Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Minority Report

For the first time in my life I am living in a place where Caucasian's/Anglo-saxon/Westerners or simply white's aren't the prominent demographic.

In Korea, I am a minority.

I thought about this one day on the subway, while an older lady, was people watching and noticed me. I thought, what would I think if I saw that lady on the subway in New York? I would probably say to myself " hmm Asian... maybe Korean? definitely not Chinese"
You know, nothing special, just different.

Seoul is similar to New York in this manner. The lady who noticed me on the train wasn't surprised or scared for any reason but just saw me as someone other than her own. Korean's here are actually very used to seeing foreigners and American's, some get excited when we look lost and want to help us. And some like to hesitantly ask "Where are you from?" and then smile and say "Oh America..haha," after I respond. It's nice.
The average passer by is a lot more friendly than those in Finland. In Helsinki they stare, coldly. It's almost like they draw a line in the silence; I am Finnish you are foreign. Where to I try to non-verbally respond "what the hell are you staring at."

I haven't really received any discrimination being a minority so I can't relate to what racism may feel like. So I guess for now it's just something interesting to think about. When was the last time you were a minority?

I'll post more pictures as soon as I download them from my camera.
P.S. I really miss football. tear.


Some Sure Things said...

There are so many differences between western and eastern cultures, what's accepted as normal and what is not. Your appearance gives you away as NOT Korean, and therefore not one of the majority in Seoul. Like you said, that's just different for you to experience. Each culture has its own set of accepted behaviors, including staring at what's "different" or not staring. Yes, we are all humans but we grow up within a set of rules unique to each culture. We can see differences within cultures too, depending on heritage, area of the country, religious views, etc.

This all could combine to create discrimination or racism and often does.

I wonder if black and grey squirrels stare at each other.

Borooney said...

dude good call...If I were a black squirrel i would totally hate greay squirrels.