Extra! Korea

October 7, 2009

“Misuda” panelist Vera Hohleiter responds to criticism

Filed under: celebrities, expatriates, multicultural society — extrakorea @ 12:00 pm

You might know the story of Vera Hohleiter, and if you don’t, here’s the Reader’s Digest crib notes version: She’s a German woman who became a celebrity in Korea by appearing on a talk show that features foreign women who can speak Korean. She wrote a book in Germany. A Korean student read it, and posted on her blog excerpts which, supposedly, criticized Korea. Now she’s facing accusations that she’s two-faced and hypocritical. However, now she is finally responding to these criticisms.

In the book, Hohleiter touches upon sensitive topics such as Korea’s excessive drinking culture, Korean fathers who become mere providers of money for their families, the irrational nationalism common in Korea, and the inability of many Korean men to be open with their emotions — which she uses her mostly detached boyfriend as an example throughout the book.

(emphasis mine)

The brouhaha surrounding the few excerpts would seem to actually prove the point of irrational nationalism, would it not?

Choi Hong-man taps out to opponent who’s 126 pounds lighter

Filed under: sports — extrakorea @ 7:10 am

The 7-foot-2, 319-pound mixed martial artist (a former ssireum wrestler) tapped out (submitted to) a fighter who’s 126 pounds lighter than he, Ikuhisa “Minowaman” Minowa. You can see the video here.
Unfortunately for Choi, this is the latest of a series of embarrassing losses to smaller opponents (being KO’d by Mighty Mo, TKO’d by Badr Hari and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipović, and tapping out to Fedor Emelianenko).

October 4, 2009

Oh no! Even creepier Wonder Babies

Filed under: Uncategorized — extrakorea @ 10:50 am

Remember Wonder Baby? Think that was creepy? You haven’t seen anything yet.

On this Chuseok* special, we see a five-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy recreate scenes with Baek Ji-young and Taek-yeon from the music video for “Ear Candy.” Know the scene where Taek-yeon semi-gropes Baek Ji-young? They faithfully reproduce it.


* Chuseok, one of Korea’s two biggest holidays, celebrates the end of the harvest season.

On-job deaths and injuries of foreign workers rises

Filed under: multicultural society — extrakorea @ 10:33 am

This is sad to read, especially in light of the government’s lip service to a multicultural society. As one person astutely pointed out, the government only embraces top-down, chaebol-style multiculturalism in which foreigners know their role and place, as opposed to organic multiculturalism which grows from people negotiating at the grassroots level.

The [construction] sector has often been criticized for its lack of adherence to safety rules.

No sh*&, Sherlock.

Police ordered to pay for negligence leading to death

Filed under: crime, safety — extrakorea @ 10:02 am

Police officers have been ordered to pay 10 million won to the family of a man who perished after being in their custody.

According to court records, Lee passed out outside on a rainy day in December 2006 in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province. He was taken to a nearby police sub-station but left uncared for despite his calls for medical attention. Five hours later, he was taken to a hospital but declared dead on arrival.

“The deceased showed signs of being seriously ill that were not common for a person who was drunk,” Senior Judge Lee Jun-ho said in the ruling. “Police officers on the scene didn’t even bother to do CPR or any other measures to help him.”

“Kopinos” (Korean-Filipinos) Search for Korean Fathers

Filed under: multicultural society — extrakorea @ 9:56 am

In case you don’t know, “Kopinos” (also known as “Kophinos“) are children of Korean fathers and Filipina* mothers. With increased Korean tourism (some of it sex tourism) to the Philippines, there are an increasing number of abandoned Kophino children, some of whom seek their fathers.

The issue of Kopinos has become a social problem in the Philippines and viewed as a disgrace in South Korea. According to Son, there are more than 10,000 Kopinos in the Philippines, although there is no official data on their exact number.

[ snip ]

The rise in the number of Kopinos is attributed to the upsurge in the number of Koreans visiting the Philippines. Koreans are now the No. 1 tourist group in the country. In 2008, more than 611,000 Koreans visited the country. In addition, there are 115,400 Koreans who are currently living in the Philippines.

[ snip ]

[Normi] Son [of the Kopino Children Association] said the rise in the number of fatherless Kopinos was a product of the mindset of Koreans who were visiting the Philippines to enjoy life but not to get married to Filipino women. Enjoying life, of course, means hitting strip bars, paying for sex and getting temporary Filipina girlfriends.

They never think of marrying Filipino women and just enjoy their lives here, she said.

But, for some Filipino women, they consider relationships with foreigners as their ticket out of poverty. Unfortunately, this often turns out to be wishful thinking as Korean men quickly abandon the women after a night of sex or when they learn they are pregnant.

* Technically, Filipino refers to men, and Filipina refers to women.

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