Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Pickle on the Christmas Tree

One of our goals as international adoptive parents is to raise our child with a sense of awareness of its birth country. We've already blended two cultures in our daily lives, how hard can it be to add another?

Oh wait, here is the problem: We know next to nothing about Korea!

Having lived in several foreign countries myself and being an immigrant, I know how skewed our perceptions are of cultures we have not been fully immersed in for at least several years. 

Reading books and travelling are great ways to scratch the surface, but is there any way to go beyond this superficial knowledge of a country?

We all see the world through our own eyes, and our eyes have been shaped by the culture we grew up in. Germans are seen as neat and organized, unfriendly, but efficient, Americans as outgoing but superficial. All may be true to a degree, but there is so much more to a culture than those labels. Will my child form a view of Korea based on the prejudices prevalent in the society he will grow up in? How will we ever be able to provide our child with a true view of its birth country and the way of life there? 

I worry that I will give him a false sense of what his country and his countrymen are like. Will I be like one of those people who firmly believe that Germans put a pickle on the Christmas tree?

1 comment:

  1. Come to Korea! Assuming you're college graduates you can easily get a job teaching. While you won't get rich, or richer as the case may be, you'll gain the experience you're looking for.

    At least look into it.

    And check us out if you're interested in a lighter look at Korean life


    -And, seriously, if you have any specific questions about Korean culture from a foreigner's (American) point of view. I've only been here for a couple of years but i've got a pretty keen eye.

    Good luck