Being An Interracial Couple In South Korea

Hello good people of the Internet :),

I’m back from honeymoon in Seoul!

Seoul was really good, we ate, ate and ate.

I’ve been catching up with life and how to function. Since being back a week now, my psoriasis has flared up (I must be allergic to not being on holiday). While we were in Seoul I was also nominated for The Liebester Award by Sarah at fabric that made me (thank you so much). This will probably be next week’s post!

So now that we’re back, it’s back to writing! I wanted to briefly comment on what we noticed being an interracial couple in Seoul.

Being a halfie, anyone I enter a relationship with (provided they are not a fellow half Asian half White person), would be considered an interracial relationship – at least in my opinion.

My husband is British, and is ethnically Chinese. I am British/Kiwi/Taiwanese, who is ethnically English-Scottish//Taiwanese-Hakka. I’ve posted pictures of us below, because I love taking photos together <3. There are a ton more, but this isn’t my personal cloud where I fan girl over how cute I think my husband is.

img_20180519_1653414298878020700141890.jpgΒ img_20180520_1159298117918482983500817.jpg

During our brief 10 day visit to Seoul, I noted a couple things.

  • My admiration for the level of no f**ks given by so many of the Korean people. For example but not limited to, filming thyself dancing in the streets, vlogging, live streaming, selfies, parking wherever thy wants – including across a pedestrian crossing and so on. One that sticks in my head is this; on our last night in Seoul, we were wandering the streets of Hongdae when we came across a reversing car, we saw a sign that said the road was closed, so we thought he was backing up and out of the street. Nope, he was backing up so that he would have the space to go around the sign.

Amazing. I think we all need to be a little more Korean and don’t worry so much. Not to say that you should ignore street signs! But the UK is very much a nation of worriers.

  • Another thing we noted were the intense stares we received from a lot of people. It wasn’t malicious nor did it make us feel uncomfortable, it came across more as a ‘ I am shamelessly staring at you‘. Normally, when you catch someone staring at you, they look away. This was not our experience in Seoul; hence, the ‘I am shamelessly staring at you‘ came into play.

They would look at me, look at my husband, back at me, back at my husband and so forth. Crane their necks to get a better view, turn around or be standing next to us and turn their head to a 90 degree angle to look at us, and just….shamelessly look. I do wish I had this level of shameless-ness. But, this would probably get me in trouble in the UK.

When we went to Japan together (twice so far), I didn’t notice intense stares by people, but my husband said maybe it’s because the Japanese are more discreet and commented that some people did talk about us (yes, my husband speaks Japanese).

Being stared at doesn’t bother me, nor does it bother my husband. Hubby has no f**ks to give and I’ve grown up being stared at (whenever I was in Taiwan), it was just my normal.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that everyone cared or took second looks. This post is just for fun, and thought I would share this experience we had in Seoul.

During our stay, we discovered a lot of Koreans put me in the foreigner category and thought my husband was a fellow Korean. So another possibility we thought was that the stares were the ‘a Korean with a foreigner’ look. I am also aware that the older generation in Korea is far more traditional and thinks Korean boys should marry good Korean girls. I category that we did not fulfil.

Since neither of us speak Korean*, so these are just guesses based solely on the impression we got while we were there and the knowledge we already know of Korea. In general, I find it’s amazing how much us humans can infer on what someone is saying even though you don’t speak the same language. GO HUMANS!

* Though, my hubby knows some phrases which helped us get around, while I was 100% fluent in how to say ‘thank you’ like a foreigner.

Anyway, this wraps up this short sharing my thoughts and experiences post. Hope you enjoyed reading it!

If you want, I could write about our experience here in UK or interactions we had in Japan to our ‘interracial coupling‘.

Any Koreans or anyone living in Korea reading this? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on dating or even interracial coupling in Korea.

24 Comments Add yours

  1. Katie Kuo says:

    It must of been an amazing trip! haha it’s great that there are many people who can just vlog etc. in public without caring at all, because I feel if that happened in NZ it would be so rare so many people might think it’s strange. As you said we should all not care so much.That’s so interesting, I feel like because in the UK, America, Australia, NZ and some other countries, it’s so common to see multicultural couples. Whereas in Asia, it’s still something that’s not as common in some countries. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t want to be back to reality yet! My dream is to not work and just have money (very realistic right lol). Yeah I don’t see many people vlogging etc in the UK either, in fact, I don’t think I’ve seen a single one this year. When people did film, it tended to be the tourists who saw that commented and laughed because they thought it was weird.

      I will say that there were a few interracial couples we saw in Seoul compared to Japan, or even TW. But its been 7 years since I’ve gone back to TW so I don’t know what it’s like now. You’re right, it’s more rare in Asia, but it looks like things are changing!


  2. So glad you had fun in Seoul πŸ™‚ On a random note, I also have psoriasis, so apparently we’re both halfie only children with skin problems πŸ˜›
    You’re so right about Korean people giving zero fucks about most things. I’ve seen this translate to a general lack of spatial awareness (blocking whole aisles in the grocery store, children mowing people down with their bikes, etc.) which makes me very irritated sometimes, but I have to remind myself that it’s probably not rude to them the way it is to me.
    It’s also interesting that you and your husband got stared at. I haven’t really experienced that while out with Korean guys, so I wonder what the difference is!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, my psoriasis halfie sister! I always wanted a sibling :p.
      Oh yes, there was a lot of blocking, and since we don’t speak Korean we just stood there… Waiting lol, or sometimes try to gently and careful squish through. Yeah it probably isn’t rude, it definitely didn’t give that impression, especially since basically EVERYONE was doing it. I loved the no f**ks given, it felt so chilled!
      Ah yeah that is interesting that you haven’t gotten stared at when out with Korean guys. You’ve lived in Korea a few months now right? Maybe you give off an aura that you know what your doing whereas I give off an aura of cluelessness about how to navigate Korea??


      1. awkwardly didn’t see your response until now when someone else also liked my comment…
        If it’s any consolation, I also just stand there waiting despite knowing enough Korean to ask them to move because I can’t bring myself to be that confrontational as a foreigner lol.
        Yeah, I’ve been here since August so maybe I give off this I’m-not-a-tourist vibe? To be honest it’s all a mystery to me. I’ve been told everything from “it’s because your hair’s so dark” to “you walk like an asian person” (no idea what that’s supposed to mean). I think context is a big part of it. My coworkers all thought I was white (but I think that has to do with their expectations after I was introduced as “the foreign English teacher”) whereas when I answer the door in my pajamas and glasses to sign for a package and say two words in Korean, I get asked if I’m Korean. Koreans are odd about identifying foreigners… but oh well, shifting identities can be cool sometimes, as I’m sure you know πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Haha I’m glad you understand hue feeling of standing there awkwardly waiting for someone to move. If they don’t move for a while, it just gets more and more awkward. Especially if they are talking to someone who is facing you! Yeah you’re right, us halfies jump around with what we look like. I like to refer to us as the black&blue vs gold&white dress. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Gem says:

    Another interesting read! Randomly, my friend from home has started reading your blog after finding you through mine!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ahhhhhh your friend is awesome. Tell him/her thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Paolo B. says:

    Korea is on my list of places to go, sounds like a good trip other than the stares. I’m in an IR as well so it’s good to know. I’ve experienced the stares too occasionally just depends where you are. Can’t wait for a time when interracial dating doesn’t cause people to bat an eye but sadly I still see it an issue for the near future. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, I really appreciate it! Yas, we must stick together! Korea was so nice, I hope you get to go some day soon! The stares really weren’t that bad, we just noticed it. When you get around to visiting, please let me know your experience! I find even a couple years can make such a big difference to how common IR dating is. I think in big cities like London, no one bats an eye, so many couples in London are in an IR that it’s just normal (at least in my opinion). In homogeneous places like Korea, I guess IR is just more noticible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Paolo B. says:

        True probably just more noticeable. Hopefully I get to visit their sooner than later and will do!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. JenaPen says:

    So glad to hear you enjoyed your trip! I think y’all make an adorable couple πŸ’• my husband has a friend from Korea and she is such a HOOT! She is very outgoing and has no regard for what anyone thinks of her, she is shamelessly herself! And I love that!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I wish I still on holiday. I love when people are shamelessly themselves. Its inspirational! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  6. SaRitzy says:

    I really want to go to South Korea!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I really recommend it. One of things I loved was that you order a dish, and get a bunch of complementary side dishes (which almost always includes kimchi)!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. JeniVentures says:

    I’m also from the Uk but I live in Korea! My boyfriend is ethnically Korean and the staring is REAL. Older people, younger people it doesn’t matter. It’s easy to forget how small of a (western) foreign population there is here, so we get stared at a lot anyway, pair me with my boyfriend and oh boy, those grandmas haha. If looks could kill!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing! What part of Korea are you living in? Yes the unapologetic staring is incredible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. JeniVentures says:

        I live in Incheon, still a big metropolitan city with a lot of tourism thanks to the airport being so close – but people are still surprised ha! (we once had some coffee shop staff play ‘rock scissors paper to see who was going to serve us! So funny)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha seriously??? Do you know whether because they wanted to be the one to talk to the cool couple in the shop?


  8. Great post.

    I relate to the staring, but it happens more to me in Japan. My husband is ethnically Japanese and I’m a mixture of Irish and German descent. It usually only happens when we are in the countryside areas, never in the city.

    We did visit South Korea once and they kept trying to talk to him in Korean. They seemed very confused when he didn’t understand.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

      Do you both live in Japan?

      Regarding South Korea, my husband felt that sometimes people would wonder or look down on him for not understanding or speaking Korean!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We both live in Japan πŸ™‚

        That’s sad if they looked down on him for that. That actually happens among foreigners here in Japan. If you’ve lived in Japan a certain amount of time and you’re Japanese isn’t good enough, fluent foreigners will sometimes say, “What? You’re not fluent. What happened to you?”

        Like… really? We all learn languages at our own pace. No need to look down on anyone.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s amazing, we arw thinking of moving to Japan in the future. My husband speaks conversational Japanese. But me, nada (I really need to get in that).

          That’s sad that other foreigners can look down on you. You’re absolutely right that we all learn at our own pace and languages are really tough to learn!

          Liked by 1 person

  9. sushilove51 says:

    yeah, always heard they knew how to live. cool to hear first had account


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