Sunday, April 19, 2009

Act on the Treatment of Foreigners in Korea -- Brian in Jeollonamdo has a translation link about this

I saw this on Brian in Jeollanam-do's blog tonight.

Basic Act on the Treatment of Foreigners in Korea translated into English.

I decided to skim the text . . . what a waste of my time.

I did, however, find two little gems . . . lol.

Together Day



CHAPTER Ⅳ Creating a Society Where Koreans and Foreigners in Korea Live in Harmony

Article 19 (Together Day)
①To create a society
where Koreans and
foreigners in Korea
respect each other's
culture and tradition and
live in harmony, May 20
is designated as "Together
Day" and one week
starting Together Day is
designated as Together

"Together Day"? What is this? Why has no one told me about it? When will the first one be? Is it a national day? FUNNY!

And . . . "Together Week"? I can barely contain my excitement . . .


②Matters necessary for
Together Day event may
be determined by the
Minister of Justice or
Mayor of special city,
Mayor of metropolitan
city, Governor of Province, and Governor of
special autonomous
province respectively."

Right. I'm sure the mayors of each city around the country are right on top of organizing this--uh-huh . . .

I decided to skim over the whole document--and quickly returned to the mission statement.

"The purpose of this Act is to stipulate the basic provisions concerning the treatment of foreigners in Korea; to help foreigners in Korea to adjust themselves to the Korean society to reach their full potentials and to create a society where Koreans and foreigners in Korea understand and respect each other with the aim of contributing to the development of Korea and the social integration."
(my italics, my bold).

All I see here, in terms of relevance for foreigners, is the Borg policy put in a Korean context, "We are the Koreans. Your distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile."

As you can see today is one of my "I'm not so happy to be here" days . . .



Korea Beat said...

Aren't assimilation and social integration the goals of immigration policy everywhere?

Jason said...

Hi Korea Beat,

I won't dispute that "assimilation and social integration" are the goals of immigration policies everywhere.

I do think, however, that there is a continuum of mono-culturalism to multi-culturalism (if I can say that) wherein each country's socio-cultural dynamics fall.

Based on this perspective I think some countries attempts to FULLY assimilate every aspect of a person's ethnic identity into the native collective leads to the slow death of an individual's identity if they want to enter the cultural imaginary and landscape of representation within the linguistic reality of the country . . .

assimilation: Sociology. the merging of cultural traits from previously distinct cultural groups, not involving biological amalgamation.

I don't think a 'merging' takes place here--I think a systematic erasure takes place of the person's original identity after which the person internalizes the norms and values and language of Korea . . . and leaves behind their own cultural identity . . .

I think replying to your comment in a comment of my own is not a good way to fully articulate what I think about this . . . it's an incredibly complex topic.

Anyways, thanks for reading.