Korean youth: an endangered species
Korean youth: an endangered species
  • Observer
  • 승인 2007.06.11 15:27
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  Young people lead the culture of a country but, strangely, we don't feel the "Koreaness" of young people in this country today. Young Koreans go overseas to study, to practice foreign languages, and to travel. Recently, the culture of young people in Korea doesn't seem to be very Korean. What's the reason?
  Youths in Korea pursue Western culture. They prefer to eat and dress like Americans rather than Koreans. They will have dinner in a family restaurant, and then drink coffee in Starbucks. They have even started to dress like Hollywood stars. They believe that if they imitate foreign cultures, the quality of their lives will be upgraded.
  Why has this situation occurred? It must be because of the 'Ku Klux Klan,' in other words, 'white supremacy' and 'white chauvinism.' White people think that they are the bosses of the world and that they surpass other colors in ability because of their white faces. Our younger generation has been brainwashed. Is it right for them to drop their own culture? The answer is NO because there's no evidence of this claimed superiority.
  We cannot say that white people are more able than others merely because they are richer. For example, people who live in Southeast Asia feel happier than we do even though they are starving. Why, therefore, don't we say that they actually live better lives?
  I visited Vietnam as a foreign volunteer worker for a few months. I cannot forget the Vietnamese who kept their composure with a smile. You should have seen their faces. It was as if they owned everything. They didn't seem to need financial status. When all is said and done, you should really love your own culture first before accepting another. At first, you should establish your own identity. Then, you could improve on it by appreciating other cultures. If someone receives Western culture without first having their own cultural identity, then they are not experiencing cultural exchange but, rather, cultural takeover.
  Therefore, Koreans need to first be established in their own culture, before receiving Western culture. This is true cultural exchange for the youth of Korea.

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