I have just seen a video, that is currently ‘going viral’ and am left with a sick feeling. The video in question, involves an incident that happened and was filmed live on a subway in central Seoul (further proof of how Korea is a ‘wired nation’) and uploaded on YouTube yesterday. 

An old woman gets upset when a teenage korean girl  *from the USA supposedly* crosses her legs and scuffs the old ladies dress. The old lady reprimands the student who apologizes twice, accoding to the other passengers. Next the woman seems to lose her temper and  grabs the girl’s hair, pushes her around and throws her on the seat in the car, while other passengers watch the scuffle, not bothering to help the poor child who is at this stage both screaming and crying, surely a call for help!

Korean society is built on a rank system depending on age and status, and is something I’m desperately trying to understand and respect. However how can a I possibly respect a culture that seems to think it’s ok to physcially abuse a child in public. They aren’t bothered pulling the crazy woman off the defenseless girl but are bothered filming the whole scene live! the whole video is shocking. the response to the video is divided of course, with two sides to every story. Koreans feel the girl was in the wrong being dis-respectful to an elder whilst everyone else feels the Ajamma is in the wrong for hitting, abusing and publically humiliating a defensless teenage girl.

Surely the line has been crossed here. In a society built on a tradition of respect, they must understand that you must, “do to others what you would have them do to you”. How on earth can this woman be in the right? Why did nobody come to the girls rescue? What is going to happen now that the video has gone viral for all the world to see?

6 thoughts on “R.E.S.P.E.C.T

  1. Wow, this bothers me a whole lot. I definitely think a line has been crossed here, that poor girl.

    A few weeks ago I saw a woman trip and fall down as she was walking towards a bus- she dropped everything she was carrying- it looked quite painful. I expected the people around her to assist and ask if she was all right. Instead they all stopped what they were doing, looked shocked, and just stared. Not one person moved or even asked if she was ok. Is there a reason for the lack of assistance? Perhaps by asking if she needed help they thought they might offend? Of course this isn’t nearly as extreme an example as the video, but still.

  2. Seriously? It’s crazy in any other country people would have ran to the girl/womans rescue but because of the huge respect (out of proportion imo) people have for their elders no one interferes.

    Why nobody helped the woman you saw fall over is a mystery though, I guess they have been taught to stay out of other peoples business. Bizarre.

    1. I know it’s so awful. I would love to know if that woman has been getting nasty mail or anything…total cow.

  3. Of course noone tried to help her either. Korea is so like that. They never know what to do or never want to get involved. But that woman was an exceptional bitch! She was the worst I’ve seen and I did a year there already.

  4. Very true Shibby, they always just stand there looking on, it drives me crazy!!

    However someone told me ove rthe weekend that in Korea when the police arrive at the scene of a fight whoever is last there gets arrested, even if they were not the ones that started it etc, which is pretty weird and may explain why people are reluctant to get involved.

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