Now before you jump on my case for posting these videos, know that I am not replaying these ridiculous displays of humanity to mock Korean society or inflame relations between the foreign community and their host country. The reason I’m posting these videos is because there has been a lot of discussion over the last year or so, in both local and international media, about the ever-increasing amount of pressure and stress that Koreans face in the age of globalization. The New York Times and Groove articles both seem to suggest that a lot of the stress in modern-day Korea comes from people having to complete the seemingly impossible task of melding Confucian ideals with hyper-capitalism, in an increasingly individualistic and success driven society.
Lately, the Korean blogosphere has been full of stories by both foreign expats and Koreans alike describing their often hilarious, passive aggressive and sometimes frightening encounters with the stressed masses of Korea. While some have portrayed this behavior, when directed at foreigners as racism on the part of Koreans, others have laid claims of reverse racism on foreigners attempting to describe this phenomena. While framing aggressive action by Koreans through the lens of race is oftentimes convenient and sometimes pertinent, it doesn’t accurately describe what’s happening. Whether you take one side of the aisle or other in this argument, one thing is for certain, these events are occurring and with increasing frequency, and both Koreans and foreigners alike are getting a first-hand and in-your-face look at globalization and development in action during their daily commutes to and from work.
5. Swearing-woman-gate-: a woman on the Seoul subway flies off the hinges on a fellow passenger after he reportedly ”kicked her leg” during their commute.
4. Rude lady-gate: a woman smokes and drinks beer on the subway, then brawls a pensioner and dumps beer on him after he complains about her boorish behavior.
3. Whippersnapper-gate: a younger Korean man goes off the rails on an elderly Korean man when the older man reportedly asked the younger man to not cross his legs because one of his shoes was touching his pants.