Saturday, December 3, 2011

Racism in Korea?

I just saw this video uploaded by my Southeast Asian friend on his Facebook wall. It says "A true example of discrimination in Korea." I was kinda intrigued so I checked it out.

The Documentary
The video is from an EBS program called EBS Docu Prime (Prime Documentary) about how 2 foreigners in Korea of different races, one 'white' one 'Southeast Asian,'  were treated by Koreans when they ask for some directions. The 2 foreigners were put in a street in Gangnam, one of Korea's busiest districts, with a mission to ask Koreans passing, "How to go to COEX?", an underground shopping mall relatively near Gangnam area. I don't know but the result is quite shocking. The white man (from Canada) was gladly entertained by the Koreans whether they're good at English or not and was even accompanied to the subway station. On the other hand the Southeast Asian (from Indonesia) not even a single passerby accommodated his question. 

Here's the video

I don't know if this is already the whole video as it says part 1. And I don't know to what extent is this documentary 'real' because there could be cuts made and what appears on the final product are the 'juicy' ones for obvious reasons.

Anyway, so some of my friend's friends commented on his post harshly and even expressed their own experiences. While some say that it depends on how you ask your question etc.

What do you think? As a scholar and researcher myself, for the experiment it would be better if they would consider factors not only skin color or the English accent but also factors like appearance, gender, fashion or get up etc.

Tell me your opinions ^^


  1. been following the blog for some time.. we were there last October and we were so impressed on how they treated us.. they were all nice when we are asking for directions.. I agree on the last part.. it's not only the skin color and accent that should be taken in to consideration, but they do matter

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  3. racism happens in korea, but in not that kind of way... and the video's point is REALLY misleading and biased. racism in korea is about "how you look and how you present yourself to others" you have to look good and talk straight if you need something. and it applies to white, brown and even koreans themselves... the canadian says "excuse me, where is coex" direcly... while the southeast asian "excuse me... i have a question... do you speak english".. even me, i will not answer specially if im in the hurry.

  4. YongJaco: Hi! thank you for following my blog. Anyway, of course not everyone's "bad"I wouldn't be staying here if that's the case hehe

    Aniphreak: good point. hehe

  5. hahaha.. I would've stayed there longer if I could :D

  6. he actually GOT some help =D <3

  7. yes.^^ I already made an entry about too.

    Part 2 of EBS Prime Docu