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I AM KOREAN AMERICAN is an on-going web project that aims to collect brief profiles of Korean Americans.
Every new profile of a Korean American will be featured on the homepage. A profile will consist of the person’s name, age, location, occupation, and a personal statement that could be a mini bio, a memorable story, a rant, aspirations, or anything else. Our goal is to compile a collection of profiles that showcase the diversity and many interesting personalities of the Korean American population. We hope that our collective efforts will provide a snapshot of the Korean American community at this point in our history.
We’re not a celebrity blog and we don’t care if you’re known by millions or if you’re known by a few dozen. We’re excited to learn more about you and to share your story with others.
I AM KOREAN AMERICAN is a project of Barrel, a brand and web consulting company in New York.
To submit your photo and profile:
Submit your story/photo
Koreanness_Shade of grey
“…However, the public in Korea has some very interesting views on “What is a REAL KOREAN”. The KWB has heard from thousands of students, yes, at least a couple of thousand, on this issue. He has taught at two major universities, three Middle Schools, plus business classes, Shinsegae Department Culture Centers, and Private classes for over 14 years in Seoul, Korea.
In EVERY case the issue of being a Korean War Baby and IP Yang In or 입양인 comes up. At one middle school, which must remain unnamed, over 2/3 of the students had lived abroad 3 years or more. They had studied at private or public schools in English speaking countries or in International Schools.
The remaining 1/3 of students told the KWB several times that those who had lived OUTSIDE Korea for more than two years “They were NOT Korean anymore! When he questioned them further, they implied that living outside the country for that long put them OUTSIDE the “WE” or “우리" concept. They were not in the group of Real Koreans anymore, in my students' own jealous mindsets.”
Compare this chart from earlier post:
|Percentage||Factors of Percentage of Korean-Ness|
|100 %||Full-Blooded Real Korean-Both parents are Korean/live in Korea (North or South) their entire lives/speak and write in Hangul/know history, culture, food,/ served in military (for males)/studied abroad LESS than 2 years.|
|90 %||Korean student who has REAL KOREAN Parents/Grandparents- They have studied abroad MORE than 2 years and speak other languages very well. They are still considered just Real Koreans.|
|80 %||First Generation Emmigrants from Korea- Korean Adult Emigrants to Foreign country. They have chosen to emigrate with their family. Their level of understanding of Korea is 100%. Many chose to keep Korean citizenship for themselves, some become citizens of new country. |
Korean Diapora- Living for several generations in CHINA, JAPAN, RUSSIA, and others are not treated the same as Koreans living in USA, UK, European Union.They cannot get the F-4 visa to come and live/work. Because they live out of the country, much loss of Culture/ language ability split with host country/citizenship may be of host country. Sakhalin island changed citizenship several times.
|70 %||1.5 Generation Immigrant-Both Korean Parents and family Emigrated to another country when under 18 yrs. old. Caught between both cultures they are still adjusting to their new situation.|
|60 %||2.0 Generation Immigrant -Both Korean Parents but BORN a CITIZEN of Foreign Country and lived there most of life. (‘Korean-American’) Speak and write Korean at low to mid level. Does not know Korean Culture/history/practices very well but has general understanding. Considered a Kyopo, many young think they are NOT Korean but became the citizen of country they live in.|
|50 %||Bi-Racial/Bi-Cultural- One parent Korean other is NOT; Lives in Korea. Culture/language/history knowledge high level. Education in International Schools help develop more OPEN understanding on racial prejudice. IF attending local Korean schools child must face more prejudice from other “Real Koreans”.|
|40 %||Bi-Racial/Bi-Cultural- One parent Korean other is NOT; Lives Foreign country with low to moderate levels of Cultural/language/history ability and understanding. Deals with prejudice but has support in having parents from both ‘worlds’.|
|30 %||Full-Blooded Korean Adoptee-Older child 3 and up, remembers some of Korean life: has lost most language/cultural understanding/etc. |
Baby or very young (up to 3) Full-Blooded Korean Adoptee- None or only ‘learned knowledge’ of being Korean. Culture Camps, self study, trips to motherland, etc help in Korean Identity development.
Some Full-Blooded Korean Adoptees are also Bi-Cultural as they are adopted by Korean living abroad as Residents or Citizens, so they may speak or understand 25% of Korean language. Some are adopted by Korean Adoptees married to foreigners.
Level of understanding is based on learned or experienced culture.
|20 %||Mixed-Blood Korean Adoptee- From 25 to 50% Korean genetic ancestry; adopted into Foreign family (usually Caucasian); only learned knowledge of being Korean, or now living in motherland to continue ‘Going Native Korean’.|
|10 %||Low Level of Blood Quantum- Person with one Grandparent or 12.5% Korean Ancestry. Extremely low level or NO understanding of Korean Culture/language/history/etc. This is according to the person’s own desires and self-identity, i.e. “How does one view yourself”|
The Korean War Baby would love to hear from KAD’s on his chart of Korean-ness, any comments of other groups, please let him know. The point is that being say, Korean-American is full of complexity and varying levels.
When Korean Adoptees come back to live or work for extended times they run into the problem of “explaining WHAT they are” and “Why don’t you speak Korean well?” Many have experienced that when they open their mouth and try speaking Korean language they will be misunderstood and constantly reminded that their degree of Koreanness is not enough. Be tough, tell them who you ARE. Don’t be shy or apologetic.
The KWB tries to use humor. “I was one of Korea’s first Exports” gets them all the time. I have told “My story” thousands of times in the 15 years I have lived here, and think of it as “in your face, hello, I am back…get used to me and just deal with it.” Now don’t get me wrong, I thank GOD that I was able to have a family with all their imperfections adopt me. As a HALF-Korean that is just plain fact, but I am glad to see that ‘Real Koreans’ are now having to adjust their definition of what Korean-Ness is REALLY ABOUT.
With multi-cultural marriages numbering over 160,000 (Sure about 10-15 percent fail) they have recently documented over 103,000 Mixed-Blood children. HEY, KOREA is NOT Homogeneous any more!!!! HAHAHA.
Get over it, get real I tell my Korean Students.
Time to redefine!!! What is a Real Korean, Hmmm?