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  1. William George
    William George September 29, 2010 at 12:38 am . Reply

    In my first year of university, my Korean born and raised Asian history professor assigned a paper instead of a final exam.

    I wrote about the history of war in the region. In regards to the end of the Mongol era in Korea I wrote something along the lines of, “Koreans always felt great joy when their foreign invaders left because they were able to get back to their regular routine of murdering each other.”

    I got docked some points for being facetious in a deadly serious history paper, but he wrote in the margin, “Unfortunately true.”

    He grew up during the dictator era. I think he knew, “A foreigner did it!” was a complete bullshit excuse for locally made problems.

  2. William George
    William George September 29, 2010 at 1:32 pm . Reply

    Heh. I am paraphrasing. It’s been well over a decade now.

    I was basing it on nothing more than what the history books had told me. Korea (and Japan and China) has a long history of competing groups slaughtering each other over the peninsula punctuated with the occasional invader. It just seemed that there was too much of a focus on the invasions and not enough on the far more frequent and far more deadly, locally made conflicts.

    My dislike of Korea doesn’t have anything to do with a “Blame the foreigner” aspect to the culture. You find that anywhere you go. It just makes a good target for snark.

    I snark. I do that.

    And I’d probably be a lot more generous with the place if my life here in Japan wasn’t about a thousand times less stressful and impotent anger-inducing than it was there.

  3. itissaid
    itissaid March 25, 2016 at 10:45 pm . Reply

    Might not the flow of influence be moving in the other direction? That is: might it not make more sense to argue that foreign people, having moved to Korea, are adapting to their new setting and changing in their attitudes and behaviour to match the Korean norms? What if, as they acclimate to living in Korea, non-Koreans become accustomed to the higher rates of violent crime (for example, the more-than-occasional sight of men beating up one another, or women, in the street on weekends), non-Koreans are beginning to be influenced by their environment into lower respect for the law, into laxer attitudes about violence and crime? This seems like a much more realistic deduction, if you ask me.

    You are blaming Korea for the crime of foreigners? How much lower can it get? This is just another example of foreigners blaming Koreans for their own lack of responsibility. It is ironic that you would post such a comment when you have criticized other foreigners in the past for this same flaw.

    If foreigners or anyone else, chooses to commit crimes, then the responsibility is on them. Korea has a much lower incidence of violent crime and crime in general compared to a lot of other countries.

    Foreigners do commit more crimes than Koreans on average and there are statistics to prove this. With the attitude that Korea is to blame for everything, including their own behavior, it is no wonder that foreigners have a bad reputation in Korea. They create it themselves.

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