Being overseas gives us an oportunity
"Has been a lifesaver so many times!"
- Catherine Rampell, student @ University of Washington
"Exactly the help I needed."
- Jennifer Hawes, student @ San Jose State
"The best place for brainstorming ideas."
- Michael Majchrowicz, student @ University of Kentucky
Being overseas gives us an oportunity
to see more than one cultures wy of communicating. I sat at a busy
intersection where alot of pedetrian and vehicle traffic passes by.
Its is a four way intersection on the Yongsan Army Base in seoul, Korea.
I sat there from 12:00pm to 1:00pm, which is luch time for most people.
Most people were walking or driving cars, and a few were riding bicycles
or running. It was an extremely hot day with temperatures in the
upper 90's. The groups ranged from dyads to tryads and even many large
groups. My observation was mainly focused on the differnces between Korean
groups and American groups
The thing that struck me the most
about my observation was how each culture reacted to each other.
In general the majority of Korean people were in tryads or larger groups.
Generaly in those groups all paries were involved in the conversation quite
the reverse from the American groups who usually had one person talking
and the others listening. In the Korean groups there was almost always
more women then there were men in each tryad or larger group. In
tryads the Korean man rarely walked in between the two women but was usually
on one side or the other. In the American groups if the goup was
a tryad there was almost never a women in the group. American groups
in general usually consisted of dyads. In the American groups usually
one peron would be talking and the others would listen to him or her.
In the Korean groups during the conversation between the group members
everyone in the group would look at each other as they talked. In
the American groups it was quite the opposit with most of the members looking
away from each other. In some cases the American groups were not
even talking to each other at all
In the American groups the conversation
never seemed to be about something fun or exciting. Most of the American
groups seemed to be talking about a serious issue. The most serious
and intense groups conversations appeared to be those between American
groups who's members were wearing army uniforms. It seemed these individuals
were always talking about work. The Korean groups appeared to always
be in a happy mood with smiles on their faces and lots to talk about.
The Korean people seemed to always be talking about there previous days
The hand and arm gestures each group
made were quite different. The Americans seemed to always make gestures
with their hands. In a general talking sence their hands and arms
seemed to be apart of that conversation. When the conversation was
more intense their arms really began moving around alot. One of the
most popular hand and arm gestures was when their arms would come down
to there waist, elbows bent, and palms facing up with open hands.
This gesture seemed to be involved with asking a question or to emphasize
something. The Korean groups rarely used there hands and arms during
Most Americans, from my observation
were in a hurry. They always seemed to walk very fastas if they were
in a hurry to get somewhere. Even at the beginning of lunch time
they were very fast paced. The Koreans seemed to always be in a slow
down mode. They seemed to be very relaxed and not in a big hurry
to get anywhere
Those Americans who weren't
in military uniform were generally wearing shorts and t-shirts. There
clothes were usually bright in color such as red, blue, green, etc...
The Koreans clothes were generally semi-dress slacks and button-up shirts.
The colors of their clothes were generally conservative being bage, black,
etc... Many of the Americans clothes were very baggy, even the older
people wore generally baggy clothes. The shorts and t-shirts usually
appeared to be to large for them. The Koreans clothes usually were
At the busy inetersection there was
a crosswalk. As I watched the different ethnic groups make attempts
to cross the street there process of doing this was quite different.
The Koreans would on several occation stick their arms out and start walking
before the car had a chance to slow down as though to tell the driver to
stop. On other occations the Korean groups wouldn't look to see if
a car was coming before they crossed, they would just take the first step
into the street. The Americans would come to the cross walk and stop,
look both ways, and then cross the street. However if a car would
not stop upon their arriving at
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Asia, Culture, Koreans, Korean language
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