Korea has come of age, of sorts. Jasmine Lee, a naturalized Korean citizen originally from the Philippines, became the first foreign-born lawmaker. Granted, she didn't run for a seat herself, but became a member of the National Assembly as a proportional representation candidate when the Saenuri Party won a majority in the recent parliamentary elections.
This is actually big news. Not necessarily the fact that Jasmine Lee became a rising political star; she was already a minor celebrity in Korea with a complete package of looks, smarts and a compelling narrative. The real news is the fact that Jasmine Lee hasas a result of her background as a transplanted Southeast Asian woman who came Korea after marrying a Korean husbandbecome the face and voice of 210,000 similar women and their 150,000 children who live in Korea today and their struggles to join the mainstream society.
This won't be an easy task. The insular vein from the "Hermit Kingdom" of old still runs thick beneath modern Korea. After all, the country is probably one of the few that proudly trump the myth that Koreans come from a single bloodline. Granted, every nationality has its own creation myth that tells why it's uniquethe Korean one just happens to be heavily based on its supposed ethnic purity.
This might have served Koreans well in the last 2,000 years by keeping them intact and coherent as a people. But this self-serving myth has recently come under attack from the influx of foreign-born wives to mostly rural Korean men who bear Korean children who are no longer ethnically "pure".
As these women and their mixed-blood children come of age and join society to claim their own "Koreanness", Korea will face the types of debate that will force it to engage in extensive soul-searching that other multicultural societies like the United States has been engaged in for the last 100 years or more.
In a way, this has already started. As soon as Jasmine Lee was elected, some netizens began attacking her with racist remarks that ran the gamut. Some disparaged her by painting her as a mail order bride while others accused her of a conspiracy to unfairly shower multicultural families in Korea with budgetary largess. The only thing that these attacks shared was their xenophobic crassness and an ingrained fear that the formerly invisible "other" is now claiming a spot front and center.
In response to these attacks, Seoul National University law professor Cho Gook, one of the representative liberal thought leaders in Korea, said on Twitter on April 13: "There has been some racially discriminatory denunciation going around Saenuri Party proportional representative Jasmine Lee. Although criticism of her political inclination and qualification may be necessary, racism cannot be allowed",
Responses from other, more responsible members of Korean society have followed along similar lines. They all quickly denounced the racist attacks and urged Korean society to face multiculturalism with an open mind.
All well and good. But what came to my mind instead was Sidney Poitier in "Who's Coming to Dinner", the groundbreaking 1967 film that dealt with interracial marriage in the United States. How would all these high-sounding intellectuals react if their sons or daughters brought home a significant other that looked like Jasmine Lee and wanted permission to marry? Would they still be as noble as they sound today?
I am not too sure. And if they were honest, no one in Korea today, not even the self-proclaimed social progressives, would know 100 percent how they would react. It's not that they don't want to be colorblind and judge everyone solely by the "contents of their character". It's just that even liberals are subject to the cultural norms and prejudices of their upbringing.
In Time magazine, Toure quotes Michelle Alexander, the author of "The New Jim Crow", as writing: "Decades of cognitive bias research demonstrates that both unconscious and conscious biases lead to discriminatory actions even when an individual does not want to discriminate. The fact that you may honestly believe that you are not biased against African Americans, and that you may have black friends and relatives, does not mean that you are free from unconscious bias".
Individuals have cognitive habits. When you scale up an individual's cognitive habits to a national level, you have an ingrained culture. In short, Korea has a racist culture in the dictionary sense of the word because one of the main pillars of Korea's national myth is its ethnic homogeneity.
I guess what I am trying to say is that a journey to a pluralistic, multicultural society is not an easy one. High and mighty denunciations against ignorant and anonymous netizens, albeit a good start, doesn't mean the game is won. In fact, it hasn't even started.
As in habits, culture is difficult to change. Change will always face resistance. It doesn't take a genius to predict that Korea will be facing a civil rights struggle of its own in the next few decades. It will demand blood, sacrifice, and, mostly, courage by change agents who will lead the way.
So, here's to Jasmine Lee. May God watch over you as you lead Korea towards the next generation.
Jason Lim is a Washington, D.C.-based consultant in organizational leadership, culture, and change management. He has been writing for The Korea Times since 2006. Contact him at and on facebook.com/jasonlim2000.
Jessica Candidly Talks About SM Days and Solo Profession notclaira November 30, 2015 0 Former Girls’ Generation member Jessica has unfolded about her former entertainment career and current trajectory in a new interview for typemag L’Officiel Singapore.
On her days at SM Entertainment, she says, “I beganeducation when I used to be 12. It used to besurelytrickyfrom time to time every bita tender girl, committing to the training. Honestly, when I started, I saw it as a new after-school activity. I had no conceptit canturn out to be what it's miles today.”
She added that she thinks she has remained true to herself since then, although she has also matured a lot. “When you’re operating for an employer, there are excellent and bad days,” she says about her departure from SM. “The difference for me as of late is that even though 1 have that luxury to take day without workon each occasion I want, there’s more force and rigidityas a result of my further responsibilities.”
Phantom Asks “Could You Be Mine?” in Workforce Comebacknotclaira November 30, 2015 0 On November 30 at midday KST, hip-hop group Phantom released their new unmarried “Could You Be Mine?” The song has a other vibe from Phantom’s outdatedsong and the music video functions Crayon Pop’s Ellin.
It has been a year since Phantom’s remaining group comeback with the liberate of “A Tale About My Ex” last November. All the manner through the hiatus, leader Kiggen released solo singles “Playback” and “Let’s Go the Line” whilst also operating as a music producer. Major vocal Sanchez released a duet task album “Woman” with Verbal Jint while Hanhae released his song “365” and made an appearance on “Show Me the money 4.”
The new song “Could You Be Mine?” contains Phantom’s original hip-hop taste amongstmore recentcomponents of keyboard, guitar, and funk hip-hop. Their agency, Brand New Music, said, “It’s a song that most effective Phantom can make. It showcases the 3 members’ exclusive synergy and musical talent.”
Halo Problems an Apology for Disrespectful HabitIn opposition toLovers kiddy_nights November 24, 2015 0 The fans of the newly-debuted crew Halo are very dissatisfied amongst their behavior, in which they threw out the items and letters given to them via fans, addingone of the most letters written by non-Korean fans in Korean. It's farstated that the letters that were discovered in the trash can were no longer evening opened.
Halos behavior did now notprevent there. They've complained of being bored and tired at a fan signing event, and the leader Ooon and member Yoon Dong have made it obtrusive to their fans that they've got girlfriends.
Ooon posted a photo of his female frienddressed in his favourite shirt, and the couple have showed off their couple telephoneinstances as well.
On November 30, an legit press liberate from HALO’s aspect said, “Yesterday the contributors of HALO met at once with their fans to diffuse the debate in person.” Consistent with their agency, the members discussed with their fans quite so much ofproblems that had circulated on social media, adding reports that leader Ooon gave fans’ items to his female friend equally a couple item, and that member Dino once composed a poem with a fan’s call in it the usage of an beside the point word.
A message a fan gained from leader Ooon.
Dino uploaded a letter at the fancafe, writing, “I feel in charge that I wasn’t in a position to cope with my team as the oldest member. We attempted to manner fans like a friendly vicinity oppa, yetI suspect nosotros just created more misunderstandings. Please settle for our honest apologies.”
EXO and TaeTiSeo Might be Donating Quantitiesin their New Album Profits to Charityck525 November 30, 2015 0 EXO and TaeTiSeo are enteringthe vacation giving spirit and should donate a a phase of the profits from their Christmas albums to charity.
EXO will be freeing their wintry weather special album “Sing For You” on December 21 on and offline. There'll beeither a Korean and a Chinese edition and a portion of the profits will be donated to “SMile for U,” a crusade held between SM Entertainment and UNICEF.
TaeTiSeo, too, will be releasing a new Christmas album “Dear Santa” on December 4. The lyrics for their identify song “Dear Santa” was once written through Seohyun, and the group’s soothing voices blend in smartly with the coziness of winter. Portions of this albums profit, as well, will be donated in opposition to “SMile for U.”
Royal Pirates Indicate Their Differences From Other Korean Rock Bandsck525 November 30, 2015 0 Rock band Royal Pirates pinpointed how they were other from FT Island and CNBLUE.
The exhibit for Royal Pirates’s new album “3.3” was oncehung on November 30. All through the event, the band turned into asked how they were various from other bands reminiscent ofToes Island and CNBLUE.
“We’ve been gamblingin combination since we were young, and I suspectwe've got our own originality,” Moon Kim said. “Though I can’t say that we’re mainstream, I do think that we have gota validoriginal to a three-man band like us.”
According to the report, back in November 2012 at a Korean BBQ place, Kim Chang Ryul told Kim, 'You have 'celebrity disease' and slapped him several times along side abusive language. He also took the bankbook and credit cards owned by 3 of the former Wonder Boyz members. He kept information technology for himself and all the style through the span of 3 months, he took 30 million won (approx.$25,912 U.S.).
His company's aspect told a news outlet, "We can wager as to why one of these news got here out. Yetattack does no longer make any sense. We're going to continue with this during the law."
Now if this userin point of fact is a former Wonder Boyz member (the staff has since disbanded), it looks to be member Kim Taehyun, as he suits the remaining name and the age.
A post on Pann is amassing much attention for its predicted indexed and published it with the title, “This is the solution for MAMA winners.” The list, then on, much reactions from netizens as they pitch their own mindon their lonesome artists and advised that EXO, Giant Bang, Girls’ Generation and more must win.
Find out what Netizens had to mention about this text below!
Song of the Year: Enormous Bang
How may just they even consider a state of affairs where BTS will hit Day-6 Member in ther face??? thank god he dealt well with it.I feel embarrassed.ㅠㅠㅠ this is why we think international fans are hopeless..i would rather they didnt stand our boys..Everywhere you cross International fans are the problemSeriously marring the fandoms nameᆢ International fansSTOPDay 6 fans got so bored stiff and made this lol Source: Instiz
Surprise Kiss Scene Between Yoo Seung Ho and SunPublished ck525 November 30, 2015 0 Pictures of MAMAMOOs Solar giving Yoo Seung Ho a surprise kiss were revealed.
Fans swooned at symbol posted by capability of MBC every1’s “Imaginary Cat” that showed the candy peck at the cheek shared between Yoo Seung Ho and Solar. The shy love between topfacultyscholars Hyun Jong Hyun (played by Yoo Seung Ho) and Jung Soo In (played by Solar) are adequate to make fans longing forthe impending episode.
In the images, Yoo Seung Ho looks stunned nonethelesscompletely happy to get maintain of a surprise kiss from Solar. The awkward yet affectionate air of new lovers still surround the two, which adds directly tothe entire sweetness of the photo.