Intercultural Communications Essay
November 1, 2011
My stepmother was born in Masan, the countryside of Korea, to a family of four daughters. My step-grandfather was a hard working man. He had a small taxi and truck business. My mother’s youth was during the recovering of the war. My mom has told me stories about growing up. She rarely got nice things unlike how a lot of Korean children now get today. However, she says growing up was not as hard as most kids during the time.
“Korean kids have to learn how to respect their elders,” my mother states. “For example at the dinner table you do not start eating until the elders start.” She says that hitting kids was a common thing and teachers even hit their students who failed to do assignments and do their responsibilities. It is also part of Korean culture for the eldest son to take care of the parents. Back then; the parents would even live with the eldest son even after he has married. Today, it has changed a lot and most parents would rather live alone. Children are supposed to live at home with their parents until marriage. In the United States, it was not as strict. It was common for men to move out of their parents home at eighteen and start working or go to college. These days not all Koreans still follow the culture but still, many do. Back then, Korea was recovering from war and a lot of parents were focused on their children’s education. They would do anything for their education. So, kids would do nothing but study. “I would go to school at seven in the morning and not finish until ten at night. I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at school,” my mom says. She studied a lot. Generally, Korea’s students study a lot more and harder than the average American. It was not until around high school years when her father made more money and became successful. My stepmom even paid for most of her college and travel expenses. She traveled to Australia to learn English and did a lot of...