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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 Bo Gum Is Your Superhero Boyfriend In Surprise Collaboration Pictorial

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Park Bo Gum Is Your Superhero Boyfriend In Surprise Collaboration Pictorial

Park Bo Gum Is Your Superhero Boyfriend In Surprise Collaboration Pictorialnotclaira Might 28, 2016 0 While you like the Marvel superheroes and Park Bo Gum then Edwin mag has the pictorial for you!

On May just 21, Edwin released the footage from their contemporary collaboration with Marvel. Park Bo Gum is going for a chill, boyfriend vibe, pairing T-shirts with Marvel emblems alongsideundeniabledenims and shorts. The carnival background makes it simple to believe being out on an off-the-cuff date with the good-looking actor.

A representative from the photo shoot said, “Park Bo Gum is handsome even while you see him from behind,” they said. “He perfectly channeled the antique feeling of the shoot. The entiregroup of workers fell in love with his lovely appearance, similar to the Iron Guypersona on his shirt.”

Which Idol Took House The “Lucky King” Crown On “Dream Team 2?”

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Which Idol Took House The “Lucky King” Crown On “Dream Team 2?”

Which Idol Took House The “Lucky King” Crown On “Dream Team 2?”notclaira Would possibly 28, 2016 0 On May just 29, “Dream Team 2” held a “Global Friends” special. The special was once the show’s remaining broadcast and featured “random chance” games popular on typepresentationscomparable to “2 Days 1 Night.”

The first game of the episode turned into “Real Bar vs. Faux Bar.” Out of BTOB’s Eunkwang and Minhyuk, Youngster Top’s Ricky, Sam Okyere, and Sam Hammington, Eunkwang were giventhe genuine bar.

Next up was Andreas, Sujan, B1A4’s Gongchan, and BTOB’s Hyunsik and Peniel in the similar game. The lucky “real” bar went to Hyunsik whilst the others were eliminated.

Yoo Jae Suk Finds Unforeseen Friendship With Actor

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Yoo Jae Suk Finds  Unforeseen Friendship With Actor

Yoo Jae Suk UnearthsUnforeseen Friendship With Actornotclaira Would possibly 28, 2016 0 On May just 28, the KBS display “Entertainment Weekly” explored unexpected friendships between celebrities.

In 2013, Lee Jung Jae seemed on “Healing Camp” and said, “I served with Yoo Jae Suk in Gwangmyung. Yoo Jae Suk helped me out a lot. We carpooled in combination and he would come and wake me up and take me to where I had to go.”

Other unexpected friendships incorporated singer The only and actor Hyun Bin, actor Ha Jung Woo and comedian Kang Sung Bum, and actor Kim Woo Bin and comedian Kim Sook.

Watch: Tiffany Is A Loopy American Female friend In “SNL Korea” Skit

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Watch: Tiffany Is A Loopy American Female friend In “SNL Korea” Skit

Watch: Tiffany Is A Loopy American Female friend In “SNL Korea” Skitnotclaira Might 28, 2016 0 Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany currently showed off her acting talents in the “3-Minute Girlfriend” skit on “SNL Korea.”

Tiffany gave the impression equally the host of the Could 28 episode. In the skit, she plays the variousother girlfriend clichés to funny results. The skit is in reaction toa prior “3-Minute Little Sister” skit.

First, Kwon Hyuk Soo (the boyfriend) gets “my other half” concept, which temporarilyis going awry as Tiffany follows him to his corporate and proves to be a nuisance. From there, Tiffany transforms into the “first love” and the “terminally ill” girl.

FIESTAR’s Jei Is Captivating Enthusiasts With Her Best possible Frame Shape

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FIESTAR’s Jei Is Captivating  Enthusiasts With Her Best possible  Frame Shape

In Jeis case, the get dressed conforms to her body shape perfectly, revealing her curvy figure, despite the reality that information technologyappeared too short for her whilst dancing as she is noticedagain and againvisible hiking it down right through the performance.

TWICE’s Tzuyu And Chaeyoung To Display screen Sharp Deduction Abilities On “King Of Mask Singer”

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TWICE’s Tzuyu And Chaeyoung To Display screen Sharp Deduction Abilities On “King Of Mask Singer”

TWICEs Tzuyu And Chaeyoung To Screen precipitous Deduction Abilities On King Of Mask Singerleonid Might 28, 2016 0 TWICE’s Tzuyu and Chaeyoung are joining the panel of MBC’s “King Of Mask Singer” to assistdiscover the identities of the masked performers.

Representatives of the display announced on Could 28 that “King Of Mask Singer” panel will feature the stunning Tzuyu and brand new maknae Chaeyoung of TWICE.

During filming, the alternative panel members are amazed by way of their sharp deduction skills when the women exclaim that they know the singers identities.

Song Joong Ki Says He Wouldn’t Let His Little Sister Date Lee Kwang Soo

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Song Joong Ki Says He Wouldn’t Let His Little Sister Date Lee Kwang Soo

Song Joong Ki Says He Wouldnt Let His Little Sister Date Lee Kwang SooJiwonYu Might 28, 2016 0 On Could 27, Song Joong Ki held his 3rd fan assembly in China in Guangzhou where he discussed his little sister.

According to reports of local Chinese media present, the actor had a Q A consultation amongst the fans, delighting them with quite so much of confessions.

Especially, to one of the vital questions, If your more youthful sister loved Lee Kwang Soo, would you permit her thus far him, Song Joong Ki in an instant answers, No, no. He explains, Lee Kwang Soo is a smart friend of mine yet hes too tall. I cant enable it, to the amusement of the fans.

Watch: Eric Nam Proposes To MAMAMOO’s Sun With A Candy Surprise

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Watch: Eric Nam Proposes To MAMAMOO’s Sun With A Candy Surprise

Watch: Eric Nam Proposes To MAMAMOOs Sun alongside A CandyMarvel kminjungee Would possibly 28, 2016 0 Lovers of the Eric-Solar couple, get ableto lookprobably the most sweetest proposals on the show!

In a preview for next weeks episode of We Were given Married, the couple are taking phase ineach and every others corporatewhilst eating, when Eric Nam surprises his wife with an interactive dessert.

Unexpectedly, when MAMAMOOs Solar cracks open the large chocolate egg that Eric Nam prepared, a ring is looking ahead to her. At that moment, like the gentleman he is, Eric gets down on one knee and sweetly says, Will you marry me?

Max, Choi Si-won, Lee Dong-hae raise out responsibility on stage

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The match has been arranged by Money These days and National Knowledge Society and supported by several executive ministries and Seoul City. The campaign is to bring the alertness to the youth, about net and smartphone addiction, and just right cyber etiquette at the aspect of other meaningful comparable programs.

Park Bo Ram, Astro, JJCC also have joined the campaign. The promotional unit of Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, 'Whistles' (Horuragi) carried outa collection dancing and adolescencefunctionalitygroups too stimulate joined at the stage.

Lee Dong-wook: "Received an be offering for 'Goblin', taking a look into the deal positively"

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"Goblin" is ready a 'protective goblin' who wishes a human priest to finish his immortal life, and an Angel of Death living together. The drama is a superbyetunhappy one as the goblin and the Angel of Death see the Dead off into the opposite world. The drama is predicted to depict the sad, beautiful, and bizarreday via day life.