Categories
Asia

How come Korean girls don’t date Chinese guys?

This is a question I have wondered about for a long time. It would seem to be a perfect pairing on paper.

Chinese guys get a girl who is not as strong as Chinese girls are (generally), do more for them around the house, give gifts or pay for things in return, do not expect a dowry when marrying, and are generally more feminine and care more about their appearance as well. In addition, there’s no historical baggage or issues like there would be if it was a Japanese girl.

Korean girls get a guy who arguably does as much as or more for them than Korean guys will, plus will do housework, cooking and taking care of the baby as well (a lot of Korean guys do not do this). Also, its arguable they dont have as much pressure to dress up or do makeup or look perfect all the time with Chinese guys compared to Korean guys.

But in practice while I was living in Korea, I noticed very few Korean girls with Chinese men (granted, it could be hard to tell these couples apart from a typical Korean couple), and even the Korean girls I met who had studied in China before as exchange students and met me to practice their Chinese, surprisingly did not date any Chinese guys in China (they still dated their Korean bfs long distance, or remained single).

So why is this? Why do Korean women stick to Korean guys or even prefer to date white men over Chinese men?

I think I finally narrowed it down to a few reasons, after asking many Korean girls this question over the years (me being of Chinese ethnicity myself, have a horse in the race so to speak):

  1. Korean women prefer to date men who can share their language and culture. This in fact is the reason why most races date their own race – but its especially true for Korean women because of how conservative their society is. Koreans in general are not known to be the type to really take risks or ‘be different’ as their society rewards a conformist way of thinking. Simply put, Korean women date Korean men because they are the most comfortable for them, they can communicate better with them, they don’t like to try new things, they want to be like every other Korean, and/or their parents are very conservative and don’t like them to date outside their race.
  2. Korean women don’t have an opportunity to know how Chinese men are like. They do know how Korean men are like. Plus the influence of Kdramas and Kpop really do help Korean men out a lot. Chinese men have no such entertainment vehicle to promote themselves. The CCP is focused on their domestic economy and are not interested to spread their culture to foreigners like Koreans do. That plus the whole censorship thing means that Chinese dramas + movies + music will likely never be popular in Korea the same way Korean music/movies/dramas are popular worldwide, and in China. This means however sweet and caring Chinese men are in reality, Korean women and other women have no idea. Instead, they have the idea that Korean men are like that because of all the dramas and such. Soft power really makes a difference here.
  3. Chinese men like to stick to their race. Ask any Chinese guy who are the prettiest girls and they will likely say Chinese girls. They won’t say Korean girls. This is because Chinese people are fiercely nationalistic and prefer their own race, but also because just like how Korean men are hyped up in Korean media, Chinese women are hyped up in Chinese media – Chinese women are promoted in their own country the same way Korean men are promoted in their country. In addition – they have the mistaken notion that all Korean women did plastic surgery (which is false, as I have explained in my previous answers many times). What you have as a result is a curious reversal of states here: Korean women and Chinese men, while on paper being the perfect fit for each other, instead remain loyal to their race, while Korean men and Chinese women – not so much. Korean men are in general just intrigued by any girl who is pretty, Korean or not. And Chinese women are lured by those Korean dramas/hype that promote Korean men, as well as men who have more money obviously. Of course on paper Korean men and Chinese women seem like the relationship will not work out very well as they are both ‘strong’ types but in reality there are more Korean men-Chinese women relationships than Korean women-Chinese men relationships, as baffling as that sounds.

But Tong, if 1) and 2) are true, why do I see a lot of Korean women marrying Western guys (i.e white men)?
This is exactly related to 1) and 2) actually.
1) Korean women who want to buck the conformist trend or don’t like the traditional Korean culture see white men as the exact opposite of Korean culture – they think Chinese men are still somewhat Confucian and a ‘halfway point’ between Korean men and Western men – why go halfway when you can go all the way to a culture thats totally different from Korean culture?
And 2) white men are heavily promoted by Hollywood and American pop music – again, media influence / soft power matters and white men have generally been the recipient of a very powerful media presence, the American media, which spreads globally. That’s why white men can generally get any girl, anywhere – America, Europe, Asia, etc without any issues.

Of course this is all my theory on why I don’t see more Chinese men – Korean girl couples even though it makes more sense for these two to be together, why in reality, we don’t actually see this being the case.
However, I will note that the few times I have seen Korean girls date Chinese men – they are usually Taiwanese or Hong Kongers. The reason for this I would assume, is that Taiwanese guys and Hong Kong guys can speak english better than mainland Chinese guys can – and they are not as fiercely nationalistic as mainland Chinese guys are either. Also, they have a generally better ‘image’ in Korea than mainlanders do (which is caused by the bad Chinese tourist stereotype).

 

Categories
General School/Work

BitTorrent and Korea

I have two major updates that happened to my life recently:

I changed companies
I’m currently working for BitTorrent Inc as a Front End Engineer. Yes, though my old company (Switchfly Inc) was a pretty good company to work for, I’ve decided to take up new opportunities… BitTorrent’s stack consists of Python, MongoDB, BackboneJS and NodeJS, which gives me enough of a change from Coldfusion, PrototypeJS, EmberJS, Freemarker and Java. Its a new experience, with a strong recognizable company who are headquartered in downtown SOMA, and I’ve been enjoying working there so far.

Edit: if you want to check out my submission for BitTorrent’s coding exercise, check out the TEDx Feedreader application I made using Backbone + Bootstrap, all done in 8 hours: http://www.blueisme.com/feedreader

I went to Korea
I just came back from 2 weeks in Seoul, Korea and I loved it. As expected, I enjoyed every moment of that trip, and I still miss Korea already. There are several things I like about Korea more than USA such as:

1) Food/Drinks are amazing
Forget Korean food in USA. Korea has much better food than USA, much healthier with more organic ingredients, cheaper to buy, and tastes better. Forget Pizza Hut, Mr.Pizza is amazing. Forget Bulgogi and Bibimbap, Dalkgalbi (chicken ribs) and Jimm Dalk (steamed chicken) and Chi maek (fried chicken and beer) is much more amazing. Forget Soju and Korean Beer, try the many flavors of Makgeolli (rice wine), Paekseju (flavorful, weaker version of Soju), Cheongha (tastes like a mix of soju and sprite), Bokbunja (raspberry wine), and Maehwasu (plum wine). All amazing.

Oh and by the way, all the stores close later than in America, usually around 2am. The bars/clubs usually close around 6am, and some of the cafes and restaurants are 24/7 as well. Just amazing. Oh and did I mention? There’s no tip or taxes in Korea, and there’s a button you can use to call the waiter in restaurants. And fast food has delivery, like McDonalds and Burger King have guys on scooters that deliver burgers to you. Double amazing.

2) Technology is widely adopted there
Wifi is ultra super fast in Korea. You can use Wifi in the Subway, even in the mountains, pretty much everywhere, as long as you have a Wifi card. EVERYONE in the subway is on their phone, and when you can watch TV on your phone and use super fast Wifi, why not. There’s Google Maps touch screens in the subway. Everything has a dispenser or a machine for convenience. Even the toilets have controls on them. Alot of the designs in Korea are just amazing. Its hard to believe the smartphone only came in 2009 in Korea, yet now everyone from schoolgirls to old men use them there.

3) Transportation is amazing
The transportation system is probably the best I’ve experienced, ahead of NYC and Shanghai. The Seoul subway takes you all around Seoul and the Metro area, and is cheap on top of that. There’s apps to calculate the exact time it takes from one station to another, since trains are always on time. In addition, the places where you can’t go using subway, you can take buses or taxi, both of them much cheaper than in America.

4) Clothes are better
Korean clothes are a much better fit for me, being more suited to Asian bodies. People there are skinnier in general, and I’m skinny so it really fits me. In addition, they have much better styles than boring American clothing and are cheaper as well, as long as you haggle. Ironically, Koreans mostly buy foreign brands, not knowing that foreign brands (which are made in Southeast Asia) are actually lower quality than their own Korean brands (which are made in Korea). Shopping Malls as high as skyscrapers and numerous cosmetics stores are everywhere in Korea.

5) Everyone dresses up and looks good
Ever wonder why Koreans get so much plastic surgery?? Because its societal pressure!! Korean girls feel pressured to get plastic surgery because everyone competes to get a job, and since you have to submit a photo with your resume, the prettier girl gets the better job!! In addition, everyone dresses up everyday, regardless of situation. Korean girls wear makeup, contacts, high heels, nail polish, dresses/skirts/short shorts whereever they go, and Korean men often wear blazers, khakis, tight jeans, nice fitted shirts too. Its the society norm. Clubbing clothes in America are everyday outfits in Korea. As a result, a large majority of the girls there can be considered very beautiful by any standard. Trust me, its so weird to see model-looking women eating at McDonalds, or reading books at the public library wearing stilletos, but its normal.

6) Everything is clean and organized
Everything is clean and organized in Korea. This isn’t China with smoggy skies or littered streets. All the streets are clean, all the clothes people wear are immaculate, and even the bathrooms will be as clean as you can find them. There is even a machine in the public library to sanitize books. Everyone gets an apron when they eat barbecue. Towels to wash your hands are offered at different places. There are rarely any homeless people, and buskers only play in one place: Hongdae. Next time I will carry a pocket stain remover wherever I go.

7) Korea has a strong sense of community
I learned that Koreans have a sense of 정/jeong, which is this unique korean sense of feeling kindred with others. As a result most Koreans are very polite and nice to others when they have a chance. Normally Koreans are very different than Americans in that they are mostly quiet, reserved people who go about their days almost too predictably. Koreans have a very rigid mindset, and are almost robotic in the way they conform to society. This means you are probably very safe in Korea, as no one has the cultural mindset to steal, mug, rob, rape, loot, plunder, kill, or anything like that. You can leave your phone on the table and be safe about it. Girls can walk home alone at night without worry.

8) Korea loves couples
On the other hand, Koreans really love couple culture. Americans often have to think about where to go when they date, most likely a restaurant or a theater. But in Korea, alot of places are meant for dating. You have many options to go when you are with your significant other. Seoul Tower is a popular spot, as is Cheonggyecheon (river flowing downtown), or Lotte World, or a Korean village, or a beach, or a theater with a love seat, or an arcade, or a shooting range, or a sticker/photo booth, or one of the many bangs (rooms) set up in Korea, like Noraebang (karaoke), DVD-bang (DVD-room), Jjimchilbang (spa/sauna for couples), Soju-bang, PS/PC-bang (for gaming). There are even shops that sell couple accessories like matching bracelets, t-shirts, charms, everything. Korea is a great place for couples, and can be lonely if you go by yourself.


All in all, I had an amazing time in Korea, especially visiting my friends and experiencing the unique culture… and I really think that out of all the places I’ve been to, I belong the most there. My quiet, unassuming, conformist personality fits right in. So I got a little sad when I realized I’ll never get to experience those memories; I never had a gf when I was in high school or college, never had those kinds of couple culture going on, and of course never experienced a long term relationship with a Korean girl. (FYI I have good reasons for the lack of relationships; I grew up in a small white town with no asians, and was busy with CS in university, a major with very few women). This worries me, as I don’t like long distance relationships, yet I feel Korean culture fits me best. Unfortunately, Korean work culture is very competitive; they have to work long hours, for little pay, and little time for recreation. I would live in Korea, if not for the work aspect. Working at BitTorrent is miles ahead of anything a Korean company could offer me, but maybe someday I’ll have a chance to experience a good work culture, and live in Korea as well. I just hope I can do that while I’m still young.

At a peaceful Korean village
At a peaceful Korean village

At the top of Bukhan Mountain
At the top of Bukhan Mountain

Me and my friend at Gyeongbuk Palace
Me and my friend at Gyeongbuk Palace

Lotte World
Lotte World

CheonggyeCheon in Gwanghwamun
CheonggyeCheon in Gwanghwamun

Lovers Locks at Seoul Tower
Lovers Locks at Seoul Tower

Edit: Something ironic and sad that I’ve noticed…
If Americans had to be obsessed with Korean the way Koreans are obsessed with English, this would happen:

Everyone is required to learn Korean in primary school.
Everyone has to go to private academies after school to learn additional Korean.
Everyone has to know Korean and pass a Korean test to get a job.
You will see Korean words mixed in with English wherever you go.
You will see Korean movies with English subtitles, Korean actors, Korean singers, and they will be popular amongst your friends.
All English songs will contain some Korean in it.
Your companies try to copy Korean brands and Korean technology.
Korean clothing is more popular than American clothing.
A lot of your advertisements contain Korean models.
Parents will make their kids have tongue surgery to speak Korean better.
You will have a lot of makeup and plastic surgery to make yourself look more Korean.
You have Korean armies on your land.
Many American girls will fall in love with Korean guys.
Many Americans want to marry Koreans so they can live in Korea.
There is a special district for Koreans that many Americans go to mingle with them.
A Korean education means a lot more than an American education.
Many Americans want to be Korean teachers and make a lot of money.
You often go to eat Korean fast food or drink Korean coffee.
Speaking Korean makes you look more cool and helps you advance in life.
You rely on Korea to protect you from Canada.

…sad but this is all true, but reversed for Korea.