I have recently interviewed one of my roommate, who has been immigrated to United States few years ago. His name is Jageun Lee. He is from South Korea and primary language is Korean. By interviewing him, I found out that lot of information about Korean culture and how it works. Lee has been in United States for about four years ago. His family is staying in Denver and himself is in station in Fort Carson, Colorado Springs. Lee mention how it was journey to become where he was right now. Military have provide the financial needs and citizenship problem he faced because he was not the citizen of America.
His family have moved out from the Korea to have better living. The quality of life was not that bad, however they wanted a turnover in their life, to live in the United States of America. Since they thought America was consider as number one well off country, which is the reason why they picked to move to states. When they first moved to Denver, they were lost because they could not speak English. They knew some English, words and sentence but was not able to communicate with other people. Lee’s family have settle down in the Aurora, Korean populated county, to reduce the hardship of language barrier.
Lee mentioned some of the favorite Korean food that he could not find in Denver area. First food that he misses is the Korean street food. Street food includes, ddokbo-kki, teekim, juan, dakgoochi, and hodduk. He said these foods can be found anywhere at night. They were affordable price and very delicious that he could not forget about how it taste. Another thing he miss is the Korean culture. He mention Korean culture is very polite and respect the elders, where in the United States everyone one can be “friend”. It was very difficult for him to consider elder as friend, which was not allow in Korean culture.
Difference in both culture he found was that, in English the words that was used to speak was also same for everyone. In Korea, the words they use are different from the elders and everyone else. This made him stutter when he speak in English because he did not know if he was able to use the words that he knew. When Lee’s family moved to Denver, they also faced financial struggle. When they first got here, they started a cigarette business in the neighborhood. However within a year, the business went bankrupt. With holding financial hardship, they started another business called “Check into Cash”.
However in about two years, this business also went to bankrupt due to fraud checks they have checked in. Now both parents are working in a part time job in restaurant. Also his sister is working in part time job to support her family. Financial issue was a huge problem they had to overcome. Luckily, Lee have joined a military two years ago, which have helped out the family a lot, money and resident issues. His family is not settle in the Denver, where they do not have to face these issues no more. Lee’s family have went through long journey to get to the point where they are standing.
They said they do not regret the past choice they made and they would definitely move again to United States if they had a chance. Overall, I learned many fact about Korean culture and how people goes through hardship in their life. I am Korean but I was raise in the California, so I did not have that much of background in my native culture. Also financial and resident issues were never a hardship I went through in my life. I know in fact my future family can stand in that position so I should always beware about these issues. Lastly I found out that culture is very important to each one of us because it represent who we are.