Thursday, November 16, 2006
Koreans: More Homogenized Than Milk
(Note: This question has been edited for length. Yes, it was longer. MUCH longer.)
I'm Korean-American. Why do Koreans try to fix things even though it is not their decision? For example: I don't go to church and devout church-going Koreans would try to make me go despite my repeated statements that I do not believe in their religion and you should respect my set of beliefs. I don't play videogames, gamble, drink lots of alcohol, smoke cigs (I smoke cigars once in awhile), go to parties/raves, or have celebrity-obsession worshipping like a lot of Koreans and KAs I know. I prefer to do other things in life such as snowboard and shoot guns. Even if I'm planning an event like going on a road trip, Koreans crap their pants saying "you can't do that."
Koreans say the same thing when I do something supposedly amazing even though it's done so regularly by regular Americans. I bought a car, got insurance for it, and did the registration all by myself and a Korean guy asked me "wow, your parents bought you a car? that's cool." My response is "I bought it myself"and he doesn't believe me at all. Same responses for buying a gun, go skiing, go to a foreign country alone, cook for myself, live by myself, etc.
As a lifelong bachelor by choice, I'm subjected to numerous women trying to "fix me" that I should be married to a nice Korean woman to take care of me. Haha, sorry but yours truly doesn't believe in marriage, since I'm a firm believer in the marriage strike thanks to the ugly divorce laws and high divorce rates in the western world, including Japan and Korea. Women still try to get me into Korean girls even to a point I was infatuated with other foreign women and not Asians.
Any answers to this "korean drama/dilemna" and what I can do to minimalize the damage?
Dear Mangchi ("hammer"),
How dare you think that your business is none of other people's business? As a Korean, you have no privacy. None. Zero. Give it up.
In all seriousness though, the Korean empathizes with you completely. At times the Korean is completely sick of those Korean tendencies to be EXTREMELY nosy. But first, take this to heart, because apprently you're from Idaho (edit: Nov. 16 6:25 p.m., sorry, apparently you're from upstate New York. As far as I'm concerned, if it's not LA or NYC, they're all about the same): I have met many Korean Americans whose views on Koreans were really skewed because they hail from the parts of America that don't have too many Koreans. Not only is there a sample size error, but the nosy tendencies of Koreans exponentially increase when they are in a small, confined space. You know how Hippos kill each other if they are captive in too small of a space? Koreans won't quite kill each other, but you would wish they would.
So why are Koreans so nosy and try to fix things? Blame it on their history. During the 4000 years of Korean history, only 10 percent of the time Korea was NOT under some sort of invasion, usually from China or Japan. Consequently, Koreans became extremely defensive to their ways of life; anyone who is different from the Korean way is probably looking to kill the men and steal the women. So be comforted that at least those nosy Koreans have good intentions. When they are invaded again, they want to make sure that you are not the one to kill. If you look like a Korean but act differently, it's confusing the hell out of other Koreans.
If you think what I'm saying is a bunch of gura ("lies", a Korean slang,) ask your nearby Jewish or Italian friends how nosy and meddling their people are. You'll be surprised how similar the experience is. People who are constantly under attack are all the same.
What can you do about it? Meet some Koreans who are not from your area. Once outside of small confines, there is a pretty good diversity among Koreans, especially in Los Angeles or New York. The Korean himself learned to ride a motorcycle, bought one, registered and insured it all by himself. The Korean also loves skiing, lives and cooks by himself, and has been to foreign countries by himself a number of times; many of the Korean's Korean friends have done the same. As to those nosy Koreans, do what every Korean secretly does: smile, nod, and make up excuses not to do things that they suggest.
So you don't drink a lot? Blasphemy! A box of soju is on the way to fix that problem.
Got a question or comment for the Korean? Ask away at firstname.lastname@example.org.