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Preview: Comments on Dokdo Is Ours: Mailbag: Ask An Insecure Kyopo Who Can't Speak The...

Comments on Dokdo Is Ours: Mailbag: Ask An Insecure Kyopo Who Can't Speak The Language, Posing As Food Ambassador To Feel Like A Korea Expert





Updated: 2017-06-25T06:06:38.784+09:00

 



That was a cute, albeit random, rant. Maybe you s...

2011-08-25T09:13:22.854+09:00

That was a cute, albeit random, rant.

Maybe you should start your own blog, getaclue. As with you reading this blog, apparently, people might be confused as to whether you're commenting in earnest, or taking the piss.



(continued) Learn to be more self aware. When I wa...

2011-07-29T05:29:32.696+09:00

(continued) Learn to be more self aware. When I was in Seoul, many people stared at me, called out if I was Hindoo. I stopped to chat with all of the people--because curiousity is far better than politically correct cosmopolitanism. Heck, when I was in village in South India, people stared at me because I was wearing jeans. Hell heck, I stared at the first blonde woman I ever saw. So what?

The idea that by becoming economically part of a developed nation opens one up to playing with the "big boys" and thus opens one up to criticism is ridiculous. Why should Koreans or Chinese or Indians have to play by rules set by North Americans? Just because you think that criticism (I call it infantile whining) is a mark of one's individuality doesn't mean it has automatic validity. It doesn't. It just shows that you are as much caged in by the narrow mentality of your own background as you argue others are.

One example: While in Delhi I came across a Canadian woman studying arranged marriages, and she went on and on about how women in India have it bad. I saw other Indians trying to defend women's rights to her. She noticed that I kept mostly silent and she asked how I felt. And I told her that it amazed me how little I cared about what she felt about Indian women. She was taken aback. I told her that I respected her and thought she was a lovely woman, but just couldn't care less about what she thought about India, its poverty, its class inequities. I care very much about India, its poverty, its lack of rights for its citizens, etc., I just didn't give two hoots about what she thought. Why? Because damn if I will get into a defensive mode with her. I could give her a million reasons why she was wrong or why she was right, but the reality was that her position of complaint came from that of superiority--even if she was unaware. She came from a mindset that she needed to fix the poor people of India. Two hundred years of colonization and 50 years of American imperialism have taught some of us Indians that we do not need to justify our country to anyone. The woman was welcome to whine, stay in India and complain, or gush over it, or whatever. I didn't care.

I think Koreans need to get that attitude.

To the expats who have lived in Korea for 5+ years and feel that they have the right to complain: sure you have the right to complain, but also examine yourself and your assumptions and your attitude and learn to evaluate how much of your entrenched background you are still caged within and what the nature of the cage is from which you speak. It is not the matter of how many years you have lived somewhere--it is a matter of where you are coming from.

Let Koreans fulfill their own destiny...and if Koreans find your comments offensive enough that they are defensive, then shut up. There is a reason why there is a private space and a public space. Expats, if you are fed up or angry, complain to your own friends. That's where private space comes in. If Koreans don't want to listen to your whiney ass, they shouldn't have to. Take the cue, and be quiet.

I'd like to see you guys go to South L.A. and whine about Mexican gangs...while in Mexican neighborhoods. See how defensive they get...and you get when you get kneecapped.

Whine in the privacy of your home if you are complaining is your nature. Koreans don't need to indulge you--and if you think they do, then you need to figure out why you think that way and how and why you have this John Bolton-Rumsfeld-Cheney mentality about how the world should treat you.



(continued) So, Koreans are not the only ones who ...

2011-07-29T05:29:13.709+09:00

(continued) So, Koreans are not the only ones who are fed up with North American expats whining. Most of the world is.

Your post, while well-written, would have been more worthwhile if you had examined your assumptions. Instead of being defensive, you should have evaluated why so many North Americans feel the need to come to another nation and denigrade it. Where do these instincts come from? Why would you feel that you have the right to criticize at all? Why does anyone have to defend anything to YOU? Where does your arrogance come from?

I grew up in a diverse immigrant family in the U.S. I also studied for my B.A. and M.A. in the heartland of America. I did my doctoral studies in a coastal city. I came across the same "type" of Americans--woefully self-indulgent and self-centered in their world view. The point is that these instincts to complain without self awareness--to mock China's Olympics b/c of human rights abuses while maintaining Gitmo, etc.,--is beyond logic.



ICanHazCheeseburger said... The common thread I s...

2011-07-29T05:28:17.372+09:00

ICanHazCheeseburger said...

The common thread I see is the arrogance I have become accustomed to seeing among North American expats--men and women. There is a sense that they critique because they come from AMERICA where people have FREEDOM and savor INDIVIDUALITY, etc., and when others cannot take the criticism it is because they are not familiar with FREE SPEECH and ORIGINAL THINKING.

I am Indian-America, and have lived equally in both countries in my hyphenated existence, and have traveled through Asia and the Middle East, and the attitude displayed by Americans is about the same in every country. There is always the usual complaint about race relations (news flash, American race issues--with its horrific history of slavery and institutionalized racism--is not of interest to most people not American) or gender equality. One would think based on complaints from American expats that the only way to be free is to mimic an American woman. Hijab, the veil, early marriage, stay-at-home moms, etc., are categorically dismissed as being enslaved or enslaving, etc.



You'd expect them to have the best parts of bo...

2010-02-03T22:33:49.649+09:00

You'd expect them to have the best parts of both cultures, but sometimes they end up with a peculiar mix of the worst.