Koreans have always believed in a unique “Korean” identity, meaning they have a shared bloodline or a common ancestry. In the past, blood purity and ethnic homogeneity were core ideas of national identity, however as South Korea has become more modernized they are losing their ethnocentric ideal and instead have begun to refer to their country as, “the land of opportunity.”
To many South Koreans ethnicity is considered a cultural phenomenon with strong roots in their distinct language and history; therefore they consider themselves racially diverse from Chinese, Japanese and all other Asian cultures. When Japan attempted to assimilate Koreans this conception became even more important. The Japanese had attempted to persuade Koreans to change their names to Japanese ones; they allowed them to only use the Japanese language and worship Shinto. However, this attempt at assimilation failed because this only heightened the Korean sense of nationalism. These policies created Korean resistance and the cultural differences between the two nations became more intensely understood.
Until the late 1980’s South Korea was a labor-exporting nation with a strict no immigration policy. However, as they began to notice a labor shortage for necessary jobs the country became partially-open to foreigners. Which also benefitted the shortage of “marriageable women,” due to the preference for male children throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, leading to frequent international marriages. The increase in bi-racial children increased the ethnic diversity of South Korea, bringing with it many positive but also negative outcomes. This emergence of a multi-ethnic society was not expected by the government, as they had on...
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...st economically but also politically through trade.
The Korean War is a defining aspect of Korean history and culture because it divided their people into two warring nations. However, since they claimed to be descendent from the same “pure blood-line” and they wanted to maintain their ethnic homogeneity, then why would they fight and attempt to eradicate their own people? If their race is the purest race then why are they a divided state? If it’s due to differing opinions of what makes a perfect state, then why do they also discriminate against foreigners who agree with the South Korean view of a perfect state? It could be due to the fact that as Korean society has become more and more ethnically diverse nothing has been done to help ease the natives into the fusion of cultures in this once homogenous society or, maybe it’s due to their long history of independence.
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