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crying

holdfast
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crying

Postby holdfast » July 2nd, 2008 6:36 pm

the last lesson reminded me of a question i've had for awhile.

it seems to me like crying (even publicly) is much more accepted in korean culture than it is here in america. for me, i haven't seen even some of my closest friends cry, ever. there's this stigma that "boys don't cry," and as such, men are generally considered weak if they cry for whatever reason.

maybe it is the same in korea, but it seems like every time i watch something on tv, somebody is crying (guys as well). everytime there is a surprise birthday party, the person cries. i've even seen it with some of my korean friends - it is almost like there are certain times where it is expected for you to cry. like i said before, i haven't seen some of my best female friends cry even once, and i've seen certain male korean celebrities cry more than 20 times on t.v.

am i completely off here? or has anyone else noticed this?

does anyone know what the korean view on crying is?



sorry this is really random, but it has been bugging me for awhile.

SiEd
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Postby SiEd » July 3rd, 2008 12:48 am

I was thinking that this is a relatively recent cultural phenomenon.

From what I can figure out, most people generally cry a lot at a mourning ceremony, especially for a relative who has died under unfortunate circumstances.

I've always had the impression that men, until recently, weren't really encouraged to cry in public (except in mourning ceremonies), as a show of public restraint as per Confucian mores. It's certainly different from the "mainstream" American perception (weakness). Then again, there is the underlying Korean concept of "han"... which might complicate the picture.

But maybe I'm completely wrong - can someone else fill us in?

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Keith
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Postby Keith » July 3rd, 2008 1:16 am

I'm not sure if crying is so generally accepted in Korea. That's because in Korea there's a saying: A man should only cry three times in his life. 1. When he is born 2.When his mother dies. 3.When he father dies.

But Korean women on the other hand, in my experience cry quite a lot (at least in terms of mourning). They cry a lot, and they cry LOUD.

SiEd
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Postby SiEd » July 3rd, 2008 2:00 am

Keith wrote:I'm not sure if crying is so generally accepted in Korea. That's because in Korea there's a saying: A man should only cry three times in his life. 1. When he is born 2.When his mother dies. 3.When he father dies.


Keith, thanks for clearing that up. :)
At least that saying's pretty clear-cut.

In contrast, in Balinese, if you want to indirectly criticize a man for crying in public (i.e. when it's completely inappropriate), the saying is "He's 200 minus 25". Huh?? The word for 175 in that language sounds a lot like the word for "(crying) with one's mouth open". :?

manyakumi
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Re: crying

Postby manyakumi » July 3rd, 2008 7:07 am

holdfast wrote:maybe it is the same in korea, but it seems like every time i watch something on tv, somebody is crying (guys as well). everytime there is a surprise birthday party, the person cries. i've even seen it with some of my korean friends - it is almost like there are certain times where it is expected for you to cry. like i said before, i haven't seen some of my best female friends cry even once, and i've seen certain male korean celebrities cry more than 20 times on t.v.

am i completely off here? or has anyone else noticed this?

does anyone know what the korean view on crying is?


I think it's because the film-makers wanted to make the scene more dramatic.
Like Keith said, Korean guys don't want to show their crying.

shanshanchua
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Postby shanshanchua » July 3rd, 2008 9:11 am

SiEd - the 200 minus 25 saying is very interesting!

Emily - yes, many times I've wondered why Korean men seem to cry so much in dramas! I don't remember seeing men cry so much (and so dramatically) in other Asian dramas from China, HongKong, Singapore...

But if that doesn't happen in real life, wouldn't it be a bit strange for the directors to make them do it so much in reel life? It would be unrealistic, no?

holdfast
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Postby holdfast » July 3rd, 2008 1:20 pm

yes, it happens a lot in dramas, but that is not what i was refering to. i've seen several reality programs or talk show programs or even news programs where guys are genuinely crying (for surprise birthday parties, when given gifts, bands that win awards or even during concerts, if they are on a show and are asked to talk about their past, if they are hearing a sad story, etc).

perhaps it is not related to the culture, and these guys are just particularly sensitive ^^

SiEd
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Postby SiEd » July 3rd, 2008 3:29 pm

holdfast wrote: perhaps it is not related to the culture, and these guys are just particularly sensitive ^^


Yeah, sounds like "milquetoast" to me. Is there a Korean equivalent to "milquetoast"?
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Keith
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Postby Keith » July 4th, 2008 3:09 am

yes, it happens a lot in dramas, but that is not what i was refering to. i've seen several reality programs or talk show programs or even news programs where guys are genuinely crying (for surprise birthday parties, when given gifts, bands that win awards or even during concerts, if they are on a show and are asked to talk about their past, if they are hearing a sad story, etc).


I know what you're talking about now! And I don't get it myself to be honest... but I think what you said before was on point

it is almost like there are certain times where it is expected for you to cry.


And I don't think this is true in real life, but i'm pretty sure even men are expected to cry when on air....


HAHA... i just had a really bad image of a over controlling manager standing behind a camera and holding a big stick threatening an actor and forcing him to cry.. lol. Sorry about that folks :lol:

austinfd
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Postby austinfd » July 4th, 2008 6:01 am

I just got went on a 3 day trip with my students. They went off to a camp in 강원도. One of the activities was a campfire. I don't really know what they said, but a bunch of the kids were totally weeping. As far as I could tell the leaders from this camp were getting the kids to think about their families and how much sacrifice they've made etc...

So many kids were so deeply affected by it I was bewildered. So I asked one of the teachers..."What did they say to make the kids cry so much?" He told me that he couldn't understand why they were crying. But maybe they have been to so many camps like that and they think they are supposed to cry....

I am right now finishing up my last few weeks at my school. There are just 2 weeks left in the school year. I've been at the same school for 2 years, and was the first native teacher. I'm leaving, and students are beginning to catch wind of it. There are few individual students who know, but I've only just started to make big announcements in front of each class. I know that I will cry but I am kind of a sappy guy myself... I expect the kids will cry too. I have to go through saying goodbye to 21 different classes. I've written a letter that I'll give to my students, and I'll post in on my blog soon so you can benefit from the practice!
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Bouks
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Postby Bouks » July 4th, 2008 8:45 am

I love it when guys cry in Korean dramas. I don't know why...maybe because it made me think they're not afraid to show their soft side. Male crying in public is sexy. When I visit Korea, I'm going to try to make everyone cry :twisted: Oh, relax, I'm just kidding! :lol: :wink:

In actuality, though, it seems like Korean men really will cry for the sake of parents (any reason, not just their death), and that seems to be considered acceptable and even encouraged. I have seen it a few times on Korean TV (not that that makes me an expert).

I once saw a documentary about men doing their Korean military service, and at one point after a tough drill, the captains were lecturing the men about how they should make their parents proud, and what the parents were thinking about them, the sacrifice they were making, and how they missed them...there wasn't out-and-out bawling going on, but there were quiet tears rolling down many faces.

Could someone explain the concept of "han" that was mentioned?
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holdfast
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Postby holdfast » August 18th, 2008 2:49 pm

Bouks wrote:In actuality, though, it seems like Korean men really will cry for the sake of parents (any reason, not just their death), and that seems to be considered acceptable and even encouraged. I have seen it a few times on Korean TV (not that that makes me an expert).

Could someone explain the concept of "han" that was mentioned?


i agree about the parents thing - i have seen that alot as well!

i am also wondering about this "han" concept..

saeah
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Korean Han

Postby saeah » March 7th, 2011 4:48 pm

One simple analogy: If a parent dies without their child becoming a doctor, and that was their ultimate wish, then that parent dies with han.

go here to read one perspective: http://www.marys-touch.com/truth/han.htm

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