Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Korean is in the news. (The article is in Korean.)

-EDIT 5/2/2008- FINE, the Korean will give an English translation.

The article was on Korea Daily, a Korean-language newspaper in New York. The interview was done in Korean, so the translation (especially the Korean's quotes) is kind of awkward.

Ask A Korean!

"Ask A Korean" Answers Korean Cultural Questions Posed by Second-Generation Koreans, non-Koreans/ Half of the questions come from 1.5-2nd generation, also from Southeast Asia/Non-Korean Ask about Korean Men the Most

"Is it ok to marry a Korean man?" "What does Andong Kim mean?"

These are the questions submitted to "Ask a Korean", a blog to which people can ask about Korean culture. The questions of course come from the U.S., but they also come from Canada, Korea, Australia, Southeast Asia.

"The Korean", who has been writing the blog since 2006, hides his identity behind a mask. All that is known is that he has lived in Korea until he was 16 when he moved to California, and he is a Korean man in his late 20s living in New York. This reporter met "the Korean" on the condition of anonymity.

*Understanding Misunderstood Culture - "I try to answer all questions from second generation Koreans."

The Korean always try to answer questions from second generation Koreans, who comprise about half of all questioners.

"For second generation Koreans who do not live in Los Angeles or New York, their parents are the only window into Korean culture. So there are many things that they misunderstand a lot about it."

Because the parents often say "this is how Koreans do things" without thinking, he said there are many cases in which the particularities of a family is confused with characteristics of all Koreans.

Korean adoptees ask as well. They would give the Korean their Korean name, asking for its meaning; they would also ask about Korean spelling of their name, intending to tattoo their name. A mixed-heritage Korean also asked "my mother keeps on saying I am Andong Kim, what does that mean?"

One non-Korean asked, "I have a Korean neighbor -- what's wrong with Korean culture?" The Korean replied, "it's not Korean culture, it's your neighbor."

The variety of the questions is infinite, including hojeok, family relations, Korean grammar. Many questions require weeks and months of study and reflection.

"I really learn a lot. All the different areas like Korean culture, history, and society all connect through the blog."

* What are Korean men like? - "I am trying to meet a Korean man through a broker. Is that ok?"

The most common question is about Korean men. The question is especially frequent from Southeast Asian women.

There was a case in which a Filipina who lived in Korea through marriage asked for the Korean's help. The woman, who was being abused by her husband in a country without any acquaintance, found the Korean on the Internet and told her circumstances. The Korean introduced her to an organization that helped abused Filipinas in Korea.

Other non-Korean women who are dating or married to Korean men ask similar questions. One non-Korean woman said "my boyfriend's mother is too cold to me," and asked how to be more recognized from Korean parents.


  1. Synopsis please? =)

  2. Anyone ever notice or ask about the significant number of KAs who go to church? That would be an interesting topic - especially to those of us who are not religious or even atheist and feel cut off in many ways to the KA community because we don't go to Sunday sermon or Thursday night bible study... Cheers to your blog. Good stuff.

  3. mikirooy,

    Did you seriously think no one asked that question already?


  4. I'm a banana what can I say. I'm not in touch with all things Korean. Thanks for the link!

  5. I know this is all two years old now, but it's amazing how your blog and the internet can help so many different people. The woman who was abused, for example. You may have been the only one she told or reached out to. Great blog AAK!


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