The Korean Diaspora: What got me interested
I’ve never been really interested about my Korean background, so it’s still funny that I now am dedicating part of my life to create a network of kyopos all around the world.
When I went to Korea, I always found that native Koreans were fascinated and interested in my because my American accent was, well, American. I never understood this awe they felt for me until I met a British-Korean for the first time. It was jaw dropping.
My little brain couldn’t even comprehend what was going on, but something started inside of me and I wanted more of it.
When I went to Caribbean, a water theme park in Seoul, I was sitting in one of those hot tubs and next to me, there were two German-Koreans who were speaking to each other in German. I had studied a bit of German so I tried to start a conversation with them; we ended up speaking in English, then Korean because my German was rather basic.
Nonetheless, this incident left me in awe. And the interest just kept growing.
I find other kyopos just more than interesting. Everyone’s a bit different and each have their own Korean twang.
Being American, I’ve grown to have a bond with many people from all walks of life. We don’t try to discriminate but rather try to understand and respect their cultural background. At least, that’s what I try to do. I love Mexican food, was raised by a Hispanic woman, and my mother has a Mexican-American fast food restaurant; and we make some good Menudo.
I bet a few of my Korean-Americans have had similar experiences. But not many people know that the Hispanics and Koreans have had a close relationship with each other in Los Angeles whether we like to or not.
Now I wonder was other kyopos in different countries grew up.
I met a wonderful Russian-Korean who took me to an authentic Russian restaurant in Seoul, and I was exposed to Russian food for the first time. I was so excited to experience something new that I kept myself from screaming.
Exciting, isn’t it !?
I just hope that more people will have these positive experiences and together, we can stand proud and understand who we are just a bit more.