May 18, 2015
Let’s start off by saying how awesome this video is, because the first three people in the booth are all part of Eatyourkimchi. Yewon, on the left, helps a lot with research and planning; Rose, in the middle, is our web developer. And Ellwyn on the right edits the Speaker’s Corner videos. So there’s a small intro to them! This video was filmed before Rose’s accident, however. She’s not fully recovered still, but she’s on her way.
Anyhow, we’ve been wanting to post this topic for a long time! It think there are three different perspectives on this topic. There are those of us that have been living in Korea and have watched it change, there are those of us that live outside of Korea but have visited family in Korea during the holiday seasons, and then there are those of us that have never actually been to Korea but have been consuming Korean media via drama, pop music, and movies for a long time. If you’ve never been to Korea but have been observing it via pop culture/media, I think you can still discuss the ways in which you’ve seen Korea change via that medium.
If you look back on our videos from when we first started vlogging, there are already major changes in Korea that took place that can date some of our perspectives. For example, when we first arrived in Korea around seven years ago, simple things like wearing tank tops in the summer was frowned upon, which Rose talked about. I had to buy all these little shrugs and boleros to cover up with, but as the years went on, more and more Korean youth started wearing dresses and tank tops without covering their shoulders. If you’re in a certain job position like being a teacher or a company woman, you should still dress in a more conservative business way (as is the same in most parts of the world) but drop into Hongdae on a hot Saturday afternoon you’ll see a change in wardrobe from when we first arrived.
I also found it really interesting how it was mentioned that the family economy is changing, and you need both parents now providing for the family. And while I’m sure that the cost of living is rapidly increasing, I’m not sure if family dynamics are increasing as quickly here in Korea. Or are they? The birth rate in Korea is really terrible, lowest in the OECD it seems, and maybe more people are avoiding starting families because they’re aware of how much more expensive it is to live now than before. I don’t know. I remember speaking with someone who told me that Canada has pretty bad birth rates as well, but they’re staying afloat with a good immigration policy (woot woot my parents were immigrants as well!) while Korea, on the other hand, has super strict immigration.
So that’s it for now. If you’ve been in Korea for a while, or visited a while ago and have been again recently, we’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s changing in Korea.