I would ike to inform about Racism and stereotypes in Southern Korea

2023 / 01 / 25

with SHEETAL MAKHAN

My trek throughout the world

Pic: Innovative Commons, Flickr, Hyku

In August 2007, I packed up my entire life in South Africa and relocated throughout the world to a country We never visited before to phone it house for per year. I experienced just graudated after four years at college and made a decision to proceed to Southern Korea to instruct English at a elementary college.

In those days, young graduates groing through to your eastern to be English teachers ended up being simply just becoming popular. People (also even today) find it quite intriguing and uncommon that I (an Indian girl) have gone my moms and dads house setting up shack in a nation therefore dissimilar to such a thing i possibly could imagine. In the end, if I had been to adhere to the stereotype, I’d have graduated with a degree that is notable hitched a “nice Indian boy”. Of course, we’d have babies and I’d develop into a stay-at-home-mom or work with the grouped household business (that has zero link with my degree!)

Having attended an all-girls school and at college, I’ve prided myself on being open-minded about individuals and countries. I’ve for ages been thinking about people and once you understand about social structures in culture.

The social groups I have associated with over the years have always been diverse while racism is still a prevalent topic in South Africa. Growing up, I never ever belonged to a clique. I experienced buddies of different events, countries and religions. This is why, I’ve learnt to embrace folks from all walks of life while having learned to empathize with buddies and strangers alike.

Settling into my brand new ‘home’

I had to get used to many different things – food, language, respect for authority and general cultural aspects that is typical of Asian nations when I arrived in Korea. Another thing I’d to have accustomed had been being stared at, whether close to my neighbourhood, regarding the coach or subway or once I was at a restaurant with my peers.

We are now living in town one hour out of the center of Seoul – Korea’s capital town. Foreigners in Seoul are certainly quite normal to see, specially throughout the weekends. Numerous English instructors and American soldiers flock to an area called Itaewon, which caters mostly to your international population. It really is positioned close to the United States Military Base and foreigners will enjoy typical food that is western don’t have any issue with communication, because so many of the Koreans doing work in Itaewon can speak English fairly well.

My city is extremely different and foreigners that are seeing here also makes me “sit up and look”. In your community that We are now living in, i am aware that we now have a few Bangladeshi’s and Sri Lankans whom operate Halaal shops. We don’t see them usually and also haven’t really communicated using them. I really do, nonetheless, have the occasional stare and whenever I’m out in Seoul, We often also get whistled at. I’m told that we now have more Indian men right here than you will find ladies, therefore seeing A indian woman like me personally is pretty unusual.

I am the initial and currently just teacher that is foreign my college. For many of the employees and students, i will be additionally the very first foreigner they have ever had contact with and “seen” in true to life. For a few for the youngsters who possessn’t been exposed to international television and films, I became different in their mind. Some pupils would come up if you ask me in pairs or groups, inquisitively peer at me and stroke my arm!

Whenever I introduced myself to my classes, we revealed them photographs of my children and buddies in South Africa (including the various races that comprise our “Rainbow Nation”) the overall reaction from my students were “Oohs and Aahs”.

Something different In addition had to become accustomed to had been told through my colleagues that I’m gorgeous. They often times spoke about how big my eyes are and therefore I have a nose” that is“high. We certainly wasn’t familiar with this as We never got attention even near to this in Southern Africa. We suppose I happened to be that is just‘ordinary home, nevertheless now I’m surviving in a homogenous country also to the locals right here, I’m exotic!