Why the interest grew

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.

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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.

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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.

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Selyodka Pod Shuboi – Селёдка под шубой

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.

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14 thoughts on “Why the interest grew

  1. I, actually, would have felt the same fascination with the European Kyopos. Koreans speaking in German. Huh. Why is it so dang interesting when we do the same in Eng? And my hubby loves Menudo. =) I was hooked by the food series on NPR yesterday. About multicultural foods. I might do a post. Russian food in Korea. Hmf.

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    • Yes ! Exactly! Meeting a German Korean is what kind of started this whole interest in the first place hehe.

      Menudo kind of reminds of Korean soups, but at the same thing it’s completely different! I guess that’s why it’s Mexican food and not Korean.

      I think you are in NY ? If you’re ever in LA, we will have menudo for you and your hubby ^_^ I keep my word !

      Also, I’ve reblogged your post because it was such a wonderful piece but I think I might just copy and paste it next time, as it only shows half of the article and it wasn’t as visually pleasing as I thought it would be. Sorry about that. I like to make sure every post, whether it’s mine or someone elses’, that it looks good format wise.

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  2. I love experiencing other cultures. Being a Canadian, living in Brazil for the past 12 years, having traveled all over the world, it’s hard not to love it.
    Thank you for visiting my blog by the way. Hope to see you around some more.
    🙂

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    • Oh wow, Brazil huh ?

      I’m always curious when someone tells me they’ve travelled to a country I’ve never been in ! Travelling is such a great experience isn’t it ?

      Hope you have picked up some great culture and or things that have enhanced your life 🙂

      Your Kyopo Friend,
      Jenny

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  3. I also love traveling. I’ve been all over. My About page tells of my adventures a bit.

    Oh yes, I have picked up lots of great culture. I love experiencing cultures.

    Kyopo, meaning Korean raised elsewhere right?

    Nice to meet you.
    🙂

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    • Hey Stacilys,

      Kyopo means someone who has a Korean background but has been BORN and raised somewhere else.

      However, I’ve been trying to get a more exact definition on Kyopo on the web to no avail. I might have to try a special library or keep looking. Also, the Koreans in Russia or the CIS regard themselves as Koryo Saram, which does has a specific history of why they used that terminology to define themselves. Here’s the link if you are interested ^^ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koryo-saram)

      Nice to meet you as well 🙂

      your Kyopo friend,
      Jenny

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