Top 5 Stereotypes of Koreans
1. Koreans floss too much: Ok, so first of all there is a hint of truth to this because Korea is a very image-conscious place. One unique thing about Koreans is that we are a very communal race. We do everything together and hate being alone. The way we are percieved is of the utmose importance to us. If you were to ask a Korean if they’d rather make a million a year but live an isolated life with no friends or make 50 grand a year and be a well-respected member of the community, about 99% of Koreans would choose the latter. Respect is of the utmost importance and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just the set of rules we live by. I would choose the latter too because what good is money if you can’t enjoy it. Aint no point being at the top if you aint got no one around you.
The problem is that some Koreans who just start working try to floss too hard. They live in tiny cheap apartments but go out and buy a benz or a beamer (Those, by the way, are the only two luxury cars that Koreans know of, either that or a hyundai). They do this because they want to portray a good image, but the fact is that image is built up over time. If you live this sort of lifestyle, people are going to find out that it’s all show. When word gets out, that will damage your reputation more. In the long run, buying a benz when you can’t afford has an antithetical effect. The real way to build your image is to work hard, save money, buy a nice house, and THEN buy a benz, not a benz first!
2. Koreans stick together: Again, this has to do with the way Korean culture is. Because so much of our culture is communal, it can be hard at times to adjust and play by a different set of rules. A lot of relationships in Korea are ones where each side really goes out of their way to help someone in the name of friendship. However, it makes no sense to do so here if the other party doesn’t reciprocate. As such, Koreans seek out other Koreans for reasons of familiarity. We enjoy being close to one another and forming strong bonds. The culture is very much one that envelopes you like a thick blanket. It can be suffocating at times and there are those Koreans who actively seek to avoid it by avoiding contact with other Koreans. One benefit of it is that Koreans do stick together through thick and thin and have each other’s back about as much as anyone could expect.
3. Korean males are brash, aggressive, and fight too much: There are distinct expectations for males and females. Males are expected to be tough, leaders, and brave. Most younger Koreans do get into physical altercations and can get a little crazy at times. I think that things change as we get older though. Even I’ve got into several fistfights in my past, especially in high school and college, but after college, I cooled off. It’s an innate instinct to “prove yourself” in the pecking order and I think it might run a little thicker in our veins.
4. Koreans drink too much: True… we do… I have a theory on this though. I call it the “Oppressed Nations Theory” That’s right, it’s in all caps cuz its mine so don’t bite my theory! There are oppressor nations and oppressed nations. Oppressor nations being the ones that have dominated and colonized oppressed nations. Oppressed nations seem to have a vibrant culture relating to song and dance and drinking. Perhaps it was an outlet to relieve their sorrows. If you look at the three races tha are percieved to drink too much, they are the Irish, the Native Americans, and Koreans. The Irish were oppressed for much of their history by the British. The Native Americans got screwed over by the white man and the Koreans were oppressed by the Chinese and the Japanese for long periods of time. Furthermore, the Irish are known also for their limericks, their myths and their general merry-making. Korea has the most dominant music industry in Asia and every Korean girl can belt out songs on the Karaoke machine if you haven’t noticed. Native Americans also have their own unique dances that can even make rain fall.
5. Korean males beat their wives: This is an outright lie. Koreans do not physically abuse their wives any more than any other race. This is just an outgrowth of the earlier aggressive male approach.
As for me, I probably floss a little more than the average Joe, probably fought a little more than I should have, stick tight with other Koreans, drink far too much, and have never laid a finger on any of my past girlfriends. In the end, if I was to be born again and given a choice, I would choose to be Korean again. I’m proud of my heritage and wouldn’t want it any other way.
Read Social etiquette in Australia:
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