Foreign man with Korean women in both arms
A previous post, ‘Anti Foreigner feeling in Korea’ touched on Korean xenophobic attitudes towards foreigners dating Korean women. Now Naver News is continuing to try to stir up anti foreigner hysteria by claiming that the foreign presence in the Hongik University area is destroying Korean morals and is leading to undesirable relationships between Korean women and foreign men. The article was discovered and translated by marmot, which is always an interesting read. Below is marmots translation of the article.
The number of foreigners walking up and down in front of Hongik University is increasing. Clubs with foreign DJs are enjoying a boom, and there are more and more Korean women visiting these and particular clubs for “booking”. The clubs in front of the Hongik University, known as the birthplace of Korea’s indie culture, are transforming in a foreigner’s “paradise for hunting women.”
As recently as the 2002 incident in which two middle school girls were killed by a U.S. military vehicle, the clubs in front of Hongik University were known as a “no-entry” area for U.S. soldiers. Foreign English teachers and foreign business folk like those who worked for financial firms in Yeouido were also banned from entry. An official with the Hongik University Club Federation said, “I remember the ban on U.S. soldiers as a measure taken out of consideration for public sentiment when the soldiers were found not guilty [in the 2002 armored vehicle incident]… The initial goal was to try to stop unfortunate incidents caused by U.S. soldiers from occuring.”
Afterwards, the flow of foreigners to the Hongik area stopped. Local residents openly complained that the Hongik area had been ruined “because of the U.S. soldiers and foreigners,” and club officials thoroughly put an end to the improper foreign club culture. The situation has changed, however. In 2003, the Hongik clubs began hiring foreign DJs and bands, and foreigners once again began heading to the area.
On official with one club in the area said, “It appears that as Korean women thinking of marrying foreigners and women who studied abroad flock to Hongik area, the number of foreigners is also increasing… We started performances by foreign bands in order to give the place a foreign atmosphere without having to go abroad.”
The reason why these women flock to the place, which seemed to have developed a healthy foreigner culture as foreigners became the norm there, is because the number of foreigners “who want to meet ‘real Koreans’” has increased. Ms. Lee, a 30-year-old who studied abroad, said, “Hongik has now become a ‘meeting place’ to meet with foreigners, with the number of younger women dating foreigners on the rise… There are also countless women coming to the area to engage in booking with foreign men.”
Hongdae is now an area hot with youthful passion that has degenerated from being mixed up with foreigners. As the recent act of indecent exposure by a punk band on live TV showed, the diversity and individuality of the area in front of Hongik University is nowhere to be found. As the number of foreigners with more of an interest in booking and one night stands than in the music increases, there are many women coming to the clubs in search of “blue-eyed men.”
The foreign men and Korean women enjoy heading to Picasso Street and “M” and “A” clubs. One foreign English teacher working in Gangnam said, “The area in front of Hongik University is the only place in Korea where we can meet girlfriends… There’s a general trend for Korean women to come up to you to talk, even if you’re just sitting in a club.”
Obviously this article is meant to stir up anti foreigner feeling, and is unfortunately a totally acceptable form of journalism in Korea.
A foreign resisident in Korea and fellow despoiler of Korean maidenhood who is fed up with Korean prejudice against international couples wrote the below letter to the writer of the article and the people involved in publishing it. Not only is Dogbert extremely popular with the local ladies, but he is very fluent in Korean (better than myself by several magnitudes).
김지만 기자님 안녕하세요?
제가 방금 김 기자님 무책임하게 쓰신 기사를 봤습니다.
이런 주제는 정말 “누스”라고 생각하십니까?
제가 알게에는 한국여자는 서양인 남자와의 관계는 불법 아닙니다. 저의 이해 하기는 틀립니까?
사적인 관계는 왜 토론 만들으세요? 제가 알고 싶습니다.
그리고 제가 알기에는 수많은 한국남자는 백인여자랑 단지 섹스 관계 만들고 싶어합니다. 기자님의 생각에는 그 것도 “뉴스” 아닙니까?
반미나 반서양남자 감정을 분기 시키기 전에 북미나 서구에서 한국사람 몇 백만 명 살고 있는 것을 생각하셨으면 좋겠어요.
토종인 (우리들은 우리나라에는 “외국인” 아니란 것은 명심하세요)들은 이런 글은 좋아할 것 같나요? 아니면 인정차별주의자 한국사람들을 실어할까요?
아므튼 같은 한국인 남자라도 herald.m의 발행자께 엄한 이의를 넣겠습니다
My Translation (if it loses its eloquence, it is because of my poor translation)
“To the writer, Kim Jiman,
Mr Kim, I just read the irresponsible article written by you. Do you really think this kind of subject can be considered real ‘news’?
It is my understanding that relationships between Korean women and foreign men is not illegal. Am I incorrect?
Why do you try to make private relationships an issue? I would like to know.
I also know that a great many Korean men want to form sexual relationships with white women. In your opinion, is not that also ‘news’ that should be printed? Is that not hypocrisy?
Before stirring negative feelings against the men of America or other western countries, you should consider that millions of Koreans live in North America and Western Europe.
Do you think Westerners living in Western countries (keep in mind that we are not “foreigners” in our own countries) will appreciate this sort of article?. Or have the have the Korean proponents of institutionalized racism forgotten these words?
In any event, I plan to send a strong complaint to the publishers of Herald.M.”
If you are a foreigner dating a Korean girl, then you can be hassled anytime for no reason at all. I rememember 5 years ago it even happened in Sydney, Australia, when I didnt speak Korean. I was with a Korean female friend in a bar in sydney. We were approach by a what looked like a Korean english language student. He talked to my friend but I couldnt understand what he was saying. The conversation went on for about 10 minutes. She told me later what he said:
“Excuse me. If you dont mind id like to talk to you for a moment. It seems that you are associating with this foreigner. I dont know what kind of relationship you are in but i want to tell you not to disgrace the Korean race by dating him. All the foreigners want to do is have sex with Korean girls anyway. I know you probably want to learn english but I would advise you to stay away from him” ad nauseum
Most of the foreigners I know that live or lived in Korea has experienced exactly the same thing, time and time again. The funny thing is that many non Korean speaking English teachers in Korea are probably not even aware what is happening when it is happening to them.
I dont think this article is an abberation. Rather it is a reflection of the xenophobic nature of Korean society. Fortunately there are many dedicated men like myself, dogbert and many, many other fellows that are determined to break this cycle by engaging in ‘cultural interchange’ with Korean women. So the writer of this article can rest at ease in knowing that Korea will join the 21st century on the issue of inter racial dating.