I enjoyed your latest posting regarding the way non-Asians treat Asian Americans. Your points helped me realize that white people say and a lot of stupid things around Asians. As a caucasian guy who has been living in Korea for over four years, I also have some requests for Korean people. I am sure you have considered some of these points in the past, but I thought you might appreciate them as someone who has lived in both Korea and the U.S.
- When you see a white person on the street, do not yell, "Hello!" or "Where areyou from?" at the top of your lungs. Koreans do not talk to other strangers onthe street, so there is no need to single out the foreigner to practice English with. (The Korean himself is totally guilty on this one, back when he was living in Korea.)
- When foreigners speak Korean, do not say, "Your Korean is so good!" even whenthe phrase being uttered by the person is ridiculously simple. (To be fair, Koreans just don't expect anyone to learn any Korean. And they could be talking about your pronunciation.)
- Do not discuss the purity or superiority of the Korean race. It comes acrossas ignorant, exclusionist, and racist. (No argument here.)
- Talking about foreigners in their presence is extremely rude. It is clear that white people have more body hair, different eye colors, and different bodyshapes from Koreans. It is best to wait until whitey has left before dissecting his appearance. (Shit-talking in the face of someone is so much fun. It's probably the best thing about knowing a relatively obscure language. But yeah, it's pretty damn annoying if you understand the shit-talking. Happened to the Korean many times whenever he traveled to a Spanish-speaking country.)
- Do not tell every foreign guy you see that he is handsome and resembles a movie star. I know we all look alike, but most of us are nowhere near ashandsome as Brad Pitt. (Does this really happen or did you just break your spine trying to pat yourself on the back?)
- Stop fetishizing Ivy League schools and the American upper class. Your children can still be successful if they don't get into Harvard. (Indeed. The Korean is doing just fine after going to a state school.)
- Stop the systematic exclusion of mixed ethnicity Koreans. Koreans only accept them after they are succussful (e.g. Hines Ward and Daniel Henny). Even then, it comes across as if they believe their success comes from the 'Korean blood'. (The Korean will devote a post on this topic later, but yes, it's pretty disgusting.)
- Do not use phrases such as, "Koreans are the
- Stop ruining Western food under the guise of fusion cuisine. Whipped cream does not belong on baked potatoes and kimchi does not belong in spaghetti. Also, hamburgers are not steak. Furthermore, stop price gouging on so-called luxury drinks such as Starbucks coffee. A cup of coffee should not cost $6. (But how will people know it's from America unless it tastes weird and exorbitantly expensive?)
- Do not hold a spoon like a shovel. This is not preschool. (Frankly, the Korean does not understand this part. Korean people do this?)
- Stop wearing t-shirts with pictures of white kids in big sunglasses. A picture of an emo kid or a Paris Hilton wannabe printed on a cheap t-shirt is not good fashion. (That must be the latest fashion in Seoul. Thank god the Korean is not there, or he might have gouged his own eyes out.)
- On that note, what is the deal with the ridiculous number of Koreans wearing shirts with incoherent English phrases? Most of the time, these are simply annoying. In some cases, they are downright offensive. New rule: You must beable to read the English on a t-shirt before wearing it. With the amount of time and money Koreans spend on English education, this should not be a problem. (Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for saying this. Now, if only the Korean can enforce the same rule upon non-Asians and their t-shirts/tattoos...)
- It seems that Koreans like to emulate the worst garbage that comes out of American pop culture. Paris Hilton is not the ideal woman, Nsync and the Backstreet Boys are not where music ends, Levi's are not the best jeans, and 'The Butterfly Effect' and 'Step Up' are not good movies. It is easy to mistakenly assume that Koreans are superficial when their tastes appear to be shallow. (Eh, the Korean will disagree on this one. If Korean people like them, so be it. Spam is considered gross in most parts of America, but people in Hawaii accepted it to be great food and made fantastic dishes out of it. It's all in the eye of the beholder. If a sugarmama who gives out free ass is not the ideal woman, who is?)
Got a question or comment for the Korean? Email away at firstname.lastname@example.org.