Oct 20, 2009
A Young Korean Man's Point of View!
Awhile ago when I was surfing the net for information on Lee Charm (or Lee Cham), I had the pleasure of coming across an entry on a blog by a young Korean man who had lived on the Gold Coast (he is now back in Korea). Dan has kindly left me a messaage allowing me to share his views with you. Thanks Dan, and hope to hear from you again!
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Lee Charm : What’s he left to foreign communities in Korea
Lee Charm who were born in Germany and naturalized in Korea have appointed as the President and CEO of Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) on July 30, 2009. He came to be the first foreign CEO of public office, which hasn’t ever happened in the history of Korea. His experience, living in between Korea for 31 years and Germany for 25 years, has qualified him and the representative of KTO said he will be able to elevate Korean tourism industry through foreigner’s eyes.
When I was a kid I saw him playing a role as a just Korean speaking foreigner in TV show. And he was on regular TV show making a lot of journey across the nations finding some place to go for holidays and discovering traditional and local foods, which sounds like he worked as a free travel journalist.
Well, I know how he has tried to hear from Koreans that he is not a stranger anymore at all putting heaps of efforts in Korea where we still believed Korea is the homogeneous society.
I adore it cause he made it and finally all Koreans (maybe not) have started admitting what he has done and what he is as a Korean now.
And I’m very proud that our government gave an opportunity to a person who has different skin and hair colour. I hope it is beginning of all the policy for foreign naturalized Koreans and even migrants from the third world.
News reported that this year the number of the foreign residents in Korea become over one hundred millions. Most of them could be migrants to work in Korea from China, India, Philippine, and other countries. In this point, what I want to say is even if the number of foreigners is continuously increasing, our attitude to them isn’t ready to hug them as our neighbours and what’s the huge problem is the lack of policy to protect them from being exploited and discriminated. Most migrant labours from the third world are working in the area where we don’t want to work because it’s dangerous, dirty, and difficult but they have played a huge role in that area helping our economy constantly develop. In fact this is the true that our government and we have not paid attention to them and even tried to avoid what they speak up for their fair right as a human being.
So I think it’s really good enough time for us to turn our interest to them and study how well we are able to live together with them thinking of them as our people and our brother. And I hope to see one of them to be placed as president and CEO in another area.
We often think of American black president as myth but it is not. It is the true story which is still ongoing. It’s what we should learn. He was made by all Americans who didn’t care about skin colour and where come from. That idea is what we need right now.
Obama is the symbol of beginning of breaking of the racism but that’s not an end. Lee Charm, I hope, should be a beginning of changing our attitude on the idea of foreigners. We don’t think that we have racism on the land of Korea. But we have to admit that there is such a big racism which we should fix and kick off. That’s not a thing that we have to stick with.
It will not be a short journey to make them feel that Korea is one of the countries in which they want to live for good without concerns and that they are being protected from the Korean law as Koreans are. And what I want to see is that more chances that Koreans can have will stretch out to them equally.
And the Japanese Asahi Shimbun also introduced him in the column "Hito (people)" on Oct.1.
Excerpts: German born, theologian, actor. Next, a bridge in Japan - Korea tourism
"Lee Cham plans to make the annual number of tourists from Japan to Korea 6 million (double of what it is today) within the next 3 years. On the ill-feelings between the two countries concerning the colonial occupation in the past, 'the young generation become friends very quickly. Since we have much in common in terms of language and customs, feelings of intimacy should become greater."