The deeply embedded Korean mindset, “han and jeong” from one of TCKs view 

-Deeply embedded jeong and han-

Korea has a unique culture. It has a concept called “jeong(정)” and “han(한)” which deeply embedded in everyone. Jeong is how people care for each other. It may seem like crossing lines, but if you think of the elders who used to live in small town, you can imagine what jeong is. And han is a what makes people suffer and get angry without experiencing it. This feeling goes towards Japan back in Japanese colonization. Up to now, so many people are more interested in Korea vs Japan match. 

-time is changing-

When Jeong and Han was common to people, there was no discrimination or bullying. However, since the society changed, people started to adopt Korean version of western mindset style. For Korea, it was “us” or non. So for that reason, the concept was bit difficult to understand. So it kind of came down as “selfishness” (Of course for some who has a strong tendency of selfishness, they were natural at it). Now there are so many campaigns saying we should consider others first, such as people with disabilities, children, elders, and women who are pregnant. It’s bit sad how it has to be addressed as a part of ensuring ones rights. But it is what it is. 

– Is Han and Jeong for TCKs too-

As a TCK myself, I have literally spent my childhood abroad where American English was mainly spoken. I was exposed to English speaking environment so that I had trouble relearning Korean and its culture. 

I did try to be friends with the Koreans who came to International school later on. But we had so many differences. It is understandable considering that it’s their first time living abroad. But what I failed to understand was how they are lable people by their nationality and how powerful country they are from. And they always had to be in clique of Koreans. I learned that some Koreans can take leading role in discrimination. For me, I didn’t like how they don’t see people by who they are. So I ended up hanging out with my old friends who were from everywhere. 

So long story short, I still have trouble grasping the whole concept of han and jeong. I can’t feel more emotionally detached when listening to conversation about Korea winning or loosing Japan. Nor how Korean got robbed abroad and so on. It’s my personal task to feel emotionally attached to my passport country. Somehow I find it difficult because I still have soar feelings and losses to Korea. Nevertheless, I finally found the word and concept close to Han and Jeong. Will I have empathy on it? I am not sure. But I will try as it is what embracing is about. 


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