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Video: Combating Common Stereotypes About Koreans




A still from Kerri's music video about Korean stereotypes.

A still from Kerri's music video about Korean stereotypes.

A project by an English teacher at the Chinju National University of Education in Jinju, South Korea who goes by the single name Kerri, addresses common stereotypes about Koreans via a music video.

Set to the song "Traveler" by Korean indie musician Soul Park, the YouTube video features nine students from Kerri's English class holding up posters with a message about cultural differences and common misconceptions foreigners may have about Koreans. A boy in a white shirt and dark glasses holds up a card that reads "I've never eaten dog meat," while another girl's says "I don't know anything about martial arts."

Asia Blog got in touch with Kerri via email and asked her about the video.

Where and when was this video shot?

‪This video was shot on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 in my classroom at Chinju National University of Education in Jinju, South Korea. I have been teaching English in South Korea for three years. I am currently teaching at Chinju National University of Education in Jinju, in Gyeongnam province. This video was shot in my classroom with a group of nine of my students after we finished our class for the day.

Where did you find the inspiration?

‪The inspiration for this video came from our classroom discussions. The group of students featured in the video will be visiting the USA in January 2012, and I am preparing them for the cultural differences they might encounter when they go abroad, in order for them to have a smooth transition into American culture. We often discuss topics such as discrimination, racism, prejudices, as well as simple cultural differences including how to accept compliments and classroom behavior. I asked these students to write a message to show the rest of the world about Korea, or more specifically, to address a stereotype they think people might have about Korean people. The style of the video was inspired by Lena Khan's powerful video "A Land Called Paradise."

Have you made such videos in the past?

I have been making videos on YouTube since 2006, and I now have over 150 videos on my channel. I make videos in Korean, English and French, wherein I discuss language acquisition, play guitar, share my experience with Korean culture shock and also post simple vlog-style videos. I believe my YouTube channel reflects all different aspects of my life as a twenty-something woman living, working and traveling abroad.

Are you planning to work on similar projects in the future?

I have a lot of videos coming up! I am now working on a short film about being LGBT in Korea, since I receive many questions about this from my subscribers, and there aren't very many reliable resources available online which address this issue yet. I am also planning to make a video about stereotypes that many Korean people have about foreigners living in Korea.

Watch the video below to learn about common misconceptions about Koreans (2 min., 20 sec). More of Kerri's videos are available via her You Tube channel, ExpatKerri.

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