discrimination

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Se-Woong Koo
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Tyranny of South Korea's Majority Against Refugees

From a distance, it had the feeling of a summer evening street party. A young man stood on a modified truck bed and belted out tunes to entertain a growing crowd. People—some seated on plastic chairs and others standing around—held up electric candles. Many were young hipsters. Parents

Mi-Jeong Jo
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Koryo Saram in South Korea: 'Korean' but Struggling to Fit in

Sumin (pseudonym) teaches languages and cultures to children of ‘multicultural families’ at a local elementary school in Ansan, a city with the highest concentration of foreign residents in South Korea. She comes from a town near Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Growing up, her parents’ income wasn’t enough to feed all three

Haeryun Kang
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CJ CGV's "Be a Foreigner": Funny April Fool's Event or Cultural Appropriation?

Are these images offensive? A blond-haired Asian man with facial hair wearing a blue turban and a red bindi dot on his forehead ready to eat a bowl of Chinese noodles A group of people from different ethnic backgrounds in traditional clothing: people in the Korean hanbok, the

Fitsum Areguy
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The Ocean Between Jeju’s Island Natives and Mainland Newcomers

Lee Hwan-jung wavers in his small boat, harpoon in hand. Looking back to shore, black rocks and dark waves sway under a granite sky. On this early February morning on the Jeju coast, cold water sloshes over his shoes. Lee is a self-taught fisherman from Seoul. Still robust at 43,

Juwon Park
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Tinder Not Catching Fire in South Korea

A flurry of news articles has told of steamy goings on in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where the 2018 Winter Olympics are now under way. So it’s perhaps not surprising that multiple media have reported a 348% increase in usage of dating app Tinder in the area since

Ben Jackson
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"Olympics Fairies": Do the Faces of S. Korea Need to be Pretty Women?

South Korea’s young female placard bearers, officially labeled “placard agents,” made quite an impression at the opening ceremony of Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Feb. 9.  Their conventional good looks, with tall, slim figures and spectacularly designed dresses got plenty of social media users excited. Local media eDaily

Daniel Corks
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Battle Over South Korea's Constitutional Reform Focuses on LGBT Rights

On Sep. 2, 2017, there was a rally in downtown Gwangju the likes of which the city had never seen before. Streets were blocked off and a large stage was set up in the heart of the city. With drummers, dancers, and singers, at a glance it didn’t look

Ben Jackson
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Foreigners Rail at Korail's Two-track Olympic Booking Discrimination

With just a month to go until the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics open on Feb. 9, another issue is getting foreign visitors worked up. This time, it’s ticket bookings for the new KTX (high speed rail) line that connects Incheon International Airport, Seoul and key new stations in the Olympic

Jieun Choi
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The Single Mother Stigma

Not every family is comprised of a mother, father and a couple of heterosexual children. Those that don’t fit the mold are labeled “not normal,” and face stigma. After Choi Hyung-sook went on TV as a single mother, fewer customers started coming to her hair salon.

Steven Borowiec
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Itaewon Bar Apologizes to Indian Student for Foreigner Ban

In June, a video of Kislay Kumar, a student from India, being turned away from a bar in Seoul briefly went viral due to the brazenness of the discrimination he faced on the basis of his nationality. In a video of the incident, a bouncer can be heard saying, “No

Haeryun Kang
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Keep the Disabled Out: Tyranny of the 'Normal'

On Sep. 5, residents in Seoul’s Gangseo district gathered at a local elementary school to discuss the future of a public real estate project. On the one side were the parents of children with disabilities, who wanted a school specially adapted to their children’s needs. On

Steven Borowiec
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"No Kazakhstan, No Pakistan, No Mongolia, No Saudi Arabia."

When Kislay Kumar headed out on the town on a recent Friday, he had no way of knowing that later that night he would end up being the latest chapter in South Korea’s national debate over race and inclusion. After two a.m., Kumar and a group of friends