We are all here to live every situation you can imagine, good or bad; right or wrong; positive or negative. Why? So we can learn from the experience as part of the adventure of life. Murray Kibblewhite
CASE STUDY – HOW TO UNDERSTAND KOREANS!
My Chinese flatmate, who speaks Mandarin, Japanese, Korean and English said he had enjoyed laughing at a Korean film called “…….Embarrassment”.
In the video a Korean man visits the home of his girlfriend for the first time. Here he meets her older brother. In accordance with their culture the boyfriend speaks respectively to her brother in a subservient way.
Then it is discovered that his girlfriend’s brother is younger than the boyfriend. So the approach changes and the brother now becomes respectful to the boyfriend and the brother becomes subservient.
After some further conversation it is revealed that the brother had completed his compulsory military training earlier than the boyfriend. This then changes the aspect of respect. So the boyfriend now has to respect his girlfriend’s brother, who was younger than him!
From a Western point of view, this matter of showing respect and acting in a subservient way seems unnecessary and excessive.
When compared to the culture of “treating everyone as equals” here in New Zealand, Asians, particularly the Korean culture have to learn to act differently towards Kiwi’s as compared to other Asians.
They need to have double personalities!
As shown above, Asians living in a Western culture need to learn how to deal with Western people.
However, there is a huge learning for Western people to understand and respect Asian cultures as well.
In both cases the learning is that there is a requirement for both cultures to operate on a dual basis, knowing when to apply their own culture and when to respect others culture.
When I was young we would say – “When in Rome do as the Romans do!”
All life’s experiences are opportunities to learn. The challenge is to decide, what are the real lessons to be learnt?