When it comes to interracial marriage, a lot of Koreans have to deal with social pressures from their parents and friends. I have noticed that many Korean girls studying in America have worried about their reputation if they date White men.
Jenny, a Korean international student studying in New York, once posted her concern on Facebook that her parents and relatives were being judgmental about her dating a White boyfriend. Since her parents were conservative and didn’t want a son-in-law from a different racial background, they scolded her.
In my opinion, lots of Korean parents feel uncomfortable with Westerners being part of their family because of cultural differences. Culturally, Koreans tend to be more respectful toward elders so they serve their parents and their spouse’s parents in general. However, since Western cultures are based on individualism, Korean parents might assume that their son-in-law or daughter-in-law would not serve them very well.
Interestingly, a lot of Korean guys were leaving comments on Jenny’s Facebook post complaining about interracial relationships. One of them stated that because several Korean girls prefer Caucasian guys to Korean guys, he was jealous of Caucasians while he was in the States. He also said that it was hard for him to have an American girlfriend because it seemed there were few American girls interested in Asian guys. However, it is a lot easier for Korean girls when it comes to interracial relationships so it made him think Korean guys were inferior to American guys. He didn’t like seeing Korean girls with American boyfriends.
Korean students dating African Americans may even feel stronger pressures. Korea has a five thousand year history as a homogeneous nation. Koreans do not treat racial issues sensitively unlike people in multicultural nations, such as America and Canada. Although Korea is considered a developed nation, they are underdeveloped when it comes to multiculturalism. According to the report from YTN, a Korean media outlet, a lot of Koreans discriminate against African Americans living in Korea. Marriage to an African American would be taboo to many Koreans.
Although Jenny wanted advice from her peers, most of them were being jealous of her relationship with her American boyfriend and complained about it. She recently decided to delete her posts because of the negative response. I wonder if there is a solution for interracial relationship because I still don’t have an answer for Jenny’s concern. Please leave your comments if you had similar situation or if you have any reasonable solutions.