Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shit Koreans Say ... about friends.

"This is my American friend."

"My Canadian friend said he liked blah blah blah."

I know Koreans tend to pigeon hole people based on ethnicity or nationality. If you are white you are American. Black you are from Africa. Etc.. They do it with friends and nationality as well sometimes.

In some cases it is done to show they have foreign friends and I guess make themselves look worldly. My friend CS used to introduce non-Korean friends that way all the time to his Korean friends and co-workers.

To me, a friend is a friend. You don't have to qualify their nationality or ethnicity. When I talk about friends I just use the term friend which sometimes lead to confusion when the Korean I was talking with found out the friend I mentioned was not Canadian. That kind of reaction confused me at first because I couldn't understand why they were seemingly obsessed with my friend's nationality. Why would nationality matter? Then I just accepted it as par for the course in South Korea.

1 comment:

  1. I know EXACTLY what you mean. It may not be meant as a derogatory comment but to me, it sounds wrong. The problem, I think (and this is merely my opinion) is that 'waygugin' is often translated as 'foreigner' when too often 'non-Korean' is what is meant.
    But your point is well taken. Does a 'friend' require a prefix so that others can understand the degree to which the relationship is being valued. My friend is my friend. Their nationality or ethnic status is beyond irrelevant.
    Anonymous 5