Occidentalism
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Rant about ‘Asiaphilia’

November 3rd, 2006 . by Matt

asiaphiles
‘Asiaphiles’ surrounding an Asian girl – picture from Orange County Weekly

This rant by Vickie Chang in the Orange County Weekly is something else. I guess the writer is a Korean American based on her stereotypical transplanted-to-America Korean girls first name (Vicky – how many Korean girls have you met using that name in English?) and the family name Chang, which is a fairly standard Korean family name. She also talks about booking clubs, and the customers of those are usually Korean.

Born and raised in La Habra, Dan* didn’t see many Asian Americans before college. Now 22, he attributes his Asiaphilia to UC Irvine, where he’s a studio art major and an astounding 58 percent of students claim Asian descent.

But his Asian fetish actually originated in high school, in trig class, where he met a Vietnamese American girl named Ann. Although born in the United States, Ann was raised in Indonesia until about a year before Dan met her. She spoke English well, but not perfectly. They shared the standard high school dating experience: dinner-and-movie dates, study dates, boba dates, kung fu lessons, meditation with the girlfriend’s Buddhist monk uncle. The relationship ended in a pretty standard way, too: Dan suggested sex, Ann resisted, things spiraled. There was an ultimatum and then a breakup, and then—classic—threats of suicide.

Later, Dan sought answers on Ann’s blog, where she labeled him a “standard American boy” and called him out for pressuring her into sex. She ended the entry with a note of disgust: “Get over yourself.”

Perhaps it was the pain of that rejection and the desire to overcome it, but Dan says Ann’s rejection changed him. When he began dating again, he found himself looking for Asian girls. He went through a string of them—one-night stands, flings and friends-with-benefits. He frequented places like Club Bang in Hollywood, which attracts a number of Asian patrons—and Asiaphiles like Dan.

Although there was one detour on the road to full-blown Asiaphilia—Desiree, whom he describes as a “white feminist with armpit hair”—Dan openly professed his preference for Asian women by his third year at UCI.

His friends back in La Habra eventually got the idea he had a fetish.

“Date a nice white girl,” they urged him.

“White girls,” he’d reply, “are sluts.”

Yes… this kind of thing never happens to high school couples of the same race, right? That is the start of quite an impressive rant. Lets look at it.

“You know, I just got back from Bangkok,” he went on. “The women in Thailand are all gorgeous. You’re all gorgeous! It’s just that whole area.”

That whole area? Bangkok? Thailand in general? Southeast Asia? The greater Asian continent?

It’s funny: Asia is about 17,212,000 square miles—nearly five times the size of the U.S. About 60 percent of the world’s population lives there. Yet these guys seem to lump all Asians together, not to mention the teeny tiny fact that people such as Christina are Americans.

Would an ‘Asiaphile’ really be so ignorant of Asian geography? The guy she is talking about is probably not an ‘Asiaphile’.

But he wasn’t finished. He inquired about Christina’s nationality and complimented her on her good breeding, background and “blood,” the last of which left her thoroughly creeped out. By the end of the night, the guy had even doted on her “delicate” fingers, and grabbed her arm when she tried to escape to the smoking patio.

Less than a month later, again at Detroit, another forgettable guy with crusty hands sauntered over to our table and said breathily, “I love this table! I just love it!” He stared at Christina, gesturing toward her with one of those crusty hands. “Especially you!”

Crusty hands? I wonder what purpose this kind of description serves. Are the crusty hands a product of his ‘Asiaphilia’? If not, what is the purpose of this kind of description if not for demagoguery?

By the time we’ve reached adulthood, most Asian American women have experienced so many episodes of Asiaphilia that it becomes something we laugh about over dinner. There was the time that one smooth-talking (and way too short—I hope you’re reading this) guy from LA Weekly’s marketing department asked me where I was from.

“Los Angeles,” I said.

“No, really, where are you really from?”

This seems kind of unreasonable. More than 65% of Asian Americans are born overseas. In a city like New York, the percentage rises to 78%. Most of the Asians the average American might meet out in casual social situations are probably not from America. If an Asian American is mistaken for a recent immigrant, then they should consider that the price of their parents having moved to America. That being said, it strikes me as extremely self centered to complain about people making assumptions that are in most cases correct.

There was the 20-year-old UCI economics major who swears that Asian women’s vaginas “feel different somehow—very smooth and naturally lubricated.” Or the guy who sauntered up to me and asked, “You must be great with a chopstick, huh?”

People really come up to you and say these kinds of things, Vicky? I have plenty of Asian female friends. It doesn’t happen to them.

It pisses us off—no, I don’t want to see your killer Chinese-character tat; it probably doesn’t mean what you think it means—but we’re not sure what we can do but laugh.

Now there is some misdirected anger. Who cares!

Asian fetishism has a long history of being brushed off as a compliment, rather than offensive or bigoted. I’ve been told I ought to be flattered that so many non-Asian men “prefer” Asians and Asian American women. But the coalescing of an ethnicity into a whole, whether exotic, erotic, oversexed or virginal, is a real issue, collectively and individually. (I guess when it comes to stereotypes, Asian women have it better than Asian men do. There are two main themes when it comes to Asian male stereotypes: virginal and emasculated. Not to mention that super-fun myth that goes something like this: small stature equals small penis equals small chance of pleasure.)

Asiaphilia brings with it a set of more intimate considerations. I get to wonder if the man chatting me up is genuinely interested in me or interested in the idea of what he supposes me to be: demure and submissive, the forever-faithful geisha girl/bedroom toy.

The overwhelming ratio of males with Asiaphilic attraction to females suggests that this fetishization isn’t based on looks alone. Asiaphiles are looking for authority in their romantic relationships, premeditated or not.

Even if this were true, and that white guys dating Asian girls had these kinds of assumptions about “demure and submissive” Asian “geisha/bedroom toy”, such assumptions would not survive real life contact. Unless she is suggesting there is truth to what she says is a myth.

This issue moved out of the theoretical and into the personal when I dated a white boy I met in college.

“Do you like boba,” he asked me.

“I don’t.”

“Ever visited the Japanese Garden at Huntington Library?”

“I have, but I prefer the Shakespeare Garden.”

“Ever read The Art of War?”

I was devastated. Couldn’t he see I was into the same things he was—Dostoevsky, early ’90s shoegazer music and Indian food?

It hurt. When someone homogenizes an entire race of people—even if that homogenization tends toward desirable—that someone is creating a wall between himself and the person in question. No one likes to be treated as an outsider, especially in the only country she’s ever known as home

People have a tendency to ‘homogenize’ things, and that crosses racial boundaries. It is not something unique to white people. Vicky has been homogenizing people thoughout her article.

Things got worse when I heard the story of my friend Lydia, whose boyfriend’s Asiaphilic tendencies didn’t reveal themselves for months. By the end of the relationship, the guy had become an East Asian Studies/Chinese language double major, and never missed a chance to converse with her family in their native Mandarin. When she wasn’t around, he’d call her father to go out for Chinese food.

He’s gone, but his impact on Lydia remains.

“It always crosses my mind,” she says, “that I’m replaceable.”

It sounds like he is making a big effort to get along with his girlfriends family, especially his girlfriends father. A good friend of mine was dating an Asian girl and was told by her father to “Fuck off… stay away from my daughter… she isn’t allowed to date white guys“. It is good that he is getting along with her family.

As all good Asian-American Studies minors know, the roots of Asiaphilia are planted in the soil of colonialism. Our European forefathers, viewing any foreign culture as backward, erased what they could of indigenous custom and inscribed upon the people their own authority. Thus did bloom the stereotype of Asian docility, submissiveness and lotus blossom beauty.

Considering all the laws forbidding inter-racial sex in America in the past, it is unlikely that the forefathers of America are responsible for ‘Asiaphilia’. If there was a ‘stereotype’ of docility of Asian women, the ‘stereotype’ came from the extremely male dominated societies of East Asia. From foot binding to Confucian morals delegating women to the status of chattel, none of this has anything to do with any white people at all.

Moving on a bit, its a long rant, I am leaving out the ranting about Nicholas Cage and his Korean wife, and the rant about Gwen Stafani and her ‘Harajuku girls’, and also the rant about homosexual white men dating homosexual Asian men.

Dan says his last girlfriend before undergoing what he calls “The Change” was another Ann. Annie, actually. She was Chinese American, a UCI student and a born-again Christian who claimed a “secondary virginity.”

By the conclusion of their five-month relationship, the secondary virginity had disappeared just as the first one had. Soon afterward, she made Dan disappear, too. Not long after that, Dan went through a tumultuous quarter-life crisis.

He’s now dating Frida, a fourth-year film major of mixed Mexican and European descent he met while working at a local movie theater. He’s glad to have renounced his narrow-minded ways.

“I was going through a lot of changes in my life and rethinking things,” he recalls. “My obsession with Asian women was one of the aspects of myself I found to be not healthy.”

He’s a new man, he says, living by a new philosophy: “Asian women tend to be mean, stingy abusers.”

So what, now Dan is alright? “Asian women tend to be mean, stingy abusers” and “White girls are sluts”. It sounds to me like Dan is a young man with special problems, not representative of ‘Asiaphiles’, whatever they are.

I wonder where I fit in to this pattern that Vicky lays out here. I have dated Asian girls, which is supposed to be an ‘Asiaphile’ trait.. I have lived in Japan. I speak, read and write Japanese, Korean, and to a certain extent, Chinese. Obviously I can tell the difference between various Asian countries, and do not lump them all together, so I do not fit the ‘Asiaphile’ pattern Vicky describes in that respect. I hate tattoos so tattoos with Chinese characters are not an issue for me. Nor am I the kind of moron that approaches strangers and talks about the relative lubricative qualities of different races of womens sexual organs, something that seems to happen to Vicky a lot (wonder why?). I don’t know about submissiveness or anything like that – I just try to get along with any girl I date. It is hard to imagine the situation described by Vicky. So am I a ‘Asiaphile’?

Perhaps this is an ‘issue’ that we need to talk about. But if we are going to talk about nonsense issues, lets start with the issue of the white fetish that is causing Asians leave the land of their ancestors to live among white people, who are obviously the most bigoted and racist people on the planet. Now that is weird! According to Vicky, white men that date Asian women are Asian fetishists that are engaging in “offensive or bigoted” behavior. It looks like by this standard people that hate Asians are racist, and people that are friendly to Asians are also racist. Life must be hard for Asian Americans! We must make a study of this issue, and find out why Asian people continue to emigrate to America despite its insurmountable shortcomings and omnipresent racism. Perhaps Vicky can tell us the reason why?


99 Responses to “Rant about ‘Asiaphilia’”

  1. comment number 1 by: KidfromOhio

    And just one thing…….I’m not trying to call you a monster or anything – but you almost remind me of an organization in US…where these people (calling theselves christian…ablsolutely disgusting.) stalk and blackmailing (by harassing neighbors, and also posting flyers outside the hospital – pictures of dead babies, etc.) the workers there….

    the group’s leader was a ex-punk rock era christian reborn SOB i’d like to kick
    a new hole into his head….

    a catholic school girl went up to her and said stop doing these acts. And he said “I’m not hurting her.” and the school girl replied ” you’re not helping her.”

    ….

    do you get what I’m saying?

    I enjoyed your dokdo/takeshima articles, it was a very interesting, very meaningful reading. But…what does this accomplish? and this article – it seems like you wouldn’t have posted it if it was from a black woman writing about Asian culture – or if she had a japanese last name, you know you wouldn’t have posted it.

    I mean… if you’re gunna be a blogger – …..and you also know the uglyness of internet’s power – of having a fake name,etc. – how about you post things like you would do in a public conference? Since your dokdo/takeshima articles were very impressive. But rest are really just trash.

    I mean……tell me what this article represents that we all should know about – the dumb b**** decided to write a dumb article. And you put it on here
    because she’s korean. What does that accomplish concerning the general Koreans?

    tell me – please. I’d like to hear your expression.

    I honestly think you just love the attention. Since if this is a blogger’s journalism, I guess it’s pretty much a pure gibberish.

  2. comment number 2 by: KidfromOhio

    I’d like to hear your reasons* ( 3rd line from top -)

    what the hell am I doing….now back to studying…see ya.

  3. comment number 3 by: Matt

    KidfromOhio, I have patriotism. Telling the truth about my country and not exaggerating is the most patriotic thing I can think of. If there is something on this site that you think is untrue, then use your knowledge to correct me. You haven’t done that so I will assume that you know I am writing truthful things.

    As for Hwabyung – I am mixing English and Korean, and using it in the way that you would use the words ‘nuts’ in English, like “you have gone nuts”. I am aware that Hwabyung is an illness and it doesn’t ‘go’ anywhere or ‘do’ anything. You cannot expect consistency when mixing two languages.

  4. comment number 4 by: dogbert

    Too many hyphenated Americans claiming patriotism for two separate nations/peoples that are often at odds.

  5. comment number 5 by: Matt

    I enjoyed your dokdo/takeshima articles, it was a very interesting, very meaningful reading. But…what does this accomplish? and this article – it seems like you wouldn’t have posted it if it was from a black woman writing about Asian culture – or if she had a japanese last name, you know you wouldn’t have posted it.

    Gerry wrote most of the Dokdo articles, so the credit for that goes to him. If she had a Japanese name, I still would have posted it for sure. As I have explained before, I have called Japanese people out on things when I find something, and even ON THIS VERY ISSUE OF INTERRACIAL DATING. You write stuff like you think you know me, but you are very much mistaken about me.

    I mean……tell me what this article represents that we all should know about – the dumb b**** decided to write a dumb article. And you put it on here
    because she’s korean. What does that accomplish concerning the general Koreans?

    I don’t know that she is ‘Korean’, but I think she is a Korean AMERICAN, and if she isn’t then she is an Asian AMERICAN criticising other AMERICANS for dating AMERICANS (see where this is going?).

    What exactly are you criticising about my post? Rather than describe it as ‘gibberish’, tell me what the problem is specifically.

  6. comment number 6 by: dogbert

    By the way, 화병, 홧병, whatever … Matt’s point has been well made.

    As long as something is in the dictionary (화병 is, 홧병 isn’t), it’s difficult to say Matt is wrong. As far as everyday usage, 화/ㅅ/병 itself is not a term that normally comes up in conversation, anyway.

  7. comment number 7 by: dogbert

    One more thing, the possessive 시옷 is not normally attached to Sino-Korean words, such as the 화 in 화병. Rather, you see it used with such native Korean expressions such as 아랫물 and 윗물.

  8. comment number 8 by: Matt

    One more thing, the possessive 시옷 is not normally attached to Sino-Korean words, such as the 화 in 화병. Rather, you see it used with such native Korean expressions such as 아랫물 and 윗물.

    OK. Lets look at it. Pure Korean KidfromOhio VS Foreigner Matt on Korean language question.

    KidfromOhio says its 홧병.

    Matt says its 화병.

    Checks dictionary for 홧병. Nothing. Checks dictionary for 화병. Yes, its there.

    Winner: Matt

    Checks google for 홧병. 홧병 has 84,800 hits. Checks google for 화병. 화병 has 1,100,000 hits, more than 12 times the number of KidfromOhio’s 홧병.

    Winner: Matt

    Result – Foreigner Matt beats Pure Korean KidfromOhio on a Korean language point 2-0.

  9. comment number 9 by: kojibomb

    irrelevant, but i hav to say.

    I figured out why people think SK hate US. I think its about 50/50. Most of Seoul people… northern SK people like US. Most of Pusan people… southern people hate US. I heard that Pusan people… near that region gyung sang nam do? people are pretty violent.

    Do you guys know Park Chung Hee.. who developed SK’s economy greatly but done horrible things like in Dae gu etc where civilians were killed fighting for freedom/rights. This Dae gu thing is very famous… they say military closed the city from other parts of the country and started slaughtering. Park Chung Hee is from southern part and, his party and those who follow his party still seems to be ridiculous. They are the ones who do all/most of absurb stuff like the anti Japan/US strikes and etc. People who support his party are mostly from Pusan and that region. Seoul people and Gyung sam buk do? people seem to hate them for this.

    I don’t really know that much about ROK but asked one of my friend and he said all these things. Not very sure though….

    Oh… and he said this…

    There is reason why Korean people hate Japan. Japan still has control over SK. More than 50 percent of members of Govt are japanophiles. All of SK supreme court members are japanophiles. All SK’s laws are made by Japanophiles. These people are the ones who sold Korea illegally to Japan.
    Even Park Chung Hee is japanophile who

    Park had served as a lieutenant in the Kantogun, part of the Imperial Japanese Army, in Manchuria, fighting Mao Zedong’s Chinese Communist forces. Although the Kantogun also carried out actions against Korean guerrillas, it is not clear whether Park actually fought against Korean forces

    and they become presidents.

    SK people are angry at their own govt… which makes them to hate Japan (maybe due to jealousy) too. Maybe later… Japan and Korea will have better relationship.

  10. comment number 10 by: kojibomb

    http://hunjang.blogspot.com/2004/03/contemporary-korean-history-kwangju.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwangju_massacre
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_National_Party

    looks like the absurb party is called Grand National Party 한나라. Its presidents were Park Chung Hee, Chun Do hwan, Roh Tae Woo, and Kim Young sam who all were involved in military and forced people to follow them when they were running the country. Lee hoi Chang too…

    But it says it keeps strong relation with US and Japan but i don’t know what my friend was talking about.

  11. comment number 11 by: tomato

    kojibomb

    There is reason why Korean people hate Japan. Japan still has control over SK. More than 50 percent of members of Govt are japanophiles. All of SK supreme court members are japanophiles. All SK’s laws are made by Japanophiles. These people are the ones who sold Korea illegally to Japan.

    This is kind of thinking is racial purism and intorelance…when nations start doing this, it’s a straight road into hatred and depair. Like former Yugoslavia…or Nazi Germany. Of course you can understand that it’s nonesense.

    What’s so wrong about Koreans, who had Japanese citizenship, getting education in the Japanese system (there was no other system) and joining the miltary or serving as public servants? Do you think that Estonians (or any non-Russian people) going to a univesrity in Moscow to study science or becoming a MIG pilot during the Soviet era should be considered collaborators and thus traitors of their people? What other choice did they have to earn a better life? It’s not like the French resistance, you know…

    And the above comment is way too exaggerated. 50% Japanophiles? I would say 0.000000005%.

  12. comment number 12 by: GarlicBreath

    koji-

    After sifting through your konglish, I sensed a lot of hatred for japan. Didn’t you claim to be part Japanese. (kinda reminds me of that groveling gender-bender koreaphile JD ‘nate’ hilts / Kushibo / Nora Park- he/she/ it made the same claims in order to be more credible).

    I don’t really know that much about ROK but asked one of my friend and he said all these things. Not very sure though….

    That is why this blog is sooooooo needed. Koreans like yourself are clueless about Korea but will believe anything that supports their belief in a glorious Korea that the whole world with bow before.

    The great thing is that occidentalism doesn’t lie or make this stuff up. They just post the facts and let the readers decide.

  13. comment number 13 by: Richardson

    This seems kind of unreasonable. More than 65% of Asian Americans are born overseas. In a city like New York, the percentage rises to 78%. Most of the Asians the average American might meet out in casual social situations are probably not from America.

    I argued that exact point here (in comments);

    http://asiapages.wordpress.com/2006/01/11/asian-americans-in-america-and-in-asia/

    After which it was implied that I might be racist, etc. It’s an emotional issue that some just can’t understand.

  14. comment number 14 by: mattrosencrance

    @ tomato

    Kudoz and well put.

  15. comment number 15 by: kojibomb

    i told u guys… i heard it from my friend….

    its not from me… I didn’t even know what was happening until i searched.. park Chung Hee on wiki then went to political parties in Korea. ummm… sorry about my english.. lol i suck at writing… esp on this website because i just write what’s on my mind. i m studying aplied science so… my eng sux. Good thing that i only hav to pass one 100 level english course yay…

    My friend told me these japanophiles are different. Not the normal koreans who had japanese citizenship… prob my Korean great parents and great great parents had them too. but these people are the ones who took advantage of the situation and sold Korean land illegally to Japan during that time.

    just like what i said… I heard it from a Korean friend who recently came here… transfer student from korea uni….

  16. comment number 16 by: empraptor

    Matt wrote…

    OK, lets find out if Vicky is a Korean American. Its the only way to stop the speculation.

    I suppose.

    Though I was trying to resolve the contradiction between the evidence you used to come to your conclusion and the confidence you had in that conclusion. I think that confidence was miplaced.

    Knowing her actual ethnicity now would not change the information you had when you wrote the commentary.

    And really, I fail to see how her exact ethnicity is relevant when criticizing the contents of her article. Or would your commentary have been less relevant to Occidentalism if you had not asserted that Vicky is Korean-American?

  17. comment number 17 by: Matt

    Though I was trying to resolve the contradiction between the evidence you used to come to your conclusion and the confidence you had in that conclusion. I think that confidence was miplaced.

    Really? How many Chinese-Americans do you know that go to booking clubs?

    Knowing her actual ethnicity now would not change the information you had when you wrote the commentary.

    Agreed.

    And really, I fail to see how her exact ethnicity is relevant when criticizing the contents of her article. Or would your commentary have been less relevant to Occidentalism if you had not asserted that Vicky is Korean-American?

    Her ethnicity is only an identifier and does nothing to prove or disprove her theory. Since her articles was replete with racial identifiers, I tried to identify hers. As for relevance, I already answered that here.

  18. comment number 18 by: ponta

    My friend told me these japanophiles are different. Not the normal koreans who had japanese citizenship… prob my Korean great parents and great great parents had them too. but these people are the ones who took advantage of the situation and sold Korean land illegally to Japan during that time.

    What is the ground for believing the story of your friend? Do you accept it if you heard it from your friend? Don’t you think something is fishy about the story? Do you really believe they sold the country? in what sense?…..
    And your conclusion is that “There is reason why Korean people hate Japan.”
    Think of how you got that conclusion from what premises.
    I am afraid you have a lot of logical leaps in your reasoning. And you need logical reasoning in applied science too.

    I


  19. […] (HT to Occidentalism, where there is a long discussion going on you may want to check out) […]

  20. comment number 20 by: hardyandtiny

    that chick in the photo is a dog.

  21. comment number 21 by: Errol

    Major Premise

    Errol Said:

    November 4, 2006 at 2:52 am

    It’s a worrying trend that Daehanminguk is at the cutting edge of cyber bullying whilst Joseon has to make do with waving its Taepodong about the Liancourt Rocks.

    Minor Premise

    KidfromOhio Said:

    November 6, 2006 at 9:26 pm

    …. that guy that wrote the kipling’s poem. um….do you seriously have the balls to talk to me one on one while ranting something like that…?

    Quod Erat Demonstradum.

  22. comment number 22 by: kojibomb

    ponta,

    I am afraid you have a lot of logical leaps in your reasoning

    yes… that’s true… but I just thought it was intresting to share what Koreans think to you guys.

    And you need logical reasoning in applied science too.

    ^_^ that’s not true… apsc is just putting numbers in formulas… lol

  23. comment number 23 by: Fantasy

    Kojibomb seems to have a profound sense of self-irony. Not many people have this quality. That makes him likeable, after all…

  24. comment number 24 by: polysics

    u asianphiles… a little defensive over this article are we? I wonder why….. vicky does have some good points. and vicky is a more common english name for a chinese american than a second gen korean. chang is also a chinese name, could be korean to. but what does her ethnicity matter. I’ve showed this article to many of my non asian friends who have dated asians, or show interest in asian culture. the ones who cry foul, or flip out are the ones who the author of this article are refering to, the others simply laugh and tell me, thats kinda f**ked. I’m embarassed to be associated with these individuals…………… get over yourselves.

  25. comment number 25 by: Errol

    Richardson Said:

    November 7, 2006 at 5:51 am

    This seems kind of unreasonable. More than 65% of Asian Americans are born overseas. In a city like New York, the percentage rises to 78%. Most of the Asians the average American might meet out in casual social situations are probably not from America.

    I argued that exact point here (in comments);

    http://asiapages.wordpress.com/2006/01/11/asian-americans-in-america-and-in-asia/

    After which it was implied that I might be racist, etc. It’s an emotional issue that some just can’t understand.

    It’s like being accused called migookin in Korea. You get used to it as most Koreans only interact with US TV, US films, US brands, US military …

    Yesterday a Lebanese and Vietnamese independently asked where my friend was from. She’s Irish.

    Even Australians like Matt and myself get it all the time in Korea. “You’re Australian?” (ie Not Aboriginal) “No, where are you really from?” Then Koreans become upset because I’m NOT descended from convicts.

    Koreans have an obsession with bloodlines. Everyone is descended from Sae-jong.

    Then when I speak Korean I must be Russian as I speak it too well to be an American. Which leads to the sad story of catching the subway with a Turkish (male) and a young, pretty, female Russian travel agent (female and 3 generations previously Korean) during the World Cup. A drunk (is there any other kind after 9 pm?) ajeossi kept leering at her, eventually looked her straight in the eyes (very non-Korean culture) and then demanded to know why a Korean girl was talking to these Russian losers.

    This only occurs with pretty Korean girls. So, not really a racist act but an act of jealousy.

    She had to tell him I can’t speak Korean. After several badgering attempts by him I had to step in and tell him in Korean that she was Russian and didn’t understand a word he was saying. He then badgred her a few more times, all the while leering at her. She was feeling very uncomfortable, as Jodi describes herself feeling in the link when there is obstinate persistence.

    Eventually, a Korean who looked like a bodybuilder had to tell the leeering ajeossi to, “Shut up! She’s not Korean and they’re not Russian! Everybody else in the carriage knows that!”

  26. comment number 26 by: polysics

    see, koreans are not all that bad. what are you up 2 tomorow matt. wanna grab a coffee?

  27. comment number 27 by: Matt

    see, koreans are not all that bad. what are you up 2 tomorow matt. wanna grab a coffee?

    Sure. Are you in Sydney?

  28. comment number 28 by: polysics

    i can be anywhere you want sweetheart.

  29. comment number 29 by: Matt

    i can be anywhere you want sweetheart.

    ?

  30. comment number 30 by: empraptor

    See, the coffee thing bothered me too. I forget if it was polysics or tomato or who, but I couldn’t make sense of it. The occasional “wanna grab a coffee” comment. I asked once, but I don’t know if I got a satisfactory answer.

    So I figured all these people actually live in the same town and really liked coffee or… that’s it. That’s the improbable conclusion I face. Since Matt lives in Sydney, I guess they’re all in Sydney. Either that, or polysics flies across the globe to drink coffee with people they meet on the web.

  31. comment number 31 by: kojibomb

    Matt and polysics, and Errol,

    wth…

    i can be anywhere you want sweetheart.

    That’s totally off topic… lol.

    Errol,

    Koreans have an obsession with bloodlines. Everyone is descended from Sae-jong.

    I totally agree.
    Koreans are obsessed with blood… you know how Koreans have Yangban and Sangnom thing… I was always wondering why everybody in SK is Yangban now… every Kim is descendent of a King… every Park (my mom’s Korean name) is descendent of a really rich and powerful person… What happened to all the poor people???

    Even Australians like Matt and myself get it all the time in Korea. “You’re Australian?” (ie Not Aboriginal) “No, where are you really from?” Then Koreans become upset because I’m NOT descended from convicts.

    That happens everywhere. “Where you from?” “from xxxxxx.” “No~ what’s your background?”

    ajeossi kept leering at her, eventually looked her straight in the eyes (very non-Korean culture) and then demanded to know why a Korean girl was talking to these Russian losers

    Yea… Korean women are nice to foreigners… when you say you are half Korean or just speak in Korean, they will be like ‘ ooo so goodblahblahblah.’ Most old people are nice too; all you have to do is save them a spot on subway or bus… they will smile at you and try to talk to you… (awkard kinda).
    Problems are some teenagers, some drunk ajeossi, and ajummas. Teenagers will be like ” aaa Yankee sibal blahblah” or jokpari or chanke. Ajummas are mean to everyone. Drunk ajeossi talks argues fights shouts etcetc with bad breath on a subway.

    Most Koreans are alright. They are nicer to foreigners than other Koreans… I think its because they want to leave good impression.

  32. comment number 32 by: empraptor

    Really? How many Chinese-Americans do you know that go to booking clubs?

    I don’t know. I wouldn’t know what a booking club is like or what ethnicities I would find there. But I gather it’s a distinctly Korean system?

    But her description of these booking clubs aren’t part of a first-hand account. I figured that if the system works as described and there has been news about white men spending time there, an article such as this might refer to it regardless of Vicky’s ethnicity.

  33. comment number 33 by: Matt

    Koreans are obsessed with blood… you know how Koreans have Yangban and Sangnom thing… I was always wondering why everybody in SK is Yangban now… every Kim is descendent of a King… every Park (my mom’s Korean name) is descendent of a really rich and powerful person… What happened to all the poor people???

    I often wondered the same thing. Real Yangban were about 5% of the population, right? I remember asking this question when drinking with a group of Koreans. “What is your background, Yangban, Pyungmin or Slave?”. Every single person answered “Yangban”, but we know that cannot possibly be true. I don’t think they were lying, but I think they are mistaken about their family history. It is very, very interesting.

  34. comment number 34 by: dogbert

    That’s always made me chuckle, too. I guess the Yangban had a lot more kids than the other castes.

    It’s similar to talking to people who believe in reincarnation. They all believe they used to be someone famous. No one ever talks about being the reincarnation of Napoleon’s footman’s wife’s second cousin’s nephew.

  35. comment number 35 by: Errol

    If you have the right blood you can ponce about the place as if you’re a king. You can even be a king for an hour in some places in Korea for a minimum payment. Preferably paid for by the taxpayer who in some cases is also double paying as the owners of such “king for an hour” joints are often the same high-ranking public servant patrons.

    Koreans always like to be seonbae they hate to be hubae.

    That’s why they like ESL teachers to be under 30. Then they complain about all these young bucks behaving like Korean kings clowns in Korea. To see a Western woman over the age of 30 in Korea is even more unusual, as most women are married by then and they’re not marrying Korean men.

    Blood also allows Northern oppa to get Southern namdongsaeng to bend over and do his manly bidding as the Northern part of the peninsula is still regarded as the dominant source of the royal bloodlines.

    Then there is phenomenon of male blood being superior to female blood in Korean society. That’s why one often hears Koreans saying “we like to have sons to carry on the male bloodline.”

    The EU made a point to Korea when it made its speaker on the DPRK human rights issue a woman from Finland, probably on instructions from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who is a Canadian woman.

    North Korean women only have five roles: service the King (which is not just Kim Jong-il but any male relative from 1 day old to 100 years old as all male relatives and co-workers are seonbae to women of any age), manufacture babies, look after said babies, and make money for their “king” relatives by servicing “kings for an hour” in houses of ill-repute and ploughing paddy fields with oxen.

    But if you mention human rights abuses to most South Koreans you will get the same response as:

    Also regrettable was the Government’s failure to engage in any technical cooperation activities with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, despite her efforts to engage in dialogue. The aim of the resolution was to promote improvement of the human rights situation on the ground in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, she said. Only by continuing to draw attention to the situation could the plight of the people there be heard.

    Thank you Matt for providing this forum for the plight of the North Korean people to be heard.

    But Noh Mu-hyeon only cares about waving his surrogate little tae-po-dong over the Liancourt Rocks.

    He’s not going to listen to a woman from Finland. A woman from a country ranked below Korea in GDP figures. Perhaps he might listen to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as she’s from a country with a GDP higher than Korea.

    Deng! She’s a woman too.

    PS. I will keep buying Nokia phones as a symbol of my support for the emancipation of women.

  36. comment number 36 by: tomato

    See, the coffee thing bothered me too. I forget if it was polysics or tomato or who, but I couldn’t make sense of it. The occasional “wanna grab a coffee” comment. I asked once, but I don’t know if I got a satisfactory answer.

    Well, it’s not me, but sometimes people come here to tell me to grab a coffee.

  37. comment number 37 by: Errol

    The wider issue that is raised here is the physical presence of Europeans and North Americans in Asia.

    As noted above by tomato the major reasons why Koreans go to live in the West is for work and other opportunities.

    Why would Europeans and North Americans (here I am including KAs) want to work in Korea give the enormous difficulties of life in Korea?

    ie Pollution, antiquated education system, crazy drivers, even acceptance of domestic violence compared to countries such as Canada.

    The line put out by Vicki Chang and many Korean men is a fetish for Asian women. I’m not sure how that explains the presence of western women in Korea. A fetish for Asian men?

    The line put out by Kipling and the present generation of hawks is to save Korea from oblivion at the hands of that crazy King Kim Jong-il. It may be patronising but it’s a sad fact of the Korean Peninsula. a sad fact of the Korean Peninsula That article is from a lefty reputable newspaper.

    From an economic perspective we live in a globalised world. Capital and the management labour that supervises investments will move to wherever trade and business opportunities exist. When those conditions no longer exist the management labour will move to more lucrative markets such as the PRC or even to their home country.

    US and European based companies are no different in this respect to Korean companies.

    A world without borders.

  38. comment number 38 by: Two Cents

    Matt, dogbert,
    I have read that a census taken by the Japanese government during the initial years of occupation revealed that nearly 50% of the Koreans were listed as yangbans. That does not mean that 50% lived in luxury. Rather, it means that 50% belonge to a class that did not engage in physical labor for producing the necessary goods for supporting the nation, like agriculture. Before the industrial revolution and mechanization of agriculture, a country normally had to have a bulk of its people engaged in production, unless it was a successful merchant nation, which Chosun definitely was not. (Compare this to the situation in Japan, where the samurai class basically comprised 2.5% of the population. Plus, poor samurais did toil in fields and took on side jobs like making and repairing umbrellas.) In my opinion, the low fraction of the working class was probably a contributing factor to the poverty of the dynasty. Isabella Bird notes in her book that Koreans are not lazy by nature, but since the yangbans take everything away in Korea, the motivation for labor is non-existent. (She says this upon her observation of Koreans living in the maritime province of Russia, who were very hard workers.) A yangban could not engage in physical or manual labor, since by lifting anything heavier than a brush, he risked losing his yangban status. Thus, the well-being of the whole clan rested on the shoulders of the few elite who managed to pass the 科挙 (kakyo test) and became royal bureaucrats. I guess a bureaucrat had unimaginable power and a chance at wealth to be able to support his entire clan.

  39. comment number 39 by: KidfromOhio

    Alllrighty matty – you with the the foreigner vs Korean – 2-0 thing was cute by the way..:) adoreable….I guess I was wrong – but as a phrase I know that you will never say
    ” 화병 걸리겠다” in a talking phrase –
    it woud rather be a 홧 병 걸리겠다 – if you don’t believe me – fine – but Korean dictionaries and books are notorious for the lack of professionalism…I mean – it’s the sad truth.

    But that’s just one of the things that’s been bothering me with this site that’s all – but the main point and the problem I have is this –

    It is always more offensive when an another culture criticizes an another culture – it is natural for one to feel uncomfortable when a forenigner criticizes one’s country –

    and this place’s articles about US policies, SK’s dumbass policies are fine. Since they do have significant meanings on world politics and someone has to criticize them – but it is NATURAL when an another culture’s man has a relationship with their race’s woman. For instance – if a black guy goes out with a white woman in US – where I’m from the girl is generally dismissed as a nigger lover, coal miner etc – or it goes same with the white woman dating a hispanic man. Frankly, I didn’t see a problem with interracial dating – if the relationship was healthy.

    And I always wondered why when people dismayed me whenever I’d date a woman from an another race…a black girl I dated when I was 17 – her brother had serious issues with me, fun fun threats of beating me up – fun times by the way. haha – the consistant smart remarks were given til he moved to texas..

    or the white girl I dated – a Korean guy from my school asked wheather or not I was getting serious with her when I started going out with her – and his remarks were simple “play her, and leave her – don’t take it seriously…since she’s white.”

    I mean… I couldn’t understand that.

    BUT – come to my dismay – I recently befriended a Korean girl from a close school – a very preppy one btw – and she was dating a white guy – from my history and all – I thought I would be comfortable with her relationship – but one day, one day I felt uncomfortable when I saw her kissing her – am I attracted to her? no…not really – but I think it is just in my brain that says, that is your woman ( not as in she’s MY woman…if you understand what I’m trying to say )

    sooo – all I’m saying is that it is BS for you to say hey uh….Asian males are racist….yup..!! since there’s theeeeese cases where Asian guys are uncomfortable when a girl is talking to a non-asian guy –

    well…how about you write something about white men that can’t stand a woman dating a black woman? I mean……look in the mirror – or suppose this –

    as you’re walking down the street – you’re single, since if you had a woman…you really wouldn’t have this much time writing a blog..I’m serious. – you see a gorgeous stunning blond girl with a nice tank top, great body, great smile.

    you converse with her for a moment…say hello – all that good first talk – and after a while she receives a phone call – she talks to her boyfriend sadly – and then a couple of minutes later- a black guy in a suit comes along, says hello to you – and they walk away.

    and if you say that you didn’t feel any – not even a decacentimeter of uncomfort – you’re lying. Since I believe that somewhere in everyone’s mind – it says your race, you’re lying.

    And I think you do lie to yourself – I lie to myself sometimes too – so don’t feel bad –

    for instance, you said that you would have posted this article, if the author had a japanese name…

    I call BS on that buddy, since 95% (or more) of your articles are about Korean woman that have issues (protstitution, garbage like these – etc.)

    And I have a question – I read through your comments before – you once said that you talked to your korean friends before –

    did you ever tell them – ” hey you guys, I have this blog I’m running – check it out – it’s about Korea” and show it to them? Since I’d highly doubt that – if you did, I have to say you’re not as much of a hipocrite I think you are.

    B/c if you’re not proud enough to present this material to a Korean – in person – I think your a very swollen vagina…..that needs immediate attention.

    And don’t tell me that “oh koreans are racists, unreasonable, and rude – so I couldn’t find one that I could show this to. ” since..

    well, maybe it’s your problem, that out of millions of Koreans there are, you couldn’t find a decent one that you could show your blog to – or are you a coward – not having balls to talk to someone about this….??

    I would love to talk to you in person to figure out what kind of a person you are -sadly enough I’m not a millionare..I’ll go over there when I win a lotto bud – a person that has too much time in their hands to make a blog that has frankly a vast amount of garbage to write about an another’s culture, enjoys ridiculing the other culture, without understanding that if you look at the negative site of the thing it is ENDLESS to talk garbage about them. Are the Japanese or Austrailians holy, understanding, and criticize their own culture to better themselves?

    via mark twain…there was a pessimist, and he couldn’t find anything wrong with the coal, so he started complaining that there were too many prehistoric toads in it. –

    every country has their negative site or a flaw – actually, every country has flaws and negativities, and why wouldn’t one find it offensive when a foreigner talkes about your country’s negativities all damn day long, when he probobly went thorugh puberty a long time ago, over 25 years old, and where one never visited the place? ( have you ever been to Korea Matty?)

    that’s my question.

    I mean….I don’t want to sound like a typical Korean for saying this – but if yo u want to talk about pervertism and weird shit…

    I’m sorry, Koreans have it 3 generations behind the japanese, from 13 year old girls prostituting for some extra money becomes a national issue – so government makes posters so people would stop doing them, where one could buy schoolgirl underware for about 50 $ – and there’s actual people collecting them, pervertism in porn is excessive – due to mentality that if it is mosaic effected, you can do ANYTHING.

    And how about you start talking about YOUR country’s problem’s too if you think you’re holyer than thou..?? I mean….come on bud, talk to me, tell me why you should worry about an another country’s problems sounding like a jackass, when you should (or rather I hope) have better things to do.

    I wonder.

    But on the other part, you probobly are one of the few white male I’ve seen that said – I do not have a problem with Koreans eating dogs – I about shat myself when I read that.

    Anyways – take care,

    and yes, thank you for your time reading my babbling – have a good one.

    PS – And I can’t wait til you make fun of my messages…since you are hilarious –
    you have a weird ass sense of humor that I cannot resist. That is a plus on this site by the way – your childish, odd personality.

  40. comment number 40 by: KidfromOhio

    And jesus, I wrote a 5 page essay there…dern.

  41. comment number 41 by: dogbert

    I have eaten more dog meat than most Koreans I know. So shit yourself again 🙂

    You summed up nicely the problem I have with kyopos. Basically, your parents left Korea to live in white-run nations (the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, England, etc.) because those countries are run better than Korea and offered your parents a good opportunity for a better life, for them and their children.

    Yet you kyopo males dis white men and women at every opportunity (albeit behind our backs, or anonymously, as here). I mean, WTF? Play her and leave her? Do you kyopos even realize what hypocrites you are, or do you just not care?

    Shit like this is why “diversity” is ruining the U.S.

  42. comment number 42 by: Errol

    KidfromOhio Said:

    November 14, 2006 at 11:54 pm

    It is always more offensive when an another culture criticizes an another culture – it is natural for one to feel uncomfortable when a forenigner criticizes one’s country.

    Not in Australia. We call it learning.

    Koreans have trouble with criticism because of chaemyeon. If a Korean male is brought up his mommy to believe that he is from yangban stock and his destiny is to be a big-noter (though a small-noser) then criticism is mortifying because the criticiser is NOT from the fabulous yangban stock.

    This is also why kyopos have such problems with Korean adoptees. They can’t be yangban they must be trash.

    It’s a joke. In western cultures it’s ungentlemanly to boast of one’s antecedents. It is manners that maketh the man.

  43. comment number 43 by: Errol

    Just for proper referencing in case want to borrow the quote for your next essay submission.

    Manners maketh man.

    William of Wykeham
    (1324 – 1404)
    Motto of Winchester College and New College, Oxford.

  44. comment number 44 by: Fantasy

    @ Kid from Ohio:

    I have read your remarks on interracial dating, and I understand that you are someone who has given serious thought to the matter. So, for me, you are someone worth discussing with (unlike other Koreans or Gyopos, who are caught in the prangs of their own prejudices).

    Nevertheless, instead of thinking up a lengthy response to your post (sorry, I’m very busy at present, no kidding), I merely want to give you two things to think about.

    Firstly:

    ” Frankly, I didn’t see a problem with interracial dating – if the relationship was healthy.”

    Who on earth is in a position to decide whether a relationship between two consenting adults is healthy, except for the lovers themselves ???

    Secondly:

    “And I always wondered why when people dismayed me whenever I’d date a woman from an another race…a black girl I dated when I was 17 – her brother had serious issues with me, fun fun threats of beating me up – fun times by the way. haha – the consistant smart remarks were given til he moved to texas…”

    As I have to point out in response that I am not American, and I have only a very little bit first-hand experience of the situation in the US.

    I have, however, lived in a whole bunch of countries for prolonged periods (including in London, Ontario – just across Lake Erie from Ohio).

    And therefore I feel myself in a position to point out to you one of the the primary differences between racism in Korea and racism in the other countries I know:

    Practically everywhere racism is strongest among the underpriviledged classes – as they fear they might be unable to compete (intellectually, professionally, as well as sexually).

    I happen to be German (although I have not been born in that country and am not of German parentage) – and the situation in Germany is as follows:

    Yes, people (mostly males) who are visibly foreigners are in danger, if they enter neighbourhoods where huge numbers of unemployed German underclass youths are hanging out in the streets. Yes, sadly these locations are no-go areas for people who are not white.

    But in areas populated by people with some purpose in their lives and some intellectual capacity to achieve that purpose (e.g. university campuses and the adjacent areas) no incidents have never ever been reported.

    But which are the most dangerous areas in Korea, for GIs, as well as for other foreigners ???

    Right, the areas adjacent to University Campuses.

    I think that speaks for itself…

    Regards

    Fantasy

  45. comment number 45 by: Fantasy

    @ Kid from Ohio:

    As to your remarks directed at Matt:

    “You converse with her for a moment…say hello – all that good first talk – and after a while she receives a phone call – she talks to her boyfriend sadly – and then a couple of minutes later- a black guy in a suit comes along, says hello to you – and they walk away.

    and if you say that you didn’t feel any – not even a decacentimeter of uncomfort – you’re lying. Since I believe that somewhere in everyone’s mind – it says your race, you’re lying.

    And I think you do lie to yourself – I lie to myself sometimes too – so don’t feel bad.”

    I haven’t got the faintest clue about Matt’s feelings on this point, but as for myself, the answer is clearly and honestly NO.

    I may be lying to myself from time to time, but not on this point. NO, DEFINITELY NOT.

    FYI:

    I am a Caucasian Male (of Romanian descent but adopted into Germany at an early age), now married to a Korean woman who is 15 years my junior (an INAPPROPRIATE and UNHEALTHY relationship which shouldn’t exist, as you surely think).


  46. […] Vicky rightly takes me to task for my erroneous speculation that she is a Korean American (by the way, empraptor 1, Matt 0). My favorite appears on Occidentalism.org, where “Matt” provides an almost line-by-line analysis of the story. He begins by observing that I must be a Korean American because of my “stereotypical transplanted-to-America Korean girls’ first name (Vicky—how many Korean girls have you met using that name in English?) and the family name Chang, which is a fairly standard Korean family name. She also talks about booking clubs, and the customers of those are usually Korean.” […]

  47. comment number 47 by: Andrew Hayashi

    I dont know if this girl is just naive or what but “creepy” guys happen to ALL races and all walks of women. She ran into some creepy overbearing and unattractive men in her life and thinks shes uncovered some new social problem? You just had to make them creepy white guys because of course in your mind there are no creepy asian guys right? My best friend is a white girl, she has a fetish for Asian guys, nobody seems to mind that one?

    I bet if the asia-phile who approached her was a well kept wealthy, charming aston martin driving with an accent she liked asiaphilia never crossed her mind. America is too mixed up to keep lumping people into groups. I bet half the “white” guys she stereotyped werent even white or were half white but shes too racist to see or even ask that. All the “asiaphiles” I know under questioning turned out to be attracted to other types of women as well, usually the petite type with dark features and found asian women because they fit the bill most often, thats why I always thought they were beautiful as well. But you have to get past hating them enough to really explore them to find that out. Instead of celebrating that this new found surge of interest in her culture, she has chosen to explore the dark side, to bitch and moan about how bad her life is that these guys hit on her. Welcome to the real world, you just have to suffer through, I realize your life is so difficult in one of the richest places on planet earth but just try to make it, be strong! Its so awful having guys hit on you isnt it! You can cry its OK!

    Vicky your not creative, original or established as an author. Your article offends people not because they are all a bunch of asiaphiles, it offends them because you complain about stereotypes and then perpetuates them for someone else you seem to have a lot of anger for. Any white guy who ever dated an asian girl just got lumped into your bullshit racist stereotypes. If you want to talk about racism in a way that won’t piss people off you have to manage to do it WITHOUT returning the favor of stereotyping and demeaning people. I realize that being the so-so looking chubby girl (with a bad haircut) that probably got passed up by the good looking guys at the bar and left with the asiaphiles while the better guys were more interested in your friends may have hurt you deep down, I suggest you look past it. Try to look past how being fat and unatractive has whipped the asiaphiles into a frenzy, excpecting you to be an easy target with your obivous insecurity.

    Before you stereotype me, I am of latin descent, my current girlfriend is Spanish, I have had more than 30 girlfriends in my life 8 of them were Asian and the rest white or latin with the exception of one african american girl who was also adopted by white/asian parents.

    Now that you read my rant, Vicky, and now that your angry. Dont try to lie to yourself that it doesnt effect you, its obvious from your responses you threw back insults at your critics, the telltale that deep down it got to you. Read my rant and your article side by side. I stereotyped and insulted you the same way your article did to others using something other than race but to illustrate my point. Every time it makes you angry or hurt know thats how you just treated others. I dont care how much your published, you are part of the racism problem, grow up! When you stop seeing those asiaphiles as asiaphiles, because you can no longer dilleniate between slanted and non slanted eyes, when they just become ‘creepy weird guys at a bar’ without the “whiteness” attached. You will have graduated. Let your anger go and grow up.

    PS you really should loose some weight I didnt just make that up.


  48. […] (On a side note, this is why the book Making Out in Korean is so good, and while I’m grateful to Pusanweb for directing so many visitors to my blog, I couldn’t believe that it’s mothersite Koreabridge removed links to the book in response to pressure from pig-ignorant, xenophobic high-school students. See here and here at Occidentalism for more info.) […]

  49. comment number 49 by: whsskdhkf

    Look, Matt, i don’t like you, and you don’t like us koreans. However, on this article, i would have to agree one hundred percent. because that woman was so white washed. If she likes Shakespeare Garden, Dostoevsky, Early ‘90s shoegazer music and Indian food, I don’t have anything against it and I respect that. However, there is no reason to not like The Art of War and boba. I don’t care if she’s from Los Angeles or Death Valley. She is “originally” from somewhere else for she does not carry a blood of an American(of which majority is white people)but that of an Asian.Judging by her name, Vicky Chang, she’s chinese. Look, i understand your anger towards us because of your bad interactions in our land. However, there is no reason to make a chinese bitch look like a korean. I don’t like Femi-nazi korean women either, so dig some stuff about them. Don’t make some bitch into ours. Look. Chang is a chinese surname. There are people named “Jang” but no Changs. so Uh Uh… she ain’t one of ours. I thought she’d be chinese, but then i was suprised to see u saying that she’s korean on your website. So i did a little digging and she states her self that she’s chinese. I really do wanna hear back from u. E-mail me at whsskdhkf@hotmail.com