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Jasmine Revolution, Korean style

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Jasmine Revolution, Korean style

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.

Park Gyuri Expresses Admiration For Sechs Kies In Spring Pictorial

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Park Gyuri Expresses Admiration For Sechs Kies In Spring Pictorial

Park Gyuri Expresses Admiration For Sechs Kies In Spring Pictorialnotclaira Would possibly 3, 2016 0 Park Gyuri, an actress formerly of KARA, shot a pictorial at the finish of April with the magWorld bnt.

In the pictorial, Park Gyuri embraced a chic spring glance amongst flowered patterns, ribbon details, and see-through white chiffon dresses. In one picture, she used to beutterly reflected in a reflect in a colourful red dress, whilst in any other she went for a more informalappearance in stripes and denim.

After the disbandment of KARA, Park Gyuri’s first assignmentbecame the KBS ancient drama “Jang Young Sil.” “I played an enterprising feminine character,” she said. “It was difficultto discover the balance between a latest note and a historical tone of voice.”

Korean Media Outlet Names 7 Clichéd K-Drama Scenes

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Korean Media Outlet Names 7 Clichéd K-Drama Scenes

Korean Media Outlet Names 7 Clichéd K-Drama Scenesnotclaira Would possibly 3, 2016 0 Whether it’s very important evidence being left in undeniable sight, or the villain kidnapping the maximum importantpersonasimplest to monologue on and on, there are sure scenes in Televisionpresentations and videosthat experiencegrow to be entrenched in the genre.

Although once in a while the scenes are very important to the plot, it willceaselessly feel repetitive. Recently, a Korean media outlet named seven clichéd K-drama scenes we hate to love.

Dramas repeatedly dearest to sing their own praises the primary actor’s chiseled abs. While surelyanything to feel thankful (?) for, the scenes can normally feel random and unconnected to the plot. Such scenes generallyhappen when the major male character heads into the toilet to take a bath and loses himself in thought, or sheds his blouseso as to join in in some appropriately brooding exercise.

BTOB’s Peniel Thank you Fanatics For Their Fortify Of His Mixtape

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BTOB’s Peniel Thank you  Fanatics For Their Fortify Of His Mixtape

BTOBs Peniel Thank youFanatics For Their Beef up Of His Mixtapemcheller Would possibly 3, 2016 0 On Could 3, BtoB’s Peniel posted on his Instagram, thanking fans for the luck of his mixtape.

Recently, the rapper uploaded a mixtape, “Homesick,” for fans to enjoy. It includes five songs in overall and turns out to be doing very well!

In his Instagram post on May also 3, you'll be ready to see a screen cap of the site, appearing his mixtape indexed equallyprobably the most “Hot This Week” posts.

"Neighborhood Attorney Jo Deul-ho" 1st, Park Shin-yang in accident, "Jackpot" 2d and "Monster - 2016" 3rd

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According to Nielsen Korea, the KBS 2TV drama "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho" came in 1st with 11.8% which is 0.8% upper than the former episode.

At the similar time, SBS "Jackpot" largerby ability of 0.3% to 9.2% and came in 2ndwhilst MBC "Monster - 2016" increased by 0.9% to 7.5% yet still came in last.

Meanwhile, at the12th episode of "Neighborhood Lawyer Jo Deul-ho", Jo Deul-ho (Park Shin-yang) were given into an twist of fate when he went out to the structureweb pageafter you havea choice from Lee Myeong-joon.

MONSTA X’s Minhyuk Needs To Movie A Nude Pictorial Like Shinhwa

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MONSTA X’s Minhyuk Needs To Movie A Nude Pictorial Like Shinhwa

MONSTA Xs Minhyuk Needs To Movie A Nude Pictorial Like Shinhwanotclaira Might 3, 2016 0 On Could 2, mag The Celebrity released a pictorial with emerging boy team MONSTA X.

The pictorial, which used to be for The Star’s Might also issue, capabilitiesthe gang in hoodies, shorts, and ripped jeans, going for a boyish youngster vibe. The garments and their original hairstyles cement their symbol every bit hip-hop idols.

“We wish to do a groovy photo shoot that we willbest do whilst we’re young,” he adds. (There is not anyobserve on how the oppositecontributors felt about Minhyuk’s suggestion.)

52nd Baeksang Arts Awards 2016 : Hottest Actress in a Drama Nominees List

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To vote use the Android and iOS 2016 Baeksang Arts Awards apps (Search for "BaekSang Arts Awards"). You'll vote till May, 31, Nighttime Korean time.

Clara Opens Up About Facing Public Backlash In New Bnt Global Pictorial

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Clara Opens Up About Facing Public Backlash In New Bnt Global Pictorial

Clara Opens Up About Facing Public Backlash In New Bnt Global Pictorialehk38 Might 3, 2016 0 In a contemporary interview with bnt International, actress and entertainer Clara opens up about her struggles all through her hiatus.

After about a year of pausing all activities because of a felony dispute with her former firm Polaris Entertainment, Clara participated in her first domestic interview with SBSs One Evening of Television Entertainment.

In reaction to a question about how she handled the anxiety and rigidity during her hiatus, Clara says candidly, I learned that as a public user 1want to act with care and propriety. If I had most effectivegainedenjoyed from the public, I wouldnt have grown as a person, yet having obtained world backlash, I have gota bit ofmore potentand feature been in a position to grow.

52nd Baeksang Arts Awards 2016 : Most smartly liked Actor in a Drama Nominees List

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To vote use the Android and iOS 2016 Baeksang Arts Awards apps (Search for "BaekSang Arts Awards"). You'll be in a position to vote till May, 31, Nighttime Korean time.

AOA’s First Form Display Appearance For Comeback Might be On “Weekly Idol”

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AOA’s First Form  Display Appearance For Comeback Might be On “Weekly Idol”

AOAs First TypeDisplay Appearance For Comeback Can be On Weekly Idolmcheller Might 3, 2016 0 AOA’s comeback is bobbing up soon, and their first variety show appearance is already decided!

The workforce will be performing on “Weekly Idol,” and they're heading to MBC on May justfour to listing the episode. Apparently, hosts Defcon and Great Junior’s Kim Heechul are humming with thrilled energy.

AOA’s new album, “Good Luck,” is decided to be released on May also 16, and may come in two versions, “Week” and “Weekend.” Their thought for the recent album looks to be healthy-looking lifeguards, and they say their performances will feature refreshing outfits and dynamic choreography.

K-Pop Team AOA Warmth Up The Sea coast With Their Horny New Lifeguard Idea Photos

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K-Pop Team AOA Warmth Up The Sea coast With Their Horny New Lifeguard Idea Photos

Image: AOA Seolhyun Good Luck EP / FNC Entertainment

Image: AOA Jimin Good Luck EP / FNC Entertainment

Image: AOA Mina Good LucK EP / FNC ENtertainment