Who should be nervous in Korea?

이상현, 권유영l승인2016.10.02l수정2016.10.08 19:50l349호 1면






▲ Ethnic Korean town Garubong-dong Yeon-byun street at Guro-gu.

 Have you ever heard about ethnic Koreans who are living in China? Many Dankookians (students of Dankook University) or the public don’t know specific definition of ethnic Koreans. By definition, ethnic Koreans, who are living in China, are that Korean immigrants who moved to and settled in China and their adjoining areas in the early 20th century. They have Korean blood but they are actually Chinese.

 However, many Koreans are feeling nervous from ethnic Koreans who moved to Korea. There are many incidents related with ethnic Koreans as a murder case. Because of the incidents by ethnic Koreans, Koreans have stereotypes with them. Some people don’t want to live with ethnic Koreans at the same place.

▲ Development of Korean-Chinese in China, copyright by wikitree.

 The Dankook Herald (DKH) surveyed Dankookians to know their recognition about ethnic Koreans. 57.1 %of Dankookians have experiences of meeting with ethnic Koreans. 46.4% of Dankookians answered that they are hard to get close with ethnic Koreans. And the only 17% of Dankookians have positive perspective with ethnic Koreans. The DKH asked the reason why Dankookians have the negative stereotypes with ethnic Koreans. 61% replied it’s because of media and 26.9 % of people have bad experience with ethnic Koreans. Also, the DKH asked about identity of them. A 55% of Dankookians think that ethnic Koreans are Chinese and 17% of respondents are thinking that they are Korean.

▲ Distribution of Korean- Chinese, copyright by wikitree.

 Likewise, many people including Dankookians have negative perspective about ethnic Koreans. The biggest reason is crime. Several years ago, there were two cases of murder. On April 1, 2012, Oh Won-chun, who is an ethnic Korean man, took a 28 years old woman at his home and shattered the corpse after murder then disposed of her body. He was sentenced to life in prison. From this incident, many people get stereotypes at ethnic Korean. Two years later, another incident occurred and it was similar to Oh Won-chun’s case. Park Chun-bong, who is also an ethnic Korean, killed his girlfriend who lives together and shattered her body after organ harvesting. He buried the body in the mountain. He was also sentenced to life in prison. Also, crimes about human trafficking and organ sales by ethnic Koreans have a great impact on having thought and prejudice about them.

 The number of foreign living in Korea has increased gradually for the past ten years from 540,000 to 1.74 million. The largest number of them who have Korean nationality was ethnic Koreans, recording 700,000. The second was Chinese, recording 260,000. In 2015, the registered foreign population in Seoul was same compared to 2011 but the total number of foreign crime increased 17%than 2011. Especially, sexual assault such as rape, sexual molestation increase twice, and intellectual crime is 1.7 times. Many crimes such as theft, assault, drug increase slightly. Likewise, the number of crime, which by foreigner, increase gradually and it makes people have bad image about them.

 There are many places that ethnic Koreans are concentrated in Korea. Garibong-dong general market is one of example for population concentrated around the capital. This market called Yanbian Market because there are many ethnic Koreans are living. They are also nervous at Koreans’ stereotypes.

 The DKH interviewed an anonymous interviewer. She is one of ethnic Korean who moved to Korea to earn money. She has put an effort to earn much money and tried what woman can do in Korea. Most restaurant assistants or building cleaning are one of suitable for woman. She came to Korea on 1998. However, she should go back after one month because of her visa. It is very annoying situation to get a legal visa., By this national enforcement  about visa, many ethnic Koreans become illegal immigrants and workers and don’t get their own payment steadily.

 The DKH asked her experience that Korean people were rude or offensive to them. She answered some Koreans were rude or acting offensively but most of Korean, who is working together, tries to be hospitable to us. However, sometimes ethnic Koreans get an icy stare from Koreans. From this situation, we felt some threat from Koreans. The DKH asked last question about identity between Korean and Chinese. She said, “When I was in China, I didn’t really hang out or talk to Chinese that much, even I was fluent with Chinese. But in Korea many people treat me as Korean and most of them are really kind. I think there can be some difference between me and other ethnic Korean, but as a result I feel more comfortable in Korea than China.”

 Because of the horrible incidents and some rumors like human trafficking by ethnic Koreans, many Koreans have strong stereotypes and frightened with ethnic Korean. But especially ethnic Koreans also have threat in Korea. The incident which broadcasted by media can be felt more deeply and seriously. But incidents with ethnic Korean are few numbers. Of course, some ethnic Koreans should be criticized, but that does not mean we can discriminate other ethnic Koreans in our daily life. The DKH suggests that we could change our mind and make allowance for ethnic Koreans. Maybe this suggestion is making more peaceful society.


이상현, 권유영  dankookherald@gmail.com
<저작권자 © The Dankook Herald, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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