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Author Topic: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'  (Read 17021 times)

Offline newb

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9-year-old Zambian mother talks about school bullying

Quote
This is the third part in a year-long series, “Multiculturalism: The Great Experiment.” ㅡ ED.

Kim Ye-ryu attends Kumchon Elementary School in Paju, northwest of Seoul. The fourth grader, born to a Zambian mother and a Korean father, was called “monkey” on his first day in school and his hair was ridiculed as “a scouring pad.”

Although he speaks Korean fluently and prefers K-pop star Lee Seung-gi to Justin Timberlake, Kim is often asked, “Where are you from?” or “Are you familiar with kimchi?”.........

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2013/05/116_135770.html


It seem Korea has a long way to go..... :rolleyes:
HEY CAN YOU FILL THE OIL AND CHECK THE GAS PLEASE!!!!

Offline Hoosier_Jedi

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 11:09:05 AM »
Korea is trying to earn the world's respect but shoots down anti-discrimination laws. Yeah, that's smart.  >:(

Offline LNK

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 11:20:55 AM »
Is Korea ready to embrace multiculturalism>> not a chance!!!!

Offline chuck2657

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2013, 11:29:05 AM »
One of the better articles I've read from the Korean Times.

Obviously, the problem in ingrained pretty far into Korean culture.  We'll see if they can admit there's a problem and work on solving it, or just attempt to sweep it under the rug in an attempt to save face.  I'm hoping the former.  I'm expecting the latter.

Offline confusedsafferinkorea

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2013, 11:57:41 AM »
This is sad to read. I just hope Korea can move beyond this pretty soon, but it lies in the hands of parents to bring up their children to respect all cultures.
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Offline specter13

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2013, 12:19:53 PM »
Sometimes I get the feeling that Korea is where America was in the 1950's culturally. Of course there is not lynching and stuff like that but still there is a huge divide here on people who are "pure" Korean and people from mixed families.   

Offline 0mnslnd

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 12:28:49 PM »
Multiculturalism and Korea in the same sentence? Not in my lifetime.

To the average Korean, there are only 3  4 countries in the world : Hanguk, Miguk, and Waegook.  + Jeju.

Multiculturalism, according to a reliable source* (*citation needed), Wikipedia
Multiculturalism (or ethnic diversity) relates to communities containing multiple cultures. The term is used in two broad ways, either descriptively or normatively.[1] As a descriptive term, it usually refers to the simple fact of cultural diversity: it is generally applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, sometime at the organizational level, e.g. schools, businesses, neighbourhoods, cities, or nations.


In my opinion, we are talking about an openly racist culture here, with a lot of ignorance and close mindedness. There's little or no hope for anything positive to happen in regards to... acceptance, at least of non Korean ...aliens animals people.


Out. Never been happier

Offline JGgyopo

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 12:36:14 PM »
Siiiiiiggh, somebody was too sensitive about my choice of words ;) Here's a cleansed version of my post.

Koreans don't like talking about things that paint Korea in a negative light. It's a face thing. IMO if they really want to effect change especially when using the media, Korea Times should be translating these kinds of articles into Korean alongside the nationalistic hallyu crap they spew that strokes their own egos. Not everything in this country is rainbows and lollipops.

Let's be real...

Offline Beyond lies the Wub

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 12:42:19 PM »
Yeah. This never happens in any other country, so I can see why it's news.
Here in my town, which is quite rural, there are a lot of mail-order brides from Vietnam, Thailand etc. This has led to a large number of mixed-race kids in the schools here. But there doesn't seem to be a discrimination problem. In fact, in my school the students are actually quite proud of the fact that some of their classmates have ancestry from somewhere else.

Offline kettle

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2013, 01:05:23 PM »
Yeah. This never happens in any other country, so I can see why it's news.
Here in my town, which is quite rural, there are a lot of mail-order brides from Vietnam, Thailand etc. This has led to a large number of mixed-race kids in the schools here. But there doesn't seem to be a discrimination problem. In fact, in my school the students are actually quite proud of the fact that some of their classmates have ancestry from somewhere else.

I think you're very fortunate.  I'm going to write a novel here.

I live in a very rural area with my husband and 5 year old son.  My son is American, blond hair, gray/green eyes, fair skin.  So we figured he would always have it easy.  And for the most part he did.  I had seen mixed race children being bullied/tortured in my middle and high school and heard about it in elementary. 

My son started kindergarten at 4 and it was great.  The other kids loved him, his school was supportive and brought in a Korean tutor for him.  Things were awesome.  Towards the end of his first year we noticed that our normally confident, fearless four year old was acting very timid and clingy.  The kid who loved going to school kept asking to stay home, saying he missed us and wanted to spend the day with daddy. We figured it was a phase.  He asked us to dye his hair black.  We figured it was just one of those things kids get into their heads.

Until the night I was drying his hair and he began sobbing in our bathroom.  I picked him up and asked what was wrong and it all poured out.  One of the older students (second year kindergarten) had been bullying him.  Telling him his hair was "wrong".  It was stupid and ugly.  His eyes were wrong and weird.  That nobody liked him because he was different and bad.  It escalated and the older boy was apparently shoving him down, tripping him and making his life hell.  He got a couple of older students to join in.  My son didn't say anything until that night.

I'm happy to say that my son's classmates did not join in and actually defended him.  When we first mentioned it to the school it was, not exactly brushed off, but sort of downplayed as a "kids will be kids" thing.  No steps were taken to address it.  His teacher claimed she had no idea it was going on (which although I really liked her I find hard to believe).  The ultimate solution was, "Oh, well the bad boy is graduation into the elementary school proper so he won't be in the building with your son any more."

Now my son's school adores him.  He is their showpiece.  His picture is in EVERYTHING the school puts out. They love to have his father and I come to ANY school event.  So if the golden child was bullied like this and it was brushed off, what happens to the kid who ISN'T white?  Or is mixed?  And how do you address?  I can't blame the 6 year old who did the bullying.  Kids aren't born racist or bullies, he was TAUGHT that.

I guess I'm just pointing out that there might be some areas where it's less of an issue, but I doubt it.  My honest guess is that you just aren't SEEING it.

I love Korea.  I love where I live and for the most part having my son attend school here has been an amazing and rewarding experience.  But this is an issue.  It does need to be addressed.  And for every incident of racism we notice, how many dozens are hidden?

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 01:12:18 PM »
I can't see multiculturalism being accepted nationwide. I could only see if working regionally.

Yeah. This never happens in any other country, so I can see why it's news.
Here in my town, which is quite rural, there are a lot of mail-order brides from Vietnam, Thailand etc. This has led to a large number of mixed-race kids in the schools here. But there doesn't seem to be a discrimination problem. In fact, in my school the students are actually quite proud of the fact that some of their classmates have ancestry from somewhere else.

Generally, it is easier to blend in or get along as a mix between similar looking Asian countries.

Offline Beyond lies the Wub

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2013, 01:17:14 PM »
One Korean kid that bullied your kid does not make a society. In fact, your story reinforces what I have seen.

In fact, replace the Korean kid with any kid, and your kid with any kid who is different in any way and this story could have happened anywhere (and does).
I am glad it ended positively.

Meanwhile, my students are desperate to go under the knife to change their eye shape, and to dye their hair any colour but black...

Offline kettle

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 01:23:22 PM »
One Korean kid that bullied your kid does not make a society. In fact, your story reinforces what I have seen.

In fact, replace the Korean kid with any kid, and your kid with any kid who is different in any way and this story could have happened anywhere (and does).
I am glad it ended positively.

Meanwhile, my students are desperate to go under the knife to change their eye shape, and to dye their hair any colour but black...

My point is largely about the fact that a) the kid learned it from somewhere and b) the school brushed it off as not being a big deal.

A Filipino/Korean child at my son's school had his leg broken in an altercation with bullies.  A Chinese/Korean girl at the neighboring middle school was apparently beaten up everyday for several weeks before her mother figured it out.

I'm not saying Korean society is bad or that all Koreans are racist.  That's obviously not true (which I think is illustrated in my story), my point though is that it is not DEALT with and that there is a certain tolerance of racism.  The schools don't deal with it or have any education in place to teach about it that I've seen.

And my point is that it is often hidden.  You may think everything is hunky dory and just not realize that they kids are being taunted.  The issue is not the kids thinking this, they're kids, it's not really on them up to a certain point.  The onus is on the schools, the teachers and adult society to teach why it's wrong.  But if you are honestly trying to tell me that racism and xenophobia are not a problem in Korea, well, then I want to live where you live.

I love this country and for every bad experience I have had a dozen amazing ones, but that does not negate something that is a HUGE problem.  And if my white big-eyed kid was bullied for being "different" then I cannot imagine the absolute nightmare many non-white/mixed kids go through.  I know several Filipino mothers in my area and the stories are horrific.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 01:26:04 PM by kettle »

Offline mxm407

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 01:27:28 PM »

I guess I'm just pointing out that there might be some areas where it's less of an issue, but I doubt it.  My honest guess is that you just aren't SEEING it.

It's sad your son had bad experiences in school, but bullying happens all over the world all the time- you shouldn't project your experiences onto the rest of the country.  In my school the mixed race kids get along fine with the Korean students. Korea definitely has a problem with racism, but a lot of younger Koreans are much more open to multiculturalism.
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Offline Garth

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 01:28:54 PM »
I blame the parents. They couldn't see this coming?
It was irresponsible to put the child in this situation in the first place.
Now they want to act surprised and shocked?
And whatsup with Africans always seeking approval from other races?
Where is the mother's African pride? There are brilliant schools in Africa.
Why not send the child there?

Offline kettle

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2013, 01:31:45 PM »
I guess I'm just pointing out that there might be some areas where it's less of an issue, but I doubt it.  My honest guess is that you just aren't SEEING it.

It's sad your son had bad experiences in school, but bullying happens all over the world all the time- you shouldn't project your experiences onto the rest of the country.  In my school the mixed race kids get along fine with the Korean students. Korea definitely has a problem with racism, but a lot of younger Koreans are much more open to multiculturalism.

I'm not sure who the responder is here, it looks like all quotes, but anyway.

Yes, I certainly agree that younger Koreans are VASTLY more open to multiculturalism.

And again, I am not saying ALL Koreans are racist or that Korean society is bad.  I am saying that the school did not deal with the issue.  It was brushed off as something acceptable.  It was not in anyway addressed.  Yes, bullying happens in the West.  Yes, racism also happens. But it is discussed and it taught as a negative thing.  That is what Korea needs. 

I am not projecting my experiences, if you honestly believe racism is not an issue here then you are choosing to ignore it.  I was using a personal experience to highlight the fact that it was hidden and that the school chose to ignore the problem.

Offline confusedsafferinkorea

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2013, 01:43:34 PM »
I blame the parents. They couldn't see this coming?
It was irresponsible to put the child in this situation in the first place.
Now they want to act surprised and shocked?
And whatsup with Africans always seeking approval from other races?
Where is the mother's African pride? There are brilliant schools in Africa.
Why not send the child there?

There is so much wrong with this posting I hardly know where to begin, but I will give it my best shot.

Firstly they live where? Yes, you got it, KOREA, they have to send their child to school here because they live here, not in Africa.

Secondly, your point about Africans seeking approval is the biggest lot of horse manure I have ever read.

Thirdly, pray explain why it is irresponsible to send a child to school in the country where you live?

If you had any decency you would delete your posting.

Everything is not as it seems.

No one owes you anything.... get over it.

NEVER think a failure is the end of the world, it is the beginning of a new opportunity.

There is no known medical cure for stupidity!

Offline kettle

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2013, 01:49:12 PM »
I blame the parents. They couldn't see this coming?
It was irresponsible to put the child in this situation in the first place.
Now they want to act surprised and shocked?
And whatsup with Africans always seeking approval from other races?
Where is the mother's African pride? There are brilliant schools in Africa.
Why not send the child there?

I assumed that post was sarcastic or mocking.

Was I wrong?

There is so much wrong with this posting I hardly know where to begin, but I will give it my best shot.

Firstly they live where? Yes, you got it, KOREA, they have to send their child to school here because they live here, not in Africa.

Secondly, your point about Africans seeking approval is the biggest lot of horse manure I have ever read.

Thirdly, pray explain why it is irresponsible to send a child to school in the country where you live?

If you had any decency you would delete your posting.

Offline confusedsafferinkorea

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2013, 01:51:22 PM »
I blame the parents. They couldn't see this coming?
It was irresponsible to put the child in this situation in the first place.
Now they want to act surprised and shocked?
And whatsup with Africans always seeking approval from other races?
Where is the mother's African pride? There are brilliant schools in Africa.
Why not send the child there?

I assumed that post was sarcastic or mocking.

Was I wrong?


There is so much wrong with this posting I hardly know where to begin, but I will give it my best shot.

Firstly they live where? Yes, you got it, KOREA, they have to send their child to school here because they live here, not in Africa.

Secondly, your point about Africans seeking approval is the biggest lot of horse manure I have ever read.

Thirdly, pray explain why it is irresponsible to send a child to school in the country where you live?

If you had any decency you would delete your posting.

I sincerely hope you are right, Kettle
Everything is not as it seems.

No one owes you anything.... get over it.

NEVER think a failure is the end of the world, it is the beginning of a new opportunity.

There is no known medical cure for stupidity!

Offline Epistemology

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Re: Multiculturalism and Racism in Korea: 'I am Korean, too'
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2013, 02:39:46 PM »
I blame the parents. They couldn't see this coming?
It was irresponsible to put the child in this situation in the first place.
Now they want to act surprised and shocked?
And whatsup with Africans always seeking approval from other races?
Where is the mother's African pride? There are brilliant schools in Africa.
Why not send the child there?

Because he is not african? The hint is in his name.

Racial pride is stupid. Stop treating the world like a bunch of hateful little tribes of hateful little people, because thats what your view boils down to.
The more you know.

 

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