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Re: Is Bullying a Part of Korean Culture?
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2014, 05:29:34 pm »

Further, a Korean my father's age has endured a life more difficult than you or I can really imagine.  They were not allowed to learn their native language in school, they were given names in a tongue that belonged to a colonizing invader, sent off to war to fight on their side, or for girls, forced to make munitions, or worse.  Even someone in their sixties grew up in great hardship, probably not born in a hospital and lucky to make it to their one-hundredth day, sordid poverty.  Etc, etc.

While the older Korean generation did indeed have it horrendous, I'm pretty tired of people using that as an excuse for some of the behaviour exhibited in this country (not saying Korea is terrible).  My grandparents suffered under Stalin.  They weren't allowed to use their own language or even have their own property.  But that was the least of their worries, as famine literally decimated their country.  They grew up in villages where wagons would pass daily collecting the dead not so they could be buried but so they could be 'used' to survive.  They were later 'rescued' by the Nazis and placed in camps where they saw what remaining family members murdered while they were tortured, humiliated and raped.  However, they would be utterly aghast at some of the behaviour shown by so called 'elders' here in Korea.  They had problems, don't get me wrong, but bossing people around and acting like an entitled prick would shame them to no end.  Their experiences taught them humility and compassion, not entitlement and boorishness.  The same can be said about many other countries around the world.  When foreigners especially use Korea's history to excuse some of things that go on here I just have to wonder if they've ever been to other countries or even know their history.  Go to Cambodia which underwent a massive national nightmare just a few decades ago.  Instead of people shoving you and screaming for 'respect' you'll find some of the most humble, gracious and welcoming people in the world.  The ones I spoke to down there, like my grandparents, were quite taken aback by the behaviour of Koreans who visit, actually. That's just one other example. 

Korea does have a relatively recent history of extreme hardship, but that is hardly unique.  You don't need to be an entitled first worlder to understand that.  Koreans are the way they are for a multitude of reasons, some of it good some of it bad (just like any other people in the world).  But let's be honest, Koreans were Koreans before the Japanese or anyone else was here.  It's obvious by the different ways other cultures have developed after experiencing hardships of their own. 

**I want to be really clear that I don't think Korea is terrible or anything.  What I'm getting at is the knee jerk reaction that when the ajoshi shoves in front of you in line it's because the Japanese were terrible to Korea 50 years ago.  No, Korean culture predates the colonial period.  The bullying, as some put it, is part of that.  Namely, the Neo-Confucianism found in Korea.  In my humble opinion, anyway.
You bring up some very good points.
We must keep in mind that a couple decades before Japan arrived in Korea they were a medieval society with a caste system that basically had the majority of the people living in conditions not much different than slavery. Healthy countries don't get colonized.

Koreans have no excuse to act like jerks and boss each other around and bully each other. A history of abuse or a culture of abuse doesn't justify or excuse the behavior.

Korean basically wasn't a democracy until mid 80s and therefore people born in early 70s and before grew up in systems where control was the norm. These people are now senior workers and the parents of the younger generations.

One point is also face saving culture. In many of these incidences part of the problem was trying to keep things quiet so as to pretend there isn't a problem. Events like Sewol and more important their reactions show that Koreans in general are sick of these types of toxic non-solutions to problems which are serious. I don't know if we can say these reasons are 'cultural' as covering things up is not really cultural. I think we can attribute it to low transparency and abuse of authority which is a legacy of the authoritarian regimes that were only just dumped in the country.

I would prefer to call these problems of authoritarian state legacy so perhaps political cultural legacies. This was a political culture that Koreans fought hard to destroy.


Re: Is Bullying a Part of Korean Culture?
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2014, 03:43:24 pm »
This is why Korea is not a goodplace to raise kids. Even my co-teacher told me that and I agree 100%.

Any culture that includes bullying as a part of its cultural practices is an evil culture.


Re: Is Bullying a Part of Korean Culture?
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2014, 04:04:23 pm »
I recall during my first year in Korea when my co-teacher, a guy in his 30s, said he didn't mind if the elementary students fought and bullied one another because that is how they make their own hierarchy and organize their community. He didn't say that, per se, because he couldn't speak English, but that was the gist of it.


Re: Is Bullying a Part of Korean Culture?
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2014, 04:23:14 pm »
"Part of"?

No, no. "Is".


Re: Is Bullying a Part of Korean Culture?
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2014, 12:52:19 pm »
news article i read today on bullying/hazing in the Korean military. some of the things include getting a guy to lick shoe polish because his boots weren't clean enough, and getting a guy to stand on a small tile and beating him if he moved off the tile.

article says that between 2003 and 2013, 874 soldiers have died from suicide or 'accidents': http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2014/08/399_162801.html


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Re: Is Bullying a Part of Korean Culture?
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2014, 01:11:54 pm »
news article i read today on bullying/hazing in the Korean military. some of the things include getting a guy to lick shoe polish because his boots weren't clean enough, and getting a guy to stand on a small tile and beating him if he moved off the tile.

article says that between 2003 and 2013, 874 soldiers have died from suicide or 'accidents': http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2014/08/399_162801.html
I wonder what the rates were in that 1955-2000 period. I'm sure the hazing was probably similar. Is the young generation just too soft?


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Re: Is Bullying a Part of Korean Culture?
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2014, 07:48:07 pm »
Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeessssssss sssssssssssssssssss sssssssssssssssssss sssssssssssssssssss ssssssssssss.


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Re: Is Bullying a Part of Korean Culture?
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2014, 09:21:53 am »
news article i read today on bullying/hazing in the Korean military. some of the things include getting a guy to lick shoe polish because his boots weren't clean enough, and getting a guy to stand on a small tile and beating him if he moved off the tile.

article says that between 2003 and 2013, 874 soldiers have died from suicide or 'accidents': http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/culture/2014/08/399_162801.html
I wonder what the rates were in that 1955-2000 period. I'm sure the hazing was probably similar. Is the young generation just too soft?

What a thoughtless comment. Who cares if it is similar? Bullying is unacceptable, anytime, any place.  It almost seems like you are condoning it.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!