Sunday, January 10, 2010

Oooooooh matchmaking!

Source: Reuters

The health ministry plans a matchmaking program where it will bring single public servants together for social gatherings and community service work in the hopes of fostering love among available bureaucrats looking to wed.

The ministry has been doing its homework on the unmarried.

"We found that single people fall into certain categories, much like the unemployed," said Choi Jin-sun of the ministry's human resources development division.

It will split the unmarried between those that way by choice and those by circumstance, and has devised plans to help any segment of the unwed population find a partner and settle down.

The government in late 2009 unveiled a plan to boost South Korea's birthrate, the lowest in the developed world.

The country is graying quickly and needs to boost the population to expand the economy and provide payments to government coffers for the increased welfare spending that comes with an aging society.

"We're not talking about a one-time mass meeting among singles, but regular, constant opportunities where singles can meet and mingle naturally," said Choi.

These people work together, why don't they just ask each other out for lunch or something. South Korean men need a government program and tax dollars to get laid?

That's pretty sad.

On second thought, after watching those unbearable shitty Korean soaps, this does not surprise me.


MaSir said...

Slow down player. Its not as simple as you think.

There is a social and cultural framework in Korea that precludes cold approaching random women. That's not to say it doesn't happen, but its not nearly as prevalent and accepted over there as it is in the states.

I can think of several independent reasons. Some stronger than others but nonetheless, valid in my mind.

1. When comparing their dilemma with Asian American men, there's an underlying similarity shared between both ethnic groups - overemphasis on academics from age 3 until adulthood. The average Korean student will attend private tutoring classes until 12 midnight. Its gotten so bad that the government has actually mandated that students from attending these private academies past 10pm. This continues through college and may stymie Korean men from cultivating basic social skills to interact with persons of the opposite sex.

2. Korean companies work you like a dog. As if studying wasn't enough, after you get your first job you're more than likely to face long, grueling work hours. The average Korean male works 10-12 hours per day. I've personally worked in Korea 12 hour days, 6 days per week, several weeks straight. If the boss stays in the office, its implicitly understood by subordinates that he should stay as well until the boss leaves, even if he is reading the damn newspaper. Its not like this everywhere but its fairly common. By the time men get home from work they're either too tired to go out and too drunk from hwaeshik - drinking after work with coworkers - to start chasing tail.

3. Easy accessibility of hostess bars, room salons and prostitutes. Where as prostitution is harder to come by in America (though it seems to be getting easier) a lot of men can easily go to these spots to get their female fix. Whether its just chatting it up, getting a back rub or a full on hump session, alternatives are out there.

4. Koreans practice sogetting, introducing and hooking up friends of friends or family members with other friends as opposed to random encounters. Women especially feel this method is safer and less awkward. You may succeed in a dance or night club occasionally but its as nearly as common.

5. Career is beginning to outweigh marriage. Both men and women are focusing on their individual careers more so than before. Korea has advanced so quickly as an economic powerhouse that it has become excruciatingly competitive. People want to focus on themselves and their careers instead of wedding so quickly.

6. Insecurities. This is everywhere but Korea is unique in the sense that it has undergone a history of being subjugated. Korean men can be very prideful and may not respond to rejection all that well. Though I've definitely noticed changes in this aspect of Korean males recently.

There are many more but these are the most obvious reasons that came to mind. I too hope Korean men will step up their game soon since it is a 2-way street.

MaSir said...

And the reason I mention shitty Korean dramas is because these shows, as great an influence as they could be, enforces this lifestyle by showing weak Korean men who take 20 episodes to finally say I love you and still get the girl anyways.

Haha. Well if the guy says I love you the first episode, its no longer really a series. Its a poor simulation of reality because most Korean men are no different than men of other ethnicities. They're hornballs and want to have sex just like any other kind of guy.

And yes, it absolutely is a bandaid. The issue is there's too much focus on academics. Its part of the reason why Korea has been able to economically advance so quickly but is lagging with its social and political maturation.

Amory Blaine said...

well, it also wouldn't hurt if the women all looked like the one on the left half of the ad, as opposed to the right!! JOKE!! ;-) an old colleague of mine (ABK - 35 - lived with mom...) said that when he visits korea in the regular clubs the guys sit down, enjoy cigars and bottle service and when the see a girl they want to meet they point her out to an employee who drags her (literally)over to the table where she is expected to pour the dude a drink. after that he's on his own to make a case...point being it is a manufactured environment where the male feels somewhat in control and with the aid of spirits can overcome some inhibitions, supporting MaSir's posit of overwhelming social awkwardness. Or, he could have made the whole thing up. wouldn't surprise me - the bitch. had to fire him. anyway... oh, I also know a korean girl, also low 30's, also living at home, who is so absolutely lacking in social skills and any kind of even the most instinctual grace that when she likes a guy, she punches him all the time, pretty hard, like kids do in kindergarten. If he responds, however, she runs away so fast and so far sometimes it is days before we see her. no joke; somebody has to pay her bar bills half the time. She's sorta pretty, but it is conceivable she has never been kissed. how do you overcome such a huge social setback? their culture conspires against them, it would seem. It *is* a strange, confusing culture. Totally sexist to an eyebrow raising extent, but the moms rule everybody and ruin any chance of happiness. oh, right we we were talking about, they do have lovely BBQ; at least they eat well and mostly have better hair and clothes than their northern brothers.

In that "player" tracy's defense, her style is to boil down her observations to their absurdist extreme, and then jump up and down on them. sparing no words and taking no prisoners! And we have missed her, no?

Hi Tracy! Happy New Year write me sometime why don't you? jjw (i'm sorry, what was the question?)

Degenerasian said...

Ah yes.. the Asian guys' mom.
Ruins all relationships!

MaSir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MaSir said...

Sorry. Read out of context.