people would be nearly as opposed to suggesting an early departure to, say, a visiting international student who was obviously unhappy finishing out their study term abroad in Canada, the U.S., etc.

Since most of us will leave at one point or another, it's not out of the question to suggest that we leave earlier either. It's damn rude, but realistically it's not out of the question.
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Hank Scorpio



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 10:51 am    Post subject: Re: Anti-Korean sentiment...? (long) Reply with quote

The problem that a lot of developing countries is that they've seen what western methods have brought to the west; industrialization, many luxuries, innovation, etc, and decide to adapt those methods. However, one of the things that escapes them is that those methods came about because of western culture; something they're not as quick to adopt.

This is essentially what happened to Japan before WWII. You had a country that had rapidly modernized itself, but had discarded ideas like rule of law, democracy, and freedom of speech. The methods that the west uses are the easiest traits to adopt, adopting the western mindset is much more difficult.

In a country where conformity and obeyance is more important than individuality it's damned hard for anyone to innovate, because innovations usually go against the tried and true order of things. That's the primary difference between the east and west. The east has never really gotten a true grasp of what it means to be western; they see the stuff we have, but don't really understand how we managed to obtain that stuff.
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Captain Obvious 2.0



Joined: 09 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 5:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Anti-Korean sentiment...? (long) Reply with quote

Hank Scorpio wrote:
The problem that a lot of developing countries is that they've seen what western methods have brought to the west; industrialization, many luxuries, innovation, etc, and decide to adapt those methods. However, one of the things that escapes them is that those methods came about because of western culture; something they're not as quick to adopt.

This is essentially what happened to Japan before WWII. You had a country that had rapidly modernized itself, but had discarded ideas like rule of law, democracy, and freedom of speech. The methods that the west uses are the easiest traits to adopt, adopting the western mindset is much more difficult.

Rule of law, democracy, and freedom of speech have very little to do with how "the west" developed a strong economy and worker wealth.

It had everything to do with concepts called "capitalism", "industrialization", and "exploitation" just to name a few. "The West" embraced industrialization head-long and allowed workers to be more productive. Instead of twenty workers producing enough cloth fabric for one thousand people per year, industrialization allowed one person to make enough for one thousand. Machinery for harvesting meant one farmer could do the work of fifty. Metalic ore could be removed from the ground and refined into a purer form with a fraction of the workers, thus allowing more workers to work on other projects.

With less people doing more work, it allowed for more people to focus on things that improved the standard of living. "Wouldn't it be nice if I could read at night?" BOOM! Electic lightbulb. Imagine if my carriage didn't require a horse. BOOM horseless carriage / car.

As the west became more productive per person, it also become more educated. THey learned more, they studied more. Because a person didn't have to work 14 hours a day to survive, they sought more things like entertainment or comfort. Thus demands were created for non-necessity products.

Socialist policies were developed to ensure that the masses would not starve when out of work, as a starving citizen is a distraction and a problem.

As well, under capitalism you have a reward system for work. A person only needs to work a few hours a day to survive. But by investing more tume, they gain greater rewards. An incentive system to do work more or simply do things better. End result, a more productive individual.

Then add in education. We are taught things we may never need, but may use one day in the development of products we may never have thought of. It also creates a mindset were a person wants to learn and can learn. An intelligent society is a resourceful society.

Money is essentially a promisary note for barter that is earned for work completed. THe more work completed, the more in trade can be acquired. Or by creating something people want, the more in trade that can be acquired.

All concepts that have nothing to do with freedom of speech, rule of law, or democracy.

I was going to go one and explain things in greater detail with more examples, but off to work I go.
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Pilcrshr



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul, Korea

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Anti-Korean sentiment...? (long) Reply with quote

To respond to some of the comments made earlier, I do agree that there is a double standard in reference to the idea of "leave if you don't like it." And I must agree that if someone had said this in the United States, it would be severely frowned upon.

But reiterating what I had said earlier, there are many growing pains that developing countries endure. Do you think the United States or any other developed nation has not had any of these types of problems in their early developmental years? The United States and Europe were one of the most notorious places for double standards in the 1950s i.e. racism. Did America or Europe eliminate racism immediately? I think not. It took several generations to do so, but there is still quite a ways to go. Education was the driving factor in helping to reduce racism to where it is today.

Now take a look at where Korea is today. Only within the past 30 years have they made such leaps and bound to get where they are today. Should we expect them to change immediately? I think not. Of course to become a global community member, there must be changes, but it take time. I do not condone some of the activities that go on here, but I will make the effort to understand. I believe much of the younger generation are more openminded and will eventually be the foundation for a global understanding.

But to make a comment on the "leave if you don't like it," I still agree with this concept. Take away all the political correctness and whatnots, and its a pretty sensible comment. If you have real problems with where you are living right now, leave. No one is forcing you to stay. I'm not saying this just for the people in Korea, but to foreigners living in countries elsewhere.
Example: An Asian emmigrant moves to a Western country. Many of his beliefs are not the standard practice in that country and doesn't seem "right" to him. If the emmigrant only complains, throws fits, and refuses to take proactive measures to help change what he believes are to be social "wrongs", then go back home. It's pretty simple. The sames hold true for all foreigners in foreign countries. If you refuse to try and understand the situation, you should just go home and be happy back there. This is just my $0.02.
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weatherman



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pilcrshr wrote:
Quote:
Example: An Asian emmigrant moves to a Western country. Many of his beliefs are not the standard practice in that country and doesn't seem "right" to him. If the emmigrant only complains, throws fits, and refuses to take proactive measures to help change what he believes are to be social "wrongs", then go back home. It's pretty simple.


Pilcrshr, if an emigrant to the states is having problems there are a codified set of laws to protect them, or (and I know I am being very cynical here) if the law isnít helping them out, they can use the Ďrace cardí to get what they want. There was this case a few years back, in some suburban New Jersey town, where a group of Korean shop owners where getting fined by the police for staying open passed the closing time, as codified by the towns laws regulating businesses. This went on, and they started to complain. It was obvious that they were breaking the law, but they started to call it racism for only Koreans were being fined. (They were the only ones staying open late.) According to your thinking, the Korean storeowners should have said to themselves, well this city has its history and we should respect the local customs and local culture of closing early. Well they didnít they used the race card to make a lot of noise, and got the laws changed. I personally find that it was good that the laws were changed, but the Korean shop owner went about it in all the wrong way.

Now coming back to our Korean existence, what rights and laws do foreigners have in this country? Can a foreigner ever get fair legal representation in Korea? Foreigners donít have the protection of the law in Korea, and reality backs this point up. And instead of saying that they are themselves racist, they use codes such as Ďtraditional cultureí and our forefatherís customs as rules for being racist.


Last edited by weatherman on Mon Jan 27, 2003 9:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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scott



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

space

Last edited by scott on Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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J.B. Clamence



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pilcrshr, you are making a distinction between what one should expect from a society and what one should put up with, but don't you think that sometimes these things can overlap? Sure, one living in Korea may realize that many Koreans are racist and have no qualms against saying "foreigner go home", and maybe you can even understand what would make them say such a thing after a careful examination of the history and sociology of Korea, BUT that doesn't make it right. Just because we can understand why Koreans would be racist towards us doesn't mean that we should accept it. Even if you are right in that Korean racism can be understood in terms of what stage Korean society is in at the moment, that doesn't mean that no one has the right to complain about it.

Of course you are right that racism exists in the U.S., and did even more so a hundred years ago. Maybe we could have even expected it to be rampant at that time. But that doesn't mean that those racists had the right to tell the foreigners to go home. It seems as if you are trying to justify Korean racism by reminding us that our countrymen are not innocent of it, but that defense doesn't have a leg to stand on. I don't think anyone who is complaining about Korean racism on this board would treat foreigners in their home countries with the same disrespect, so you cannot hold us responsible for that.

As for the advice that you might give to a foreign student who is having a hard time adapting, I think it is important (and I would have thought unnecessary) to point out that advising someone that it may be better for them to return to their country if they are having trouble adapting; and telling a foreigner who is getting screwed over to either "love it or leave it"; are two totally different things.
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