Hay guise!

For starters, let’s just start off by expressing our hesitation to do topics that don’t paint Korea in the greatest light. This is why we spend far too long in our videos giving multiple disclaimers, rather than just freely talking about what’s on our mind. Yes, we know that a lot of you Nasties here on the blog are really cool people who really understand us and what we’re saying, and won’t think that we’re vile scumbags for making this video, and so you’re not as likely going to get offended. But there are also new viewers of our videos, viewers who won’t know the kind of people we are, and who will possibly take things out of context. Videos on sensitive topics like this have more shareability than, say, videos about how we lost weight, you know? It’s these new viewers need disclaimers, not you guise. Correction: new viewers and Tumblr, even though we know that there are some corners of Tumblr that can’t be salvaged, regardless of whether we put in 1 disclaimer or 100. We’re overflowing with white privilege so we need to get social justice policed. Got it. Let the reblogging begin!

Now that our disclaimer on disclaimers is out of the way, let’s just say how uncomfortable we were with this topic, frankly because we’re worried that people might fear coming to Korea because they think everyone will perceive them in one of the ways we discussed in the video, which is totally unfair to say. No matter what country you go to, there will always be racism and stereotypes. Every country has its own cocktail of beliefs. No one is safe from being misperceived.

That shouldn’t be a deterrent from you visiting other countries, though. Just like how it’s not fair to say that everyone acts a specific way, it’s also not fair to think that everyone in a country thinks that everyone from another country act a specific way. We’ve met loads of really cool people who don’t share these beliefs, loads of cool people who we’ve made lasting friendships with, and it’d be a shame if fear of the bigotry of a few soured the chance for you to experience the awesomeness of the many, you know?

Some of the stereotypes we discussed in this video we didn’t actually hear about until we started researching the topic and asking our friends, so it’s not even like these stereotypes are universal. What one friend suggests another has never heard of. The ones that affect us, though, we could talk about more comfortably, like the Russian Saram solicitation and the perception of being unqualified teachers and sexual deviants. I remember back when we were still teaching and making videos, we’d read comments about us on Korean sites about being unqualified to teach, and “losers” that couldn’t find jobs in Canada. The idea of foreign teachers being “losers” is one that we read a lot, not only about ourselves but also about a lot of other teachers. That seems to be a common phrase when describing foreign teachers. We’d respond like “Unqualified to teach? Losers? I got my Bachelors of Education! I’m qualified to teach!” I didn’t really know how to respond to being a loser, though. What can you say to that? “I’m not a loser! You are! BOOYA!” And then high-five myself and leave. That taught em. That taught em real good…

Also, there were a few stereotypes that we couldn’t really discuss to any greater depth apart from just basically listing them, like the perceptions of people from Malaysia, the Philippines, and China. These are stereotypes that we haven’t actually experienced, nor do we have friends here who experienced them. We were just told about them. If anyone wants to add to these – in a civil way, of course – please do. As for what our black friends have experienced, we can only relay that to you from what they’ve told us, and what we mentioned in this video was corroborated by a few different people we know.

Side note: I just remembered this old video we did, which is relevant: Russian Saram?


I’m sure that there are a lot more stereotypes that we didn’t mention. Don’t even get us started on perceptions of Japan and Japanese people. Whoa. Now there’s a sensitive topic that demands the utmost caution in wording. I’m sure some people are going to ask about prostitution in Korea now after Se7en got caught at a Rub&Tug: another topic that’ll be difficult to handle without offending people. Anyhoodledoodlepoodle, if you don’t mind, we’re gonna get our shotguns and put our backs against the wall for the next few days. Soo Zee will get back to translating the angry Korean comments we’ll get on other sites. Spudgy will guard the door. Teeeeeeaaaaammmmm BREAK!

  1. You didn’t mention any stereotypes on Mexicans. Could you please include some in a future video or something?

  2. Someone please emphasize on the stereotypes about being Filipino in South Korea and how to deal with it!

  3. Guys~ I need some kind of advice! If some Korean asks me “Russia saram”? What should I answer?? Because, yes, “Russia saram imnida”. >< I am from Russia, but I am afraid some people mind understand this in a bad way t_t I have never though there is such phrase in Korea. It was an absolute shock to me! So can you tell me how should I answer on such question? Or should I just hide the fact that I am Russian? ;o

  4. I’m just wondering, if ever I visited in Korea, would the locals automatically assume I’m a prostitute since I’m Filipino-Aussie?

  5. I have a cuestion. What korean think about mexican people????
    they have a different opinion or is the same???
    just think about it make me laugh ^^

  6. I’m Korean and I’m married to a non-Korean guy. I haven’t been to Korea for almost 10 years and I’m sure things have changed a lot. I’m just worried how people would be towards me and my husband. Would people look at us weird? Would someone insult us?

  7. Guys, I wonder if there are any stereotypes about Indonesians in Korea? I am really curious because where I study there are quite a number of Korean students and during orientation we were all friendly and all but after they know that I am Indonesian suddenly BOOM they stop talking to me.. Tried this to a few groups of people and end result is the same.. Am I damned because I was born in Indonesia? T.T

  8. How do they feel about South Asians?

  9. I do know one Latino stereotype! It’s that we are very sexual beings with HUGE butts and HUGE boobs. Uugh. I have met a lot Korean and Japanese dudes that have asked for sex. They think sending dick pics mean they have an automatic chance with me. Unfortunately, I have met A LOT of Korean people that will just absolutely refuse to even look at me because I am not white. Dumb motherfuckers. /:< Luckily my Korean friends don't care about my race and just wanna be friends. When I tell my friend Will about those assholes, he just gets so mad! He cusses in English and Korean. Putting that fire out is craaazzzyyyy~ Lol. @-@

  10. Haha, this reminded me of the movie Argo. If you guys haven’t watched it I highly recommend it. Canadians are the heroes in the movie!! :D Go Canada!
    There aren’t a lot of people from Latin America in South Korea right? I’d like to know what stereotypes some Koreans have of us, if any, and what do they think of us. I am an Argentinian so when I visit South Korea I would like to know what possible stereotypes or comments I might receive. I have faced stereotypes in Argentina because I was raised in the U.S., so some of the stereotypes mentioned I’m familiar with from my trips.

    Great job, S&M! I love your videos. Your videos are the only ones I watch ads for.

  11. Just thought of this meme after I saw this video:

  12. I actually heard some of my friends said (based on the stories they heard from their friends who have been to Korea) that Korean people have this kind of smell (not stink, but I can’t recall what’s the exact word) because they don’t shower in the morning. But after reading comments here, it seems the opposite. Hmm..

  13. We’ve always experienced Koreans being super excited that we were from America – so that’s pretty cool. Everywhere we go here in Seoul people ask to take pictures with our son – who has red hair. They freak out if he says anything to them (he’s 3 – so he’s not always up to the task) and call him an angel. It’s like he is a celebrity!

    And yes – they assume that we are loaded rich even though I wear way lame clothes I had to order online. No plus size clothes in Korea! LOL When I told one friend that I grew up on a farm in Kansas, he assumed my family was rich beyond imagine. I had to sadly break his bubble. ^_^

    • I think the reason he thinks your rich is because in korea they majority of people live in apartments and a farm is huge to compare to an apartment. A way to tell him u aren’t rich is if you explain that in the us that is not rich but a hard life

  14. Random, but I love how Simon’s brother *and* sister both married outside of their race. And no, I’m not joking; I love mixed children, they are always adorable ^^

  15. Thx Simon and Martina!
    I was always wondering about these type of things. I will be studying in Korea very soon and it’s nice to get a heads up.

  16. Here in Germany, Berlin specifically, we have the second largest Turkish population in the world (Including Turkey), and there are so many stigmas regarding Turkish people, it’s ridiculous. And this is actually for citizens, not foreigners.

  17. The stereotypes about Filipinos being “uneducated prostitutes” is funny and ironic, because I have aunts and uncles (at least from my dad’s side) in the Philippines that are LOADED with money and are either a doctor or have their own business.

  18. I would like to know their stereotype about barzillians o-õ I hear that in most countries it is: Brazillian woman = prostitute/bitch/whore… So… Yeah, I am curious about that o-o

  19. The thing about black skin reminded me of something. I am a white girl with LOTS of freckles. One day I was teaching a speaking class about…something…and for some reason something I said prompted one of my students to very matter-of-factly say “Oh, well you have AIDS.” Of course, I was like “WHAT?!” All of the other students nodded in agreement, and tried to explain to me that the spots on my skin were a sign of AIDS. I tried to explain to them what freckles were and how you get them, but they definitely weren’t buying it. So, next time you go to the beach guise, wear some sunblock. Don’t wanna get that AIDS…from the sun.

  20. Hey guys, so this question is more directed towards Simon, but does anyone ever comment on your Polish ethnicity? Or is Poland a country that South Korea just kind of dismisses? I know how you guys said that the white people stereotypes involves American, Canadian, and other European countries. Like if someone goes to South Korea and says that they’re Polish, not American, will a Korean citizen’s opinion about the person change? I’m just really curious about what Polish stereotypes there are in South Korea (kinda like the Russian saram thing), or if they’re the same as any other white person stereotype. Like here in the States, Polish people are known to drink a lot, love their cars more than anything, be pretty stupid, and eat a lot of pierogies. ^^

  21. here in philippines … they say koreans in philippines smell funky? not sure :/
    its funny how koreans stereotype filipinos being uneducated when they come to our country to learn english.

  22. Is it acceptable for Caucasian foreigners to approach Koreans if they’re interested in dating?
    Can a girl let a guy know that she’s interested in him, or does the guy have to take that step first?
    Can foreigners approach them, or do the Koreans have to approach the foreigners?

  23. This topic reminds me of the movie “Punch”, with Yoo Ah In. His mother is Filipino in the movie. Even though the movie expressed her as being a poor woman, the movie expressed that multiculturalism isn’t bad and it should be embraced. I recommend watching that movie!

  24. Wait a minute, Koreans didnt use deodorant till recently?!! O_O woah, but they do sweat a lot.. thats just odd. And the ‘Riding the White Horse’ thing, man that got me for some reason xD Just cause im white, but not ethnically North American.

    I came to the US 11 years ago with my parents, and let me tell you I would have preferred to go to Canada instead because Americans are known for being pushy and starting wars and disrespecting people. Even in Europe if you go around saying you are American they will treat you like crap. I just say im from Central America, period. xD

  25. What about the arab people living in korea ? :D

  26. I used to work at a frozen yogurt place that is situated right next to a Japanese eatery. And my boss, who is Korean, would always comment on how the owner of the Japanese place (who is actually Chinese) is the nicest and cleanest Chinese guy he’s ever met. I really thought he was just kidding, being over-dramatic, but after watching this and seeing the stereotypes, I guess I’m just shocked?

    No doubt, each region, country, is not without its own racial and judgmental faults, but some of these were surprising. Kind of curious as to what to expect being that I’m mixed (Micronesian and white). At work, I have a lot of customers that assume I’m Hispanic, though. So, what would you guys say is the general outlook on Hispanics?

    Video was interesting! (and this is my first post, orz) haha

  27. kinda lame you guys forgot about the latin people

  28. is there a stereotype about international korean people? as in people who grew up abroad and have come back to korea to visit/live and work?

    • I know this korean-american girl who was explaining how koreans don’t consider korean-americans truly korean. She even told me about how whenever she went to go visit her cousins in Korea, they would always tell her, “Oh, you’re not really korean, so you wouldn’t understand.”

  29. there are people that sweat but they don’t smell i think it due to the lack of hormones or something.

  30. I heard that Koreans don’t sweat because they have underdeveloped sweat glands. I am not sure if that is true or not, but could explain why they don’t sweat.

    Also, I am a brown haired , brown eyed 179cm American who was asked by a taxi driver if I was Russian. Maybe it was the red lipstick I was wearing, but I said in the most serious tone that I was American. He didn’t talk after that, but my other friend got offered money by a taxi driver and she left his cab without even paying. Mind you, these are only two times that this has ever happened. Most taxi drivers will either not talk to you or are very interested and will ask questions. It’s a great way to practice your Korean.

    My students have said that black people are monkeys, and if a student has darker skin, they will say he or she is a monkey which I have to deny. Also my students do not understand the concept of homosexuality. They know the word gay and understand its meaning, but when I told them about someone I knew who was gay they were utterly surprised.

    Also some Koreans do not like Japanese people. Some of my students are really interested in Japan and Japanese culture. However, there is an island dispute among China, Japan and Korea, so I have heard my students said they wanted to visit this island because it’s Korea’s island. Keep in mind that during the Japanese occupation of Korea and China, atrocities were committed on Japan’s part so that is a reason why some Koreans might hate the Japanese (yes, some students have told me they hated Japan).

    The way a woman dresses also is a stereotype. Most Korean women wear high collars and will not expose their shoulders. In the summertime, they wear mesh-like shirts on top of a tank top. Even when they work out, I have only seen Korean women wear t shirts that is provided by the gym. It is very rare to see a Korean woman in their own work out attire at the gym. I usually wear my own clothes and prefer to wear sleeveless shirts when I work out. There have been many times when I have been stared at while I was jogging because of my clothes.

    Another thing I think is important to discuss is even though there are stereotypes and expectations for foreigners, Koreans are a little more lenient with non-Korean foreigners. With my friends who are Korean, they felt very pressured to conform quickly to the expectations because South Koreans will not know they are foreigners and might say something to them.

    I hope this isn’t offensive to anyone. These are just some of the experiences I have had while living here in Korea ^^

  31. what about mexicans??? im huuurt lol we build houses within seconds

  32. I can kind of relate to the Korean perspective on this. Stereotypes are HUGE in Latin America. It’s really embarrassing sometimes, since it just demonstrates how culturally ignorant we can be. Just curious: does anybody else have really racist grandparents?

  33. Even though this is a dumb question but I’m Puerto Rican and Filipino and from Hawaii .Even though Hawaii is part of the US alot of people don’t consider it as part of America. I wonder what Koreans would think of me? I know that you guys said not everyone in korea is like this. But I’m kinda curious :)

  34. The non-smelling Korean guys is not 100% true. Some of them smell really bad. LOL I was clubbing in Hongdae tonight and there was a guy who stank reallllyyyyyyyyy bad and he was dancing in front of me and my friends. We had to move because it was unbearable LOL. And I also think its really funny that the day I watched this video, I went to buy a lil fan from an ajusshi in Hongdae and he thought I was a prostitute. And I was dressed really really normally and i did nothing that would explain him assuming that. I was really freaked out LOL and I just ran off without my fan ): I turned around for a second to get my money in my bag and he tried to hug me like: Are yoouuuu……?? and I’m like WTF NO NO NO NO NO AAAHHHHHH @____@ *runs away in despair* -__- Being a foreigner in Korea has been a totally new experience to me. I had never ever experienced racism before. I’m Brazilian and not even when I was in the USA did I ever experience it because my english sounds 100% american. But here its been really a whole new world. And I’m glad because now I know what it feels like. Not that its good but u know LOL.

  35. How was your first week in Korea?

  36. “I remember back when we were still teaching and making videos, we’d read comments about us on Korean sites about being unqualified to teach, and “losers” that couldn’t find jobs in Canada. The idea of foreign teachers being “losers” is one that we read a lot, not only about ourselves but also about a lot of other teachers. That seems to be a common phrase when describing foreign teachers. We’d respond like “Unqualified to teach? Losers? I got my Bachelors of Education! I’m qualified to teach!” I didn’t really know how to respond to being a loser, though. What can you say to that? “I’m not a loser! You are! BOOYA!” And then high-five myself and leave. That taught em. That taught em real good…”

    I don’t think these comments should hurt or offend you because they don’t know you in person… those are just mean remarks that started with lack of information and fear of the unknown.

    I agree with what you said that every country has its own perceptions on foreign people… I can even say there are prototypes among my own people…

    I’ve seen different movies… seen music videos… that don’t quite represent foreigners in a favorable light… Of course not all people are like that but… people tend to believe those things until they are proven to be wrong…

    Love you guise!


  37. Speaking of foreigners and marriage, how, in a very general sense, do Koreans typically view single parents?

    I’m a single mother, and plan on being single for many more years, so I’m very curious what some common thought processes are concerning the capabilities/status of single parents.

    Thank you for the videos!

  38. I find the stereotype/concern toward Korean women dating white men to be very interesting. A common occurrence for military personnel, male personnel that is, stationed in Korea is for them to come home with Korean girlfriends/wives. Many of the officers I’ve met who are married to Korean women (which is so common in the Air Force that it stops being surprising after about a month) met their wives the year they were stationed in Korea. I’ve always wondered if there was any degree of concern in Korea over women marrying foreigners (actually I figured there was, just wasn’t sure about the nature of that concern) or if it was less/more acceptable than a Korean man marrying a foreign woman.

    Anyway, another fun and informative video!

  39. On the subject of sweaty/stinky foreigners and related to earwax, which I seem to remember being mentioned in a video ages ago: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=people-without-underarm-protection

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