April 4, 2015
Sorry for the delay on our You Are Here cafe Speaker’s Corner videos! For those of you that didn’t know, we were in Toronto for a week and then we flew out to the Dominican Republic for our friend’s wedding. We tried to upload this video from DR but the internet at the hotel made it impossible.
So this is a very interesting topic! Would you date someone from a different culture or do you think it’s too difficult? Growing up in Toronto meant that it was easy to meet and date someone that was not from the same culture as you. Even basic things like just seeing people of different cultures at your school or in your neighbourhood was normal, but that is not the norm in Korea. Korea is a country that is very homogeneous. If you’re not Korean, you’re the mega minority. In fact, it’s less than 2% of people in Korea that are not Korean. If you’re Korean-American, you are Korean looking and thus blend into Korea a bit better. However, you still have very different perspective based on where you were raised. A lot of people think of different cultures as just being based on your skin colour or race but ask a Korean-American and they’ll tell you how difficult it can be to relate to Korean people who are raised and living in Korea. Both are Korean but culture has a lot more to do with just language and looks. Where you are raised imparts both subtle and not subtle differences on how you think and behave. From signs of how to show affection, dating and courtship dos and don’ts, the food you crave, or even the things you find funny are part of your culture. I think dating someone from a different culture can absolutely add richness to your world and open your eyes to what other people deem important but I also think it can be hard work and require a lot of patience to make an effort to understand the other person fully. Once you understand that person, you’ll have to understand their family next if it becomes serious.
We get a lot of emails/messages from people asking us “if we think they can date Korean guys/girls when they come to Korea”. We never respond to these messages because we can’t speak for all Korean people! Yes, of course there are Korean people that are open to dating people from different cultures, but no, we can’t tell you if that applies to everyone. Also, just because you are physically attracted to someone does not mean you’ll get along with them. We’ve seen a lot of mixed culture relationships in Korea fail before they even start because one person is texting too much and the other isn’t responding enough. Just the basic flirting differences between Korean culture and other cultures is enough to end it!
Personally, I think everyone should be at least open to dating people from different cultures. If you’re not attracted to someone I’m not saying force yourself, but I never understand when people just refuse to give it a try because “it’s just too complicated”. After all, just because you’re open to dating someone doesn’t mean it will actually work out. You may not even get past the first date so if you do like someone from a different culture, just give it a shot! Some people will find a fantastic lifelong partner and both sides will gain a new cultural richness to their lives.
So what do you think? Are you open to dating someone from a different culture? Have you already? What were the biggest difficulties or differences?