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Non-white teachers in Korea?
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JW



Joined: 06 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tiger beer
I see your point. I never saw it as Korea wanting to hire "native speakers" from mainly Canada, the US, the UK and Aus as a buisness choice. Interesting.
Also maybe a bit short sighted at the same time. I hope that is not a big reason but an interesting point. If this is true I hope they add more countries to the list soon.
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rumibaer wrote:
It makes me sad that Korean people do have that strong nature to associate and relate only to other Koreans- which is what leaves so many people and races on the outside, but it is also in a bittersweet way, what I love most about my people. Korean culture has a word called "Jung". It's really much more than a word. There's no easy explanation for it- but it embodies this overall familiarity, and deep-seated connection that Korean people can feel with each other when they meet other Korean people.
I think its a very popular western concept to deny this.. but realistically, i really believe its true. And, to be honest, when you are in Korea, don't you have a desire to be with similar-minded people as well. Many Koreans ask me how many Korean friends I have, and I can't say I have that many. If they are a Korean friend, they have probably spent significant time in my home country and can adequately understand me to really really know me. I don't see Koreans behavior for liking to be around other Koreans to be that offensive.. and generally-speaking I've found many many Koreans.. particularly the guys.. who would love to have my prescense with them all the time!! Too much in fact.. but I can't say I really feel likewise.. its not that I don't like Koreans.. I just really like to be able to be adequately understood and really have people know exactly what I'm thinking and feeling.. and being around Koreans.. or vice-versa.. when a Korean is with all foreigners.. I can't really say this is the case..

Its not because all Koreans are racist.. and if so.. then I'd have to say a similar blanket statement and say all non-koreans in korea are racist because many times i've seen white guys not want to talk to a korean guy that sits himself at their table.. is it racism for not wanting to talk in broken english to a korean who self-invited himself? well, if we are white, we'd say no.. and we'd have a good explanation.. but koreans who don't think in those terms.. if they wanted to 'make a statement' could probably make one as well.. realistically..

anyhow, i'm not saying koreans aren't racist.. i'm just saying that to be obsessed and pondering this day and night is probably a big waste of time..
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JW



Joined: 06 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok racism is everywhere. Sexism is everywhere. S.A.R.S. is killing people. We have/had a war in Iraq. Leaves fall in November and birds fly. These are all statements but only two are in my experience used as a easy response to a complex and multileveled problem such as discrimination. Even if there are about 3 blacks applying for teaching positions and 2 are turned away because of their culture that is 2 too many. I personally know blacks who have been turned away. I am sure there are others in this forum alone who know people who have been turned away. When change is made to resole the problem for those few we would ensure the same thing does not grow to effect the masses. Believe me when I tell you that discrimination is a disease. It WILL grow if un checked. The origional question is why there are so few non-whites here. Many suggest discrimination. I agree with that. I also don't think there is a mass exodous of Africans, Mexicans, or whoever to Korea. I agree that this contributes to the low number of foriegners period.
I sincerely hope that this changes. This country has so much potential and the culture is rich. I don't see any reason why it should not be shares with the world. When and culture remains closed to others we all suffer.
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2003 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JW wrote:
Tiger beer
I see your point. I never saw it as Korea wanting to hire "native speakers" from mainly Canada, the US, the UK and Aus as a buisness choice. Interesting.
Also maybe a bit short sighted at the same time. I hope that is not a big reason but an interesting point. If this is true I hope they add more countries to the list soon.
Philippines should be first on the list.. i mean, sheesh, they are SO close.. and SO many Koreans actualy do do business there.. and many who can't afford a 'western' country actually study English there!!

But, partly, I think Koreans see Filipinos differently.. as its not quite the same kind of place as a US/Canada/Australia/NZ kind of place.. I think thats maybe why.. anyhow.. I can't really make them hire Filipinos.. as I think its more a 'western' culture interest thing.. and 'western' ways things.. its the total package to some extent.. for right or wrong.. but reality.. to some extent.. if its entirely western package thing.. then maybe trinidad, jamaica, etc. could be there.. but probably goes to the economics things.. and doing business and where are they going to immigrate kind of thing if they can and all that.. and where their relatives and friends go to study or live and all that stuff.. which is moreso usa, canada, australia, nz, etc.. so maybe specific interests to those countries moreso than others..
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JW wrote:
I sincerely hope that this changes. This country has so much potential and the culture is rich. I don't see any reason why it should not be shares with the world. When and culture remains closed to others we all suffer.
I think it will.. Koreans are very actively exposing themselves to the world through English and through emigration. Its just a matter of time.. I think.. its happening now..

Actually first time I was in Korea.. i began and then later quit studying Korean based on the false assumption on my part that outside of Korea the Korean language is completely useless..

Then I went traveling for awhile.. I met Koreans everywhere.. (I probably wouldn't have met any of them if I hadn't been in Korea - kind of awareness I guess).. then I moved to New York City.. and so many deli-owners and all kinds of Korean everywhere.. I had so many opportunities and interaction and contact with Koreans and Korea once I was aware of its existance.. until being here.. I can't really even say I was aware of who was Korean and who wasn't a Korean..

Anyhow, I think its only a matter of time before more and more people are more aware of Korea as well.. it also spreads.. for example, all my friends back home in the States know I'm here.. and when I'm in the USA, I expose them to it through my words and I've yet to bring all of my good friends at one point or another to a Korean restaurants back home in the States.. just exposure.. and I think it goes both ways as well..

I mean, we might not be in Korea and fully integrated.. generally-speaking, by our own will power not to be, but it doesn't mean that Koreans are all racist and hate us.. it just means that the barriers are hard to deal with on both sides.. I can't say I want to be spending all my free time with Koreans and becoming Korean and doing all Korean things and give up who I am and what really interests me.. and all that I am.. nor should I be expected to do this to dispel 'racist Korea' based on the fact that they sometimes think i'm an american and i have a gun, or they don't like my country's politics, or they resent the military prescense here or whatever it is..

In fact.. if Korea really wants to be reunited.. why don't we just take out all the english teachers from all the english-speaking countries and US military.. let them hash it out destoy each other.. and the winner can unite the country under which ever system the winner wants.. (not realistic).. but isn't it odd that most South Koreans when they think of reunification that just assume all the powerful people in North Korea would rather be South Korean taxi drivers than having their own country?)
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Zyzyfer



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

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been cat-sitting for the past two weeks, and galofer came out to Cheonan to see said cat this weekend. She, of course, has a severe dislike of cats, like most Koreans. It was heavily evident when I opened my door, she and the cat made eye contact, and fear swept over her eyes. For a tense moment, we sat together on my bed, as she tensely watched the cat scamper around.

The cat jumped on my lap soon after, further heightening her fear. I rubbed the kitty behind the ears, made it comfortable, but she wouldn't dare to touch it, at first. Finally, more based on the buildup of saying she'd check out the cat than anything else, she rubbed it behind the ears. 36 hours later, as we made to leave for the bus station, she still wasn't quite comfortable with the cat, but she had definitely gained a new respect for cats in general. Other than kitty loving to scratch the hell out of me randomly, she couldn't find anything wrong with cats.

However, she still doesn't wholly accept the cat's eyes. These things take time, and something as embedded as that may never fully dissapear.

Relate that to racism. Of course it exists here. Of course it exists everywhere. Of course it isn't right, and of course Korea could use a changing of the guard in respects to treatment of non-Koreans.

I've only been here a little over a year now, but I've picked up on a lot of the traditional sentiments children have about other cultures in my classes. From "Puck You Miguk" to "Monkey Man Africans", it's all there. And you could compare it to when you and your friends all got a kick out of the "Me Chinese, me play joke, me put pee-pee in your coke!" ditty in elementary school. Most of my family has racist tendencies towards AfAms, and, considering that background, I should, too. I've had my car egged daily when I lived in a black neighborhood back in college, and I've been picked on for years by the local mixed kids who lived down the street every morning at the bus stop. But I'm not aware of being racist(these things come out in the most unsuspecting of ways), and I don't support it.

I see it like this, as a foreigner in Korea. It's been stated before that we set an example for our countries. This is true, sure, since some Koreans have never met an (insert Westerner here) before, and others may've met a bad one or two. It's our unexpected duty to represent our country, especially if we've got any desire to alter Korea to suit our opinions more fully. You simply can't promote something if you represent it poorly.

But there's a greater aspect to this, which doubles our responbility while here. A lot of people bash hakwons, a lot of people(including Koreans) bash the education system here, and a lot of people feel like they're only here for a vacation from reality. But the bottom line is this, despite how shoddy the education system might appear to be: we are teachers, and we have every single available tool as teachers to help influence children to be more accepting of the worldwide culture. It's that simple. Whining and moaning on a message board about racism does little to solve the problem. It's not like the Korean populace is on here, reading every comment and taking notes on how to improve their appearance for the next major worldwide event hosted in Korea or something...

No ajoussi is going to change their opinion of a race so late in their life without a life-altering experience, just like my grandparents' racially close-minded neighbor will never agree to eat rice again(because he saw how the Vietnamese grew rice in the Vietnam War, as he states).

Trying to do something about racism here is definitely a good idea, but make sure you got your priorities about solving it right, before you run around lambasting Koreans for being racist(in and of itself a racist comment)...
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girl



Joined: 30 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay, now let's look at it from this point of view....

why do some koreans hate americans so much? well, if you really think about it, most of their experiences with americans have been with the military here. and we all know that most of the military population are young, and when they are that young and it's their first time away from home, they tend to go overboard. they drink and cause all sorts of havoc in the streets of korea. we all know what alcohol can do to a person!! take the situation in iraq, not all iraqis hate americans, it's just some of them who only know what they know from the media and hear say, so you have to look at it from that point of view.

let me give you an example: when i was in korea a couple of years ago, there was a small conflict out in the Japan sea (i think) with a ship from south korea and north korea. some shooting and the MEDIA like cnn, made it sound bigger than what it really was. i had friends and family ask me when i was coming home and how i was going to get home with all the conflicts going on??? Shocked what????? the media tends to blow things out of proportion, but they do report the facts, sometimes. so my point being, what people have to remember, is that this is all based on ignorance and only what people have been exposed to.

i lived in canada all of my life, i got married and then moved to the US. i was told by the media and others that in the US they all carry guns and loose their tempers easily. i gotta be careful etc. etc. etc. so, never being exposed to "real" americans, i went to the US with this info on hand. was i ever wrong!!!! another example of knowing what i know and being to exposed to only a small fraction of WHAT THE WORLD IS REALLY LIKE.

in north america we are so conditioned to only view what WE SEE WITHIN OUR OWN WALLS and when we go to another country, we assume they've been westernized in some shape or form. and because we assume that they have been or they actually have been westernized, we assume that the people automatically know everything about western ettiquette and think they should act like us. we all have our different up bringings. i am a korean american canadian, and i was taught to point and stare was wrong. and i don't point and stare and say certain comments because i WAS EDUCATED ON THE GOINGS ON IN THE WORLD. i was exposed to all different races and styles etc. I HAVE AN OPEN MIND BECAUSE I WAS EDUCATED.

koreans are not all that educated. the older generation had to live through a war not school. they were closed off from the west until the war started. they were not exposed to all walks of life. i'm not excusing them for what's going on in the country, but THEMS THE FACTS.

i am lucky, i have only experienced racism on a small scale. most people have been nothing short of being nice and all of that jazz. that includes dating guys from other ethinic backgrounds and married to one. i'm lucky, my parents are open minded. it's because THEY'VE BEEN EDUCATED.

when i mean educated, i not only the formal but the informal. the reason why at my hogwon everyone was so accepted was because the students are rich. they got to travel all over the world, they've been exposed and educated on a lot of things about the world not only through the media but through us, the teachers as well.

'there's racism everywhere' is not a copout. it never is and never will be because IT'S REALITY. A FACT. a copout is "I'M NOT RACIST, I'VE GOT ONE BLACK FRIEND".

bottom lining it after all of this is that koreans have not been educated on a whole lot, so what we need to do is show some tolerance for their ignorance and show them that just because they see a gangsta on tv it doesn't mean that thhey are automatically black or that alll blacks are like a certain way, or because they see one military guy screwing around all drunk and acting stupid, it doesn't mean that they are all like that. we have to show them that it's all based on individual cases. and remember that rome wasn't built in a day so you can't expect korea to forget all that they've learned for thousands of years and say 'okay, we are now open minded and educated. so forget the stereotypes that have been engrained into our minds by the world'

and canada? well that's a whole different topic right there. 'multiculturalism'? what a joke.
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matko



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: in a world of hurt!

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

girl,

off the top of my head, I can't think of a country more multicultural than Canada. Can you?
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sickboy



Joined: 26 Jan 2003
Location: Miari Texas

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lucky they dont let Scandanavians come here to teach English or we'd all be out of jobs.

Just because Canada has a high percentage of caucasians does not mean that it is homogeneous in that regard. Winnipeg (in addition to being 1/6th aboriginal or metis) has over a hundred thousand francophones with a cultural heritage thats quite unique. The grade 3 class I was teaching there was half European decent (spanning all of Europe) and the other half consisted of Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Trinidadians, Indians, blacks, Romanians, Slovaks, Serbs and others who had immigrated. I don't think that any of the students had the same familial heritage as another one.
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girl



Joined: 30 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've got tons of opinions about multiculturalism and canada in general but the topic is not about that.....
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matko



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: in a world of hurt!

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why did you bring it up then?
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Hyalucent



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: British North America

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tiger Beer wrote:

But, partly, I think Koreans see Filipinos differently.. as its not quite the same kind of place as a US/Canada/Australia/NZ kind of place..


There's a bit of an ironic situation here. While many teachers arrive in Korea from the U.S., the reverse is also happening in regard to the Philippines. Filipino graduates in education are on the increase and they are finding success gaining work in the United States.

Quote:
Consistent at No. 2 is education and teacher training with 73,686 expected new graduates. Since 1995 this discipline group has recorded a yearly growth in the number of graduates. It registered a 68.7-percent rise from 1995 to 2003. If they want to find jobs, these graduates should look overseas.

“There is an upsurge in the demand for Filipino teachers in the United States, and China has expressed a desire to hire Filipino teachers,” Sto. Tomas said.

Those who choose to remain in the country would have to fight for 3,600 public-school teaching positions that the Department of Education will open for the year and the demand of the private schools.

From 2001 to 2002 employment in the education sector increased by 1.6 percent from 920,000 to 935,000.



Here's the full link: http://www.manilatimes.net/others/special/2003/mar/31/20030331spe1.html
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rumibaer



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Location: U.S.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

in response to JW..

just an added thing- Koreans do have bad blood with black people as well. Do you remember the L.A. Riots? Korean people call it " Sa-I-Gu" for the date upon which it happened. I'm sorry that it ever happened, because it was the catalyst for a maelstorm of prejudice for many Koreans, not just the ones living in the U.S., but Koreans back in the homeland who heard about it.

i'm not saying it's impossible- but it will be a very long and hard journey before Koreans' prejudice against black people fade. Korea has only been really introduced to foreigners within the past few decades, and so compare to the U.S or Canada,is far behind in terms of their history of experience with multicultural people. White people in America were not very friendly when Africans and Haitians, and so on first started coming over either... and aren't blacks in America to this day ( among other races) still fighting for equality on all planes?

it's not just blacks. koreans tend to think that lighter skin connotes a higher class. among the older generation, many still believe that the fairer the skin, the better. besides some younger people who are beginning to get into tanning- clear, light skin is highly desired in Korea. In fact, Korean women have long been using "whitening" lotions to keep their skin as light as possible- which have made their way to the U.S. within the past 2 years to much success. Some Koreans even kind of look down upon other Koreans, who are dark skinned. With this mindset, it will be hard to change the way Koreans think- but as some other people have mentionned- with some time, hopefully Korean people once having been even more exposed to other cultures, might start changing their views.
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narsty dog



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the problem is a chicken and egg thing. As lots of schools dont hire blacks, it means Koreans have LESS chance to meet black people from wherever and get their OWN opinions about them . Less blacks means , more whites. This serves to keep the Koreans happy in their 'picture' of what a nice westerner is . of course everywhere is racist, but life is dynamic ; if people take the 'hermit kingdom' argument seriously, then women wouldnt have the vote , and blacks in alabama would still be at the back of the bus. the hermit kingdom argument doesnt wash - koreans are obssessed with being 'modern' , already out of step with the west, which is already in its post-modern stage . most of the discourses of postmodernity and globalisation point to fracture, of all kinds of things, class , nationalism etc.

JW , I m with you all the way man . You hit the nail on the head - the main point in all this is - Why should ajummas/ parents not want black people teaching their children in hagwons ? surely they should want 'qualified teachers' teaching their children ? Until the Korean masses get past this stage , then I dont see the place moving forward as a humane place to live. It isnt.
What makes me laugh is the whites who collude in it all . many of them seem happy that black teachers arent hired , it means more jobs for them . It also means that they feel the benefits of the status thing . They like Korea as a white, because they know that although Korea is racist , they feel inferior to whites ( from the big, intelligent DEVELOPED countries) and therefore envy them - trying to buy their cultural capital ( English / western fashion labels - prada, burberry, lacoste, etc ) and even imitating their music ( black/ rap ) whilst still looking down on blacks as being inferior.
Korea - you score zero points in Logic.
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narsty dog



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2003 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rumi baer . whats your point ?? are you justifying korean racism or not ?? please spell it out .

you say that 'bad blood ' is a reason for korean racism . Chicken and egg problem . where the Koreans targetted 'cos they hated the vibes they got off Koreans day in day out, culminating in the shooting of latasha harlins ? Or where the koreans 'victims' of bad behaviour from blacks ? make your own mind up . as a non korean , i ve been into enough korean environments to know about vibes.

you say that light skin is popular in korea - many of know about the cholla prejudice , them having darker skin, etc. this no argument for justifying racism . white people in england like to get a tan - it doesnt make them 'pro-black'.
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