My Korean Dad and His Korean Gangster Homeboys

My dad is in town taking care of some stuff and hanging out, and today I hung out with him and his homeboys from elementary, junior and high school. And I gotta admit, it’s pretty original gangsta (og)… or at least original Korean gangster. Here’s a couple of examples:

  • they all call each other 임마 (immah) and 새끼 (saekki). Normally these are Korean curses when said to strangers, but among friends from childhood, it’s just another way to address your friends. Cursing at ur friends and getting away with it is mad og!
  • my dads friend was concerned that I was bored, but one of the more gangsta ajeoshis said i should just be quiet an listen. I wasn’t even mad yo! I know when one of your dads friends tell you to just “be still” (가만있어), you listen!
  • my dad was telling stories of how his boys ruled the school and no one messed with them. They were the athletes back in the day and if you messed with one, you messed with em all! LOL sounds similar to my favorite korean gangster movie, 친구 (Friend) :)
  • one confirmed jail time, probably a few more ha!
  • the baddest ajeoshi started two fights. At the end of the night, he had one of em bowing to him, OTL lol!
  • one ajeoshi said straight out that one of em was a gangster (깡패). I believe him because that dude had a perm

And of course, they are still very Korean. Even with all their Korean original gangsterness, there was a lot of hand holding, which progressed to cheek kissing and I love you’s (alcohol may or may not have been involved).

Cool night to experience my dad and his og friends. But actually, his childhood stories sound very similar to my own… just much more Korean ;)

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Korea Then vs Korea Now: Korean Cultural Identity Crisis

Seoulistic.com is a site dedicated to introducing Korean culture among other super useful tips. But here’s the problem: Korea itself is having a cultural identity crisis. I had a post about how Korea was different 10 years ago. That just goes to show how much and how quickly Korea is changing. It also makes it really difficult for me to create videos/posts that are 100% correct about Korean culture. Here’s a few examples:

- Touching in Korea: I made a video about what touching the opposite sex is like in Korea. The older people usually don’t get all up on each other, but some of the younger generation is all like “whatever, yo! lets get busy!” in public.

- Korean Style Punishments: this video was about what punishments are like in Korea. I showed the original video to a couple of people including @kyeongeun and @yo_ona. Hitting is old school… now it’s all like “I love you, i love you!”

Being awesome on subways used to mean never siting in the priority seating and getting up for the elderly/kids/etc. But these days there are lots of younger Korean kids that are not that awesome and just stay glued to their smartphones (sometimes ignoring the elderly in front of them). Scary ajummas and ajeoshi’s 10 years ago would have ripped one into them, but now they just give em stank eye.

So it’s hard to be totally on point cause Korea is changing so fast. It’s kind of stuck between the old way and new way of doing things. While all the older traditions and ways of doing things is still true, it definitely is changing. Nowadays it’s all about being chic and modern, but personally, I like most of the old stuff much better. If you haven’t noticed, I’m an ajeoshi at heart ;)