What kind of things have you run into through your eyes as a gyopo?
In LA or the culture of America has become so involved with the idea of racism and that people are so racist and people nowadays are so sensitive to what they see on the news and base that on real life.
But to be quite honest, I do not experience racism on subtle racism on a daily. I don’t. Personally, I don’t repost or share videos about an asian who got yelled on a bus by a white person to perpetuate that ALL white people are like this to ALL asian people. It’s just not true. However, I’ve noticed a lot of people on my facebook feed like to dwell on videos that shows why America is so ‘racist’ or whatever. I don’t buy into this.
Personally, one of my very good friends is an elderly white man. He and I joke about this stuff all the time because we both know that we are joking.
When I was in my early 20’s and in my teens, there was a lot of issues I internalised because of the fact that I was of asian appearance but so wanted others to treat me like an American and disregard that my face was what is was. Many gyopos have most likely gone through these things, and now I want to focus on some positive things that occurred because of these identity issues that I went through growing up in America.
Being culturally exposed to the American culture or being independent, having your own thoughts and knowing you are a unique individual helped me become the person I am today. When I spent my summers in Korea, and especially these last few years when I was living in Korea, I noticed that individualism was seen as a bad thing. The cultural norm of Korea was based on your ability to get along in groups, whether it be friends or in the workplace, it was very important to have this image of being a likeable person within a group setting.
Example, if you’ve ever been to a house party in LA, you’ll quickly learn that the ability to make yourself as individualistic and having your own opinions are quickly accepted and heard by strangers. No one cares how well you get along in a group setting in general. It’s all about expressing your most independent self with your ideas and knowledge about your experiences in life that have gotten you to the point you have here. It’s all about you. Nothing wrong with that, but if you’ve ever hung out with a group of Koreans, everyone makes an effort to make you feel included in any activity you will be doing.
I tried to hang out with one of my friends one-on-one, and she quickly let me know after meeting, to make sure that I not tell any of our friends that we were hanging out together one-on-one. I asked her why and she gave me this look like, “Don’t you know?” I later figured out that she didn’t want our other friends to feel left out or that we didn’t invite them for some reason. This happened multiple times, and I didn’t get this until I looked at what it in a cultural setting. In Korean society, people go hiking in throngs for a reason. No one should feel left out.
Anyway, I’m rambling, but my point is, being raised in two cultures taught me really think whether or not one culture was better than another. And I have found that I’m very tolerant of other cultures and ideas but don’t necessarily agree that this is more right than another.
But I’m curious to know if other people have had different experiences growing up as a gyopo in their respective country. What kind of experiences have you encountered that has shaped the way you view the world? I’m curious to know! Comment below.