I'm curious to know how Hispanics are viewed in Korea. I am Dominican, but was raised and live in the US, and I look like I'm Indian/Arabic/Middle Eastern. Just thought I'd get an idea of what the Korean people's reaction to me, and people like me (tan, almond eyed, dark wavy/curly haired) would be like, and how to go about interacting with them.
I just wanted to have your opinion about how Muslims are "perceived" by Korean people. Would you be kind enough to give me your insight on this subject ?
Dear Grace and Vera,
Here is a pop quiz: what do Hispanics and Muslims have in common?
Answer: Korean people don't know anything about them.
The Korean also gets a lot of questions of this ilk: "I am planning to travel Korea for a few weeks. I am a member of [XX ethnicity group]. How will I be treated in Korea? How will Korean people see me?"
Truth is, Koreans won't really care about you. They are busy with their own lives. Koreans will know you won't be impacting their lives in any meaningful way. They also realize you are humans, and the way you are treated won't make any meaningful difference in your life either. You might get stared at on the streets a little, only because you look different. But really, what do you expect? To be stoned on the road or something?
This is even more the case if you belong to a group that Koreans do not usually see, like Hispanics or Muslim. Koreans may have some pre-conceived notions about Americans, Europeans and other Asians. But other than that, Koreans generally only have the most fleeting images of what the rest of the world is like. (Just like 95% of the rest of the world, really.)
So just stop with your goddamn worries. Just go and have fun.
Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at firstname.lastname@example.org.