Monday, May 31, 2010

Here we go again...

After a brief respite, it's time for another open class here at Beomil Elementary. Conveniently placed two days before my co-teacher's wedding I'm sure this one will be completely stress free becuase bride's are totally not uptight and anal, right?

In preparation I had another look at the teacher guide's 'Cultural Tips' section. Behold, things about yourself you never even knew...

*spelling and grammatical mistakes are copied and pasted directly from the online textbook.*

"When we take a trip and meet a foreigner, we need to he aware of the cultural differences associated with individual questions. This individualism in Western people has been ingrained since their childhood. They especially regard questions concerning the condition of the body as rude and personal. Avoid questions such as; "How tall are you?", to a short person, or "How much do you weight?" to a fat person."

Above all else, do not ask "How much do you weight?" to a fat person who hates bad grammer.

In Western cultural the family is referred to as immediate,(husband, wife, children), and extended, (grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins). Prior to the migration movement, the family unit was similar to the Korean structure, the eldest child (son or daughter) took care of all family members. It was not unusual for several adult family members, with children, lived together in the same house. Due to the distances between family groups following migration and war, the unification, responsibility, and intimacy began to dissipate and eventually vanish. Now a days, many people, especially the elderly, live alone, away from their family. To fill the void of family a dog or cat became the companion of choice. The animal is considered a family member and regarded with affection, love and respect. Therefore the role of a pet animal is very important. Accordingly, the emotion associated with the words; cat or dog, is totally different from that of Koreans.

"Mommy, I miss Grandpa. Can we get a puppy??"
"No Johnny, not until we get rid of your Grandma too. Now help me drag her onto this ice floe so we can put her out to sea."
"Yay!!! Animals are my companion of choice! I'm so glad our family intimacy has vanished!"

My name is Minsu. I don't mean to be culturally insensitive, but it's been ingrained in me since childhood.

1 comment:

Ms. Purnell said...

that is some crazy bat-shit. it makes me wonder about all those "korean culture sensitivity" classes we took though....