Saturday, May 22, 2010

Real men!

We got phones! How exciting! A blue one and a pink one! And yes, the pink one is Oliver's. As you all know I can't handle pink, but Oliver thought that if he is to be recognised as a half decent man in Korea, he should get a pink phone. Let me explain his logic.




Well, you see, in Korea real men like pink. They wear it and they accessorize it. Many of Oliver's male students (who are between the ages of 6 and 13) have pink phones, so he thought he would join the crowd with a baby pink phone. We are still waiting to see if he will be laughed at or marvelled at.

On the topic of real men. Masculinity in South Korea is very different to masculinity in South Africa. Men here look more feminine and stylish, they are the epitome of meterosexual. Let's go through some of the do's and don'ts of men.

Do's:
  • Do feel free to carry your girlfriend's handbag (or your own) even sling it over your shoulder if that feels comfortable.
  • Do stop, stare and preen yourself in anything reflective. This includes mirrors, shop windows, your phone or a telephone booth.
  • Do wear couple outfits or shoes. That is shoes, T-shirts, or everything from head-to-toe so that you match your girlfriend.
  • Do sing. A real man can sing in Korea.

Don'ts:
  • Do not drink flavoured Soju, that is reserved strictly for women.

This understanding of masculinity is different to what we are used to back home. But don't be fooled, most men in Korea are trained in a martial arts of sorts...if you mock their bag, or couple outfit it may be you who leaves the room with your tail between the legs.

Hope this provides a glimpse of a cultural trait which is so different to the western ideas of masculnity....

As we learn more about Korean people and their cultural practices (both modern and traditional) we will keep you in the loop

Post by Claudia








2 comments:

Claudia said...

Turns out Oliver is being laughed at for having a pink phone! His girl students think it is very funny!

Lim Dong Cheol said...

I was wearing a pink baseball cap in Korea 10 years ago. In the UK, my friends wouldn't let me wear it in public! Unfortunately, pink is now a fairly common colour for men in the UK,ever since a famous footballer started the trend. In the UK, if Beckham wore a shit on his head, half the nation would follow his example. Personally, I'd rather be surrounded by Korean men,than gross, aggressive, Brits.

If you think they behave 'nancy' on the street, you should visit a bathhouse. A friendship with a Korean male reaches a stalemate until you have both seen each other naked in a bathhouse.Good luck, I've added your link to my blog.

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