Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Multicultural Korea?

Though The Marmot's not a big fan of the multi-culti view ("This is Korea! Speak Korean!" he might say, though I don't recall him saying it quite like that), he has an interesting post on South Koreans' strong acceptance of multiculturalism (in surveys, at least).

By the way, that's The Marmotess in that picture up above, highlighting the government's plea that everyone participate in the twice-a-decade nationwide Population and Housing Census. I don't remember what happened in 2000, but in 2005 the authorities went all out to be as inclusive as possible, even sending out bilingual census takers who could conduct their survey in English, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, etc.

I'm partial to the ROK's census for two reasons. First, I do use their data quite a bit in my own research. Second, having worked for the US Census Bureau this year (see here, here, and here), I feel for those folks who are just trying to do their job, and probably for a lot less than $17 per hour.

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8 comments:

  1. "This is Korea! Speak Korean!" he might say, though I don't recall him saying it quite like that.

    I don't think I've ever put it that way, although I certainly agree with the sentiment. Likewise, I don't recall ever saying, "This is Korea, so don't wander in packs around my neighborhood at 1am Saturday singing at the top of your lungs because its Halloween," but I wish I had.

    And no, Kushibo, it's not wrong for you to think Christine O'Donnell is hot.

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  2. I had census takers come to my house yesterday that spoke no English.

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  3. "This is Korea! Speak Korean!"

    I can't wait to see how this works out when the other Korea can't understand Konglish and all those American technology-based loan words when the two halves rejoin. "Air con" ought to really blow their minds.

    I also can't help but wonder what they will make of the South's love affair with Spam (which you can get in convenient singles now).

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  4. Robert wrote:
    Likewise, I don't recall ever saying, "This is Korea, so don't wander in packs around my neighborhood at 1am Saturday singing at the top of your lungs because its Halloween," but I wish I had.

    As I wandered Waikiki this past Halloween with some Japanese people, I thought about the recent media complaints of gaijin in Tokyo having impromptu Halloween parties on the subway system.

    I know you're not prone to the Metropolitician-esque (self-)righteous rant, but if you ever were going to go off about something, this would be a great topic to do it on.

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  5. Adeel wrote:
    I had census takers come to my house yesterday that spoke no English.

    Hmm... it's possible that I'm remembering this slightly wrong. While I know they do try to employ bilingual enumerators for areas where international residents are more common, I believe even the monolingual ones are at least supposed to carry bilingual or multilingual forms. Though I answered mine completely in Korean, I saw an English-language form as well.

    Did they have a form for you to fill out in English, Urdu, or French?

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  6. John from 大田 wrote:
    I can't wait to see how this works out when the other Korea can't understand Konglish and all those American technology-based loan words when the two halves rejoin. "Air con" ought to really blow their minds.

    Ah, but the southerners speak 한국어 and the northerners speak 조선어.

    I also can't help but wonder what they will make of the South's love affair with Spam

    My guess is they'll love it. There's something about the taste buds of those heavily exposed to East Asian cuisine that really goes for it.

    As you may well know, Spam™ is so big in Hawaii that it's part of the "local" breakfast menu offerings at McDonald's (along with "Portuguese sausage"), not to mention the Spam™ musubi.

    (which you can get in convenient singles now).

    Singles? Cool! I am willing to try Spam™ in all its forms.

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  7. "My guess is they'll love it"

    My guess is that they'll love anything that is a step above all that tree bark that they've eaten over the years.

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  8. Shibo,
    The form looked to be in about 10-12 languages. The Korean government is also asking for non-permenant and illegel residents to partake in the census. I had to laugh at the illegal resident aspect. A trap?

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