Saturday, April 08, 2006

Racism Lifting

Washington Post: Steelers MVP Gives S. Korea a Most Valuable Perspective

Not being a football fan, I'll admit I didn't even know the name Hines Ward until this past week. (Nor did many Koreans, I bet - American football never caught on over here.) But in the last few days, pictures of Ward and President Roh tossing a football around have been on the front pages of most of the daily papers here.

I'll admit that, when I first saw pictures of Ward and President Roh together, I did not quite appreciate that Ward is half Korean. He doesn't really look Korean, to me.

As a white person, I know that there really is a lot of racism in this country that is quite invisible to me. Not only black people but also South Asians and Southeast Asians often have stories of discrimination that lie outside my experience. Of course, as the article says, things are changing. One social phenomenon that has recieved some attention is brides being imported from Southeast Asia to marry Korean farmers (since the male-to-female ratio is somewhat skewed here). I personally have come across little advertisement cards left in subway cars, promoting Vietnamese brides for lonely Korean men.

It will be interesting to see if and how Korean society changes in the next few decades.

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