Monday, November 5, 2007

Is Korea Anti-Foreign?

I went to a lecture entitled "Is Korean Anti-Foreign" It was done by someone who had written a book called "The Koreans, who they are, what they want and where their future lies." It was an interesting take, he commented on stories of the Korean identity being centered around race, while other countries are focused on other issues (like the US is based on an idea of freedom, while European countries identity might be based on language) He also mentioned stories that while foreigners complain about experiences in Korea, they also speak extremely positively about the country. Korea attracts the most loyalty and also frustration. (His end conclusion was that Koreans are not anti-foreign, but in fact anti-Korean. In order to explain his whole argument would take too many blog entries!)

I will say though, I have heard Koreans as being described as the cowboys of Asia. And I feel my race much more acutely than I have before. Sitting in a cab with my friends who are Thai or Taiwanese, and they ALWAYS will look at them first (and even turn their back on me once at the airport). It makes you realize what you are used to growing up when you are in the majority.

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