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The strange, contradictory privilege of surviving in Southern Korea as being A chinese-canadian girl

The strange, contradictory privilege of surviving in Southern Korea as being A chinese-canadian girl

“Excuse me personally,” the person stated in Korean. We had been walking by one another in a very crowded retail center in Gangnam, an affluent commercial region in Seoul.

We turned around, and then he deposited a business that is fancy-looking into my hand. “Marry Me,” it said in black loopy letters from the stark white paper.

Startled because of the proposition, we took a better appearance and noticed he had been recruiting applicants for certainly one of South Korea’s wedding matchmaking services. Such organizations are particularly popular into the country.

He started initially to explain their work, at a speed which was too fast for my amount of comprehension. “Oh, I’m weiguk saram,” we explained, with the words that are korean “foreigner.” The person scowled, swiped their card away from my arms, and stormed off.

Once I got home, we relayed the tale of my encounter throughout the phone up to a Korean-American buddy who laughed and stated “He thought you didn’t have the right ‘specs’ to be an eligible woman.”

“Specs,” quick for requirements, is a manifestation South Koreans use to explain a person’s social worth according to their back ground, or exactly just what sociologists call embodied social money. Going to the right university, having family members wide range, desired physical characteristics, as well as the proper cold weather parka often means the essential difference between success or failure in culture. Specifications connect with everyone else, even non-Koreans, in a culture where conforming harmoniously is most important.

In Southern Korea, actually, I easily fit into: black colored hair, brown eyes, light epidermis with yellowish undertones. People don’t recognize that I’m foreign right off the bat. But being A chinese-canadian girl by method of Hong Kong and Vancouver, in a nation with strong biases towards foreigners, my identity is actually right and incorrect. Continue reading The strange, contradictory privilege of surviving in Southern Korea as being A chinese-canadian girl