We have a new co-worker, a Korean girl, Alice, that has been hitched to a Pakistani when it comes to previous 6 years. Alice spent some time working with foreign instructors before and it has provided tales them as well as her own personal story of being married to a foreigner with me about.
Alice explained about her Canadian African co-teacher (who hated being labeled вЂњblackвЂќ). He lived in a flat building where he had been possibly the only foreigner. Evidently, whenever he rode the elevator, Korean renters when you look at the building would log off if he had been inside.
Once I asked Alice why Koreans have this mindset towards African people, her solution blew me personally away. (take note that this isn’t a representation of her opinion, but compared to Korean people as a whole).
I became told that Koreans fear African individuals because вЂњthey might be crooksвЂќ or вЂњthey may hurt you.вЂќ
вЂњKoreans think these are typically just like the mafia.вЂќ She replied, вЂњFrom TV and films. once I questioned Alice where all of this stems from,вЂќ
With this point, i will inform you that we now have a quantity of Nigerians in Korea. It is known that some are right here as English teachers (illegally, as Nigerian passport holders are currently maybe not permitted to be English trainers). Some Nigerians have nightclubs in Itaewon, while some do menial work with Koreans.
Therefore, fundamentally I became told that in comparison to white westerners, Koreans respect Africans as having a вЂlow statusвЂ™. In case a Korean woman had been up to now a foreigner, it could be more acceptable if she ended up being having a white guy.
My brain raced and I also questioned further, вЂњWhy is Oprah and Tyra Banks so popular on Korean TV if Koreans donвЂ™t favour black colored people?вЂќ Well the clear answer is fairly simple. The kind of Oprah Winfrey, Tyra Banks, Beyonce, Barack Obama and also our very own Nelson Mandela hold a specific sort of status and energy on earth. What they state is gospelвЂ¦and, вЂњOh! They’ve been rich!вЂќ I happened to be told.
Alice confessed to being ostracized from her relatives and buddies after she married her husband вЂ“ A pakistani man who is employed in Korea for almost ten years. She informs me sadly, вЂњItвЂ™s for 2 reasons. HeвЂ™s not Korean. And heвЂ™s a Muslim .вЂќ
Koreans and Muslims
Amir is AliceвЂ™s husband. Being a businessman in Korea for a significant amount of years|number that is good of , he talks Korean almost fluently. HeвЂ™s experienced his or her own share of racism between the community that is korean. Alice related a story in my experience whereby Amir had been cutting a small business cope with A korean guy. In Korean, the guy rudely thought to Amir, вЂњHey you! Come right right here!вЂќ вЂ“ the tone that is same would simply simply take whenever conversing with a kid. Of course, Amir could understand why and asked questioned the person. Frequently, whenever Koreans understand that foreigners can comprehend also a bit of their language, their attitude can change very quickly. IвЂ™ve experience this hand that is first particularly if cab motorists are making an effort to cheat me or rig the meter!
Whenever driving to your workplace when you look at the both Amir and Alice are met with intense glares from tollgate workers morning. Alice informs me that folks question her without beating about the bush, вЂњWhy did you marry him?вЂќ After which thereвЂ™s a couple of whom stare at him, however in reality are admiring his вЂexoticвЂ™ features.
So now that we knew where in fact the racism towards black people comes from, I became interested to understand in which the underlying hatred towards Muslim individuals arrived from. Alice place it just within one word, вЂњTerroristвЂќ
In general, Koreans liken Muslims to terrorists. And where does вЂњthisвЂќ originate from? Of course вЂ“ television and films.
This reminds me of the course not long ago i taught. I told a course of Grade 5s that I became South African. We continued to express that I happened to be Indian. A few of them mistook it for the indigenous United states. When I explained that we designed Indian from Asia, the very first response from their website was, вЂњCurry!вЂќ in order young as they’ve been, my pupils seem to be able to connect racial and social teams to something which they may be connected to, or in other words that which we understand as вЂstereotypesвЂ™.
rap culture sweeps over Korea
There has been recently a revolution of hip hop culture that is bought out youth that is korean. It has affected Korean music, music videos and also fashion. IвЂ™ve always told my buddies that being in A korean club makes me feel just like IвЂ™m in the group of a rap music video clip. Rap and rap music artists (a number of African lineage) are extremely popular in Korea right now, that leads us to think that this whole racism hoo-hah is centered on the mind-set of older Koreans. Right? Incorrect!
Me, she disagreed saying that younger generations are also racist towards other races when I asked Alice to confirm this for. Therefore also though they mimic BeyonceвЂ™s Single women or attempt to dress like P Diddy, it continues to be exactly that вЂ“ music and fashion, and has now nothing in connection with the performers battle.
Well, IвЂ™ve stated a great deal more than we initially designed to, however the subject is extremely interesting in my experience and is surely one that’s evolving on a regular basis. Residing in Korea for over 2 yrs, my brain happens to be broadened therefore much and IвЂ™ve learned to see the world through a variety of pairs of eyes вЂ“ regardless of the competition they belong to!
IвЂ™d want to understand your ideas and viewpoints about it!
* Sheetal Makhan is a South African columnist and writer, that has been living and dealing in Southern Korea when it comes to previous couple of years. She had written this piece for Grubstreet in reaction to the post that is previous. View here to visit SheetalвЂ™s weblog or you can easily reach her at email protected