Monday, April 16, 2012

Cultural Difference

I asked the Korean medical student whether the results of the recent elections were to her liking.  She replied that the conservative party had won – which I knew, and wasn’t what I had asked.  There seemed a hint that she did not prefer this, but I couldn’t tell, so I pressed it.  She told me her parents are strong liberals as a way of explaining her disapproval.  I don’t think an American child beyond highschool would frame it that way.

1 comment:

Texan99 said...

I worked with a young Korean guy one summer when I was in college. He told us one day that his parents were putting heavy pressure on him to marry a bride they'd arranged for him back home. Young as I was, I found it inconceivable that he wouldn't simply tell them indignantly to butt out. He of course could hardly imagine how anyone could be so callous about their parents' opinion. His family must have gone to a great deal of trouble and expense to send him to the U.S. He could never have blown them off in the way that seemed so natural to me.

It was hard for me to come to see that it wasn't just about his being too weak to stand up to authority, it was about his taking family ties and duties more seriously than I'd ever imagined possible. I valued independence more than ties and assumed everyone else did, too.