A short warning
Before you read my article in English I would like to point out that I am not a native English speaker living in Germany, trying to learn German as much as possible and speaking 4 languages (Spanish, English, German, Korean) almost in my daily lives. If you think I am bragging, it’s exactly the opposite. I feel so shameful that my poor English skills will be revealed to Everybody, although it’s a bit coward, I am giving you an excuse for my awful text.
I was born in Korea and grew up there until I hit my twenty, so it is legitimate to label me as one 100% Korean (in Korea, in such a homogenous country, people say this a lot). Since I was a little kid I have been always interested in different cultures. While my classmates were going crazy for K-pop, I was always listening to American Pop. I have always had a lot of fun speaking foreign languages, knowing people from different culture etc.
Whatever the reason was, maybe it was destiny, I decided to study Spanish and Spanish literature in Korea, which opened obviously not the way to the best job with the six digit salary, but at least a door or many doors to such a variety of culture and people. During my university time, I travelled a lot, especially, South America, where I found a whole different way of life, perspectives and culture.
Why did I come to Germany?
Well… why did I end up in Germany? I have been always so stressed with Korean life, endless harsh competition, school system, stupid hierarchy, long working hours, people caring too much about losing their face and etc. I just wanted to enjoy the moment, freedom and life. I did not want to work but just live. This idea landed me in South America, but well, sometimes what you dream turns out to be just fantasy far, far from the reality. I was kinda disappointed at a world, burdened with corruption, contamination, insecurity and crazily wide gap between the wealth and the poor. First of all, due to lack of infrastructure or whatsoever, they also worked almost as long as we do, unlike stereotypes we have about Latinos.
Back then, I had a number of German/Dutch/Swedish/Finnish friends around me. It seemed to me that they were almost privileged to be born there and live there. They got a lot of scholarship from the university and state and they knew how to live and work at the same time.
At the moment, I am living one of the most international and metropolitan city in Europe, Frankfurt. I have never felt as a foreigner, outsider or different here. This diverse gathering of international people and culture inspires me and enriches my life.
If I have to define myself in one sentence, I will put it like this “I am Korean from my birth, latina enjoying the moment, and German living my balance.
What motivated me to run a blog?
Everybody has a goal in one’s life and mine is to set me free from any kind of stereotypes towards people from different culture. Now that we are living in such a globalized and closely connected world, I think it is almost our duty to get to know our neighbor and build friendship with them. Unfortunately, the world is predominated by western media and stereotypes created and strengthened by them. I am a Korean but I have never eaten dog meat and I am not a Chinese. If I want to have a right to be angry about this, I have to look back on me and I have to make my own efforts to eliminate those clichés about the others.
If you have never met them, if you have had any conversation with them, you shouldn’t be judgmental. This is a precious lesson that I have learned from travelling and living here in Germany.