Finding the Push Factor
All immigrants came over to US with many different reasons. People came over to US to start a new business, to attain their dreams, or to seek for a better place. Like those people, my family also immigrated to US from Korea. Despite we have been living in US for six years, I never had a serious conversation about why he wanted to move. Perhaps, I had many opportunities to ask him that question, but I did not ask him since I already know the answer. My dad always humorously says he moved to US for my brother and me. A true word is spoken in his jest. He had no push and pull factor to come here. In Korea, my dad was with a great reputation. His boss loved him, his colleagues trusted him, and high salary always followed him. Additionally, all Koreans have a stereotype that US has the perfect circumstances and facilities for the education. However, I believe his jest is not the only factor that made him to immigrate. As I put the puzzle together for this project, I hope I could find the other strong factors. The discovery of other push and pull factors might appease my guilt — making my dad sacrifice everything him had for my brother and me. But if there is no other factor, I am going to discover what problems changed the education in Korean.
Korea Problems and Issues in a Rapidly Growing Economy.
Hasan, Parvez. N.p.: Johns Hopkins UP, n.d. Print.
When an underdevelopment country becomes the 11th largest GDP country (IMF 2016) in short period, the problems and issues arise. Based on Hasan, The economy of my father’s generation was rapidly growing. However, the economy of my generation is when the problems started to arise.
To attain success in Korea, the child must compete in countless competitions. Everyone around that child is a competitor (except their family). The education from school is not enough for these children. Even elementary students do not have time to play outside since they are forcibly going to private educational institutes all day long. The school always posts the ranking of all students based on the grade them received on the test. Generally, the envious Korean parents are never satisfied with their child’s ranking thus they spend their money to boost up their child’s grade. On the other hand, ‘head start’ is important in order to survive in Korea. When the children become the age of 5 or 6, the parents start to send their children to English academy. The children are learning English before they master Korean.
The education is one of the reasons why my father decided to move to American. Education and Competition. My father did not like the exceedingly many competitions that his children have to go through. He believes experiencing the suitable amount of competitions is required in order to be successful; however, he thought the excessive competition will only diminish self-esteem. Like many parents in Korea, my father also wanted his children to study in American. Therefore, He tried to send just my mother, my brother and me to American while he is working in Korea. However, my mother insisted that she will not go if my father is not going, so my father requested to his company that he want to work in the foreign country.
Korea. Academy of Korean Studies, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.
Section 5 (Religion):
Nowadays, Korea is called “The blast furnace for all religions because most religions are located in Korea. In fact, Korea tolerates all religion by the law; the freedom of all religions is protected under the law.
Currently, There are more Protestant than Buddhist now, but more importantly Korea has more non-religious people than the religious people; the proportion of non-religious people started to increase rapidly after 1989. The number of people not believing religion is increasing with 3.2 percent every year. Half of the non-religious people do not believe a religion because they are indifferent to it. Additionally, more females are believing religion than males.
When my father was a kid, most Korean were in the poverty. However, this poverty was the greatest chance to propagate the people to church. In this time, the chocolates and other US snacks were rare and expensive in Korea. Therefore, the church gave out chocolates and candies to kids to bait them join their religion. I heard my father also attended church only for the chocolate. My father said he had a fight with his friend because the church did not give them the equal amount of chocolate. In fact, all children in his neighborhood only went to the church when there was a big event.
Currently, he does not go to church. He said when he goes to the church, we can remember the memories from the past. He is indifferent to religion like other Korean people.
Yoon, Jonggu. NAVER Newslibrary. Donga Daily, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
International mockery… Avoiding oversea business
Every foreign country people is asking these questions.
Last month, Mr. and Mrs. Oh went to Australia for their honeymoon. They said they had a heavy heart when they were coming back to Korea. They were afraid to raise their head, and they blushed countless time in front of Australian, while they were in Australia.
Every people they met asked a question such as “What is the commotion going on in Korea?” “Did you come here because you were anxious to live in Korea?” They could not come up with an answer to respond.
The people who went to Oversea business is also complaining about current Korean government political situation. Last month, Ssangyong Corporation chief Huang-Uk said, “All the buyers were tried to get negotiation in their favor by mentioning the anxious Korean politic situation.” All he could say to that was “please, trust my corporation.”
In the year of 1997, ‘IMF crisis’ happened in Korean. This newspaper had printed few months after the crisis happened. Based on the newspaper, Korean reputation to other country was awful. The negotiation between foreign countries was impossible, and the people tried to hold money in their pocket which causing the economy to not flow. The people could not even raise our head because of the embarrassment. The embarrassment lowered the self-esteem of Korean people. The embarrassment led the movement called, “‘Korea’s Gold Donation.’ My parents also participated in this movement.
In Korean, there is a tradition that when it is baby’s first birthday, the people gave gold accessories to the baby as a birthday gift. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I was born during the IMF crisis. My mom could not work because of me, and my dad’s company was treating the employee obnoxiously leading my dad to quit his job with his co-workers. For that reason, my parents’ (bank) balance was almost zero, and my dad reluctantly had to donate my gold rings and bracelets. According to him, my dad received a ridiculously small amount of money for donating. For that reason, they reached to the point where they might have to sell their wedding rings; however, my dad managed to find another job with his co-workers and protected their wedding rings.
Even though we almost bankrupt, my dad said he went through the crisis well compare to other people. My dad said when he is in the pit-hole, there are always hands above his head trying to help him out.
Onishi, Norimitsu. The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 June 2008. Web. 11 Mar. 2017.
Korea is one of the most competitive countries to live in. The Korean school teaches the subjects with indoctrination method, but they teach the basic ethic when the students are old. Every question must have only one exact answer. The school is focused on the ideal interpretation rather than students’ creative interpretation of the text. For that reason, (South) Korean parents claim that:
“the schools are failing to teach only English but also other skills crucial in an era of globalization, like creative thinking. That resonates among South Koreans, whose economy has slowed after decades of high growth and who believe they are increasingly being squeezed between the larger economies of Japan and China.”
Additionally, the futurologist Alvin Toffler criticized the Korean education. He said, “The Korean Education is only making factory worker” (Dong-A Ilbo) In another word, he is claiming that this education system does not stimulate students’ talents and dreams, but only forcefully putting in information to their head.
One of the push factors for my dad is the education. Like other Korean people in this article, he wanted his sons to study in a better condition. He first tried to send us to Philippines or Republic of South Africa since those countries were the cheapest options for our family. However, my mom said he is not going to leave without my dad, and my dad’s acquaintances stopped him by mentioning the danger awaits in those countries. Therefore, my dad was trying to search for other options.
Fortunately, my dad’s company gave my dad a chance to do oversea business in the United States, and we came to here as a family. I am thankful that I did not have to say “Goodbye” to my dad, unlike other families. The Korean people call these father a ‘goose daddy’ because when the goose (kids) leaves the country because the goose is a migratory bird, the daddy waits for them to comeback. Based on this article, the children are thinking their father as a financial supporter. I believe the relationship with my parents are equally important, but the relationship with my dad is different from my mom. I cannot imagine life without him.
NAVER Newslibrary. 한겨레, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.
Movie Ticket, we can change the reservation time with one call.
From following September, people can easily change the movie reservation time with a single phone call. If a person tries to cancel the movie ticket within 20 minutes before the movie starts, the theater will return the full price.
According to the policy from FAIR TRADE COMMISSION (FTC), anyone can change the time or cancel movie ticket if the person visits or calls the movie theater within 20 minutes before the movie starts.
In July 1999, the title of the newspaper was “we can change the reservation time with one call.” Despite it is less than 10 years ago, changing a reservation by a single call was fascinating news for everyone. However, we now can reserve movie ticket online, and we can cancel it whenever.
The nostalgia of the analog time. My dad lived in the analog time more than the current advanced technology era. He sometimes says he wants to go back to life without so many unnecessary connections and starts to tell me the story when he was in high school.
One of the stories was about his dating. He said he had three girlfriends at the same time, and it was possible because there was no SNS or cellular phone. One time, when my dad was about to leave from school, two of his girlfriends were waiting outside of his school mindlessly. (The school were divided based on the gender). The girls did not know when my dad will come out because there was no way to contact him in advance. Therefore, my dad had to clamber over the huge school fence to avoid meeting them. Later that day, my dad lied that he was sick, so he had to leave the school early. These innocent girls believed his cliche excuse.
Reassessing the Park Chung Hee Era, 1961–1979
Kim, Hyung A. Trans. Clark W. Sorensen. N.p.: U of Washington, n.d. Print.
Based on this book, my father’s generation experienced huge economic growth of Korea because of Park Chung Hee Era.
After the Korean War, Korea became the second poorest country in the world. Meanwhile, Park Chung Hee who was the head of the Korean military and his soldiers claimed that they need more political power since now Korean is in “Armistice conditions.” So, Park implemented ‘military coup,’ and successfully became President with military force. In first two years, he removed over 4000 gangsters and arrested 3000 pro-communist. Despite he is known as a dictator, his contribution to Korean economy was enormous. He successfully conducted “Normalization of the Diplomatic relations with Japan” for the capitals that Korea needed for economic development. Accordingly, Korean could increase GNP to maximum potential with the supported capitals. Also, Park earned trust from the US by sending troops to Vietnam. The greatest legacy he made is his dramatic economy development and strong national security.
My father was not directly influenced by Park; however, the potential of our economy built up by Park converted to actual economy growth in my father’s generation. After Park died in the year of 1971, my father was born in 1968. Coincidently, the economy growth started in the 1970s. As Hyoung-A Kim claimed, the effect of the president does not appear instantly. The effect slowly appears in the future. For example, if the policy is medicine and country is a human body, the effect of medicine does not show instantly.
The effect of Park Chung Hee did not end during my father’s generation. He also influenced current generation. Our current president is his daughter. She easily became president since all the elders who lived in the mid-1900s believed she will become great president as her father did. However, she might become the first Korean president to impeach. I believe her awful presidency is related to her father. When her father was a dictator, he was assassinated by his people and her mother died after a few years later. She was shocked by what happened to her family, and she had no one to reliance on. Therefore, she fell into the religious cult and she relied on a ‘shaman’ who she met in there. For that reason, the influence of the shaman to the president was not ignorable. However, the true word will come out after the impeachment.
Hankyoreh. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Despite Korea has the 11th largest economy in the world, Korean economy is depend on the behavior of North Korea. In March 2010, North Korea launched torpedo to Korean Ship, ‘Cheonan Ship.’ As result, 46 Korean soldiers passed away. As the Cheonan Ship sank, the Korean economy also sank. The world thought Korean War restarting since the war has never ended. The Korean stock market crashed, the exchange won to dollar increased, and the government was in chaos for short time. However, it recovered quickly because the fundamentals are not fragile. The economy of Korea is not fragile; however, it is not strong neither.
My dad has always been into the stock market. My mom said “we lost over ten million won in the stock market because of your dad always bought wrong stocks. I had to pay all the debt he made.” In fact, my dad admitted that my mom’s statement is true; however, he blamed on his immaturity when he was young. He also love to read newspaper to know the current economy and politics which is closely connected to stock market. Every time when he grabs the newspaper, he threw out the celebrity section of newspaper and I made paper boat and hat with that. However, he did not like the Korean economy because it is always depended on other countries, but our economy does not affect the world because it is tiny. Therefore, he was infatuated with stable US economy. Maybe that is why when my dad’s company gave him chance to work in oversea, he decided to immigrate instantly.
My dad is still enjoying the stock market, and my mom is still indifference about it. Despite now he is only participating small stocks, my dad always brags whenever he earned money to my mom, and my mom indifferently says she needs new refrigerator with little grin.
The Movie, ‘Northern Limit Line’ (2015)
The movie is based on the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong. The Second Battle of Yeonpyeong was a major crisis that made our military to change their passive formation against North Korea. On the day when every Korean was excited to watch 3, 4th deciding match of Korea vs. Turkey in 2002 Korean World Cup, one North Korean patrol ship crossed the Northern Limit Line. Despite they received warning from Korea, one more North Korean patrol ship crossed the line. North Korean ignored the warning and fired with 85 mm gun to the (South) Korea wheelhouse making casualties. (South) Korea engaged against the North Korea ship. For few minutes, the ships from both side of Korea engaged; however, North Korea retreated across the Northern Limit Line when they realized they are outnumbered.
The movie Northern Limit Line is about story of solders saved Korea in Battle of Yeonpyeong. This moive is the best Korean military movie since movie ‘TaeGukGi: Brotherhood Of War.’ Also, this movie has rating of 9.14 of 10 in Movie Naver.
Every Koreans must serve in the military for 2 years since our country never ended the war. There are many rumors about Korean military. In fact, many young people die in there but the government never tries to invest until the problem become large enough which means everyone knows. Additionally, my dad does not want his sons to serve in military because he already had been there, and he knows about serving in military.
Before his second-year in college, he went to military. Most people including my dad become sensitive and emotional as the first date of starting military is approaching. Like other people, my dad also drank all week with his friends. He mentioned to me that he cannot remember what he did on the week before the recruit because he was always blacked out. On the day of the recruit, my grandfather escorted my dad since the tear from my grandmother blocked her to follow my dad. My dad said he was surprised that my grandfather followed. My grandfather always has been blunt. When they were waiting for subway, my grandfather gave a small letter that had been folded many times. My grandfather said to my dad he should open this letter when he cannot endure anymore in military. However, my dad opened it when he got on a subway. In the letter, there was only one word, “Be Patient.” My dad could see the worries my grandfather had, and could feel the countless time my grandfather spent in that letter. He said he cried until he arrived. Also, he reminded himself the letter when he was upset which helped him to release.
Kong, Kanga. Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 13 Dec. 2016. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Current Korea is having ‘Youth Unemployment Rate Rises’ which mean the youth people want to be employed but can not get a job. Every year the number of the Unemployed people increases; however, the companies hire less because of the high labor costs and the long depression which caused the size of investment to shrink.
Korea has increased labor costs dramatically. As the labor costs of the Korean proletariat increases, the value of human labor has increased; however, this is unwelcome news for the companies because the production cost will increase with the high labor costs. Compare to developing countries such as China or Vietnam, Korea has higher labor costs causing the companies to move their business to foreign country. It is certainly more beneficial to move their factories to developing countries. As result, the number of jobs in Korea decreases.
The long depression is happening in Korea. The economy depression has happened in Korea from 2008 to now. The new investors are not seeking for Korean company to invest because of the unstable economy. The investment is crucial for the development of the company. The companies cannot start any new project without the capital, so they cannot maintain their employees and do not need new employee.
Before the IMF crisis and long economy depression, Korean was one of the best countries to live in. During that time, my dad was a high school student. When my dad was senior in high school, he needed money for college tuition. He could easily earn his college tuition by selling sweet potatoes. Sometimes, he teaches me the master marketing plan of selling sweet potatoes.
The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea — National/Politics National. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
Every child cost a fortune to raise. Raising a child requires the basic factors of life: the clothes, the food, and the place to live. The parents want their child to only have the best quality of clothes, food, and house even though themselves are wearing frayed clothes and eating junk foods. Despite the sacrificing of the parents to their child has been considered as a natural behavior in current society, Korean parents become drastic when it comes to their child especial to the education. Korean parents believe the education is only key to the success. In fact, the people did not go to the University is not considered as human being in Korean society. For that reason, all parents have strong ardor for their child’s education spending fortune for their education. Therefore, the private educational institutes are located in everywhere in Seoul. Even if the parent does not like sending their kids to private educational institutes for half of the day, the parents cannot stop sending their kids because the parents worry that their child will fall behind. Therefore, the parents are even borrowing money in order to pay the bill for institutions since they do not want their child to fail because of the parents’ inability.
Movie, ‘Team America: World Police’
The movie Team America: World Police is basically about Team America trying to stop the terrorists. This movie is banned in South Korea; therefore, most Korean people do not know about this movie. Clearly, this movie has banned because the finally boss of the terrorist group was Kim Jung-il, and the contemporary Korean government was trying to be friend with North Korea.
Despite Kim Jung-il is only one of the two politicians who were mentioned in the movie with the real name, the movie was more about criticizing current America. The Team America is a guardian for the world peace, but their ignorance about the terrorist and their amateur behavior toward other countries which is mockery of President Bush. The movie was not focused to North Korea. However, (South) Korea had to ban this movie because Korean government is fragile and they are always busy looking at other countries countenance in this case North Korea. Surprisingly, South Korea was never mentioned or helped Team America which shows the inability of Korea solving their problem.
Korean people become little sensitive when they are talking about North Korea. North Korea is an inferiority complex to us. However, when I am with my dad, I have conversation about North Korea if there is big news about them. We try to be indifferent about them, but if we talk about the current Korean politic, we often return to North Korea.
Lee, Jiyeon. CNN. Cable News Network, 18 Jan. 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.
The school violence is constantly occurring in Korea along all the elementary to the high school students. Because of the cruel school violent, two teenagers committed a suicide in 2012. Base of the article, the other students who were bullied also committed a suicide after the suicidal of two victims. More students have been bullied in nowadays than they were 15 years ago. Suicidal rate of students has been increasing. The experts know that simply monitoring school will not stop the violence; however. no one found the clear solution.
The indifference parents are the main reason that school violence is increasing. The parents are the guidance of their child, but many Korean parents are both working and do not have a strength to have a conversation with their child after the work. Not only do they work for living, but also they work to raise their child to a high educational standard. So, they cannot quit the job for their child. The lack of family relationship is the problem. When I was in Korea, both of my parents were working. Fortunately, my mom was always near me because she was working as a teacher in one of the private educational academy. However, I could not see my dad’s face on weekdays since he came back to home always late. In most Korean company, the people hang out in bar all night after the work. Even if the people do not want to drink, they need to provide clear excuse to avoid, or the boss and the colleagues will see them as betrayer. Therefore, I barely had spoken to him in Korea, but right now I always have conversation with my dad since he does not drink anymore.
The indifference of other students and teachers is also a cause. The student can easily know who is the victim and who is the bully. The strongest alibi is the student. However, many students are not forthcoming about it since they could be the next target if they involve. In fact, I was also a bystander when I was in Korea. The school always teaches the student to help others if they are in trouble; however, when my friend and I saw the school violence, we were afraid to help and we were relieved that it was not us who are getting beaten up. Maybe the school should educate the safety that will be provided to the reporter because we knew it was righteous to help but we felt bigger fear that we might be the next target if we stop the bully. Additionally, the teacher does not know the level of violence. Every students shut their mouth tight leading the teacher to give the bully a light punishment and to avoid the problem.