Saturday, December 6, 2008

How to Avoid Being Beaten Up in Korea

Ahhhh...You want to go to Korea. You want to go there ever since you started watching their melodramatic soap operas. You save money and have finished all the necessary documents. But before jumping into that country here are some tips that will be useful if you are in Korea.

I read so many blog entries commenting about Koreans being xenophobic but this blog article really disturbed me. It seems foreigners could get randomly beaten up in Korea! Yes, even when you are just sightseeing - someone might not like your race and physically assault you. Worse if you fight back the Korean police will arrest you instead of the perpetrators! Unbelievable.

Here's the article from the Metropolitician:

I'm serious. I've had enough experience with this, as have my many foreign friends, with being verbally and physically assaulted in Korea without provocation. To help those new to Korea, especially non-Korean Americans, I've compiled a list of little things to do to help reduce your chance of being attacked.

Because the police will likely not help you, since you are a foreigner, and might even arrest YOU if any Korean simply accuses you of being the instigator, even if you were the victim. And also included are some tips to avoid sexual harrassment and attacks on foreign women as well, at least from what I have seen and heard as a man.

There will necessarily be generalizations made here, not so much about people, but about probabilities that things will happen. But I think it's like wearing a seatbelt: it only helps if you do it consistently, not once-in-a-while. So, in order to prevent bad things from occurring, you have to just avoid doing certain things, or condition yourself to behave in slightly different ways in certain situations.

--- Foreign men, specifically men who do not look like they may be migrant or factory workers. Those people are generally socially invisible, which is another problem and issue, but not what we're discussing here.
--- If you are or look like an American GI.
--- If you are part of a foreign male/Korean female couple. If you and/or your female companion would be considered more attractive than usual by Korean standards, you have an even higher likelihood of being harrassed.
--- If you are in a group of foreigners, especially speaking English loudly.
--- In certain areas, just being foreign.

View the full post here

So, you could get beaten up even if you're not dating Korean women. The only foreigners less likely to get assaulted are the physically imposing which shows you the nature of the attackers - cowards. Getting attacked or physically assaulted could happen to any foreigner in any country so it pays to be careful and mindful of your surroundings whenever you are abroad.

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