We have a brand new co-worker, a Korean girl, Alice, that has been hitched up to a Pakistani for the previous 6 years. Alice spent some time working with international teachers before and contains provided tales beside me about them along with her very own individual tale to be married to a foreigner.
Alice said 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. Apparently, whenever he rode the elevator, Korean renters when you look at the building would log off if he had been in.
Once I asked Alice why Koreans have this mindset towards African people, her solution blew me away. (take note that this is simply not an expression of her opinion, but that of Korean people as a whole).
I became told that Koreans fear African individuals because вЂњthey can be crooksвЂќ or вЂњthey may harm you.вЂќ
вЂњKoreans think these are generally just like the mafia.вЂќ When I questioned Alice where all this work is due to, she replied, вЂњFrom TV and films.вЂќ
With this true point, i will let you know that we now have a quantity of Nigerians in Korea. It is known that some are right right here as English teachers (illegally, as Nigerian passport holders are currently maybe perhaps not permitted to be English trainers). Some Nigerians possess nightclubs in Itaewon, while some do menial work with Koreans.
So, essentially I became told that in comparison to white westerners, Koreans respect Africans as having a statusвЂ™ that isвЂlow. In case a Korean woman had been up to now a foreigner, it might be more appropriate if she had been with a white guy.
My head raced and I questioned further, вЂњWhy is Oprah and Tyra Banks therefore popular on Korean television if Koreans donвЂ™t favour black colored people?вЂќ Well the solution is very easy. Famous brands Oprah Winfrey, Tyra Banks, Beyonce, Barack Obama and also our very own Nelson Mandela hold a specific variety of status and energy on the planet. Whatever they state is gospelвЂ¦and, вЂњOh! They have been rich!вЂќ I became told.
Alice confessed to being ostracized from her relatives and buddies after she married her spouse вЂ“ A pakistani guy whom was employed in Korea for almost ten years. I am told by her sadly, вЂњItвЂ™s for 2 reasons. HeвЂ™s not Korean. And heвЂ™s a Muslim.вЂќ
Koreans and Muslims
Amir is AliceвЂ™s spouse. As being a businessman in Korea for a significant amount of years|number that is great of , he talks Korean very nearly fluently. HeвЂ™s experienced his or her own share of racism between the Korean community. Alice related an account for me whereby Amir ended up being cutting a company cope with A korean guy. In Korean, the guy rudely thought to Amir, вЂњHey you! Come right right here!вЂќ вЂ“ the same tone one would just take whenever speaking with a kid. Needless to say, Amir could appreciate this and asked questioned the person. Frequently, whenever Koreans understand that foreigners can realize also a little bit of their language, their mindset will alter almost instantly. IвЂ™ve experience this hand that is first particularly when cab motorists are making an effort to cheat me or rig the meter!
Whenever driving to get results into the early morning, both Amir and Alice are met with intense glares from tollgate employees. Alice informs me that folks question her without beating in regards to 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.
Therefore now that we knew in which the racism towards black people descends from, I became interested to understand where the underlying hatred towards Muslim individuals arrived from. Alice place it merely in a single 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 a course not long ago i taught. We told a class of Grade 5s that I happened to be South African. I continued to say that I happened to be Indian. A few of them mistook it for the indigenous American. Whenever I explained that I intended Indian from Asia, the very first response from them had been, вЂњCurry!вЂќ in order young as they have been, my students are actually in a position to connect racial and cultural teams to something which they could be linked to, or in other words that which we understand as вЂstereotypesвЂ™.
hiphop culture sweeps over Korea
There has been already a revolution of hip hop culture thatвЂ™s bought out youth that is korean. It has influenced Korean music, music videos as well as fashion. IвЂ™ve always told my buddies that being in A korean club makes me feel just like IвЂ™m from the group of a hiphop music video clip. Rap and rap performers (a number of African lineage) are extremely popular in Korea right now, that leads me personally to think that this whole racism hoo-hah is predicated on the mindset of older Koreans. Appropriate? Wrong!
Me, she disagreed saying that younger generations are also racist towards other races when I asked Alice to confirm this for. Therefore also it remains just that вЂ“ music and fashion, and has nothing to do with the artists race though they mimic BeyonceвЂ™s Single Ladies or try to dress like P Diddy.
Well, IвЂ™ve stated a great deal more than I initially designed to, nevertheless the topic is extremely interesting in my opinion and it is definitely one that’s evolving every day. Residing in Korea for more than couple of years, my brain is broadened therefore much and IвЂ™ve learned to see the world through a variety of pairs of eyes вЂ“ whatever the competition they belong to!
IвЂ™d want to understand your ideas and viewpoints about it!
* Sheetal Makhan is a South columnist that is african blogger, that has been residing and working in Southern Korea for the previous couple of years. She composed this piece for Grubstreet in reaction for this post that is previous. Click the link to visit SheetalвЂ™s blog or she can be reached by you at email protected