The strange, contradictory privilege of surviving in Southern Korea as A chinese-canadian girl

“Excuse me personally, ” the person stated in Korean. We had been walking by one another in the crowded retail complex in Gangnam, an affluent commercial region in Seoul.

We turned around, in which he deposited a business that is fancy-looking into my hand. “Marry Me, ” it said in black colored loopy letters from the stark paper that is white.

Startled because of the proposition, we took a better appearance and understood he had been recruiting applicants for certainly one of Southern Korea’s wedding matchmaking services. Such businesses have become popular within the country.

He started initially to explain his work, at a rate which was too quickly for my degree of comprehension. “Oh, I’m weiguk saram, ” we explained, utilising the words that are korean “foreigner. ” The guy scowled, swiped his card away from my arms, and stormed down.

I relayed the story of my encounter within the phone up to a Korean-American buddy who laughed and stated “He thought you didn’t have just the right ‘specs’ to be an eligible woman. Whenever I got home, ”

“Specs, ” quick for specifications, is a manifestation South Koreans utilize to spell it out a person’s social worth predicated on their history, or just exactly what sociologists call embodied social money. Going to the right college, having household wide range, desired real characteristics, and also the proper wintertime parka can indicate the essential difference between success or failure in culture. Specifications connect with everyone else, also non-Koreans, in a culture where conforming harmoniously is very important.

In Southern Korea, actually, I easily fit into: black locks, brown eyes, light epidermis with yellowish undertones. People don’t recognize that I’m foreign right off the bat. Lire la suite