The Korea Times did a report recently on the widespread epidemic of PDA in S. Korea amongst young couples and how everybody is just grossed out. You should definitely check out “Public Displays of Affection: Where to Draw The Line?” in its entirety, as it is an informative and insightful read on the changes in S. Korean culture. Here are some of the best bits below:
Park Kyoung-tae, a 38-year-old sommelier, recently had an embarrassing experience on the subway.
“It happened late at night around 11 o’clock. I was with my girlfriend after a date. I gave her a good-bye kiss before she got off the subway when, suddenly, an old man came out of nowhere and started scolding us, saying it is not right to block other peoples’ way by ‘doing so.’” Park said. “Since there were few people on the subway, I was not convinced at all and it just hurt my feelings.”
Although the old man gave a reason to justify his action, Park knew that he just wanted to chide them for kissing in public instead of telling them to stay out of other people’s way.
Major lolz @ an old man coming out of nowhere to scold a 38 year old man and his girlfriend for kissing goodbye …. If that were me I probably would have died from embarrassment. But if you thought that was bad, imagine getting SLAPPED, like this foreign traveler saw one time:
Johan is from Sweden and is on his second visit to Korea. He says he noticed certain changes in attitude toward PDA within the young generation in Korea.
He recalled vividly what he witnessed three years ago when he was going home after a party with friends.
“A girl was sitting on the subway ventilation at the platform and waiting for the train with her boyfriend. They were literally making out; hugging and kissing each other. Suddenly an old lady approached them, slapped the girl’s arm and scolded them. The couple ended up leaving.”
Can you imagine?!?!?!?! OMG. If people think thats bad in Korea, they could definitely not take France, where I literally saw couples ranging from pre-teen to elderly making out everywhere (parks, subways, restaurants) and some even literally on top of eachother during. But it’s not only the ajummas throwing a fit about the spike in PDA, quite a few young people do NOT approve either:
Holding hands, hugging or a light peck on the cheek is fine,” said Park, a 26-year-old university student. “But anything that goes beyond that becomes unsightly.”
Park said he recently saw a couple making out at a cafe and said that he had looked at them disapprovingly. He said he often sees young couples kissing in the streets of Sinchon, a district where several university campuses are located.
“PDA has become quite common. It’s easy to spot, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a pleasant sight,” he added.
The article then rounded things out by giving the results from a survey measuring people’s thoughts on PDA, and surprisingly they heavily favor a form of punishment for those who commit excessive PDA:
…..the majority of the respondents replied that overt sexual expression and any type of PDA that makes others feel uneasy should be punished.
And despite varying responses to PDA that included indifference and amusement, 35 percent said that it made them feel uncomfortable.
I understand that Korea has a long history of social conservatism that goes back to the Confucian beliefs that have been around for centuries, but punishment for kissing your boyfriend or girlfriend in public?!?! I guess being American, it’s sometimes hard to reconcile our western social norms with the strict traditions that you learn about from various Asian cultures. I wonder how these rules apply to westerners in Korea, but I’m sure it’s different because we’re probably looked at as dirty and promiscuous anyways. But bottom line, S. Korean society is changing, it’s becoming a melting pot of different cultural ideals. And imho you can’t throw things like Hyuna twerkin it in a little mini-skirt up her butt and Taeyang humping the floor in the faces of millions of younger Korean fanboys/fangirls without them getting, at the very least sexually frustrated.
What do you think AKPF about the changing social norms in S. Korea, especially when it comes to sexual expression and PDA??? Do you think Western influence is fully to blame or are they just teenagers being, well horny teenagers??
Source: Korea Times